28th June 1780
Reference Numbert17800628-111
VerdictNot Guilty

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415. RICHARD HYDE was indicted for that he, together with five hundred other persons and more, did, unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously, assemble, on the 6th of June , to the disturbance of the publick peace, and did begin to demolish and pull down the dwelling house of Richard Akerman , against the form of the statute, &c.


Do you know the person of the prisoner Hyde? - I do. He called upon me about five o'clock in the afternoon of the 6th of June; he knocked at the door and asked me if I had enquired of a prisoner about a crown which he had left with him, as earnest for a fiddle. I was agitated a good deal, having had an information that the mob was coming to visit me, I was packing up my plate; I told the prisoner I had been busy and was very busy now, and had not enquired of him. He d - d my blood, upon which I was going to strike him, but my niece laid hold of me and prevented me. He then ran on the other side of the way, held up his hand to me and said, You say you have been busy, you shall be more busy presently. He paraded about the street. I went in and saw no more of him.

How long was it after this before he was apprehended? - I believe it was the Saturday following, I took him myself in the Old Bailey.

About what time in the evening of that Tuesday was your house attacked? - I believe between six and seven o'clock. The house was completely destroyed that night in a short time; I was not there at the time.

Cross Examination.

His business with you was about a fiddle? - No, if I had tried to get five shillings of a prisoner for him, which he said I had promised to get for him. I believe I might say, I would try to get it.


I am servant to Mr. Akerman.

Do you remember putting to the window shutters of the parlour that evening? - Yes, I likewise barred the door, chained it, and bolted it with two bolts. Between six and seven o'clock; I was alarmed by the mob

I was ironing; I ran and put up the shutters. The mob began to break the windows; we staid in the house till they broke the hall door open, and broke the lamp, then we made the best of our way over the top of the house, for they threatened they would do for me if they got in.

Which door are you speaking of? - We have only one door to the street, that was barred and bolted with two bolts. While I was fastening the door one of the fellows dashed the glass over the door into my face.


I live at the Magpie, in Newgate-street.

Do you remember the Tuesday evening when Mr. Akerman's house was attacked? - Yes, I do; I saw the prisoner there, as I was going down the Old Bailey, on an errand for my father. Before I could get to Fleet-lane, I saw a parcel of people come with great sticks in their hands and great spokes of wheels. I went of my errand, and as I came back I saw the prisoner and another man with a long pole on their shoulders.

Prisoner. Look at me again, are you sure I am the man? - Yes. I staid a little while to see what they were going to do; I saw the prisoner at the sore part of the pole; another man came and took hold of the end of it, and the third man jammed it up against Mr. Akerman's furthest window, and broke the window shutters, and forced out the window frame. I staid a little while and saw a lad bigger than me in a blue jacket get in at the window. The lad in the blue jacket jammed his head against one of the shutters that was not quite down and pushed it down. Then I saw a chimney-sweeper's boy get in, and then the prisoner got in; he was the third person who got in. I went down a little farther facing Elliot's-court. I saw the prisoner go up into the one-pair-of-stairs, and I saw him fling some pictures with gilt frames, and other things out at the window. Then I went home and called my father, and did not see any more.

How long was it after this before Mr. Akerman's house was all in flames? - Not quite half an hour after, I believe.

Were there a large number of persons assembled upon this occasion? - The Old Bailey was quite full.

What did you take this pole to be? - I think a scaffolding pole, such as they put into the walls to hold the scaffolding up. It was too heavy for one man to carry.

- WOTTON sworn.

I am a stable-keeper. I live directly opposite Mr. Akerman's.

Did you see the prisoner there? - When Mr. Akerman took him I thought I remembered something of his face.

Prisoner. Look at me always while you speak? - I cannot positively swear to him.

Did you see any persons remarkably active in the mob? - I cannot say I did.

Do you remember Mr. Akerman apprehending any person? - I remember Mr. Akerman apprehending that man by the side of Newgate.

But you cannot say whether he was in the mob or not? - I thought at that time he was in the mob, and if he was he was the man who carried the pole, and put it up against the window.

How was the man dressed who carried the pole and put it up against the window? - He was dressed in soldier's clothes, and if that be the man his hair was tied behind.

Cross Examination.

You cannot undertake to swear that he is the man? - I cannot.

JOHN PITT sworn.

I am one of Mr. Akerman's servants. I remember seeing the prisoner on the 6th of June.

Prisoner. Are you s ure you know me? - I know him very well. At half after ten o'clock the prisoner came in with a great many more; he went backwards and got one of our cutlasses, which was drawn; he saw me, and said, d - n my eyes, here is one of Akerman's bloody thieves, let us do him first, and we will do Akerman afterwards.

How was he dressed at that time? - He had a red soldier's jacket on. I thought it had been a marine's dress.

You are sure the prisoner is the man? I am certain to the person of the man; I

knew him well. Some body in the place took the cutlass out of his hand; he afterwards got a broomstick; then he with a number more went out.

For the Prisoner.

The counsel for the crown informed the court, that Dr. Monro having attended the court several days with great inconvenience to himself, he (the counsel) had consented to admit Dr. Monro's account of the prisoner's state of mind to be read. It was read accordingly. The substance of the paper was that the doctor was called to attend Mr. William Hyde (the father of the prisoner) about the latter end of October, 1771, who was then in a state of insanity, but his son (the prisoner) was perfectly sane. That in the year 1772, the doctor observed the son Richard Hyde (the prisoner) to be in a state of insanity, which in the space of a fortnight or three weeks encreased upon him extremely.


I am an embosser and a printer of woollen cloth. I have known the prisoner and his family ten or twelve years; his father is a man of considerable property.

Have you known Mr. Hyde, the prisoner, much these twelve last years? - I have known him at intervals; I always looked upon him as insane, and his actions have demonstrated that he was so.

Have you seen his father lately? - Not for three or four years; I understand he is in confinement.

His uncle, I believe, too, is insane? - I have heard so.

Prisoner. It is a mad family; they drove me mad by sending me to Bridewell.

Yetherd. Prior to this affair I have always told my friends that I understood him to be insane.

Cross Examination.

How has he lived these two or three years last past? - I have heard his father allowed him a guinea a week.

What the insane father allow him a guinea a week? - Yes.

Have you looked upon him as a man who could distinguish right from wrong? - At intervals I have.

But there has been a difference in him in your observation at times? - There has.

Sometimes you looked upon him to be in this condition, at other times as having reason enough to guide him? - I have so.

Prisoner. I beg to ask that gentleman a few questions. Do you recollect my coming to your house about the 15th or 16th of May? - I believe I do some day or other.

And that I asked you for two half-guineas for a guinea? - You did so.

And then I left you? - You did so.

You never saw me again after that? - No, not till the day this affair happened. I saw him the day of this affair at five or six o'clock in the evening; I said, what are you just come out of Bedlam? I did not at first recollect him till he spoke to me, he was so much changed with his dress, and one thing or another.

Court. Was he with the mob there? - He was in the mob as well as the rest; he was talking with a soldier; a friend of mine said who is that fellow you was talking with? I said, I believe he is a mad man; he has been so, and I think he is so now, he was so strangely dressed.

Prisoner. It is a queer dress I have got now.


I am a haberdasher in Bishopsgate-street.

I believe you know the father of the prisoner? - No, I never was acquainted with the father of the prisoner.

What is the father? - I always understood the father was a corn-factor.

Have you known the son the prisoner? - I have.

Did you think him a man out of his mind or of a sound understanding? - I always conceived him to be a man out of his mind; I have often said so, and was so well convinced of it that I thought his friends highly to blame in not confining him; the last time I saw him was, I believe, about two months before this affair; he was telling me some circumstances of a transaction; I observed to some persons I thought he was going into his old way, meaning by that into insanity.

Cross Examination.

Sometimes, you say, you have considered him as a man distempered in his understanding? - I have at times.

Have not you at other times considered him as a man of remarkable good sense and quickness? - I have often said that I thought him a man of good sense at his lucid intervals.

When he was not distempered he was remarkable for his quickness and good sense? - I thought that he was a very sensible man.

During these last two months you have not known what the state of his mind has been? - I have not seen him since that time.

Dr. COMBES sworn.

How long have you known this unfortunate man? - I came to England with him eighteen or twenty months ago; I have seen him twice within that time. He called upon me the 19th of last May, and his behaviour, looks, and conduct, indicated him to be mad, insomuch that, in a little diary I keep, I took down that he had called upon me and was very flighty in his behaviour; his whole conversation was wild and incoherent; and I was exceedingly distressed for him.

Do you know any thing of his family, what persuasion are they? - I have heard they are Quakers; I do not know his father.

Justice HYDE sworn.

You are not the least related to the prisoner? - No.

Do you remember his being before you and when it was? - He was brought before me on the 29th of May last, upon suspicion of robbing a coach yard of some coach glasses, and a hammer cloth; I believe a night or two before that the coach yard had been robbed of those articles, and on the 28th in the evening he was found hid in a coach, and they put him in the watch-house.

Did you look upon him to be a man in his senses at that time? - Certainly so at that time; I committed him for further examination for three or four days; he wrote me several letters; my house was destroyed and every thing in it, or I could have produced them; he was very sensible.

Did not you discharge him from this cause? - I discharged him for want of evidence, if I had discharged him for insanity I should have sent him to the work-house.


I have known Mr. Hyde four years.

What has been his conduct? - A very bad one in regard to madness; I saw him on the 6th or 7th of June, he was then very bad indeed; it was either the Tuesday or Wednesday, but I am almost persuaded it was on the Wednesday; he had an old grey coat on, a flapped hat, which was covered with paint. I asked him where he was going? He said to pay his addresses to some noblemen. I said you will never go to noblemen with that hat? let me take it off and dry it for you. He said, No, you are a fool; my hat is blue; it is the colour of the heavens; I would not have it dried for the world. He had a very old great coat on. He said I did not understand what was genteel. I asked him if he had dined? He said he had not. I asked him if he would eat a bit of lamb? He said, If I would shew it him if he liked it he would eat it; when I shewed it him he took it into his fingers and drawed it through his mouth in a very indecent manner; I fetched him a pint of beer; he drank once and then tossed the beer on one side; he pushed the pot away in a cross manner. He said, I have tasted it once, I must taste it three times; it is against the heavens to drink only once out of a pot.

Prisoner. That was foolish, sure enough, for if a man was dry he would drink as hearty as he could, though I have heard that supping quenches the thirst best.

Davis. He drank twice more out of the pot, but very little; he then asked me If I had got any message cards in the house? I told him I had not. He said If I had no message cards would I give him some playing cards? I said I had some but they were very dirty. He said, I must give seven or five to a nicety; he wrote upon them four or five different noblemen's names; cut them into square bits, as big as two fingers, and said, he was going to them; he wrote Richard Hyde , Esq. on every card. He said, if he could not see them he would leave the cards; but he said he was persuaded that he should see some; he went away about seven o'clock.

Prisoner. Who did I tell you I was going to see, what noblemen? - I do not remember what nonsense you said.

Prisoner. The Duke of Richmond's porter said I was an impudent fellow and would not take it in; when I went to Lord Nugent's the man bid me write down; I sent to Lord Stormont, he sent me his answer, sealed with his coat of arms, and the king's messenger brought it; it was his compliments and would be glad to see me directly; he forgot I suppose that I was double locked and hand-cuffed, and under a stout man, named Richard Kirby ; one man swore I was in four or five places at once, another swore my name was Richard Hyde ; I was never christened in my life; my father gave me a true name, it began with an S, and then a D, and then an H; how the Devil can you make Richard out of that!

Cross Examination.

Where do you live? - In Bedford-court, Covent-Garden.

Are you an housekeeper there? - No; I have a first floor there; I have lived there four years, at a cutler's.

Do you follow any business there? - No; I have a friend, who was an acquaintance of Mr. Hyde's, whom I live with.

Did he appear to you to have been drinking that day? - He was not at all in liquor; he was remarkably poor; he had not an halfpenny in the world; he said he had not tasted any thing all the day.

Prisoner. This is a curious way of trying people without any commission; they won't let me go to the privy counsel, because they know I should tell the truth.


I am a grocer in Bishopsgate-street. I have known Hyde more than seven years.

Do you look upon him to be a man subject to insanity? - At different times I have seen him insane.

What was the last instance you recollect of insanity? - About five or six weeks ago I was at Dr. Butler's Head, in Coleman-street, he came there, as he frequently had done, to see me; he sat down, and called for some rum and water. He turned round to me and said Jack, you know they said I was an Atheist, but I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; repeatedly striking his feet and knees; then he asked several people who were there how old they were, and he cast their nativity; some he said had two hundred and forty years to live, some three hundred. He took out a pencil, made marks, and summed up figures; he said, Sir, you will live so many years, you will live so many years; and that is philosophy.

Prisoner. So they might live three hundred years if they knew how to live, but they gorge themselves like aldermen. Callipash and Callipee kills half the people.

Do you know the father of this young man? - I have no acquaintance with him; I have seen him at his uncle's.

The family are Quakers? - They are.

You do not know what the rank and situation of the father is? - I know he is a man of a genteel estate.

Do you know his uncle? - Yes.

Has he been in a state of insanity? - I do not know as to insanity; he has been extremely low and melancholy.

Prisoner. I am raving and they are melancholy; that makes a junction in uno - Mr. Underwood, when I lodged with you, do you recollect a circumstance of my going to burn a bible? - I was not present, but I believe he did.

Prisoner. Did not I pull you three times by the nose for calling me unprincipled scoundrel, or the like? - I believe you might.

Prisoner. Did not you strip yourself stark-naked upwards in order to sight me? - I did.

Prisoner. And did not I give you two black eyes? - You did in the upshot.

Prisoner. Now I would have you answer me one more question upon your oath, that is, whether you did not practice at a bag of sand in order to be able to beat me. You know you took me before Mr. Wilkes, and Mr. Wilkes said you had taken the law into your own hands, and there was no remedy for you. You was, you know, to have been a common council-man but on account of this you turned an Anti-Wilkite, as I did an Anti-atheist.


You are the keeper of one of the Compters? - Yes, of Wood-street.

I believe this man has been committed to your care? - I brought him here this morning.

What is the situation of his mind? - I have seen him in general as he is now; he was brought to me on the 18th of May very genteelly dressed. I had not seen him for some time before; I have known him these ten or twelve years. When he was brought to me; he did a great deal of mischief; we were obliged to handcuff him. We knew him extremely well. Mr. Holder and the other gentlemen had him discharged; they said what can we do with a madman. I always looked upon him to be a madman; he came to me, a few days after, in a marine's coat.

Counsel for the Crown. If any means can be devised to secure the prisoner from going at large, I shall for my part wish to stop the prosecution. Is there any body here who is acquainted with the family.

Prisoner. They say my father is dead; if he is, there is money enough for me; if he is not there is money enough for us both. He had reduced me to half a guinea a week, because I kept two women instead of one. I do not know whether I am right or wrong. Mr. Kirby and his wife are very good polite people, and have very good accomodations, I shall be glad to go there. But I hope I may be permitted to make my defence as well as other criminals.

Counsel for the Crown. I consent, without your making any defence, that you shall be acquitted.

Prisoner. then I may put my pen and ink away.


(The prisoner was delivered to the care of Mr. Kirby.)

Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice NARES.

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