28th June 1780
Reference Numbert17800628-24
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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313. JAMES BULKLEY was indicted for that he, together with forty other persons, and more, did unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assemble, on the 7th of June , to the disturbance of the public peace, and did begin to demolish and pull down the dwelling-house of Cornelius Murphy , against the form of the statute .


I am a peruke-maker; I live at No. 9, in Golden-lane , directly opposite to Mr. Murphy's house.

Was you in Golden-lane when Mr. Murphy's house was attacked by the mob? - Yes; during the whole time.

When did the mob first begin to demolish it? - Between the hour of six and seven on Wednesday the 7th of June. I saw the prisoner enter Mr. Murphy's house and go up stairs. I afterwards saw him at the top of the house, helping to destroy the roof, and throwing the tiles down into the street. I expected he would fall from the top of the house to the bottom; at about eight o'clock, in the little street adjoining to me (I have lived there twenty-two years) I saw one Mr. Nunn, who had been in the action himself, wallowing drunk. I went to get him home; the prisoner put his hat up to Mrs. Bevans's face and said D - n you smell it, it has been full of gin, and if you want any I will fetch you some.

Did he say where he fetched it from? - He fetched it from Mr. Murphy's.

What was done to Mr. Murphy's house? - It was demolished from the bottom to the top; every thing was demolished.

Are you positive the prisoner is the person of whom you have been speaking? - I am; when he was fetched before the justice I said, My friend I am sorry I see you here, for I must speak against you; my conscience will not let me do otherwise. I shed tears for him.

Court. Was it upon your evidence he was first apprehended? - No; I did not inform against him.

Did you know the prisoner before? - I had seen him several times, he living in Playhouse-yard, but never to speak to him before in my life.

Cross Examination.

What time of night are you speaking of? - The first time I observed him was about seven in the evening of the 7th of June.

How long did you see him there? - For the space of about three quarters of an hour in the house; he might be there longer for what I know.

You hardly knew him before I understand, did you know his person before this? - Yes, for a few years back I knew him.

Where was you standing at this time? - I was at my one pair of stair's window facing Murphy's house, and could see every transaction as plain as I can see you.

Can you see well at a distance? - Yes, I can; thank God I have my sight pretty clear. I am sorry it happened for me to be in the way to see this.

And do you swear that you saw this man on the top of the house? - Yes, I did.

What time was that? - Between seven and eight, or rather before seven o'clock.

What other part of the house did you see him in? - Chiefly at the top of the house.

Did you see him there a quarter of an hour? - If I said half an hour I should not tell a lie.


I understand you are the wife of Mr. Edward Bevan , who lives in Golden-lane? - I am.

You remember the evening when Mr. Murphy's house was attacked and pulled down? - Yes, it was Wednesday the 7th of June.

In the course of that evening did you see any thing of the prisoner? - Yes, my house is opposite. I never was out of my own house during the time. I did not see him at Mr. Murphy's house; he came before my house after they had done at Murphy's house, How long after they had done as you call it, was it, before he came before your house? - A quarter of an hour. He offered me his hat which was exceedingly sopped in the gin; he pushed it into my hand, and said he would fetch me a hat crown full of gin to drink; I insisted upon his keeping off, and taking his gin away, for I would have none.

You saw a man there of the name of Nunn? - Yes, he was exceedingly in liquor in the horse-way. The prisoner endeavoured to put on Nunn's shoe, which had fallen off. He was so much in liquor that he fell down.

Did the prisoner say any thing to you where he fetched the gin from? - Not a word, but I was standing at my own door. I saw where he went to and came from; he came from Murphy's house along with the rest of the mob to my house.

You did not yourself see him at Murphy's house? - No further than coming in the mob from Murphy's house to my door.

Murphy was a publican, and dealt in spirits? - Yes.

Cross Examination.

Did you know Bulkley before that time? - Not to my knowledge.

When was he taken up? - It was the Thursday following, I believe; I cannot be punctual to the day; it might be a week after, but I cannot be punctual to the day.

Perhaps it was a fortnight after? - I cannot be punctual to the day when he was taken up.

Was you at the justice's office? - Yes.

How long was that after this affair? - I was there on the Saturday week he was taken up on the Friday.

Do you know who gave the information against him? - My husband I believe, to the best of my knowledge.

Then you do not know that your husband gave information against him. Was it not a good while after the proclamation of a reward? - I cannot say, I know nothing of that; I did not go out of my house during the whole riot.


Counsel for the Crown. My Lord, Bevan was the discoverer.

Do you live in Golden-lane? - I live at No. 13, in - street, which is about twenty or thirty yards from Mr. Murphy's house.

Was you there when Mr. Murphy's house was attacked? - I saw a great mob in the street. I heard the glass fly; I went to the door. When I came up to the house I saw a great many people in it, breaking the windows. I knew several of them. Some people came to me and told me my house would be the next to be pulled down, for that Mrs. Clarke had declared I had Murphy's goods in my house. I stood at my door till Murphy's house was pulled down nearly. The mob called to them to come out for they were afraid the house would fall upon them. They came out into the street. There was a cask of gin in the street; they dipped their hats into it and drank a good deal of it.

Did you know the prisoner before? - I have seen him; I had no acquaintance with him.

What did you see him do? - I saw him with his hat full of gin. When he came to my house, he fell down under the window.

How do you know he came from Mr. Murphy's? - I saw him come from Mr. Murphy's house with the gin in his hat.

Did you give the information against the prisoner? - When I went down to the Artillery-ground, the justice asked me who I was most in fear of; I told the justice several of the neighbours were concerned. I told him of Bulkley for one, and several others who are gone away, and are not taken. I told the justices; they told the constables to take away whatsoever people they saw. When I was down there about Mr. Clark, the second time, I was ordered to attend again.

Cross Examination.

You say the prisoner had gin in his hat? - He had when he came to my door.

Where he had that from you cannot tell? - He had it out of a butt which was taken out of Mr. Murphy's house into the street.

I think you stood there? - Several people came and said Mrs. Clark was determined to have my house down.

Is your door in sight of Mr. Murphy's house? - It is.

And you had your eye upon the rioters there? - A great many of them threatened my house. I took notice of as many of them as I could to make interest with them that they might not pull my house down when they came there.

If the prisoner had been doing any thing else but getting this gin in his hat you must have seen him? - I saw him when he came across with the rest of the mob with the gin in his hat.

That is all you know of him? - That is all I know in particular of him.


I believe you had the misfortune to have your house destroyed in Golden-lane, was it destroyed before or after Mr. Murphy's house? - The night before.

Did the prisoner then render you any assistance? - Yes; he came with his wife. He put the pewter into his wife's apron and china, and things, and carried them to his house. He came to acquaint me of it next day; but I not being at home at my lodgings, he left word that he had such and such goods of mine.

What time of day was that? - Between two and three in the afternoon.

If it had not been for the prisoner you could not have known where they were? - No.

You have known the prisoner some years? - Yes.

Is there any thing remarkable in his character or constitution? - I have heard that at times he is insane. I have heard gentlemen say who went to school with him; that when he was a school boy, he would strip himself naked and run about the town where he was born.

Have you always understood him to be an honest man? - Yes. And when in liquor I never heard of his being given to wrangle or quarrel.

Cross Examination.

You and he were acquainted? - Yes, he used my house.

What trade are you? - A pawnbroker.

You know each other very well? - Yes.


I have known him these two years past.

Do you remember the day that Mr. Murphy's house was destroyed? - Very well. I am a servant in Playhouse-yard, facing this person's; he came to my master's house to quell the mob.

What time was that? - Between three and four o'clock of that same day, on the Wednesday. My master's name is William Darwin . He told them he was a Protestant.

How long did he remain at your master's house? - About twenty minutes. I was much frightened as my master was not at home. He said he would go to see for his friend, which was this gentleman who is just gone down. His wife came to see how I was after the fright, at five o'clock.

You have known him some time? - I have lived facing him two years and three quarters. She came over about five o'clock to me to see how I was after the fright. The mob bid me hang out a flag of truce, which was one ribband longer than the other; they said there would be another mob. I was with Bulkley from five o'clock till about five minutes before seven; then his wife desired me to walk in from the door, to sup; I said I could not go unless she placed the table so that I could see every one who came to the door. I was with him from seven till the clock struck eight. The mob halloo'd again. I was afraid they were coming to my master's house; we ran down both together.

When was the last time you saw him? - At ten. He was not five minutes out of my company, from eight to ten o'clock. Then he ran down to see if the mob were coming to Playhouse-yard, and then they were at Cassaday's; but his house was not pulled down, nor touched.

Cross Examination.

What are you? - A servant.

To whom? - William Darwin .

Then according to your account you saw this man from five in the evening till ten at night? - I did.

Was he perfectly sober all the evening? - I cannot say, he was sober when he first came.

Had he any liquor with you? - We had three pints of beer between him and I and his wife. When we sat at the door we had a pot of beer. We did not drink it all, we had a pint more when we went to supper.

He probably then got sober? - He was not over and above drunk at first but a little in liquor. When he gets a little in liquor he is like a madman.

But he was in his sober senses that evening, for he came to tender his services? - Yes; he wanted to help move off my master's property before the second mob came.

What did he say about the second mob? - He said he would have me move off the best of my master's goods before the second mob came to destroy them, the mob said another mob would come, and we must hang out a flag of truce, which I did. He said when he went out, I will go and see for my friends to let them know where their property is, and then I will be back with you again.

What time was that? - That was rather before five.

And he never was out of your sight from that time till ten o'clock? - Not till very near ten o'clock.

How far is your house from Mr. Murphy's house in Golden-lane? - If it was quite straight not half a gun-shot.

Forty, fifty, or sixty yards? - It might be that compass for what I know.

Do you know Mr. Bevan's house in Golden-lane? - I do not.


I have known Mr. Bulkley three years, he lived above two years in my house, he is a very honest hard-working man, but like some other people when he gets a little liquor he is out of his mind I think.

It has a very bad effect upon him I believe? - Yes, it has; I have told him so.

JOHN SILK sworn.

I have known Bulkley nine or ten years, he is a very honest, industrious man; he worked for me on and off in that time.

JOHN IVEY sworn.

I have known the prisoner about nine years or rather better, I never heard any thing

amiss of him, but only fuddling; he has a good character; I have lent him money, when he has been straitened, to buy wood, he always paid me very honestly. I was at his house the 15th of last month; an information was laid against a neighbour. I said it it well Mr. Bulkley that you have kept out of these broils. He said yes he had not been at all in it, except in assisting Mr. Lynch the pawnbroker.

Has he been always in his business since? - Yes, he has been working in his open shop since.


I have known the prisoner two years and an half. I have always seen him a hard-working man, he always bore a fair and honest character, as far as ever I saw.


I have known the prisoner about five or six years; he is a very honest hard-working man, a good husband, and a good father, only apt sometimes to get a little in liquor.


He has worked for me these nine years back; he will sometimes, like other men, get a little in liquor; but I never found him otherwise than an honest man; I never heard a single individual give him any other character.


I have known the prisoner about five years, he is a very honest man for whatever I heard of him.


I have known the prisoner about eighteen years, I never heard any thing but what was very good of him; he always bore a good character, and all belonging to him.

GUILTY ( Death .)

(The prisoner was humbly recommended by the Jury to his majesty's mercy.)

Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice ASHHURST.

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