PATRICK READ.
9th January 1793
Reference Numbert17930109-6
VerdictNot Guilty

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128. PATRICK READ was indicted for that he on the 3d of November , with a certain pistol loaded with gun powder and divers leaden shots, maliciously, wilfully and feloniously did shoot at one Daniel Jones , the said Daniel Jones then and there being on the King's highway against the form of the statute and against the King's peace .

RICHARD - sworn.

I was present on the 3d of November; I was the outside of the mail coach, I was going down to Dover; at the Gloucester coffee house the mail coach stopped to take up a gentleman which filled the inside, as soon as the gentleman

got into the coach the coachman crossed to the left hand side of Piccadilly, and just as we got to the dead wall, an hackney coach came near to us; on the near side, and drove forcibly by us; after he had passed us, when we got to Dover-street, he slackened his pace till we came even with him, a breast, as soon as we got even with him he began whipping his horses and set them on a gallop and got before us, I was rather alarmed for I was afraid our leaders would be frightened by his conduct; when we got opposite Park-street or Park-lane, he waited till we got up to him again, as soon as we got opposite to him again, he began whipping his horses and passed through Hyde-park turnpike, we were a little behind him, some persons crossing the turnpike prevented our horses going furiously, which gave the hackney coachman a good opportunity of getting some distance before us; when we got opposite St George's hospital, I saw the coach going on very gently, the mail coachman said to me, I wish to God the fellow would get on before me, the hackney coachman suffered us to come opposite to him again, as soon as we got a breast to him, he began galloping his horses just as he had done before; when we got to Knightsbridge a man put his head out of the coach and said, Damn him whip him; our driver began whipping the hackney coachman, and the hackney coachman gave him two strokes with the whip; I held my head down as low as I could in order to avoid having a cut across the eyes; the mail coachman learned over me to whip the driver of the hackney coach; in a very little time I heard the discharge of a pistol; I immediately holds my head up, and I said to the coachman, I hope to God the guard has not shot him, I am not satisfied about it I wish you would enquire; the coachman turns about to the guard, he says, Pat you have not shot at him; he said, no, I shot at or about his legs, I cannot be positive which; on that we went on to Brentford; but I recollect the guard should say to me, sir, did not you see him cut me across the face, says he, sir, he has cut me across the face here, and it is all over dirt; at Brentford at a public house on the right hand side of the way, the coachman stopped and the guard got down and said, give me a cloth to wipe my face, a wet cloth, and he did wipe his face, I did not see his face. We then proceeded on to our journey and I got to Andover, and coming up I enquired of his character, and I heard an extreme good character of the guard.

Mr. Fielding. You was leaning down in case you should receive a blow, and it was in that situation that you heard the pistol fired? - I am sure I had not raised myself up when I heard it fired.

Q. So that the mail coach might have brought the guard within the hackney coachman's whip at the time you heard the pistol? - It might.

Court. What part of the coach did the prisoner set in? - He was the guard of the mail, he sat behind.

Mr. Fielding. Did you hear there was an additional bag that day? - When I was at the Inn in the city, I heard him swearing to some of the men that they were wrong in filling up his place behind, and I see a white bag in his hand.

WILLIAM BROWN sworn.

I was first coach at Leicester-fields on the Saturday night this happened, and there was William Fly and Charles Groves were talking of going home to Knightsbridge, they live at Knightsbridge, and they were talking about going home, I said to William Fly, you may as well have a coach home, and I went as far as Piccadilly, and we had a pot of beer, when we went in the house, Daniel Jones was sitting on the bench, I said,

are you going home Daniel? he said, yes; when we drank the pot of beer we all came out to go home, Daniel Jones said, he would rather ride outside, and I went inside, we went on from thence till we got just this side of Downing-street; I said, Daniel don't go so fast; I saw a coach coming, I suppose it was the mail coach, just at Hyde-park corner, he went faster again, I said, Daniel why do you go so fast, and just as I came to Knightsbridge I put my head out of the window, and I says to the mail coachman take and whip him, the mail coach went by then.

Q. Why did you say so then? - I cannot give any reason for saying so only by his going fast. When the coachman came opposite of him, he began whipping of him, and Daniel Jones returned it again, and just as we came to the butcher's the mail coach got about twenty yards before, and there the guard fired at the hackney coachman; I observed the mail coachman whip him about three or four times, and Daniel returned it again, and when the mail got before, the guard fired.

Q. Did Jones continue to whip? - They whipped one another.

Q. Do you know whether he whipped the prisoner? - No, I don't know, Daniel Jones after that pulled up and said, you may get out and drive yourself; I says to the two men in the coach, I believe Jones is shot, and I put him in the coach, and I took him up to the hospital.

Mr. Garrow. Your party consisted of Groves, and Fly and yourself, all of you coachmen and horse keepers? - Yes.

Q. Where had you been drinking together when you set out from Leicester-fields? - No where at all.

Q. All sober? - Yes as I am now.

Q. You have told my lord that the hackney coachman and the mail coachman, kept whipping one another three or four times? - Yes.

Q. Did not you say before the magistrate that they whipped one another eight or nine times; then almost immediately as you heard the mail coach go past, you heard the report of the pistol. Jones slackened his pace after you called to him twice? - He did.

Q. Notwithstanding which he kept going on very fast? - He did.

EDWARD CARTER sworn.

I was behind the hackney coach; I got up behind at the turnpike, the coach was going very fast, the mail coach was behind; against Knightsbridge chapel the mail coach went past the hackney coach, William Brown and William Fly and Charles Groves cries out, whip him coachman, whip him coachman, they spoke to the mail coachman, the mail coachman hit him with the whip, and he returned it again several times, and the coach passed the hackney coach about the butcher's shop, and I heard the report of a pistol going off, and I looked forward and the guard of the mail coach was turned round in his seat, and a little after he began to blow his horn; Daniel Jones kept driving up to the corner of Sloan-street, and the mail went away from him.

Mr. Garrow. Did you see whether Jones gave any blow to the guard? - I did not; they whiped one another and then the mail coach went on a little away.

Q. So that he was near enough to obstruct the guard? - He was.

Q. Did the hackney coachman continue whipping as the mail coach was passing? - They both continued whipping one another as long as they could.

WILLIAM FLY sworn.

I was in the coach; I saw the mail coach behind us just before we got to Hyde-park corner till we got just this side of Dr. Kelly's gateway, and they

both kept together for a dozen yards or so, and Brown put his head out and says, Daniel Jones go gently, and then we hallooed out to the mail coachman, whip our coachman, with that they began whipping one another, there was ten or a dozen blows apiece I suppose struck, and he kept on ten or a dozen yards, with that there was a piece fired, I did not see it, I see the flash of it, with that Jones goes nigh a dozen of yards or so and says, you must come out and drive yourself for I am shot; I did not see him aim at him, I cannot say I did.

DANIEL JONES sworn.

I was driving an hackney coach on the 3d of November, I was driving home, as I was coming along the mail overtook me and I kept before the mail, I kept my own pace and he kept his.

Q. Did not you go faster than you had done? - No.

Q. Are you sure of that? - Yes.

Q. Was you in liquor at all? - I was not, I kept before him as I was before him.

Q. You had not mended your pace? - No.

Q. How near was the mail coach to you when you first saw it? - He was near to me but I kept before him, he got close to me at last, I kept before him all the way till he came in nearly this side of Knightsbridge, then I broke way for him, but I reckoned that they ought to have the best horses going and not such poor horses as hackney coaches have got.

Q. Then his horses were not so good as your's? - Yes, a great deal better if he had had a mind to try them.

Q. You wanted to try with him? - No, there were as much room for him as for me.

Q. I look upon it you stopped him from going along? - There was nothing passed between us no otherwise but the guard shot me.

Q. Was there any thing passed between you and the other coachman? - Yes, the coachman whipped at me and I whipped at him again, he only whipped me as he passed by.

Q. Did you continue whipping as he passed by? - I whipped at the coachman, but not so often as he did at me.

Q. How often did he whip at you? - I cannot tell, but the coach was going on all the time; when the guard came along side of the box that I was on, he said, now damn your blood I'll blow your brains out; he might be about ten yards from me before he fired.

Mr. Garrow. He damned your blood as he was passing? - He did.

Q. So that every body must have heard it; he said it in a very furious passion, did not he? - He did.

JOHN CHILD sworn.

I am one of his Majesty's messengers; this was the guard of the Weymouth coach, during his Majesty's residence there; I have had frequent opportunities of observing his conduct; I always looked upon him to be a very civil sober man, remarkable good natured and civil.

WILLIAM WHITE sworn.

I keep the one tun at Brentford; I remember the mail coach arriving to my inn about two months ago, it was on that night that the accident happened on the road, Patrick Read the prisoner, came into my house that night, he asked me to look in his face, on his right cheek I saw a mark, and he told me that the hackney coachman whipped him as he was coming down Knightsbridge, it was a wheal appeared to be recently given by a stroke of a whip; he appeared always a good natured well behaved man as ever I saw in my life; I have known him three or four years.

Mrs. WHITE sworn.

I am the wife of the last witness; I remember the guard coming to the house, he asked me to look in his face, and asked me if I did not see a mark in his face, there was a mark on his right cheek bone as if done by a whip.

THOMAS ASTON sworn.

I am a superintendant of the mail coaches; the prisoner has been a guard five years, a very good natured well behaved man, so well behaved that the Comptroller general singled him out as one of the best guards to go with the Weymouth coach, and when his Majesty was at Weymouth the last time, lord Chesterfield wrote, that the same man might attend guard as by his Majesty's express desire.

Not GUILTY .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice BULLER.


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