15th May 1834
Reference Numbert18340515-1
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Vaughan.

739. HENRY QUICK was indicted for that he, on the 3d of April , at St. Andrew, Holborn, in and upon John Weston feloniously, unlawfully, and maliciously, did make an assault, and with a certain sharp instrument, feloniously, unlawfully, and maliciously, did stab and cut him in and upon his left arm, with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm , against the Statute.

MR. DAWSON conducted the Prosecution.

JOHN WESTON. I am in the employ of Messrs. Day and Martin, in Holborn. Their premises are in the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn - I am superintendent - it is my duty to manage the boys who are in their employ - there are about ten boys there - there is a boy named William Lawrence - he is the overlooker of the other boys - it was his duty to complain to me of any misconduct of the other boy s - on the 1st of April, he complained of the prisoner at the bar, and I told the prisoner he must mind his business better, or he would be sent away - I did not correct him that day - I had corrected him about five or six weeks before - I pulled his ears for neglecting his duty - he said nothing at that nor any other time before the time in question - he said nothing indicating any anger - on Thursday, the 3rd of April, about half-past ten o'clock in the morning, William Lawrence complained to me again, and I went to the table where the prisoner was at work - I asked him what he meant by such conduct, and was about to strike him on the face with the back of my open hand - he retreated about two yards from me, as if to avoid my blow, and then turned his back to me in a stooping position, and I struck him a blow with my first on his back - it was not a severe blow - it was a moderate blow with my fist - not a violent one - not as hard as I could strike - he raised himself up, and turned immediately, and I observed he had his hand over his head, rather above his head - I did not observe any thing in his hand - I supposed he had picked something up to throw at me from the position he was in - I immediately ran up to him and seized him, and I might have struck him at the same time - I am not positive - the moment I got my hand on his collar, I received a blow from a dagger, which went through my left arm, just above the elbow - it passed through it in a slanting direction, about two inches above the elbow - it went through the fleshy part of my arm - I said, "You villain, you have stabbed me," and I saw him throw the dagge rout of his hand behind him - it fell on a bag of corks - I then called William Hodgkinson, and desired him to take him into custody, which he did - Hodgkinson was in the warehouse - I called him up after I was wounded - Luke Wilson was close to him, and a person was within thirty or forty yards of him.

Cross-examined by MR. STAMMERS. Q. How old is the prisoner? A. I believe about sixteen - he has been with us about four years.

Q. Have you been in the habit of striking the men or boys on the premises? A. Many times - I have not punished the boys severely - I never punished the prisoner except at the time I have stated - the only occasion on which I corrected the prisoner was five or six weeks before; he was cutting labels at the table, he spoiled some, and I pulled his ears - I was in a very great passion on the occasion in question - I am not aware that my passion increased while I was striking him - when I attempted to seize him, it is possible I might have struck him - I cannot say whether I did or not - seeing his hand raised, I thought he had something to throw, and went to stop him - at the time I received the blow, my arm was lifted up to seize him - it was extended away from my body, not down by my side - I seized him with my left arm, and received the wound in that arm.

Q. The first blow you gave him was on his face? A. No; I attempted to strike him in the face, but I did not touch him - that was with the back of my open hand - it was not a violent blow - I struck him afterwards on the back - that was not a very violent blow, I will

swear - I do not know that any of the other boys were in the habit of carrying any thing like this dagger with them - I have since heard one boy had two fencing swords.

WILLIAM HODGKINSON . I am in the employ of Day and Martin. On the 3rd of April, in consequence of Weston coming to me, I went to his assistance - he desired me to secure Quick - I said, "Quick, what have you been doing? - how came you to do this?" - he said, "Never mind, that is nothing to nobody; I have owed him a grudge a good while" - he had the dagger in his hand as I went down the room, and as I advanced towards him he threw it on the floor - there was a little blood on the dagger - the point of it stuck in the boards - I delivered it to one of the clerks - the officer has got it - I took the prisoner down stairs; and while we were standing in the lower part of the warehouse, a boy, named Joel, came up to him - I told him to go and mind his work; and, as he went away, the prisoner said, "Now, Joel, you may give them those papers" Joel had got some papers - I was not present when he gave them up - I saw the papers afterwards - I asked the prisoner what it was Joel had got - he said, "It is only some papers for the boys" - he did not explain what he meant.

JOHN JOEL . I was at work at Day and Martin's at this time - I was with the prisoner when he purchased the dagger, about six weeks before this happened - he gave 4s. for it - he did not say what he wanted it for - I think it was bought in Russell-court; it was at the back of Drury-lane theatre - the prisoner had given me a paper parcel on the morning of the 3rd of April, before this matter happened, about seven o'clock - he gave it me and said, "Do not open this till I tell you" - after this had happened he said, "Now, Joel, you may open that" - I gave it to Moel, one of the men.

Cross-examined. Q. Do not you know what he bought the dagger for? A. No; I think it was to play with; because we used to play with such things.

Q. With daggers? A. With knives, made like daggers - I and another boy and the prisoner used to play with them - we used to open them at one another - we used to play theatrically - I had a ground knife - I only had it one night, and I took it home - I put it in my breeches.

Q. Did the knife open and shut? A. No; there was tin case made to it - I do not know that it would be dangerous to put it where I did, without a sheath - I put it inside my breeches - it was not sharp - it had not a very sharp point - it was not quite a point - if I had struck any body with it, I do not know whether it would have stabbed them - one other boy had a knife which, I believe, he used to carry up his sleeve - two of the boys had swords.

COURT. Q. Did you see the prisoner sharpen the dagger? A. Yes; I do not know how long it was before the accident - he sharpened it on a grindstone.

MR. STAMMERS. Q. Did he sharpen it where you sharpened yours? A. Mine was not sharpened - I do not know whether the other boys sharpened theirs - I have seen the papers - I recollect that the prisoner once gave me some papers, three or four months before this took place - there was something written on it - it was not an authority to receive part of his wages.

Q. Was it not a custom among the boys to pass these papers from one to another occasionally? A. I have known it - I never saw a boy with a pistol nor a horn.

MR. DAWSON. Q. Was it customary for the boys to make the papers into parcels, and give them into the custody of another boy to keep? A. I do not know about that.

LUKE WILSON . I am going on for fourteen years old - I had seen the prisoner about eight o'clock in the morning of the day this happened, and he told me I should see what nobody knew but himself - I asked him what it was - he made no answer - I saw the prisoner stab Mr. Weston - he threw the dagger on the ground, after he had stabbed him - Mr. Weston's evidence is correct.

Cross-examined. Q. Where were you when you heard the prisoner say this? A. Up by the table which the bottles are on, where I work - I and Quick were there - nobody else - he said nothing else - the prisoner and I were at the table together, about ten minutes - he said Bill Lawrence was not game to tell master - I said nothing to that - I have told you all that took place on that occasion - I used not to wear a sword or any thing.

COURT. Q. When he said, " Bill Lawrence is not game to tell master," was that before he said, "You shall see what nobody knows," or afterwards? A. Afterwards; it was about five minutes after ten o'clock when Weston came up to tell the boys what paste they were to put on, that he said that.

MR. STAMMERS. Q. Have you never told any body that the prisoner did not say what you now say he did say? A. No; I saw Quick's father yesterday at dinner time - I did not talk to him about it yesterday.

COURT. Q. Did he talk to you about it? A. Yes; he asked me whether he was in a rage when he stabbed master - I said no; I did not say any thing about the words Quick used to me at the table - I am quite certain that was never mentioned - Mark Wilson and Thomas Spencer wore swords or knives - they used to fence with the swords - they were not sharp at the end, but quite blunt - there was no knob at the end of them.

MR. STAMMERS. Q. Did any other boys wear knives? A. Yes; I do not know where they wore them - they used to play with them - Mr. Weston struck the prisoner on the back once, and he stooped down up against the cork bag - he struck him the second time on the side of the head - as he struck him on the back, he stooped down - Quick got up, turned round, and Weston struck him on the side of the head - Mr. Weston was very angry.

MR. DAWSON. Q. The prosecutor struck the prisoner first on the back, had you seen whether he had struck him before that or not? A. No; I cannot tell - one boy had a pair of swords, which the boys played with - they did not play with them on the premises - I never saw the swords on the premises.

WILLIAM LAWRENCE . I am servant to Day and Martin. I have the care of the boys under Weston - on Tuesday, the 1st of April, I had occasion to complain to Weston about the prisoner - on Wednesday evening, about eight o'clock, I was outside standing opposite to a shoemaker's shop, and felt a short blow on my head - I turned round and saw the prisoner - he said that was for telling master - on the Thursday I mentioned this to Weston about half-past ten o'clock.

Cross-examined. Q. You are overlooker of the boys? A. Yes; Weston is the managing owner, I believe - I have

heard so - I never saw any swords or knives about the boys on the premises - I have seen that dagger, I know of no other dagger - I never saw one, nor a pistol - I have heard they used to play at banditti.

JOHN WESTON re-examined. I am superintendent of the manufactory. I engage all the servants, discharge them if required, and pay them their wages - I am not a partner - Mr. Day never attends to the business.

JAMES ISAAC . I am a policeman. The prisoner was given into my custody - I produce a dagger which I received from one of the clerks of the firm - I also produce three pieces of paper with writing on them, and a paper with a pin in it - I received them from one of the men.

JOHN WESTON re-examined. This is the same dagger.(The papers were read as follows:) -

" John Joel - If you will give one of the papers to Robinson and one to Henry Pearce , they will pay you the money they owe to me."H. QUICK."

" John Robinson - I shall take it as a favour, if you will pay to John Joel , that 9d., which was due to me. Saturday.


" Henry Pearce - Please to pay to Joel, the 2 1/2d., which is due to me."H. QUICK."

JOHN JOEL . These are the papers he gave to me - they were in this brown paper which has "Joel" written outside it - I do not know whose handwriting it is - I know the prisoner's handwriting - the papers are his handwriting, but I do not know about the name of Joel.

Cross-examined. Q. Have you ever seen him write? A. Yes.

HENRY DERRICHE JONES. I am a surgeon. On the 3d of April, I was called in to attend the prosecutor - he had a punctured wound in the arm, about two inches above the elbow, passing through the fleshy part of the arm, it passed obliquely upward, quite through the fleshy part - it was a punctured wound or stab.

Prisoner's Defence (written). I am placed before you charged with a crime of a very serious nature; I will state nothing but the truth. I do most solemnly declare the act was not premeditated, neither did I buy the instrument for any purpose, only to play with. I never owed Mr. Weston any malice in my life, though he has struck me before. There is no person can say that I ever threatened Mr. Weston or any one else to do them any injury. The other boys were in the habit of carrying weapons of a similar nature, and I got one likewise, as we were in the habit of playing at robbers and banditti. Those papers that I gave to John Joel were in case I got discharged, for I fully expected it. I did not expect Mr. Weston would strike me; when he struck me, I tried to get out of the way, but he followed me, and kept striking me, which so irritated me, that I struck the blow for which I am arraigned at the bar, and which I have since most sincerely repented of.

( John Wood , Thomas Bernell , Peter Anderson , and William Hunt , in the employ of Messrs. Day and Martin; and Samuel Humphreys , William Kendrick , Henry Cutler , Samuel White , George Richardson , Henry White , James Cutler , and Edward Bulpit , gave the prisoner a good character.)

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 16. - Recommended to mercy by the Prosecutor and Jury, on account of his youth and previous good character .

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