24th November 1834
Reference Numbert18341124-191
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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191. HENRY CRONK was indicted for killing and slaying James Chorrington.

HENRY FRANKLIN . On the 5th of September, at a quarter before seven o'clock, I saw a waggon, with four horses, at length proceeding from Black-friars'-bridge—the driver was by the next horse to the shaft-horse, commonly called the body horse—he was on the left hand side of the road, and the horse was at the right-hand side of him—I was about five yards behind the waggon on the carriage road—I saw a string of five horses coming after the waggon—there was a rider on the near side horse of the string, which was the foremost of the five horses—the deceased was about fifteen feet from the curb, and about a yard from the horses—the prisoner was riding the foremost of the five horses—this happened opposite a coach stand—we were all on the left of the coach stand—the prisoner came along-side with the string of horses, between the deceased and the footway—thinking there was not room between the waggon and the coaches or cabs, the prisoner, unfortunately for the deceased, came on the near side—there was not room between the waggon, and the hackney coach-stand, for the string of horses to go—I should consider there was about fourteen feet between the coach stand and the waggon—there was fifteen feet on the other side, for I measured it—there was as much room on one side of the waggon as the other, within a foot—the curb was fifteen feet from the near side of the waggon, where the deceased was killed, and fourteen from the other—I heard no words take place—I was about five yards behind the waggon—the prisoner came quietly along, riding on the horse—they were walking at a slow rate—owing to the waggoner holding his whip up, after the horses had escaped the waggon, the horse made a quicker step, touched the deceased, and he fell down—I believe it was a pure accident—the deceased had a whip over his right shoulder—the five horses coming by the wheel of the waggon, seeing the whip in his hand, plunged against the deceased, knocked him down, and he died, as the waggon wheels went over him—he did not die till the wheels went over him—it was about it quarter before seven o'clock in the evening—it was daylight—the waggon had about four tons of coals in it—the deceased was in my sight at the moment he was thrown down—I saw him fall, and I believe it was purely accidental—I never saw the prisoner before—I was in company with the deceased—he had drawn a load of coals to my house that day, and these were going there.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. You mentioned that there was a stand of coaches—was it by Rowland Hill's chapel? A. No—it was on this side the chapel, some considerable distance—it was in the Blackfriars'-road, where the coach-stand is—I did not measure the distance between the coach-stand and the waggon, but I should reckon it about fourteen feet—it might have been less—the coaches stood as they usually do—there were carts, cabs, and coaches coming along—I do not think the prisoner could have got through, between the waggon and hackney coach-stand—I should consider he was more likely to have caused an accident if he had gone on the other side—I saw the deceased struck by the furthermost horse from the prisoner, the fifth horse—the waggoner had a regular car-man's whip across his shoulder—the thong might have hung over the left shoulder, and hit a horse or any thing as it passed—seeing the whip, the horse shyed at it, and plunged against the man, and he went down—I do

not believe the prisoner could help the accident—he was going at a slow walk, and was perfectly sober—I attribute no blame to him at all.

COURT. Q. You say there was not room for him to take the five horses, between the off side of the waggon and the coaches? A. I do not think there was—the horses were tied at the shoulder and tail, in the way horse-dealers convey their horses—they came shoulder to shoulder—one horse would be a foot or two feet back—the head of the second horse would be about the first horse's shoulder—they were tied at the shoulder and tail both—I am a coal-dealer—the prisoner's horses were all tied as I have described.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Was it poasible to make one horse go behind the other, from the manner they were tied; or must they keep almost abreast, though not entirely so? A. They must keep almost abreast.

JOHN HOWES . I am a cabinet-maker. I was standing at the end of Charles-street, Blackfriars-road—I observed the waggon coming towards me, with four horses, one behind the other—the waggoner was on the right side of his horses; on the near side to the pavement—I am sure he was on the proper side; his left side was towards the pavement, and his right to the horses—he was on the left hand side of the horses—he appeared to be nearest to the second horse from the shaft—the horses were walking—I saw a string of horses come up—I consider there was from fourteen to fifteen feet between the waggon and the pavement—the horses came inside the man, between the footway and the waggon—the five horses were not exactly abreast—I saw the horses passing by—a grey horse, as they passed by, touched the deceased, which caused him to fall—I am not aware which of the five horses it was—I immediately ran and stopped the waggon horses, but not in sufficient time, as both wheels went over the man—he was quite dead immediately—I rather think the horse that threw him down shyed, being the near horse to the deceased.

Cross-examined. Q. The prisoner did not at all attempt to get away? A. No; I called out to him, and he stopped directly—he was quite a stranger to me—I have heard Franklin's evidence, and I agree with him—car-man might have gone nearer to his own horses, and let the other horses pass by—he was some distance from his horses—if he had been close, the horses would have passed with safety.

COURT. Q. Did you see the deceased turn round and move his hand towards the prisoner to keep him off? A. I saw him move his hand; what it was for, I cannot say; but when the prisoner was coming inside the waggon, his hand rose up, but with what intention I do not know—he was looking towards his own horses, not at the prisoner or his horses—I heard a voice, but I could not tell who it was from—it struck me as very possible that the prisoner might have passed dear, if the deceased had gone closer to his own horses—the whip might be in his hand when he held it up.

WILLIAM LOCKE . I observed the five horses passing the waggon—I was standing about forty yards before the waggon came to me, and just before the man came up with his string of horses, and saw the deceased put his hand up, but what he said or meant, I do not know—the horses were five or six yards from the waggoner when he held up his hand; but, I was before the waggon, and cannot be certain—it was before any of the horses had passed him—he was turning round to the string of horses, but from his appearance I think he was intoxicated, for he was tumbling about—I do not think he was capable of minding his horses—his fact was turned to

the string of horses when he lifted up his hand—what he said I do not know—I did not hear—there was some conversation between them—I do not know what it was—it appeared to me that the deceased was intoxicated—I saw him coming before the horses reached him—he was some times close to his horses, and at other times rolled away from them, just as if he was going to roll on the ground—it appeared to me that he was quite incapable of managing his team—the horses were coming along at a walking pace, and just before the hind horse came up to the carman, he plunged up, and either that or the other horses struck the carman, and he fell down—what he shyed at I cannot say—he was knocked down about three yards before the waggon wheel came up to him—I think he might have had quite sufficient time to get out of the way before the waggon wheels got to him, if he had been sober—the misfortune was owing to the waggoner being drunk—I think he was drunk—the Coroner never asked me about his being drunk—I did not state it.

Cross-examined. Q. Are you an entire stranger to the prisoner? A. I never saw him, to the best of my knowledge, before—the deceased ought to have been much nearer to the curb with his waggon than he was.

HENRY FRANKLIN re-examined. The deceased was conveying coals for me, and was accompanying his waggon from the wharf to my house—he had been drinking, and had been out with coals to other places before—I think he was not sober enough to drive a waggon safely—I did not consider him perfectly safe—but there was another man with him, and instead of his driving, he was on the waggon, and the deceased was driving—the regular carman was on the waggon—I do not say he was so drunk that he could not drive, but he was in liquor—he had been drinking a good deal—I perceived that from his walking about.


First Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

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