11th May 1835
Reference Numbert18350511-1311
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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1311. JOHN ROBINSON was charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with killing and slaying Richard Wilson.

MESSRS. CLARKSON and DOANE conducted the Prosecution.

GILBERT FINDLEY GERDWOOD . I am a surgeon, and live in the Edgeware-road. I was called in to attend the deceased Richard Wilson on Wednesday the 26th of April—he complained of his left leg, and the knee on the inner edge had still the appearance of a bruise on it—I at-

tended him from the 6th till Tuesday the 12th, when he died—he died of erysipelas, caused by the bruise on the knee—that was the exciting cause he was attacked on the Sunday morning by a peculiar delirium, which was evidence of a highly excited state of the nerves—Sir Charles Bell was then called in and attended him with me.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did you learn that he had fallen over a pail, and severely bruised his leg? A. I did—I heard that from himself—that was some time before he received the injury in question—I examined the leg to see if the pail had injured it—the skin had been rubbed off—and when I saw it it was scabbed over—there must have been a discharge from it—that is, a little serum—I do not know whether his blood was in a bad state, but at present in my neighbourhood there is a great predisposition to erysipelas—if he had been predisposed before there would have been symptoms of it—I was called in nine days after this accident—Mr. Parrott had attended him before—Sir Charles Bell saw him early on Sunday morning, at my suggestion.

JASPER PARROTT . I am a chemist and druggist, and live in the Edgeware-road. The deceased applied to me on the 27th, about a quarter of an hour after he received the injury—I examined his knee; it appeared very much swollen, and as if he had received a severe contusion on the left knee, such as might be caused by a severe kick—I gave him leeches to apply, and cold applications—I did not see him again until the 1st of May, when he walked to me, which, in my judgment, was an imprudent thing at that time—I live five or six houses from him—his knee appeared less swollen then, but he complained of more pain—it appeared to have had an application of leeches, which would reduce the swelling—I examined it; and although the swelling appeared very much reduced, still, over-exertion, or other causes, might have brought on that pain—I applied my hand to it—he complained of much pain upon that—I applied more cold applications, and more leeches—I saw him again that day or the next—he appeared some days better and other days worse—I attended him occasionally with Mr. Gerdwood until the day of his death—there was always inflammation more or less about the knee since the 1st of May—the inflammation gradually increased and extended up and down the limb—it might have been brought on by various causes—in the present instance, I think it more than probable, that the inflammation was brought on by his own exertion; I mean the increase of it—if he had not received an injury on the knee it would not have been inflamed—it finally brought on erysipelas; and he died, on the 12th of May, of delirium, the result of erysipelas, produced, in all probability, by the blow—I know of nothing else which could produce it.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Among other things you advised him to keep quiet, I dare say? A. I did—I told him more than once, that walking would be improper, as I observed that he made imprudent exertions—I saw the wound that was caused by his falling over the pail; that appeared inflamed; it had all the appearance of recent abrasion.

Q. If he had not received an additional wound, and had gone on using exertion, might not that have produced inflammation to produce erysipelas? A. I should say it was possible, but not probable—I saw it before Mr. Gerdwood—I should not have considered it necessary to advise him to keep quiet for that alone, as it was not of that importance; the inflammation was of such a local nature; it was on the shin-bone; that is, at all times, a place very difficult to heal—the inflammation was local, but

very differently situated—I have not known a wound in the shin-bone produce very fearful inflammation.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Was the injury from the pail a broken skin? A. Yes.

COURT. Q. Describe the part under the knee which was struck? A. It was the inner portion of the left knee.

SIR CHARLES BELL, KNT . I am surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital, and live in Brook-street, Grosvenor-square. I was called in to the deceased on Sunday, the 10th of May; the disease had made progress, so that the examination of the knee was of less importance—he was in a state of high delirium; and that sort of delirium which is attended with great debility—I inquired into the cause—I found he had erysipelas on the left thigh and leg—the cause was then apparent—I inquired farther, and found he had received a slight abrasion or injury on the top of the shin-bone—I saw that the inner part of the knee was tender, and that there had been the injury—the slightest abrasion, puncture, or bruise, will, in some constitutions, produce erysipelas—the knee was slightly swollen—when the constitution is debilitated, either by excess or any thing else, a very slight injury will produce that effect.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did you ohserve the abrasion of the shin-bone? we understand he had fallen over a pail and abrased the shin-bone? A. My attention was not called to that; if he had fallen over a pail and abrased the shin over the shin-bone, that would be sufficient to produce the injury, but not when it had healed.

GILBERT FINDLEY GERDWOOD re-examined. He told me he had received an injury some weeks before by falling over a pail—he had a very slight scab still existing in the lower part of the shin, without the slightest degree of inflammation—it was scabbed over—there must have been a slight discharge from that—the skin was not abrased where the kick was—that caused no removal of the skin—it was a simple blow—the slightest puncture in tome constitutions will produce erysipelas—a blow on that part is calculated to produce inflammation, and then the inflammation acts on the nerves.

MR. PHILLIPS. Q. You have used the word "puncture," and Sir Charles Bell says, "abrasion" might produce erysipelas—if I understand you rightly, there was no puncture or abrasion about the knee? A. No.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Could the inflammation or erysipelas be accounted for by any injury you observed on the shin-bone? A. Certainly not; that is, it was not—it might have produced it, but it did not—the slight abrasion was perfectly unconnected with it—there was no symptom of inflammation from it.

SIR CHARLES BELL re-examined. Q. You have heard this gentleman's evidence; he had more opportunity of seeing the patient than yourself; from the account he gives, what opinion do you form? A. The gentleman called me in and noticed every thing important—I heard nothing to throw any new light on the matter—a bruise under the knee is calculated to produce the consequences—I could form no other opinion.

GEORGE CLARKE . I was pot-boy to the deceased Richard Wilson—he kept the Wheatsheaf public-house. On the 22nd of April, I saw the prisoner there, writing something outside the house—it was nothing indecent—I told my master, and he came out—he said nothing to the prisoner, but struck him—I am sure he did not speak to him—the prisoner afterwards came into the house—Mr. Wilson said, "Go out, Robinson"—the

prisoner said, "If you hit mo again, I will break your head with a pint pot"—Mr. Wilson directly got hold of the prisoner, and said, "If you don't go out, I will put you out"—he took hold of him by his cravat with both hands, and pushed him out; and in pushing him out, the prisoner kicked him on the knee with his right foot—it was done all in a moment.

COURT. Q. Is this the account you have always given? A. Yes; he told me he had kicked him with all his force, and he was very sorry that he had done so.

Cross-examined. Q. Was not the blow the prisoner got in the first instance, from your master, without speaking to him, violent enough to swell, and blacken his eye? A. I cannot say; I did not see his eye—it is not the first complaint that has been made about his writing outside—I told him of it before, and he left off—it was a sportsman and a dog that he drew.

COURT. Q. Have you not sworn that he made very indecent drawings? A. I cannot say but they were indecent, and yet you may make them not so—some say they are, and some not—this deposition is my handwriting (looking at it)—it was read over to me before I signed it.

MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did the deceased walk about for a day or two afterwards? A. Yes; he drank very little—he walked about with a stick for two or three days—I saw the shin-bone wound—I never heard that there was any discharge from it—he said he was full of pain with it—he did not complain of it up to the time he got the kick.

HENRY HOAR . I keep the St. Alban's livery-stables. I went into the house, to have refreshment—Wilson and the prisoner were having words—he said to the prisoner, "You have been writing on my shutters outside"—the prisoner said, "What did you strike me for?" Wilson said, "You have been writing on my shutters outside"—the prisoner said, "If you strike me again, I will throw a quart pot at you," and directly he said that, Wilson collared the prisoner, and put him out—he told him he would put him out—I saw the prisoner kick him just below the knee, on the left knee—it was not particularly violent—it swelled a bit—he went to the doctor's directly afterwards.

MR. PHILLIPS. Q. He did not give the kick till the landlord had hold of him, pushing him out? A. Yes; he was pushing him violently.

JOSEPH HANSON . I keep the Imperial, in London-wall. I was at the Wheatsheaf—when I went in, the landlord and the prisoner were quarrelling, respecting some chalk outside the house—Wilson told the prisoner to go out of the house, and if he did not go out, he would put him out—he took hold of him by the collar, and the prisoner turned round, and kicked him—Wilson said, "D—n you, if you come into my house again, I will take you up"—Wilson's knee swelled directly, and I advised him to go to a doctor's.

Q. Had Wilson pushed him out before the kick was given? A. No; he pushed him out, and he let go of him—I could hardly see whether he did let go of him or not before he kicked him—he had let go, or was just letting him go—he could hardly have let him go—the man, seemed half afraid to kick him—Wilson was a very powerful man, and when he loosed him, the prisoner put his foot up, and kicked him—I did not see the marks on the wall.

Prisoner's Defence. I was merely pencilling outside the house; he came out without speaking a word to me, and struck me over the eye—I went and asked him what provocation I had given him—he caught hold of me,

shook me, and turned me out, and I kicked him, which I am very sorry for, for he was the best of friends to me.


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