1st February 1836
Reference Numbert18360201-503
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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503. JOHN EDWARDS was indicted for feloniously killing and slaying Leonard Coleman.

MR. CHAMBERS conducted the Prosecution.

ANDREW MAIN . On the night fo the 30th of January I was in an omnibus

called the "Emperor, "at the Angel, at Islington—the name of Bolton was inside—it stopped at the Angel about a minute and half or two minutes—it was a little after eleven o'clock at night—the "Dart" came up about a minute or minute and a half afterwards—some words passed between the conductors of the "Dart" and "Emperor; "but I do not know what they were—the horses of the "Dart "moved, and at the same time ours moved on as well—I can hardly say which moved first—we started rater slowly from the Angel, and went at a brisk pace along the road, till we came to Penton-street—rather sharper than they generally go—it might have been eight or nine miles an hour, but I am sure I cannot say—I do "Dart "at Penton-street, where we stopped to put down a passenger—after stopping there, the omnibus set off again—when we started it moved on gently; and when we got a few yards it went off rather sharp, at a brisk pace, down the bill—(I suppose it was eight or nine miles an hour,) and had got about a hundred yards form the corner of Penton-street, when I felt the left fore-wheel of the omnibus lifted up; and immediately after, the glass at the head of the omnibus broke on the left-hand side—I was sitting on the right-hand side—what tey call the near side—the passengers then called out to get out—the conductor could have haeard—the omnibus was not stopped—the pace was slackened, but not immediately—it might have gone one or two hundred yards farther before it slackend—when it slackened, four or five persons got out in the best way they could, without the omnibus stopping—it created a good deal of alarm—we were all up in the omnibus at the time—it was beautiful moonlight night—I believe the moon was nearly full—I saw there was danger in getting out, and I sat down—the omnibus went on at a furious rate to very near Euston-square, which is about half a mile from where the people got out—it stopped a little before it got to Euston-square, where the people got out—it stopped afrewards at Tottenham-court-road, and I got out.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS Q. Pentonville hill is a considerable steep hill? A. It is—of curse it would go on a little quicker down the hill—I should think it was difficult to pull up, going down a hill—I don't know whether I had gone by this omnibus before—I frequently travel by omnibuses—the persons getting out, and the crash, made a considerable noise—the noise was created by the passenger inside endeavuring to get out, and the glass smashing—I did not know at the time what accident had happened—I canot say the horses might tnot have been a little frightened.

JURY Q. Do your consider the horses trotted or galloped? A. I was an inside passenger, and cannot say—I should rather think they were gallopping—they went much quicker than before the accident.

SAMUEL CHARLES CROSS FISH, ESQ . I am a barrister of the Inner Temple. I was a passenger in the "Emperor" on the night of the 30th of January and heard an alteration between two persons at the Angel—I believe it to have been between the two drives of the "Emperor" and the "Dart"—the "Dart" started frist, but I think had not got bayond the horses heads of the "Emperor", when the "Emperor" also started, slowly at first, but as soon as the horses got into a trot, in my judgement, we went at the rate of eight or nine miles an hour—all I observed with respect to the "Dart "was it proceeded a few yards, we then passed it, and there appeared to me no effort on the part of the driver of the "Dart" to race,

and I did not notice it afterwards—after proceeding four or five hundred yards (I cannot say whether it was opposite Penton-street or not,) there was simultaneously a breaking in of the glass of the fore window, and at the same time a passing over something the road—that was going down the hill—according to my judgment, we were then going at the rate of eight or nine miles an hour—in consequence of an observation made by a gentleman in the omnibus I looked out at the window of the door and thirty or forty yards behind the omnibus I saw something lying in the road—I could not discover whether it was a man or what—it was a beautiful moonlight night—I immediately desire the cad in attendance to stop, and I believe all the passengers called to him to stop—the pace of the ominous was not slackened—we proceeded thirty or forty yards before it did stop and then it made a regular stop—I thing two passengers got out before myself, and went in a direction of the object lying in the road—I told the coachman to stop, and told him he had either driven over somebody or killed somebody—I cannot say what were my exact words—I insisted on his stopping at the same time called out for the police—a policeman came up at the instant and went towards the horses' heads, and desired the coachman to stop—I think the conductor told the coachman to go on, which he did immediately and galloped so fast down the hill, that sight and hearing—I was calling after it, "Stop him, stop him," and the policeman was running after it.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON, Q. Are you aware of the state of the road on Pentonville hill? A. I am not some months ago it was in a very dangerous state but I cannot say how it was at this time—it is certainly not in that bad state it was some months ago—I do not say it is not in a bad state now, but I remember when it was much worse.

COURT Q. Was there anything in the road to account for the jolting? Do you suppose it arose from the road being so bad? A. No; it appeared to me we had passed over something lying in the road and that it was not a hard substance—it did not produce that sensation which passing over stones or a hard substance would.

MR. CLARKSON Q. Not like going over a heap of dirt? A. It was not unlike that supposing there were no stones in the dirt—I heard no cry whatever—I have not been to the spot since—I cannot say on which side Penton-street it happened—when I got out my attention was directed to stop the driver—I have no recollection stopping at the corner of Penton-street—if it stopped to let out a passenger, it is not my recollection—I should say the accident happened within about fourty or fifty yards of Penton-street, but I am speaking quite at a guss—I have very frequently travelled in omnibuses—I do not know that the driver is under the control of the conductor, but I certainly have noticed that they seem to obey his directions.

SAMUEL WILLIAMS . I was conductor of the "Dart" on the night of the 30th of January—when we arrive at the Angel I found the "Emperor" there—the prisoner was the driver of the "Emperor "—some words arose berween the two drivers, about the time of starting—that the "Emperor" was stopping behind its time—Poole the driver of the "Dart," threatened to go on with it—he started first, but did not take the lead—the "Empero" led the way, and stopped at the corner of Penton-street—we came abreast of it on the other side of the road—Penton-street is on the right-hand side of the road—that would make the "Emperor" cross to its wrong side of the

road to draw up—the "Dart" was on the left side, which was its proper side, and the "Emperor"kept on the right hand side from the Angel—the "Dart" had not passed it, but was abreast of it when it started from Penton-street—they did not keep abreast—the "Emperor "went first down the hill—it crossed over towards its proper side, and went thirty or forty yards down the hill before the accident happened—it corssed to its right side gradually, I beleive—it was thirty or forty yards before us when the accident happened—that was the distance as far as I can judge—it was then crossing to the middle of the road, with intention, I thought, of going to the other side of the road—it still inclined to the other side of the road—it was a moonlight night.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS Q. Have you been long conductor of the "Dart?" A. about six month—the driver always obeys the directions of the conductor.

COURT Q. The condutor looks for passengers, and gives directions to stop when he sees a passenger? A. Yes, but he has notheing to do with the mangement of the horses—I am behind—I direct the driver to stop, to put passengers down.

MR. PHILLIPS Q. Does not the conductor very often direct the driver to go faster or slower? A. Yes which he generally obeys—that is the case with all omnibuses—the prinicipal person—it is the safest way to cross gradually—crossing abruptly might upset a vehicle giong down a hill—I have know the prisoner three or four months—he has five children—I never heard of his having any accident before—the "Dart" was going about seven or eight miles an hour, and that was pretty much the pace of the other—we cannot avoid going quicker down hill than on a flat—it is merely a guess when I say we were thirty or forty yards from each other—I cannot say—it might not be fifteen yards.

COURT Q. Did you see the unfortunate gentleman who met with the accident? A. I did not—the other omnibus would prevent my seeing him being behind it—the "Dart" does not belong to the same proprietor—the prisoner has appeared to me to conduct himself properly.

MR. CHAMBERS. Q. The conductor is not in a situation to see any thing on the road is he? A. No.

STEPHEN DE LABERTAUCHE . I am a cabinet-maker and live in Stanmore-street, St. Pancras-road. I was in the New-road near the Angel, on night of the 30th of January, and saw the "Emperor" and "Dart" going towards King's-Cross, at a very rapid rate, abreast—that was before they got to Penton-street—I had occasion to stop a short time, and lost sight of them, till I got to the Belvidere—I then saw them both driving down the hill at a very rapid rate, near the middle of the road, about theree or four yards from each other, as near as I could say—they were abreast of each other, but about two or three yards apart—I saw a horse standing in the middle of the road—I had seen nothing happen before that—that was as near the Belvidere Tavern railing as possible, nearly opposite the gas-lamp—the omnibuses wree about one-third down the hill at that time, going at a very rapid rate, indeed, a great deal faster than usual—but I am no judge of horses—I cannot say whether they were galloping or trotting—they appeared to me the racing, by what I could see—I saw a person lying in the middle of the road on his face—I directly ran and assisted in picking him up—the horse was about three or four yards from the gentleman—he was carried to a doctor's immedidely I assited aftwards in taking him to St. Bartholomew's hospital in a coach.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. On which side of the road were you on? A. On the right hand side, the Penton-street side—I did not observe the horse, till after the accident had happened—I looked at the horse—I did not notice that it was in perspiration and sweat—it was sufficiently light for me to see if the horse was hot—I did not examine it, but I saw no smoke coming from it—I was not examined before the Coroner—the omnibuses, in my judgement were racing down the hill—going straight down—not crossing the road at all—I suppose a carriage might have passed on either side of the road by the pavement—they were running abreast when I first saw them—that was when they had just left the Angel—Pentonville bill is full half a quarter of a mile long—it is a long hill.

COURT Q. Do I understand you that you saw them soon after starting from the Angel, and at that time they were driving fast and abreast of each other? A. Yes—I then lost sight of them, and saw them again abreast of each other, beyond Penton-street—when I saw them down the hill, after the accident there was room for a bus or a man on horseback to pass between them, and there was room for an omnibus to go either side of them.

RICHARD EVERARD . I am a bricklayer. I was going up Pentonville-hill, on the night of the 30th of January and saw a gentleman on horseback I going up the hill at full gallop—he was very near the top of the hill—I saw two omnibuses coming down the hill, abreast of each other—there was a very shot space between them—not room for a carriage, nor for a man to ride safely between them-there was plenty of room on each side—the gentleman was riding in the middle of the road, and the omnibuses were in the middle of the road, going at the rate of eight or mine miles an hour—there was nothing to prevent the gentleman's going on either side—I saw the gentleman falling between the two omnibuses—after he fell the minibuses kept on at the same pace—I assisted in taking him up and took him to St. Bartholomew's hospital.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Were the omnibuses in sight when you first saw the gentleman? A. They were—he was then about fifty yards from them—I could see both the gentleman and the omnibuses—he was between me and them—I have no doubt but he must have seen them—if he was sober he could not fail to see them—e might have gone on either side of the road if he had taken ordinary pains—he was galloping at a full rate.

COURT Q. You saw him fall; did you see how he came in contact with the omnibus? A. I did not—he was coming up in the middle of the road—I did not see the omnibuses crossing the road—they appeared going abreast of each other—the gentleman was galloping when the accident happened—he contained on the gallop up to the time of his being thrown and at that time there was room on both sides—he sat on his horse very well when he passed me—he appeared to me to be quite sober as he sat on his horse.

RICHARD WARNER I was going up Pentonville-hill on this night, and saw the deceased pass me on horseback—I was just below St. James's Chapel, going up the hill—he appeared to me going at the rate of not more than seven miles an hour—he was cantering—he appeared to me to ride steadily, and have the perfect command of his horse—(I did not see the omnibuses at that time, but in a very short space of time)—when I last saw the gentleman he appeared to me to bearing towards the middle of the road—I did not see the accident happen—I heard something of a confused

noise shortly after he passe me—he was on his proper side of the road—on the chapel side, and bearing rather the middle of the road—after hearing the noise, both the omnibuses passed me—they appeared to me to be nearby abreast of one another—one of them was bearing more to his wrong side of the road than the other—he was bearing to the chapel side, but was rather in the middle of the road—he was nearest to the chapel side than the other—he was going in a straight direction—I mean that he was nearer to the wrong side than to the right—the other was on its proper side—when they passed me they were nearly abreast, but one was nearer to me than the other—the one on the wrong side was nearest to me—I cannot tell which it was, I did not see the accident.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON Q. When you first saw the gentleman cantering up hill, had you the omnibus in your sight? A. No—after the gentleman passed me, he appeared to diverge into the middle of the road—whether that was to avoid the omnibuses I cannot tell, for I did not see them—if he had kept as near the side as when I saw him, he would have escaped the mischief he passed me—the omnibus was full three yards from the footpath when it passed me—I could not see whether the gentleman increased his pace when he went up the hill.

JAMES O'BRIEN . I am a policeman I was on duty at the corner of Claremont-square at the time of the accident—I saw an omnibus stop a the corner of Penton-street, which turned out to be the "Emperor"—I saw the other omnibus come along on the proper side of the way—coming at a regular pace—not furiously—that omnibus had passed me, when the "Emperor" started from Penton-street, it crossed the road to get before the other, but it did not—they both ran double (abreast,) and ran so, it may be for twenty of thirty yards—there was not room for a carriage to pass between them—I cannot say whether a gentleman could pass on horseback—there was plenty of room on each side for any thing to pass at the time they were running abreast—I heard a crash, looked into the road and saw the gentleman lying on his face—I went and picked him off the gorund—another man took him out of my hands, and I pursued the omnibuses.

COURT. Q. In what position was he lying in reference to the omnibus? A. He laid rather on the Belvidere side of the road, which is the same side as the chapel—I found him within a yard or two of the middle of the road.

THOMAS BURROWS . I am fourteen years old. I was going down Pentonville-hill on the night of the accident, running behind the "Emperor," rather bearing to the Belvedere side of the road—nearer to that side than the other—I was holding by the spring of the "Emperor"—I saw a gentleman coming up the hill at full gallop, about one lamp distant from the omnibus—he was rather swaggling about from one side to the other—he was riding very fast indeed, and he struck his forehead right up against the left hand corner of the omnibus—the omnibus was going straight at the time—I saw the gentleman fall—I did not hear him call out before he was struck—the omnibus went on.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS Q. Were you on the steps of the omnibus, or merely holding the spring, as it was going on? A. Holding the spring—I was examined before the Magistrate and Coroner—the gentleman did not appear to have the command of his horse—he was first on one side, and then on the other side of his horse—he could keep his seat very well, but was swaggling from one side to the other—when he fell, I ran from the omnibus held up his head, and looked at his forehead—I was able to let go of the omnibus, and go and assist him—his forehead and head were broken in—I am sure I saw

him strike hs head agains the bus before he fell off his horse—I am no relation or friend of the prisoner.

JURY Q. On what side of the omnibus were you hanging to the spring—on the chapelside, or the other? A. On the left side, where the conductor stands, I was looking straight on—the gentleman was more on the left side of the omnibus than the right—I could see him in the middle of the road as he was coming between me and the bus—I held the spring with my right hand.

JAMES BENNETT . I am not twelve years old. I saw this gentleman before the accident happened—he was riding gently—the omnibuses were going very fast indeed—the gentleman apperard to be riding steadily—I saw him strike his forehead against the left hand corner of the omnibus, and saw him fall.

WILLIAM BERESFORD . I am a policeman. I was on duty on this night, and saw the gentelman riding up Pentonville-hill—he was going very rapidly—very shortly afterwards I saw two omnibuses coming down the hill at the rate of ten miles an hour—I afterwards saw the horse standing in the road, and assisted in picking up the gentleman—I afterwards saw him dead.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS Q. At what rate do you think the gentleman was going? A. Full faster than the omnibuses—he was galloping—I believe I said before the Coroner tha he went at the rate of twelve miles and hour.

JURY Q. Did he keep that pace till the accident occurred? A. I cannot say. I lost sight of him at the time—I should think he must have got very nearly up to the omnibuses, but I lost sight of him all at once—the omnibuses coming down at such a furious rate, took my attention, and when they got within fifty yards of me, I saw the horse standing in the road—he did not apperar to slacken his pace while I saw him but I was 150 yards off.

WILLIAM LAWRENCE . I am a policeman. I saw the omnibuses at the bottom of Pentonville-hill, going at the rate of twelve miles an hour—that was after the accident—I did not see the accident.

GEORGE LLOYD I saw the gentleman riding up the hill—he was going at a brisk pace—at a rapid rate—I consider he was galloping.

JOHN LUNT FENNER . I am a surgeon. The deceased was brought to my house in King's-row Pentonville, about half past eleven o'clock—he was then alive—I saw immediately that he had suffered a most formidable injury of the brain, and fracutre of the jaw-bone, and was in a state of the greatest danger—I said the best thing was to put him into a coach, and convey him to St. Bartholemew's hospital—he was in such a state, it would not be prudent, as he sat in a chair in my parlour, to examine him particularly, but I saw his skull and jaw-bone were fractured—there is no doubt his death was owing to that—as soon as he was conveyed from my house, I went with Mr. Brass, and saw such a quantity of blood on the road, as I never saw before from an accident—it was out of the cnetre of the road, near the Belvedere side.

ANTHUR SQUIRE I am house surgeon of St. Bartholomew's hospital. I saw the deceased when he was brought into the hospital—he was dead then—it was about twelve o'clock at night—I examined his head—the skull was fractured on the left side—that undoubtedly caused his death—it might be caused by either a blow or a fall.

THOMAS NORRIS , I knew Leonard Coleman—I saw him at Tattersall's

between five and six o'clock on the evening of the accident—he was then sober—I do not know whether he had dined at that time.

WILLIAM LEMON I live in Portland-terrace, New-road Mr. Coleman came to my house at a quarter before six o'clcok on this evening and drank tea with me—he took a little gin and water about half past eight o'clcok wen he went away—he was quite sober when he went from me—he went away on horse back.

MARY ANN COLEMAN . The deceased was my husband's own brother—I saw him at a little after ten o'clock—he called at our house, but did not come in—I live in Thornaugh-mews. Sussex-street, Tottenham-court-road—he said he was late, and would not come in—I got him to look at a wound on a horse's back, and he fomented it—he took nothing at my house—he was upwards of half an hour at our house.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. He was in a hurry to get home, I believe? A. Yes—he did not appear in the least our of the common way that night—I never said so to any body—I do not know a person named Pearce—I have seen such a person and have spoken to him—I did not say to him, that from the rhodomantade way in which he went on, I thought he must have taken something—I said I had observed to my little girl when he was gone, that he was very talkative, and I knew not whether he had taken any thing or not.

GEORGE MARTIN . I live in Drummond-street, Hampstead-road, about half a mile from Pentonville-hill, Mr. Coleman called on me, on the night of the accident, about half-past ten—he and I had sixpenny worth of cold gin and water, between us—at left my house a eleven o'clock—he was perfectly sober when he left—at least he was just a little talkative, and that; but the was quite sober, and rode away form me very steadily—he said to me, "Which way shall I go home?"—I said, "To get out of the way, you had better go down Judd-street "—I wished him to get out of the way of the buses; because it is very dangerous for a man to ride on horse back in the New road at night.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Particularly if he gallops? A. Yes—I recommended him not to go up the hill—it was after he had been to Mrs. Coleman's that I saw him.

Prisoner's Defence. I have a wife and five children depending on my earnings—I am very sorry for the accident. On saturday night, at a quarter-past eleven o'clock, I was at the angel, and started away when my time was called—I stopped to set down a passenger at Penton-street, and drew from there to the near side—I drove off again, and made away to get over on to the near side—I saw a gentleman come galloping up the hill—he appeared to be very much intoxicated—I called out to him three or four times, but could not make him hear—I pulled up my horses, to bear away to the other side—I did not think he had struck the bus at all—I got half way down the hill, and heard a hallooing out—I stopped as soon as I could, and some gentlemen got out—the conductor called out, "All right," and I went on.

WILLIAM BRASS . I am a builder and am a neighbour of Mr. Fenner's and know him—I was going down the hill and saw the deceased riding at a most rapid rate—I followed him, and then saw an omnibus come; but not at a rapid rate—I should think the gentleman was riding at the rate of fifteen miles an hour; but I am not much of a judge—he was galloping—he appeared to ride against the omnibus, and it appeared that his forehead struck against the fore part of the omnibus—I saw his horse afterwards; but can not tell what state it was in.

MR. CHAMBERS, Q. Where did you first see the gentleman? A. On the hill, near St. James's Chapel—he appeared to sit firmly, until he arrived near the omnibus—he then appeared careless, and ran against the omnibus—I cannot say that I heard any one calling out as he approached the omnibus.

JAMES PETTS . I am boot and shone-maker, and live in Winchester-street, Pentonville, last Saturday evening, about twenty minutes past eleven o'clock, I was standing at the corner of Winchester-street, watching for an omnibus to take a friend of mine, and saw the gentleman on horseback coming up the hill, at a furious rate—I should say form fifteen to twenty miles an hour—galloping as hard as he could gallop—I remarked to my wife at the time, that I expected an accident—I watched him a considerable distance up the hill.

MR. CHAMBERS, Q. Were you lower down the hill than Penton-street? A. Yes; five or six turnings—about a quarter of a mile—it was a beautiful moon-light night—the hill is very steep—the gentleman was waving first on one side of his horse and then on the other—I expected an accident—he was either in liquor, or else he had no command of his horse; but in my opinion, he was in liquor—I was at the inquest; but was not called.

JOHN DIXON . I live in Rawstorne-street, Clerkenwell, I was coming up Pentonville-hill, about eleven o'clock, and saw a gentleman on horse-back riding at a very furious rate—I should imagine twelve miles an hour, galloping—he continued to gallop, while in my sight—I called out to him, to beg of him to stop—I said, "Stop, for you will run over somebody"—he did not stop; but took no notice of anybody—Miss Brownwitch was with me,

MR. CHAMBERS, Q. What part of the hill was it? A. Near the Penitentiary.

—Brownwitch/. I was Mr. Dixon when the accident happened—I saw the gentleman riding up the hill, at a most furious rate—my companion called out to him—he took no notice, but continued to go on as quick as he possibly could.


Before Mr. Justice Williams.

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