6th July 1846
Reference Numbert18460706-1445
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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1445. HENRY HARLEY was indicted for feloniously stabbing, cutting and wounding Lucy Harley, with intent to murder:—Two other COUNTS, stating his intent to be to disable, or do grievous bodily harm.

LUCY HARLEY . I am the wife of the prisoner—I had been separated from him for five years before the affair in question—I had not seen him for four years and a half till the last six months—on the 18th of June I was at my husband's sister's house, No. 20, Piston-place—I had lived with her since we separated—about half-past eleven o'clock in the day I was in the kitchen with my sister, when the prisoner came to the house—he had some herbs in

his hand, and a small bundle—I said nothing to him, I werit from ihe front kitchen to the parlour, leaving him in the front kitchen—I afterwards walked down from the back parlour into the back kitchen, and he came into the back kitchen—he had his boot which he had worn in his hand—he said,." Bo you know where there is a piece of old leather?"—I reached across the kitchen table and gave him an old boot to cut a piece off—the boot was still in bis left hand to the best of my knowledge—it was a boot he had worn—he WAS a cabinet-carver—the old boot belonged to a lodger who had left us—immediately I gave him the old boot I left the back kitchen, and walked to the front, and before I got half way across the kitchen, he seized me by the throat—I struggled some time with him—he threw me down in the kitchen, and stabbed me in the lower part of my body with a carving-knife—he put it under my clothes to stab me, not through them—the knife remained in me—I pulled it out myself, to the best of my knowledge, before my sister came—she came as soon as she could, and called out"Murder!"—the prisoner walked into the back kitchen, and as he passed about half way across the kitchen he said, "You have been the death of me, and I am the death of you"—that was after I was wounded—I bled a good deal, and have had medical assistance ever since—Dr. Baine attended me up to the last Friday—I am sure there were no words passed between us—I bad seen him the day before at my sister's house—we bad no quarrel that day.

Prisoner. I wish to ask, what she was going to the cupboard for? Witness. To the best of nay knowledge there was a plate standing on the table, and I was going to put that away.

COURT. Q. How long had you lived with him before you separated? A. Five or six years—I had not observed anything particular, or out of the way, in his manner during that time—he was addicted to violent drinking, and was of a violent temper—he used to continue drinking for a long time together, after which his temper was very violent, but merely at the time he was in liquor—I did not notice whether he was drunk on this day, I noticed him so little—I seldom used to lift up my eye to him—he was in perfect silence that day—I cannot judge from that whether he was sober or otherwise—he appeared quite sober the day before.

SARAH THOMPSON . I am the prisoner's sister; his wife has been boarding and lodging with me for some time. On the 18th of Jane the prisoner came to the house, about two or three o'clock—when this occurred his wife was up stairs fastening my dress—she remained in the room a very few minutes—she went into the back parlour, and then into the front kitchen—when she had been there a few minutes I beard a screaming; I did not hear any words—I went down immediately—I was very much frightened and agitated—I saw blood running from, the bottom of my sister's clothes—she ran up into the second-floor room, and came down again—I did not tee a knife, I was so agitated—I said to the prisoner, "You have killed Lucy"—he did not make any answer—when she came down again she fainted—there was a very great deal of blood—the knives we had used for dinner were all in the back kitchen, on the table—I believe there was a carving-knife among them—when I next saw the prisoner he was coming from one kitchen into the other—I said nothing more than I said before, that I thought he had killed Lucy—he said nothing—I do not remember his taking a chair—I was very much agitated, and ran up and down stairs to her assistance—I do not remember hearing him say anything to me—there was blood all up the stain—my sister ran up stairs, came down again, and fainted.

Prisoner. Q. What did I say when I first came into the kitcheo? A. I do not recollect—I believe you brought the herbs to be stewed—they were

not for dinner, they were to be stewed for your bad foot—I believe you had a swollen ankle, and I put on the kettle, to make some herb tea to bathe your foot with—that was in the back kitchen.

COURT. Q. Was it not a good deal earlier in the morning than you describe that he first came? A. He came between ten and eleven o'clock in the morning, but it was after dinner when this happened—he remained in the house from half-past eleven till it happened—I am older than he—I have observed something particular in his manner—he has often said that I and my sister had put poison and sugar of lead in the victuals he has taken, and the gruel he had made—he has repeatedly said we have put powder into his gruel and his tea—he lived in the house from Christmas until within the last two months—since then he has called occasionally—I have observed some thing very strange about him since Christmas—he has called us up in the night, saying he was very bad, and was very deranged in his manner—he repeatedly called us up, and said there was fumigation in the house, but there has not been—by fumigation he meant smoke—he and his wife occupied separate rooms—he left the house about two months before this happened, because I moved down there—we had been living at another house, at the West-end, and then we moved to this house, and he used to live with us—I had not put anything into his gruel or tea—we all partook of it—he has never been in any confinement—he followed his business during those two months.

JOHN SMITH (policeman.) At a little after three o'clock I was called into the house, and saw Mrs. Harley standing on the staircase—there was blood all about the place, on the staircase and in the passage—she was in a very weak state, and fell into my arms fainting—the prisoner was not there then—I went into the front kitchen, and found him sitting in a chair—he immediately said to me," I am the murderer, I done it with a carving-knife, I gave her a back-handed stroke with it"—I said he must come to the station—he said, "Let me get my slippers"—on the way to the station he said that he ms using the knife to cut an old shoe—he appeared sober—he was rather excited—he hardly knew what he was saying—he seemed rather strange in his mind for a moment, I thought, but there were a great many people screaming about, saying she was a murdered woman.

Prisoner. Q. Did I express anxiety about her? A. Not to me—there was not a dark-haired policeman there—you did not say you wished to see inspector Shackell.

Prisoner. It is a mistake about my saying, "I am the murderer."

JOHN CASS WALLER (policeman.) On the 18th of June, about a quarter after three o'clock, I went to the house, and found a carving-knife in the back kitchen, with a sort of duster thrown over it—I produce it—there is the appearance of blood on it which has been wiped—it is smeary—a liquid being wiped off would not make it the same—it has a red appearance—I imagine the gravy of meat would make a similar mark—it is not grease—the color of blood was distinct on it when I first saw it—I showed it to the surgeon—I showed it to the prisoner—he said, "That is the knife I stabbed my wife with"—I saw a handkerchief taken from him at the station, which I produce—there were blood marks upon it, which are here now.

Prisoner. I told you at the station how the marks came on the handkerchief. Witness. He said at the police-court that he had cut his hand, and wiped it on the handkerchief.

Prisoner. Q. Did I not show you where the knife had gone through my arm? A. No.

WILLIAM BAIN , M.D. On the 18th of June, a little after three o'clock,

I was called in to see the prosecutrix—I found her lying on the ground, in a very alarming state—she had received very severe injuries, which had caused very great haemorrage—the injury was in the vagina and in the perinaeum—it had been caused by a stab from some sharp instrument—the perinaeum was cut through, and the wall of the vagina—I imagine it entered from the peri-naeum under the vagina—it was a very dangerous wound, about three inches deep—the immediate danger was from the loss of blood, and there was danger to be feared from inflammation—this knife would very likely have caused the injury—she was in great danger for some days—I consider her out of imme-diate danger now, but she is still in a very exhausted state.

Prisoner. Q. Did you observe any bruises or wounds about her neck or head? A. I did not—my attention might have been called to it, but my im-pression is there were none.

Prisoner's Defence. All I have to say is, I left work at nine o'clock in the morning; my leg being swollen, I went there as I had done the Tuesday before; I went down into the kitchen, and told them to make some tea; I made two jugs full, and waited for it to get cool to put into a bottle; I was waiting for the water to be boiled, to bathe my feet in the back kitchen; I sat down by the side of the fire-place, cutting a piece of old boot to put into the boot I then had on; my feet were swollen, and I was obliged to cut my boots about; as I was cutting the leather to go into the toe, my wife passed me; I made the remark to her, "Here is a state I am in," as she passed by me I received a most cruel kick on the side of my contused foot; in the agony I was in with my bad foot, she stumbled against me, kicked with her leg against my arm, and the knife went into my arm; I did not know I had thrust the knife into her, or what I had done, till I saw the knife there; it happened in the struggle, and when I saw what I had done, I was paralysed and horrified, and could not take it out; when the policeman came I said, "I am the man: if anything is done, I am the murderer;" I was truly hor-rified at what I have done; 1 was unconscious of using the knife; I never quarrelled with the woman, never put a hand on her the whole time I lived with her but once, six or eight years ago; on the Sunday I went down to make a separate arrangement with her and the child, as I had got permanent work; my sister asked me to stop dinner; I was anxions to get away, be-cause I felt more pleased that week than I had been during all my life, as I had permanent employ, to carve work for the House of Lords; I never put a hand on her; as she kicked up her foot, I put up my hand, and run the knife into my arm; I was in agony at the moment, and went to thrust her foot away; she went from the table to the cupboard, which will prove I did not follow her into the kitchen; I was paralysed at the evidence she gave before the Magistrate; she fell over the fender; it was merely accidental.

GEORGE ROGERS . I am one of the firm of Rogers and Company, uphol-aterers, at Hyde Park-corner. The prisoner has been occasionally employed by us as a carver, until within about three weeks of this time—in Feb. last, about ten or eleven one morning, he came in a most excited state, the pers-piration was pouring from him, and he could scarcely speak—he said there was a conspiracy to murder him—he begged to be allowed to sit down, and sat there some little time—he stopped, I should think, a couple of hours—I was out some part of the time—I returned in about an hour, and he was still there—on one or two occasions he has come in with something of the same tale, that people were conspiring against him, and seemed to be continually im-pressed with a notion that somebody was trying to do him an injury—he did not mention who the parties were—he went to the door, and begged us to look out—he thought somebody was following him, but nobody ever came near—it

was quite by accident I saw this affair in the newspaper, which made me attend here—for some time I thought the excitement was from liquor, but be never smelt of liquor—I never saw him drunk—he had worked for us occasionally for the last year and half—the last time I saw him in this excited state was about three weeks before the 18th of June—he said people were still conspiring against him—I asked what he meant—he answered me in a very long strain—I cannot tell you his answers—they were not very rational ones—he did not name any person in particular—he followed his work as usual, but very carelessly—the last work he had from us was in hand four or five months—it ought to have been finished in four or five weeks at the most—we had great difficulty in getting him to do it—he was very clever in his business—it is my decided opinion that at times he scarcely knew what he was about.

ISAAC HALL . I am a surgeon, and live at Stepney-green. The prisoner's brother called on me last night, and asked me to attend here—I attended the prisoner about a month ago, or rather less—about the 6th of June, about one o'clock in the morning, I was called up by the prisoner—he brought a large earthenware mug, with some dregs of porter, I believe, in it—he said he believed he had been poisoned, that he had come from Limehouse, and called on several medical gentlemen on the way, but they were all in bed—he wished me to give him some medicine—it was my impression that he was labouring under a strange delusion—I gave him a simple draught, and recommended him to call on me next day, which he did—I had a longer con-versation with him, which left no doubt on my mind that he was insane, that he had some strange delusion—he mentioned his wife and her sister, and coupled them with the odd fellows—he said they were watching him where-ever he went, and were poisoning his food, that they had gone so far as to send people to the shop where he was at work, and caused charcoal or some-thing to be burnt so as to fumigate the place, with a view of poisoning him—I saw him a third time, and recommended him to let me see some of bit friends—the last time I saw him was about a week after the first—it was not three weeks ago—he was just in the same state, perfectly sensible in his con-yersation in every point but what I have mentioned, that his sister and wife and the odd fellows were watching him to poison him, putting poison into his beer, and if he went into a public-house, they poisoned him—the term conspiracy was rather a favourite term with him—he used it more than once—to the best of my knowledge, he was not drunk at any of those times—he decidedly did not appear so—I told him once to put his tongue out, and it was not in a heated state, which it would have been if in liquor—he was cool and collected, except when he first came to the door—he was rather excited in his mind.

RICHARD HARLEY . I am the prisoner's brother. About two months ago he left his sister, and came to live with me—he stated his reason for leaving his sister was that they were conspiring to destroy him—he said it was the odd fellows, at the head of which was his wife—he lived with me about three weeks, and during the whole of that time he could say nothing but about poison he had taken internally—he said he had taken a peck of oxalic acid, arsenic, and other poison—I saw the delusion he was labouring under—he said I thought he could get work in the country—I persuaded him to go—I went with him on the road to see him off to Southampton, and when I left him he must have turned round and followed me almost directly, for I found him at my place next day—I told him I could not accommodate him any longer there, and he left me, and went to my sister's—I did not hear anything more of him till be called on me on Monday, the 13th of June, after he had left the medical gentleman—he

knocked me up at two o'clock in the morning, saying he had been taking some medicine to counteract the poison—I got up to let him in—he had a yellow mug in his hand, and said there were dregs of poison in it; his was obliged to go to the doctor's to get some medicine—he stopped a short time, went out about six o'clock, returned at eight, and breakfasted with me—he left, and I saw no more of him till the Wednesday, when I met him hi Mile End-road—he complained of his foot being very much swollen, and said it was the effect of the poison he had taken internally, and declared to me that he would be revenged—he did not say of whom—he said the whole body df the Odd Fellows were united in conspiracy against him—he does not belong to the Odd Fellows—this was the day before this happened—during the time he lodged with me his whole conversation was about nothing but poison hi bad taken, and that he was obliged to take a large quantity of medicine to counteract it—I live three miles from my sister's.

GUILTY . Aged 54.— Death recorded.

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