<!-- © 2003-2008 Old Bailey Proceedings Online -->
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<p>616, 617. (M.)
<persName id="t17710911-68-defend781" type="defendantName"> Susannah Brackstone
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<persName id="t17710911-68-defend783" type="defendantName"> Mary Cole
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-defend783" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> ,
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<join result="persNameOccupation" targOrder="Y" targets="t17710911-68-defend783 t17710911-68-deflabel357"/>, were indicted,
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-off358" type="offenceCategory" value="kill"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-off358" type="offenceSubcategory" value="murder"/> the first for the wilful murder of
<persName id="t17710911-68-victim785" type="victimName"> John Basset
<interp inst="t17710911-68-victim785" type="surname" value="Basset"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-victim785" type="given" value="John"/>
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<join result="offenceVictim" targOrder="Y" targets="t17710911-68-off358 t17710911-68-victim785"/> </persName> , by giving him with an iron poker, a mortal wound on the side of his head, of the length of three inches, and the depth of half an inch, of which he died; and the other for being present, aiding, abetting, comforting, and maintaining her the said felony and murder to do and commit </rs>.
<rs id="t17710911-68-cd359" type="crimeDate">Aug. 5th</rs>
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<p>They likewise stood charged on the coroner's inquisition with the said murder.</p>
<persName id="t17710911-68-person786"> Timothy Melone
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person786" type="given" value="Timothy"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person786" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> . The day the murder was committed, the deceased and I came on shore pretty drunk, I cannot justly tell the day of the month; I believe it was in August; we had been on board the Duke of Kingston; the deceased, I understood, lodged in the house where the fact was committed; he told me to go to the next door, and order a pint of beer. to go to his apartment; I went in and called for a pint of beer; the deceased desired I would stop till he went into the room; he hired it he said, he kept company with
<persName id="t17710911-68-person787"> Mary Cole
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person787" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> , we had our rattans in our hands, that we brought home with us, the deceased came running to me; and said, there was a man in bed in his room, with his girl, he desired me to follow him, I went up stairs into his room, and to the best of my knowledge, they were on the bed together; I did not know
<persName id="t17710911-68-person788"> Mary Cole
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person788" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> before this time.</p>
<p>Q. Did you see her face, so as to remember it?</p>
<p>Melone. Yes; I think I could swear to it; afterwards, while the deceased and I were in the room, the door was shut fast upon us; the deceased gave it a shake, but could not get it open, with that, he lifted up the sash, and got out at the window, on the green; being fastened in, I gave the door a shake, and it came open.</p>
<p>Q. You was not quite sober?</p>
<p>Melone. I was not, I walked down stairs and stood along with Brackstone; she rapped out a wicked oath, what it was, I cannot say; that the first man that broke the door open, she would knock his brains out with a poker.</p>
<p>Q. What door did she mean?</p>
<p>Melone. The door of the lower apartment.</p>
<p>Q. That lower apartment you understood to be her's?</p>
<p>Melone. I do not know, she was in the room at the time when she swore this oath; she took the poker out of the fire place.</p>
<p>Q. Was the outer door of the house open?</p>
<xptr type="pageFacsimile" doc="177109110076"/>Melone. I do not know whether he found it open, but I believe it was opened for him to go out; the deceased stept within the threshold of the door, and she struck him over the scull with the poker; he cried out murder, and dropped on the outside of the threshold.</p>
<p>Q. With which end of the poker did she strike him?</p>
<p>Melone. I believe on the upper end; this was between four and five, or six, in the afternoon.</p>
<p>Q. Was the door open or shut?</p>
<p>Melone. It was shut; the door of the lower room, I mean; he was endeavouring to come into the room where Brackstone was, because he thought the man was in that room.</p>
<p>Q. And upon that Brackstone hit him over the head with the poker?</p>
<p>Melone. She said the first that entered the room, she would split his scull with the poker; the deceased having his foot within the threshold, she hit him with the poker.</p>
<p>Q. Had she her clothes on?</p>
<p>Melone. I think she had a black kind of a gown and a handkerchief on; I do not know where
<persName id="t17710911-68-person789"> Mary Cole
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person789" type="given" value="Mary"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person789" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> was, I did not see her do any thing; the blood stew in my face; I snatched the poker out of her hand and kept it and a gold laced hat belonging to the deceased; I went for a surgeon, he came while the deceased was lying bleeding; I called the surgeon to stop the blood, he said, it is a thing of great consequence; I will not come nigh him till he is taken into a house; somebody desired me to go to justice Sherwood; I went and got a warrant to take the people up.</p>
<p>Q. How long after this did the deceased live?</p>
<p>Melone. He was taken to the Infirmary; I went there to see if he was living; I found him very low, and he spoke inwardly; I saw him once afterwards, when I was shifting the vessel and going away.</p>
<persName id="t17710911-68-person790"> Ann Thompson
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person790" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> . I never saw the deceased before to my knowledge; till I saw him streck with the poker: I was going of an errand to Wellclose-square with a child in my arms; and as I past the door I saw a great mob. I saw the deceased run into the house in his shirt; it was all over blood; as he run in at the door, I saw Brackstone strike him over the head with the poker; as soon as he was struck he fell down at the door; I had one foot on the threshold and the child in my arms.</p>
<p>Q. Does the entry lead up to the stair case?</p>
<p>Melone. Yes.</p>
<p>Q. Was there a door out of the entry into any other room?</p>
<p>Melone. I cannot say, the deceased was about three yards off me when he was struck.</p>
<persName id="t17710911-68-person791"> Richard Hanmore
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person791" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> . On Monday, April 5, at night, when I had done work, I was coming over the fields with another young fellow. I saw a great mob round the door where this was done; when I stept over the bank, I heard there was a murder committed; I went into the alehouse and saw them lay the deceased down with his head on a bolster; a man squeezed his head to squeeze it together, and another bound a cloth round his head; then Melone went to justice Sherwood and got a warrant.</p>
<p>Q. Did you know who lived in the house?</p>
<p>Hanmore. No; Melone took up both the prisoners; the man was carried to the London infirmary; I never saw him afterwards.</p>
<persName id="t17710911-68-person792"> Richard Ludlow
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person792" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> , who is a pupil at the London Hospital, deposed that the prisoner, after being a few days in the hospital, got so much the better, that he desired to go out; that the surgeons refused his request, as they were afraid that something worse might come on that. He left the hospital without leave; that in about ten days he returned and begged to be admitted again; that he was then very bad, and had a high fever upon him; that he could not pretend to determine whether his death was occasioned by the blow, or his irregular way of living; that he believed if the deceased had staid in the hospital and followed the directions of the surgeons, it was probable he might have recovered; that upon examining the body after his death, he found a fissure on the skull, and the pericraneum which immediately covers the skull was quite detached from it; that the fissure did not go through both rables, but was very slight; that by taking off the top of the skull, he found immediately under the fissure a large collection of matter; that the dura mater and the brain were very much inflamed; that it was impossible for any person to say positively, but that it was his opinion he might have recovered."</p>
<persName id="t17710911-68-person793"> Elizabeth Colley
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person793" type="surname" value="Colley"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person793" type="given" value="Elizabeth"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person793" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> . I lived next door to where the accident happened. I heard a noise, and went up one pair of stairs where the deceased
<xptr type="pageFacsimile" doc="177109110077"/> lived; they were lodgings that he hired by the week.
<persName id="t17710911-68-person794"> Susannah Brackstone
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person794" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> lived on the lower floor, and saw
<persName id="t17710911-68-person795"> Mary Cole
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person795" type="surname" value="Cole"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person795" type="given" value="Mary"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person795" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> with a gentleman a top of the bed with her; it is called the
<placeName id="t17710911-68-crimeloc360">Match Walk, Shadwell</placeName>
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<join result="offencePlace" targOrder="Y" targets="t17710911-68-off358 t17710911-68-crimeloc360"/>. I saw the deceased striking him with a rattan as he lay on the bed, and I saw Mary Cole strike him over the head with a pint pot that stood by the bed side. They were both a bed; I came down stairs, took my children in my arms, and went to bed. I saw no more.</p>
<p>Q. from Cole. What time did you go to bed that night?</p>
<p>Colley. Between ten and eleven o'clock.</p>
<p>Q. to the Surgeon. When you examined the head, did you see more than the mark of one blow?</p>
<p>Mr. Ludlow. There was on the opposite and inside a very small erasion of the skin, but nothing of any consequence.</p>
<p>Q. from the Jury. Where did that blow fall, do you say?</p>
<p>Colley. On the right side of his head.</p>
<p>Q. to the Surgeon. Was it on the right side of the head?</p>
<p>Ludlow. Yes; that blow was of no consequence, not in the least.</p>
<persName id="t17710911-68-person796"> Thomas Davis
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person796" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> . I knew the deceased
<persName id="t17710911-68-person797"> John Bassit
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person797" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> very well; he was in the London Hospital after the time he received this blow; after he came mirthere he lived, very drunken life, ranting, roaring and lying in the street, all night long. I lay with him in the streets two nights at peoples doors, down Black Horse Yard.</p>
<p>Q. How came you to let him do this when he was in this way?</p>
<p>Davis. I could not prevail with him to go home; the first night I lit of him; I came up from Woolwich; he seemed very much in liquor, and he desired me to go along with him; we went down to one Mr. Whitting's, there we had two or three pots of beer, I cannot say justly; then we came up Gravel Lane, to the sign of the Swan and Rummer, there we had some bread and cheese, some salmon, and some more beer; after that I followed him and brought him in again; he wanted to get him down to Black Horse Yard; I wanted to get him home to Mr. Seamore's; I brought him in, he fainted away three or four times in my arms; all his cry was, oh, my girl, my girl. I could not prevail on him to go home to Mr. Seymoor's; he went into an alehouse and wanted to fight; he went and knocked at a door in Black Horse Yard; they would not let him in, so he laid down upon the stones at the door; I endeavoured to awake him, but I could not, so I laid down with him. He lived in a very irregular manner for six or seven days. He was seen to drink seventeen half quarterns of gin in two hours.</p>
<persName id="t17710911-68-person798"> William Wright
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person798" type="surname" value="Wright"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person798" type="given" value="William"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person798" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> deposed that he saw the deceased run out of doors in a great rage, that after that, he saw the deceased force Brackstone's doors open with his hands, that in a few minutes the deceased came out with his head bleeding."</p>
<p>- Baxter. I am the person that was a bed with Cole; the deceased came and beat me and made my eye bleed. I went into Brackstone's room and laid down upon her bed;
<persName id="t17710911-68-person799"> Mary Cole
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-person799" type="given" value="Mary"/>
<interp inst="t17710911-68-person799" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> came in and brought something to bathe my eye; the prisoner made a great disturbance.</p>
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<interp inst="t17710911-68-verdict363" type="verdictCategory" value="notGuilty"/> Acquitted </rs>.</p> </div1></div0>

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