11th October 1676
Reference Numbert16761011-4
VerdictGuilty > manslaughter

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A Man was tryed on an Indictment for Murther, for killing one William Parker on the 8th day of February last was Twelvemonth , near Islington : the Case was thus; The said Parker and another, now an Evidence, were at work a ditching; the Prisoner and his Brother (not yet taken) came that way, but out of any common Path, with each of them a very great Stake in his hand, which seemed lately to be pluckt out of some Fence. Parker (knowing them) told them, they did not do well to spoil Peoples Pastures and Fences, &c. Whereupon they swore they would beat out his Brains, and assaulted the Ditchers, who defended themselves as well as they could a while; and then coming to a Parley, the Prisoner and his Brother went away above threescore yards, and then on a suddain returned, swearing they would kill the old Rogue (meaning the said Will. Parker) and then the Prisoner, with the Club or Stake he had in his hand, gave the said Parker a mortal bruise on the right side of the Head, so that he lay at present for dead, but with Spirits was brought to life again; but next Morning about four a Clock died. Whilst the Evidence was getting Strong waters to revive his Friend and call for help, the Criminals fled, nor could be heard of for above this year and an half upon the Hue and Cry, till lately the Prisoner was

taken near Croyden in Surrey. Though on the Evidence it seemed to be a Murther, yet on consideration of the whole matter, the Jury brought it in only Manslaughter , for reasons best known to themselves; but craving the benefit of his Clergy he was not able to read, and so received sentence of Death .

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