James Quinn.
9th July 1718
Reference Numbert17180709-1
VerdictGuilty > manslaughter
SentenceMiscellaneous > branding

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James Quinn , of St. Mary Woolwich , Gent . was indicted for the Murder of William Bowen , Gent. the 17th of April last, by giving him one mortal Wound with a Sword on the right Side of his Belly of the breadth of one Inch and the depth of four Inches, of which Wound he languished till the 20th and then died . He was also indicted a second time upon the Coroner's Inquest for Manslaughter. The Evidence was as followeth.

Robert Martin deposed, That he being at the Fleece-Tavern in Cornhill the 17 of April about 4 or 5 a-Clock in the Afternoon, Mr.Bowen being there, and espying him, called to him, and desired him to drink a Glass of Wine with him, which he did, and that then Mr. Quinn was with Mr. Bowen; that as they drank, Mr. Bowen and Quinn put pretty Smartly upon one another with wirty s , and fell up talk of their Performances in Acting, whereupon Mr. Quinn told Mr. Bowen, he had no Occasion to value himself so much on that score, since Mr. Johnson, who bad but seldom Acted it, did Act the part of Jacamo in the Libertine as well as be who had Acted it often . That from this Discourse they fell into Discourse about their Honesty, and Mr. Bowen giving himself the Character of as honest a Man as any was in the World . To which Mr. Quinn reply'd by asking Mr. Bowen if he should tell the Story of the Court. Mr. Bowen said no, it was no Matter; but at last said he might tell it if he would, which Mr. Quinn did; and Mr. Bowen still persisting to abide by the assertion of his Honesty, they proceeded so far as to lay Wagers about it, and Money was laid down; Mr. Quinn Charg'd Mr. Bowen with sometimes drinking Healths to the Duke of Ormond, and at other times refusing it. Asking Mr. Martin, to whom the Decision of the Wager was left, How could be he as honest a Man as any was in the World who Acted upon two different Principles? That thereupon Mr. Martin told Mr. Bowen, that if he insisted upon it, as to his being as Honest a Man as any was in the World, he must needs give it against him . That this Discourse was all the while carry'd on with a jocular Air, but upon this Mr. Bowen rose up, flung down some Money for the Rockoning, saying, he could not bear it, but must be gone; that he did go away but he did not perceive in him any Signs of a Resentment that should procure so fatal a Consequence. That after Mr. Bowen had been gone about a quarter of an Hour, there came a Porter to the Fleece-Tavern to enquire for him, and asked if one Mr. Quinn was not in the Company; that Mr. Quinn went out to the Porter, and the Porter having Whisper'd him in the Ear he went away with him, and having been gone about a quarter of an Hour, Mr. Quinn came back and asked if he knew where Mr. Bowen lodg'd, desiring that they would go to the Pope's-head-Tavern and take care of him, for there had been a Dispute between them, and he was afraid he had wounded him Mortally. That then Mr. Quinn went away, and he and Mr. Day, who were then in Company, went immediately to the Pope's-Head-Tavern and enquired for Mr. Quinn and Mr. Bowen. But the Porter of the Tavern said they did not know them, not would own that Mr. Bowen was there; that setting down to drink in an open Room next the Passage they saw a Chair brought in, and asking whether there was not a Gentleman wounded there, they were answered so, there was no Gentleman there wounded, but that Chair was for a Gentleman that was something disordered. That then a Gentleman came down Stairs and went into the Chair but the fight being intercepted by the Bar, could not see him go in, but heard him say to the Man of the House, I am wounded in your House, but it is done very fairly, the Gentleman has done it fairly.

Mr. Day deposed, that he having been with some Gentlemen at the Fleece-Tavern was going Home, and in the Tavern Yard a Gentleman hipp'd to him, which was Mr. Bowen, who was setting in a Room by himself; he desired him to drink a Glass of Wine with him, but he refus'd, not having dined; but he going home, it being about 4 a Clock, the Family had din'd. whereupon he return'd to the Fleece, and these found Mr. Bowen, Mr. Quinn, and Mr. Martin together. That Mr. Bowen, and Mr. Quinn, were talking together in a Jocular manner about their Performances in Acting; and Mr. Bowen reflected on Mr. Quinn, that he had acted Tamerlane in a loose sort of a manner; that Mr. Quinn reply'd, that Mr. Bowen had no great occasion to value himself for his Performance, in that Mr. Johnson, who had acted it but seldom, acted the part of Jacamo in the Libertine as well as he, who had acted it often. That from this discourse, by what Transition he knew not, they fell into discourse about Honesty, and Mr. Bowen giving himself the Character of as honest a Man as any was in the World Mr. Quinn told a Story, That having been out one Night pretty late and going Home, he heard in a Court a hot Contention between a Gentleman and a Woman, which Gentleman he found to be Mr. Bowen, who in very high terms was demanding the return of half a Crown of her, which she was unwilling to part with; but he swearing he would have it, she offered to give him back a Shilling of the Half Crown but he swore he would have it all; then she offered him 18 Pence, but he insisting upon the whole, she told him it was very Ungentleman like, to insist upon the whole when he had had the use of her Body; but he still insisting she offered a Shillings, but he swearing he would have it all, he had it all back of her. The story being told, Mr. Bowen insisted still on his Honesty, and that not ing , he was as Honest a Man as any was in the World, and offer'd to lay a Wager on it, which Mr. Quinn would have evaded; but Mr. Bowen urging it, Mr. Quinn said if you will lay I will lay you; and the Money was laid down on both sides, and Mr. Martin was to decide the Controversy. That Mr. Quinn then related some Pastages of Mr. Bowen's drinking the Healths of Persons obnoxious to the Government, and such like matters, and that Mr. Martin said, If I must give my Opinion as to your being as Honest a Man as any in the World, or in England, I must give it against you. That soon after Mr. Bowen in a hasty fort of a manner rose up and threw down some Money, saying he would not stay in the Company any longer, and so went away. But he did not perceive any such high Resentments and Anger in him as to apprehend any such fatal Consequence; the mutual Freedoms that were taken on both sides seeming to rise no higher than to cause the common Ruffles of Human Nature, and not to be such as he would call Mr. Quinn to an account for. That then Mr. Bowen having been gone a quarter of an Hour or less, a Porter came and enquir'd for Mr. Quinn, and he went away with the Porter, but they knew not it was Mr. Bowen had sent for him, and in about a quarter of an Hours time Mr. Quinn came back and said Mr. Bowen had sent for him to the Pope's-head-Tavern, had taken Occasion to quarrel with him, had obliged him to fight him, he had so done, and believed he had hurt him, and desired us to go see if it were mortal, and to take care of him. That immediately they went to the Pope's-head-Tavern, as has been before related, but the People of the House deny'd Mr. Bowen's being there; but seeing a Chair brought in, and they heard his voice when he was got into the Chair, saying to the Landlord, I am wounded in your House; but the Gentlemen has done it fairly, If I die I forgive him, but if I live I will be revenged of him.

Tho Antrum the Porter deposed, that as he was standing by Tom's-Coffee-house in Cornhill, Mr. Bowen called to him and bid him go to the Fleece-Tavern and ask for Mr.- and seeming to have forgot the Name, swore as tho' in a fret, and went a little way from him, then calling him again bid him go and ask for Mr. Martin, and if Mr. Quinn was in the Company to tell him a Gentleman wanted to speak with him, that he did so, and Mr. Quinn came immediately out to Mr. Bowen, who had then walked about half a score Doors-lower, and Mr. Quinn coming up to him they, went both together into the Swan-Tavern, but Mr. Bowen gave him nothing for his pains.

Henry Treesa , Drawn at the Shan-Tavern, deposed that about 6 or 7 a Clock at Night the 17th of April Mr. Bowen and Mr. Quinn came in together and asked for a Room, he show'd them a Room up one pair of Stairs, Mr. Bowen going up first; but that Room having been new painted, Mr. Bowen objected against it, as smelling of Paint, he then show'd them into the Great Room, which because there were some Gentlemen drinking at one end of it, Mr. Bowen said would not do, he turn'd about shaking his head, and seeming angry with him, went down Stairs and so away .

Mr. Griffin Bowen depos'd, That about 11 a Clock at Night, the 17th of April, a Person came to him desiring him to go to his Father, for that he was wounded; upon which he went and found his Father in Bed. That he asked him several times how it came, and who had done it, but he would not tell him: But at last, with much Urgency, he said it was Mr. Quinn. To which he reply'd, Is it that Man! she worst of all Mankind? how came you into his Company? If you get over it, is will be a Reflection upon your Family - That at that time they were not apprehensive that the Wound was mortal; but on the Sunday about Twelve or One a Clock, some Symptoms of Death appearing, as his Nails turning black, the Doctor being present told his Father he would have him think of another World, in that he was not a Yard from Death: Whereupon he again urged him, as he was Adying Man, to tell him how the Accident came. To which he reply'd, That he met Mr. Quinn at the Fleece-Tavern in Cornhill, who was always abusive to him, and he having given him provoking Language there, he went away, and sent for him out to desire him not to give himself that Freedom of Speech against him . That Quinn said he should go to the Tavern, and that they went to the Swan and afterwards to the Pope's Head, where with a Volley of Oaths he gave him abusive Language, barricado'd the Door with two Chairs, and he having given him such foul Language he could not bear, their Swords were drawn, and he catching Mr. Quinn by the Sword-Arm he wrested himself from him and gave him that Wound.

Mary Sewel depos'd, That she being present half an Hour or an Hour before Mr. Bowen's Death, heard him, being ask'd how it came, say, very unfairly, I was barbarously murthered.

Mr. Essex Walter depos'd , That there had been for near two Years standing a Misunderstanding between Mr. Quinn and Mr. Bowen, which he apprehended was occasion'd as follows. That Mr. Quinn at his first coming into the Play-house behaved himself with much Civility and good Manners, but soon after broke out into quite the reverse of it; that Mr. Bowen taking upon him to advise him to another manner of Behaviour, it was the occasion of a Difference between them, and since that time Mr. Quinn had shewn an Animosity against Mr. Bowen, saying he was a vile Fellow, and was not fit to live; used to call him Turn-coat, and would sometimes ask him if he did not drink the Doke of Ormond's Health in his Heart, and sometimes saying he ought to be used like a Dog, and deserved to be stuck. That this had continued for two Winters, till Mr. Quinn left the Company and went to Lincolns-Inn Fields Play-house. It was further depos'd, That as Mr. Quinn was fitting by the Fire behind the Scenes, and Mr. Bowen passed through, Mr. Quinn seeing him said, here comes that rascally, Whiggish, Tory Fellow, Bowen, who deserves to be stuck; but Mr. Bowen went on, not seeming to take any notice of it .

James Mounsey , the Surgeon, depos'd, That on Thursday the 17th of April he was on the Horn-Tavern in Fleetstreet to dress Mr. Bowen then he found a small. Wound under his Arm, and another in his Belly about four Inches below the Navel, which he dress'd, and

being sent for to another Patient left him, not then apprehending it would be mortal; but afterwards on the Monday Mr. Bowen being dead, he opened him and found the Wound had gone several Inches into the Cavity of his Belly, slanting a little toward the Left, and had touch'd a Gut, and was persuaded that Wound was the Cause of his Death.

Mr. Quinn in his Defence pleaded, That he having accidentally met Mr. Bowen at the Fleece-Tavern in Cornhill, they drank together in the Company, and had the Conversation that has been before related; that thereupon Mr. Bowen went away, leaving him in the Company of Mr. Martin and Mr. Day; that in about a quarter of an Hour after a Porter came and asked for him, telling him a Gentleman wanted to speak with him; whereupon he took up his Hat and Gloves, his Sword being then by his Side, and went away with the Porter, and in Cornhill about six Doors below the Fleece he found Mr. Bowen, who said he wanted to drink a Pint of Wine with him: upon which he reply'd, that if Mr. Bowen had half an Hour to spare, he thought it were better to spend it in the Company of those Gentlemen they had before been in adding likewise that he coming away with the Porter had not paid his Reckoning: but Mr. Bowen refus'd so to do, saying he would go to the Swan; and Mr. Bowen asking for a Room follow'd the Drawer up one pair of Stairs, and himself follow'd Mr. Bowen, but the Room having been new painted, he said it would not do. That then the Drawer show'd them the Great Room, but there being some Gentlemen in it, Mr. Bowen said it would not do; the Drawer offered to draw a Curtain to part the Companies, but Mr. Bowen saying it would not do, went down Stairs, he following him. Then Mr. Bowen said he would go to the Pope's-Head, he expecting to meet some Gentlemen in order to put off some Tickets of a Benefit Play of his that was coming on. So they went to the Pope's-Head, where being shown a Room, and calling for a Print of Wine, they sat down, and he desired Mr. Bowen to tell him what he had to say to him, desiring it might be short, in that he had left his Company without paying the Reckoning. That then having drank each a Glass of Wine, he perceiving a Distortion in Mr. Bowen's Countenance, and he rose and barricado'd the Door with two Chairs, told him that he had injured him past verbal Reparation, and nothing but fighting him should make him amends. That thereupon he argued with him, endeavouring to disswade him, but Mr. Bowen bid him not trifle with him. That he then desired Mr. Bowen again to defer his Resentment and sleep upon it, and if he could not come into Temper by the next Day, he would meet him and ask his Pardon in the same Company that be said he had injured him in; but Mr. Bowen bid him again not trifle with him, for that he had injur'd him in his Reputation, which he was resolv'd never to survive, and would now do himself Justice; and drawing his Sword in a violent Passion, swore if he did not draw he would run him through: Upon which he was oblig'd to draw in his own Defence, and what was the Consequence has been before related. That he having given Mr. Bowen the Wound, he took him by the Hand, kissed him, bid him take his Hat and Wig and go back to the Fleece, and send Mr. Martin to him to take care of him, afterwards to make his Escape; and if be died desir'd him to be a Father to his Children. The Prisoner then call'd several Evidences, who depos'd as follows. Besides the Porter, who deposed as before, That Mr. Bowen sent him to the Fleece-Tavern for Mr. Quinn; and the Drawer at the Swan, who depos'd as before as to Mr. Bowen's disliking the Rooms. And Benji Wicks , Drawer at the Pope's head-Tavern, depos'd, that Mr. Bowen came and ask'd for a Room: that he show'd him one; that having carried in a Pint of Wine, fill'd a Glass or two, set it down and went away, and knew nothing of any Encounter, or heard any Noise, till about a quarter of an Hour after Mr. Bowen rang the Bell, he went up Mr. Quinn was gone. Mr. Bowen bid him go to the Fleece-Tavern and call Mr. Martin; he went, but Mr. Martin was gone, he told Mr. Bowen, and he bid him call a Surgeon, but recalling him again bid him fetch a Chair, leaning his Head on the Table; he call'd a Chair and went away in it, and at his going in, said, that what Mr. Quinn had done, he had done very honourably and justly, and that he heartily forgave Mr. Quinn live or die.

Edward Meakins , the Master of the Pope's-head-Tavern, deposed, that he being engaged with the Parish Officers then in his House, knew nothing of the Matter till Mr. Bowen had gotten a Chair in order to go away ; that being in the Chair Mr. Bowen desired to speak with him, telling him he was wounded in his House; that then he desired him to send for a Surgeon , he reply'd he had, but he could not be found; that Mr. Bowen added, I sent for you to tell you, If I die, he has done me Justice, he gave me fair Play; I freely forgive him.

John Wright , Drawer at the Horn-Tavern, deposed, that Mr. Bowen came about 7 a Clock in the Evening to their House in a Chair: that he went with him to Steward's Coffee-House, and afterwards to the Horn-Tavern; that he said he was wounded and desired him to fetch him Mr. Mounsey the Surgeon, which he did, who dress'd him, and being call'd to another Patient, went away; that then he ask'd Mr. Bowen, Who had wounded him? he reply'd Mr. Quinn, but said several times he had done it fairly, and he freely forgave him.

Prudence Inwell deposed, that Mr. Bowen came to Steward's Coffee-House in Fleetstreet, supported by the Drawer of the Horn-Tavern; he seem'd very ill, land out of Order, and the Drawer said he was wounded: She asked him who had done it, he said he could not tell her, but he who did it had done it very fairly, and he freely forgave him. The Prisoner put a Question to her, how Mr. Bowen had used to behave himself at her House; she answered, he was used to be very often out of Humour, and had oftentimes been very disturbing to the Company. William Gadsdon deposed, that he was at the Coffee-house when Mr. Bowen came in, and that he said he was wounded, but the Gentleman that had done it, had done it fairly, and he freely forgave him. Michael Owen depos'd that he seeing Mr. Bowen come into Steward's Coffee-house in Disorder, did think he had been drunk, and therefore said, here comes Bowen in his old Pickle; but afterwards understood he was wounded heard him say it was done fairly, and he freely forgave the Gentleman. Mr. Cheret deposed, that the next Morning he being in Company with Mr. Wilks, he told him that Mr. Bowen was killed, and Mr. Quinn had killed him, and that Mr. Bowen had sent for him, but he did not much care for going, as Mr. Quinn had quitted their House, if he were brought in as an Evidence to any Matter, the World might imagine he show'd something of Spleen: but however Mr. Bowen in those Circumstances having sent for him he would go, and desired him to go with him; that they did go, and Mr. Bowen desired of Mr. Wilks, that as there was a Play to be acted for his Benefit, if he died his Wife and Children might have the Benefit. That Mr. Bowen said Mr. Quinn had given him very ill Language that he could not bear; that he had oblig'd him to draw his Sword and then he receiv'd that Wound; that when Mrs. Bowen talk'd of prosecuting Mr. Quinn, he desired she would not. Mr. Cheret also added, that Mr. Bowen and Mr. Quinn had often had Disputes, and always used to be jangling. Then the Prisoner said, Whereas Mr. Weller has given me a very ill Character, I shall produce to the Court one Reason for that Character, calling one Mr. Reason, who deposed he had heard one Mr. Weller say, That if he could be would be an Instrument of hanging Mr. Quinn, for he had quarrel'd with me and all the House. The Prisoner then added, that though he was unwilling to bring the Character of Mr. Bowen's past Life upon the Stage, yet it being necessary in his own Defence, he desired Leave of the Court to call Mr. Francis Lee , who deposed, that Mr. Bowen was a very quarrelsome Man, and had several times attempted his Life, and once particularly as he

was sitting at his Father's Door, Mr. Bowen passed by him and asked him how he did, to which he civilly answered; that Mr. Bowen passed on, went into a Coffee-house, and coming back in about half an Hour, while he was still sitting there, without any Provocation, called him Rascal, and Son of a Whore, drew his Sword, cut him over the Head, and he rising and retreating backward into the House he happen'd to fall, whereupon he made two Passes at him with his Sword, but happen'd to miss him, he putting it by with his Hand, and some body coming by and taking hold of him, he was shortning his Sword to have stabbed him as he lay on the Ground, but was prevented by Persons running to his Assistance. That thereupon he advised with Sir Peter King in order to prosecute him, and did but by the Mediation of some Great Men on Mr. Bowen's Account did make it up with him. That he afterwards did attack him in Salisbury-Court , when he had no Sword; but People coming to his Assistance prevented him; upon which he Arrested him. That he afterwards broke into his Chamber, while he and his Wife were in Bed, demanding Satisfaction of him. He added, that Mr. Bowen met him about three Days before he received this Wound by Mr. Quinn, and would needs drink a Pint with him at the Ship-Tavern near Temple-Bar, and there told him, Mr. Lee, you and I have had Difference, but I desire you to put it up; and as I am an older Man than you, shall probably die before you, and I desire you to come to my Burial, which at last he promised him to do, but had then no Apprehension it would be so soon. Thomas Allpress confirm'd the first Assault of Mr. Bowen upon Mr. Lee, and that he seeing him push at him as he lay upon the Ground caught hold of him, and pulling him back prevented him from stabbing him. William Brown depos'd , Mr. Bowen was always very fractious, and that he coming into the Sugar-Loaf Alehouse in Fleetstreet, saw Mr. Bowen with his Sword drawn, swearing and making a great Disturbance; that the Man of the House desired him to go out, telling him he knew he would let him have no Drink, having several times forbad him his House, he having made a Difference between him and his Wife; that he thereupon persuaded him to go away and not be further troublesome; he was in a great Passion with him, swearing G - d d - m his Bl - d, you prevented me in my Business, and I will do yours for you. That he afterwards meeting Mr. Bowen told him of it, to which Mr. Bowen reply'd It is my Temper, I means no burt, you're a very honest Fellow. The Prisoner then call'd several Persons to his Reputation: Mr. Theophilus Keen deposed, that he had known Mr. Quinn very well, always found him rather inclinable to make up than promote Quarrels, and rather take those Things others call'd Affronts, than quarrelsomely resent them. This was confirmed by Mr. Bullock. Mr. King, Mr. Hawks, Mr. Moreton, Mr. Brown,&c. The Prisoner then added, I have done nothing but what I was compelled to do; had I not opposed Mr. Brown's Violence, I must have been guilty of Self-Murther. The Jury upon considering the whole Matter, found him Guilty of Manslaughter only.

[Branding. See summary.]

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