John Ellis.
8th December 1731
Reference Numbert17311208-58
VerdictNot Guilty

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

John Ellis , of St. Margaret's Westminster , was indicted for assaulting, ravishing, and against her Will, carnally knowing Sarah Matts , on the 4th of March last.

Sarah Matts. On the 3d of March, I was sent to the Gate-house for pawning some Bed-Curtains; I was lock'd up at 9 that Night, and so I was the second Night; but about 12 or 1 o' Clock, the second Night, the Prisoner, and one Sylvester, unbolted the Door (for it was bolted on the outside) and came into my Room. The Prisoner came in his Shirt, with a Candle in his Hand. I asked what he wanted? he bid me get up, and go to the common Side; and so I got up, and put on my Petticoat, and then he swore, by G - d, he would lye with me; for he said I was a Street-walker, and might as well lye with him as with every Body else. I told him he should not, for he was my Aversion; and with that he made no more to do, but knocked me down, 2 or 3 Times, and thump'd me, and bruised my Breast, and made my Face swell, and then he flung me a-cross the Bed, so as my Head hung down, and he tore my Legs asunder, and lay with me against my Will 3 times. I scream'd, and cry'd out, Murder; but he would lye with me. He did as other Men do, when they lye

with Women, and I suppose that needs no explaining. He staid three Hours, and when he went away he lock'd Sylvester in with me, and Sylvester us'd me, if possible, worse than the other had done, for he forc'd me into the Bed, stamp'd upon my Breast, and made me lye with him all Night. They have since kept two Women out of the way, that they might not appear for me.

Prisoner. She came to me afterwards in my Lodge, and taking up a Glass of Wine, (before the Turnkeys) said, Here's to you John, you are no sumbler , for you have lain with me 20 times.

Matts. I never said any such Thing.

Sarah Taylor . I was sent to the Gatehouse for striking a Woman a blow with a Frying Pan. The Prisoner came up, and ask'd, how I did, and swore he would lye with me. I told him he should not; but he swore there was no Woman came there, but he would lye with her, if he pleas'd; but by good luck he did me no harm. The 2d Morning that Matts was there, I went up into her Room, and found her crying. Sarah, says I to her, I hope he han't - yes, says she, but he has, and beat and bruised me too. And so she told me the whole Story.

William Younger . I turn the Key under the Prisoner. I lock'd up Sarah Matts at 9, and went to Bed. And about a 11 or 12, the Prisoner and Sylvester came and took a Candle, and the Keys, and went up the Stairs on the Master-Side, which lead to where the Prosecutor lay. Her Room was in the Gallery; there's a Lock to the Gallery Door, but the Doors within the Gallery are only bolted on the out-side. He stay'd an Hour, or more, and leaving Sylvester behind him, came to Bed to me; for he us'd to lye in the Lodge where I lye. I went up to her Room in the Morning, and found Sylvester in Bed, and she with her Clothes on was standing and looking stedfastly at the Window; but she made no complaint to me. This James Sylvester is a one-ey'd Fellow, that is not a Prisoner in the Gatehouse; but only acquainted with the Prisoner at the Bar, who sometimes brings home his Friends when they are shut out of their lodgings, and helps them to a Bed in the Goal.

Prisoner. Sarah Matts lent her Clothes to John Sherwin to make his escape out of Newgate, for which I secur'd her; and that was the Cause of this Prosecution. For she never spoke a Word of the Rape before this Quarrel about Sherwin.

Sarah Matts . After I was turned out of Newgate, I went to see some Women that had been kind to me while I was there; and this was on the Sunday when Sherwin was going to break out. I saw he follow'd me down Stairs, but I did not know who he was; nor could I lend him any Clothes, for I had hardly a Gown to my own Back.

John Sherwin . Sarah Matts knew nothing of my going out of Goal in Women's Clothes. No-body knew of it, but my Wife and Daughter, and Mary Sheton .

John Gorget . I lay in the Room over Sarah Matts , in the Gatehouse, and heard a Woman scream out, For the Lord's Sake be quiet: Let me alone for God's Sake. This was between 12 and 1 in the Morning.

Prisoner. When Gorget was before the Justice, he swore this to be 3 Months after the Time.

William Follard . Sarah Matts is a common vile Woman. The greatest Black-guard may lie with her for 6 d. I have seen her in Bed with a Man, in the Guard-Room, at St. James's. She always had the Character of a Whore and a Thief.

George Stacey . I have seen Sarah Matts in Bed with the Prisoner several times since the Rape.

Michael Gore . I lay in the next Room to Sarah Matts , and never heard her cry out, and I have seen her in Bed with the Prisoner several times.

- Taylor. Gore told me that he heard her cry out.

Sarah Matts . And he promis'd to swear for me, if I would give him Money.

Henry Williams . I was committed to the Gatehouse, because my Boy swore Sodomy against me; which I am as innocent of, as I am of going to Heaven. Now Sarah Matts being there, I wanted a Bit of that same - as any other Man may - and so I invited her to the Sport, and lay with her in March and April too. I'll assure you I did not ravish her, any otherwise than by talking her over, and making her drink, as a Man must always do in such Cases; for you know a Woman must

be coax'd a little, though she's never so willing, - You say right, my Lord, I am a very impudent Fellow, that's true; but I can't help it - Truth is Truth, and it will come out. And more than that, I ask'd Sarah Matts , if Ellis had lain with her? No, says she, May the Gods of Heaven renounce me, if ever he did. I told her I only ask'd upon my Wife's Account, because I had heard he was clap'd.

Mary Warren . I lodged with Sarah Matts , and she has left my Bed and gone to Bed with a Gentleman in the Guard-Room; and she has put Gentlemen into Bed with me, and lock'd the Door upon us.

Richard Avison . I heard Mot's say, If Ellis had not beat me about Sherwin's Escape , by the Living God I would never have sworn against him.

John Hooper , the Executioner. Last Quarter Sessions I went down to the Gatehouse, and heard John Sherwin say of the Prisoner, D - n his Blood, I'll hang him my self, or get some body else to do it. Sherwin was committed for abusing the Bench of Justices at Hicks's-Hall. And I heard him say he was writing a Book against Fawks the Posture-Master.

Justice Du Veil . Sarah Matts inform'd against Sylvester a Month ago for a Rape, and I granted a Wartant. But he still lives publickly in my Neighbourhood, and no body offers to take him up.

So upon the Whole, the Jury acquitted the Prisoner.

View as XML