Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Not Guilty
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26. Francis Walford was indicted for the Murder of William Stanley , by abetting, aiding, comforting and maintaining Thomas Darby (not yet taken) who with a Shovel made of Iron and Wood, did strike the said William Stanley on the right part of the Head, and thereby gave him one mortal Bruise, on the 7th of July last, of which mortal Bruise he languish'd till the 9th of August following, and then d'd.
George Fleming . The Labourers gave gross Language to the Deceas'd and his Wife. He kick'd their Screen down; they set it up again higher to his Door, and made a great Dust. I went up to shut our Window, and looking out, saw Thomas Darby strike the Deceas'd on the Head with a Spade Edgeways, upon which the Deceas'd said, Fetch a Constable, he has cut me down the Head.
Mr. Sadler, Surgeon. Coming home on July 7. about 10 at Night, I found the Deceas'd in my Surgery. He had a Wound in the upper-part of his Head to the Scull, but without any bad Symptoms of Vomiting, &c. In 6 or 7 Weeks the Wound was near healed ; and then he omitted coming to be drest for 2 or 3 Days. I enquir'd the Reason of it, and was told, that he was a little Melancholy, which I did not like; but his Friend said, he believ'd it only proceeded from his being frighted at hearing me talk of an Exsoliatim, which he thought was something terrible to be done to him. I assured his Friend that it was only a slight Operation, and shew'd him the Nature of it, and that it might come off with a Plaister; but still the Deceas'd was afraid to come. In a few Days I went to him, and found he was better, and therefore only advis'd him to keep on the Plaister. On the 8th of August Word was sent me that he had had a it; I thought a bad Symptom, and advis'd that a Physician might be sent for. I propos'd a Trefining, that is, opening the Scull, but his Friends were all against it. However, I sent for another Surgeon, but he could not come, and the Deceas'd dy'd about 4 next Morning. I open'd his Scull, and found the Membranes of the Brain inflamed. I made an Incision in the Brain, and discharg'd a quantity of faetid corrupted Matter, which is generally occasion'd by a Shock or Blow of something heavy and which I thought was the Cause of his Melancholy.
Court. If he had come regularly to have been drest, do you think that his Death might not probably have been prevented?
Mr. Sadler. I doubt it; I think all the Chance we had for saving his Life would have been to have open'd his Scull sooner.
Dr. Smithson. On the 8th of August, I heard the Deceas'd had had a sort of a Fit; I found him stupid, dull, and almost senseless. Trefining (or as the old Term is, Trepaning) was propos'd, but his Mother said, She had rather he should die quietly than go thro' that barbarous Operation. As this would not be suffer'd, I fear'd he was past Relief, except a brisk Purge had a good Effect. I
Prisoner. The Deceas'd came out and struck Darby 2 or 3 times.
The Jury acquitted the Prisoner.