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25th February 1741
Reference Numbert17410225-38
VerdictGuilty > manslaughter
SentenceMiscellaneous > branding

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48. of London , Gent. was indicted for that he not having God before his Eyes, &c. on the 28th Day of Jan in the Parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden , on Alexander Watson , in the Peace, &c. feloniously, willfully, and of his Malice aforethought, did make an Assault, and with a certain drawn Sword made of Iron and Steel, value 12 d. which he the said V - in his right Hand had and held, on the inside of the left Thing of him the said Watson did strike and stab, giving him then and there, &c one Mortal Wound of the Breadth of one Inch, and Depth of 6 Inches, of which from the said 28th of Jan to the 16th of Feb. he languish'd, and languishing liv'd, and then in the said Parish of St. Paul, Covent-Garden, died.

He was a 2 d Time indicted on the Statute of Stabbing;

And a 3d Time by Vertue of the Coroner's Inquisition, for feloniously laying the said Alexander Watson .

John Stainbank . I made out a Process from his Majesty's Palace Court, against the Gentleman at the Bar, Mr. V - , at the Suit of Thomas Turner , for 150 l.

It was read.

'' George the 2d, by the Grace of God, &c. '' To the Bearer of the Bargess of our Household, '' Officers, and Masters, &c. We command '' you, and ever of you, to take the Bodies of '' V - A - , and John Doe , and bring '' them before us, &c.

Stainbank. I gave this Writ into the Plaintiff Mr. Turner's Hands, and at that Time, the Deceased Watson was one of the Bearers of the Verges.

Thomas Turner . This was a Debt which was contracted in the Years 1731 and 32, by the Prisoner and his Mother. In the Year 32, I took a Joint Note of the Prisoner and his Mother, and in Dec. following, I took a Joint Bond of them. I waited six Months after it became due, and then added the Interest and the Principal, and took a Joint Bond in Dec. 33, and in Easter Term 36, my Father obtained a Judgement against the Prisoner in the Court of Common-Pleas. In the Year 38, I (being Administrator to my Father) employ'd a Man to watch the Prisoner a long Time, but to no Purpose, for he liv'd at Whitehall, in the Verge of the Court. But in Jan. last, I was informed that I might take him in the Piazza in Covent-Garden; upon that I got a Marshal's Court Writ, and gave it to the Deceased to Execute, on the 27th of Jan. about 8 in the Evening; at the same Time desiring him to use Mr. V - handsomely, and not expose him.

Councel. Who gave you the Information where you might take Mr. V - ?

Turner. The same Person whom I had employ'd to watch him; he came to me the 27th of Jan. and told me he saw Mr. V - go into a House in the Piazza, upon that I gave Watson the Writ, and the next News I heard was that he was wounded.

Thomas Watson . The Deceased Alexander Watson was my Father. On the 28th of Jan. between 7 and 8 in the Evening, Mr. Turner gave my Father this Writ in the Piazza, Covent Garden, with Orders to execute it on the Prisoner, and to use him well. We waited from 8 o'Clock till 4 in the Morning, before Mr. Fry's Door, and then the Prisoner and four other Gentleman came

out. The Prisoner parted with his Company, and went towards James street, upon that my Father bid me and his Assistants keep at a Distance, for he would go and speak to the Gentleman himself; he then went up to Mr. V - , and pull'd off his Hat, and said, Mr. V - I have a Warrant against you: Immediately the Prisoner dropp'd his Cane, drew his Sword, and stabb'd my Father in the inside of the left Thigh After this was done, my Father cry'd, he has stabb'd me! he has murder'd me! and the Prisoner attempted to run to Mr. Fry's, but Mr. Linney stopp'd him, and threw him down; the Hilt and part of the Blade of the Sword was in the Prisoner's Hand, and the rest of the Blade la, by my Father.

Councel. How could you at 4 in the Morning discern all this?

Watson It was neither light nor dark, but a fine Morning, besides there was a Lamp about 3 Doors from the Place where this was done.

Councel. Who was with your Father?

Watson. There were Thomas Linney , Evan Jenkins ( whom Mr. Turner had employ'd to watch the Prisoner) and myself.

Prisoner's Q Where did your Father stand when I came out?

Watson. We all stood in the Piazza, and when Mr. V - came out, Jenkins said, That is the Man, and my Father follow'd him alone.

Pris. Q Did you apprehend it was difficult to get at me?

Watson. Yes, I have heard Turner say, he had a deal of Trouble.

Pris. Q Was there any Noise or Disturbance in the Street?

Watson. No, it was very still and quiet, so that a Voice might easily be heard.

Thomas Linney . On the 27th of Jan about 9 at Night. I was at the Blue-Posts Alehouse in Covent Garden, and the Deceased came and desired me to assist him to arrest a Gentleman who lived in the Verge of the Court. I went with him into the Piazza, and staid till 4 in the Morning, and then Mr. V - with 3 or 4 more came out of Mr. Fry's House. Mr. V - parted with his Friends, and went towards James street, the Chairman ( Evan Jenkins ) said, That is the Man, and the Deceased said he would speak to him in a handsome manner; accordingly he went up to the Prisoner, pull'd off his Hat and said, Mr. V - . your humble Servant, I have a Warrant against you. Immediately the Prisoner dropp'd his Cane, drew his Sword, and stuck him directly

Councel. Was there no Provocation given?

Linney. No. none at all, no body spoke to him but the Deceased, for he bid us keep at a Distance. As soon as the Deceased was stabb'd, he cry'd out, I am killed, I am stabb'd! and the Prisoner attempted to get back to Mr. Fry's, but I follow'd him, and kick'd up his Heels.

Councel. Was the Prisoner thrown down before, or after the Wound was given?

Linney. It was after the Deceased cried out, and the Prisoner was running away.

Councel. Did you observe with what sort of Weapon the Wound was given?

Linney. It was a three edg'd Sword; I believe this is the same, but when I saw it, it was all over Blood

Councel. By what Light did you see all this?

Linney. It was light enough, and I was within 2 Yards of them all the Time.

Councel Did the Deceased assault Mr. V - ?

Linney. No, he never touched him at all, but spoke to him very civilly.

Councel. How long did the Deceased live after this?

Linney I believe he might live about three Weeks.

Councel. Was there any Noise or Tumult in the Street at this Time?

Linney. No, there was not a Soul stirring, till we called the Watch.

Councel. Are you positive there was no Provocation given?

Linney. No other than the Deceased's telling him he had a Warrant against him, and immediately the Prisoner stabb'd him, and ran away as fast as he could, and his Hat and Wig fell off.

Evan Jenkins , deposed to the same Effect.

Mr. Perkins, Surgeon. I did not attend the Deceased in his Life Time, but was present and opened the Body after he was dead. I observ'd a Wound on his Thigh, which penetrated 5 or 6 Inches downwards, and had passed the Crural Artery. There had been a counter opening made by the Surgeon who attended him, for the Discharge of Matter; I examined it, and on the opposite Side, I found a large Quantity of Matter, and a Mortification begun. I th en open'd the Abdomen, and on examining the Intestines, I found a large Quantity of Pus or Matter, in one of the Kidneys, and likewise in the Lobes of the Lungs; and on inspecting the Stomach, I found above half a Pint of Corruption ting'd with Blood.

Councel. Do you think that this Wound was the Occasion of his Death?

Mr. Perkins. I can't say it was the immediate Cause of his Death.

Councel. Is it your Opinion, that this Man would have died by any Disorder that was on him if he had not received this Wound?

Mr. Perkins. No, I believe he would not.

Mr. Price, Surgeon. I was sent by the Prisoner to take Care of the Deceased the Day after he received the Wound. It was about 3 Inches below the Groin in the middle of the Thigh, and

[Pages missing in original.] was almost closed up; I dilated it to promote a Discharge of Matter. The next Day the Wound had a good Aspect, but he was feverish, and troubled with a Looseness; and continued to till the 3d of this Month, and then I observ'd a Hardness about the Wound. The Fever and Looseness ( notwithstanding our Applications) increased daily more and more, to the Day of his Death, but the last Time I saw Mr. Kilpatrick dress the Wound, it was in as good a State of healing as possibly could be, and from that Time I never saw the Deceased any more.

Councel. In your Judgment did the receiving this Wound contribute to his Death?

Mr. Price. In the whole Course of this Wound, I did not observe any Symptoms which I can fairly say were the Occasion of his Death. He had the Looseness after we had remov'd all those Symptoms from the Wound.

Jury. We apprehend that the Deceased was of a bad Constitution, therefore do you not imagine, that so great an Effusion of Blood, might occasion his Death?

Mr. Price. A little Blood makes a great Shew, but I am very certain, no large Vessel was wounded, for the first Application we made was only a bit of Lint, about the bigness of a 6 d. and a Plaister.

Councel. Do you not imagine that the Loss of so much Blood occasioned the Loosness.

Mr. Price. No, I don't know but that it might prolong his Life, for in the Loosness the first Thing I could have done to relieve him, must have been to have taken Blood from him

William Kirk. I knew the Deceased very well, and saw him the Day before his Death; I looked on him before he received this Wound, to be as hearty and strong as any Man. He never made any Complaints, but went about his Business, and always had an exceeding good Appetite. I saw him after he was wounded, and likewise his Breeches, Shoes and Stockings, and I believe he had bled a Hat full.

John Fryer . I was acquainted with the Deceased 10 or 11 Years. I saw him 2 or three Days before his Decease, and he was then strong and hearty, and made no Complaints.

Thomas Watson . When the Surgeons gave my Father his Physic, it brought a Loosness on him, for he never had one before. Before he receiv'd this Wound he was very hearty, and I never knew him have a Day's Illness in my Life.

Isaac Itorno I knew the Deceased 10 or 11 Years, and used to see him every Day. I was with him a Day or two before this Accident happen'd, at the Sun in Russel-street, he appear'd then to be strong and hearty, and made no Complaints, but eat and drank well.

Mary Thomas I lived in the House with the Deceased three Years, and he was as well as any one here, before this happened. I attended him in his Illness, and he never was out of his Bed but once, to take a Vomit, and then he was so bad, that he was forced to go to Bed again.

DEFENCE.

I was coming from Mr Van Blake 's, and they all rushed upon me; I thought they were Robbers, and wounded one of them in the Scuffle.

Edward Mount . I am an Engraver. On the 28th of January, between 4 and 5 in the Morning, I had been Gaming at the Lady Castile's, and coming through the Great Piazza, Covent-Garden, I saw Mr. Fry's Door open, and the Prisoner and some others come out; and immediately I heard Watson say, D - me, there he is! The Prisoner parted with his Friends, and turned towards James-street; Watson hid himself by a Barber's Shop, and then they all rushed on Mr. V - in the hottest Manner. They presently got him to the Ground, and then I heard them say, D - n you, you Dog, I have a Warrant against you! And soon afterwards I heard Watson complain he was stabb'd. It was a very still Morning, and if any Person had come up to him, and told him of a Writ, I must have heard it.

Councel. Did you hear any Body cry, he was stabb'd, before you heard of the Warrant?

Mount. They said nothing about a Warrant till Watson complain'd of being stabb'd. Mr. V - said, he thought they were Thieves, No, d - n you (said he) I have a Warrant against you. I was so near, and the Night so still, that I could hear and see every Thing that passed.

Councel. Did not you see the Prisoner run away without his Hat and Wig?

Mount. No, he did not run away, but I saw him without his Hat and Wig. - They all rush'd on him at once; and I saw no Sword drawn, but I heard Watson say, he was stabbed.

Councel. When did you make this Discovery?

Mount. I went to Mr. Fry's, Two or Three Days afterwards, and told him what I had seen.

Mr. Kingston. I have known the Prisoner 7 or 8 Years; he lives in Scotland Yard, but I never apprehended that he lived there for Shelter, for he always went abroad as other Gentlemen go. As to his Temper, I never saw him in a Passion in my Life; and don't think he would do a Fact of this Nature.

- Hardy. I keep George's Coffee-House, without Temple-Bar, and have known the Prisoner ten Years. He used to come to my House at least 4 times a Week, and always sat in the most conspicuous Part of the Coffee-Room. He was at my House the 27th of January, and told me he was to dine with Mr. Clark, and to spend the Evening with Mr. Van Blake . I have no Reason to think the Bailiffs were in any Danger of losing him, for he is lame, and not able to make the least Speed, so that a Man that walks fast may easily get Ground of him. As to his Temper, I never knew him to be quarrelsome or rash, but rather the reverse.

Mr. Clark. I have known the Prisoner from a Child: He dined with me the Day this Accident happened. As to his Character, I always took him to be a good, honest Man, and one that would pay every Body; but his being Security for his Mother, brought him into some Trouble, more than any Extravagance of his own.

Mr. Van Blake . Mr. V - supped with me at Mr. Fry's, and staid till 4 o'Clock the Night this Accident happened. I have known him ten Years, and did not apprehend that he was in any Fear of an Arrest: I have been to several Coffee-Houses with him, and he never seemed shy in the least, but always sat in the public Room frequently two Hours together. I always found him to be a good natur'd, humane, generous Man, and don't think he would draw his Sword on a Man without some Surprize.

Mr Trion. I have known Mr. V - from his Childhood. He always appear'd publickly without any Interruption; and I don't believe that he lived at Whitehall for Shelter. I always took him to be a very sweet Tempered Man.

Edward Rushworth . I have known him about a Year and a half, and came acquainted with him by applying to him for a Debt due to a Relation of mine. He told me how his Circumstances were, and I said I would not press him for the Money, and from that Time he never secreted himself from me.

Edward Bathurst . I have known him between 6 and 7 Years. He always appear'd publickly, and not as a Person who liv'd in Fear of his Creditors.

Mrs. Knight. I live at Mr. Blake's. I remember Mr. V - 's being at our House; he staid till 4 in the Morning, and then I lit him to the Door, where he staid talking ten Minutes, and his Friends turned towards Russel-street, but he went up James street. He did not seem to be under any Apprehension of an Arrest, but came frequently to our House, and if any Stranger had asked for him, I should have called him down or let him have known it

Mr. Rayswell. I supp'd at Mr. Blakes with the soner. We staid 'till 4 in the Morning, and then came down to the Door together where he staid some Time pressing me to go Home with him. I have known him several Years, and he has not been used to secret himself.

Col. Stevens I knew Mr. V - last Summer, and never thought him subject to quarrelling.

Mr. De Viel. Mr. V - was brought before me and gave the same Account, as he has done here. I knew the Deceased and his Housekeeper Mary Thomas . Mrs. Thomas bears a very bad Character, and I have had her and the Deceased before me for Felony: The Son ( Tho Watson ,) hath been before me, but I can't recollect the Particulars.

Capt. Nevet. I have known the Prisoner upwards of 10 Years; he frequently came to my Lodgings, in Arundel street, and commonly came on Foot. I always took him to be of a very mild Disposition.

Mr. Revis. I have known him 4 Years, and always thought him a very honest Man.

Samuel Bannister . I have known Edward Mount a Dozen Years, and I believe he would say nothing but the Truth.

The Jury withdrew and after a short Time returned and found the Prisoner Guilty of Manslaughter .

[Branding. See summary.]


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