Thomas Dunn, Caleb Brannan.
6th July 1768
Reference Numbert17680706-54
VerdictNot Guilty

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475, 476. (M.) Thomas Dunn and Caleb Brannan were indicted, for that they, together with three other persons unknown, one Thomas Morgan wilfully and of malice aforethought did make an assault; that the said Dunn with a large stick which he had in his right-hand, on the forehead of the said Morgan did strike, giving him a mortal wound, the depth of half an inch, and length two inches, and for trampling on his body with both his feet, by means whereof he the said Dunn the said Morgan did kill and murder; and the said Brannan for aiding, assisting, comforting, and abetting him to do and commit the same ; they stood charged on the Coroner's inquest for the like murder, May 14 . ++

Thomas Magennes . One Sunday morning about a month ago, between seven and eight o'clock, I met Caleb Brannan , he was flourishing a stick in a street near Tottenham-court-road; I asked him if he would give me any beer or purl; he said he would; we walked together, coming near a dead wall he shewed me a puddle of blood, and said, I have done for one you know; I asked who; he said Thomas Morgan ; he said Thomas Dunn was along with him at the time; I would not stay with him, but went away, and between nine and ten the same morning I met Thomas Morgan the deceased; I said, how came you to get to fighting; he said he was pissing against a wall, and they came behind him and knocked him down; he had a handkerchief about his head; we are paviours

and worked together; I never saw no ill of Brannan before.

Thomas Gunter. Morgan the deceased was my wife's own uncle, he was a paviour's labourer; I know nothing at all of the fray; I heard of it about a week after it happened, which was about the 14th of May; I went to see him; I found him in bed very ill, he complained of bruises he had received on his side; he had a large wound on his forehead, as near as I can guess about two inches long; he desired I would take down a few words that he had to say; I did; the words are these on this paper which I took from his mouth.

Produced in court, and read to this purport:

"The words which Thomas Morgan told unto

"me when he was in his perfect senses.

"He went to make water in a court, that five

"men came out of a house, and Dunn was the

"first man that struck him on the side of the

"head with a stick or poker; that he held up his

"hand to save himself, and that he tried to run

"away, but his foot struck against a stone and he

"fell down; then they gave him a mortal blow

"on his back, and another on his head, and then

"they jumped upon him when he was down.

"These are the words he told me the 2d of June,

"1768,

" John Gunter ."

I was with him about two or three hours that day.

Q. In what state of mind did he appear to be, was he calm and serene?

Gunter. Quite so, and sober; he had been confined to his bed about a fortnight or three weeks.

Q. Now recollect yourself, and tell what condition you found him in when you saw him a week after he was ill?

Gunter. He was in bed, and complained of bruises, and he had a wound on his forehead two inches long; he got up to have his wound dressed, and when he returned from the surgeon's he was obliged to go to bed again; I never saw him after that out of bed; I saw him every day after this, I always found him in bed; I did not go soon enough to see him when he went to the surgeon's; he grew worse and worse; he had mentioned Brannan, but I had not presence of mind to ask him what he did; I know he charged him with being concerned with Dunn; he said it was done in Bambridge-street, he had taken the prisoners up and they were upon bail.

James Travey . I am a paviour, I am brother-in-law to the deceased Morgan; I heard of his being used ill, and I went and saw him the Monday following at his lodgings: I desired him to come home to the house where I lodge, that my wife might take care of him, his head was tied up; he came and continued at my lodgings till he died; he was very bad, and complained greatly of his inside and head; he worked but one half day after he received the hurt, he lived about three weeks after it; he told me he was drinking along with one Fanning, and this Fanning had occasion to ease himself; and that he, that is Morgan, went a little way up in the court to make water, and that Dunn came out of a house with some beer, and asked Fanning what he was doing there; he said he was easing himself; Dunn said, I will ease you presently; Fanning got up, and ran away without having time to put up his breeches; he could not catch Fanning, but he came up and hit him a blow over the head with a stick or poker, the blow almost stunned him; that he attempted to run away, he kicked his foot and fell down, and fell in attempting to get up again; Brannan knocked him down, and then either one or the other jumped upon him, and gave him several kicks on his side; we got a warrant for the assault about ten days before the deceased died; we took them up, they bailed it; I took them up a second time after my brother died, I cannot tell the day he died, but we took them up the day after; I did not see him for a day or two before he died, he was in such agony I could not bear to see him.

Mr. Sheldon. I am a surgeon, the deceased came to me first the 16th of May, about four in the afternoon; he desired I would dress his head of the wound he received on the Saturday before at night; I found it to be a wound on the middle of his forehead, betwixt one and two inches long; it was pretty deep, as deep as it could well go; it was only through the flesh, it did not appear to have affected the scull; there was a good deal of clotted blood, it seemed to me to be a wound that might have been received by almost any kind of instrument by a cut, by a fall against wood or stone; I concluded it was by a fall, I dressed it; he came regularly I think for 14 days to be dressed, it mended considerably till about the last day of May, or first of June; he had some fresh symptoms; I found he had a fever, I desired he would not come out any more; I attended him at his home from I think Whitsun Tuesday to his death; I found him in bed continually with a very bad fever; he continued to grow worse and worse till

the 16th of June, then he died; I was with him within a few hours of his death; I did not find in the course of the fever that the wound grew worse, it was a putrid kind of a fever.

Q. Did he never complain of any injury he had received.

Sheldon. The first day he said he had hurt his back with a fall, and that was black and blue; the next day he said it grew better, I never asked him any thing more.

Q. Did he never complain somebody had done him any injury?

Sheldon. I do not remember that he did; he gave me a very incoherent account, that I rather thought he was drunk when he received it.

Q. Did he not complain of his inside?

Sheldon. No, not till he had the fever.

Q. When he first came to you to have the wound dressed, how did he say it came?

Sheldon. He said it was done by two men, but he did not mention what men to me.

Q. You say it was an incoherent account, I wish you would tell what kind of a story he told you.

Sheldon. He said he had been hurt by two men.

Q. What led you to think that an incoherent account?

Sheldon. Because he said he had a warrant in his pocket, and he never mentioned their names to me.

Q. Did you ever ask their names?

Sheldon. I asked him if he knew who they were, he did not tell me then.

Q. Did he tell you one way or the other?

Sheldon. I do not recollect that he told me any names.

Q. Did he say he knew them?

Sheldon. He said he did know them.

Court. I shall take it for granted, by your account, that you think he died of a fever.

Sheldon. I think he died of the fever.

Q. If the fever was occasioned by the wound, would there not be an alteration in the wound?

Sheldon. I should have thought there would have been an alteration in the state of the wound much more than there was, or a swelling in the head or eyes, and there never was any swelling there; I looked upon him to be a man of a bad habit of body.

Dunn's defence.

I was taken up the day after he was dead, I never saw the man in my life before I saw him before Justice Welch; I have witnesses to prove I was in bed at the time this was done.

Brannan's defence.

I have witnesses enough to prove I was in bed when he was struck.

For the prisoners.

Mr. Raney. Dunn has worked for me twelve months in paving the streets, and Brannan two years; they have behaved exceeding well, two as innocent men as ever I employed; I have reason to have a bad opinion of the witness on the other side.

Magennes. There was a witness had three guineas not to come here to give evidence against them; I had a guinea myself, I did sign a note not to appear against them.

- Tracey. I have enquired after Fanning, he has been bribed, and is gone to Ireland; he had but four shillings to take that Saturday, there have been several people after him, but he is gone.

Matthew Murphy . I have known both the prisoners twelve months; I keep the Ship in Bambridge street, I was told the next morning how it happened; Morgan was there after the thing happened, I never saw two better behaved men in my life than the prisoners are.

Thomas Doyle . I have known Brannan a year and above, I never saw him quarrelsome in my life.

Mary Caley . I have known both the prisoners about five years, I lodged in the house with them; they are very quiet men.

Mary Paul . I have known both the prisoners about four months, they are very honest men, I never knew them quarrelsome.

Charles Adams . I have known them eight months, they have extreme good characters.

Timothy Connolly . I have known Dunn twelve months, and the other two years; they are well-behaved men.

Both Acquitted .


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