28th June 1780
Reference Numbert17800628-15
VerdictNot Guilty

Related Material

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

305. THOMAS CHAMBERS was indicted for that he with divers other persons, to the number of forty and more, unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously did assemble, to the disturbance of the public peace, and feloniously did begin to demolish and pull down the dwelling-house of Cornelius Murphy , against the statute, &c. June 7th .


I kept a public-house in Golden-lane . On the 7th of June, between six and seven o'clock, a great mob surrounded my house, some with swords and some with bludgeons. They came into the tap-room and had what liquor they wanted. They examined my books and were going off satisfied.

Was the prisoner among the mob? - Not at that time. After giving three huzza's in the house they went down the street some way. One Clark and his wife called the mob back, and said I was a Papist, and they must down with my house. The mob returned immediately, and began pulling down the house.

When did you see the prisoner? - About half an hour after they began he was in the bar, drawing the liquor and drinking it.

Had you ever seen the prisoner before? - Yes; he had been several times at my house; I am positive he is the man.

Did you see him do any thing else? - I saw him break part of the bar down.

What was the rest of the mob doing? - Pulling down the house and drinking the liquor.

Court. Whether the mob were pulling down the house during that hour in which you say the prisoner was in it? - Yes, they were.

Be particular in describing what they did to the house, the wainscoting, and window frames? - They had iron crows beating them down.

Had the prisoner any thing in his hand?

No, to my knowledge he had nothing in his hand.

What did they cut down? - The sashes in the front of the house; the prisoner did not.

Did you see the prisoner do any thing more? - Nothing, only pull part of the bar down, and drink part of the liquor. He was in several parts of the house; he went all over the house. The mob were pulling the tiles off and throwing them down. I did not see the prisoner at the time they were throwing them down. I saw him at different times.

What situation was the house in before they came? - Quite in repair.

How was it when they went away? - The front of it was quite pulled down. It was lath and plaister.

Cross Examination.

You are a publican? - Yes.

Who is your distiller? - Mr. Child.

Did not he come that evening to assist you? - Not that I saw. I heard afterwards he was there.

Did you know the prisoner before? - Yes.

What is his character? - A very honest man; I never heard any thing against him before this.

Where was you? - In the street, facing the door; there was a great mob up in the house.

Was you in the street when you saw him in the bar? - Yes.

Did you see the prisoner in the bar? - Yes.

You did not see him in any other part of the house? - Yes. I saw him in the one pair of stairs, the two pair of stairs, and at the top of the house.

Court. Do you know the prisoner? - Yes.

How near to him was you when you saw him pull down your bar? - Only across the street; the bar is opposite the door.

Did you say any thing to him? - Not a word.

As you knew the man why did not you

speak to him? - There was such a mob I was afraid of having my brains knocked out.


I live in Sand-court, Golden-lane.

Do you know Mr. Murphy's? - Very well. On the 7th of June I was there the best part of the afternoon.

Was you at the house or in the lane? - Opposite the house in the lane; I saw the prisoner, in the house of Mr. Murphy, pulling down part of the bar, to the best of my knowledge, between the hour of six and seven o'clock.

Did you observe him in any other part of the house? - No.

Were you acquainted with his person before? - Very well.

You have no doubt but that is the man you saw in the house? - No, none at all; he was only making use of his hands, pulling down part of the bar.

Jury. What part of the house was you in when you saw the prisoner pulling down part of the bar, or was you outside of the house? - I was on the otherside in the street; part of the bar is opposite the door.

Could you see it distinctly? - Yes; the door was open and the window broke, so that the front of the house was all open.


I live in Dyot-street.

Was you on the 7th of June in Golden-lane? - I was in the house of Mr. Murphy when the mob came in.

Give an account of the manner in which the mob came in, and what they proceeded to do, and what you observed done by Chambers? - Chambers was not there, I think, till a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes after the mob came in. I had a pint of beer in my hand when the mob came in and enquire d for Mr. Murphy's books; when they had examined the books, I believe they went up stairs and examined them, they went away, and soon after returned again.

When did you first see Chambers? - About half after six, that was after the mob returned the second time.

In what part of the house did you see Chambers, and what did he do? - The first time I observed him, I saw him pulling down a part of the bar opposite the door; I saw him pulling down part of the window frames belonging to the tap room.

Did you observe him go into any other part of the house? - No.

Was Chamber's person known to you before? - Yes; we worked for one master four or five months together.

Jury. Was Chambers inside or outside of the house when he pulled down the window frame? - Inside; he came from pulling the bar down to break the window frame.

Cross Examination.

The prisoner came twenty minutes after the mob? - Yes.

What was the prisoner? - Servant to Mr. Dickenson, next door to Mr. Murphy's in Golden-lane.

Did you see Mr. Child there? - No.


I was ordered by Mr. Child to go and fetch a cask of spirituous liquors out of Mr. Murphy's house.

For the Prisoner.


I am a distiller.

Do you serve Mr. Murphy's house with spirituous liquors? - Yes.

At the time of the riot, I believe, you was there? - I was.

Did you apply to Mr. Dickenson, or any body, to send somebody there? - I saw things knocking to pieces; I went to Mr. Dickenson and saw him and Mr. Garrett his Clerk; I applied to Mr. Dickenson to let me have his men to get away these liquors. I first applied, I should have told you, to one or two of the mob; and begged they would let me have my things out of the house. They said yes. I gave them seven or eight shillings out of my pocket. I went to Mr. Dickenson's and desired to have some of his men to help to get these things out; three or four of them came; there were two half-hogsheads of liquor upon the scaffold above the bar; the pipes came through and down to the bar; Mr. Dickenson's men came, and they were

throwed off the scaffold, and Mr. Dickenson's men carried them away.

Do you remember the prisoner being one of them? - I do not remember him in particular.

I have been informed he is one of Mr. Dickenson's men? - When I went they were just beginning to pull the bar down; they stopped till I got my goods away.

Jury. Were they obliged to pull down any part of the bar? - They were obliged to pull some of the boards down; in their confusion I do not know whether they might not break some part of the bar.

Did you see Mr. Murphy? - I did not, I believe he was not in the house.

Court. Was you by while they removed the liquor? - Yes. I was as near as I am to these gentlemen.

Were they brought from the inside or outside of the bar? - Outside of the bar.

Did Murphy know you made this application to get your liquor? - Not that I know of; I did it voluntarily of my own will.


I am clerk to Mr. Dickenson. Mr. Child came into our brewhouse-yard in a great hurry. Mr. Dickenson and I were in the yard; he desired some of our men might go and assist him to get his liquor from the bar. I gave a general order to the people in the yard to go and assist him.

Did you give an order to the prisoner among the rest? - I gave a general order to him among the rest.


Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron PERRYN .

View as XML