10th September 1783
Reference Numbert17830910-28
VerdictNot Guilty

Related Material

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

623. NICHOLAS BONNICK was indicted for returning from transportation, and being found at large on the 1st of September last, without any lawful cause .

(The Record read as before.)

JOHN OWEN sworn.

(Produces the certificate under the act of parliment to the clerk of the peace.)


Did you see Mr. Vaughan, the clerk of the peace, for the city and liberty of Westminster, sign that certificate? - I did.

That is his hand writing? - It is.

(The Certificate read.)

Court to Owen. Do you recollect the prisoner at the bar? - Yes, he was brought in December sessions from Westminster.

Was he the person that was tried under that record? - Yes, I delivered him on board the hulks the 11th of January.

You was not at Westminster at the time he was tried? - No.

You do not know that he was the man that was tried there? - I know he was the man that came with that order? - This was the man that you received under that order? - Yes.

That was brought down from Westminster, by an order granted on that conviction? - Yes.

Court. Is nobody here to shew that he was the person that was convicted at that sessions?

Mr. Chetwood. Somebody was tried, he must be identified.

Nobody appearing that was present at the time of the trial, the prisoner was ACQUITTED .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. DEPUTY RECORDER.

Court to Prisoner. Are you the same man that was tried at Westminster, and brought down here? - Yes.

Court. Then he must be continued under safe custody, and at the next sessions, for the city of Westminster, be taken before the Justices there, and his person identified.

The trials being finished, the twenty-four capital convicts for returning from transportation, on board the Swift, were called to the bar, in two companies, when Mr. Deputy RECORDER, addressed the following eleven in these words:

Christopher Trusty , Abraham Hyam , William Matthews , Thomas Millington , William Blatherhorn , John Murphy , Nathaniel Collier , William Combes , Andrew Dickson , Joseph Pentecross , and George Nash .

You the several prisoners at the bar, have been convicted of returning, and being found at large, after the sentence, and within the period of your respective terms of transportation, this is an offence, which in ordinary instances the law punishes with death, and is in your cases attended with peculiar circumstances of aggravation; it is not the offence of a single person quietly endeavouring to elude the laws of his country, and to set himself at large, but the violent combination of numbers to arise on the Captain, to take possession of the ship by violence, and to set themselves at liberty; offences thus aggravated may call for an exemplary and speedy punishment, and the interval allowed you between pronouncing your sentence, and the execution of it may be very limited: You will do well, therefore, immediately to awaken in your hearts those dispositions, which are best calculated to obtain the favour of the Almighty, to turn immediately from an offended and an unforgiving world, to a Being infinitely just, and infinitely merciful, with the recollection however, that his mercy can only be obtained by a just sense of your faults, which is the surest and most sincere ground of true repentance: You will reflect that you will soon appear before one, to whom all hearts are open, and from whom no secrets are hid; at a triburnal that judges from the hidden motives of the heart, and not as human judicatures, from actions and open effects of them! Your repentence and contriction, therefore, must be sincere, with the wish that you may employ the short remains of life, that will be left you to the obtaining everlasting Salvation; the Court pronounces the dreadful sentence of the law upon you; the sentence of the law is, and this Court doth adjudge, that you be respectively hanged by the necks until: your are dead: And may God have mercy upon your souls!

The following thirteen returned transports were brought to the bar, and sentence passed on them, by Mr. Deputy RECORDER, in the following words:

Charles Thomas , David Hart , John White , Samuel Read , David Kilpack , John Kellan , otherwise John Herbert Keeling, Thomas Briant , John Birch , Charles Wilson , William Bradbury , John Welch , Richard Partridge , and Charles Keeling .

You, the several prisoners at the bar, have been tried and found guilty, of returning and being found at large after your sentence, and within the terms of your respective transportations; your offences have been attended with very singular, and with very aggravated circumstances, and as they may call for sudden and for speedy justice, the Court have thought it right to single you from the rest of the convicts, and not to defer pronouncing your sentence till the day of the goal delivery; but as your executions may be sudden, to give you as early and as long a time for preparation, as is within the power of this Court; the rest will depend upon his Majesty's mercy. You will consider, that the faults of some of you, are very considerably increased, from your having experienced that mercy already, as the sentence of transportation itself, to some of you, who were capitally

convicted, was rather a condition of that mercy, than a mode of punishment: You will consider likewise, that it is not the offence of a single individual, but the offence of numbers who have violently arisen upon the Captain, taken possession of the ship, and in defiance of the laws of their country, and in elusion of its executive justice, have set themselves at liberty: Under these circumstances therefore, it is more than probable, that his Majesty's pleasure for your execution, will be very shortly notified; it behoves you therefore to improve the short interval that is left you, and having forfeited the peace of the world, to obtain the peace of the Almighty: You will remember however, that that peace is to be obtained only by sincere repentance, contrition, and prayers, and that these have no efficacy, unless they are founded upon a just, and in this instance, the deepest sense of guilt. With a recommendation to you, to awaken and confirm in yourselves those dispositions, which are most likely to obtain the pardon of an all just, and an all-merciful Deity, the Court pronounces the dreadful sentence of the law upon you. The sentence of the law is, and this Court doth adjudge, that you be respectively hanged by the necks until you are dead, and may God have mercy upon your souls!

View as XML