9th January 1799
Reference Numbert17990109-5
SentenceDeath > death and dissection

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84. JAMES EYRES was indicted for the wilful murder of Gabriel Franks , on the 16th of October .(George Fryer was challenged on the part of the Crown, and John Mitchell served in his room.)(The indictment was opened by Mr. Abbott.)

Mr. Solicitor General. May it please your Lordship. Gentlemen of the Jury. The prisoner at the bar stands indicted for the wilful murder of a person of the name of Gabriel Franks. Gentlemen, this unfortunate man lost his life in consequence of a very outrageous riot which took place on the 16th of October last, late in the evening. Probably, Gentlemen, you most of you know, that there has been established at Wapping an office, called the Marine Police-office, in order to prevent those depre

dations which have taken place on the River Thames, and for the purpose of bringing to justice persons who commit offences, particularly against the Act called the Bumboat Act. That office was, upon the 16th of October last, while the Magistrates were engaged there in business, I believe between eight and nine o'clock in the evening, attacked in a most violent manner by a very outrageons mob, throwing stones of a very large size, breaking windows and doors, and committing a considerable degree of outrage there, which made it absolutely necessary that they should be resisted. After some time, the mob being extremely great, a pistol was fired from the office, which occasioned their temporary dispersion, and then the Magistrates got out of the office, for the purpose of reading the Riot Act, to induce them finally to disperse. Gentlemen, the Riot Act was read, and while that was going on, one of the officers was slightly wounded. The discharge of pistols had occasioned the mob to retreat, and, I believe, for your perfect understanding of the subject, it will be necessary for me a little to describe to you the situation of the office, which is in a street probably known to you, Gentlemen, called Wapping High-street, that I understand is parallel to the River Thames; the office is on the side next the river; a little below the office, about twenty yards from the middle window, is a place on the same side of the street, which is called the Dung-wharf , and which goes down to the Thames; opposite the office, and arched way, which leads to a place called the Cooperage; these two places of course furnished an outlet for the mob; part of them retreated to a place called the Cooperage, another part to a place called the Dung-wharf: I do not understand that the mob which retreated to the Cooperage ever returned again, but those who retreated to the Dung-wharf were rallied again; and, in consequence of the further disturbance which that produced, this unfortunate man, Gabriel Franks , and also one of the rioters were killed. Gentlemen, I believe, according to the evidence which will be given to you, it will be found that Franks going towards the Dung-wharf, for the purpose of making observations upon the rioters, was, from the Dung-wharf, shot by some person; and, with respect to the prisoner, the charge against him consits of this not that any evidence can be offered to you that he discharged the pistol by which Franks was killed, but that he was an active man in the riot, encouraging and inciting it; and you will be told by the Court, that the law of this country is clearly this, that if you are engaged in one common purpose and design of a riotous and tumultuous nature, which must in all probability lead to consequences which may produce bodily harm to numbers of people, and perhaps to the death of some, all the persons who are engaged in such an undertaking, if death ensues, are guilty of the murder, because it is impossible, in cases of that description, to discover from whom very often the actual stroke of death comes; but if they are engaged in one common purpose, and that purpose of a nature which I think the witnesses will clearly shew you the object of the mob in this case was, and if one of the persons engaged in that purpose does kill a man, that that is murder, not only in the person who actually inflicted the wound of death, but upon all who are abetting, aiding, and assisting in the riot which produced the unfortunate circumstance, Gentlemen, I shall not trouble you with a detail of the particular circumstances; I shall only beg to call your attention to the situation of the spot, because it will be material for your rightly understanding the evidence that will be given to you. You will recollect, that the Marine Police-office is on the river side of the street, that the Dung-wharf is on the same side of the street, that it is about twenty yards below the office, that is, that it is about twenty yards from the centre window of the office; that that is an open spot leading down to the river, and consequently affording that sort of retreat to the mob which I have described, and that the evidence as it is stated to me, will prove to you decesively, that the shot by which Franks was killed came from the Dung-wharf. Gentlemen, unfortunately two persons have lost their lives in this outrageous riot; one of them was one of the rioters, who was killed shortly before the shot which killed Franks, the other was this unfortunate man Franks, who was shot in the manner that I have described. The witnesses will detail to you the circumstances; they will state to you what concern the prisoner Eyres had in the riot, where he was at the time this accident happened, what his situation was, how far he was a person aiding, encouraging, and abetting that riotous disturbance, which unfortunately produced the death of the man, for whose murder he now stands indicted.

HENRY LANG sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I am clerk at the Marine Police-office: On Tuesday, the 16th of October, about half past eight in the evening -

Q. At that time were the Magistrates come to the office? - A. Yes, Mr. Colquhoun and Mr. Heriot.

Q. Was there any business going forward in the office that evening, which drew any number of people together? - A.About half past eight on the 16th of October, two coal-heaver s and a watchman's boy were brought to the office, charged with a misdemeanor.

Q. What were the names of those people? - A. Charles Eyres, the brother of the prisoner, and another man; they were soon after convicted by the Magistrates of the misdemeanor; they were all adjudged to pay a penalty of forty shillings. After the conviction, other business was gone upon, part of the money was brought to me, and there was some objection to the payment of the money: about five minutes after that, I heard a great noise in the street, which kept increasing till it grew quite outrageous; Mr. Colquhoun then ordered the constable in waiting, Richard Perry, to go out with the other constables, to see what was the matter, and if it could not be otherwise quelled, to bring the rioters in. About five minutes after, they began to batter the outside shutters of the office windows, which were fastened; that continued with very great shouting, and vast uproar, till at last the violence became so excessive, that they destroyed the outside shutters, broke in the windows, and

the stones came into the office, large paving-stones; it was wholly impossible, during this violence, for the Magistrates to attempt to go out, it was unsafe; and after this had continued for a considerable time, I imagine from ten minutes to a quarter of an hour, I heard a pistol fired from the office.

Q. Do you happen to know who fired that pistol? - A. I did not see it fired. About five or ten minutes afterwards, the Magistrates were enabled to go out, though I thought attended with some danger, and they did go out, accompanied with their officers, and I heard the preamble of the Riot Act read by Mr. Colquhoun; just at that instant, he had hardly finished reading the Act, when Thomas Mitchell, and another of the Police-officers, came running up to me, and it appeared that his hand was wounded, his hand was then bleeding, and of my own knowledge I can say no more of it; then a requisition was sent to the Volunteer Association, to assist the Police.

Court. Q. In what situation was Franks at that time? - A. A labourer, working on board ships , and was in the employ of the office, but was not within the office at the time the riot commenced.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. Where Franks was at the beginning of the riot, you cannot possibly tell? - A. No.

Q. How long were the Magistrates out reading the Riot Act? - A. I suppose about two or three minutes; it was read in a very audible voice.

Q.Franks was a lumper, was not he? - A. Yes, a foreman lumper.

Q. Not a sworn constable? - A. No, but occasionally assisting at the office.

RICHARD PERRY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knowlys. I live at No. 5, Well-street; I am an officer belonging to the Police-office, Wapping.

Q. Were you the officer that had these persons in custody, for having coals in their possession? - A. Yes, I was.

Q. Was Charles Eyres one of those persons? - A. Yes, he was brother to the prisoner.

Q. After that charge was heard, what took place? - A. After the charge was heard, and they could not give the Magistrate a satisfactory account, two men and a boy were convicted, and adjudged to pay forty shillings each; Charles Eyres was one, and after they came out of the Magistrate's room, a friend of Charles Eyres came in to pay the forty shillings for him, he paid it into my hand, and, in a minute or two, there was a noise in the street; I opened the door to let Charles Eyers out, when there was a voice cried, you b-y long thief have you paid the money? I saw there was a riot going to be, and I shoved the door of the office to immediately: then there was another voice said, here goes for the forty; with that the fan-light of the door was instantly knocked all over me, I suppose with a stick, they could not have reached it without; I went into the Magistrate's room, and immediately the next light was beat, shutters and all, into the office, by large stones, I suppose twenty pounds weight, such stones as the streets were paved with; they then proceeded to the next light, that was beat in also with great stones.

Q. Was the street quiet at this time? - A. No, there was crying and shouting, and a great noise, and saying they would have the b-y Police-office down; they then proceeded to the third window, and beat that in also, and a large stone came in, which took me over the shoulder, and passed Mr. Colquhoun, the Magistrate.

Q. Did you feel yourself in danger at that time? - A. No doubt of it; I expected every man there would be murdered; I directly went and fired a pistol off out of the place where that large stone came in.

Q.Thinking it right to take that means to disperse the mob? - A. Yes, or else I judge we should have been murdered; I then said to the Magistrates, for God's sake, Gentlemen, let us go out of doors; Mr. Colquhoun then went out, and read the Riot Act; the stones were flying about at that time.

Q. Did any thing particular happen to any person while he was reading the Riot Act? - A. The moment it was done, I heard Mitchell, one of the officers, cry out, Oh Lord! Oh Lord! I saw him put his hand up.

Q. Did you see the deceased, Franks? - A. Yes; he desired me to give him a cutlass; I did not give him one, but I believe he had one by some means; we proceeded then towards the rioters.

Q.Whereabout was it that you perceived the people who were engaged in the riot? - A. By the Dung-wharf, about twenty yards, or there away.

Q. Is the Dung-wharf on the same side of the way as the office, or the opposite side? - A. The same side of the way.

Q. Lower down the river, or higher up towards the Tower? - A. Lower down the river; Franks and I walked ten yards, I suppose, looking at the mob, and then Frank's said, for God's sake, Perry, take care; he turned round, and, at that distance, I saw the flash of a pistol; I saw no more of Franks till I saw him at the Rose and Crown public-house.

Q. Did the pistol appear to be fired from the office, or any other quarter? - A. That pistol could not have been fired from the office, it was fired fronting to me, but it could not possibly come from the office.

Q. Did you hear any expressions made use of? - A. Yes, several horrid expressions, that they would kill all the people belonging to the office.

Q. Did you hear these sort of expressions more

than once? - A. Yes, several times, shouting and huzzaing, and making a very loud noise indeed.

Q. Was Franks known to be employed by the office? - A. Yes, he had been employed by the office some time.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. You are an officer-what had you been before? - A. I have kept a public-house, I keep a shop now.

Q.Probably the reason of that was, that your licence was taken away? - A. Yes, it was stopped.

Q.Upon what ground? - A. It was stopped at the time when a great number of public-houses were stopped for having liquor-shops, and selling spirits, they were called gin-shops.

Q. That was the only ground upon which it was stopped? - A. Yes; there were some other little circumstances, that a disorderly man was turned out, and he got away out of the office.

Q.Perhaps there might be some other little thing? - A. No.

Q. Has it not at all been said to you, I do not know with what propriety, that one of the shots from the office killed Franks? - A. I have not heard that said.

Q. You have not been charged with that at all? - A.No.

Q. How many pistols were fired from the office? - A. I cannot say, I believe there were more than one, two, or three.

Mr. Knowlys. Q. Franks was perfectly well after you had fired your pistol? - A. Yes, and was along with me.

Mr. Gurney. Q. Did you see any fire-arms in the mob? - A. No.

Q. Did you see any cutlasses in the mob? - A. No, I saw the stones coming.

Mr. Knowlys. Q. Was it so light, that if they had had pistols, you could have seen them? - A. No, it was dark.

BARTHOLOMEW PEACOCK sworn. - Examined by Mr. Abbott. Q. Did you know Gabriel Franks , the deceased? - A. Yes.

Q. When did you first see him on the 16th of October? - A. At the Rose and Crown; while I was there, I heard there was a riot at the Police-office; Franks and I, and Mr. Webb, the landlord, went towards the office; when we got there, we found a great number of persons aslembled, breaking the windows with large stones; we went to a side door, and knocked; Perry came to the door, and said, he had orders not to let any body in; Franks said to me, let us go amongst the mob, and see if we cannot pick out some of them; we then went towards the mob; as soon as we had passed the windows, a pistol was fired from the office window, and shot one of the rioters; we then went a little farther together; the rioters took the dead man upon their shoulders, and carried him towards the wharf.

Q. What did Franks and you do then? - A. There was one man particularly active, and Franks said, take notice of that man, while I go and get a cutlass; he then went towards the office, I remained opposite the Dung-wharf, on the other side of the street; about a minute after Franks had left me, I heard a pistol fired, and Franks cried out, that he was shot.

Q. In what direction was that pistol fired? - A. It appeared to me to be towards the office.

Q. Did you see Franks fall? - A. I did not.

Q. Did you hear any particular expressions made use of? - A. I heard one man call out for arms; I think the words were, bring the arms, and let us shoot all the b-s.

Q. Did you hear that expression before you heard the sound of the pistol? - A. Yes, Franks was with me at that time.

Q. What was the person, as far as you could judge of the man that Franks desired you to take notice of? - A. They were dressed a good deal alike, and it is impossible for me to recognize him; he was a tall man in a flannel jacket.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. You do not know all the officers of that office, and the persons belonging to it? - A. No.

Q.Perhaps a good many more of them for aught you can tell, were among the mob? - A. I cannot say.

Q. You know some of the officers? - A. Yes.

Q.Probably they had pistols? - A. I cannot say.

Q. You saw no fire-arms among the mob? - A. No.

Q. The weapons they made use of were stones? - A. Yes.

Court. Q. It was dark, was it not? - A.Very dark.

Mr. Gurney. Q. You could not distinctly hear the sound of the pistol, but it appeared to you to come from towards the office? - A. Yes.

Q. The Dung-wharf was between you and the office? - A. Yes.

Mr. Abbott. Q. What is the width of the street? - A. There is room for two coaches to pass.

Q. Was the sound loud, or how? - A. It was a very loud report.

Q. You did not see any of the officers interspersed among the mob? - A. No.

JOHN WEBB sworn. - Examined by Mr. Solicitor General. I keep the Rose and Crown public-house, Wapping, about thirty yards from the Police-office, or rather better: On the evening of the 16th of October, I was informed of the riot, I went out of doors, and saw a great mob in the street; they gave three huzzas, and began throwing great

against the window shutters of the Police-office; and in the space of about two minutes, I heard a report of a pistol near the end of the alley that leads up to the Marine Police-office door.

Q. The door is not in the street, but up an alley? - A. Yes. I then went just opposite the Marine Police-office, under a gateway, to one Mr. James's, and there I stood for a few minutes.

Q. Does that gateway lead to the Cooperage? - A. Yes. Then I saw a great many stones thrown against the windows, which were broke all to pieces; and I saw the flash of a pistol come through the hole that was broke in the Police-office window; I then heard there was a man shot dead; the mob still persisted in throwing stones against the window shutters; I went a little way below, and I saw a man close to me dead, apparently, on the ground; a tall man went into a shop and fetched a candle, and looked at the man, and he said to another of them, is that one of us; he said, yes; then says the other, get him on your back, which he did; I then went to a narrow passage just below the Dung-wharf, and while I stood there, I heard the report of another pistol apparently fired below the office, from where I was in the street.

Q. Did you see the flash of that pistol? - A. I saw just the light of it.

Q. Could you form a judgment from that, from whence it came? - A.No. As they were taking the dead man along upon their backs, I heard some of them say, d-n their eyes, we will go home and fetch some arms, and blow the office up; upon that I returned through the mob.

Q. Did you see them carrying this man before or after you saw the last pistol fired? - A. Before, about the space of a minute; I returned through the mob, and saw no more.

Q. Did you hear any thing said? - A. No more than that there was another man shot. I went home and found Gabriel Franks at my house, the shot, apparently, had gone through his body; Peacock and Franks and I had gone out of the house together, and just after the first pistol was fired, Franks took me by the arm, and said, Mr. Webb, you had better go home, for it is ten to one but they pick you out, as the officers use your house.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. You heard several pistols fired? - A.Three or four.

Q. The last pistol was fired about a minute after they had taken the rioter upon their backs? - A. Yes.

Q.Therefore, those persons could not have gone home and got arms? - A. No.

Q. The Dung-wharf was between you and the office? - A. Yes.

Q. How far were you from the Dung-wharf? - A.About one yard.

Q. The pistol was fired from towards the office? - A. Yes.

Q. You cannot tell, from the sound of a pistol, whether it is fired fifteen or twenty-five yards off? - A. No.

GABRIEL BUTTERWORTH sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I am a soldier; and occasionally work upon the Thames as a coal-heaver: On the 16th of October in the evening I went to Mr. Fox's public-house, I had just come from off duty, I went out to see for some work for the ensuing day; I heard that Charles Eyres was taken up for a misdemeanor; I went with Newman and Mason, they were going to pay the fine; I had not been there long before Newman and Mason, and then Charles Eyres came out; the prisoner said to his brother, Charles, d-n your long eyes, have you paid the money? to which Charles said, yes, I have; he took his brother by the collar, and dragged him towards the door, and said, come along, and we will have the money back, or else we will have the house down; shortly after that, in a very short space of time, there was a man in a blue coat began breaking the windows over the Police-office door with a stick; then the people began huzzaing and making a great noise, and took up stones, and began hammering the window shutters with the stones in their hands till the windows broke by the jar of the window shutters; shortly after, I saw one of the window shutters broke open; I saw the prisoner at the bar throwing stones like pavement stones into the Police-office; by this time there were two or three of the windows broke open in the front of the street by the violence of the rioters; I had not been there above a minute before I heard the report of fire-arms, and saw the flash from the Police-office; shortly after the first fire, there was another fire out of the one pair of stairs window; then I heard an expression from one of the rioters, d-n my eyes, there is a man killed; I grew alarmed, and went immediately across the street under the wall, thinking perhaps I might be shot; I looked to my left hand, and saw a man lying dead in the street; I saw the prisoner at the bar holding him up, and another man.

Q. Are you sure the prisoner at the bar was one of the men who was holding up that man who had been killed? - A. Yes; I went to see if I knew the deceased; I did not know him, because his face was so covered with blood; but the prisoner at the bar said, Butterworth, are you going away? yes, says I, I am.

Q. You were known to the prisoner, and him to you, before? - A. Yes, we were intimate acquaintances; I said, yes, I was going home, it was the fittest place for him and me too, we had no business there; he said, if I went away he would knock my brains out with a stone, he had three or four stones under his arm; and he said, who will

lay hold of my ammunition, meaning the stones, I believe, I did not see any other ammunition, says he, and I will help the man up, but who it was that carried the deceased away I cannot tell; I went away from the office then, as far as Execution-dock, which is but a short space.

Q. Did you leave the prisoner there? - A. Yes; but as to fire-arms being discharged in the street, there was no such thing while I was there.

Q. You speak of the situation of James Eyres, and another man by the man that was killed, and in that situation you left them; where did you go to at that time? - A. To Mr. George Fox's; when I got to Mr. Fox's I saw Charles Eyres there.

Q. Did you see any thing more of James Eyres that night? - A. No, not at all.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q.There was a great croud in the street? - A. Yes.

Q. It was a very narrow street, two coaches can hardly pass? - A. It is as much as they can.

Q. And the path-way is very narrow? - A. Yes.

Q. It was so crouded that a man could hardly get by? - A. Yes.

Q.You were walking through the mob, and then had an opportunity of seeing the rioters, and you saw no fire-arms? - A. No; after I was gone to Execution-dock I heard some pistols fired, but I cannot tell where they came from.

Q. But you saw none fired but from the office? - A. No.

Mr. Fielding. Q. How long was it before you arrived at Execution-dock after you had seen James Eyres , and this other man by the body? - A. Not a minute.

Q. At Execution-dock you heard the report of fire-arms? - A. Yes.

Q. But where that report came from you cannot immediately say? - A. No, I cannot.

ELIZABETH FORRESTER sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knowlys. I am the wife of George Forrester, I live in Gravel-lane: I was going towards the Police-office at the time of the riot.

Q. Do you know the prisoner, James Eyres ? - A. Yes, very well; I have known him a long time; I went to Mr. Webb's house with my husband, he had some money to receive of Perry, the officer; we had something to drink, and then we heard of the riot; Mr. Webb, and Franks the deceased, and another man, wanted to go out, and I said, no, I will go, they will not hurt a woman; I went out, and they were knocking against the shutters of the Police-office, and beating them to pieces, then there was a pistol fired; I was so frightened that I kept my bed for three weeks; and then some of them went away to the Dung-wharf, the others towards the Cooperage; the prisoner at the bar, with one Anty a coal-heaver, and a blacksmith, and a great many others, came up to the office, and said, let us have some more fun, we have not had our revenge yet, I will have the b-y Justices' heads off; then James Eyres, and Anty, and some more, struck against the window-shutters again, and they beat the windows all open, and then they ran towards the dung-wharf; and then Mr. Franks, that is dead, and Mr. Peacock, first went up, and Franks was not there a minute before I heard James Eyres say, fire, you b-r, fire; I do not know who it was said to; I tell the truth, I do not tell a lye.

Q. Was it said to a person in the mob, or in the office? - A. To a person in the mob; then Franks ran, and in about two yards he fell; I went up to him to look if he was shot, and they told me he was; then curiosity led me into the mob, and I went into the mob where the prisoner was, and many others, and there I saw a man lying dead upon the ground; James Eyres then said, d-n my eyes, here shall be a b-y murder this night, here is a man killed; I was then close at Eyres's shoulder; he then turned round to Anty the coal-heaver, and said, d-n your eyes, take him up; then there was another man wanted to go away, and James Eyres said to him, d-n your eyes, if you offer to go away I will knock you down; and he had some stones under his arm.

Q. Did you afterwards go to see Franks? - A. Yes; the men then went towards the Dung-wharf to get some hoop-sticks, and they broke them in half, and James Eyres said, they will be of no service to you; says he, take these, he held the dead man in one hand, and stooped and took up some stones with the other; James Eyres then said to Anty, d-n your eyes you are the strongest, you take him up, and then they carried the body towards Execution-dock; then one of them said, here is Branham, d-n his eyes, we have got him dead at last; Branham was a waterman, and belongs to the office.

Q. Did it turn out to be Branham? - A No, Mr. Branham is alive; the mob cleared then a little, and I went to see Franks, the doctor had got hold of him, with his finger in his back.

Q.Probing the wound? - A. Yes; I lent my husband a penknife to cut his clothes off.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. Which was killed first, the rioter or Franks? - A. That I cannot tell.

Q. Did you hear any exclamation that a man was killed before you heard that Franks was killed? - A. No; there was no man killed before Franks was shot.

Q. That you are certain of? - A. Yes.

Q. You had an opportunity of seeing, and therefore you must know whether any man was killed before Franks was shot? - A. No.

Q.Have you never said, that in your opinion, the same shot killed both Franks and the rioter? - A. I may have said so, I dare say I did; I saw them both dead at one time, and I heard but one pistol fired.

Q. Did you not state to the Justice, that it appeared to you, that they were both killed by one shot? - A. I dare say I did, and I think so now; I saw but one pistol; I am sure Franks was shot by that pistol, and I heard but one pistol fired, when I saw them both lie dead, and that was fired from the office.

Q. This was a dark night, was it not? - A. It was not a light night, but the lamps were lit; and when they broke the Police-office in, there was light enough came from there.

Q. You heard somebody say, here is Branham dead? - A. I dare say I did.

Q. Do you think you are more likely to remember things now than a week after the transaction happened? - A. No, I dare say I remembered better, I might not tell the Justice that, I do not know that I did.

Q. How many informations have you laid before the Magistrates? - A. None, nor I never was before a Magistrate before.

WILLIAM BLIZARD sworn. - Examined by Mr. Abbott. I am surgeon to the London Hospital; the deceased was brought to that hospital, and committed to my care on the night of the riot; I examined him, and found a wound on the right side of the breast; he was sinking very fast from internal bleeding, he was suffocating the blood leading to the lungs; he seemed in a dangerous situation to move him, and therefore I made no enquiry into the wound in his back; it appeared that his existence was likely to be very short; Mr. Headington, my brother surgeon, examined the body after his death, and he can speak particularly as to his situation.

Q. How long did he live? - A. I sent to Mr. Williams, the Magistrate, to receive an account from this man.

Q. Did Franks, the deceased, appear to be sensible of his own danger? - A. He did, and he particularly became much worse after I sent for Mr. Williams; however, he was collected, and capable of speaking, and I thought it my duty to take his declaration, having the honour to be a Magistrate for the Hamlets of the Tower.

Q. He seemed certain that his death was approaching? - A. Yes.

Mr. Gurney. Q. Was he at that time in a state of certainty that he was about to die? - A. I had no doubt of the event.

Q. Was the prisoner in a state of certainty of death? - A. I inferred it from him; when I mentioned to him taking his declaration, he said, oh, then I have but a little time to live; to which I made no answer.

Q. How long did he live afterwards? - A. Several days, much longer than I thought he would; Mr. Williams came just after I had taken the declaration of the deceased; I delivered the declaration to Mr. Williams.

R. WILLIAMS, Esq. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Abbott. I received the paper of Mr. Blizard, which I sent the next morning to Mr. Colquhoun, enclosed in a letter; I never saw it after.

Q.(To Mr. Blizard.) Did you ever see it afterwards? - A. No.

- HERIOT, Esq. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Abbott. I received the deposition of Franks, and when the Coroner sent for that deposition, I took a copy of it, and sent it to the Coroner, Mr. Walter; I kept a copy of it myself.

THOMAS WALTER , Esq. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Abbott. Q. Did you receive from Mr. Heriot a paper, purporting to be the declaration of Franks? - A. Yes; my clerk told me that he saw the original here last Sessions.

MAJOR WALTER sworn. - Examined by Mr. Abbott. I am clerk to my father; I was with him when he sat as Coroner upon the Inquest in this case; I received from him the original paper, purporting to be the declaration of the deceased.

Q. Is this the original paper? - A. No, this is a copy that I myself made: I saw the original at my father's, with the other depositions, all of which I afterwards brought here, and left at Mr. Shelton's office; I am certain that was among the other papers; the copy was left at the same time with him.

Mr. Shelton. I am looking over this bundle; the informations and depositions that are returned every Sessions, are put up in a bundle like this.

Court. Q. And can you say, that you have no others in your office? - A. I can.

Mr. Shelton. Here is the calendar of the papers that were returned, and the number in the calendar corresponds exactly with the number that are here now.

Q. Have you inspected your papers and books, to see whether the original deposition or declaration of the deceased is there? - A. I have, and it is not amongst them.

Mr. HEADINGTON sworn. - I examined the body after death.

Q. What sort of a wound did you find? - A. A small wound near the back bone, which passed through the lungs.

Q. By what was that wound given? - A. It is impossible for me to say, it was a ball to all appearance; I should imagine there were two balls, one came out between the third, and the other the fourth rib.

Q. And were those wounds the cause of his

death? - A.They were; the ball entered between the shoulders, near the back bone.

Q. Rather lower in the belly than behind? - A. No, rather higher.( Josiah Calmer and John Gibbon were called, but not appearing, their recognizances were ordered to be estrcated).

Prisoner's defence. I am innocent of the crime that is laid to my charge.

For the Prisoner.

GEORGE HALL sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a butcher at Wapping-wall, Shadwell.

Q. Do you know Elizabeth Forrester ? - A. I do.

Q. What is her character? - A. I believe a very infamous one.

Q. Is she a woman that you would believe upon her oath? - A. I should not, upon my oath.

Q. What is her general character? - A. A very bad one; I believe two-thirds of the parish would give evidence to the same effect.

Cross-examined by Mr. Fielding. Q. What sort of knowledge have you had of this poor woman? - A. She offered in our vestry to take a false oath against me, and I believe I got her husband dismissed from being headborough; upon my oath I have no enmity against her.

Q. This woman was, upon some occasion, about to give her oath against you? - A. Yes.

Mr. Gurney. Q. Is that the only reason why you have given her such a character? - A. The general character that she bears amongst her neighbours, is that of a very base one.

GEORGE FOX sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a coal undertaker, and overseer of Shadwell.

Q. Do you know Elizabeth Forrester ? - A. Yes, I know her very well; she bears as infamous a character, I believe, as any woman in the world; I am convinced she would as soon swear against any Gentlemen of the Jury, as against the man at the bar.

Q. Is she a woman you would believe upon her oath? - A. She is not.

WILLIAM MADDOCKS sworn. - I am an overseer of Shadwell.

Q. Do you know Elizabeth Forrester ? - A. I know her, but I should not have known her if I had met her; she lives in the next street to me.

JAMES NASH sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am an auctioneer and broker at Wapping-wall.

Q. What is her general character? - A. Not a very fair one; she is always wrangling among her neighbours.

Q. Have you sufficient knowledge of her to say, whether you would or not believer her upon her oath? - A. I believe, I should not.

PAUL JOHNSON sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a timber-merchant, in New Gravel-lane.

Q. Do you know Elizabeth Forrester ? - A. Yes.

Q. From your knowledge of her, would you believe her upon her oath? - A. I really would not.

ROBERT WOOD sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a coal undertaker, at Wapping-wall; I know Elizabeth Forrester .

Q. From your knowledge of her, would you believe her upon her oath? - A. I would not, not no person in the parish I believe would.

WILLIAM HOMAN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a tallow-chandler, at Wapping, and churchwarden of the parish.

Q. Do you know Elizabeth Forrester ? - A. Yes.

Q. Would you believe her upon her oath? - A. No, I would not, if she was to swear for an hour.

JAMES WATKINS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a butcher, at Wapping.

Q. Do you know Elizabeth Forrester ? - A. Yes.

Q. Would you believe her upon her oath? - A. I would not, if she were to take a hundred oaths.

The prisoner called Captain Palmer , and three serjeants of the third regiment of foot guards, and three other witnesses, who gave him a good character for humanity, good nature, and peaceable demeanour.

Q.(To Peacock). Can you tell what space of time elapsed between the rioter being shot that was carried from the Dung-wharf, and the time that Franks was shot? - A. About four or five minutes.

Q.(To Webb). You saw a man take up the dead rioter upon his back? - A. Yes, he carried him down Wapping, about twenty yards from the Dung-wharf; I do not know where he went afterwards.

Q. Did you take such notice of him, that you should have known him again if you had seen him afterwards? - A. I do not think I should.

Q.What time was there between that and the hearing the report of the pistol with which Franks was killed? - A. I cannot say any thing with respect to Franks being killed.

Q.(To Butterworth). You said that the prisoner said, I will help the deceased, that is, the dead rioter? - A. Yes.

Q. Where was he carried to? - A. I cannot say.

Q. How long after that did you hear the discharge of the second pistol? - A It might be three or four minutes.

Mr. Gurney. (To Lang). Q. I believe the prisoner came to the office a day or two afterwards, and voluntarily surrendered himself, without there being a warrant taken out for his apprehension? - A. Yes, he did. GUILTY Death.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice HEATH.


Mr. Recorder. James Eyres , Prisoner at the bar. You have been charged with the horrid and heinous crime of murder; by your plea you have denied the charge; the Jury, after a very patient and attentive hearing of your case, and of every circumstance which the humanity of a very learned Judge, and the ingenuity of an experienced and an able Advocate* could bring forward in your behalf, have found themselves bound by a duty which they owe to themselves, and which they likewise owe, in a case like the present, to the safety of the country, to pronounce you guilty.

*Mr. Gurney.

My task is a very painful one indeed, when it compels me to deliver to a fellow creature the most dreadful intelligence that can, perhaps, reach the ears of an individual, that his doom is fixed, and that an almost immediate separation of soul and body, is the necessary and inevitable consequence of a very profligate act of wickedness. - The very learned Judges, who preside over this tribunal, are satisfied with the verdict of the Jury; you must, therefore, immediately prepare to die for the great crime that you have committed. You have, prisoner, in breach of the peace, and in open violation of the laws of the land, in the pursuit of a very wicked purpose, namely, the demolition of the house in which the Magistrates administered the justice of the country, and the destruction of the Magistrates themselves, and that too after a very formal and legal notice to the party; you have been, I say, the wicked occasion of the loss to society of an innocent individual - I say the wicked occasion of the loss, because all persons who take an active part in a riot are answerable, by the sound policy of our law, for all the dreadful consequences which are most likely, and most unfortunately for you, in the late tumult and outrage, have ensued. Prisoner, - In a state of society, nothing promotes the real and solid happiness of the people so much as wholesome laws, and an uninterrupted administration of them; - the Magistrates, therefore, who are called into that often painful, but always very honourable service, must, of necessity, find protection against the outrages of the wicked and the profligate; they must find, I say, that protection in the strong arm, and the just vengeance of the law; a law which, I may truly say, is executed in this country in great mercy to individual delinquents, when mercy to individuals does not become cruelty to the public. My duty calls upon me, therefore, however painful the task may be, to declare, that in a case like the present, mercy to spare your life, would be to want mercy for the people at large, and to neglect the dearest interests of society. Prisoner, - As to your happiness, therefore, in the world to come, your crime seems to be so very malignant, that the limited understanding of man can scarce feel it to be within the reach of mercy; the religion, however, which we prosess, teaches us, that there are no bounds to the mercies of the Father of all mercies! - It may be, therefore, some consolation for you to learn, that your sufferings of body, and of mind, at the time of your execution; and the infamy and disgrace attached to a public exposition of your body after death, may, in the end, be found the means of expiating your crime, provided you apply at the Throne of Mercy for forgiveness with a contrite heart, full confession, and sincere repentance. I now pray God that your sad example may teach others to pause, to consider well before they engage in any illegal act of violence, which, tending to the destruction of the lives and properties of others, may, before they are at all sensible of their own danger, seal their own destruction, and their own final doom.

I pass now to the sentence which the law pronounces against all offenders of your description; I do award, and this Court doth adjudge, that you, James Eyres , the prisoner at the bar, be taken from hence to the place from whence you came, and from thence, on Monday next, to a place of execution; that there you be hanged by the neck until you are dead, and your body is afterwards to be dissected and anatomized , according to the statute in that case made and and provided. Prisoner, -The Lord have mercy upon your soul.

Prisoner. Amen. I hope he will.

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