9th January 1811
Reference Numbert18110109-31
VerdictGuilty; Guilty > manslaughter; Not Guilty
SentenceDeath; Imprisonment > newgate

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131. ANTONIO CORDOSA , SARAH BROWN alias SARAH GOTTS , and MARY ROGERS alias ELIZABETH MILLS , were indicted for the

wilful murder of Thomas Davies : and ANTONIO CORDOSA , and SARAH BROWN alias GOTTS stood charged upon the Coroner's Inquisition.

The case was stated by Mr. Gurney.

JAMES DAVIES . Q. I believe you are the brother of the deceased. - A. Yes, my brother's name was Thomas Davies . I was in company with him on the 12th of December, in the evening. We were in a house in Nightingale-lane, the Newcastle Arms; we went there in search of a young fellow; not finding him there, we saw a girl we knew; we drank some gin with her; we had three half-pints of gin, and we went to dancing there.

Q. How long did you remain there. - A. About a quarter of an hour.

Q. Did you in that room see the prisoner at the bar. - A. I saw Antonio sitting on the table in the box; my brother and I went out, and bid them good night. We walked up Nightingale-lane to the top of the rents, and turning round the corner we saw three girls, Mary Rogers , Sarah Brown , and the girl that is now outside of the door.

Q. Mary Rogers and Sarah Brown , are those two women at the bar. - A. Yes, on our turning round the corner, my brother went against one of these girls.

Q. Which girl. - A. Mary Rogers . She took her patten that she had in her hand and struck him on the head, in several places. Sarah Brown struck me with the umbrella. I said to Mary Brown ,

"take no notice of him, I fancy he is a little matter in liquor; if you are a mind to have any thing to drink, I will give it you." Her answer was,

"I'll kill the b - r." And she struck him with her pattens, and Sarah Brown struck me with an umbrella. I catched hold of Sarah Brown , pulled her out in the road by her habit-shirt, and took the umbrella from her. I hove the umbrella into the green-shop. Sarah Brown said,

"Antonio, why do not you go and call Antonio." When I let her go, she ran to the Newcastle Arms, and fetched Antonio out. Antonio, with her calling, came out with three men.

Q. Then four came out. - A. Yes.

Q. You are not certain whether Brown was with them. - A. No; Antonio and one man catched hold of me, and two men seized my brother; the one that I had in my left hand, I throwed him down. Antonio struck at me twice. I caught the blow on my left arm.

Q. Had Antonio any thing in his hand. - A. I could not tell.

Q. Did you strike him. - A. No, I threw Antonio down, and got away from him. I ran into the path; he immediately ran to my brother, and struck him in the back as he was rising up.

Q. How far were you from your brother and Antonio at the time that Antonio so struck him. - A. About four feet.

Q. Had Antonio any thing in his hand. - A. I could not see.

Q. Did either of the women prisoners do or say any thing during this. - A. Sarah Brown said,

"kill the b - r, do not leave a bit of life in him.

Q. Was that before he struck you. - A. After he struck me.

Q. Was it before he struck your brother. - A. I am not sure, it was during the time that Antonio and my brother were together.

Q. Was the other prisoner, Mary Rogers present at the time. - A. She was standing by. I did not hear her say any thing.

Q. Upon Antonio's striking your brother, what did your brother do. - A. He got up and about forty yards. He said,

"Oh Lord! Oh Lord!" and directly I followed my brother, and came up to him. I spoke to my brother, he never answered me. I did not know any thing what was the matter only by the fall. I took my brother up, and took him into surgeon King, there I saw the blood running out of his trousers.

Q. What became of your brother. - A. He died in about five minutes, and they put him into a shell.

Mr. Knapp. You are the brother of the unfortunate man that lost his life - how long had you been in the house. - A. Three quarters of an hour altogether; we drank three half-pints of gin between five of us. We were a little matter in liquor.

Q. What time of the night was it you went out. - A. It wanted a quarter to nine.

Q. This was in the month of December, it was dark, was it not. - A. I cannot tell, I could see, it was night.

Q. When you got into the street, you got talking to three girls of the town. - A. No; my brother went against one of the girls, and catched hold of her wrist.

Q. Afterwards there was a scuffle about the umbrella, between you and Sally Brown. - A. Yes; I took the umbrella from her, and hove it into the green-shop.

Q. When Antonio came out, there was a scuffle between you and him, and another person. - A. Yes.

Q. How long did that scuffle take place. - A. Not long.

Q. It was not until after that, that the injury complained of took place. - A. No.

Q. Was it upon that taking place that he ran, and it took place the injury. - A. Yes.

Q. Then there was not time for him to cool, he ran after your brother, and did the injury to him. - A. Yes.

Q. Were there many Portuguese. - A. I saw four come out of the house.

Q. And all the opportunity that you had of observing of it, was in the night. - A. Yes.

Q. Nightingale-lane is rather a dark lane. - A. Yes, there are very few lamps there.

Q. Now you say you were about four feet when this took place, from Antonio and your brother. - A. Yes.

Q. If the night was so dark, and the lane so badly lighted, might not another Portuguese sailor have done it as well as Antonio.

Court. Do you hear the question. - A. I saw Antonio strike at my brother, I did not see any of the rest.

Mr. Knapp. Do you mean to swear positively that it was Antonio and nobody else. - A. Yes.

Q. I will ask you again, whether you will venture to swear that it was done by him, or that it might not by done by any other. - A. By him.

Mr. Bolland. You told that gentleman you saw Antonio strike your brother. - A. Yes.

Q. Although the lane is badly lighted, were not there other lights. - A. Yes, there was a butcher's shop lighted up, this was right before it; there was a

light at the green-shop; it shewed a light in the street.

MARIA PICKFORD. A. I believe you are a servant at the Dundee Arms public-house. - A. Yes.

Q. On the night of the 12th of December, had you been out to deliver beer. - A. Yes.

Q. At about what hour were you returning from the delivery of beer. - A. About nine o'clock.

Q. Did you come by the end of Maudlin's rents. - A. I saw three girls there, the two prisoners and another girl.

Q. Did you see the last witness, and the brother of the deceased. - A. Yes, he shoved up against Sarah Brown , out of a joke like; the girls said very indecent words for his showing up against her. Sarah Brown struck one of them with the umbrella; the young man who was struck, took the umbrella from her, and swung her about till they both fell down in the kennel, she was undermost.

Q. Did that scene take place upon either this man or the other taking the umbrella. - A. I cannot say which; I saw it took.

Q. After that, did you hear Sarah Brown say any thing. - A. Yes; a little after nine o'clock, as soon as the umbrella was taken, she said to the other girls,

"fetch Antonio." She was got up, but she would not loose the young man. Sarah Brown stood by the two brothers. Mary Rogers went to fetch Antonio. Antonio came, and there were three or four more with him.

Q. Had you known Antonio before. - A. Yes, I had, he came to the public-house where I lived. I knew him well. When he came out, Sarah Brown said,

"that is the man that served me this, kill the English b - r, and leave no life in him."

Court. At that time did she point to any one. - A. Yes, she pointed to the deceased; the two brothers stood by the green-stall, close together.

Mr. Gurney. Upon her saying this, what did Antonio do. - A. He gave the deceased a blow some where by his back part, and struck him down on the middle of the road.

Q. Was that the first thing that you saw done by Antonio. - A. Yes, that was the first thing that he did after he came out of the public-house.

Q. How near were you standing to the deceased. - A. I don't think I was two yards; there was a light in the green-stall, and there was a butcher's next door to the green-stall, that was lighted, and it was a moonlight night, there was light enough altogether for me to see what passed.

Q. Have you any doubt that it was Antonio that struck the deceased. - A. It was Antonio.

Q. At the time that Antonio struck him, could you see whether he had any thing in his hand - A. He shook something out that glistened after he had struck him once, and then he struck him again.

Q. You say he struck the deceased down. After Antonio shook something out of his hand, what did he do. - A. Antonio was at the top of him, he fell on the top of him for the purpose.

Q. Did he fall on him before or after he shook something out. - A. He was on the top of him when he shook it out; he gave him a podge.

Q. What do you mean by a podge. - A. Like a stab; he did that somewhere upon his back. Antonio kept laying on him about five minutes, as night as I can recollect. After he got up, Sarah Brown said, that all English b - rs ought to be served the same. The deceased got up and ran. I thought he had escaped the blow, yet I saw something that glistened.

Q. You hoped, not withstanding what you had seen, he was not stabbed. - A. Yes; but when I heard he was dead, I knew it was no one else; in about ten minutes afterwards I heard he was a dead man, I went to the doctor's shop, I saw him lying upon the floor.

Q. At the time you saw this take place, was John I'ons there, - A. Yes, that is my master; he went into the house to get some men to come to his assistance. I stopped there, and when he returned, I pointed out to my master that it was Antonio.

Mr. Knapp. So Antonio, upon the other prisoner making use of the expression, immediately came out of the public-house and went to the deceased. - A. Yes, I am certain of that, and three or four men came out with him. I did not know none of them. I did not see any of them meddle with him, but Antonio.

Q. Was there any scuffle with any of the other men. A. No, not as I saw.

Q. And you must have seen it if it had taken place. - A. Yes, I must.

Q. Therefore, if any one, Thomas Davis , the poor fellow that is gone or the brother had any scuffle with any of the other men, you must have seen it. - A. Yes, I must, I did not.

Q. Your expression was, that he fell upon him: might not Antonio be tripped up, and have fell on him - A. He fell purposely on him.

Q. Upon your solemn oath, might not Antonio, by scuffling with the man, tumble down. Take your time, remember this man's life is at stake. - A. I saw no scuffle, all the scuffling was on the other side of the street, people running backwards and forwards.

Q. Did you see the brother of the deceased there that night when this took place - A. Yes. When Antonio was called out of the public-house, the brother and the deceased stood together

Q. Did Antonio say or do any thing to the brother, or any of the men that came out with him, scuffle at all with the brother. - A. No, somebody gave the brother a blow, but who it was I cannot tell - it was not Antonio.

Q. Was that blow given to the brother that is here, before Antonio struck the deceased. - A. Yes, Antonia laid hold of the deceased and threw him down; this brother was not thrown down; the brother struck the man again, and the man ran away somewhere; he did not fall.

Q. That was before Antonio went up to the deceased. - A. Antonio went up to the deceased the same time.

JOHN I'ONS. Q. I believe your mother keeps the Dundee Arms. - A. She does; it is in the parish of St. Botolph, without Aldgate, in Middlesex. On the 12th of December I was in my mother's house; in consequence of an alarm, I went out in the street. I saw some men and women scuffling together, who they were I cannot say. The girls were apparently fighting with the men, and the men were endeavouring to keep them off. I now recollect the person of Brown,

she was one. I was giving directions to the other servant, not the one that is here, to put up the shutters. While I was doing that, a girl was pushed into the kennel; she got up again, and ran after the man, that is Brown; she began fighting with the man, when she got to him - I am pretty confident it was the deceased. The deceased laid hold of her (this was while she was clawing him), and said,

"if you do not leave me alone, I must push you into the kennel again." She twisted her hands from him, and began clawing him again. He immediately pushed her down into the kennel, and came himself down also. The girl immediately cried out,

"Antonio," while on the ground. - One of the girls that stood on the pavement, ran to the door of the Newcastle Arms, and called out Antonio. Three or four men came from the Newcastle Arms. I cannot say whether Antonio came or no; to the girl had got up, and got on the pavement again. In the mean time the men from the Newcastle Arms, made to the girl, and the man, which I firmly believe to be the deceased. I heard a voice say this is him. The men that came from the Newcastle Arms immediately seized the deceased, and dragged him from the pavement into the middle of the street - they knocked him down, or pulled him down, I cannot say which. I immediately ran into my own house to get assistance, for the man that was down, when I returned, I heard that the man had been stabbed, and was gone to the doctor's.

Q. Did you see your servant Pickford there. - A. I did not. I ran after the man to the surgeons.

Q. Did you hear or see Brown do or say any thing. - A. I did not.

Q. What sort of a night was it. - Q. A moon-light night. There was a butcher's shop next door to my house, lighted, I believe, by a lamp; and the next to that is a greenshop, and I believe there is one candle generally used in the window.

Q. How many persons came out of the Newcastle Arms. - A. Three or four persons.

Q. Were there many persons in the street. - A. When I first went from my mother's, I suppose there were six or seven, one was Mr. Staples, the others were strangers to me.

Q. How far was the place where the girl was thrown down, and the man fell down, how far is that from the Newcastle Arms. - A. Not above ten yards.

Q. Was the noise or the scuffle at that place, so that they could hear it the Newcastle Arms. - A. I should suppose so.

Q. You say they had been fighting and scuffling with the girls. - A. Yes, about one minute before the girl was pushed into the kennel.

Q. Did you see the brother of the deceased engaged in the scuffle. - A. I did not see him at all.

SARAH ROWELL. I live with my mother at No. 5, Greenwood-court, Nightingale-lane.

Q. Were you, on the evening of the 12th of December, in Nightingale-lane. - A. Yes, I was going past. I heard a noise where the fire was. I saw four or five Portuguese.

Q. Did you know any of them. - A. Yes, Antonio. I had known Antonio about two years. Antonio had hold of the young fellow; there were four or five had the young fellow down. I never saw the young fellow before, that was down; he was down in the middle of the road. He went to get up, and they knocked him down again.

Q. Which of them was it that knocked him down again. - A. Antonio; I was about two yards from them, on the other side of the way; I then got to the opposite side of the way. I got nearer to them. I saw the weapon in his hand. Antonio made a stab at his back, and to the best of my knowledge he struck him with what he had in his hand. The young fellow got up, and ran some yards, and cried,

"Oh Lord, brother, I am killed!" and fell

Q. Are you certain sure that Antonio is the man that struck him with the weapon that you have described. - A. Yes.

Q. Was the other men near Antonio. - A. Yes; I am perfectly sure that Antonio was the man that did it.

Q. Did you see any girls there at the time. - A. Yes, two. I know one Sarah Brown , the prisoner. I heard her say,

"kill the English b - r, leave no life in him." The man was upon the deceased at the time that she said that.

HENRY STAPLES . Q. I believe your father lives in Nightingale-lane. - A. Yes, directly opposite where this happened; my father's shop is an open shop, and lighted with two glass lamps, and a candle that goes up the middle of them. I was at my father's door, the shutters were up all but one.

Q. Did your shop throw any light upon the street. - A. I do not think it did.

Q. What sort of a night was it. - A. A moon-light night, and a sky over the moon, when this happened. I observed a mob. I saw a man stabbed upon his shoulder. I do not know who that man was.

Q. Was the prisoner Antonio there. - A. Yes, he was: it was about nine o'clock in the evening.

Q. Were you standing there the whole of the time. - A. No.

Q. What did you first see. - A. A mob; the prisoners were there; they were quarrelling with the deceased and his brother; there were three girls there, they were quarrelling with the deceased. I heard one of them say,

"kill the Englished b - r, do not leave any life in his body." That was when Antonio had collar'd him - I saw him collar him.

Q. What became of the deceased. - A. He ran directly, and said,

"I am stabbed." Then I ran in doors to tell my father. I afterwards saw the deceased in the doctor's shop: he was dead when I saw him.

Mr. Knapp. The light that we have heard so much talk of were two candles, and the shutters all up but one, what happened previous between these persons, except the scuffling, you do not know. - A. No.

Court. You say you saw Antonio there, and you say that he collar'd the deceased - A. Yes, he did, that was the first thing I saw done after they came out.

Q. Did either of them fall. - A. That I did not see, I was standing at the door.

Q. Where were they when you saw the man stabbed. - A. They were in the road then, that was a very little while after I saw them on the pavement.

Q. Did you see any of them go into the middle of the road. - A. They pulled the deceased into the road, the Portuguese did; Antonio was one of them.

Q. Did any body fall on the ground in the middle of the road. - A. Not as I saw.

Q. Then you say you saw somebody stabbed. - A. Yes.

Q. Was the prisoner standing up at the time. - A. That I do not know, the deceased was lying down I believe.

Q. Just now you said he was standing up. - A. He was lying down, I did not see him fall down; the man that stabbed him was standing up.

Q. Did you see him standing up. - A. He was standing behind him, leaning over to stab him in the back. I saw him stab him. I did not see where he took any thing from; I saw some sort of an instrument in his hand.

Q. Did you see the instrument. - A. I did not.

Q. Did you see that he had any thing in his hand, or did you only see his hand move. - A. I judged that he stabbed him in the back.

Q. Did you see any instrument. - A. I could not describe what instrument it was, I only saw his hand at his back.

Q. Did you not see whether he had any thing in his hand or not. - A. No.

Q. You so far noticed Antonio come up to the pavement and collared him, and gave a blow, could you see whether it was him that gave him the stab. - A. I cannot say whether it was the same man that collar'd him or not.

JOHN THOMAS . I am an assistant to Mr. King, Burr-street. Mr. King was confined at the time, he could not see the patient himself.

Q. Was the deceased brought to your house. - A. Yes. I took papers out of his pocket. I now knew who he was. I examined him; I found a wound on his back; he had a great loss of blood. The wound was between the shoulder-blade and the spine. I have not the least doubt that his death was from the wound. He died in about two minutes; I examined the body afterwards by opening it. I found the instrument which had penetrated to touch between the ribs into the left lobe of the lungs, the wound was six inches long, and the width of half an inch; it had been done with a flat instrument, probably a knife. Bleeding internally was the cause of his death.

Q. Was the primary cause of his death the wound. - A. Yes.

EMANUEL MERCURY. I am a Thames police-officer. In consequence of information, I apprehended Cardosa and Sarah Brown , about a quarter after nine on the 12th of December, at No. 17. Cable Place, St: George's. Cardoza was in his shirt at his lodgings. Sarah Brown had undressed herself, the clothes that she had on were all mangled with mud, and on the right shoulder of Cardosa's jacket there was some mud rather clammy. When I took him he said I never carry a knife.

Cardosa's defence. I am not guilty, all the witnesses have sworn false against me.

Brown's defence. This young woman and me, and another that is out of doors, asked me to go to the public-house; we stopped there, and had something to drink, along with a young man. When I went out I missed Mary, I had stopped to speak to a young man. I called her several times. I went in again, I asked if Mary Rogers was come in there, the answer was no. I ran up the street and saw Mary Rogers having a bustle with this young man and his brother; he catched hold of her breast. I said do no strike her, strike me; I put the umbrella to him; and did not strike him; they rolled me down in the mud and kicked me, and took the umbrella out of my hand. When I got up, I said if there was an officer I would give charge of them, they then knocked me in the mud again.

Rogers was not put on her defence.

Cardosa called three witnesses who gave him a good character.



Confined one year in Newgate .


First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Le Blanc.

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