13th September 1815
Reference Numbert18150913-1

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773. THOMAS BEDWORTH was indicted for the wilful murder of Elizabeth Beesmore on the 20th of June , 1815.

SARAH COLLIS. I was a lodger with the deceased, who lived in Short's-gardens, Drury-lane ; she was a married woman, and was married to John Beesmore, by whom she had several children. I knew her for the last fourteen years; for the last two years, she has cohabited with the prisoner. In consequence of a quarrel between the son of the deceased and the prisoner, relative to their cohabitation, it was agreed that the prisoner should take separate lodgings; which he accordingly did, in Queen-street. On Tuesday morning, the 20th of June, the prisoner at the bar called at the lodgings of the deceased, and inquired if she was at home. I told him, she was not; and he asked me if I would have some gin. We went to the Two Spies public-house, and while we were drinking there, he said, " it would be blood for blood."

Q. In allusion to what, was that - A. I understood it to be relating to the quarrel between the deceased's son, and himself; for there was ill blood between them. When we went over to the lodgings again, the deceased was come; and the prisoner being intoxicated, requested permission of the deceased to lie down on the bed, to sober himself, that he might go to work the next morning, and she gave him leave. He layed down, and in about half an hour, he got up, and asked for his razors, saying, Bet, I shall take them away, for fear of the boy; meaning a son of the deceased's. He remained in the room until five in the afternoon. We were then at tea, and he expressed a wish for some gin. I accordingly got a penny, and went for a pennyworth of gin, and mixed it with a basin of tea, which I gave him, and which he drank. After that, he took a knife out of his pocket, and threw it on the ground, damming it, and saying, it was of no use. He remained in the room a while longer, and then pulled out his pension ticket, and threw it into the fire. I snatched it out, and gave it to the deceased.

Q. What do you mean by his pension ticket - A. He had been a sailor; and this was the ticket by which he procured his pension. He remained in the room until a little after six o'clock; and then he took a penny, and went over the way for some gin, without his shoes; and returned immediately. Presently afterwards, he wanted to go home; and the deceased said, you had better stop a little, until it is dark, least you should see my son John. The prisoner then sat down behind the door, and he had something in his hand; and some blood fell from his hand. I did not know what it was that was in his hand. I told the deceased, (who was close to him working,) to mind that no blood fell on the work; she was working at Army work, making soldiers coats. She then went to the other end of the room; and he went out, and called her. She said, she would come presently; and he told her to come immediately, and he would not keep her a minute. She went, and after having been gone about ten minutes, she returned for a piece of lace to tie up his trowsers, which were loose, on account of his braces having been broken. I gave her the lace, together with a handkerchief of his; with which she went down stairs.

Q. Did you see her any more alive - A. No, I did not. When I saw her again, it was in about five minutes, at the foot of the kitchen stairs, with her feet up four steps, and her head on the stones. I lifted her up, and her head fell right back on my arm; it was only held to her body by a bit, (Here the witness explained the breadth of the integument, as equel to the length of the fore finger.) I immediately ran to the gate, and called murder.

Prisoner. She has foresworn herself. I never sat behind the door, nor ever had the razor in my hand.

Witness. I did not say he had the razor in his hand. I could not distinguish what was in his hand.

ANN WEBBER . I was a fellow lodger of the deceased's; I knew her while she lived with her husband, John Beesemore , and for the last two years and two months, she cohabited with the prisoner, At about half past six o'clock in the evening of the 20th of June, 1815, the prisoner came into the deceased's lodgings, and asked her permission to lie on the bed, to sober himself, in order that he might go to work the next morning. He layed down behind the bed for about two hours, and then he got up again, and wanted some gin. Mrs. Collins went, and got him some. In the evening he drank tea with us; and after he layed down, he was quise sober. He walked backwards and forwards, up and down the room several times, with something in his hand. He finally left the room at seven o'clock; he then called Mr. Beesemore, the deceased, out of the room, and said, he wanted to speak with her; she went to him; and came in directly. She went to him on the landing place, and then came back to go on with the loops of the jacket, which she was working. He called her again, and she went; and on returning again in about ten minutes; she took with her to him some lace and his handkerchief, and went back again.

Q. Did you ever see her alive again - A. No, I did not. The next time I saw her was in about five minutes, with her head on the stones, at the bottom of the stairs, her feet up four steps and her head early severed from her body.

Prisoner. She never was ten minutes out of the room with me during the whole night.

MR. CHARLES SMITHSON . I am the surgeon who examined the body of the deceased, upon being called in. When I saw her, there was a slight pulsation in her wrist; a very deep wound on her neck; the windpipe was divided; and the corotid arteries as well; she was perfectly dead; and I have no doubt that her death was occasioned by this wound.

FRANCIS THOMAS . I am clerk to the magistrates at Bow-street. The prisoner at the bar was examined there. (The paper put into his hands.) I took this confession from the mouth of the prisoner. It is signed by Mr. Nares, and signed by me, as subscribing witness, and countersigned by the prisoner at the bar with his mark.

"Who says on the 20th day of June last, about eleven or twelve o'clock in the forenoon he went to the apartment of the late Elizabeth Beesmore , who lived in a front room on a second floor in Short's Gardens, Drury Lane; where he saw the said Elizabeth Beesmore; but being very much intoxicated, she put him to bed, where he lay till between six and seven o'clock in the evening; she, the deceased giving him gin several times. The deceased took away his shoes to prevent his going out; but after being repeatedly asked for them she restored them to him, and he went down stairs, asking her to come with him, which she did, and when they came to a space between the kitchen and where the water-butt stands, he seized hold of her with his left hand; got her head under that arm, and with a shoemaker's knife which he brought from his own lodging for the purpose, cut her throat, and she dropped dead from him without making any noise, on which he ran away, taking the knife with him, which he threw away the next morning into the Regent's Canal."

Taken before me, on the day and year aforesaid,

Signed J. NARES.

Witness F. THOMAS.

Countersigned T. BEDWORTH, his X mark.

Q. Now, before he made that confession, was there any threat or promise held out to him - A. Certainly not. In fact he was advised to say nothing more.


First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Le Blanc.

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