ROBERT BLAKESLEY.
25th October 1841
Reference Numbert18411025-2607
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceDeath

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2607. ROBERT BLAKESLEY was indicted for the wilful murder of James Burden. He was also charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with the like offence.

MR. PAYNE conducted the Prosecution.

EDWARD BRISTOW (City police-constable, No. 569.) I know the prisoner—I saw him on the morning of Tuesday, the 21st of September—I had seen him four or five times before that—I was with him at six o'clock on Tuesday morning—he told me of his wife being detained at the King's Head public-house, Eastcheap, and asked me if I thought he could not demand to see her—I said I thought he could, and referred him to Sergeant Bradley—that was at three o'clock in the morning—at seven I went with him to the King's Head, and saw Mr. Burdon behind the bar—he keeps the King's Head—the prisoner said to him, "Now, James, I have come to demand my wife"—Mr. Burdon immediately said, "You had better go about your business, I think," or, "I think you had better go about your business"—Mr. Burdon immediately walked to the end of the bar, into the parlour—he returned again, and the prisoner asked him the same question again—Mr. Burdon said again, "I think you had better go about your business"—the prisoner turned to me and said, "Now, Bristow, you hear this"—I said, "Yes," and I told Mr. Burdon that the prisoner knew his wife was there, or that Mr. Burdon knew where she was—he said, "I know nothing whatever of him "(Blakesley)—I immediately said Blakesley intended to go before the Lord Mayor, to ask his advice on the subject, and I had come as a witness, and I intended to go with him—Mr. Burdon said again, "I know nothing whatever of him"—I said, "Am I to take that as an answer, as he says she is here, or you know where she is?"—he said again, "I know nothing whatever of him"—I then said, "We will go," and I and Blakesley went out—no other word passed between them—Blakesley had previously told me that he had been unfortunate in business, and his wife was kept there, and that his friends had not done what he anticipated for him.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Was it at three o'clock in the morning you saw him first? A. I had seen him in the night—he came to me about twelve o'clock, then left me, and came again at three in the morning, and I referred him to Sergeant Bradley—the third time I saw him was about seven, when we went to Mr. Burden's—I had seen him in the interval—I was with him from six to seven—I think I saw him between five and six, walking round the market—he had been up all night.

Q. I believe in the conversation you had with him he stated how exceedingly uncomfortable he was with the treatment he had received? A. He showed me a letter he had received from his wife—he did seem very uncomfortable, and said it was a very bad thing for a man to be parted from his wife—Mr. Burdon did not say he knew nothing of the wife, but that he knew nothing of Blakesley.

GEORGE HALLOWS . I am a hair-dresser, and live at No. 28, Lime-street. On Tuesday, the 21st of September, at half-past seven o'clock in the morning, the prisoner came to my shop—he stated to me that he was going to get a warrant against Mr. Burdon, who kept the King's Head Eastcheap, for detaining his property—he said it was a hard thing for a man to be kept from his wife, and his property detained from him—he said the property was at Seven Oaks—he said he had been to the King's

Head that morning at seven o'clock with a policeman from Leadenhall-market to legally demand his wife, that he saw Mr. Burdon, who said his wife was not there, and he did not know where she was, and the sooner he got out of the house the better—he said it was enough to drive any man mad—he said it once or twice over—he said the reason Mr. and Mrs. Burdon were against him was on account of his being unfortunate in business at Seven Oaks—I asked him if he was lawfully married to his wife—he said yes, he was, and that they had lived on the most affectionate terms that man and wife could live, for the short time they had been married.

Q. Did he say anything further on the subject of his interview with Mr. Burdon? A. He said if he had had anything in his hand he would have shot him—he then called me on one side, and told me he had got a letter which he had received from his wife, and he began to read it to me—from what I can recollect, it commenced with "Dear Bob."

Cross-examined by MR. BODKIN. Q. Of course he kept the letter you speak of? A. Yes—he might have read more of it than that, but I did not take notice, but it was to meet his wife at some place—I was flurried and surprised at his speaking to me in this way, as I had never seen him before to my knowledge—mine is an open shop, near the market—there were persons coming in and going out—he said all this in the public shop in the hearing of any body that came in—my shop is about a minute or two's walk from the King's Head—almost close to it.

COURT. Q. What did he come to your shop for? A. To be shaved.

MR. BODKIN. Q. Did you shave him? A. No, one of my young men did, but he spoke to me after he was shaved.

Q. Did it not appear to you that he was in a very uncomfortable state of mind? A. I cannot say so, because he spoke rationally to me—I understood what he said.

WILLIAM BKATTEN . I am a City police-constable. I know the prisoner—I saw him on Tuesday, the 21st of September, about half-past nine o'clock in the morning—he said, "Good morning," and so on—we were walking through Leadenhall-market—he said he had been to demand his wife—he did not say whether he had got his wife—he said they were going to tarn him out of the house—we were passing a butcher's shop at the time, and seeing a knife lying on a butcher's block, he said, "I think if I had had that in my hand I should have made use of it"—I replied, "Nonsense"—he said, "By G—I think I should"—he said he had not been to bed all night—we were together about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour—I saw him again about six o'clock that evening—I was going up Gracechurch-street—he crossed over to me and said, "How are you?" and asked me if I was going to stand half-a-pint of porter, or something of that sort—I said, "Yes, come on," and gave him some—I stopped with him till eight o'clock—he said he was going to see his old woman by and bye—I sat with him two hours, but I do not know that any thing particular occurred after that—he said he should see me next morning at half-past seven and make it all right, because I was answerable for the beer—he had previously mentioned to me about his wife being kept from him, but I do not recollect any thing that day particularly.

COURT. Q. You sat with him two hours, but nothing particular passed relating to his wife, except that he was going to see her? A. No, nothing more—I conversed with him about different things—there were several people in the room.

Q. Did he appear to converse rationally? A. he talked very well and seemed in good spirits—nothing appeared the matter with him.

JOHN CHARLES DAVIES . I am a cutler, and live in Aldgate, High-street. On the 21st of September, a few minutes before one o'clock in the day, a person, who I believe to be the prisoner, came into my father's shop, and wished to purchase a knife similar to those used by butchers—I showed him several—he selected one—I believe the prisoner to be the person, but not having seen him since, I could not positively swear it—I did not see him at the police office.

THOMAS QUINLAN . I am a private watchman. I was in Eastcheap on Tuesday night, the 21st of September—I went on duty at ten minutes before nine o'clock—I know the prisoner—I saw him that evening about a quarter to ten, sitting on a hamper, at the Crown wine-vaults, and as I came to the end of Philpot-lane, he came towards me from the wine-vaults—he said, "A fine night, watchman"—I said, "Yes"—his hands I were in his pocket when he came towards me—I saw nothing more of him till the clock struck ten—as I went towards the end of Philpot-lane—he said, "Watchman, will you be back in five minutes?—I said, "I believe I shall"—nothing more passed—I went by, and before I got to the end of Rood-lane, a boy ran after me from Eastcheap, and called me to the King's Head—I went there in about two minutes, and saw the deceased lying in front of the bar—he was not dead then, but I could not say whether he was dead or alive at the time—I ran out directly and told another officer at the end of Love-lane of it—I saw two ladies in the bar at the time I saw the deceased.

JAMES JARVIS . I am a porter in Fenchurch-street. On Tuesday night, the 21st of September, I was in the parlour at the King's Head public-house, and heard a scream from a female—I ran to the bar, and saw Mr. Burdon staggering, in the act of falling—he said something as he was falling—I understood him to say, "A doctor"—I was not aware that he was stabbed till I saw the blood on the floor—I remained with him till the doctor came—the police came in.

ELIZA BUBDON . I am the widow of the deceased—his name was James Burdon—he was thirty-eight years of age—he kept the King's Head public-house, in Eastcheap. On Tuesday night, the 21st of September, about five minutes after ten o'clock, I was sitting in the bar by the side of my sister—she is the prisoner's wife—my husband was sitting at the end of the bar with his back against the window, asleep—there was a table near him—I heard a quick step coming in, looked up, and saw the prisoner—he sprang at my sister, and stabbed her on the right side, saying at the time, "My wife, or her life"—he sprang forward when he used that expression, and stabbed her—I did not see what he had in his hand at the moment—after he had stabbed her he turned round and stabbed my husband, when he was asleep in his chair—I observed that he had a knife in his hand then—he then attempted to stab me—my sister prevented him—he then walked out of the bar very quickly with the knife streaming with blood in his hand—my sister and my husband followed him as far as bar-door—my husband reeled against a dresser, and I heard him say "What is the matter?"—the prisoner had got as far as the street-door then—he turned round with the knife streaming with blood in his hand, and looked at us—I thought he was coming back to stab us again—he came back half-way across the passage, threw the knife down, and went out of the

house—he looked again when be got as far as the street-door—he had the door in his hand—I never saw him again till now—my husband fell down—he was attended by Mr. Smith, a surgeon—he died, I think, in a moment—my husband had been sleeping, and had a silk handkerchief thrown over his face.

Cross-examined by MR. BODKIN. Q. Is that part which you call the passage a place people come in at who wish to be served with liquor? A. Yes—the room in which my husband, my sister, and I sat is on the inner side of the counter—a person coming into the house would have to walk down that part of the passage to the counter, and enter by a door there, and come up to where we were sitting—you can see over the counter from the inside—I did not see him as soon as he entered the front-door—he was inside the door when I first saw him—I had heard a footstep before—I did not directly look across the counter to see who it was—when I first saw him he was inside the bar—he had passed round the counter—from the moment I saw him my attention was directed to him—the table was not out in the bar—it stands at the window—it was between me and my husband—my sister was sitting near me—I had spoken to my husband after the clock struck ten—that was about five minutes before the prisoner came in—he was awake then—that was the last time I had looked at him—not half-a-minute elapsed from the entrance of the prisoner, and his stabbing my sister.

Q. From the time he came in till this was over, you were looking at him and your sister, I suppose, and not at your husband? A. Yes—I can solemnly swear my husband did not rise from his" seat—I was not looking at him at the time the prisoner stabbed my sister, but I tried to awake him, as I thought the prisoner was going to pick my sister up and carry her out of the bar—I had no idea he was going to stab her.

Q. If you did not look at your husband, how can you say he did not rise from his chair? A. I will swear solemnly he never rose from his chair—the prisoner threw the knife away in the passage which is on the outer side of the counter—it was found in the inner side—my sister went round, picked it up, and threw it inside, after she was stabbed—I have never said that before—I was never asked the question—I was told to give an account of all that passed, but was never asked about that—I am not quite confident whether he held the knife in his right or left hand—I did not see him make any attempt to inflict a wound on himself—my sister was between him and roe when he was going to stab me.

Q. Of course you cannot say whether at that time he might make an attempt to stab himself? A. I do not think it is at all likely.

DANIEL O'CONNELL . I live in Fenchurch-street. I was at the King's Head on the evening in question, and heard the shrieks of a female at the bar—I was in the parlour, which is a separate room from the bar, and about nine or ten yards from it—after hearing the shriek I went into the bar and saw the two females standing inside the bar—one was leaning over the bar, and Mrs. Burden was coming out after her husband—I saw the deceased just outside the bar, standing right against the bar-door, and in attempting to get into the bar again he fell back into my arms—the police came in very soon—I did not hear him utter a sentence—Jarvis stood by my side—Jarvis got into the bar before me.

JAMES RAW . I was pot-boy at the King's Head. I was in the tap-room and heard a scream—I ran out to see what was the matter, and saw

the prisoner running out of the door with a knife in his hand—he came back again, and tossed the knife down, outside the bar—I did not see which way he went—I fetched the doctor—I saw my master standing outside the bar.

CORNELIUS SMITH . I am a surgeon, and live in Gracechurch-street, I was called in on Tuesday night to the King's Head in Eastcheap—I got there at ten minutes after ten o'clock, and saw the deceased lying on hit back—he was not quite dead, he was dying—he died in about a minute—I examined him—he was wounded in the left side of his belly—the wound was an inch and a half long, and half-an-inch in breadth, across the abdo-men—it was a gaping wound—the intestines were protruding through the wound—the instrument had penetrated five inches, and went right into the cavity of the abdomen—that was the cause of his death—it was such a wound as a sharp knife would inflict.

JAMES BRADLEY (City police-sergeant, No. 502.) I was called into the King's Head on the night in question, about ten minutes after ten o'clock, and found a knife there which I produce—it was near the fender of the fire-place, within the bar—there was a good deal more blood on the knife than there is now—I went in search of the prisoner, but did not find him.

CORNELIUS SMITH (re-examined.) Such a knife as this would produce the wound.

JOHN CHARLES DAVIS re-examined. This is the same knife which I sold on the day in question to the person who I believe to be the prisoner—it is in the same state in which I sold it, but not in the state in which I usually sell knives—he requested that it might be sharpened at the back, and I did sharpen it at the back, as well as in front, before he took it away—I can swear it is the same knife—there was nobody in the shop at the time he bought it, but two men passed through the shop from the cellar, to go out to dinner—my brother was in a room at the back of the shop at work—he could be seen from the shop—I do not think he could be seen by the prisoner.

ROBERT DUNN . I am one of the Hertfordshire constabulary. I apprehended the prisoner, at Hitchin—I and Filgate were passing through the market-place, and saw the prisoner loitering about the market—Filgate, having previously seen him, mentioned the circumstance to me, and we watched him for some time—I at last went to him, and said, "It is a fine night"—he said he was almost mad—I asked if we could render him any assistance—he said, "You must take me"—I said, "What for?"—he said, "I suppose you have heard of the circumstance in London?"—I said, "I suppose you mean stabbing the landlord and your wife?"—he said, "Yes, stabbing the landlord and my wife"—I then, with the assistance of Filgate, took him to the station—he said he did not wish to say any more, and I said I did not wish to ask him any questions—during the time he was at the station he occasionally went to sleep, and on arousing up he would say, "Oh, that scream! oh, that scream! I think I hear it now!"—and he said, "I did not intend to kill either Mr. Burdon, or his wife; I did not intend to hurt them, or touch them at all; I intended kill my own wife, and then myself; and had not Burdon got up between me and my wife, he would not have been hurt at all; but after I stabbed my wife the first time, he got up, and the second thrust I intended for my wife took him"—I frequently cautioned him, and said, "You are not like an ignorant man, and of course know what you say I shall be obliged to repeat again"—this was about ten minutes to one o'clock, in the morning of the 26th of September.

(Witnesses for the Defence.)

JAMES BLAKESLEY . I am the prisoner's father, he is twenty-seven years of age—he has been brought up in my establishment in London—I am a Blackwell-hall factor—he had a very violent illness, when between four and five years old, from which he was not expected to recover—I observed a material effect produced on his constitution by that illness, so much so as to paralyse his limbs several times, at distinct periods—when he was recovering from the indisposition, he went down to the coast with my wife and family, and he would at times drop down, and his limbs be perfectly useless, and continue so for many hours—I can scarcely state, at this distance of time, at what intervals these attacks came on—he has not been subject to attacks in the limbs since he has grown up.

Q. He has grown out of that paralysis, but have you observed any effect produced on his mind, his intellect? A. We have ever considered and treated him so—his mother, his sisters, and in fact every body who knows him, considers so—he has been in a state which we considered as weak, and foolish in his remarks, and we could not get him to do as other children would do—we could not reason with him, we gave it up—we let him alone till his reason came to—in fact his reasoning faculties appeared at times to be completely gone—it remained so till he went to school, which was when he was between seven and eight years old—while he was at school I was sent for by the schoolmaster, to see how my son would stand by the wall when the other children were at play—I looked through the blind, and I saw him stand there for, I think, half-an-hour, while the children were all frolicsome and at play together—he left school, I think, as early as thirteen—he was brought up to my business, and lived with us—I have a paper with me, taken from my day-book, which proves his absence from business—it is from the day-book he entered goods in.

COURT. Q. You employed him to enter goods in your day-book? A. Yes, that was his occupation.

MR. BODKIN? Q. We cannot go into dates; but tell us any thing about his leaving your house? A. He has left my house very frequently, without giving us any kind of notice, or preparing himself in the slightest degree for a journey, and he has been gone ten days, a week, or fort-night together, at various times—there was no difference between him and the family, or any reason for his doing so—I believe no family could live in stronger union together, father, mother, and children.

Q. In what state has he appeared when he returned? A. Almost indescribable—his embarrassment of mind for a day or two would be awful in the extreme, and when he became composed, he would acknowledge he did not know what he was doing—I have reasoned with him quietly, knowing it was nothing but weakness—I have questioned him, and never could extract from him what he had done while he had been from home—he said, yes, he had been from home, and was very sorry, and would he very glad to be reinstated, which I am proud to say I have always done—I have never touched him in my life from his birth—he had a a pulpit-desk behind mine, in the warehouse, and at times, when I have come in, I have seen him agitated, some scores of times, with his eyes starting, and his lips quivering, and I have said, "Halloo, Robert! what are you about?"—he has looked and said, "Oh, papa! nothing particular"—I venture to say that has been so scores of times, for the last five

years—I can give no reason for that but what I have stated—he could not have been agitated in that way from any domestic feeling—there was always every attention paid to him, that he should never have question put to him at all at home—in 1835, or 1836, he attempted to make an arrangement for opening a brewhouse—he had not the least knowledge of that trade, or any means of carrying it on.

COURT. Q. Were you present when he entered into the contract? A. He never entered into a contract—I do not know it myself.

MR. BOUKIN. Q. Do you know any thing about his bargaining for a brewery, of your own knowledge? A. Not at all—I spoke to him on the subject, in consequence of a communication I had received—I understood from him that he had been making application to a gentleman for a loan of money, which brought the subject up, and I gave him a part of the money he had borrowed, to remit, to satisfy it—he had obtained a small sum, but nothing like the amount he had asked for—it was about 40l.—I do not, of my own knowledge, know any thing of his taking a place at Footscray, in Kent—in consequence of a communication, I asked him about it—I believe that was in 1838—he told me that he had abandoned the house he had taken at Footscray, in a few days—I asked why be went from home, and went into such extraordinary speculations, and he could not tell me he had any reason whatever—I spoke to him about the building an oven, manufacturing bread, and bringing it to London in a cart—I mentioned that to him, as having heard it—he said he was very sorry, he saw there was no hope of succeeding, and it was a matter he was mistaken in, in fact at no time could I extract from him any solid reason—I did not myself see the place at Footscray—he knew nothing of the business of a baker—he had no pecuniary means—in 1839 I remember Mr. Brooks, of Tottenham, making a communication to me—Mr. Brooks came to the warehouse, and asked for Mr. Blakesley—I said it was me—he said, "You are not the gentleman"—my son came in, and I said, "Is that the gentleman you wish to see?"—he said, "Yes, it is"—I said, "What is all this about?"—Mr. Brooks immediately replied, "This gentleman rented a stable of me to place some horses there belonging to the Cam-bridge coach," and he (Mr. B.) had come to London to understand why my son had not been there to make further arrangements—my son replied, "I never saw you in my life, I don't know you"—J said, "Robert, what now, what is the matter?"—he said, "I never had any thing at all to do with Mr. Brooks"—Mr. Brooks said, "Mr. Blakesley, I have known you many years, and my father before me, I will not make difference between father and son, I will go"—I said, "No, pray stop, and let me hear it"—my son adhered to his statement, that he knew nothing of Mr. Brooks, and Mr. Brooks went out of the house—on the 29th of April 1841, my son left my house, and never returned up to the present time—he passed me in the fore-court of my house, one evening—I could merely recognise his form in the darkness of the evening, and that is the only time I have seen him since the 29th of April—my house was open at all times to receive him—I ever promised I would always receive him—a communication was made to me by Mr. Burdon, about a supposed guardian of his, supposed to live at Enfield, but I have not seen him since to speak to him about it.

Q. Can you mention any other circumstance of singularity of manner? A. I can relate a case similar to what I have, of his going from home in April, 1839, and never being heard of for three weeks, and traversing

through the West of England, as I understood—he brought back a newspaper with him, showing that he had advertised for a situation as a farming-man, or any thing of that sort, and I had to pay his carriage from Exeter, by the mail, and he appeared in the most excited state of mind for days after, not at all rational—I imagine it is a strong guarantee that a father, having had so much experience, would if he could have entered into conversation with him about it, but I dared not.

MR. PAYNE. Q. Was your son ever subjected to any personal restraint on account of any supposed disease of the mind? A. Not at all, nor to any treatment on that account—I never supposed him at all vicious.

COURT. Q. He kept your day-book? A. He entered the goods in it.

Q. Did he do that to your satisfaction? A. He always considered himself under my guidance—it could not be otherwise than to my satisfaction—he made the entries quite correctly.

Q. Except at the times you mention, his absence, and so on, was his conversation rational? A. It was not, repeatedly it was not; I could not collect his meaning when he attempted to explain himself—when I asked him for an explanation of his conduct, and the way he had been going on—at other times, when living with his family, his conversation was rational—little aberrations of mind would drop in, but not such as I can relate—I always thought him very far from a strong mind—about five or six years since, I sent him into Somersetshire, on some particular business, and after being there about three days, when it ought to have taken him ten or twelve, to my astonishment I heard of his being at Birmingham—he had abandoned the object I had sent him for altogether, but, by way of a blind, to prevent my knowledge of his having been to Birmingham, he went back into Somersetshire to come back to London—I know that as a fact—I had sent him into Somersetshire for the purpose of extending commissions which I held for the sale of cloth, and for the purpose of opening new accounts—I entrusted him with money to pay his expenses—he did not require much—when a gentleman goes into that part of the country they generally receive him from house to house—he returned, having quite abandoned my objects; in fact, he did not open a single account, or extend one—I think that was in the year 1836.

Q. When you sent him into Somersetshire, in order to extend your business and open new accounts, you of course thought he was competent to do that? A. It was as much a disposition to let him see the necessity there was of paying attention to business, because I knew he would be kindly received, and to make a man of him—being twenty-one, I wished to introduce him, as a matter of course, but I certainly had more of hope in it than I had of the other—he is my only son now—I lost my eldest son when he was twenty years old—he left my house in April, 1841—that was before his marriage—there was no occasion for his leaving—I never heard either of his marriage or of the family till after it had taken place.

Q. From whom did you hear of the marriage? A. My son wrote to his mother, to say "I am married"—I have never seen him since till now, except one evening, when he passed my house.

ROBERT BELL WILLIAMS . I am a wine-merchant, and live in Suffolk-lane, City. I have been acquainted with the prisoner's family about eight or nine years—in 1839, at the instance of his friends, I went down to Footscray, in Kent—I found him there—he told me he had come there to open a baker's shop—I saw the house he had taken for that purpose—it was a gentleman's cottage, with a garden in front, and a carriage-drive

round it—he was not living at the house at that time, but at an inn in the village—the house was about three-quarters of a mile out of the village, and stood by itself—it was not a place in the least adapted for the business of a baker—I was shown the house—he was not with rue at the time I saw it—I spoke to him afterwards on the subject—I inquired of him what had been his motive in taking such a house to open a baker's shop in—his answer was, that he thought it very pretty—I afterwards walked up to the house with him, but did not go in—he admitted it was the house he had taken—I conversed and expostulated with him, for about two hours, on the folly of the proceeding—he seemed to have no knowledge of the process of making bread, beyond the fact of its being baked in the oven, and he said he had engaged a bricklayer to build an oven in the house for 20l., that he had obtained a loan from a gentleman in the City of 50l., which was his whole money to begin with he had spent 12l. already in expenses, and he proposed to bake bread, and carry it to London in a cart, for which he would hire horses from a livery-stable keeper in London—I endeavoured to show him the impossibility of carrying out such a scheme, even at the first step, on the money that should remain after he had paid for the oven, and I asked him if he had any further prospect of money—he acknowledged that he had none, save a promise from the same gentleman, that if this could be proved to be beneficially employed, he might then advance him as much more, and that this was to be returned in twelve or eighteen months—I can hardly remember now what he said when I remonstrated with him, but he seemed utterly insensible, and unable to apply my arguments—I asked him if he meant to get credit for flour—he said no, but he thought any one would supply him with flour who knew he was going to open a baker's shop—I asked if he had any means of getting customers, if he had any connexion—he said no, but any one would buy his bread if he drove from door to door, and said it was baked in the country—I was not able to induce him to abandon the scheme, or to make any impression—he did not appear in the least capable of comprehending my reasons—I understood from him that there was no furniture in the cottage; the only articles he had purchased were some knives and forks, and, I believe, a coal-scuttle, or something of the sort—he did not say any thing about how it was to be procured—I then left him, and came to London—he had been acquainted with me for years—I think he remained at Footscray two or three days after I left him, because I found he had written to his family, at the end of that period, from Dorking, having gone there from Footscray—I went to Dorking, and he bad gone to Hastings—I waited at Dorking till he returned there.

Q. Did he give any account of his reasons for going to Dorking and Hastings? A. To see if he could find a baker's business there—I learned from him that he had made an agreement with a baker at Dorking, to take his baker's business at a certain date, and give a deposit of 2l. or 3l.—he was then possessed of about 8l.—I strongly endeavoured to dissuade him from going on with that scheme—I succeeded so far as this, that he agreed to return home, and to give up his schemes, but on consideration that his father would endeavour to set him up in business in the country—I reported to his father all that passed—I afterwards saw the prisoner in town—I told him an unconditional submission was requisite to be received at home again, and that his father would not consent to set him up in business—the prisoner displayed a most violent degree of passion; his face became livid, and his

whole frame was convulsed—the paroxysm continued about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, the violent symptoms of it.

Q. You say he was convulsed, describe what you mean by that? A. A violent nervous irritation in his limbs, and he stamped most violently; although this took place in the street, he stamped on the pavement with the utmost rage, gnashed his teeth, and his face became livid with rage.

COURT. Q. He showed strong marks of passion and resentment? A. He did.

MR. BODKIN. A. What became of him after that? A. After endeavouring for two or three hours to bring him to a calmer state of mind, I left him; I should perhaps state that he used a number of threats of the most ridiculous description, in one case stating that he would endeavour to tell dog's-meat in the street, and the next moment threatening to hang himself on a lamp-post before his father's door, and a number of speeches of that sort.

Q. From the opportunities you have had for some year of observing him, did his conduct appear to you that of a rational person, or the reverse? A. Prior to the time I speak of, his conduct was usually sane, sufficiently sane; he was domestic and moral in his habits, apparently, and, from the opportunities I have had of seeing him with his family, he appeared to live on terms of the greatest affection with every member—that is down to the time I speak of—after that I have had no opportunity of observing.

COURT. Q. Before that time you had no reason to think there was any aberration of mind about him? A. No.

MR. BODKIN. Q. Did he appear to you a person of strong mind? A. Never.

MR. PAYNE. Q. What is the time you speak up to? A. October, 1839.

COURT. Q. Have you seen him since October, 1839? A. I have only seen him twice in the street, but never to speak to him since that period—I have continued my intercourse with the family—I have seen them elsewhere, but have not been to the house—I have not conversed with him since.

GUILTY . Aged 27.— DEATH .

Fourth Jury, before Mr. Baron Gurney.


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