Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 22 March 2023), January 1681 (16810117A).

Old Bailey Proceedings, 17th January 1681.


Which began on Monday the 17th of this Instant January, and ended on Tuesday the 18th following.

Giving an Account of most of the Remarkable Trials there, viz. For Murder, Fellonies and Burglaries, &c. with a particular Relation of their Names, and the places of their committing their Facts, with the number of those Condemned to die, Burn'd in the Hand, Transported and to be whipt.

But more particularly of the Trial and Gondemnation of Alice Wigginton , alias Wiggens, for Murdering a Child of about 12 or 14 years of Age, and in such a barbarous manner, that the like hath scarce been heard.

John Cooper and Richard Johnson were Indicted for the Murther of one Richard Washborne Gentleman , the circumstances as follow; the Prisoners being Sedanmen , had as they said, been carrying one Captain Lucy, and after having set him down, as they were going by Nortnumberland-House, in the Strand , on the first of December , they Jostelled the deceased against the Rails, whereupon he struck them with his Cain, saying, that since they undertook the work of Horses, they ought to keep the Horse-way, this began the Quarrel, after which they fell to Fighting, in which conflict the deceased was so wounded and bruised, that in thirteen days after he dyed, whereupon the Evidence being heard for both parties, the Jury brought them in Guilty of Manslaughter .

John Oliver a Frenchman, was Indicted for robbing one Alexander Man , at Chearing-Cross , on the first of January , the Prosecuter keeping a Coffe-House , the Prisoner came in and called for Coffe, staying there till he found an opportunity to get innto a Chamber where he got a Gold Ring, and several other things , which were taken about him, but for want of the Evidences being in Court he was discharged .

Thomas Wicks , was Arraigned and Tryed, for that he in the Company of a Fellow called little Anthony, and one Smith, broke open the House of one Thomas Legisman , living in the Strand , during the time that He and his Wife were at a Neighbours house at Supper, taking from thence a silk Petticoat laced with Gold and Silver Lace, vallued at four pounds, seven other Petticoats, Sheets, Scarfs, Hoods, and other wearing Apparel, a Necklace of Peerl, a Gold Meddal, and several other Goods, and nineteen pounds of money, in all, to the vallue of 100 pounds , being seen to come out of the House with the same. The Robbery was committed on the 19th of February last and the Prisoner after much Search, found in the Marshalsea Prison, his Plea was that he knew not any thing of the Robbery; but the Evidence being very positive, he was brought in Guilty .

John Swift , was Indicted for the Murther of Charles Jones , in the Savoy ; the manner of the Fact was thus, The Prisoner, the Deceased and another Gentleman being at Supper together, there arose a Quarrel betwixt the Prisoner and the Deceased, caused by the Deceased's Singing a Baudy Song under a Ladies Window which the Deceased did aggravate with many base words, so that the Prisoner desiring to avoid farther mischif, took his leave to go home to his Lodging, when as the Deceased geting from the Gentleman that held him, followed the Prisoner, who standing upon his defence had the ill hap to wound him under the right Pap, of which wound in a short time he dyed. So that upon the Evidence the Jury found that what was done, was for self Preservation, and thereupon returned it Se Defendendo .

Phillip Le-Merry was Indicted for being in a Burglary breaking open the House of James Holmes , on the 16th of June last, but refusing to Plead, the Executioner was called to tie him up and he ordered to the Press; but afterwards being perswaded by the Court and the Ordinary he consented to Plead, and Pleaded not guilty, but the Fellony and Burglary being proved against him by one Evans, who was confederate with him in the Robery, he was Cast.

James Dixon , was Indicted for a Fellony and Burgalary, for breaking open the House of Rose Hayes Widdow , near South-Town ; and taking thence one Watch vallued at Forty Shillings ; the manner thus, Three of them as supposed being in the Gang, the Prisoner broak open the Shutter of a Window and getting in, let in the other Two who being in the House, light a Candel and made a Fire, after which they went up Stairs and took a Suit of Cloathes off from a Fellow's Bed whilst he was in it; he not in the least feeling them and then putting out the Candel they departed; next Morning the Prisoner having been formerly a Servant to the Party robed was suspected, and upon inquiry after him he was found with the Suit of Cloathes upon his Back, and the Watch in the Room where he Lodged; he said, that he bought the Cloathes of a Traveller, but not being able to prove it, he was convicted of the Burglary.

Matthew Snowden , was Indicted for Robing the House of Peter Erazmus in Shadwell , on the 18th of November last, and stealing thence Linnen and other Goods to the vallue of 5 pounds, upon which Indictment he was found Guilty .

THe first we shall here give you an Account of, was one John Peetly , who was Indicted for Killing one Mr. John Gerrard , Nephew to a person of Quality, the manner thus, the deceased in the Company of several others, being upon the Ramble on the 10th past, about one of the Clock at night, went into Whetstones Park, wheregoing to the Prisoners house who kept an Alehouse, they knocked at the dore for entrance, but the people being in Bed, or at least pretending so to be, they could not have admittance; which so far transported them, that they began to break the Windows, and to throw lighted Links up at them, and as the Evidence for the Prisoner affirmed, one of them was thrown into a Closet, and set Fire, to a parcel of foul Linnen that was now produced in Court. at which the Prisoner took his Musquet charged with hail-Shot, and pursued them up great Queen-street, whereat Wildstreet end the Watch stopped them, and disarmed them, when the Prisoner coming up, discharged his piece, and shot the deceased in the Thigh; of which wound, in five hours he dyed: but the Prisoner alledging that the piece went off without his knowledge, he was acquitted.

Alice Wigington alias Wiggens , was Indicted, and Arraigned for whipping her Apprentice Girl to Death. she having in some nature offended her, either that she had taken some mony from her which was two or three shillings, as she pretended, or that she had spoiled some work that was the cause of her proceeding to this unusual Cruelty, She having got one Sadler a Bayliffs follower, that lodged in her house, to make a whip which they called a Cat with nine tails, some of the Witnesses did affirm that they whipped her with the same so cruelly, that the blood flowed from her in abundance, yet could not this nor the Childs lamentable cries retard her Cruelty, but to hinder the Neighbours from hearing her, she as 'tis said stopped her mouth, and still continued to whip her till she founded away as dead, and in a short time after, by reason of that barbarous usage dyed, whereupon the now Prisoner was apprehended, but the Man that was her Asistant fled, so that upon her Tryal she making but a bad defence, the Jury brought her in Guilty of Murther.

Catherine Young , and Jane Harding were found Guilty for stealing several parcels of Goods from a Gentlewoman in S. sepulchres Parish, as Linnen, Lace, and Silk part of which was found about them, and they both having been old Offenders, were brought in Guilty as aforesaid.

Thomas Underthrop , of the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields, was tryed for having Two Wives, to both which it was proved he had been lawfully Married, the former of which, viz. Elizabeth Toogood had been his Wife for several years here in London, but he leaving her about a year ago to ramble in the Country, courted one Dorothy Martin , in Wiltshire, whom he so far prevailed with as to get her consent to Marriage, by telling her that he was a Sarjeant at the Mace, and had a great Estate in London. In Court the latter Wife appeared against him only, but the other Marriage being proved he was found guilty.

Catherine Nevil was likewise Indicted for stealing several Parcels of Silk Linnen and Plate from a Gentleman in Holbourn, for which being apprehended she did confess that she had such goods, but that she did not steal them, but it being proved against her she was convicted of the Fellony.

Ann Ditcher , was Arraigned and Tryed for stealing a Campaign Coat, and Stuffs to the vallue of 40 shillings from one Mr. Horton in Drury-Lane, the things where she had sold them being discovered by a little Boy her Accomplice in the Theft, she alledged that they were delivered to her by a strange Man, but the Man being not then to be found, she was cast for the Fellony.

Ann Carter was Indicted, for breaking into the House of Magdaline Woof , in White-Chappel, and taking from her 10 or a 11 shillings in Money, and then went her ways, the Prosecutor having known the Prisoner formerly, durst not as she said interrupt her for fear she should cut her Throat, she being of a desperate Inclination to mischief, as appeared by her Behaviour at the Bar, upon which Evidence she was found Guilty of the Fellony and Burglary.

Blanch Thomas , was likewise tryed, for Robing her Master, viz. one William Palmer , in the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields, of 10 pounds, which she took from between the Mat and the Bed, of which she was suspected, by reason of her buying her Clothes and other things of a sudden; who no sooner being examined, but she confessed the Fact, nor did she deny it in Court, so that without any difficulty, she was found Guilty.

This Session, Mr. Doughty pleaded his Majesties Gracious Pardon upon his Knees for killing a Coach-man, about Three Sessions since in Old-Pallace-Yard.

John Bully a Jesuite or Popish-Priest, was called to the Bar, and his Indictment Read, but he making many great apollogies how he had been Tryed and acquitted in Lancashire, and that he was not prepared for his Defence, the Court was pleased to defer his Tryal till next Sessions.

There were in all 9 persons Received Sentance of Death, viz. 3 Men and 6 women, 10 burnt in the hand, and 5 to be whipt, and so concluded this Sessions.