Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 09 February 2023), July 1703, trial of Thomas Cook (t17030707-2).

Thomas Cook, Killing > murder, 7th July 1703.

Thomas Cook , the Prize-Player , called the Butcher of Gloucester, of the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields , was indicted for the Murther of John Cooper a Constable , on the 12 of May , in the first Year of Her Majesty's Reign, by giving him one mortal Wound with a Rapier, on the left Part of the Body, near the left Pap, of the depth of 3 Inches, of which he languished to the 16th, and then died . It appeared that a Warrant was issued by the Justices to the High Constable, for suppressing Vice and Immorality, in pursuance of Her Majesty's Proclamation for the same, who accordingly sent his Summons to the other Constables, who thereupon met together, and going into May-Fair, a Tumult arose, in which the Deceased was killed, and that the Prisoner afterwards fled into Ireland, and there made his Braggs of what he had done, for which he was there apprehended, and brought back to Chester, from thence removed, by Habeas Corpus, to London. The first Evidence deposed, That he and the Constables took up one Hawkins, who made his escape. Another Evidence deposed, That they took the Prisoner's Wife at the upper end of the Fair, but upon importunity they let her go, which coming to the Prisoner's Ear, he swore God damn his Blood that he would have the Blood of some of them before he came out of the Fair; and upon that shut up his House, and saw him follow the Constables into the Fair. Another Evidence deposed, That he saw the Prisoner with a Sword in his Hand drawn, and that the Mob, being about 30 Soldiers, and he got over a Bank, and stood in Defiance of the Constables, and hallowed, and threw Brick-bats at them, but the Deceased coming too near, they leapt off the Bank, and pursued the Constables to the Sheep-Penns; but the Deceased being hindmost, they overtook him by the Penns, and cut and wounded him, of which he died, and that the Prisoner was there, and was seen with a Sword in his Hand bloody, and afterwards with the Constable's Staff. Another Evidence declared, That when Mr. Cooper was killed, they had Information that it was done by the Prisoner, and that he and several others were going within three Days after, in order to apprehend him, and in their way to the Fair met him, which he perceiving, drew his Sword, made several Passes, and then waved it over his Head, and run into the Fair, and could never be found afterwards, tho' diligent search was made after him. The Surgeon deposed, That he had several Wounds, and that one of them went into his Heart, of which he died. Another Evidence deposed, That he kept a publick House in Dublin in Ireland, and said, That he was talking with a Man that taught a small Sword, and the Prisoner was there swearing, upon which he rebuked him for it, telling him there were some People in the House would take him up for it, and he said, Was there any of the reforming Dogs in Ireland, for, said he, we in London drive them, for, said he, at a Fair called May-Fair, there was a noise, and he went out to see, and said, that there was six Soldiers and himself, and that the Constables plaid their Parts with their Staves, and he made his: And farther said, that when the Man dropt, which proved to be the Deceased, he wipt his Sword, and put it up, and went away; and that he had several times heard him say the same, for he used very commonly to bragg of it. The Prisoner for his Defence said, That he was a wounded Man, and had plaid a Prize the 29th of April, and was so wounded, that it was not likely for him to be concerned in any such thing; as for the Woman that was taken up, he disowned her for his Wife, saying he never owned her, but that she was only his Bar-keeper, and that as soon as she came back, he shut up his House, and went to another House. But the Evidence was positive he was the Man, and that they saw him among the rest with his Sword drawn, and that he did wipe the Blood off of it, and that he was able to use his Sword within 3 Days after, when he resisted the Constable that went to apprehend him; the Jury thereupon found him guilty .

[Death. See summary.]