Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 26 March 2023), January 1720, trial of Thomas Watkins (t17200115-46).

Thomas Watkins, Killing > murder, 15th January 1720.

Thomas Watkins , of St. Margarets Westminster , was indicted for the Murder of John Davis , by striking, kicking and Bruising of him on the Side, on the 16th of November last, of which he languished till the 9th of December following and then died . He was indicted a second time on the Coroner's Inquest. The Evidence for the King deposed, that two Men called out one Williams (the Prisoner's Journeyman) about 7 a Clock in the Morning to drink, and that about two or three in the Afternoon the said Williams came up again and ask'd the Deceased to go down to drink, and went down again himself; that the Deceased going down Stairs to them. his Master (the Prisoner) met him about the middle of them, and ask'd the Deceased where he was going, who answered him, down to drink with Mr. Williams; that the Prisoner bid him go up and mind his Business, and told him that he should not go; and the Deceased said he would not go; that the Deceased went up,and the Prisoner followed him, beat him, kickt him with the Heel of his Shoe, and thrust him down Stairs; that the Deceased cry'd out, Lord Bless you, Master, for Jesus Christ's sake have Mercy upon me. That the Prisoner's Wife desired him to let the Deceased alone, saying he would hurt himself more than his Apprentice, whom she would not have workt any more that Night; but he told her that there were some Shoes that must be done, or else his Master would beat him again. That he workt about a Week after, and then went home to his Mother; that he was Blooded the same Night he went to his Mother's, and again the next Day, when he said that his Master had beat him, thrown him down Stairs. pusht him in the side, and said, that if he died his Master was the Occasion of his Death, and desired his Mother to Prosecute him; and that he told his Mother his Master had beat him with a Last. Mr. Knockells the Surgeon deposed, that he was sent for on the 24th of November, and found him on the Bed in a Fever, and a Tumour in his Side; when open'd it appeared that there was an Imposthumation in the Liver, and a Bruise on the Region of it, and a Quart of Corruption, and that himself, and other Surgeons he consulted, were of Opinion that the Bruise was the Cause of his Death. Mr. Wilkins deposed that he was sent to see the Deceased on the 3rd of December, and found him in a Fever, and that he complain'd of a pain in his side; that he sent for the Surgeon who drest him, who took off the Plaister, but he saw no Discolouration of Tumour. That he was present on the 10th, when opened, that there was an Imposthumation in the Liver, 4 or 5 Pints of Corruption, and the Ulcer large enough to contain his Fist; but no Discolourment outwardly on his Side. Mr.Cole deposed that he was present on the 10th, and expected to find a Depression on the Ribs, but found none. Mr. Knockells standing up again, deposed that there was a Depression, and that so much Matter must occasion a Tumour. The Prisoner in his Defence said, that the Deceased had been at the Alehouse, and he gave him gentle Correction with his Hand only, and did not kick him. Mr. Roberts deposed, that he was in a Shop joining to the Prisoner's, heard a Noise, but no crying out; and that the Deceased complained to him of an ugly Fall he had coming over the Church-Yard, which hurt his Side some Time ago. Another deposed, that he saw the Prisoner beat the Deceased with his hand only. There were several who deposed, that the Deceased complained of a Pain in his Side above a Year ago, and us'd to drink Geneva for it, and sometimes lay down on the Bed in the middle of the Day for Ease; that he used to lye out of Nights, and was a great Drinker. The Prisoner called several to his Reputation, two who had served their Times with him, and deposed that he did not abuse them, but was a very good Master. And a Gentleman who had a Nephew, that he put to him and served his Time out with him, deposed, that he was so good a Master to him, that if he had another to put to the same Trade, he would put him to the Prisoner, notwithstanding what has happen'd. A great many more appeared, and gave him the Character of a Sober Good Man, &c. The Jury considering the whole matter Acquitted him.