Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 01 June 2023), July 1720, trial of Morrice Fitzgerald (t17200712-15).

Morrice Fitzgerald, Killing > murder, 12th July 1720.

Morrice Fitzgerald , of the Parish of St. Martin's in the Fields , Gent. was indicted for the Murder of Peter Parry on the 29th of May last, by giving him a Mortal Wound in the Right part of the Back near the Shoulder, of the breadth of 4 Inches and the depth of 13 Inches, of which he instantly died . He was indicted also a second time on the Coroners Inquest for the same.

Humphrey Price deposed, that he and his Partner having carried a Gentleman home, as they came back, between 3 and 4 in the Morning, they took up a Gentlewoman to carry to St. James, that a Mad or Drunken Fellow follow'd the Wowan and used some ill and abusive Language, and that when they came to the End of Cecil Street they met 4 or 5 Gentlemen, who said damn ye, we'll have some Fun; and ask'd who have you in the Chair, he answered, a Gentlewoman going to St. James's: they demanded her out of the Chair, that the Prisoner struck him twice with his Sword in the Scabbard and my Partner said be could not come along, that he was prick'd in the Breech; that they open'd the Chair, and the Gentlewoman being very much frighten'd cry'd out, and a Watchman came up to her Assistance. That there were 3 Chairs in all, theirs in the first, that Mr. Celey came up with his Sword in one Hand and his Cane in the other, and said he would not hurt him (this Evidence) that he seized the Prisoner and prevented his hurting of him (this Evidence); but could not tell who gave the Deceased the Wound; that the Prisoner was in Liver Colour Clothes, and his Partner told him that he knockt the Prisoner down after he had struck him and stopt the Chair.

Francis Amber deposed, that he hearing a Noise got up and lookt out of the Window, that he saw Four Gentlemen, 3 of them with their Swords drawn, and 4 Chairmen with their Poles out, and a Watchman coming up, one of the Gentlemen thrust his Sword in his Back; that the Gentlemen offer'd the first Offence; that two of them were about the Watchman, the other two about the Chair, and the Woman crying out.

William Maxwell deposed, that the Gentlemen were drunk, kickt a Watchman's staff and and Lanthorn, then gave him Money, and going on met the Chair near the End of Cecil Street, and said they would have some Fun with the Gentlewoman in it; that she crying out, the Deceased Watchman came up to pacify them; that he saw two Swords in the Deceased's Body, and that the Prisoner's was one of them; that the Prisoner had then on Liver Colour'd Clothes; that he knew him well, had known him for sometime; and being ask'd if he knew where he liv'd or Lodg'd, he said he had Lodg'd about six Months at the Corner of Beaufort Buildings; that the other two Gentlemens Swords were also drawn, and Mr. Celey said G--d D - ye let us make the best of our way, the Watchman's Killed.

Goner Batchelor deposed, that he being waked with the Noise got up, and looking out of Window saw an Empty Chair turn'd over; the Chairman with Poles, and the Gentlemen advance with their Swords drawn, said let there be no Mischief done, shook Hands and put up, then drew again; the Gentlewoman screamed out, and the Deceased coming up, he saw two Swords in him, one in his Back, the other in his Left Arm that one of the Wounds was given by a Gentleman in a light Colour'd Suit trimm'd with Silver, but could not swear in particular to the Prisoner at the Bar.

James Swanstone deposed, that his was the first Chair, that his Partner had a Blow and bid him set down, that he drew his Pole, that the Prisoner pusht at him with his Sword and scracht him in the Cheek, and he knockt him down with his Pole; and went away with their Fair; that the Head of the Chair was thrown up, the Glasses and Frame broke, and the Gentlewoman frightened and cry'd out before the Murder done.

Jeremiah Rigby deposed, that as he was on his Duty (a Watchman) he heard Murder cry'd out, and going up to preserve the Peace, a Gentleman made several Passes at him; that he desired him to return his Sword, which he refused; but he kept him off with his Staff and believes it was the Prisoner, but was not positive, but said it was a Gentleman in light colour'd Clothes trimm'd with Silver.

John Langley deposed, that he went up to the former Evidence's Assistance that he saw two Swords drawn, that the Prisoner (whom he knew) was in Company, his Sword in the Scabbard, they made off, and he went up with Rigby.

Ann Saunderson deposed, that she hearing two Gentlemen were brought to the Round-House for killing a Watchman, went into the Room to them, that MrCeley clapt his Hands together, and said, he was a dead Man, and that the Prisoner reply'd, he wisht he dy'd for Age on his Account.

Mary Lane deposed, that the Prisoner and Mr. Celey were brought up to the Roundhouse, and that she being there heard the Prisoner say, O Lord have Mercy upon me, we have kill'd the Watchman, we shall be hanged; and that the Prisoner had several Spots of Blood on his Wastcoat: and that one came up into the Roundhouse to see them, and said that the Prisoner stabb'd the Watchman, but he could not tell whether he was dead; that it was light when she saw them, the Prisoner had Liver colour'd Clothes on; and the Prisoner asking whether it was not Dirt on his Clothes, she answer'd that it was Blood, not Dirt.

Edward Edgerly deposed, that at Cecil Street end the Gentlemen took a Staff and Lanthorn from a Watchman, it was a Gentleman in Gray Clothes trimmed with Silver, that they beat the Watchman, then gave him some Money, and bid him go about his Business that a Woman coming by in a Chair, they stopt the Chair; that the Prisoner came up after it was stopt, and was not one that stopt it; that there were Five Gentlemen, the Prisoner was one of them; that the Gentlewoman cry'd out Murder, the Deceased came up, there were two or three about him, and that the Prisoner was amongst them when the Mischief was done; that he saw but one Wound given, which was by a Gentleman in Grey trimm'd with Silver.

Nathaniel St. Andrew deposed, that he being sent for to the Deceased, found two Wounds on him, one backward through the Thorax into the Liver, which was the Occasion of his Death; the other in his Left Arm.

The Prisoner in his Defence said, that he had been in Company with Captain Bennet and some other Gentlemen at Mrs. Rochforts at Charing Cross till near 4 a Clock that Morning, and that Mr. Celey was not in their Company, and that going home all alone to his Lodgings the Corner of Beaufort Buildings, within a dozen Doors of his Lodging this Accident happened; that he had not not been in Company with any of the Gentlemen before, but coming by accidentally at that unhappy time was knockt down by one of the Chairmen, and call'd the following Evidence to prove it.

Captain Bennet deposed, that he supt with the Prisoner at Mrs. Rochforts, that Night, and staid till half an Hour after 3, then went away in a Chair, parting with the Prisoner at Rochforts Door, and that Celey was not in their Company.

John Ross deposed, that he was that Night in Celey, Cook's and Jeffery's Company at Mrs. Cousin's till after 2 in the Morning, and that the Prisoner was not with them; and that Celey and the others were very Fractious before he left them, and threatned togo and scower the Watch.

William Bailey confirm'd Captain Bennet's Evidence as to the Prisoners Supping at his Mistress Rochforts that Night, and their going away.

John Plunket deposed, that he saw the Prisoner walk soberly before him about Hungerford-Market all alone; that then he got before the Prisoner, and when he came to Cecil Street, or thereabouts, he saw a Squabble; that there were 6 Gentlemen; one of them in Whitish Clothes with Silver Trimming; with a Sword drawn, who stabb'd the Watchman, and then the Prisoner came up and was knockt down by a Chairman.

Mr. Warren deposed, that he overtook the Prisoner between Northumberland-House and Hungerford-Market, that there was no Body with him, and walking faster got before him; and at the End of Cecil Street, or thereabouts, saw a Gentleman in White Clothes trimm'd with Silver, make two Stabs at the Watchman, who fell down; that the Prisoner was not in the Fray at that time, but coming up presently after, was knockt down by a Chairman; that he was positive that one Man in Light Colour'd Clothes trimm'd with Silver gave the Deceased two Stabs, one before, the other in his Back; and that the Prisoner had Liver Colour'd Clothes on; and that when he was taken by a Watchman at the end of Southampton Street, the Mob cry'd out it was not he that kill'd the Watchman, but a Gentleman in Whitish clothes with Silver Trimming.

Edward Vaughan (a Smith in Cow Cross) deposed, that he saw two Watchman run along, one of them dropt, the other cry'd out, O Lord, he has kill'd my Companion; that a Gentleman in Grey trimm'd with Silver, came up with his Sword drawn, and prickt him in his Leather Apron, that he took him and had him to the Half-Moon-Tavern, that he got a Constable, and had him to the Round house, that his Sword was bloody above Six Inches, and he wiped it off; that he saw the Prisoner in the Round House but no Blood on his Clothes.

Daniel Maccey deposed, that the Deceased was his Companion, and that he took the Prisoner standing in the Crowd, some saying he was the Person that kill'd the Deceased; that he drew his Sword and found no more Blood on it, than on the Palm of his Hand; and that the Prisoner surrender'd himself without any Resistance, his Sword being then in his Scabbard.

One Dalton deposed, that he saw the Prisoner knockt down by a Chairman as he was crossing the Street, and that the Deceased was kill'd before the Prisoner came up.

- Ekins deposed, that the Deceased was kill'd, and the Mob crying out that the Prisoner was one of them, a Chairman knockt him down, but that he was not there till after the Deceased fell.

- Fox deposed, that he saw the Prisoner walk before him, but he walking faster than the Prisoner, got to the Fray before him, and saw the Deceased drop before the Prisoner came up, who was knockt down by a Chairman; that he parted with Ekins at Charing-Cross and met again at the Fray.

Mr. Pomroy deposed, that he met Mr. Jeffereyes (who absconds) at the Coffee-house, who told him that he was going on the Rake; and that he went to the Round-House to see them, where Mr. Celey told him, that the Prisoner, was not in the Fray, but came up after.

Col. Carpenter deposed, that he was present at their Examination before the Justice; and that Mr. Celey's Sword was Bloody, not the Prisoner's; that Langley and Rigby Swore before the Justice that another was the Man who kill'd the Deceased, and not the Prisoner.

He also called several to his Reputation, who gave him the Character of a Well-behav'd, Peaceable Gentleman, &c.

The Jury considering the whole Matter, brought him in Guilty of both Indictments. Death .