Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 26 May 2019), October 1720, trial of Henry Membry (t17201012-37).

Henry Membry, Killing > murder, 12th October 1720.

Henry Membry ,of St. Dunstan in the East , Gent . was indicted for the Murder of Ann Pooley , by throwing her down to the Ground, and Striking, Beating, and Kicking her on the Head and Back on the 7th of September last, of which Striking, Beating and Kicking she languished till the 9th of the said Month and then died . Josiah Wright deposed, that he being at Tower Hill the 7th of September about 9 at Night, and hearing the Cry as of a Person in Distress, he went up to them and saw the Prisoner kick the Deceased near the small of her Back as she was on the Ground; and that he said to her, Get up, you Bitch, you shall have a Run for it; that he followed and struck her on the Back; that he was sure the Deceased was the Person kickt, and the Prisoner the Man who did it, he knowing them both, and the Moon shining very bright; this Evidence being askt if he knew where the Prisoner lived, answered, Yes, he's a Dyer in Tower street. Elizabeth Tilsley , Elizabeth Walker and Hannah Day , confirmed the former Evidence as to the Prisoner's kicking and striking of the Deceased, and bidding her get up and run; they were sure the Deceased was the same Person he served so, for they knew her by her Yellow Stomacher, Black Stockings and Rag about her. Williams Day and Matthew Ballard Corroborated the former Evidences. Lawrence Farril deposed, that the Prisoner came into the Nags-Head-Alehose that Night while he was there, blamed the Officers for suffering such loose Cattle to lye about the Hill, and said that he had just knockt one down on one side. another on the other, and one Bitch he kickt down and up again. Mary Gideon deposed, that the Overseers brought the Deceased to her to look after at 8 a Clock on Thursday Morning, and that she died at one a Clock the same Night; that she did not speak all the time she was with her; that she did not observe any Bruises on her while she was alive, but when she was dead she was as black as a Shoe from Ear to Hip every where.

The Prisoner in his Defence said that he went that Night to smoak a Pipe with a Friend, and on Tower Hill heard Murder cry'd out, and a Voice cry Capt. Membry. that when he came up he found a parcel of Black Guards, and bid them disperse themselves; that he did set his Foot in the Breech of one of them, not the Deceased, and said, run you Dog, it is good for your Health. John Ruart , deposed, that as he was on his Duty, he heard the People say that there was a Women Drunk or Dead in Thames Street, near the Custom-House, he went to see her, and found a poor ragged Girl, that could not speak lying on the Stones, that it was Wednesday Night between 8 and 9 a Clock; that Watchmen took her away, and he saw her next Morning lying among the Stones on Tower Hill, but could not tell whether it was the Deceased or not. Williams White and John Bliss deposed, that they carried such a Girl from Thames Street to Tower Hill about 11 a Clock that Night by Order of the Constable, that she might not be chargeable to their Parish: that she had on a Black Gown, Black Stockings, and Leather Bodice John King deposed, that he was sent for to Sam's Coffee-House, upon the same Occasion, and order'd the last Evidences to carry her to Tower Hill for the reasons aforesaid, and that she had on a dark Gown, a pretty clean Shift, Black Stockings, and (he believes) a Yellow Stomacher. Mr. Urquehart deposed, that he saw the Girl lying on Tower-Hill on Thursday Morning with some Straw on each Side, and a Stone under her Head; that he sent her to the Nurse, and went and told Captain Membry that the People said he had kickt her to Death, and advised him to send a Surgeon to her to clear himself; that he went along with the Surgeon; that the Girl was put to Bed, washt, a clean Smock put on, and they examined her Body and found no Hurt at all, but only a small Scratch (like one done by a Pin) on her Arm; that when he heard she was dead, be went again with the Surgeon and searcht, that then he found no Bruises, but only the settling of the Blood as usual. Mr. Glenn deposed, that he went with the former Evidence (the Overseer of the Poor) to see the Girl, that he told them the was dying, that the was starved, and he believed in Convulsions, that he had her stript and turn'd, to search her, that he found no Marks of Bruise or Tumour, nor any thing else but what is usual after Death by the setling of the Blood. Three other Evidences confirm'd what had been deposed by the Watchmen, Overseer and Surgeon. Ruth Downes , a Giril, deposed, that she was upon Tower-Hill with Ann Trundley on Wednesday about 9 a Clock at Night, and Ann Trundley hitting her self against an Iron fell a beating this Evidence, and bit her on the Shoulder, whereupon she cry'd out Murder, and a Gentlemen came by (who taking them for Boys) kickt her, and said run you Dog run; that she knew Ann Pooley , and saw her at the Keys at 12 at Noon that Day very bad. Ann Trundley confirmed the former Evidence; and being askt whether she knew Ann Pooley , and what was become of her, said, Yes, she went into the Country, got in Ague, and Fever, and came up and died with a Parish Nurse on Tower-Hill; that she used to be with them, but was not there that Night. The 4 first Evidences being call'd again, deposed, that they did not see either of those two Girls there; but that it was the Deceased that they saw the Prisoner kick. The Prisoner called several Gentlemen of great Reputation and Worth to his Credit, who gave him a very good Character, and that he was a Man of Compassion and not of Cruelty. The Jury considering the whole matter, acquitted him.