Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 01 June 2023), July 1729, trial of James Cluff (t17290709-65).

James Cluff, Killing > murder, 9th July 1729.

James Cluff , of St. Andrew's Holborn , was Try'd upon an Appeal lodg'd against him last April Sessions, by the Appellant John Green, Heir and Brother of Mary Green after his being acquitted of the Murder of the said Mary Green , the 11th Day of April last . The Counsel for the Appellant having open'd the cause, supported the Charge by the following Evidence. Diana Pain depos'd, that the Prisoner and the Deceas'd were both Servant s to her Husband, and that on the 11th of April, about 2 a-Clock in the Afternoon, she was standing at the Door, and the Prisoner came by her with a Pot of Drink, which he carried to the next Door; that this was about 10 Minutes before the Fact was committed; and that the Prisoner and the Deceas'd had also been at Dinner about a Quarter of an Hour before that time; that she, this Evidence, was walking about the Tap-Room with her Child in her Arms; and that 2 Men coming in, the Deceas'd went down into the Cellar to draw them a Pint of Drink, and brought one Pint for them, and one for herself, which she carried into the Room where she was at Dinner: This Evidence being ask'd if she had any Knife in her Hand at that Time, answer'd, She saw none: That in the mean time, the Prisoner having carried out some Drink, came in again and went directly into the Room where Mary Green was, and in about 4 Minutes the Prisoner call'd Madam, pray come here; that she went immediately to the Door of the Box, which being open'd, the Deceas'd was on the Floor, sitting on her Backside, and the Prisoner holding her up by the Shoulder, the Blood running from her in a very great Quantity; that she said to the Prisoner, Lord, James! what have you done? To which he reply'd, Nothing, Madam; that she said again, Did you see her do any thing to herself? he reply'd, No; but he saw her in the Cellar with a Knife in her Hand; that then the Deceas'd did neither speak nor move, and seem'd to be dead; that she being very much affrighted, call'd her Husband, and immediately ran for an Apothecary. The Prisoner's Counsel ask'd this Evidence what sort of a Box it was, and how far from her? and if there had been any Noise, if she should not have heard it? She reply'd, It was not far from the Bar; was open about a Yard and a half from the Ceiling; that she heard no Noise, and must, had there been any made, she being walking about near the Box, and the House being still: She being ask'd what Temper the Deceas'd was in that Forenoon? She reply'd, she was very chearful. John Pain depos'd, that about 8 or 9 a Clock in the Forenoon, the 11th of April, there came a Man to the House that us'd to come to see the Girl (Mary Green); that he sat down at a Table near the Bar; that he having call'd for a Pint of Beer, the Deceas'd having been washing Rooms above-Stairs, came down, he ask'd her how she did? and she sat down, and he ask'd her to drink; that the Deceas'd having trundled her Mop, went up Stair, and when she came down, sat down with him again; he reach'd over the Table, and either kiss'd her, or whisper'd to her; that the Prisoner seem'd not to like it, and seem'd to be ruffled; and tho' the table had been wash'd but a little time before, he took a Dish-clout, and fell to wiping it, tho' there did not seem to be any Occasion; that afterwards, he and his Wife having din'd, one Mr. Saunders, came in, and be asking him if he had din'd, he replying he had not; he offer'd him a Piece of Mutton Pasty that had been set by in the Bar, and he accepted the Offer; that the Deceas'd drew 2 Pints of Beer, one for a Customer, and another for her own Dinner, and carried it into the Box; that the Prisoner was then gone to carry out some Drink, and soon after coming in again, went into the Box to her, throwing the Door with an uncommon Violence; that he, this Evidence, being fitting by Mr. Saunders, and in about 4 Minutes the Prisoner calling out to his Wife, as she had before related, and she calling him, he ran immediately and saw the Deceas'd lying as has been before depos'd by his Wife; that asking the Prisoner how it came, he reply'd, he did not know; that he told him he was a Villain, he had done it, and he should give an Account for it before they parted. Being asked as to the Knife, he reply'd, He saw her go into the Cellar with two Pots in her Hands, and come up again with two Pints of Drink, and that she had no Knife, for if she had, he must have seen it; that he afterwards he took a Candle, went down into the Cellar, and view'd the Stairs, and there was not any Blood, not so much as one Drop, He being ask'd what Temper the Deceas'd was in that Part of the Day, before this Accident? He reply'd, She was Singing and merry as she was doing her Business.

Thomas Saunders depos'd, That having come from the South-Sea House, be call'd at Mr. Pain's, and did there dine, as had been before depos'd; that the Prisoner being in the Box, (he suppos'd at Dinner) came out of the Box, and a Neighbour having sent for some Drink, he carried it out, and two Country Men coming in in the mean time, the Deceas'd went down for two Pints of Drink, one for them, and the other for herself, and that he saw no Knife in her Hand; that upon Mrs. Pain's calling to Mr. Pain, he went, and found the Deceas'd lying, as before-mentioned, and the Prisoner having one Hand under her Arm, and he believ'd she was at that time Stone Dead; that the Prisoner being ask'd how it happen'd, said he knew not; that when he came into the Room the Deceas'd was leaning her Head upon the Table, and said, James, I am a dead Woman; and that he asking her how it came, she fell down on the Ground. This Evidence being ask'd how long it was from the Time of the Prisoner's going into the Room, and his calling Mrs. Pain? He answer'd, It was about 3 or 4 Minutes; he added, that there was a Print over her Left Ear. Being ask'd if he heard any Noise while the Prisoner was in the Room? he reply'd, No, and he was so near that had there been any made, he must have heard it.

Mr.Cox depos'd, That about two a-Clock that Day, he ran immediately, and found the Deceas'd lying upon her Back, her Head supported by the Prisoner, and a vast Effution of Blood under her, and he thought he did perceive her Lips to change a little when he came; but where was no other Appearance of Life; that turning up her Coats, he found the Wound in the upper Part of her Thigh; that looking on the Table he found a Knife lying among the other Knives, having a little Blood on the Point; that the Knife lay with the Handle to the Chimney, about 4 Foot from where the Deceas'd was: He being ask'd if the Deceas'd, supposing she had given herself the Wound, could not afterwards having laid or toss'd the Knife there in the Manner it was laid? He reply'd, He thought not, without a Miracle; that he afterwards examin'd the Wound, comparing it with the Knife, and found it had gone 5 Inches into the Thigh; that it had gone obliquely upwards, and had open'd or divided the Femoral Artery: Being ask'd as to the Wound? he answer'd, That the Wound was such, that no Person after such a Wound could live more than a Minute and a half, or two Minutes; that he compar'd the Knife with the Cuts in the Deceas'd's Cloaths, and it answer'd to them exactly; that the Wound must needs be given with a very great Force, the Knife being a broad round-pointed Knife, and having gone through an Apron, a thick quilted Coat, a Stuff Petticoat, and a coarse strong Shift, and was of Opinion it was not possible that the Deceas'd could give it to herself: Being ask'd as to what other Marks of Violence he had taken Notice of? he reply'd, That he did observe some Marks about her Chin and Left Ear, as if made by the Compression of the Thumb and Fingers, that appear'd livid; that her Left Ear was all contused; that he did believe he must have confin'd the Deceas'd with his left Hand, and given the Wound with his Right. The Cloaths and Knife were produc'd in Court. Mr. Dennis depos'd to the same Effect with the former Evidence and that the Nature of the Wound was such, that no Animal could live above 2 Minute and a half after that Artery had been open'd or divided; that he had try'd the Experiment on a Dog, and he dy'd in a Minute and a quarter; that it was impossible the Deceas'd could have given herself the Wound in the Cellar, because afterwards she could not move so much as one Step; that he also saw the Marks of Violence before mention'd, which he suppos'd to be done by a Hand; and that had there not been a Compression by Violence, the Blood could not have there stagnated; because such a Wound being receiv'd, the Blood flows with so great Impetuosity; and he was of Opinion the Deceas'd could not possibly lay the Knife where, and as it was, found lying, because a Person having receiv'd such a Wound, falls immediately into Convulsions, and grows insensible. Mr. Baldwin depos'd, That being at Mr. Pain's about 9 a-Clock in the Forenoon, he was eating Roll and Cheese in the Kitchin, and some Discourse passing amongst them, the Prisoner said of the Deceas'd, She knows what's what; to which the Deceas'd answer'd, I never had a Bastard, and went up-stairs; that coming down soon after, she wanted Tea and Sugar for her Mistress, and Mr. Pain being out of Doors, and Deceas'd said, He was always out when most wanted; that the Prisoner being puddling with the Poker, struck her on the Backside with it, and said, You Sawcy Slut must my Master give you an Account; and that he thought he look'd maliciously; and that thereupon the Deceas'd push'd him on the Shoulder, saying, What did you strike me for? and that he thought him an ill-natur'd Fellow. Ann Duncarton , Mrs. Groves, and the Deceased's Mother, who gave Evidence upon the former Trial, as to the Prisoner having several times us'd the Deceas'd ill, did not now give their Evidence, tho' in Court ready to do it, The Prisoner call'd some Persons who us'd the House, to his civil Behaviour towards the Deceas'd.

The Prisoner's Counsel pleaded strenuously on Behalf of the Prisoner, remarking on the Testimony of the Appellant's Witness whatsoever they thought might make to the Advantage of the Appellee; not withstanding which, the Jury upon a mature Deliberation of the Matter, found the Prisoner guilty of the Murther; whereupon the Appellant came into Court at the Time when Sentence was to be pass'd on the other Convicts, and demanded Judgment on the Appellee, which was accordingly pronounced upon him. Death .