Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 09 December 2023), September 1738, trial of George Whalley (t17380906-28).

George Whalley, Killing > murder, 6th September 1738.

30. George Whalley , of St. Michael Crooked-Lane , was indicted for the Murder of Hannah his Wife, by giving her with a Clasp Knife a mortal Wound, on the left side of the Head, of the length of one such and a half, and of the Depth of one Inch, of which she languished from the 10th of June , to the 6th of July, and then dy'd .

He was a 2d Time indicted by Vertue of the Coroner's Inquest for the said Murder.

Eliz. Dur. The Yard that belongs to the Prisoner's House and our Yard join together, they are parted by a thin Wainscoat Partition, and there is a loose Board that lifts up between the 2 Yards On the 10th of June I was in our own Yard, and heard the Deceased say, she would not be lock'd into the Kitchen. I listened, and heard the Prisoner curse and swear at her in a violent Manner, then he shut her and himself into the Yard, and told her she had robb'd him of all he had, and that he had not a Farthing to help himself with. She told him she had not, and the Quarrel encreasing, I lifted up the loose Board, and saw him take Hold of her Shoulder, and pull off a Handkerchief which she had upon her Neck; then she cry'd out Murder, and I observed a large Clasp Knife in his Hand upon her Shoulder. This is the Knife, and the Blood is still upon it. I was not above a Yard from him, and saw him plainly cut her across the Shoulder; then he moved his Hand higher, and cut her in the Neck; and then he moved it again, and cut her nearer her Ear. After he had cut her in this Manner, he open'd the Kitchen Door, and push'd her into the Kitchen. Our Sink likewise is parted from theirs by some slight Boards, and when I ran to alarm our Family, I saw her leaning over the Sink, and bleeding into it in a very violent Manner. When the Neighbours came in, he open'd the Door and ran away. I have often heard him abuse and curse her, and never heard her give him any Provocation. This was the 10th of June between 5 and 6 in the Afternoon.

Nathaniel Harris . On the 10th of June, when I came Home to Dinner, (I live in the same House) the Prisoner was cursing and swearing at his Wife, because a Gentleman that had got his Money, would not let him have it again, but had told him he would make him knuckle down to his Taw. The Prisoner told her, the Gentleman wanted him to go into the Country, away from his Wife, but he said he would not go, for they shou'd not live together long, and she would die first. He very frequently cursed and abused her, - the House was never at Peace for him. He has been in the Counter before, for abusing her. I told him I would hang myself if I was he, no, (he said) he wou'd not; so I went from Dinner between 1 and 2, and saw no more of it.

Prisoner. I was overcome by her aggravating me.

Joseph Barber . The poor unfortunate Woman, was my particular Acquaintance. When I heard the Prisoner had cut her Throat, I went to see her, and found it true. Her Head was wrapped up in Cloaths, and she was very bloody. Seeing her in this Condition, I ran for a Surgeon, that she might have proper Care taken of her. Then hearing that the Prisoner was at Brown's Coffee-House in Fenchurch-Street, I went to him, and he call'd me vile Rogue, and said, I had got his Money. On Sunday I went to see the Deceased, and she desired me to do her Justice; and on Monday, I appear'd against him before the Lord-Mayor.

Q. How long was this before her Death?

Dun. She liv'd a Month after the Thing was done.

Barber. When she was given over, and her Case was judg'd desperate, and when I thought she knew nobody, she grasped me by the Hand, and pull'd me down towards her, as she lay in Bed, and told me, - the vile Rogue had killed her, and desired me to do her Justice She died on Thursday, and this was on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Prisoner. That Man has got my Plate.

Barber. I am a poor Man, and have been at a great deal of Charge.

Mary Hignal . I liv'd on the same Floor with the Deceased, (Mrs. Harding) she chose that Name, and did not care to be called by the Prisoner's The Morning this happen'd, I went into the Kitchen, and heard him call the Deceased a great many Bitches. I reprov'd him, and he call'd me Bitch, and told me, if I did not be gone, he would murder me. Upon this, I went to the Door of my own Room, and heard him continue to abuse her; after some Time, she went up two or three Stairs, toward another Apartment; he got hold of her to pull her down, and she clung to the Bannisters of the Stairs; but he kick'd her under the Arm, tore her down Stairs, and kick'd her again on the Breast. While she stood in the Passage, he went into the Kitchen, and bid her come in; she refused, and said he had got a Knife, and had some ill Design against her. He said he had none, but I heard a Knife clasp. Then he went down Stairs, and was in and out all Day. But about six in the Evening, he came into the Kitchen again, and spit in my Face, and I spit in his Face, and went out. Immediately the Prisoner shut himself in, with his Wife, and I run up to Harris's Room, and said, I believ'd the Man was going to kill his Wife. Upon this, Mrs. Harris and I, came down, and heard the Deceased cry - Murder, in the Yard; but I could neither get to them, nor see them; and being in a very great Fright, I ran down, and went into a Chandler's Shop, and told the People, the Prisoner had murder'd his Wife. They said, perhaps I might be mistaken; I ran up Stairs again, to see if I could get into the Kitchen, and I met the Prisoner coming down Stairs into the Alley, with one Hand bloody, and the other in his Pocket. When I got into the Kitchen, I found Mrs. Harding (the Deceased) leaning upon her Hand, and bleeding very much. I believe I saw a Gallon of Blood which she had lost.

Barber. The lower Part of the Prisoner's House is a Warehouse; and there is a Pair of Stairs that goes from the Alley up into the upper Part of the House. The Kitchen and the Yard is up one pair of Stairs, and the Yard is pav'd and runs over the Warehouse. She had a Cut under one of her Breasts; another cross the other Breast; these were not very deep; one in her Throat, so deep, that every Time she drank, her Wind-pipe might be seen. Another by her Ear, which was very fatal! There was another Gash on the back-part of her left Shoulder, and another towards the back-part of the right Shoulder; She had seven Wounds in all. At first, she thought she should have got over in, but the Night before she dy'd, and the next Morning, all she crav'd was, that every one would do her Justice, for she had got her Death's Wound.

Cristopher Bradshaw The Prisoner on the 10th of June, between 5 and 6 in the Evening, pass'd by me in Mincing-Lane, in a great Hurry. Two Boys were pursuing him, and calling out, - for God's Sake stop that Man, - he has murder'd his Wife Upon this, I pursu'd him, and took him just entring into Billiter Square, and told him I was a Constable and would detain him 'till I was satisfied of the Truth of what the Boys told me. He begg'd I would not believe them, and desired me to take a Bottle or two of Wine with him; but seeing both his Hands bloody, I asked him how they came so? He told me he had been carrying a Lamb's Head Home. By this Time, the Boys came up, and said, - that was the Man that had cut his Wife's Throat. Upon which I carry'd him to Brown's Coffee House, in Fenchurch-Street, where he was secur'd while I went to enquire if the Thing was true. When I came to his House, I found it so, and saw Mr. Merrit, the Surgeon, dressing her Wounds, so I came back and took him before the Lord Mayor, and he committed him. He had this Clasp Knife, bloody, and a great Sum of Money in his Pocket when he was taken.

Mr. Merrit, Surgeon. On the 10th of June I was called to dress the Deceased's Wounds, she had received 6 Wounds, one upon the Sternum or Breast Bone, one on the left Breast, one by the side of the Wind-pipe, one on the right Shoulder, another on the left, and one near the left Ear; which Wound was the Occasion of all the fatal Symptoms that ensu'd; for the Puncture or stabbing in that Place had open'd an Artery. This Wound was triangular, as if the Knife had been jobb'd in, and then drawn along, 'twas pretty deep, but when an Artery is cut, we never make Use of a Probe. The Consequence of this Wound, was such an Effusion of Blood, as Nature at her Years (and I believe she was about 60) could not bear. She was lost by the great Effusion of Blood. She died the 6th of July, which was 26 Days after the Accident happened. This Wound bled internally, and we made an opening to draw off that Blood, by which Means she liv'd 26 Days, and then died, by being exhausted of so much Blood.

Mr. Doughty, Apothecary. After Mr. Merrit had dressed the Wounds, I was sent for to the Deceased. I found (from the great Effusion of Blood) her Pulse languid, and an Inflammation on the Glands of her Throat, for which I ordered her proper Medicines. She had likewise a symptomatic Fever, and was bad o'Nights. I call'd in a Physician, not caring to trust to my own Judgment, and at length the Fever Intermitted, and we had Hopes of her Recovery; but in the principal Wound there was but little Digestion of the Matter, and it affected the Muscle on the other side of the Neck, upon which fell a fresh Collection of Matter. The Wounds were the Occasion of her Death.

The Prisoner said little or nothing in his Defence, and the Jury found him Guilty . Death .