Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 April 2023), December 1739, trial of Susannah Broom (t17391205-2).

Susannah Broom, Killing > petty treason, 5th December 1739.

2. + Susannah Broom , of St. Paul Shadwell , was indicted, for that she, not having GOD before her Eyes, &c. on the 11th of September , in and upon John Broom , her Husband, feloniously and traiterously did make an Assault, and with a certain Knife made of Iron and Steel, val. 1 d. which she the said Susannah had and held in her Right Hand, him the said John, in and upon the Inside of the Calf of the Right Leg, did strike, stab and thrust, giving him a mortal Wound of the Length of four Iuches, and the Depth of two Inches, of which mortal Wound he instantly died .

She was a second Time indicted, by virtue of the Coroner's Inquest, for the said Felony and Murder.

William Allen . I knew the Prisoner and her Husband: He was an old Man, about Sixty. I live in a Room adjoining to that in which they liv'd. About three Months ago, - I can't tell the Day of the Month, but it was the Night the great Thunder and Lightning happen'd, about One or Two o'Clock, I heard the old Man cry, - For God's Sake don't murder me! for Christ's Sake don't murder me! Several Times he (thus) cry'd out, but I did not go out of my Room, for she was an obstinate Woman, and used to quarrel with him. I have saved him from her a great many Times. I believe that she was at this time in the Room with him, but I did not hear her Voice, - I did not hear her say one Word to him; and after he had cry'd out (as above) for the Space of a Quarter of an Hour, I heard no more of him, nor did I see him till the Coroner's Jury sat upon him, which was the Night following.

Prisoner. I never saw this Witness at that Time.

Allen. I was sent for by the Coroner, to give an Account of the Words which I heard the Man speak; and then he was dead, - I am sure he ought to be so, for I never saw a Man so cut in my Life: He had a great Cut quite cross the Calf of his Right Leg, and two Cuts in his Thighs.

Prisoner. Did you ever see me take up a Knife to my Husband in your Life? But because he was a naughty, bloody Man, have not I hid the Knife in your House?

Allen. She did bring her Goods to my House, and I bid her carry them back again to her Husband . There was not a more quiet Man on Earth than he was.

Prisoner. Did not you let me a Garret, that I might live from him?

Allen. She asked me what I would have a Week for a Garret; I told her Six pence; and she brought some Goods into it, and she lay in it a little while herself: but the Room in which I heard the Cry was that in which they lived together. She was the wickedest Woman on Earth

Susanna Anderson . About Ten o'Clock in the Morning, after the Man was killed, Mr. Mangham, who lodged in the same House with the Prisoner and the Deceased, told me, he believed Mr. Broom was murder'd, and that his Wife had kill'd him; and he desired the Neighbours to open the Door: They did so; and I went up Stairs with them, and found the Deceased lying on his Back, upon the Bed, but his Legs hung down, and his Feet were on the Ground. He was cold and stiff; but his Eyes were open, and he was cut in a very vile Manner. There was a great Cut cross the Calf of his Right Leg, (I think) 'twas almost to the Bone, two great Wounds in his Thigh, several upon his Shoulders, and a Cut across his Belly as if he had had a great Scratch with a large Pin. All his Cloaths were upon him, except his Shirt, and there was no Blood upon him, for he seem'd to have had his Wounds wash'd. The Prisoner was not in the House when we view'd the Body; I saw her go out in the Morning, about Seven, all over bloody, and Mangham was with her, Cheek by Jole. Tho' there was no Blood upon the Deceased, yet there was so much upon the Floor; that as soon as I had stepp'd into the Room; the Blood was over the Sole of my Shoe: The Bolster, the Sheets and the Blankets were likewise all over Blood. This Cap and this Handkerchief I found on the father Side of the Bed, [they both appear'd as if they had been dipped in Blood] I know them to be the Prisoner's, and have seen her wear them. Mangham lodg'd in their House, and at this time there was nobody therein, but Mangham, the Deceased and the Prisoner. The first Witness (Allen) does not live in the same House with them, but at the next Door, and the Head of his Bed stands against their Room.

Prisoner. I have some Cuts in my Hand which he gave me before I went to Bed; and as to this Witness, - I would not take her Word for a Farthing. She'd swear any one's Life away.

Simon Manghant . I sell old Whalebone in Rag-fair, and had lodged in the House where the Prisoner and Deceased lived about a Month before this happen'd. I lay in the Garret over the Room in which they lay; and that Night he was murder'd, about Three o'Clock, he came up into my Garret , to case himself in my Pot; after which he asked me to let him lie down with me, I told him he might, but in half an Hour the Prisoner came up, and fetch'd him down again, after which I heard no Noise at all. At Six in the Morning I got up and drest me, to go out about my Business, and as I pass'd her Chamber Door, I saw the Prisoner at the Bed's Feet; she had pack'd up her Things to carry them out, and said, she would not stay with her Husband. I went into the Room, and it being Day-light, I saw him cover'd with a Blanket or Rug, but I did not know he was dead. There was a great deal of Blood in the Room, but she told me, she had lost much Blood herself, in a Quarrel (I suppose she meant) with her Husband, and I did not suspect he was dead then, for she said she would not stay to be murder'd, and having packt up her Things in a Bundle, she put them in her Lap, and we both came down Stairs, and I went out with her. She lock'd the Door, and took the Key with her, and when we had got about half an hundred Yards from the House, she gave the Key to me in the Field in the Back-lane. - What Harm is there in that? I was going at that Time about my Business to Rag-fair, and she went that Way with me, but she walked faster than I could, and left me at the Corner of White's-Yard; where I went in for a Pint of Beer, and did not mind which Way the Prisoner went: Then I return'd home, and went up Stairs, and found the Man warmish; he was laid upon the Bed, and cover'd with a Blanket or Rug: He had a black Waistcoat on, and his Eyes and Mouth were open; he was warm, but quite dead. This was about a Quarter of an Hour after the Prisoner and I went out together. I saw no Wounds, for I did not open the Bed, but I came down Stairs again, lock'd the Door, and carry'd the Landlord the Key of the House. As I went down the Alley I met this Woman [ Anderson ] - no, I don't know whether I met her at this Time, or whether I met her before I came back to the House.

Mrs. Anderson . I saw him go out with the Prisoner, and he then did not speak to me: But when he returned I saw him and spoke to him.

Mangham . I don't remember what I said to the Neighbours, nor whether I speak to any of them, but a great many of them went up Stairs with me, When I first went up. There were several People saw the Deceas'd, - a great Number, - five or six, besides me and the Landlord. I don't know any of their Names, for I never had any Society with them; but they went upStairs - I said noHarm, - I don't know what I should be afraid for. As to the Deceased, I never saw any Harm by him in my Life.

Jury. Had you no Discourse with the Prisoner as you went along?

Mangham. I did not ask her any Questions, nor did she say any thing to me .

Prisoner. Ask him if he knows that I ever took up a Knife, or any thing to do my Husband any Harm.

Mangham. No, never in my Life.

Mary Matthias : I live at the Head of the Alley, and the Prisoner lived next Door to me, down the Alley. I heard nothing of the Murder, till Mangham came back and brought the Key; but I saw him and the Prisoner go out together about Seven o'Clock in the Morning. Her Left Hand and her Face were bloody, and she had a Bundle in her Lap. I was looking out of my Window, and seeing a Neighbour, I cry'd, Lord how bloody Mother Broom is! I suppose they have been fighting To-night, says she, but if they have, they have been very quiet: For she has beat him out of Doors divers and divers (of) Times, and she has sent him divers Times to a Two-penny Lodging. Mangham did not bring the Key, till about Ten o'Clock; and I was afraid to go up with the People at that time; but I went about an Hour after, with several others, and he then lay strait upon the Bed. He was cut in one Part of his Leg, and had a Cut upon the Calf of the other, and across the Thighs , and three more across his Navel, and was likewise stabbed in the Breast. He was cold, but his Eyes were opens and there was a great deal of Blood in the Room. Mangham was charged in Custody of an Officer, and I went before Justice Jones with him. The Justice asked me, believed he had been concerned? I told him, I believed he was innocent, for he one Speck of Blood upon him.

Prisoner. Have seen me do my Husband any Harm?

Matthias . I have her beat him out of Doors a great man, and have often called out to her, - or God's sake let your Husband in!

Mary Coombes . I live underneath the Room that Allen lives in, and my Door when opened, staps against the Prisoner's, in the same Passage ; but in September last, (I don't know the particular Day) between Twelve and One o'Clock at Night heard the Deceased in the Yard, cry, - Susan! Susan! Pray let me in, for I am very cold! The Prisoner looked out of the Window and said, - get away you Rogue, for you have brought no Money; you have been with your Whores. I heard no more 'till about Three; therefore I suppose she let him in; and about Three o'Clock, the Deceased cry'd out Murder! Murder! Murder! For Christ's sake! - What, are you going to kill me! I was in Bed, and my Door fastened against theirs; and by the Cry, I knew it must be the Deceased's Voice, in the Chamber. The last Words which I heard him speak were, - Broom! Broom! for Christ's Sake! for God's Sake! Don't kill me, - don't murder me in this Manner! I am positively sure I heard these Words, Broom! Broom! &c. About Seven o'Clock in the Morning after this, I met the Prisoner and Mangham going out together: She had the same Cloak on then, that she has now, and a Bundle in her Apron, but I saw no Blood upon her, for our Passage is dark. I did not speak to her, nor she to me, - neither good, bad, nor indifferent. Mangham afterwards came back and called out, - Mr. Broom! Mr. Broom! come down and open the Door. But no Answer being made, he desired me to open the Door for him: I said. - Mrs. Broom is a very turbulent Woman, I will not meddle with her Door; and so I went to hang up a Gown to dry in the Yard. When I came back, the Door had been opened, and he ( Mangham ) cry'd - Lord! Lord! Mrs. Broom has killed her Husband, and he lies dead upon the Bed! I ran up Stairs, and found the Room like a Slaughter-house with Blood. The Deceased's Stockings were down: He had his Breeches on, and a dark-coloured Waistcoat, but no Shirt. He was cold as a Stone: His Right-hand was cut; his Eyes wide open; the Calt of his Right-leg was cut, but there was not a Speck of Blood upon him, for he had been washed clean, and there stood a half Tub of Water above Stairs. When I came down Stairs, in the lower Room, by the Side of the Dresser, there lag a Pillow, with a white Pillow-case, sprinkled all over with Blood. This was in the lower Room. The Bolster of the Bed on which the Deceased lay, and the Sheet, were all over with Blood, and were doubled up and thrust a little Way from him; but there was no Blood upon him, nor on his Cloaths, nor were any Cuts in them. There was likewise two Cuts on his Left-hand, two on his Thigh; one a-cross the Belly, like the Scratch of a Pin, and a little Stab under the left Pap , which I believe was an old one. On the Left side there were Marks as if he had been pricket , all black and blue, she was a mighty Woman for carrying a Pen-knife with two Blades, which she valued very much, and said, she had a great Respect for that Knife, and it would do her good Service. When she and her Husband quarrell'd , she used to beat him with the Poker, and say, she would win the Horse, or loose the Saddle. I have often taken her Husband's Part, and then she would call me his Whore.

Prisoner. Did you ever see me take up any Edge-Tool, any Scissars, or Knife, to abuse him with?

Coombes. I have seen her beat him several times with the Poker, and have heard him cry out Murder! She came to Mrs. Birch, about a Month before this Fact was committed, in a desperate Passion and said, This Man won't pay my Rent, - I shall be murdered for him. I have seen her go down the Street with him, and as she has gone along with him, she has beat his Head against a Sash-Window, and broke it.

Prisoner. Fye upon you! He went to get a Stick to beat me with; - did he not?

Martha Eaton . I live in West's Gardons , at the End of the Street, in which the Deceased lived. The Prisoner came that Morning to my Shop. about Three o'Clock, for a Farthing Candle: Her Arms and Face were all over Blood, and likewise the Round of her Head. I asked her if her Husband had been beating her? She said, yes, - he had been beating her in the Garden. I said it was a cruel Thing to beat a Woman so. Aye, says she, - I have been married above forty Years, and have had seventeen Children. I saw no Wounds upon her; only a little Punch in her Arm, which had never bled.

William Brown , Surgeon . I saw the Deceased about Twelve o'Clock the same Day. He lay with his Back upon the Bed, and his Feet upon the Ground. He had several Cuts upon his Belly, and about his Thighs; but that which was mortal, was under the Right-calf, for the crural Artery was divided, and the Essusion of Blood must have been so great, that he could not live a Quarter of an Hour. The Blood upon the Floor ran from under that Leg. I believe the Wound was given with a Knife, but it must have been made by more than one or two Essays, because it was much hacked.

William Anderson . I took the Prisoner at Burford, in Oxfordshire, about twelve or thirteen Weeks ago. She was going thro' the Town, and I knew her and seized her. I had been in London about a Week after the Murder, and had heard that she was charged with it; and seeing her in Burford , about three Weeks after, I took her before 'Squire London, and there she said, she heard that her Husband was murdered, and there was nothing left for her, tho' she should have gone to see after him. She told me, - he was always quarrelling with her, and she found a Pen-knife in the Bed with him, when she went that Night to Bed. I took her from her Sister's, at The Royal Oak, at Burford .

The Jury found the Prisoner Guilty . Death .