Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 26 January 2020), February 1781, trial of PATRICK HOY (t17810222-9).

PATRICK HOY, Killing > murder, 22nd February 1781.

131. PATRICK HOY was indicted for the wilful murder of Edward Cox , January 14th .

(The witnesses were examined apart.)

MARY COX sworn.

I am the widow of Edward Cox , the deceased. My husband was a watchman at Brompton.

When did he die? - I cannot tell the day of the month, it was on a Sunday. He cried the hour of eleven, and never cried the hour afterwards. I was fetched home from Great Chelsea. I got home as fast as I could. He was at a neighbour's house, Mr. Philips's. He told me that he was very had; and to the best of my knowledge, he died in a quarter of an hour after, or a little better. Those were all and the last words I heard from him in this world.

Did you observe what condition he was in? - All bloody.

What part did the blood come from? - The left part of his head, the side of his head, and teeth.

How long had your husband been a watchman? - One fortnight that very night he was murdered.

JOHN WRIGHT sworn.

I live at Brompton. The deceased was a servant of mine for some years; he got an accident by falling out of a cart, and I recommended him to be a watchman in Brompton. He was employed but a fortnight before this accident happened: I think it was the 14th of January, on a Sunday; I dined at Mr. Hewitt's, a nurseryman, about an hundred yards from where this happened. I spent the evening there till near half after eleven o'clock. The company got up to go. We were talking in the parlour; I heard a crying out, help. help, murder! or words to that effect. I put my ear to the window and said it was Ned the watchman. I immediately went to the door and there I heard his voice very plain crying help! I immediately went to the place where I heard it, it was dark, the moon was just rising. I saw the deceased lying on the ground. When I came to him, I asked him what was the matter? He said, Lord, Sir, I am killed, I am murdered. While I was taking hold of his arm to help him up, there came two young men, one was Mr. Harrison, nephew to the gentleman where I dined, and one Mr. Harris, who lived within threescore yards of the place; Harris laid hold of one arm, and I the other and helped him up. They went immediately after the person they thought had committed the fact, and left me with the deceased. When I had helped him up, I asked him who did it, or what was the cause of it? He said it was a tall chairman in a blue coat. I asked him what was the reason of it, why he had knocked him down? He told me the man asked him the way to London, and he had shewn him the way, that then he said, You shall light me, you shall shew me the way. Cox said, he said I can't, or won't, or something to that effect, I am on my duty and cannot do it; that then the chairman took from him the halbert or instrument that he carried along with him, and knocked him down, that he got up again, and he knocked him down a second time with it. I gathered up his weapons, his stick and lantern. Cox went with the weapon in his hand, and I took his lantern and hat, and went to the house of Mr. Hewitt. We had a good deal of conversation going along; I argued with him why he did not bring a blunderbuss which I had given for the use of the watch-house. I brought him to the door and sent for a glass of rum, which I gave him: then I sent for a glass of brandy to wash his wounds. When the brandy and a cloth came I was going to take the binding off his head; he would not let me, he said he should catch cold, he had better go home. I found his lantern was full of blood; I was a good deal alarmed; I did not apprehend that he had lost so much blood. I lighted the candle, and said, we had better knock up the people at one of the publick-houses, and get assistance. He said No, I think I shall be able to get home, and then send for my wife, who is at Chelsea, and be taken care of. Upon that he went along the road home, and I followed him at a distance. Mrs. Wright was with me so I could not walk so fast as he could walk; he was quite out of my sight before he got to my house. I thought he might stop and sit down in his watch-box. I went there and found him not in his box. Then I concluded he had only got a cut upon his head and was gone safe home.

Did you go to his house? - No. This was about half after eleven o'clock. I was in my own house at about twenty minutes before twelve o'clock. On the Monday morning early I was awaked and told that Ned was dead, meaning Cox the watchman. I was a good deal alarmed, as I was afraid I had not taken the care of him that was necessary, for I did not imagine him in danger. I got up and dressed myself. In going along the village I met a man who had been at my house, and had got the end of the bayonet which was knocked off the stick. His name is, I believe, Philips. I went to all the publick-houses; and I sent this Philips, and some others, and bid them go to Chelsea and Kensington, and enquire if there had been any man at the publick-houses like a chairman, and I said I will go to Brompton before I breakfast. The last house I went to was the sign of the King's-Head at Brompton; the master of the house told me there had been no such man there, but he had heard that a chairman had brought one Levy, one of Mr. Hewitt's men, home on Sunday-night about eleven o'clock.

Did you in consequence of what was said by the man at the King's-Head make any discovery with regard to the prisoner? - Yes. From the information I had from the man at the King's-Head, I took up the prisoner about eleven o'clock on the Monday morning in a court in St. James's-street, about an hundred yards from the King's-Head. I told the people there not to say a man had been murdered, for I did not know what might happen. Levy said somebody came home with him, but he was so much in liquor that he did not know who brought him home, or how he came home.

What time did you converse with Levy? - At nine o'clock on Monday morning.

Whether the prisoner said he went out with Levy or not? - I cannot take upon me to say that he did.

I want to know whether the name of Levy passed at the time, and the prisoner said he went with Levy? - I cannot take upon me to swear to that. I took the prisoner's great coat, it was a blue one, and his hat, and put them into a coa ch and took them to Sir John Fielding 's. I went to Brompton with Levy to know who came home with him. While I was there, one Gossett, who is here, told me that he saw a chairman between eleven and twelve, running along the road towards Earl's-court.

Where is Earl's-court? - It lies west of Brompton. He said his coat was very dirty. I was led by what Gosset said, to observe the prisoner's hat and coat, it was dirty with the road stuff on the right side I think. There was not any blood upon it. The prisoner said that was his hat and coat, and he got up and came away very quietly, and did not make the least resistance.

Cross Examination.

This weapon which the watchman had as he told you in his hand, had a bayonet fixed upon it? - Something of that kind. I know nothing of it of my own knowledge.

This was the account of the deceased, that this weapon was taken out of his hand? - Yes, he said so.

When you saw the man he had his head broke? - I believe it was.

There was no apparent wound upon any part of his body of such a kind as evidenced a sharp pointed instrument's having gone into the body? - I heard say so, but I did not see the body.

But if this bayonet had been made use of for the most deadly purpose it would have been directed to some more fatal part. It was not made use of for the most fatal purpose it was capable of, so far we have from the declaration of the deceased himself? - So I understood.

Levy was very drunk, and did not know who came home with him? - No, he did not, he could give no account at all, neither before the magistrate nor to me.

When you found the deceased and brought him down to Hewitt's door, you offered him a glass of rum? - I gave him one.

He desired he might get home to his wife, his wife would take care of him? - Yes.

He walked away from this place and walked faster than you? - He walked quite out of my sight.

There were no apprehensions immediately of danger? - I did not see any, or I should have taken more care of him.

Then you come to another information of the deceased, that when the blow was given him, he called out, O Lord, Sir, I am killed, I am murdered? - He said that before I helped him up.

You at that time saw no person about him? - No body at all.

You gave him a blunderbuss, but did not give him this staff and bayonet? - I did not.

SAMUEL MOORE sworn.

I keep the King's-Head in St. James's-street.

Do you know this Levy? - Yes.

Do you know the prisoner at the bar? - Yes.

Were they at your house on the Sunday when this unfortunate business happened? - They were between eight and nine.

What was the prisoner's business? - A chairman.

What is Levy? - I understand he works with a gardener.

Do you know any thing more of the matter than that these persons were at your house between eight and nine that evening? - I remember they had one tankard of porter.

Do you know whether they went away together or who went first? - I did not notice that.

PATRICK LEVY sworn.

Do you remember being at Mr. Moore's, the King's-Head in St. James's-street, on Sunday evening the 14th of January? - I do.

Do you know the prisoner at the bar? - I do very well.

Was he in company with you there? - He was in the evening.

How long did you stay together there? - I cannot tell what time I staid there; I was in liquor I believe when I came there, and do not know what time I stayed.

What countryman are you? - An Irishman.

Do you remember who accompanied you? - I do not remember the man being in company with me, nor how I got home, nor who undressed me, or put me to bed, I was so much in liquor.

Then you do not know that the prisoner went any part of the way with you? - No, I do not, nor I do not know of his leaving the house with me.

PATRICK QUIN sworn.

I live at Mr. Moore's. On the 14th of January last, my master and mistress dined abroad; the prisoner Hoy was always employed at the door as a working man, and I always saw him civil and quiet during the time I drew beer there, which was for five or six months. After he had his dinner on this Sunday he went out, and came in again and had a pint of beer and the like. This man that he went along with home, came between eight and nine o'clock.

When did you see him next? - I never saw any more of him, I know no more of the matter.

PATRICK GOSSETT sworn.

I had been at the Sugar-Loaf at Brompton-green. I was going home that night between ten and eleven o'clock.

Are you sure it was not later than that? - I am certain it was not. I saw a man coming after me; I stopped; the man passed by me. I saw he was a chairman by his coat being turned up. I said, chairman, where are you going this way at this hour of the night. He said he was going to St. James's. I told him he was going quite wrong, for he was going into the country. He stopped and asked me the way to St. James's. I told him to turn back, and go the other way, for he had his back to St. James's. He came up on the foot-way and laid hold of my left-hand and asked me to shew him the way. I told him I could not it was so late. After I directed him the way he went off towards London.

How was he dressed? - He had a chairman's great-coat on.

Was it a blue coat? - It was a very dark night so that I cannot swear to the colour. He was dressed like a chairman.

Do you know Mr. Hewitt's house? - Very well; I work for him; he is a gardener.

You had been at the Sugar-Loaf was that farther from London than Mr. Hewitt's house? - It was nearer to London.

How far do you suppose the chairman was from Mr. Hewitt's house? - He was farther from London than Mr. Hewitt's house when I spoke to him.

How far did you accompany him? - I did not accompany him an inch.

Did he appear to be sober or otherwise? - He appeared very much disguised with liquor.

Was he a stranger to you? - He was; I never saw him before in my life.

Do you take upon you to know him again? - I could not; it was a very dark night.

He seemed very civil to you by your account of the matter? - He did; he asked me to shake hands; I saw there was dirt upon his coat; I wished to avoid him, which I did, and pointed him out the way to London.

ANN MARCH sworn.

I keep an house at Brompton. Levy and Gossett lodged at my house. At about half an hour after ten o'clock on the Sunday evening Mr. Levy knocked at the door; I came down and let him in. I heard a man with him, but I did not see that man.

ALICE FLINN sworn.

The prisoner lodged at my house.

What time did he come home that night? - At about a quarter past eleven o'clock.

Why do you guess it to be about that time? - Because I had a watch which I observed was half an hour after eleven a little after he came in.

Where is your house? - In Villar's Court, St. James's-street.

WILLIAM PHILLIPS sworn.

Mr. Cox the watchman, the deceased, came to my house and called me up at about twelve o'clock at night, and told me he was almost murdered by a chairman. I got up and let him in; I set him down in a great chair and got a fire for him directly. Then he desired I would go down to Mr. Hancock's to fetch his wife and bring some spirituous liquors to anoint his head with; he said be sure you do not come without it. I fetched his wife; when I came back into the house I said how are you; the deceased made me no answer; his wife laid hold of him and shook his shoulder and said how are you Mr. Cox? he said very bad indeed. Those were the last words he spoke.

THOMAS LEADLY sworn.

I am a constable. I took up the prisoner between ten and eleven o'clock on the Monday morning. I found his great coat and hat in his lodgings and I found him in bed.

Did he make any objection to going with you? - He seemed to signify he should be glad to have some of his comrades with him, but nothing more; there is some dirt and some green upon the coat.

Is there any blood upon it? - I have examined it and cannot find any upon it.

The prisoner was not called upon for his defence.

NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice GOULD.