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Colonial Cases


Gloucester Journal extracts


May 3.  Gloucester, May 2.  Committed ... OWEN WILLIAMS, for Manslaughter ...

May 31.   Captain ROBERT ELSTON, that was some Days ago removed by a HABEAS CORPUS from Newgate in Bristol, to Newgate in this City, being charged with the barbarous Murther of his Cabbin Boy, is to be try'd at the next Sessions for London at the Old Bailey.


Jan 4.  Gloucester, Jan 4.  They write from Campden, That on the 23d of last Month, one Mr FLETCHER of Yberton, being at an Inn, was set upon by three Men, who so Barbarously used him, that on the 29th of the same Month he died.  One of them made his Escape, but the other two have given in Bail to appear at the next Assizes.

Jan 11.  Gloucester, Jan 11.  On Thursday Night last, a young Man who had been on board one of the trows to see his Friends, slipt off the Plank as he was coming a Shore, and it is said has not been found since.

Jan 18.  Gloucester, Jan 18.  On Monday last a Young Man, about 14 Years of Age, Son to the Clerk of St Johns in this City, accidentally Shot himself with a Pistol, not knowing it to be charg'd, of which Wound he instantly died.

Jan 25.  Gloucester, Jan 25.  The beginning of last Week, the Hostler, belonging to the Star Inn, near the Key, through some Discontent, went and Hang'd himself.

Mar 1.  Gloucester, Mar 1.  They write from Bristol, That a Captain of a Ship belonging to London, had the Misfortune (being unacquainted with the Streets of Bristol) to fall over a Precipice between two Roads, whereby he beat out his Brains, and died immediately.

Mar 8.  Gloucester, March 6.  Commitments to our County Gaol: SARAH CLAPEN, alias HARPER, for concealing or Murdering a Bastard Child.

Mar 15.  At the Gloucester Assizes THOMAS HERBERT and three other Persons were arraign'd and try'd upon an Indictment for the Murder of Richard Fletcher, and upon a full Hearing of the Cause, in which the King's Council appeared, the Defendants were acquitted of the said Indictment, and only one found guilty of Manslaughter.  This is published to justify the Coroner's Inquest (who found the Death of the said Richard Fletcher to be only Manslaughter) and the Persons concerned for the Defendants from the many odious, vile and false aspersions unjustly charged on them.

May 3.  Gloucester, May 3.  An Account of Persons committed to our Castle the last month, viz. OWEN WILLIAMS, for Manslaughter.

May 31.  page 3.  "... but having very little to say, any more than the rest, he was found Guilty and Condemn'd."

June 14. page 4.  The same day at Clifton, about a Mile hence, one MATTHEW RIDER, who having been sick in Bed for three weeks past, got out and drowned himself in a Pond that was at the backside of his house.  'Twas never observed, during his Illness, that his Mind or Senses were the least disordered.

July 5.  Gloucester, July 3.  They write from Worcester, That a Servant of Mr Herbert's of Carmarthen riding his Master's Horse to water in Pitchcroft, so near the Brink, that the Horse starting, stumbled into the Severn, and the Felow slipping down on the Neck of the Horse, they were both Drown'd; the Horse was computed to be worth twenty Guineas.

Aug 16.  page 4. Apr [sic] 14.  The Assizes for this County beginning this Day at the Booth Hall, in this City, the following Persons are to be brought upon Trial, VIZ.  OWEN WILLIAMS, for Manslaughter.

Aug 23, page 4.  Gloucester, Aug 19.  Yesterday ended our Assizes, .... [no mention of Owen Williams]

Oct 18.  Whereas Mr DUNCOMB PYRKE was Drowned at Purton Passage, on Saturday, the Ninth of this Instant, October, and has not yet been taken up; these are to give Notice, that whoever first finds the Body of the said Mr Pyrke, and give an account there of to THOMAS PYRKE, Esq., at Little Dean, shall be handsomely rewarded.

Oct 25.  Gloucester, October 25.  They write from Bristol, that one ROBERT KNIGHT, Constable of Tytherington, going to demand the Peace according to his Office, Pearse, Smith, and another of his Neighbours seeing him coming, threatened to beat his Brains out if he came forward, which he not observing, Smith directed Pearse to a Hedge Stake, with which Pearse broke Knight's Skull, and kill'd him upon the spot, and they are all three since fled from justice.

December 14.  Gloucester, Nov. 13.  We hear that some time last week the body of Mr DUNCOMB PYRKE, WHO WAS DROWNED IN October last at Purton Passage, was taken up; and 'tis said, that the person who found the body had a very handsome reward.  When he was taken up, he had a watch in his pocket, a sword by his side, and several other things of value about him.


Jan 4.  Gloucester, Jan 1.  We have an Account from Burford, in Oxfordshire; that the latter end of last Week a Farmer's wife within three Miles of that Place, cut her Throat with a Penknife and Died immediately.  'Tis said she did it thro' some Discontent.

Jan 11.  Gloucester, Jan 8.  We hear from Stow in this County, that at Broad Rissington near that Place, on Tuesday last, as one Mrs HEMING (a Farmer's Widow who had nine Children) was frying some Meat to entertain her Neighbours, and wanting some Mustard, she immediately takes a Ball to make some, but it being rusty, she put it into the Fire to clean it, when to her great Surprize the Ball, as soon as it was hot, burst into several pieces, whereby the poor Woman was so desperately wounded, that she died the next Morning.  The windows of the House were also broken.  It seems this Ball had been appropriated to the use of making Mustard seed for many Years, before this false Catastrophe; and 'tis supposed by its bursting that it was a Bomb-shell fill'd with combustible matter, used in Engagements by Sea or Land.
  From Cheltenham, That a poor woman was lately found dead in a field near that place, having two Loaves of Bread lying by her.

Feb 8.  From Bristol, That on Wednesday Morning last one GEORGE PRUETT of Horfield near that City, was found dead in his Bed, with his Brains beat out, and three Stabs in his Body.  And we hear, there was also found an Iron Bar in the Room, with which 'tis supposed his Life was finished; and likewise an old stocking all bloody in the Bed by him, as tho' the Bar had been wiped therewith.  How this fatal Accident happen'd is not yet known; but a Kinsman of his who (we are inform'd) was to be his Executor, has been examined before a Justice, but we don't hear that they can prove any thing upon him.

Apr 19.  Bristol April 16.  On Monday last a young Man, who, they say, was to be married the next Day, had the Misfortune to fall off a Causway and break his Neck, as he was coming down St Michael's Hill.

Apr 26.  Gloucester, April 23.  Yesterday was Sev'night, about two in the Afternoon, a MAN UNKNOWN leap'd into the River Severn, near Wopill, in sight of several Persons, and was drowned.  The Body being taken up on Tuesday Morning last, it was found to be Mr WILLIAM TERIL of West Kinton in Wilts.  He was about 30 years of Age, and somewhat disorder'd in his Senses.  The Body was carried away in a Hearse, in order to be buried at Kinton.

May 3.  JOHN JEANE> RICHARD PYE (Cabbin Boy) > Guilty.

May 3.  Gloucester, April 30.  On Thursday last one GILES MAJOR was Committed to our Castle, from Cheltenham, on suspicion of Murthering his Brother in Law.

May 31.  Bristol, May 27.  On Sunday last a Boy [Francis George] was drowned by going into our River to wash himself.
  ... And on Tuesday one JOHN EWEN of St Leonards Parish in this City, who last week beat and whipt a Boy of about three Years old, who was put to Nurse to his Wife, till he died under his Hands, was taken and committed to Newgate.  The child's Offence, for which he used him so barbarously, was only fouling the Bed.
  ... And on Thursday last a Porter in St Thomas street putting a Barrel of Pitch up one pair of stairs, his Foot slipping, the Barrel returned upon him and so bruised him, that he died in two Hours after he was carried to his Lodgings.

Jun 7.  Advert.  re Male child aged 1 week left at Tetbury in a basket.

Jun 21.  Ross in Herefordshire.  A Servant Girl here who was brought to bed of a Bastard Child, murder'd the Infant by breaking its Neck, and afterwards hid it in a parcel of Feathers.
    Gloucester, June 18.  On Tuesday last, one of the Dragoons washing himself in the Severn, near this City, was drowned.

Jul 26.  Gloucester, July 23.  The Assizes for this City beginning this day at the Booth Hall in this City, the following Persons are to be brought upon Trial, viz. Giles Major on suspicion of murdering FRANCIS GEORGE.  John Hooper for Manslaughter.

Aug 23.  Bristol, August 20.  Wednesday night last one Farmer YOUNG of Redland, near Durdham Down, was barbarously murdered in his Bed, himself only being in the house, but it is not yet found out by whom, tho' it's fear'd his Wife is not wholly ignorant of it, they having lived a disagreeable Life, and she having left his bed for some time, besides which, a Key belonging to him was found upon her.

Aug 30.  Gloucester, August 29.  MARY YOUNG and THOMAS BOWEN her Son were on Thursday last committed to our Castle for the Murder at Durdham Down, mentioned in our last.  Since when BENJAMIN BOWEN another of her Sons is apprehended at Abergavenny for the same, and being under examination, will be speedily sent hither.

Sep 6.  The Account we received from Bristol (in our last) of the apprehending of BENJAMIN BOWEN at Abergavenny is a groundless aspersion cast upon him, he now living in London.

Sep 13.  Bristol, September 3.  The Coroner's Inquest have given their Verdict before the Justices that Mr YOUNG of Redland, near Durdham Down, was most barbarously and wilfully murder'd.
   .... Advert re escape of JANE ATKINS, aged 30/40, of Kingswood Wilts.  Convicted of murdering her new born child; description.

Sep 20.  Bristol, September 18.  This Morning JACOB DAVIS one of our Neighbours, a lighter-man, who was drown'd last Night, is taken up at the Key.

Oct 4.  Gloucester, October 1.  From Bristol, That on Saturday last in the Afternoon five men belonging to the Brass works at Baptist Mills, having been up the River in a boat, as they were coming back again, the boat being driven by the rapidity of the stream struck, against a stake, or some such thing, with such force, that every one of them was thrown out of the boat; however, some of them caught hold of the boat, and the rest of the Twiggs which grow on the bank of the river, by which means they were all saved, except on JAMES THOMAS, whose Twigg broke off, and he was unfortunately drowned.

Oct 18.  Gloucester, October 15.  They write from Wotton Underedge in this county, that on the 14th of last month (being their Fair) one JACOB ROBINS being intoxicated with Liquor, and mistaking his Son had received an abuse from some persons at the Turnpike, went thither, where a battle ensued between him and two Lime carriers; after which, Robins went off: But meeting with an acquaintance by the ways they both concluded to go back again to the Turnpike.  By this time the Keeper of the Turnpike (who was absent during the Skirmish) was returned; and Robins demanding of him his wig, which he said he had lost there, the Keeper strove to pacify him, by telling him if he had lost any thing there, he would look after it; but Robins not content with this reply, gave him abusive Language, and assaulted him; upon which the Keeper closing with him, they both fell to the Ground, and Robins' Leg was so broke with the fall, that in a weeks time he died with a mortification.

Oct 25.   They write from Bristol, 22 Inst.  Last Night a Man was drown'd by the Lime kiln on St Philip's Backs.
                Gloucester, Oct. 24.  Last Week a Jeweller going from hence to Bristol on horse back, on a sudden lighted, and went to a pond near the road side, and drowned himself.

Nov 1.  Gloucester, Oct 29.  We have an account from Little Sodbury in this county, that on Tuesday last a poor Man who keeps a Shop there, and sells Drams, &c. going out and leaving his Wife (who was blind) to serve in it; some villains 'tis supposed took an opportunity to murder her, and afterwards carried off to the value of 10/- in Money.

Nov 15.  Gloucester, Nov 14.  On Wednesday last one CHARLES BUTLER was committed to our Castle for the Murder of MARY HARWOOD of Little Sodbury formerly mentioned.

Dec 13.  Gloucester, Dec 10. .......perished by the extremity of the weather, since which another poor Man has also been found dead on Horton hill near Petty France.  And we hear that the Roads are render'd so bad by the vast quantity of snow, ....   


Jan 30.  Bristol, Dec 30.  We hear that a young man, an Apprentice to a Pipe-maker in this City, upon some Disrespect from his Sweet heart, stabb'd himself in her presence, and 'tis suppos'd to be mortal.

Jan 17.  Bristol, Jan 7.  A barbarous Murder was committed last Tuesday, by HENRY BROOKMAN, (an idle fellow, about 18 years of age)  on the body of MARY COFF, a Quaker, who was found in the Meeting House last Wednesday, with her throat cut from Ear to Ear.  It happened, that one of the Neighbours seeing the said Brookman coming from thence, caused him to be apprehended upon suspicion, and being brought before the Justices then sitting at Pensford, they immediately ordered him to be search'd, and found a Bloody Knife in his Pocket, which prov'd to be the poor Woman's; whereupon he made an ample confession of the Fact, viz. That he first knocked her down, then searching her pocket, found therein 18d. in Money, and that Knife, with which he cut her Throat; he was thereupon committed to Ivelchester Gaol.
              Worcester, Jan 11.  Last Sunday was 7 Night, as a Man of this City was halling up his Oister boat below Gloucester, in his way hither, going very near the River side, the Ground fell away from under him, whereby he fell with it into the water and was drown'd, leaving a Wife and two Children.

Feb 14.  Gloucester, Feb 11.  On Monday Night last, one MATTHEW GIROD, a Person that dress'd wash'd or Oyl'd Leather, at a Mill in or near Barton street, fell into the works and was kill'd, he hath left a wife and two children.

Feb 21.  Gloucester, Feb 18.  They write from Ross, in Herefordshire; That on Wednesday last in the Evening, one Mr LONGBOTTOM fell into a Cellar, and broke his Neck.

Feb 28.  Gloucester, Feb 25.  By the great Quantity of Snow and Rain, that fell on Tuesday and Wednesday last, we hear there has been great Floods in all parts of the Country, and several Men and Horses have been drowned; ...

Mar 14.  Gloucester, Mar 11.  Our Assize beginning this Day at the Boothall in this City, the following Persons are to be brought upon Trial, viz. GILES MAJOR, on suspicion of murdering FRANCIS GEORGE; JOHN HOOPER alias WILLIAMS, for Murder; ... CHARLES BUTLER, for the Murder of MARY HORWOOD of Little Sodbury; JOHN GOWIN alias LEVANS, for being concerned in a Murder with JOHN HOOPER, &c.

Mar 21.  GILES MAJOR indicted for the Murder of his Brother in Law (FRANCIS GEORGE) on the 26th of April last.  MARGARET LAD, a near neighbour to the Prisoner, depos'd, That on the 26th of April, about 10 a'clock at Night, she heard Francis George cry out Murder several times, and also heard a Person say, was not you the Death of my Sister? which (she said) was like Major's Voice: Hereupon she arose and went to some of her Neighbours, and told them what she had heard; but they not being willing to get up, desired her to call to her Neighbour George to know what was the matter, which she did; and having no Answer, went to bed again, thinking all was well.  The next Morning about Five she arose and went to Spinning; and after some time, not perceiving her Neighbour George go to his labour as usual, she went to his Door, and opening it, saw him dead on the Floor; at which, being much surprised, she went back again, and acquainted the Neighbours with it, who immediately took a Constable and entered the House, where they saw the Deceased lying against a Post in the Chimney corner with his Throat cut in a very barbarous manner, and a great deal of Blood on the Ground.  Among the rest, was the Prisoner, (Giles Major) who seem'd to take but very little notice of his deceased Brother; however, being seized on suspicion of the Murder, his Wastecoat, Breeches and Shoes were found to be bloody: And farther to corroborate the Fact, a Gentleman of Cheltenham going to view the Body of the murder'd Person, discover'd some Blood on the Ring of the Door, as also upon a Stile that lead into an Orchard, which induced him to make a stricter search, in order to a farther discovery; and going by the side of a Hedge that led to the House where Major liv'd, he discovered the print of a Man's Foot on the Grass, which was very tender, and looking narrowly into the Hedge to see if there was nothing hid there, as a Knife, or the like, found a Garter tied all in knots, all bloody, and with it some Hair, of the same Colour with tht of the Deceas'd; after which, there was also found in a Chair in the House of the said George a piece of a Garter exactly agreeing with the bloody Garter.  And what is still more remarkable, when the Prisoner was apprehended he had no Garters on; and a witness (who work'd with him) depos'd, that he had seen Major put on and pull off those Garters several times.  These and several other Circumstances being very full against the Prisoner, and he producing no one to his Reputation, the Jury found him guilty of the Murder.

CHARLES BUTLER indicted for the Murder of MARY HORWOOD  of Little Sodbury, and taking a Sum of Money out of the House.  Several witnesses depos'd, that they saw Butler have some Gold about him, which he took pains to shew a day or two after the Murder was committed; and particularly a Moidore, which was lost out of the House, and he was so ignorant, that he knw not the value of it: But what was still more evident, one of the witnesses depos'd, that she saw Butler on Sodbury Common the Morning the Fact was committed, and talking together bout it, Butler said he had been there that Morning for some Tobacco, and that Mary Horwood was then very well as far as he could perceive; but her Husband was gone out to look after some Oxen, as he really was.  These and many other Circumstances gave the Jury reason to find him Guilty.

The Trials being over, the Judge proceeded to give Sentence as follows:
Received Sentence of Death, 6. viz.  GILES MAJOR, CHARLES BUTLER, ...
[4 SINCE REPRIEVED; Giles Major to be executed Friday next.]

Mar 28.  Gloucester, Mar 26.  Yesterdy GILES MAJOR and ABRAHAM CAYNES were executed here.  Major during the time he lay under Condemnation was very obstinate, and would not confess the Murder, tho' often press'd to do it by the Minister that attended him; but the Day before his Execution, being earnestly entreated by Caynes on his knees to acknowledge his Crime, he made an ingenious Confession to him, declaring that he himself was the only Murderer of his Brother in Law, and that no one else was concerned with him in committing the same. ...
  They desired the Spectators to taking warning by 'em, and after having some time allowed them for their private Devotion, the Cart drew away, they calling on God to receive their Souls.
         Gloucester, Mar 27.   We should have inform'd our Readers in our last, that MARY YOUNG and WILLIAM BOWEN (indicted for the Murder of EDWARD YOUNG) were both acquitted, she bringing several witnesses to prove where she was when the Fact was committed, and the Evidence not being full enough against Bowen to convict him.

Apr 18.  Bristol, Apr 8.  We hear that at the Assizes at Taunton 10 Malefactors receiv'd Sentence of Death; among whom is HENRY BROOKMAN for the Murder of a poor Woman at Belton Meeting House near Pensford, ... Brookman is to be executed on Wednesday next on a Gibbet near the said Meeting House, and to be hang'd up in Chains on the same.
            Gloucester, Apr 15.  Last week a Maid Servant of TOBIAS LUTON, of Doynton had her Brains knock'd out in her said Master's House, which is suppos'd to have been rifled by a Fellow whom her Sweetheart (who was going to see her) saw go from the House, a Way where there was no Road, and seeing what was done, caused him to be pursued and taken on Lansdown: He was deliver'd into the Custody of an Officer, who set a Watch over him, however the Fellow (who was very urgent with the Coroner to let him go, and said he would list himself for a Soldier) found means to make his escape.

Apr 25.  Bristol, Apr 22.  On Tusday last a Sailor being in Liquor fell overboard at our Key and was drown'd.

May 2.  Bristol, Apr 28.   On Friday last about one in the Afternoon, HENRY BROOKMAN was executed, and afterwards hanged in Chains, on Hursley-hill, for the Murder of MARY CUFF, a Quaker.  He confess'd the said Murder, and said he stabb'd her in seven Places, and then cut her Throat and robb'd her of 1s. 6d.  Some Gentlemen having the Curiosity to ask him, why he was Guilty of such a Crime? He answered (as he did before the Judge) that 'twas Hunger made him do it.   
         Gloucester, Apr 27.  On Friday last was committed to our Castle ROGER BRYANT, for the Murder of the young woman at Doynton, as mention'd in this Paper of the 18th Instant.  He hath since confess'd the Fact.

Jun 13.  Gloucester, Jun 10.  Last Saturday a Boy was kill'd by the Kick of a Horse in Barton street; whose Father lost his Life about a Year or two ago by the same unhappy Accident.

Jul 4.  Gloucester, Jul 1.  This Week BENJAMIN BOWEN was committed to our Castle on suspicion of murdering his Father in Law Farmer YOUNG at Redland in August last.

Jul 25.  Gloucester, Jul 22.  ROGER BRYANT, for Wilful Murder.

Aug 1.  Gloucester, Jul 29.  On Wednesday last our Assizes ended here, where several Persons were tried for the following Crimes:
ROGER BRYANT, indicted for the Murder of ANNE WILLIAMS, on the 3d of April last, by giving her a mortal Wound on the Head, of which she died:  TOBIAS LUTON, depos'd, That on Easter Monday he and his wife went to Church, and when they returned, they found Anne Wiliams (their Servant) murder'd, and their House robb'd of a Silver Tankard, two Silver Mugs, a Gold Ring, and Several other things.  The Prisoner being a Person of ill Repute was taken up on suspicion of committing the said Murder, &c. but found means to make his escape from the Constable and his Assistants: However, in about three weeks after he was retaken at Cirencester, where he had sold a Ring, which was proved to be Mrs Luton's; and when he was brought to Gloucester he confess'd the Fact to the Persons that guarded him thither, whilst he was at an Inn, and likewise said that he had hid the Plate in a Field near the House from whence he had stolen it; but tho' diligent search was made, yet it could not be found.  Upon his Trial, he denied the Fact; but the Evidence being very full against him, he was found guilty of Wilful Murder.

BENJAMIN BOWEN, indicted for the Murder of his Father in Law, EDWARD YOUNG of Redland, near Bristol, in August last: The Prisoner brought his Master from London, who depos'd that he was in his Service on the 17th of August, the Time the Murder was committed, which was also corroborated by another Evidence from thence; whereupon he was acquitted.

Sentence of Death.  ROGER BRYANT and JOHN EVANS.
Note, JOHN EVANS is since reprieved, and ROGER BRYANT order'd for Execution on Wednesday the 9th Instant, near the Place where the Murder was committed, and afterwards to be hang'd in chains there.

Aug 15.  Gloucester, Aug 12.   On Wednesday last ROGER BRYANT (condemn'd for the Murder of ANNE WILLIAMS, Servnt to Mr LUTON of Doynton, and robbing the House of several Pieces of Plate) was executed on Tug Hill, near the Place where the Murder and Robbery was committed, and afterwards hang'd in chains there.  He was about 24 years of age, born of mean Parentage, at Doynton aforesaid, and was put forth Apprentice to a Sheerman, but not liking that Employment, he run away from his Master, and inlisted himself for a Foot Soldier; after which he betook himself to the Business of a Pargiter; and in the latter Part of his Life was a Dragoon in the Hon. Brigadier Churchill's Regiment, but deserted.  As to the Particulars of the Fact for which he suffered, he said, That having been playing at Skettles on Easter Monday, and Luck running against him, he went to Mr Luton's, thinking to have received a small Matter that was due to him for Work, but Mr Luton and his Wife being gone to Church, he was disappointed: Hereupon he began to tell his Complaint of the Want of Money to an idle Fellow that was begging a draught of Small Beer of the Maid: To which, the Fellow reply'd, D--n it, I believe there is a good Wedge of Money here, let us have it; and accordingly knock'd down the Girl with a great Stick he had in his Hand, and then bid him strike her, which he did; but his Heart failing him, he said, he did not hurt her much; then he went up Stairs and took the Plate mentioned in the Indictment: Bryant added, that whilst he was up Stairs, the other Fellow struck the Maid such a violent Blow, that it made the House shake, (which stroke he believed finish'd her Life) and then made his Escape into a Wood.  As he was going to the Place of Execution he discovered where he had hid the Plate, which being found, he had 5 l. given him.  'Tis also very remarkable, that when he came within sight of the House where the Fact was committed he began to be terribly shock'd, and wept bitterly.

Oct 31.  Gloucester, Oct 30.   On Friday last a Boy belonging to one of the Troughs at our Key, tumbled over board, and was drown'd.

Nov 7.  Gloucester, Nov 6.  One ---- JOHNSON, of this City was committed to the Northgate, last week, for the Murther of a Child she was Mother in Law to; which she acted in a very cruel manner.


Jan 16.  Bristol, Jan 13.  We hear of several sad Accidents, particularly a young woman near this City, who poison'd herself, because her Sweetheart slighted her; and another in the City hang'd herself on the same account: As did also a young Man, tho' we don't hear that this was for Love.

Jan 23.  Gloucester, Jan 22.  The late Rain have occasioned such Floods in these Parts as have not been known for many Years past, whereby vast Tracts of Land are overflowed, and Passengers go to and from this City in Boats. - Last Saturday a Boat passing through one of the Arches of our Bridge, to which a Barge was fastened, was overset by the same, and a Boy, son of the Widow Baily, of the Cross Keys, near the Westgate, was drown'd; but two Men who were in the same Boat, fortunately caught hold of the said Barge, and were saved.

We have the following melancholy Account from the City of Bristol, That a Shoemaker's Wife of that City being in Labour, and her Life despair'd of, they open'd her, in order to save the Child, which was found dead within her: Hereupon the Husband was so afflicted, that he murder'd a Child of his of about 4 Years old, and afterwards hang'd himself.

Mar 26.  Gloucester, Mar 23.  On Saturday Night last, Five Persons were Drown'd near Minsterworth, viz. one Man and four Women, as they were going from Gloucester Market in a Boat, they were eight in all, but three were saved.

Apr 9.  Gloucester, Apr 6.  The Assizes for this County beginning this Day, at the Boothall, in this City, the following Persons are to be brought upon their Trials, viz. JANE WOODRUFF, charged with destroying a Bastard Child. - SARAH BIDMEAD for the like Crime.  RICHARD HARMER and ELIZ. HOLDER on suspicion of Murder.

Apr 16.  Bristol, Apr 13.  Last Night 3 Small Children going hand in hand to the waterside, all fell in and were drowned.
               Gloucester, Apr 13.  A NEW BORN INFANT was lately found in the Severn, near this City, supposed to be murder'd.

ELIZABETH HOLDER indicted for the Murder of her Bastard Child, and RICHARD HARMAR for concealing the same.  JOHN MOSS depos'd, that the Prisoner lodg'd in his House, and that he heard a noise, like that of a Cat, but heard no more of it.   SUSAN MOSS depos'd, that several People accus'd the Prisoner with being with Child, but putting it to her, she denied it; and hearing the aforesaid Noise, she ask'd the Prisoner if she heard it, who reply'd, she did not:  In the Morning, the wench ask'd for some Bread and Cheese, and Drink, and soon after arose: Sarah Moss further deposed, that two or three Nights after this she was much surpriz'd in her Sleep, by Dreaming she saw a young Child, which made her mistrust something more than common; but her Daughter making an excuse, to look for somewhat she pretended she wanted, went up stairs, where she discovered signs of a Child being newborn; whereupon, she charged the Prisoner with the Fact, who still denied it:  After this, some of the Neighbours being called in, the Prisoner produced the Child, and a Midwife being sent for, declared she had not gone the full time; and upon the Trial the Midwife likewise depos'd, to the same Effect.  The Prisoner in her Defence said, that she did not think her Time so near by 6 or 7 Weeks, and that she had provided for lying-in; so that the Jury brought her in Not Guilty, and acquitted Harmer.

JANE WOODRUFF and SARAH BIDMEAD were also indicted for the like crime, and acquitted.

Burnt in the Hand: ABRAHAM ANDREWS for Manslaughter.

May 7.  Bristol, May 4.  On Thursday Mr WALTER VAUGHAN, Jun. Cooper, was found dead under the Rocks below the Cupaeloes, with his Brains dash'd out, and his Body much bruised.

Sep 24.  Gloucester, Sep 21.  Tuesday a Waggon loaded with Cheese (with two Women therein) coming to our Fair, was overturn'd at the Wainers Hill, near this City; one of the woman was killed on the spot, and the other much hurt.

Oct 8.  Bristol, Oct 5.  One Day last Week ELIZABETH GOUGH, the Landlord's Wife of the Boarded House in Kingswood; was convey'd from Bridewell, without Lawford's Gate, to Gloucester Castle, for maiming, and in an inhuman manner stamping on the Body of a Woman six Months gone with Child, who came to call her Husband from the Alehouse, of which Bruises she died in a few Days, and the Child within her.

Oct 29.  WHEREAS JOSEPH SMITH of Henton, near Derham, was found robb'd and murder'd in a ground near Marshfield in Gloucestershire, supposed to be murder'd by JOHN WOODHAM, Jun. of Marshfield aforesaid, on Friday night last, being the 18th of October, he having since absconded: Whoever therefore shall take and secure the said John Woodham, will be Intitled to 40 l. as by Act of Parliament.  Note, he is a slender Fellow about 5 foot 10 inches, of a pale Compexion, about 24 years of age, supposed to have on a brown bobb Wig, and a grey Coat.

Nov 5.  Gloucester, Nov 2.  On Tuesday last JOHN WOODHAM (advertis'd in our last) was committed to our Castle, being charged with the Murder of JOSEPH SMITH, near Marshfield, in this County:  He hath since his Committment confess'd the Fact; and farther declar'd, that one WATTS, now in Ilchester Gaol, was concerned with him in the said Murder.

Dec 3.  Gloucester, Dec 2.  We have an Account from Bristol of the 29th ult. that the Tuesday before, as some Boys were throwing Snowballs there, one fell on a Drummer who was lately come from Ireland to raise Recruits, as he pass'd along, which so inrag'd him, that he drew his Sword, and stabb'd a Man, that endeavoured to pacify him, in such a manner that he instantly dropt down dead on the spot.  The Drummer was immediately secured, in order to receive the just Reward of so rash an Action.
   On Thursday Night last ROBERT COLE at Reedford, near this City, was kill'd by the Wheel of a grist Mill, as he was striking down the shut, that stops the water, with a Sledge, the weight whereof (he missing his Blow) pull'd him into the Water, and the Wheel catching hold of him, tore his Head and one of his Legs so violently, that he immediately expired.

Dec 17.  Gloucester, Dec 14.  They write from Bath, That the beginning of this Month died in Ilchester Gaol, one THOMAS WATTS, committed on suspicion of being concerned in the Murder of JOSEPH SMITH, near Marshfield, with one Woodham, now in Gloucester Gaol; and tho' Woodham since his Commitment hath accused Watts as an Accomplice with him in the said Murder, yet 'twas generally believed he was innocent of it, and Watts declar'd to the Rev. Mr Harris, in his dying Moments, that he was no ways accessary to it.


Jan 7.  London, Jan 4.  We hve an Account from Bristol, that a few Days ago one of the Tide Surveyors from that Port, cut his Throat in such a violent manner, that he died soon after.
             Gloucester, Jan 4.  They write from Bath, that THOMAS WATTS, who died in Ilchester Gaol, where he was committed for being concern'd in the Murder near Marshfield, did confess to the Keeper of the said Gaol, that he was Guilty of the said Murder, notwithstanding he solemnly denied it to the Minister who attended him in his last Moments, as was lately mentioned in this Paper.

Feb 18.  Gloucester, Feb 17.  On Thursday last died in our Castle Gaol, JOHN WOODHAM, some time since committed for being an Accomplice (with one THOS. WATTS, who died lately in Ilchester Gaol) in the Murder of JOSEPH SMITH, near Marshfield.  Woodham, before he dy'd, confess'd, That he, together with the said Watts, and one WALTER WEBB, now in Salisbury Gaol, did murder the said Joseph Smith, for informing against the said Watts and Webb, for stealing a Deer out of 'Squire Blathwait's Park at Derham.

Apr 8.  Gloucester Assizes: Sentences:  ELIZ. GOUGH, that was Indicted for the Murder of MARY WILLIS, was found Guilty of Manslaughter, and burnt in the Hand.

Apr 22.  Gloucester, Apr 19.  On Thursday Night a Farmer's Son near this City, as he was fishing for Elvers, tumbled into the Severn and was drowned, before any Help could come to him.

Sep 16.  Bristol, Sep 13.  Yesterday, ... WILLIAM TAYLOR, a Drummer ... executed on Mile Hill Gallows; ... for Murder.  They both died very Penitent.

Oct 28. Bristol, Oct 25.  On Thursday was committed to our Gaol, Capt. JAMES NEWTH, being charg'd on Oath with suspicion of having Murder'd his Cabin Boy on the Coast of Guinea, about two Years ago.  It seems he has made a Voyage since he did the Murder, along with those that are the witnesses thereof; and had they not fallen out, about making up some Accounts, the Boy's Death had not been call'd in Question.

Nov 18.  Gloucester, Nov 17.  On Wednesday last one Owner CUTTS fell over board, near this City and was drowned; we don't hear his Body is yet found.

Dec 16.  Gloucester, Dec 15.  Two Men and a Woman were drowned in their Passage between Bath and Bristol.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School