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Colonial Cases


Gloucester Journal extracts


Jan 8.  Bristol, Dec 29.  The Beginning of this Week a Soldier was committed to Newgate for the Murder of a Child, by striking it with a Stick when in the Arms of its Father as he pass'd along the Street.
           Gloucester, Jan 5.  The Beginning of this Week a poor Man of this City, suppos'd to be in Liquor, was frozen to Death in a Brew House.  We have also Accounts from divers Parts of the Country (too many here to mention) of several Persons who have perish'd thro' the Extremity of the Season.

Jan 15.  Bristol, Jan 5.  Sunday last a poor Man who begg'd about the Streets, was found perish'd to Death in Marsh Street through the Extremity of the Cold.
   A few Days ago a poor Woman, who liv'd in Milk Street, also perish'd with Cold, after she had been deliver'd.  
   Also re Child (Father Philip Brimscombe).

Apr 1.  Gloucester, Mar 29.  Assizes.  THOMAS HAYS, for the Murder of JOSEPH FISHER, late Keeper of the Park on Robin Hood's Hill.

Apr 8.  MUSTO and VARLO, two Soldiers, were try'd for the Murder of an Infant in Merchant street on the 26th December last, and acquitted.

Jun 17.  Bristol, Jun 7.  Last Thursday Mr EVANS of St Augustine's Back (formerly a Cork Cutter, in Marsh street, who having acquired a handsome Fortune, retir'd from Business) stopt in his Chaise at Temple gate to speak with an Acquaintance, and died the very Instant that his Friends came up to him without speaking.

Jul 22.  Gloucester, Jul 16.  Assizes.  MARY MARCHANT, and SARAH COX, the former on Suspicion, and the latter for being found guilty on the Coroner's Inquest, of murdering her Bastard Child.

Nov 18.  Bristol, Nov 8.  Tho' the great Storm on Saturday last was very violent here, yet it providentially happen'd that little Damage has been done thereby, as we can yet hear of, excepting the following sad Disaster, viz.  JOHN GOULD, a Pilot at Pill, with three other Men, being unfortunately out in the Channel on the Lookout for the homeward bound ships, the Boat overset, and all Four lost their Lives; the Boat has since floated on Shore in its right position, and two of the dead Men in her, one lash'd, and the other with his Foot jam'd between the Boards.

Dec 2.  Bristol, Nov 22.  One Day this Week the Body of a Match Woman was found in the Mud in the Key, cut and mangled in a most barbarous Manner, suppos'd to be done by a Black belonging to a Ship, who was seiz'd near the Bridge with a bloody Hanger about him, and was committed to Newgate on a violent Suspicion of his being the Perpetrator of so horrid a Deed. [GOREE WEBB]
  Gloucester, Nov 29.  On Thursday last JOHN LEONARD, alias BOUCHER, was committed to our Castle, by J Rous, Esq. For Felony and Suspicion of Murder.

Dec 23.  Gloucester, Dec 23.  Last Saturday a Woman of Barton street near this City, came to our Market, and left four Children at Home, two of them in Cradles, (one a Nurse Child,) and whilst she was absent, her second Child having set Fire to its Apron, pull'd it off and threw it upon the Cradle wherein her youngest lay, which catching the Flame, the poor Infant was burnt to Death.  This melancholy accident, it's hop'd, will be a Caution to others not to leave their children unattended.

Dec 30.  Bristol, Dec 20.  One Day this Week a poor Woman perish'd with the Cold in the Horse Fair.  She was almost naked, and was pelted with Snow balls a little before she died by a Parcel of wicked Boys; - the unhappy Effect of a loose Education, and a Reproach to their Parents and Friends.


Jan 27.  Bristol, Jan 20.  Account of the murder of SIR JOHN DINELEY GOODIER, of Charleton, Evesham, aboard the RUBY Man of War, by the Captain, his brother, and CHARLES WHITE (of IRL) and MATTHEW MAHONY (of IRL) ; Coroner's Inquest, Wilful Murder.

Feb 3.  Gloucester, Jan 31.  On Thursday the 15th Inst. A barbarous Murder was committed at Forden's Bridge, near Wotton Underedge.  Two Fellows had some Difference, but seem'd afterwards to be reconcil'd, and agreed to go out shooting Rooks in the Evening: when one of them went up Stairs and brought down a Fowling Piece which he had loaded the Day before, and presenting it at the other, who was within three Yards of him in the House, shot him in the Back; of which Wound (notwithstanding all possible care was taken of him by Mr HUNTRIDGE, Surgeon, of Wotton Underedge) he languish'd till the 21st, and then dy'd.  The Coroner's Inquest have brought in their Verdict, Wilful Murder; and the Fellow that committed the Fact (whose name is JOHN HATT) has absconded ever since.

Feb 10.  Bristol, Jan 31.  Burial of Sir JOHN DINELEY GOODIER.  Arrest of CHARLES BRYANT, EDWARD MacDANIEL and WILLIAM HAMMOND, for forcible seizure of Sir John.
We hear that Capt. GOODYER, late Commander of the RUBY Man of War, MATTHEW MAHON, and CHARLES WHITE, are order'd by Habeas Corpus from Bristol to London, to be tried at a Session of the High Court of Admiralty, for the Murder of Sir JOHN DINELEY GOODIER, Bart. Committed on board the said vessel the 19th of January.

Feb 17.  London, Feb 10.  Repeats the above from Bristol, Jan 31.

Mar 3.  Bristol, Feb 21.  We can now assure our Readers, that tho' the Habeas Corpus to remove Capt GOODIER (which was obtain'd by his Friends) did actually arrive here, and even a Party of Soldiers were draughted out to attend him, yet the same is now return'd, the Captain being determin'd to take his Trial here; the obeying of the Habeas being at his own Option.

Mar 17.  Gloucester, Mar 14.  Assizes.  WILLIAM CALDHOUND, indicted for beating HANNAH LEE, his Apprentice Girl, and starving her to Death, was acquitted; ....

Mar 24.  Gloucester, Mar 21.  Last Sunday an unhappy Accident happen'd at a Fishpond, about half a Mile from Chipping Sodbury, belonging to RICHARD STOKES, Esq; viz. Four lusty young Men going in a Boat on the said Pond, about Two o'Clock in the Afternoon, the Boat overset, and two of'em were drowned: The other two narrowly escaped, being almost suffocated before they could get out.
  We hear from Bristol that the Trial of Capt. GOODIER is deferr'd till next Thursday or Friday, on account of his ill State of Health.

Mar 31.  Gloucester, Mar 28.  We hear from Bristol, that this Day Capt. GOODIER, MATTHEW MAHONY, and CHARLES WHITE, received Sentence of Death for the barbarous Murder of Sir JOHN GOODIER, Bart.  The Captain's Trial lasted upwards of 8 hours.

Apr 7.  London, Apr 4.   Capt. GOODIER, WHITE and MAHONY, are order'd to be hanhg'd the 15th Inst. At Bristol, for the Murder of Sir JOHN DINELEY GOODIER, Bart.

Apr 14.  Bristol, Apr 4.  Capt. GOODERE, MATTHEW MAHONY, and CHARLES WHITE, for the Murder of Sir JOHN DINELEY GOODERE, and JANE WILLIAMS, for the Murder of her Bastard Child, are all order'd for Execution Wednesday se'nnight.
  This Week a Smith took Measure of MATTHEW MAHONEY, for his Chains, he alone being order'd to be hang'd in Chains some where down the River.
The three Ruffians who were convicted of seizing Sir John, are each of them sentenced to pay a Fine of 40 s. To suffer a Twelve Month's Imprisonment, and to find Sureties for their good Behaviour for a Twelve Month after.
   When the Captain (Samuel Goodier) came from the Guildhall with the above Prisoners last Saturday, after Sentence was pass'd upon them, he chose to walk on Foot through the Streets to Newgate, having his Scarlet Cloak on, and pull'd off his Hat to divers Persons.

Apr 14.  Mrs GOODERE has deliver'd a Petition to his Majesty, praying for Transportation for Life, or whatever his Majesty thought proper, for her Husband, so that his Life was spar'd, but without any Effect.

Apr 21.  Last Wednesday Capt. GOODERE, MATTHEW MAHONY, and CHARLES WHITE, for the Murder of Sir JOHN DINELEY GOODERE, Bart. And JANE WILLIAMS, for killing her Bastard Child, were executed at St Michael's Hill, Bristol.  The Captain went thither in a Mourning Coach, the other three in a Cart; and all confess'd the Crimes for which they suffer'd.  MAHONY dy'd a Roman Catholick.   The next Day the Captain's Body was put into a Hearse, and carry'd into Herefordshire, to be interr'd there; and the Body of MAHONY has since been hung in Chains.

May 12.  Bristol, May 2.  Last Tuesday, about Eight in the Morning, Mrs ELEANOR CLARKE of Temple street, cut her Throat, and expir'd two Hours after; She was very well esteemed by her Neighbours, and was of a cheerful agreeable Disposition, 'till since last Sunday, when she married a neighbouring Tradesman entirely against the Consent of her Friends.
  Last Wednesday a Quarrel happen'd at JAMES BRERETON's , over the Bridge near Kinsham, between one Farmer COX, and BENJAMIN SALMON; and, in the Scuffle, SALMON gave the Farmer a mortal Wound over the Head with a Shovel, of which he expir'd a few Hours after; and the Murderer is fled.

Jun 30.  Gloucester, Jun 27.  This Day a Man, suppos'd to be in Liquor, fell from the Shafts of a loaded Cart near Over Turnpike, which run over him and kill'd him on the Spot.

Jul 21.  Gloucester, Jul 18.  Last Wednesday the Assizes ended here, when one Man receiv'd Sentence of Death, viz. JOHN LEONARD, alias BOUCHER, for robbing his Uncle (an ancient and honest Man of the Parish of Wotton Underedge) on the Highway: He was likewise indicted for Murdering him, but the Evidence not being sufficient, he was acquitted; and is to be executed on Friday next.

Jul 28.  Gloucester, Jul 25.  Yesterday JOHN LEONARD was executed here, for robbing his uncle of 4 l. 10 s.   At the Place of Execution several of his Neighbours desir'd him to confess, whether he was also guilty of murdering him, which he absolutely deny'd; but acknowledg'd the Robbery.  He was about 28 Years of Age, born at Wotton Underedge in this County, and by Trade a Shoemaker; and, to all outward Appearance, dy'd very penitent.

Aug 4.  Gloucester, Aug 1.  They write from Tewkesbury, that two melancholy Accidents happen'd near that Town this Week, viz. On Tuesday one of the Troopers quarter'd there, bathing himself in the River, was in Danger of being drown'd; Whereupon another of them immediately stripp'd off his Cloaths and went in; but, by endeavouring to save him, they both unfortunately perished.
  And, On Friday they had a violent storm of Rain, accompany'd with dreadful Thunder and Lightning; when a poor woman and three Children, that were Leasing in the Fields, ran for Shelter under an Oak near the Lower Lode, and were all struck dead by the Lightning:  At the same Time a great deal of Damage was done to the Bridge that leads to Worcester.

Sep 15.  Gloucester, Sep 12.  This Week the Seat of Sir WILLIAM KEYTE, Bart. At Norton, in the parish of Mickleton, in this County, was entirely consumed by Fire, and he himself wilfully perish'd in the Flames, notwithstanding the utmost Endeavours of his Servants to save his Life; which is a glaring Proof that he was disorder'd in his Senses: @Tis said he set it on Fire himself.

Sep 22.  A rebuttal of the above report.

Nov 10.  Gloucester, Nov 7.  The following Persons have been lately committed to our Castle, viz. ...THO LAWRENCE, for the Murder of his Wife; he is 77 Years of Age.

Nov 24.  Gloucester, Nov 21.  This Week died in the Castle Gaol THOMAS LAWRENCE, who was lately committed there for the Murder of his Wife: He was 77 Years of Age.

Dec 22.  Bristol, Dec 12.  Yesterday was found drown'd in the River near Stapleton Bridge, Mr PIDDING, an eminent Corn factor in the Old Market: His Coat was at some Distance on the Bank side.


Jan 19.  Gloucester, Jan 18.  Yesterday morning ---- CHAMPNESS, a young Man of Thornbury, by Trade a Saddler, was found dead in a Ditch adjoining to Sudbrooke, near this City.  He was coming hither on Saturday, and in the Night unfortunately fell into the said Ditch, where thro' want of assistance, and the Fatigue of his Journey, occasion'd by the Violence of the Storm, 'tis suppos'd he perish'd.

Feb 2.  Gloucester, Feb 1.  Yesterday WILLIAM SEYMOUR, of Bitton in this County, Gentleman, was committed to our Castle, being charged upon Oath on Suspicion of Shooting his Brother, BERKELEY SEYMOUR, through his Body in the Bed on Wednesday Night last, and robbing him of about 20 l.

Feb 16.  They write from Bristol : They add, that upon enquiring into the Affair of the Murder of Mr BERKELEY SEYMOUR, by his Brother WILLIAM SEYMOUR, it appears that BERKELEY was in Bed when his Brother came to the side thereof, and shot him into his left Side, thro' his Coat, Waistcoat and Bed Cloaths.  His Body was found in an adjacent Room, with his Skull broke (as suppos'd by the Butt End of the Gun, so that his Brains came out;) a great Quantity of Blood lay by him, and by the Stains of Blood on Several Parts of the Ceiling, 'tis believ'd he made some Resistance after he was Shot.

Mar 16.  Gloucester, Mar 13.  Trial List.  WILLIAM SEYMOUR, for killing and robbing his Brother; SARAH SKERTON and RACHEL EVANS, for the Murder of GRACE HILL.

Mar 23.  Gloucester, 20 Mar.  Assizes: Sentence of Death.  WILLIAM SEYMOUR, of Bitton, for the barbarous Murder of his Brother, Mr BERKELEY SEYMOUR.  The Fact was prov'd by divers strong Circumstances; as his being the last Person seen in Company with his Brother, his Coat being bloody, and a Gun having been heard to go off in the House, that was never afterwards found, &c.  To which the Prisoner making but a weak Defence, the Jury soon brought him in Guilty.  The Trial lasted upwards of seven Hours.

Mar 30.  Gloucester, Mar 27.  Commitments to our Castle Gaol: ... and HANNAH ROOCH, for killing her Bastard Child.

Apr 6.  Gloucester, Apr 3.  The same Morning [last Wednesday], about Eleven, the other five Malefactors, viz. WILLIAM SEYMOUR, condemn'd for the Murder of his Brother; ... were carried (the first in a Mourning Coach) ... to the County Gallows, and executed; where, contrary to Expectation, SEYMOUR persisted in his Innocency to the very last; ....

Jul 13.  Gloucester, Jul 12.  On Sunday last a Carpenter, upwards of 60 Years of Age, who for some time had work'd in this City, being infatuated by an excessive Love of a young Woman that was deaf to his Addresses, for Vexation's sake drown'd himself:  The Coroner's Inquest have since sat on the Body, and brought in their Verdict Felo de se.

Aug 3.  Gloucester, Jul 31.  Assizes.  HANNAH ROACH, for the Murder of her Bastard Child.

Aug 24.  Bristol, Aug 14.  Last Saturday morning a large Swedish Vessel, about 500 tons, that had discharg'd her lading, and lay at anchor in Hongroad, overset for want of Ballast, by which means the Second Mate, who was in the Hold, was drown'd.

Sep 7.  Gloucester, Sep 4.  This Week were committed to the Castle Gaol, EDWARD BOUTON and MARGARET HUNTLY, on Suspicion of murdering a Male Bastard Child.

Dec 7.  Gloucester, Dec 4.   Last Wednesday, between Two and Five in the Afternoon, JANE CLARKE, Widow of JASPER CLARKE, of Rodborough in this County, was barbarously murdered (as suppos'd) by a Man that was seen at her House about Two the same Afternoon. - NB. He is tall, thin, very ill looking Fellow, near six Foot high, with small Bow legs; and had on, when seen at the said House, a light colour'd ragged Coat with White Metal Buttons and flash'd Sleeves, a red and white spotted Handkerchief, and a dirty Cap.  The Murder was committed as follows: She was strangled with a Handkerchief, and her Skull fractur'd with a Wool Card, that lay by her with the End of it bloody; after which, the Villain took off the Fingers two Gold Rings; and one Gold Signet, the Posies as yet unknown; and then rifled the House, and left his own bloody Coat and Waistcoat with small Mohair Buttons, and a narrow old Hat unloop'd: By his Discourse he appears to be a Herefordshire Man, and by Trade a Blacksmith; and 'tis thought he was seen at Nailsworth Yesterday Morning, in the same brown Coat and Hat, with a Handkerchief full of Linnen.

Dec 21.  Gloucester, Dec 18.  Last Tuesday a melancholy Accident happened in the Parish of Thornbury, in this County; One WILLIAM DEAN, Servant to Mr Roach of Upper Moreton, having been with the waggon and Cattle halling some Barley to Thornbury; upon his Return, as he was sitting upon the Tongue of the Waggon, he fell off, and was killed on the spot.
  Bath, Dec 14.  Yesterday JOSEPH MUTTLO, of  Herefordshire, a Blacksmith, was apprehended here, on Suspicion of murdering JANE CLARKE, Widow, of Rodborough in Gloucestershire; and some of the Things that were lost out of the Deceased'd House were found upon him; (of which Murder and Robbery a particular Account was given in our Journal of the 7th Instant).  He acknowledged the Fact, and that he sold the Rings in High Street, Bristol, one of them for 12 s. And the other two for 10 s. 6 d.  The Reason for murdering her, he says, was because she would not give him some Money he ask'd her for: He is committed to the County Gaol of Somerset.   


Feb 22.  Bristol, Feb 12.  Yesterday Morning one MARTHA WHITE was apprehended, and carried to St Peter's Hospital, on a violent Suspicion of murdering her two Bastard Children, which she was deliver'd of in a Necessary House, in the Back lane behind the Old Market, On Wednesday last, and being found there on Thursday Night.  The Jury sat on the Bodies Friday Evening, and brought in their Verdict Wilful Murder.
  The usual Experiment was made on swimming the Lungs of the Children, by which it appear'd one of them was born alive, and the other dead.
  Gloucester, Feb 19.  This Day was brought to our Castle, by Habeas Corpus, from Shepton Mallet Bridewell in Somersetshire, JOSEPH MUTTLOE, charg'd with the Murder of JANE CLARKE of Rodborough in this County.

Mar 8.  Bristol, Feb 26.  Account from Bedminster mentions EDWARD LINE, Weaver, sons JAMES and THOMAS, SUSANNAH his daughter; and a THOMAS SHORT.
   Gloucester, Mar 8.  Assizes.  JOSEPH MUTLOE, for the Murder of JANE CLARKE.  MARGARET HUNTLY and EDWARD BOUTON, for murdering a Bastard Child.   JOHN HORNSBY  and RICHARD HORNSBY,  for beating and killing ROBERT LAND.

Mar 15.  Gloucester, Mar 12.  Last Wednesday the Assizes ended here, when the six following Persons received Sentence of Death, viz. JOSEPH MUTLOE, for the barbarous Murder of JANE CLARKE, Widow, of Rodborough.  The Prisoner had little to say in his Defence, only that he wanted her to give him some Money, which she refus'd to do, and in a Passion threw a Wool Card at him, which he threw at her again, and kill'd her; and then he rifled the House, and took off some Rings from her Fingers, which he sold at Bristol.
  JOSEPH MUTLOE is order'd to be executed on Rodborough Hill, on Tuesday the 22d instant.

Three were burnt in the Hand, viz. ... JOHN HORNSBY, for Manslaughter.

Mar 29.  Gloucester, Mar 26.   Last Tuesday JOSEPH MUTLOE was executed on Rodborough Hill, and afterwards hung in Chains, for the Murder of JANE CLARKE, of that Parish, Widow.  He confessed the Fact, and desired the Spectators to pray for him.

May 3.  Bristol, Apr 30.  Long account of Press Gang; member killed by an ALEXANDER BROADFOOT, found Guilty by a Coroner's Inquest, but taken on ship.

Aug 30.  Bristol, Aug 20.  Monday last a poor Fellow dropp'd down dead in the Shambles, after having drank four Noggins of Rum.

Sep 13.  Bristol, Sep 3.  Thursday ended the Assizes for this City and County, which prov'd to be a Maiden one.  Among the Persons try'd were the following, viz. ...ALEXANDER BROADFOOT, charged with the Murder of CORNELIUS CALLAHAN, found Guilty of Manslaughter, burnt in the hand.

Sep 27.  Bristol, Sep 17.  Monday last Mr LYDIARD, a Barber in Broadmead, was unhappily kill'd by the Kick of a Horse in his Breast.  It seems he and his Wife, with other Company, were going to Bath to a Wedding; but the Saddle of one of the Horses not sitting easy, they unlighted in order to shift it; and as Mr LYDIARD was standing a little behind one of the Horses, the unfortunate Creature threw up his hinder Legs, and kill'd him on the Spot.
  And the beginning of this Week, Mr PARSONS, an eminent Carpenter in the Old Market, was kill'd by a Fall from a Horse, after being at the Horse Races on Clerken Down, near Bath.

Nov 8.  Bristol, Oct 19.  We hear a Tinker and his Wife are taken up on London Road on a violent Suspicion of murdering a poor Woman, in one of whose Pockets were found two Fingers, which they had cut off the Hands of the Deceased for the sake of her Rings.
   Gloucester, Nov 5.  Last Wednesday, THOMAS CAMBREY, of Cirencester, Saltman, and JOHN CURTIS, Labourer, were committed to our Castle Gaol, being charg'd on the Oaths of THOMAS STEPTOE (their Accomplice) and ESTHER ILES, with breaking into the House of JAMES MILLINGTON, in the Parish of Cirencester aforesaid, on the 25th of October last, and robbing the same of Money, &c. To the value of 20 l. And upwards; and also with wounding the said MILLINGTON, his Wife and Daughter; of which Wounds his said Wife is since dead.
  The same Day JOHN GRAHAM was committed to the said Gaol, on Suspicion of being concern'd in the Robbery and Murder of RICHARD RUDDLE, late Coachman to Sir ROBERT CANN, Bart.
[Advert. Re above in adjacent column.]

Dec 27.  Gloucester, Dec 24.  Last Tuesday ANDREW BURNET and HENRY PAIN, two foot Soldiers, were brought from Bristol, to our Castle, for the Murder of RICHARD RUDDLE, late Coachman to Sir ROBERT CANN, Bart. and robbing him of his Watch, &c. which  Watch was found in the Possession of the said BURNET.


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