Skip to Content

Colonial Cases


Pacquets of Advice, 1 December 1682
  In the year 1514 one Rich. Hun a Citizen of London and Merchant-tailor (K. H.the 7th being himself of that Company, had dubb'd them with that Title) a person of good Estate and well-beloved, was sued by a Parson for a Bearing sheet as a Mortuary, on the Burial of a child not above five weeks old.  Hun alleged, that the child not having any Property therein, he would not pay it; and they proceeding, he sued out a Writ of Praemunire against the Parson, his Councellors, Prcotors, &c.  This startles the whole Priesthood.   Therefore to stop it, and be Reveng'd on him, They accused him of Heresie, as That he had said,
Tythes wee not due, but by the Covetousness of Priests.  The Bishops and priests are the Scribes and Pharisees that crucify Christ, and that they are Teachers but not Doers of God's Law; That he had defended Hereticks, and had in his keeping English-books prohibited and damn'd by the Law; As relations, Epistles and Gospels in English, and other Books containing infinite Error, wherein he had long used to read and study daily.
  And hereupon he was Imprisoned in the Lollards Tower (adjoining to St. Gregories Church by Pauls, which was then the Bishops usual Jail for such as they were pleased to call hereticks) where 'twas resolved privily to Murder him, and accordingly he was removed out of the Custody of Joseph the Sumner, to Spalding the bell-ringer, and having strangled him in the Night, they put him in a posture as if he had hang'd himself with his own Girdle; where he was found next morning by a Boy, whom they sent up with some Meat on purpose to be the first Discoverer, and then generally gave out that he destroy'd himself.
  But the Citizens of London knowing the man's Honesty and Piety, and suspecting foul play, would have the Coroner set upon the Body; This put the Bishop and his Chancellor (who was concern'd in the Murther) into new pain, and therefore they endeavour'd before the Coroner's Inquest should bring in their Verdict, to proceed Ex-Officio against the dead man and Condemn him for Heresie, which they accordingly did by a long sentence, and in pursuance thereof, 16 days after they had thus cruelly murder'd him, they Burn his Corpse in Smithfield.
  But before this could be Accomplisht, the Coroner and Jury having view'd the Body as it hung on the 5th and 6th of Decem. considered all Circumstances, and examined several Witnesses, found clearly that he was Muder'd. not by himself and therefore they acquitted him of his own death) but their Sovereign not that the church had any power, directly, or indirectly, in temporal matters,  
  These profane novelties, which the flatterers of the Court of Rome have but too much endeavoured to propagate and establish, were not produced till several ages after, neer favour of the thick darkness that overspread the face of the earth; However, notwithstanding the then prevailing ignorance, they were strongly inveighed  against, and contemporary historians  assure us, that those enterprises, and the maxims on which they would ground them, were beheld with abhorrence.  The very novelty of so strange a doctrine, is a sufficient condemnation of it, according to the well known and indisputable principle of Tertullian, What has been handed down to us from the beginning is true, and comes of the lord; what has been introduced since, is on that very account  false, and foreign to religion. .  .  .

Protestant (Domestick) Intelligence, 5 April 1681
Westminster, April 2. - A servant Maid living at the Sign of Sir John Old-Castle in the Wool-Stable in Westminster, finding her self sick of the griping of the guts, was the next Morning delivered of a Female Child; whether dead or alive, nobody but her self knew, who says it was dead.  She took it, and put it into a Box, and the next Morning arose and made a Fire, her Mistress admiring at her sudden amendment (she having been so very Ill over night) further examined her concerning the matter, whereupon she confessed the Truth, and shewed where the Child was, which was kept in the House till yesterday; at which time the coroner Sate, and the Inquest holding her Guilty, she was committed to the gaol-House; further confessing that it was got by a boy of about 16 Years of Age, and begged heartily of the justices to intercede for her transportation.

Loyal Protestant, 20 June 1682
Little-Lincoln's-In-Fields, June 16.  This evening about 5  or 6 o'clock several boys were playing near Jack-a-napes-lane-end, and a Gentleman's Coach going hastily down the Hill, by the Rails, the Coach-man called to them to get out of the way; But one of them (about 9 or 10 years old) being nearer than the rest could not shun it; so that the Fore-wheel got hold of him, and ran over his Neck and Shoulders; insomuch that he was taken up for dead, and carried home into the Bell-Yard; but was fetch'd to life again, and continued in great pain till Saturday evening, at which time he dyed, and was on Sunday buried, in a Church-yard belonging to St. Dunstan's in the West; Upon the Coroner's Inquest, the Coach-man produced some persons to testify, that he called to him to get away; and that being down the Hill he could not stop his Coach sooner;  However, the Coach-man is bound over to answer at the next Sessions.

Universal Spectator, 30 Agust 1724
  A Gentleman who was formerly Secretary to the late Lord Curtis, and since a considerable Dealer in the Stocks, but being reduc'd by various Misfortunes, was not long since admitted into the Charter-House, where falling into a deep melancholy, he was remov'd hence to a private Mad-house at Hackney, appertaining to the said Hospital for a Cure; but his Disorder encreasing, he last Saturday hang'd himself in his Chamber against a Bed Post.  The Coroner's Inquest having enquir'd, and given a Verdict for Lunacy, his Corpse was interr'd in a decent Manner, Tuesday Night last at the Charter House.

British Journal, 12 September 1724
  On Saturday Evening the Skull and other Bones of Mr. Barbuse, th French Half-pay Officer, who was burnt in the House in Conduit-Street, lately inhabited by Mother Needbarn, were found by the Labourers in clearing the Rubbish, and were removed to the Rose Tavern there; where the Coroner's Inquest sat on them.

Universal Spectator, 30 August 1724
  A Gentleman who was formerly Secretary to the late Lord Curtis, and since a considerable Dealer in the Stocks, but being reduc'd by various Misfortunes, was not long since admitted into the Charter-House, where falling into a deep melancholy, he was remov'd hence to a private Mad-house at Hackney, appertaining to the said Hospital for a Cure; but his Disorder encreasing, he last Saturday hang'd himself in his Chamber against a Bed Post.  The Coroner's Inquest having enquir'd, and given a Verdict for Lunacy, his Corpse was interr'd in a decent Manner, Tuesday Night last at the Charter House.

British Journal, 12 September 1724
  On Saturday Evening the Skull and other Bones of Mr. Barbuse, th French Half-pay Officer, who was burnt in the House in Conduit-Street, lately inhabited by Mother Needbarn, were found by the Labourers in clearing the Rubbish, and were removed to the Rose Tavern there; where the Coroner's Inquest sat on them.

Fog's Weekly Journal, 18 December 1731
On Saturday snout noon the Micajah and Philip, bound for Virginia, took fire in the River over-against the Red-house at Deptford, as, 'tis said, by the boiling over of some Turpentine, but by the speedy Help from the King's Yard, &c., the flames were extinguish'd without doing any great Damage, except to the Forecastle; and a Boy about 10 or 11 Years old was burnt so that he died soon after.
  Robert Hallam, charged with the Murder of his Wife, was order'd to remain till next Assizes.  The same Day a Warrant came to Newgate, under the Hand and Seal of the Coroner, charging the  said Hallam with Wilful Murder.
  This Day 7-night a man went to a Glass-house in the Minories to set by the Fire, and being ill, they sent for the Beadle of the Parish, who carried him to Whitechapel Workhouse, where he liv'd about two Hours, and then died.  After he was laid out, there was found a cut in his Face, and a large Wound in his Back; and on Monday Night last the Coroner's Inquest sate on the Body at the Castle by the Workhouse; but they could not agree on a Verdict.  The Wounds appeared to be given with a Hanger, and the Governess of the Workhouse said she could get no Answer from the Man, only that he desired to lie down.  Nobody knew him; he had only a Coat, and a Speckled Shirt, and seem'd to be a middle-aged Man, but had Nothing in his Pocket.  Mr. Rivers the Coroner granted his Warrant for his Burial.,
  [On Sunday last] .  .  .   The same Night one Mrs. Harrison a Widow Gentlewoman in Bull-and-Mouth Street, being disordered in her Senses, hang'd herself in her Chamber; and last Monday Night the Coroner's Inquest sat on her body, and brought in their Verdict Lunacy.
  Tuesday about Noon a Man diving a Cart fill'd with Lime through Carter-Lane, Doctors commons, got up and sate upon the Shafts, but being in Liquor he soon fell down, and the Wheel of the Cart going over his Head, he died in about a Quarter of an Hour after.
  On Thursday Night a  young Woman of about 17 Years of Age, fell out of a Window two pair of Stairs, in Bleeding-Heart Yard, near Saffon Hill, and died on the Spot.

Universal Spectator, 30 August 1735
  Wednesday a middle aged Woman, genteelly dress'd, who had on two Holland Smocks on pretty good, with double Ruffles and a narrow Edging; a good tight Pair of Stays, and Silk Stockings on, was found drown'd in the Pond just on this side Marylebone; and was bought to the Queen's Head Alehouse in Hollis-street near Cavendish-square, to see if any Body knew her.
    A melancholy Accident happen'd on Tuesday Night last about Eight O'clock, at Mr. Thomas Chance's, a great Distiller In Bridge-Row, where a young man, Servant to Mr. Chance,  going up a Pair of Steps with a Candle and a large Pot of spirituous Liquor, in order to put it into a Cask, the Steps slipt, and he falling, threw the Liquor over him, which the Candle immediately set fire to, and he ran up and down the Street all over in a Flame, to the utmost Surpize of the neighbours, by which the unhappy Youth was so much bunt, that his Skin came off with his Clothes; Mr. Chance shew'd the greatest Concern imaginable at this Misfortune, and immediately got all the help possible; yet notwithstanding the Assistance of three able Surgeons, the poor Fellow expired next Day about Twelve at Noon, in an insensible Condition.  It was a Providence however that none of the other Liquors in the Shop took fire, which would immediately have set the whole House in a Flame.

The Justicing Book of Henry Norris, 1740-1;

London (Hackney), 1740

Tuesday, 15 January 1740: George Pritchard charged John Pateman on Oath with having beate Mary his wife on the 26th December last in such a violent manner that she voided blood and languished 'till the 14th instant & then dyed.  Johanna Pritchard his Daughter saw her.  Granted a Warrant to apprehend him. [n. 3, below]

This entry is from a loose piece of paper in the notebook volume.  Norris committed Pateman to Newgate the following day, to await trial for murder.  However, a coroner's inquisition found that Pritchard had died of natural causes, which made it extremely unlikely that a grand jury would find that Pateman had a case to answer.  There was no attempt to indict him and he was therefore discharged at the delivery of the gaol later that month. Refs. MJ/SR/2730; MJ/GBB/316/58.

Whitehall Evening Post, 5 August 1760
  Tuesday the Coroner's Inquest sat on the Body of the Officer, who a few Days since shot himself at his Lodgings in Scotland-Yard, Westminster, and brought in their Verdict Lunacy.

Public Ledger, 17 February 1761
  About 13 years ago a milkman in Whitechapel killed a boy, and immediately absconded; the Coroner's inquest brought in their verdict, Wilful  Murder.  It seems the milkman has since traversed several counties, working for farmers, &c., till he was very lately discovered at Canterbury by a lighthouseman, who had him taken up and examined.  The murderer is  said to be 60 years old, and is to be sent to town in order to take his trial.

St. James Chronicle, 1 July 1762
  Yesterday the Coroner's Inquest sat on the Body of John Crimpton, an Apprentice to a Ship Carpenter, at Rotherhithe, who was drowned on Wednesday, and bought in their Verdict Accidental Death.

Public Advertiser, 29 September 1764
  Monday afternoon a Bricklayer's Labourer fell from the Scaffolding, at the Picture-Frame Maker's in Maiden-lane, Covent Garden, and falling upon the Sign Irons, broke them down, and expired on the Spot.
     On Sunday last a Gentleman in Liquor, being in a Boat with two Ladies on te River near Chelsea, by some Accident fell overboard and was drowned; and notwithstanding the most diligent Search, his body is not yet found.
  Yesterday Catharine Freland, a Market-Woman, aged 50, going into the Black Bull Inn in Holborn, with a basket of Green Grocery on her Head, and a loaded Wagon coming out, the poor Woman was squeezed between the Waggon Wheels and the Gate-Post in such a Manner that she instantly died.  The Waggoner was secured until the Coroner's Inquest have sat on the Body of the Deceased.

Westminster Journal, 6 July 1765
  Monday se'nnight, a young female child, supposed to be murdered, was found in a coffin in Islington church-yard. The principal inhabitants of the said Parish have offered a reward for discovering the perpetrator of this horrid deed.

Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 30 August 1765
  Tuesday last the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of a young woman who was found dead at a tradesman's house in Leather-lane, Holborn, and who it was thought had not come fairly by her death; but after examining witnesses. it appeared the deceased  had fallen down stairs in a fit, on which they brought in the verdict Accidental Death.

Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 30 August 1765
     Yesterday the Coroner's inquest sat at the Bedford-arms, in Bloomsbury, on the body of a man who a few days ago hanged himself near that place, and brought in their verdict Lunacy.

Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 31 March 1766
  Saturday afternoon the Coroner held an inquisition on the body of the brewer's servant, who dropped down dead at an alehouse in Broad St. Giles's (as mentioned in our paper on Saturday last) and the verdict brought in was Accidental Death.

General Evening Post, 5 June 1766
  On Sunday morning about one o'clock, a woman servant belonging to a lady in Arlington-street, St. James's, being suspected of having been lately delivered of a child, a Man-Midwife was sent for, who attested that she had been delivered of a child, on which the necessary was searched, and a new-born female Infant found suffocated there; and on Monday the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body, and brought in their Vedic, Wilful Murder.
  Last Sunday the Cook belonging to the William and Elizabeth, lying at Horsley down- chain, bound to Antigua, fell overboard and was drowned.
  On Tuesday a man belonging to the Timber-merchants, going through London-bridge in a wherry, and endeavouring to clear a float from the sterlings, fell overboard, and was drowned.
  Tuesday one Francis Martin, who was employed as an assistant in the King's kitchen, labouring under some discontent of mind, hanged himself in his apartment at Richmond; the reason of his committing this Rash action is unknown, he being in good circumstances.

London Chronicle, 27 June 1767
  On Tuesday last the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of Mr. Carteret of Goodman's Fields, when, examining several witnesses, the jury brought in a verdict of Wilful Murder against a person, lately a Boatswain on board a man of war.  The above unfortunate affair happened as follows:- the wife of  above boatswain, during the absence of her husband in foreign parts, lived as a servant with the deceased Mr. Carteret, and on returning home, from a false suspicion of jealousy, he struck the deceased so violent a blow as to cause his death.

LLOYD'S Evening Post, 11 May 1768
Warrant was issued on Wednesday, Signed by Henry Nacton, Coroner for Surry, for the apprehending one of the Officers of the Guards posted at the King's Bench on Tuesday last, who stands accused before the Coroner, upon the inquisition that day taken, with the wilful murder of William Allen the younger.
  Wednesday night Donald Maclane, and Donald M'Learey, two soldiers, charged on the Coroner's Inquest, the one as principal, the other as abettor in the murder of William Allen, were removed from the King's Bench prison to the New Gaol, in order to take their trial, at the next Assizes for the county of Surry.  It was with the greatest difficulty imaginable the populace were prevented from seizing them.

Daily Advertiser, 17 March 1774
  On Tuesday the Coroner's Inquest sat at the Half Moon Tavern, in Holborn, to enquire into the Death of Mr. Dolley, Ironmonger, when they brought in their Verdict that he died a Natural Death.

Craftsman, 22 April 1775
  Yesterday as Mrs. Harcroft, a widow gentlewoman, was at dinner at her lodgings in Bury-street, St. James's, a small bone of a fowl stuck across her throat; a surgeon was immediately sent for, but before he could get to her assistance, she expired.

General Evening Post, 4 April 1780  
 Last night the Coroner's inquest sat on the body of Thomas Whie, who shot himself on Monday morning, in Wood-street Compter, and brought in their verdict Lunacy.

London Chronicle, 6 April 1780
On Tuesday night the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of a Mason, who was working at a Distiller's door in the Borough, the servants of whom gave him a quantity of spirits on Saturday last to drink, telling him it was water and gin, which he greedily drank, and afterwards went to the Bull and Crown, in Fishmongers-alley, and called for a pint of beer, and drinking once, he fell backwards, and expired in about ten minutes.  The Jury brought in their verdict, Excessive Drinking.

LONDON Chronicle, 11 April 1780
 Last night, the Coroner's inquest sat on the body of Smith the coachman, who was murdered in the pillory at St. Margaret's Hill, on Monday last, and brought in their verdict wilful murder against a person or persons unknown.

Morning Chronicle, 11 April 1780
  Yesterday Reed and Smith for committing an unnatural crime at the Magdalen Coffee-house, in St. George's-fields, stood in the pillory at St. Margaret's Hill, and were severely handled by the populace, who were very numerous, and supposed to be upwards of 20.000 persons.  After Smith had stood about half an hour, he received a blow by a stone under the right ear, which killed him instantly, and he was immediately taken out and laid upon the flooring of the pillory.  Reed remained the whole hour, and was much bruised by the missile weapons that were levelled at his person; the body of the deceased was carried to the New-Gaol, and the Coroner's Inquest is summoned to sit thereon this evening.

Public Advertiser, 11 April 1780
  Yesterday Morning, at about Three Quarters past Eleven o'Clock, Read and Smith, convicted of Sodomitical Practices at the Magdalen Coffee-house some little Time since, stood in the Pillory at St. Margaret's Hill, escorted from the New Jail at Ten o'Clock, in a very private Manner, in a Hackney Coach, to prevent the Rage of the Mob, and locked up in the Baildock belonging to the Sessions-house till the Time aforesaid.  The Under Sheriffs, with their Officers, and a very great Number of Constables, attended; notwithstanding which they were very severely treated by the Populace.  When they had stood about Half an Hour, the Coachman sunk down, and endeavoured to strangle himself; in which position he remained till he appeared black in the Face, the Blood gushing from his Ears, when he was taken out, [...] on the pillory.  The Plaisterer stood the whole Time.
  When Smith the Coachman was brought back to the New Gaol, a Surgeon was sent for, who bled him, but he was quite dead.  Read, the Plaisterer, was so severely treated, that it is doubtful whether he will recover.
  A MAID Servant of Read, who stood Yesterday in the pillory at St, Margaret's-hill, is now suffering a Sentence of Imprisonment in Bridewell for accusing him of the Practice of which he was convicted and sentenced to that Punishment.

St. James's Chronicle, 11 April 1780
  Last Night, the Coroner's Inquest sat on the Body of Smith the Coachman, who was murdered in the Pillory at St, Margaret's Hill, on Monday last, and brought in their Verdict Wilful Murder against a Person or persons unknown.

Public Advertiser, 11 April 1780
  On Saturday, Albert Lowe was charged on Oath before John Sherwood, Esq; on a strong Suspicion of having violently assaulted and wounded Margaret Lowe, his Wife, of which Wounds she languished and died.   The same day the Coroner took an Inquisition on the Body of the Deceased in Angel Gardens, Shadwell; and the Jury brought in a Verdict of Wilful Murder against the Husband, and the Coroner's Warrant sent to Newgate for the same.

Whitehall Evening Post, 13 April 1780
  On Wednesday night an inquisition was taken on the body of the coachman who died in the pillory on Monday at St. Margaret's Hill.  After a close examination of several of the oficers and others, it appeared to the Coroner and his jury, that Read turning round much faster than usual, and the deceased being just then seized with a giddiness and fainting, from the extreme severity he received from the populace, lost the strength of his legs, and hung by his head.  The Jury brought in their verdict, strangled in the pillory.
  Yesterday an infant child was found by a soldier in the Grove, in the Green Park.  As it is supposed to have been murdered, a diligent enquiry has been made after the perpetrators of this horrid deed.

Gazetteer & New Daily Advertiser, 14 April 1780
  Wednesday the Coroner's Jury sat on the body of Daniel Cumber, in the New-gaol, who was yesterday to have been executed at Kennington-common for horse-stealing.  When the gaoler came into his cell in the morning, he found that he had hanged himself with several pieces of tape, cord, and string, tied together.  The Jury brought in their verdict, Lunacy.

Whitehall Evening Post, 18 April 1780
  Yesterday the child of a Bricklayer in Deptford, about four years of age, during the absence of her parents, was burnt to death, by her cloaths accidentally catching fire.
  This morning the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of Mary Adams, a girl who was run over by a horse, on Black-friars-bridge, on Sunday, and brought in their verdict Accidental Death.  Her mother, who keeps a fruit and green shop, on the upper ground, Christ-Church, Surry, lies convulsed ever since, without hope of recovery.
  Mr. Booker, a Sugar Boiler in Distaff-lane, whose horse unfortunately killed the above child, and flung him, now lies at the point of death, having his scull fractured by the fall.

General Evening Post, 18 April 1780
  Last night the Coroner's Jury sat on the body of a poor man (supposed to have been much intoxicated) who fell into a ditch in St. George's field on Tuesday evening, and brought in their verdict, Accidentally Drowned.
  This morning a boat, with a sail, in which were a young man and woman, was overset off Queenshithe.  The two passengers were saved, but the waterman's boy was drowned.

London Chronicle, 20 April 1780
  On Wednesday last the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of a child that was found, supposed to be murdered, in the grove on Constitution-hill and brought in their verdict Wilful Murder against persons unknown.

Whitehall Evening Post, 25 April 1780
  Yesterday morning a Gentleman's servant dropped down dead in a public house in Oxford-street; he was exposed to view, and shortly known to have a wife and four children, in Holborn, where he was carried.
  On Tuesday evening as a Gentleman was riding an unruly horse along the City-Road, the beast took fright at some chimney-sweepers boys playing with their brushes, by which he was thrown with his head against a stone, and his scull fractured, and died in about two hours after.
  Wednesday night last a Gentleman of considerable fortune was found hanging in his house in Oxford-street; all possible means were used for his recovery, but proved ineffectual.

London Chronicle, 27 April 1780
  On Saturday night as a poor woman was going along Church-lane, Whitechapel, home, two fellows attempted to be rude with her, and on her calling out, they cut her so violently on one side of her head, that she dropped down and expired n a few minutes; the Watchman who saw the transaction endeavoured to secure them but they got clear off; te body was carried to Whitechapel Workhouse and on Monday night the Coroner's nquest sat on it, and brought in their verdict Wilful Murder against people unknown.
 On Monday night a young woman, a pauper in St. Clear's workhouse, being delirious in a high fever, flung herself out of a four pair of stairs windows and was killed.
  On Monday night the Coroner's inquest sat on the body of the Letter-carrier who hanged himself that morning at his apartments in Swan-alley, and brought in their verdict Lunacy.

Whitehall Evening Post, 29 April 1780
  Last Sunday morning, ------ Lloyd, a young man about 19 years of age, shopman to Mr. Lloyd, Perfumer, York-street, Covent Garden, hung himself in the house of office belonging to the aforesaid Master. - The Coroner's Inquest sat on the body last night, and brought in their verdict, Lunacy.

London Chronicle, 9 May 1780
  Last Friday some people playing at skittles at the King of Prussia's Head, Islington, one of them threw the bowl so hard, that it ran into the New River; on dragging for the bowl, the scoop brought up the body of a woman.  She was carried to Clerkenwell Church to be owned, and on Saturday the Coroner's inquest sat on her body at the Merlin's cave, and brought in their verdict, Accidental Death.

The Times, 9 December 1781
  On Monday the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of the poor man who was killed in Osterley Park, and brought in their verdict accidental death - Lord Ducie has, in a very handsome manner, settled an annuity on the poor widow.

The Times, 15 July 1786   
  Thursday morning a young man of very genteel appearance was taken up drowned in the Serpentine River, and was carried to an adjoining house in Knightsbridge to be owned.

The Times, 19 July 1787
  The body of Mr. W. TAYLOR, one of the Clerks in Lord GRENVILLE'S Office, was found near Isleworth, on Wednesday evening, after dragging the river all that day, and was taken to a Public-house, for the Coroner's inquest to sit on it.  Mr. HERBERT TAYLOR, Aide-de-Camp to the Duke of York, was on the point of meeting the same melancholy fate as his brother, when a very vivid flash of lightning discovered to some persons in a boat near where he was, a body partly floating on the water, and it was through their assistance he was saved from sinking.  Mr. BROOKE TAYLOR swam on shore.  Mr. W. TAYLOR'S body was found a mile from where the whery overset.  We understand that there was no sail in the boat; but the night was so dark, they rowed against a barge, which overset the boat, and sunk it.

The Times, 4 July 1788
  On Tuesday Morning, Thomas Beach, Esq. Coroner of the city of London, and Borough of Southwark.  He was elected in 1755.

The Times, 20 November 1789
  Wednesday the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of John Wright, a young man aged 21 years, who on Monday afternoon, about six o'clock, fell from a scaffold in Bullen Court, and broke his back.  He expired in a few minutes.  The Jury brought in their verdict accidental death.

The Times, 11 December 1789
  On Tuesday evening the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of a child, which was found dead on Saturday, at a house in Bassinghall-street.  The evidence against the aunt, who was accused of having murdered the child, was, that of a young woman who lived in a house opposite, who saw the aunt strike the child under the ear, and holding it by the hair, beat it severely; after which, she set the child up on a table, from whence it immediately fell, apparently dead.  It was likewise proved in evidence, that the child had been left in a damp cellar for three hours, and though it was four years old it could not walk; there was a violent contusion under the ear, but as the surgeon who attended the Jury would not undertake to say that the child died of that blow, the inquest brought in a verdict of Natural Death, by a majority of twelve out of eighteen Jurymen.

The Times, 7 January 1791
  A sea-faring man, of the name of Anderson, hanged himself on Monday evening at his mother's house, Narrow Wall, Southwark.  On Tuesday the Coroner's inquest sat on the body, and brought in their verdict felo de se; in consequence of which he was buried on Wednesday evening in the highway adjoining to Christ Church-yard.
  On Tuesday evening, one Cheeseman, a labourer at the Albion Mills, fell from a loft 70 feet high, to the ground, and was killed on the spot.  He has left a wife and four children in great distress; who are however considerably relieved by the kind assistance of the gentlemen belonging to the Albion Mill Company, who have sent the poor woman a temporary supply of money, and have promised her further relief.
  Wednesday a verdict of accidental death was given by a Coroner and Jury, upon the body of Mary Beverstock, who was found frozen to death on Monday morning in a pit that had been dug for the Brickmakers near Tabernacle-walk. - This unfortunate person was well-known in that neighbourhood by acting as a guide to a blind woman, whom it is supposed she was going to fetch from a house near the spot when the accident happened.  The pit, which is near the pathway, has been since inclosed.

The Times, 6 September 1791
  Satuday afternoon the Coroner for Westmnster held an inquest on the body of Mr. Kotswara, at the Carpenter's Arms, in Vine-street.
  Th Jury, after investigating every method by which they could satisfy temselves in respect to the unprecedented manner in which the man lost his life, at near twelve o'clock, found a verdict of Murder, but not wilful, against Susannah Hill, the unfortunate woman with whom he had been in company, and who, in consequence of the verdict, must take her trial at the Old Bailey.
  As soon as the Coroner's verdict was found, the body of the unfortunate man was, by the direction of his friends, removed to an undertaker's in Hungerford-market, in order for interment.
  The passion for hanging, as manifested in the character of Mr. Kotzwarra, who made a premature exit on Friday, is not the only instance that has occurred of a similar propensity in others in this town. [End of column, edit. on Kotswarra.]
  [Long review of 'hanging' cases.]
  Besides the job of eight hours which the coroner's inquest had on Saturday on Mr. Kotzwarra, they had two others on Saturday.
  The one on the body of Mrs. Weitie, who on Friday was found hanging, and dead, in her lodgings at the George, Long-Acre, and the other on the body of a footman, who, on Thursday, received a kick from a horse in the stables, of which he died on Saturday. It is very remarkable that the same horse killed two men before.

General Advertiser, 19 September 1791
  Yesterday a Coroner's Inquest sat on the Body of Mrs. Gibbs, who threw herself out of a two Pair of Stairs Window, in Broad-street, St, Giles's, on Tuesday last, and brought in their Verdict Lunacy.

The Observer, 24 June 1792


Yesterday evening an inquest was held on the body of Mr. FRIZELL, who was, on Friday morning, killed in a duel by Mr. CLARKE, in Hyde Park.  The examination commenced about four o'clock, and it was not till nearly nine when the coroner found a verdict of WILFUL MURDER.  In this sentence, Mr. CLARKE, and his friend, Mr. EAENS, with Mr. MONTGOMERRY, second to the deceased, are involved.  Mr. MONTGOMERY was then in the custody of two of the Bow-street officers, but was not examined.  He of course continues in confinement.  Mr. Clarke and Mr. Evans are reported to have fled the country.

The Observer, 22 July 1792

On Friday afternoon the body of Robinson, the carpenter, who cut his wife's throat, and afterwards his own, in Long-alley, Moorfields, was buried in the cross roads, the top of Sun-street, Bishopsgate, and a stake drove through his body; the Coroner's Inquest having brought in their verdict - Felo de se.x

The Observer, 29 January 1793


Mendez, who was last week examined at Bow-street, on suspicion of having murderer Mr. Sylva, and his housekeeper at Chelsea, but discharged on an alibi being proved, and who died suddenly on Wednesday last, was yesterday opened and examined, when nearly half a pint of white arsenic was found in his body, on which the Coroner found a verdict, felo de se. We shall not shock his innocent wife and family by any comments on this horrid transaction.

The Observer, 17 February 1793


Some time ago two boys, and a young girl of about fourteen years, having lost their father, were taken under the protection of their uncle, their mother's brother, a shop-keeper, in Lemon-street, who promised to adopt, and provide for them.  One of the lads he employed in his business; the other, he put out to apprentice, and the girl, extremely beautiful, he retained to assist in his domestic affairs.  He was a widower, and upwards of seventy.  Neither the proximity of blood, nor the natural debility of old age, could suppress his unnatural sensuality.  He conceived a violent passion for his niece, and partly by threats, and partly by seduction, obtained an incestuous gratification.  In a few weeks the girl grew ill, and shewed symptoms of pregnancy.

   A confidential Surgeon was employed; medicines were administered, for certain purposes, but they effected more perhaps than was intended.  The unhappy girl died in strong convulsions; the Surgeon conceiving, that the terror of discovery would indemnify him in his demand of compensation, presented a most extravagant bill, and his employer thinking himself equally secured from similar considerations, on the part of the Surgeon, refused to pay him: words arose, and mutual accusations took place; the  one was charged with incest and murder, the other with assisting in the latter.

   The nephew, who lived in the house, hearing the altercation, listened, and discovered the whole business.  He went immediately to his elder brother, the apprentice, and making him acquainted therewith, the latter immediately procured and loaded a pistol, and going to the house of the uncle, in the evening burst into his apartment, and after bestowing on him the most opprobrious language, shot him in the head - the balls tore away the scalp, and fractured the skull in a desperate manner, but the wounds were not, at least, immediately mortal; the wretched old man still lingers: No judicial notice is taken, it is said, of the nephew, and the Surgeon has disappeared.  ...

   Yesterday Mary Lewis, otherwise Mary Greenwood, was committed to Newgate, charged on the coroner's Inquest, with the wilful murder of her infant male child.

The Observer, 7 July 1793

   A city banker, partner in  a late unfortunate house, came one morning last week at ten o'clock, to an hotel near Covent Garden, saying he had come off a long journey, and wanted a bed; and one being shewn to him, he put off his coat, waistcoat, and shoes, put on a nightcap, and got into it.  At seven o'clock in the evening one of the waiters said to his master that he had never heard the gentleman's bell ring; the master being alarmed, ran immediately up to the room, and found it locked; he rapped gently at the door, but had no answer; he listened at the key-hole, and heard a groan, which seemed that of a dying man.  He then ordered a ladder to be set up to the window, by which one of the waiters entered the room, and found the gentleman at the point of death. - Several medical gentlemen were instantly sent for, and attended, but all their efforts were in vain, for he died in two hours afterwards.  A large chest vial was found on the table, which proved by the remainder in the bottle, to be laudanum.  The coroner's inquest sat on Monday on the body, and brought in their verdict died by the visitation of God.


The Times, 13 November 1793
  At two o'clock on Saturday morning, Jacob Jagger, a house-keeper, was committed to Newgate, by Justice WILLIAMS, on suspicion of the wilful murder of John Ullen, a Negro.  The Coroner's Inquest sat on the body on Monday, at the Six Bells, Spitalfields.

The Times, 15 November 1793
  Yesterday Captain Thomas Purefoy was brought from Dover, charged on the verdict of the Coroner's Jury, with the wilful murder of Colonel Roper, about five years back, at Chatham. - The Captain followed the deceased from the East Indies for the purpose of fighting the unfortunate duel in which the Colonel fell, and immediately after went to the Continent, where he has remained until a few days back.  He was indicted for the murder, and as he did not appear to plead, he was outlawed, and was on that count committed to prison by the Magistrates.

The Times, 22 July 1794
  On Saturday afternoon, as a sailing boat was going from the Tower to Gravesend, she overset at Long Reach, and two men were unfortunately drowned. 

The Observer, 29 May 1796


   A boy in Chapel-street was on Saturday killed by a kick from a horse.

   On Monday Eleanor Hughes, Mary Baker, Ann Rhodes, and E. Ludman, were committed on a charge of having tied his hands behind his back and murdered, a person supposed to be Captain of a West Indiaman, in the house of Hughes, near East Smithfield.

The Times, 25 August 1796
  Tuesday an inquisition was held at Richardson's Hotel, Covent Garden, before William Gell, Esq. upon the body of William Fauntleroy Carpenter, Esq. who was lately killed in a duel.
  Dr. Rush and Mr. Hewson were the first witnesses; they deposed as to the wound which occasioned Mr. Carpenter's death.  They stated, that they were called to his assistance on Sunday morning last, at Richardson's Hotel, and found he deceased in bed, bleeding very much, in consequence of a pistol shot.  The ball had penetrated the side just beneath the right arm, and passed in  a right line to the left side, where it lodged a little below the skin; they extracted it immediately, and applied proper remedies, but entertained not the least hope of the recovery of the deceased, as they conceived he was mortally wounded.  The deceased informed them he had an affair of honour with a Gentleman, but did not mention his name.
  Mr. Richardson's waiter stated, that the deceased and several other American Gentlemen slept at their Hotel on Saturday night; that they particularly desired to be called up on Sunday morning by four o'clock, which was accordingly done.  He saw them all walk arm in arm along King-street about seven - part of them returned in a hackney-coach with the deceased, who was wounded and bled accordingly.  He helped to convey him to his room, when every care was taken of him till he died the next day between eleven and twelve.
  Mr. Richardson, Master of the Hotel, deposed, as to the state of the deceased after he was brought back.
  Mr. Blanc, a Merchant, was examined.  He could only depose as to what he saw of the deceased after he was brought to the Hotel.
  The principal witness was Michael Ryan, servant of Mr. Bailey, herb seller in Covent Garden.  He deposed, that on Sunday morning last, about half-past five, he was bathing in the Serpentine River, with eight or nine other persons.  That he saw the deceased and some other Gentlemen behind the Magazine in Hyde-park; they went beyond the height to a place called the Grove, where he observed them measuring the ground.  He put on his shirt and ran toward them; several others went likewise naked.  Before they reached the parties, the deceased fired a pistol, which missed; the other then fired his, which took effect, and the deceased instantly fell.  His antagonist directly dropped his other pistol, and with the seconds walked away. - The witness and his companions, assisted by some soldiers, put the deceased on a hurdle, and conveyed him to Hyde Park Corner, where he was put into a coach, accompanied by some other Gentlemen. The coach turned up Park-lane, and avoiding the main streets, drove to the hotel in Covent Garden, where he assisted to remove the deceased out of the coach up to the room.  The witness stated, that money was distributed by a Gentleman upon the ground, and from his description of that person, and other concurring circumstances, there was every reason to suppose that it must have been a Colonel Thomas, but there was no direct evidence of the circumstance.  All the parties, after they had brought the deceased home, absconded.
  The Coroner observed, that there was, by no means, evidence to criminate Mr. Pride, or any particular individual, but that the evidence of Ryan was quite sufficient to ascertain the fact of the deceased having been shot in a duel.  He observed, that the act being clear, it was the duty of the Jury to find a verdict of wilful murder against the parties, whosoever they might eventually prove to be.
  The Jury unanimously returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against a person or persons unknown. The Jury sat upwards of five hours

The Observer, 16 July 1797

   A gentleman in the neighbourhood of Panton-square, in a fit of insanity thrust himself into a water-tub on Wednesday, and was dead before his situation was discovered.

   Saturday night the Coroner's Jury sat at the Duke of Clarence public-house, on the body of Joseph Liquorish, who cut his throat at his master's house in Spring-gardens that morning.  The deceased was butler to Mr. Bristow; and it appeared by the deposition of Mr. Ingateson, a surgeon who had attended him on Friday night, that he was deranged in his mind; he had been married only on the Tuesday, and said he had done a foolish thing; this, the witness believed, preyed on his mind.  The servants corroborated this opinion.  The deceased's wife said he had cohabited with her for two years, and had two children; the last, still-born, about six weeks since; he had prevailed on her to marry him on Tuesday at St. James's church, but she believed he had another wife. - The Jury, after deliberating for a quarter of an hour, brought in their verdict - Lunacy.

   Thursday afternoon a waterman was shot dead by a wadding from a cannon near Vauxhall.

   On Wednesday as a private in the 3d regiment of foot guards, who was in the employ of Mr. Mathers, a soap-boiler, of Petty-France, Westminster, was stirring a copper of boiling soap, he fell into it, and it was a considerable time before his body could be got out, when he was a spectacle too horrid to describe.  He has left a wife and two young children.  Coroner's verdict, - Accidental death.

The Times, 4 February 1797
  Yesterday the Coroner for Westminster held his Inquest on the body of the late Colonel FREDERICK, the son of the celebrated THEODORE, King of Corsica, at St. Margaret's Work-house; to which place it had been conveyed on Wednsday night.
  Mr. Gilliam, who keeps the Story's Gate Coffee-house, was the first evidence called, who deposed that he had known the late Colonel Fredeick for several years past, and that last Wednesday he dined at his house; and left it soon after seven o'clock in the evening.  He did not appear dejected on his departure, but on the contrary, had the air of being in a pleasant humour.
  Mr. Thomas Stirling ((Deputy Clerk of the Peace for the County of Middlesex)- deposed, that he had klnown the deceased for a number of years; particularly for the last seven years, during which time he lodged in his ouse.  He then went into a long account of the conduct of Colonel Fredrick during the time he had been acquainted with him, in the couse of which he gave him the most amiable character, and that he possessed the most lively spirirs til wthin a few months previous to his death, when he appeared very much dejected and oppressed.  He learnt that the Colonel was very much embarassed in his circumstances; and he perceived within the last few weeks a very great change in his conduct, so as to gve him every eason to believe he was deranged in his mnd.
  The day before last Christmas Day the deceased was arrested for a debt, which was paid by his friends; but the witness perceived the circumstance of his being arrestd had so affected his mind, that he had been deranged ever since.  A few nights ago the servant observed the deceased weeping in his bed-room; when she asked him if he was not well, and if she could get him any thing to take, which he refused.  Mrs. Sterling applied to him to know if any thing should be got for him but he declined, and said he should soon be well. The witness further said, that he understood the deceased was apprehensive, within the last fortnight, of being arrested again; in consequence of which, the witness observing his distracted state, proposed to him to sleep at his country house, in Battersea, till his affairs could be settled, which he understood depended on a negotiation with the Portugese Ambasador, respecting some German troops.  The deceased declined stpping at the house in Battersea, but he had not slept at the witness's house since the Thursday before the accident.
  John Gretton, Esq. of St. Margaret's-treet, Westminster, said he had the pleasure of knowing the deceased for several years and spoke to the liveliness of his disposition till wthin about three months past, when the deceased called upon him, and he appeared much altered, to what he had formerly been.  He confessed that he was much distressed in his circumstances, and that he had received a letter from the Duchess of WIRTEMBERG, in which she informed him, that on account of the distressed state of Germany, it was not in her power to allow him the annuity of 200l. per ann. she had formerly done; but in lieu thereof she had procured him a regiment of German Infantry.  In consequence of wich, the deceased applied to the witness  to assist him in disposing of the egiment, which he undertook to do.  He accordingly applied to the East India Company, but the terms proposed were rejected.  The witness then made an application to the Portuguese Ambassador, who approved of the plan. The terms were settled at 20l. a man, but his Excellency could not finally conclude the engagement till he was instructed by his Court.  During the negotiations the decased frequently called at his house, and every time he called his behaviour appeared more and more deranged.  Last Sunday he called again, and finding nothing was finally determned wth the Portuguese Ambassador, he said he was brought to a state of desolation; that his miseries were complete, and that he could not spport life any longer.
  He then left the ouse, after behaving in such a incoherent manner, that Mrs. Gretton and a servanrt suspected he was gong to make an attack on th life of the witness.  Mr. Gretton concluded his evidence by saying, in the most solemn manner, it was his firm belief the decased was insane at the time he was at his house last Sunday.
  Mrs. Stager, who keeps Waghorn's Coffee-house, in Old Palace Yard, said, she had known the deceased for these ten years past, during which time he had been a particular friend; and that last Christmas-Day he was to have dined with her at her house, in company with her son, lately from India, but he disappointed her.  On enquiring the cause, he informed her he was not well, but he was then under arrest for debt.  He frequently called at her house, and she observed, some weeks before his death, a very great change in his behaviour, such as sitting fo a considerable time without giving an answer when spoken to, and doing many acts that betrayed a deranged mind.  She learned that his circumstances were embarrassed.  Indeed he at length confessed to her that he was afraid of being again arrested.  In consequence of which she proposed that he should remain in a lodging-house of her's in St. Margaret's church-yard, which he accepted, and he lodged there since last Thursday week.  Last Tuesday in middle of the day he came to her dwelling-house, and said he had been into the City, and had got some bad news, the substance of which was, that as the German troops had not been engaged in this country during the month of January, they were to be disposed of in another manner.  He remained in her house during that day, and went to her lodging-house at night to sleep, and during his stay his conduct and conversation were such that she did not doubt of his being deranged in his mind.  On Wednesday he was with the witness till the latter part of the afternoon, during which time he refused taking any refreshment, and very rarely spoke, and at night she heard a man was shot, and taken to St. Margaret's workhouse.  She went to the workhouse, and knew him to be Colonel Frederick.
  Councillor Robinson and Mr. O'Bryan, of Craven-street, Strand, both corroborated the accounts of the deceased being insane for the two last months past.
  William Lynn, a Surgeon. deposed, that on Thursday morning he saw the body of the deceased, and that the whole of the bones of his face were destroyed, but he could not tell whether by gun, pistol, or blunderbuss; that a ball or balls had gone through the roof of his mouth, through the brains, and out of his skull, and that his nose was completely split; the right cheek burnt in two places and smelt very strong of gun-powder.  His teeth were shattered, and he had no doubt but that the pistol must have been in his mouth, and was of opinion it was used by the person who was shot.
  William Colvin, an errand-boy to a Mr. B. Nichols, a printer, in Red-lyon-court, Fleet-street, who was examined on Thursday evening by a Magistrate, in Westminster and likewise before Mr. Floud, in Bow-street, and who gave such a circumstantial evidence respecting the deceased having been robbed and murdered by a man who had escaped, differed in every point from all the other evidences both as to time and circumstances.  But after the nature of an oath was strongly impressed upon him by Mr. Gell, the Coroner, and Mr. Gretton, he was ordered to withdraw to reflect on what he was about to say.  When he was called in again, he confessed that the story he had told on Thursday evening (as stated in the TIMES of Yesterday) was void of truth, and that what he had said was told him by a boy, who had mentioned to him the circumstances he himself related on Thursday.  He refused telling the motives which induced him to take the knowledge of t hem upon himself, and he declared the only knowledge he had of the business was, that he went through St. Margaret's church-yard, on Thursday night, soon after 9 o'clock, and a boy told him a man was shot in the porch leading to the door of Westminster-Abbey, and he then went and saw him.
  The Patrole and watchman were examined, and the Jury, after receiving a very able charge from the Coroner, brought in a verdict, that Colonel Frederick shot himself in a fit of Insanity.
  It appeared from the evidence, that the deceased was a man universally respected, and beloved for his strict integrity, and his amiable and conciliating disposition.
  Thursday, th Coroner's Jury sat on the body of William Lancaster, the highwayman who was killed on Finchley Common last Monday evening, by Lord STRATHMORE, and very properly returned a verdict of justifiable homicide.

The Times, 5 July 1797
  Yesterday, at 11 o'clock, Mr. DEANE, deputy Coroner for the Verge of the Court, held a Court of Inquest, at the Duke of Clarence public-house, near the Admiralty, on the body of JOHN EATON, Esq. the acting Captain of his Majesty's ship Marlborough.
  The Coroner and the jury having first inspected the body which lay in the Lieutenant's room at the Admiralty, returned to the Duke of Clarence and proceeded to the examination of witnesses.
  The first witness was James Oughton, Esq. Master and commander in his Majesty's Navy.  He said that he came to the Admiralty about a quarter after 11 o'clock, on the 3rd of July, and on entering the Lieutenant's room, he saw Captain Eaton walking about in it.  They entered into some conversation with respect to the fleet, and the answers given by captain Eaton to his questions were such as to induce him to take particular notice of him.  Captain Eaton appeared extremely agitated, and being asked by the witness the cause of the Marlborough coming into port, he answered, villainy and treachery on board.  He said, that he had always done right, and was a friend to his Country.  These were the constant replies made almost to every one of the witness's questions.  Having asked the deceased if he had seen Lord SPENCER, he answered in the negative, but said he had sent up his card to his Lordship.  The witness observing, that Lord Spencer would not probably see him till between two and three o'clock, the usual time of receiving visits, Captain Eaton immediately exclaimed in extreme agitation - "Lord Spencer will never see me."  After he pronounced these words, he seemed very despondent and waved his hands with great emotion and violence.  
  The witness then remarked that he might rely on seeing Lord Spencer, or receiving notice from his Lordship, of the most convenient tine for that purpose.  This assurance however failing to mitigate the agitation of the deceased, the witness sad, "For God's sake, Captain Eaton, let me intreat you not to think of seeing his Lordship in your present state."  He had not seen Captain Eaton since last Summer at Margate.  His discourse at the Admiralty was very confused and incoherent, and he had assured the witness that he had not slept for the five nights previous to the 3d of July.  After wishing Captain Eaton a good morning, the witness went to the Navy Office, and returned to the Admiralty about half an hour or 2 minutes before one.  On passing the Lieutenant's room, he looked through the window of the door, and saw the deceased walking up and down very fast.  Reflecting on the strange conduct of Captain Eaton, he went into the Captain's room to make some enquiry respecting him, but finding no person there, he asked Thomas Withy, one of the Messengers, if he had seen Captain E. for there appeared something exceedingly  strange and inconsistent in his manner.  Withy answered, No, and enquired where he was; and being told that he was in the Lieutenant's room, Withy immediately went to the door, and, looking in at the window, suddenly cried out, "God God" he has stabbed himself." Withy then ran into the Hall, calling for a Surgeon, and the witness opening the door, found the deceased stretched upon his back on the floor, and the shirt over the upper part of his body, covered with blood.  He appeared to be in the utmost agony, brandishing a dirk which he had in his hand, and violently exclaimed - "Captain Oughton, I will have justice."
  The witness then seized the right hand of he deceased between both his, and a violent struggle ensued between them both, which got Captain Eaton on his feet, and in which the witness succeeded in getting the dirk out of his hand, with the assistance of Withy, who held the left hand.  He fell on the floor immediately after, saying, "I always did right; I was always a friend to my country."  The witness then left Captain Eaton, thinking he was dead, went up to Lord Spencer to whom he related the circumstances, and coming down stairs was met by one of the Messengers, who said, "Captain Eaton is not dead; he may yet do well." The witness then returned to look at the deceased, and lifting up his shirt saw a great part of the intestines out.  Captain Eaton again repeated, "I have ever been a friend to my country; I told you Captain Oughton of treachery."  The witness replied in the affirmative, but observed, that he had not mentioned who the traitors were.  The deceased then mentioned the names of two Officers, one of which he distinctly heard, but the other was expressed in so feeble a tone that he could not hear it.  He expired soon after.
  Capt. Oughton declared, that he had no hesitation in saying that he conceived the deceased to have been deranged in his mind, and he founded this opinion on three grounds -
1st, That captain Eaton had not taken any sleep for five nights previous to the day on which he fatal accident had happened. -
2nd. That the disputes on board the Marlborough had affected him deeply; and
3rd, That an approaching interview with Lord Spencer must have gen him great uneasiness.
He said Capt. Eaton had been superseded in the command of the Marlborough by Capt. Ellison.  He had remarked to the deceased, on first seeing him at the Admiralty,  that there could be no doubt about his being made a Post Captain, as he himself had written to Lord Spencer for the purpose of succeeding him (the deceased) in the command of the Medusa, which would be vacant by the promotion of Capt. Eaton.  To this assurance, the deceased replied, in great agitation, "That I shall never be!"
  Mr. Lynn, Surgeon, was next examined.  He  said, he was called to the assistance of Captain Eaton, the moment he was dying, and that he was evidently in that dangerous state from the excessive loss of blood.  He had examined the body while the Court was sitting, and several wounds appeared on it, none of which had penetrated, except one, in which the instrument, after penetrating the cavity of the belly, slightly wounded the liver, entered the gall-bladder, let the whole contents of it run out; then, passing on, touched the colon, and divided a branch of the superior mesenteric artery.  He found about two quarts of blood in the cavity of the abdomen; and that wound was unquestionably the cause of his death.
  Mr. Andrews, Surgeon, concurred in the testimony given by Mr. Lynn.
  Thomas Withy, an Admiralty Messenger, confirmed the evidence of Captain Oughton, as far as that within his knowledge.
  Mr. Kite, of the Admiralty, said, he saw Capt. Eaton stretched on the floor as had been described, and heard several of the expressions used by him to Captain Oughton. He was of opinion, that the deceased was in a deranged state of mind, when he stabbed himself.
  Mr. Major stated, that he had seen Capt. Eaton in the Admiralty a short timer previously to his death, and had remarked him to be in a very agitated and disordered state.
  Mr. Davies deposed, that he kept a public-house opposite the New Exchange Coffee-house, in the Strand.  He saw the deceased get from off the roof of the Exeter mail coach early on Monday evening; that he saw him immediately afterwards walking about the Adelphi, appearing much disconcerted and disturbed in his mind.
  James Sullivan, a hair-dresser, was sent for at 7 o'clock to shave a Gentleman at the New Exchange Coffee-house; when he came he said to the deceased, whom he knew, Captain, I hope you are well.  He answered, that he was fatigued with travelling two nights in the coach.  After his face had been lathered he got up to look in the glass; and on sitting down again, requested that he might soon be dressed, as he was going to te Admiralty.  This being done, he desired the front of his hair might be cut, and did not then seem in  a hurry to go until ten o'clock, three hours afterwards.  He had no doubt of his insanity.  
  The Waiter of the coffee-house deposed nearly to the same effect; and added, that two hours after his hair was dressed, he rang for the witness, and desired him to bring breakfast, of which he partook, and went out; but soon returned in a considerable agitation, and, going into his room, ore two letters in the wash-stand bason, and repeated the same eagerness to attend the Admiralty.  He then ordered a hackney-coach, and in passing the coffee-room to get into it, desired the landlady to keep the room for him.  The coach proceeded accordingly to his directions, to the Admiralty; he there got out, and having discharged it, went in and inquired for the Board.
  The evidence being closed, the Jury, after deliberating about 20 minutes, returned a Verdict of Mr. WATERS, their foreman, of Lunacy.

The Times, 22 August 1797
  The only witnesses examined by the jury at the inquest held on the body of the late Lord MOUNTMORENCY, were Surgeon Rush, and Mr. Atkinson, who had been his Lordship's  Apothecary for nearly 30 years.  Mr. Rush's evidence went to shew from the nature of the wound, the situation of the pistols and the position of the fore-finger, that the deceased must have been the perpetrator of the fatal act.  The testimony of Mr. Atkinson was so completely satisfactory, that the Jury thought it unnecessary to examine any other witness.  It was stated, that his Lordship had been in the habit of taking a regular course of physic in the spring of the year, but had neglected it this year.  He complained a few days before his death of an unusual oppression on his spirits, seemed to be much affected at the gloomy situation of Ireland, and expressed his readiness in applying to Dr. WILLIS for advice.  His Lordship's consciousness of his being in want of the assistance of Dr. Willis, formed a chief ground for inducing the Jury to return a verdict of Lunacy.

The Times, 5 September 1797
  On Wednesday evening lat, one Rathwell, a post-chaise driver to Mr. Sunderland, of Burleigh-street, Strand, was going towards Blackheath, in driving violently and endeavouring to pass another chaise, he was thrown from his horse, and killed on the spot.

The Times, 9 September 1797
  The Coroner's Jury which sat on the body of the boy killed by the fall of the old house near Temple Bar, brought in a verdict Accidental Death; but passed a censure on the negligence of the Committee appointed to take these houses down, and ordered the Coroner to apply to the Parish on the subject.
  Thursday forenoon a person was found dead in a brickfield near the Horns at Kennington.  By his pocket-book he appeared to be a Mr. Dean, pewterer, of Exeter-street, Strand, and had set out from his house about three or four hours before his wife received the account of his death, on his way to Norwood.  No marks of violence appeared, or any suspicion of his being robbed.  It is somewhat singular, that Mr. Dean's son, a youth about 16 years of age, stayed away from his father's  house the last severe frost, and was not heard of for seven days, when he was found in a field in Hertfordshire, frozen to death.

The Times, 19 July 1797
  On Saturday last, the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of John Walford, a poor industrious Waterman, having just landed his fare at the Swan, Battersea-bridge, who was shot in the righrt side, by a wad from one of the guns, fired as a salute to the first boat.(Verdict, Accidental Death.)  He has left a Wife and 3 small children, the eldest boy 8 years old, all of whom were dependent on his labour.  It is hoped the humane will second the endeavours of persons then assembled, and contribute something towards their relef.

The Times, 12 October 1797
  One of the Firemen employed by the Phoenix Fire-Office, who was also a Waterman, dropt down dead in a Public-house on Bankside, Southwark, on Saturday night last, while singing the song of "My Poll and my Partner Joe." A Coroner's Jury have sat on the body, and found a verdict of - Died by the Visitation of God.

The Observer, 11 February 1798

   On Tuesday, T. Legion, a waterman, at New Crane, ran his boat against another, by which he and his passenger were unfortunately drowned.

   A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday on the body of J. Hayes, who died on Saturday morning in consequence of the wounds he received in an affray at the Crown and Thistle public-house, Charing-Cross.  The Jury brought in a verdict at ten o'clock at night, after an investigation of seven hours, of Wilful Murder against J. Symonds, alias the Russian, and against R. Knight and J. Bartholomew, as accessaries to the fact.  The Coroner's Warrant was granted against Symonds.

The Observer, 3 June 1798

   On Thursday evening an Inquest was held on the body of the young woman found on Tuesday in a field near the Black Prince public-house, Kennington.  Two young women, sisters of the deceased, deposed, that her name was Harriet Benson, and that they lived in John-street, Tottenham-court-road: that they went to Vauxhall on Monday night, and were there prevailed upon to drink till they became intoxicated, and missed each other on leaving the Gardens.  There were no marks of violence on the person of the deceased, nor did it appear that any thing had been taken from her pockets, &c.  The Coroner found a verdict of accidental death; and the body was on Friday removed from the bone-house, Lambeth, to the house of her sisters.  When first discovered, it was warm, and doubtless, had proper measures been used, animation might have been restored.  This unfortunate female was particularly handsome.


The Observer, 8 July 1798

  The body of a female was on Thursday morning found in the New River, near the City-road; it was old, thin, and in rags.

The Observer, 19 August 1798

   Early on Monday morning last Mr. Pincot, Surveyor, in Black Friar's Road, was drowned as he was bathing in the Thames, near the Nine Elms, Battersea Fields.

   On Friday evening the Coroner's inquest on the body of Mr. Craven, timber-merchant, who the preceding evening, about seven o'clock, hung himself.  He had been ill, and in a fit of delirium, during the momentary absence of his wife, went to the drawers and took out a ribbon, with which he tied himself to the bed-rail.  The Jury brought in a verdict - Lunacy.

The Times, 20 November 1798
  Wednesday the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of John Wright, a young man aged 21 years, who on Monday afternoon, about six o'clock, fell from a scaffold in Bullen Court, and broke his back.  He expired in a few minutes.  The Jury brought in their verdict accidental death.

The Times, 28 June 1799
  Yesterday morning, the body of Mr. Emperor, Porter to the PRINCE OF WALES, was found in the River Thames.  It was taken to the Queen's Arms public-house in the Queenhithe, where the Coroner's inquest sat last night to investigate the cause of his death.
The Times, 18 September 1799
  Monday evening the Coroner's Jury sat on the body of John Gough, the Lighterman, who was shot dead on board a barge at Scotland-yard, by John Vint, a watchman; and after an investigation of some hours, returned a verdict of wilful murder against the said John Vint, who was in consequence committed to Tothill-fields Bridewell, for trial on the Coroner's Warrant.

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