This post covers an official transcription regarding the trial of my 7x great-grandfather, Daniel Solomon, who was judged on the 24th April 1754 for the death of his wife Elizabeth. He was found guilty of manslaughter and branded as punishment.
This post follows on from previous posts:
Old Bailey Associated Records.
Concerning Old Bailey Trials
(L.) Daniel Soloman was indicted for the wilful murder of Elizabeth his wife , April the 1st . He stood likewise charged on the coroner’s inquisition for Manslaughter.
Hannah Brockhouse . I get my living by washing and scowering, and live next yard to the prisoner. Having been at a day’s work on the 1st of April, when I came home at night between seven and eight o’clock I found the deceased in a publick house over-against the yard where she lived; she was a little in liquor, but not a great deal. She eat a bit of beef with me, and we drank a pot of beer; she then went home and went up stairs to sleep. Her husband coming in about an hour afterwards, asked for her, I told him she was gone to lie down, and he said he supposed she had knocked out her link (meaning she was drunk.)
Q. from a juryman. Why do you imagine he meant so? Did you ever hear him use that term before?
Brockhouse. Yes, I have often heard him say so.
She goes on and says,
I would have gone up and awaked her for him, and he would not let me. I bid him not go and play the devil above.
Q. Was he drunk?
Brockhouse. No, he was sober.
Q. What do you mean by playing the devil?
Brockhouse. I meant to strike her, because I have often known him to strike her, and was afraid he should. He went up to her, and was gone about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, but not longer. When he came down he asked if I was gone; upon my inquiring what was the matter, he said he believed he should be hanged as his fellow servant was that day, and wished I would go up to his wife.
Q. Who was his fellow servant?
Brockhouse. Samuel Dean , who was hang’d that day.
Q. What reason did he give for that?
Brockhouse. He said he had cut his wife on the head, and he believed she would bleed to death. I went up stairs to her and found her sitting on the side of the bed bleeding sadly. The blood came from a wound on the right side of the head. I then took a tea cup and went down to the publick house where her husband was, asking for some gin to wash the blood from her head. When I washed it off I had some loaf-sugar, some of which I went to put into the wound to stop the bleeding; but the gash was so large, and the blood gushed out so, that I could not do it. Upon my asking her how he did it, she said he had beat her with a broomstick.
Q. Did she name her husband’s name?
Brockhouse. No, she did not mention his name; she only told me that he had struck her with a broomstick.
Q. Did she say that wound was given by that blow?
Brockhouse. Yes, Sir; she told me he had knocked her down with it. I went down to him again to the alehouse, and told him he must get somebody to stop the blood, for I could not; he said he could not fetch a surgeon, for he had no money, and then he went up to her himself. I went over to Mr. Bristow’s the apothecary, and brought over Mr. Roberts, Mr. Bristow’s nephew, who is a surgeon. The prisoner was with her when he came in; he searched the wound, and said it was very tedious, if not dangerous; he ordered me to wrap up her head and get her to the hospital. The prisoner then went and borrowed a shilling, and we got a coach. I went with her to the hospital, and left her in Charity Ward .
Q. Did her husband go with her?
Brockhouse. No, he did not; he staid at the alehouse.
Q. How did you get her in?
Brockhouse. They let her in; it was about eleven at night, we knocked at the door and they opened it.
Q. What hospital was it?
Brockhouse. Bethlehem hospital.
Q. Did you see her after this?
Brockhouse. Yes, once or twice; but she never said any thing to me afterwards. I saw her the Saturday se’nnight before she died.
Q Was she in her bed?
Brockhouse. She was always in bed, I never saw her up.
Q. Did she complain much?
Brockhouse. I never staid there long. The last time I saw her her head was swelled very much; she said when she swelled she was much easier; these were the last words she said to me, or in my hearing, for I never saw her afterwards.
Q. When was this conversation?
Brockhouse. On the Saturday se’nnight before she died.
Q. from the prisoner. Did not I leave my keys for you the next day to take care of my things?
Brockhouse. Yes, he did for me to take the bloody things out to wash.
Q. from the prisoner. Did not you come to me the next day and say my wife wanted support, that she wanted money?
Court. What day do you mean?
Prisoner. Tuesday, the second of April.
Brockhouse. I did go to him and told him she desired him to send her some money.
Q. What did she want it for?
Brockhouse. I don’t know what she wanted it for.
Prisoner. I gave that woman (meaning Brockhouse) sixpence to carry to her, and she never carried it.
Brockhouse. I left it upon the things by the side of his wife, and said I would speak to the sister to let her have half a pint of beer when she would.
Q. Did you tell his wife that you brought it?
Brockhouse. I did, and never went home till I had carried it.
Q. from the prisoner. Did not you take a hat out of my room?
Brockhouse. I did.
Court. ‘Twould be very hard for her to accuse herself of robbing your room. This is not a proper question to ask her, because it would charge herself with a felony, which is a thing not to be done. Ask her any question concerning the murder; but this is not a fair question.
Q. from the prisoner. Did you ever tell any body that if it lay in your power you would hang me?
Brockhouse. No, I never said any such thing, but that I would speak the truth as much as I knew.
Elizabeth Larkin , sister of Charity-ward, deposed, that she was very much in liquor, and that when the wound was dressing she vomited both over the surgeon and her.
I came home from my labour and enquired for my wife, my neighbour told me she was at the Coach and Horses; I went there, and Brockhouse told me she was gone up stairs; I went up; she was there asleep: I awaked her as well as I could: she got up; there was never a candle a light; but there was a fire, and she felt about the chimney-piece for a match to light the candle: I put my hand in my pocket and found a piece of paper, and was going to light it: I pushed her with my elbow and she fell against a cullender; she got up again and lighted the candle. I found her bleed prodigiously; I then called up the first witness and sent for Mr. Roberts; he said it would be a charge for me, and that I had better send her to the hospital at once: I went and borrowed a shilling of a neighbour and sent for a coach to carry her.
Q. to Brockhouse. Did he come down to you, or you go up to him?
Brockhouse. He came down to me.
Q. Had he ever a stick in his hand?
Brockhouse. No, I saw none.
Prisoner. But three nights before this happened, when I came home the woman of the house, where she was that night, told me, she tumbled off from a bench and lay for dead a quarter of an hour; and she told me she wondered she never died in her liquor; another time I went to go up stairs, she sate upon the stairs very much in liquor; I persuaded her to go up, she did not, but fell down stairs and there she lay all night.
For the Prisoner.
Philip Foden . I have known him between twenty and thirty years; I am a wheel-wright.
and I keep a grocer’s, cheesemonger’s, and chandler’s shop all together; I never heard any harm of him, nor any mischievousness in him in my life.
Q. Did you ever hear he was a bad husband to his wife?
Foden. Only when he has been out with his coach and been drinking, then he has been troublesome with words, but I never heard he struck her any blows.
Q. Upon the whole was he a quiet man?
Foden. I never heard any otherwise.
Samuel Collins . I was formerly a housekeeper in Coleman-street, but have used the seas lately, I have been to Turkey for some time; I have known him twenty years?
Q. What occasion had you to know him?
Collins. As being a coachman, I have been a servant myself.
Q. Is he a quiet man?
Collin. When he was in liquor he used to be troublesome and abusive with his tongue, but never with his hands; I have known the deceased to take his things out often and pawn them; I have seen her drunk for ten days together and never ceased.
Guilty Manslaughter .