The Trial of William Booth


William Booth was the son of John Booth of Hall End Farm and Mary, his wife, and was baptized at Beaudesert on 21 February 1776. His father, who had at least seven other children, was a respectable farmer, and held the office of churchwarden of Beaudesert for a number of years, being so mentioned in 1772 and 1784, and chapelwarden of Ullenhall in 1796. About 1799 William Booth, then some twenty-three years old, moved to Perry Barr where he rented a farmhouse and 200 acres of land. There he is said to have been kind to his neighbours and the poor and they could not believe him guilty when he was arrested on suspicion of murdering his brother John while on a visit to Hall End on 19 February 1808. John was found in a stable with severe head wounds from which he died.”

Cooper – Henley-in-Arden 1946 p163

Hall End Farm, 1779



An Inquisition has been taken at Hall End near Henley-in-Arden, before T.Hunt, Esq., on the body of Mr. John Booth, eldest son of Mr. Booth, farmer, of that place, who was found about three o’clock in the afternoon of Friday the 18th inst. in a stable near the house, dreadfully wounded on the head, and quite dead. It was first supposed to have been an accident occasioned by a vicious horse then in the stable, but some suspicious circumstances appearing on the inquest, a verdict of Wilful Murder was given against William Booth, the brother of the deceased, who has since been committed to our Gaol upon the Coroner’s warrant. – We forbear to mention the variety of rumours and reports that are in circulation or to state any further particulars respecting this most melancholy event; and we trust the public will suspend their decision upon this delicate though dreadful case, until the hour of the trial; when every circumstance a tending it will be coolly and impartially investigated before a competent tribunal. It was well observed by Judge Buller, on a similar occasion, that such reports were extremely improper and highly criminal; as nothing tended more to corrupt the course of justice, than attempting to prejudice mens’ minds before the cause came to be tried. We hope, for the honour of humanity, that the accused may be able to substantiate his innocence; otherwise the punishment provided by our laws is lenity and compassion, to what such an atrocious act of cruelty and barbarity deserves.

St. Marks Charity Account book records that £4 16s. 2d. was paid for John Booth’s Inquest, and that £2 2s. 0d. was paid to both Mr Thomas Burman and Mr Jones, Surgeons to the Inquest. Later accounts show that £30 3s. 4d. was paid to Mr Hunt “for the prosecution of William Booth for murdering his brother”.


APRIL 9th 1808

TRIAL FOR MURDER. – It having been publicly known for some days, that the trial of William Booth, for the wilful murder of his brother, John Booth, the younger, of Hall End, in the parish of Wootton Wawen, in this county, was to take place yesterday morning, and the trial having excited universal interest throughout the country, a number of Special Constables were sworn in to assist the Javelin-men in preserving the peace and order of the Hall and Court. The Prisoner was put to the Bar soon after nine o’clock, and pleaded Not Guilty.

Mr. Darrell opened the business, on the part of the prosecution, by recapitulating the substance of the indictment against the Prisoner, and then called in witnesses to substantiate the fact of which he stood charged. The witnesses were numerous, and took up a considerable time in giving their evidence, particularly in the cross-examinations by the Counsel on the opposite side, where rested, principally, the Prisoner’s Defence. The prosecution having closed, the Prisoner’s Counsel examined their witnesses on the part of the Prisoner, and called several persons who spoke very favourably of his character. When his Lordship asked the Prisoner what he had to say in his defence, he replied – “I am, my Lord, as innocent of this crime as the child unborn.”

His Lordship then proceeded to sum up the evidence “But, (said he), Gentlemen of the Jury, before I call your attention to this most serious and heavy charge against the Prisoner at the Bar, I must inform you that I have seen a printed handbill, numbers of which I understand have been distributed in Birmingham, and other parts of the country, for the purpose, evidently, of prejudging the mind of the public against him, previous to his trial; it is a wicked and abominable thing, and the promoters of it deserve the severest punishment”. He then requested the Jury to divest their minds of every thing which they had heard before coming into Court that day, and attend only to the facts which had been laid before them by the several witnesses, whose evidence he should, long as it was, read over to them.

His Lordship then went through the whole evidence, commenting, most favourably for the Prisoner, upon several parts of it. The Jury then requested to withdraw from the Court, and having retired, returned, in about twenty minutes, and pronounced a verdict of NOT GUILTY. – The Prisoner, who had been much agitated at different periods of the trial, bowed most respectfully to his Lordship and the Jury, and then withdrew. – The trial lasted ten hours. – Counsel for the Prosecution, Messrs. Darrell, Parker, Morris, and Fletcher; for the Prisoner, Messrs. Vaughan, Clarke, Reader, and Reynolds.

For want of room we cannot give more of this interesting trial, but it will be detailed more fully in next week’s paper.

The following has been transcribed from a print out of a microfilm copy of the original newspaper – parts of which cannot be read due to the way in which the original copy was bound.


APRIL 16th 1808



Wilful Murder of his Brother, John Booth, the younger, of Hall End, in the Parish of Wootton Wawen, in this County, at the Assize at Warwick, on Friday, April 8th, before the hon. Sir GEORGE WOOD, Knight, and the following Jury:-







Mr. DARRELL opened the case by reminding the Jury of the important duty they had to discharge; he then delivered to his Lordship and the Jury Plans of the premises where the Murder, (as laid in the indictment) was committed, stated the whole case of the Prosecution, and then called his first witness.


He deposed, that he was servant to old Mr. Booth, he was plough-boy, ?, on the 18th Day of February last, knew William Booth, the Prisoner, he is the son of his old Master; knew John Booth the deceased, he was another son of his master’s: John lived with his old Master, and overlooked his farm; William lived at Perry Barr: remembered William Booth coming to his master’s house on the 18th of February, on a Thursday, and John died on a Friday; on that day he was employed in the rick-yard in getting an oat rick into the barn in company with Thomas Gibbs and Henry Lee. Went every time to fetch the loads of oats up with Henry Lee, took them out of the rick-yard, and carried them up the fore-draft, across the cow-yard, into the barn. Says he saw the Prisoner several times in the rick yard before dinner. The Prisoner came into the rick-yard, when Pardy, Chamberlain, and himself were there. It was the last time he saw him there when he came by himself. Did not know exactly what time of the day it was. It was after Thomas Lee and Henry Gibbs went to dinner. Did not see the sister of William Booth coming down to him till she had turned into the cow-yard. Had then left William Booth about five minutes, who was alone. She came from the house: did not see her till she came to the cow-yard. She called and he went to her. They had then brought the straw up out of the rick-yard. He was going to the house to fetch a basket, they went through the shed-door together. The shed-door was no great way from the stable, did not know how far. Went to the stable and Miss Booth went up to the house; she did not go to the stable. The stable door was open. Went in and saw Master John lying on his left side, with his face all over blood. Went round him up towards the manger; called out Master John! Master John! and he made no answer, he then went out of the stable again and Chamberlain went in: did not move the body. The body lay on the left side, with the back part of the head against the standing post. There was a mare standing up in a standing by herself; the face towards the standing manger, but towards the other. There were three mares in the stable; the vicious mare was at the other end of the stable. His face was about two or three yards from the heels of the vicious mare; the traces were upon his arms and shoulders. – Question by his Lordship. The traces of what mare? A. The traces of the vicious mare, my Lord. – His hat was on; left his hat in the same state as it was when he first went in. Went and called Pardy and Chamberlain, who met him between the stable and the shed-door. Knew the pitch-hole in the stable; they always threw the dung through it; it was at the bottom of the stable; there was a door to it, it was a kind of a lid; they always called it the lid; it was open. – Question by his Lordship, The lid was open when you went into the stable? A. Yes, my Lord – He had not been in the stable since morning till he found Master John lying dead there. The pitch-hole was open about eight o’clock in the morning. Did not see the spade in the stable, when he first saw Master John, did not look for it then. He first took it after he and the other boys had had their dinners, and unloaded the straw; it might be rather better than an hour after the body was removed; Pardy was with him. Remembered Mr. Burman and Mr Tarlton coming; he might then have used the spade about ten minutes or not so much. He found it in the usual place, under the gears at the corner of the chaff-house, where the gears are hung up. The chaff-house from where the body lay was about five or six yards. When he took up the spade he began to clean the stable out with it. He scraped the dung from between the horses with it; he scraped a little of the blood with the dung, he scraped a liitle blood over the dung; then Mr Burman took the spade from him. Question by his Lordship, Had Mr. Burman come in before you put it out of your hands? A. Yes my Lord. – Had not removed the dung from the stable, only scraped it from the horses; Mr. Burman took the spade away. – Question by his Lordship, Was there any blood on the spade when you went in? A. I did not see any blood on the spade, my Lord. – It was between three and four o’clock when he was scraping the stable; it was not dusk; he had not observed the spade particularly, to see whether blood was on it or not; he did not think of any such a thing.

Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant VAUGHAN.

There were three mares in the stable, one was a vicious mare; the deceased was nearer the vicious mare than any other, he had the traces of the vicious mare upon his shoulders and arms, the others had their traces on. The vicious mare was tied to the manger with a halter, they were all three tied. The hind parts of the vicious mare would come very near to the standing post, if she stod back as far as she could, without kicking or throwing her heels out. Had no doubt but the mare’s heels would have ?arly reached the deceased where he lay, but if she had kicked she would have kicked over him. Came to his master at Michaelmas, between that time and Christmas she had kicked often, had kicked Pardy two or three times – Had seen the Prisoner in the rick-yard, he was backwards and forwards more than once. He, the Witness, was not at work in the rick-yard, he was going with the loads. Went into the rick-yard several times. Did not know whether the Prisoner had staid in the rick-yard any time, he might have staid there the last time about ten minutes; he believes he came up the rick-yard the last time with the load; this was at the time Lee and Gibbs were gone to dinner; he followed the Witness, Chamberlain and Pardy, up with the waggon the last time; Allibone and Pardy were driving it. The Prisoner asked whether they were not to put the straw by the end of the barn by the barley rick. He did not enter into conversation with him whether they should put the straw in that place or another; but Pardy said, Master John told him they must put it under the elm trees. The Prisoner might stay with him about ten minutes, not longer.

Re-examined by Mr. DARRELL.

He did not stay longer in the rick-yard than while they were drawing the waggon out. On being asked whether he could be accurate as to the ten minutes, he said. It might be more or less, or it might not be so much. The Prisoner came to them just when they were loading the straw, and might be with them about ten minutes.

Re-examined by Serjeant VAUGHAN.

When they were finishing loading, the Prisoner came to them; he did not see him till he got between the empty staddle and the waggon. He, the witness, was 13 years of age.


This witness said he was servant to old Mr. Booth, he was plough-boy. Saw the Prisoner on the 19th of February, could not say justly where he first saw him. Recollected Gibbs and Lee going to dinner; it might be half past two, more or less, he could not say to a few minutes either way. When they were gone to dinner he saw the Prisoner come down into the rick-yard. Pardy, Allibone and him, were then loading the straw that came off the oat rick. Did not see where he came from. From the time he came to the time he went away might be five minutes or rather more; that was the time as near at he could tell. They had not quite finished loading when the Prisoner came to them; they might have finished in two minutes afterwards. They then went up the rick-yard, into the far-yard to take the straw under some elm trees, the distance from the place where they completed the loading to the elm trees, was no great way, it was the length of the yard and the length of the rick yard. They were not long in drawing the waggon to the elm trees, it might be two minutes, he could not think it could be more. The Prisoner left them before they got to the elm trees; he left them at the barn; and then said, John, my father said you must lay the straw at the end of the barn. Pardy said, Master John said we must lay it by the elm trees, because it would be nearer the stable for litter. Question by his Lordship, He left Pardy and you? Yes, my Lord. – When the Prisoner left them he went along by the barn towards the little gate; it was the near gate that led to the cowyard and house, the little gate near the oat rick. From the time that Gibbs and Lee went to dinner, to the time he saw the Prisoner, it might have been five or six minutes; that was the time as near as he could tell. The Prisoner left them just by the barn, and from that time till he saw Miss Booth it was about four minutes as near as he could tell; he saw her at the shed door. From that time till he went into the stable was not more than five minutes. No one went into the stable with him; he came out again directly, and then Pardy came in; Allibone went in first, he came out as witness went in. The witness went into the stable because Miss Booth turning her head, said, she saw somebody lie. He observed Master John Booth lying down, on his left side, with the back of his head towards the standing-post; the standing-post formed the side of a single stall; it was at the end of the stable. The stable was an open range except the stall; there was one horse in the single stall, but it was not the vicious mare. There was one horse in the open range beside the vicious mare, in all three. The vicious mare stood at the top part of the open range; she was no great way from the body. Question by his Lordship, Was the body nearest the vicious mare? Was the head nearer the vicious mare than to the mare in the single stall? A. I think it was. – The vicious mare was fastened by a halter to the manger; she was near enough to strike the body. The hat of Master John was on when he found him; but he did not take particular notice of the hat. The face of Master John was towards the heels of the vicious mare.


He was 18 years of age and waggoner to old Mr Booth. He saw the Prisoner on the 19th of February last; he first saw him when he came down into the rick-yard; he saw him several times in the day; the last time he saw him they were cleaning the straw up, and were going to take the kids; he was pulling wheat out of the wheat rick; that was the last time he saw him; the wheat rick was very nigh the bottom of the rick-yard below the empty staddle. Remembered Gibbs and Lee going to dinner but did not recollect justly when they went. Saw the Prisoner the last time when they took the load up; he was just by their side. He asked the witness why they did not put the straw at the end of the barn? he said, no. He could not tell to be sure whether this was at two o’clock or a little after. The time the Prisoner was with the Witness at this time, till he left him at the end of the barn, might be ten minutes or not so much, or more, for ought he knew.- Question by his Lordship. Which way did he go? A. He went by the end of the barn, as though he was going through the little gate to the end of the house, the gate led into the fold-yard towards the house. On the Witness being asked how long it was after this before he saw Allibone, he answered, he had just got on the load as the Mistress came down the Yard; he kept on the load; she asked where Master John was; he did not then hear any thing. On the Witness being asked, when did you hear of Master John? he replied, Allibone and her were going through the shed door to fetch a basket, when Mistress turned her head and saw the body. I then heard the Mistress say, yonder is Master John, and I got off as fast as I could. Witness then ran into the stable; Chamberlain and Allibone were with him when he went. Question by his Lordship. Chamberlain and Allibone were there? A. Yes my Lord.- When he got into the stable Witness saw Master John lie on his left side; the back part of his head lay towards the post; there were some gears on him. He caught hold of his hand, and said, Master John! Master John! He could not perceive him either stir or speak; he was dead. He took the gears off him and hung them up in the usual place. He lay very near the vicious mare; the gears were off the vicious mare. Witness had the care of the stable and horses; did not examine the vicious mare on that day till after. He saw her afterwards; as soon as the Surgeons came he fetched her out of the stable, he led her the cleanest way out he could; her legs were then examined; there was no shoe on her off-hind foot; the other shoe was very sleek, as if it had been worn a long time. When the mare was taken out of the stable, there was no appearance of blood upon her; the hair was long upon her heels; he picked her feet up, there was no blood upon her hoofs.- There was a door, that Witness said, where the dung was thrown out at the farther end of the stable; it was large enough to get through; he shut it that morning about eight o’clock, and fastened the lid. Could not tell how the Prisoner had dressed at that time. Chamberlain said he opened the lid again to look for his gloves.

CHARLES CHAMBERLAIN was again called.

He had opened the lid, he said, that morning, to look for his gloves, and had left it open. On being asked what coloured coat the Prisoner had on, he said, he had on a blue coat and boots.

JOHN PARDY examined by Mr. CLARKE.

He said he had been asked about shutting-up the lid, he had mentioned it before the Jury, and that Chamberlain had opened it afterwards. It served as a vent, it was where they threw the dung out. His young Master, William, had come to see his father, and had been about to see what was going on. The mare was apt to kick; she had kicked him, but never to hurt him.


This Witness said he had worked with Mr. Booth going on for four years; he remembered the morning of the 19th of February; he first saw William Booth about the middle of the day, he was in the fold yard. Master John was assisting them in taking in a rick of oats; this was about twelve o’clock. He remembered being called to dinner by the servant girl, Sarah Walford; she came and asked them if they could not all come to dinner. He did not see the Prisoner then; he saw him about two o’clock or before; the Witness, Lee, and Master John were together. Henry Lee and the Witness went to the house to dinner; John stopped at the barn door, and they left him there. When they got to the house it wanted twenty minutes of three by the clock. It might take him two or three minutes in going from the barn to the ? house. He saw him French, she was in the house when he went in; she continued in the house three minutes as near as he could tell; and then went out of the house into the garden; she was in the servant’s kitchen which was the back kitchen; she went out at the back kitchen door. There was a way by the hog-sties, through the garden and orchard to her home; she went out in order to go home. It had not struck three when he first heard the alarm of the death of Master John; he went out immediately on the alarm. The alarm was – Miss Booth came and said, “Lord have mercy on me, my brother is much hurt, he is all over blood.” Witness did not see the Prisoner at that time, he heard him. Question by his Lordship, Who had you the alarm from? A. Miss Booth.- Witness did not see the Prisoner, he heard him at the pig-sties; he knew it was him by his tongue. He said, “What a terrible noise these pigs are making, I will let them out.” He heard him say these words; the stye the pigs were in might be about fourteen or fifteen yards from the house. Witness could not tell whether the Prisoner was near enough to his sister to hear what she said; he was about thirteen or fourteen yards from her, as she came into the servant’s kitchen. When he got to the stable he found the body on the left side, with the back part of the head towards the standing-post; the deceased had his hat on. The Witness called the deceased by his name, and he made no answer; he picked him up, and put the blood out of his mouth with his fingers; he then pulled his hat off. On being asked what he did with the blood he took out of his mouth, he said, “I swung it off my hands, but did not know where it went to”. He laid his hand upon the standing post when he picked him up; it made the post bloody, there was the mark of his fingers on the top of the post. The hat came off very hard, and there was much blood in it; the blood was all over the inside of the hat. When Witness took off the hat, he turned the body to the door for air; he left the hat in the stable; the hat was very tight on, and the head was swelled a great deal; he did not see that the hat was cut; it was bruised and a good deal dented. He saw the Prisoner while he was there, he came into the stable, and said, “Lord have mercy on me.”- Witness sent the girl for a two arm chair, and took the body to the house. He then went out and the Prisoner followed him, and ordered him to take his horse and go and fetch the Surgeons. Question by his Lordship, The Prisoner ordered you to do that? Yes, my Lord. We brought the Surgeons – Did not recollect, after the body was washed and taken up stairs, seeing the Prisoner up there. Had some conversation with the Prisoner afterwards in the house, who said, “You recollect you bloodied the post, when you picked him up; and do you remember where you throw’d the blood off your hands?” This was about an hour after the body was taken up stairs. Question by his Lordship, You had the conversation in the kitchen with the Prisoner? Who else was present? A. Elizabeth Holmes. Q. No one else? A. I cannot recollect that there was – Counsel, Witness, speak slowly, and tell his Lordship what he said – He said, “Thomas Gibbs, you recollect you bloodied the post when you picked him up; how do you know where you throw’d the blood when you throw’d it off your hands?”- Prisoner did not say anything further on that subject then. The spade had been seen before that time, and the blood had been observed upon it. Did not recollect that any thing led to this conversation; Elizabeth Holmes was at the same time in the kitchen. Question by his Lordship, Had you been talking about the spade being bloodied? A. No, my Lord. – Witness said Mr. Burman had shewn him the spade before that time, but did not know wether any one had told the Prisoner about it. Witness lighted a candle and went into the stable, Prisoner followed him down; and repeated the words over again. He expressed himself in the very same words. Prisoner said nothing else, only, what he was to do with the cattle, as the Surgeons were not willing they should stand in the stable where the blood was. The spade was not there, he thought Mr. Tarlton took it away. The words were not mentioned at any other time. The spade was against the chaff-house, under the gears, when he took up the body; when he took the blood out of the Deceased’s mouth he was about five or six yards off the spade, he could not exactly tell. Counsel, “I ask you when you took the blood out, was it possible it could reach the spade?” A. “No.” – Witness had lived four years in the family, had heard that the Prisoner and Deceased could never afford one another a good word; but he never had heard quarrels between them at any time. He never heard the Prisoner say any thing against John.

Cross-examined by Mr READER.

Witness did not hear it was the Prisoner’s intention to return home that day, if he had not staid at the request of the Deceased and his Father. When he went to dinner he left John at the barn door. When Ann French went into the garden she must have gone round by the hog-sties. It was before three when Miss Booth came into the servant’s kitchen; she opened the kitchen door, but whether she shut it again could not tell. Prisoner was not then in the house where he was. Witness was in the further kitchen when Miss Booth came in; she came through the front kitchen. He immediately ran out, and then it was he heard the Prisoner say “What a terrible noise these pigs are making, I’ll let them out”. The stye was on a different side of the house to where the stable was; and on a different side to where Miss Booth came in; she came in the garden way. The Prisoner came to him when he got to the stable, and said “Lord have mercy on me.” The body was carried up to the house, first, and then it was the Prisoner desired Witness to take his horse; the boy was gone on his master’s nag for the Surgeon, but the Prisoner thought him long, and sent the Witness after him on his own horse. It was after the Surgeons had been and examined the body that the Prisoner held the conversation with the Witness; it was between five and six o’clock. There had then been a conversation how the Deceased came by his death; they were all shocked a good deal. The blood on the post was visible to every one; it was on the spade for some time after. The blood on the spade Mr. Burman had observed. Witness had swung his fingers, and had mentioned he could not tell where the blood could go to. Prisoner asked him whether the blood could not go on the spade, but he made him no answer. The second conversation about the blood was in the stable; at that time the marks of his fingers were plain upon the post before them. Witness’s judgement was the blood could not have gone upon the spade. He did not know at that time the boy had been using the spade. The Prisoner directed Witness to take the horses away, as the Surgeons had desired it.

Re-examined by Mr. DAVRELL.

When the Prisoner made the observations to the Witness respecting the blood Mrs. Holmes was present; they had not been talking on that subject. The conversation about the blood was begun by the Prisoner alone; the Prisoner begun the same conversation in the stable the same as he did in the house. The blood, when he first saw it, was in a jellied state.

Re-examined by Mr. READER.

Witness did not recollect that the blood run off the hat upon his hand. By the Counsel, Did not some blood come off the cuts of the head upon your hand? Did you shake off that blood? A. I did it all off.

HENRY LEE examined by Mr. BRAMSTON.

Witness was labourer with old Mr. Booth, on 19th February last; Gibbs was working there at the same time. Remembered the Deceased, John Booth, being with them at the oat rick on that day. Recollected going to dinner about half past two o’clock; the girl, Sarah Walford, called them. Gibbs and himself went to the house to dinner; John Booth did not go with them; they left him in the barn or at the barn door, he could not say which. After they got into the house Miss Booth ran in and said, that her brother John lay in the stable; this might be about a quarter of an hour after they got into dinner, it could not be more. In going from the place where they left John Booth, to the house, it might take up two minutes, that was the outside. The alarm was not given in a very loud voice, Mrs French was there when he first went in; she did not stop above a minute or two in the house after he came in; she went out of the house. Thomas Gibbs went into the house first, and Witness followed him. It was about ten minutes before Thomas Gibbs ran out to the stable; Gibbs was there before Witness, he raised the Deceased’s head up, his back was against Thomas Gibb’s knee, and sitting. Saw Gibbs put his fingers in the Deceased’s mouth; who thought the blood might stop his breath. Witness saw the blood come out of Deceased’s mouth; his hat was not taken off when he got there. Counsel, Did you see Gibbs do any thing with the blood? A. I saw Gibbs put his hands on the standing-post. Q. Did he do any thing else with the blood besides? A. I saw him swing his hand, in this manner. Counsel, Describe it.

[The Witness then swung his hand, which was done with the motion of the elbow and wrist, as when throwing something off the hand underneath one upon the ground.]

Witness said that hand had blood on it; but did not see where it fell when he hand. Did not know where the stood.

ANN FRENCH examined by Mr M?

Witness said she lived in Ullenhall; knew the Prisoner William Booth; had seen him since he was married, but had k him twenty years; did not know how long had been married. Was at old Mr. Booth’s house on Friday the 19th of February; went there between two and three o’clock; she went by the best kitchen window, in at the back door. Went there about some spinning. Mr Booth and the girl were in the back kitchen when she went there. Gibbs and Lee came after that; they did not come in together; Henry Lee stopped to wash his hands at the pump; this was not above half a quarter of an hour after she got in. The kitchens join each other; the door between them was open when she went in; but it was not so all the time. Saw the Prisoner, William Booth, as soon as? She went in, he was in the best kitchen, ?the door was open; he went out just before Gibbs and Lee came in to dinner; there not many minutes between the times; it just before. Witness saw the Prisoner go of the best-kitchen-door; Witness five minutes after, she went out at the b kitchen-door; she went by the pump and ?sties into the garden, and by the best kitchen? window; she went by the best kitchen and down the garden alley that to the orchard. When she was in the garden she saw William Booth; she had just the corner of the lime-house when she saw him; she was then three or four yards off the which goes into the orchard. Witness had gone past the gate which went into the orchard; she was within two or three yards of the? gate on her left hand. When Witness saw Prisoner first he was in the yard, by the ing, going down the road towards the ?stable?.

Q. Where did you see him go? A. the stable

  1. You saw him walking till he went ?in it? A. Yes, Sir.

  1. Which door? A. The stable door.

  1. The outer-door? A. Yes, Sir.

  1. When you saw him go into the stable where were you then? A. Almost at the garden gate which leads into the orchard; I suppose?, not above a yard or two.

  1. Did you lose sight of him from the f? time you saw him? A. No, Sir, I did not.

Q. Then you are quite sure and positive saw him go into the stable? Have you the slightest doubt? A. No, Sir.

Q. How was he dressed? A. coat, and pair of boots on.

Q. Where was old Mr Booth when you the house? A. I cannot tell.

Q. Did you see Sarah Walford at the window when you was in the garden? A. Yes, Sir.

Cross-examined by Mr. CLARKE

Q. There are two gates, one led orchard and one out of the garden into the yard, near the ? Is there not a tree?

There is a tree at the horse pit.

Q. Do you mean between the pit and gate? A. No, the tree is against the w .

  1. What space between the first seeing and last seeing him? A. Not above a m? or two.

Q. You not only saw him, but the the same time? A. Not till after I I didn’t see the girl.

Q. You say that the whole time he had out before you went out was about five he had been out for five minutes? A. I think it was so long.

Questioned by his Lordship, how far from you when you first saw him? A. great way.

Q. Was it as far as from you to that (meaning the door that leads out of the ). A. It was hardly so far. It was fourteen or fifteen yards; it might be more.

Re-examined by Mr. MAURICE.

Q. You have seen him frequently these last ten years? A. Yes.

Q. Had you any doubt when you this time? A. No I had not.

Q. You had been asked respecting the between the two kitchens, it was open you came in? A. Yes.

Q. You then saw him when he went the best kitchen door, it was open then? Yes.

Q. Have you any doubt you saw out? A. I have not.

Sarah Walford examined by Mr. FLETCHER.

She was servant to old Mr. Booth remembered on the 19th of February going to men to dinner, it was half past two went through the best kitchen; she the clock; she went down into the and saw Master John Booth, Thomas Gibbs, Henry Lee; she asked them if they come to dinner? She returned to the three or four minutes after; she then stairs to make the beds; she went to the before she made the last bed; it was open?; she could see into some part of the yard of the building and the cow-yard; could stable but not the door. When first she the window Ann French was going down the garden, she staid there till she was the garden, then she went out and finished . She then returned to the window, whe? Booth was going down the garden time she first went to the window till she returned? Might be three or four minutes. Miss Booth went to the gate that led to the orchard and called John! then she went into the orchard and called John many times; she then came back and went down the side of the cow-shed. She saw the Prisoner come out of the near fold-yard, by the end of the calf pen as Miss Booth went down on this side the cow sheds; he went into the garden and asked his daughter, who was against the privy, where her mother was, the child said in the house, and he then went up into the best kitchen; he walked a great pace up the garden. Witness then heard Miss Booth come up by the shed; she said, “Oh Lord Oh Lord have mercy on us!” It was said loud. Prisoner was then gone into the kitchen. Miss Booth spoke loud enough for her to hear but she thought it could not be heard in the kitchen.

Cross-examined by Mr. READER.

Witness was standing at the chamber window that looks into the garden, and saw Ann French go from the lime house down the garden and part of the orchard; from the place where she stood she could have seen the stable if she had looked that way; the stable was to be seen, and the way to it, but not the door. She did not see any person besides Ann French; it might be five minutes after this before she saw the Prisoner; she saw him in the near fold-yard; of the near fold-yard into the garden was in direction from the rick-yard. Prisoner did not walk fast till he came to his daughter, and spoke? To her, and then after that quickened his pace. After she got into the house it might be three or four minutes before she heard Miss Booth cry out.


She laid out the body of the Deceased; Henry Lee, Gibbs, and Mr. Tarlton were there; the Prisoner did not come up stairs at all. Witness was afterwards standing by the kitchen fire; Thomas Gibbs came in to the house, and William Booth said something, but she could not hear what it was. She heard him say, “ Thomas Gibbs, you recollect you bloodied the post in picking him up; how do you know where you throw’d the blood when you throw’d it off your hands?” He said it twice over, in her hearing, the kitchen. Something had been said by the kitchen fire before this conversation, concerning the Surgeons searching the stable. Witness at another time heard the Prisoner say to his sister, who was crying, “It is no use making yourself uneasy, for there is no re?elling HIM or IT again,” she could not say which.


He said he was a shoe-maker, and lived at Henley; remembered seeing, in October, 1805, the Prisoner, William Booth, at a public house, the ???? of the Nag’s Head, at Henley, remembered his sister Ann coming in; she asked the Prisoner to go home with her; he said he would not go home with her to his father’s and the reason? He gave was, “I shall see that damn’d ???? Jack, and if so, he should murder him; ?? and ??? think it no harm to do so” He repeated words to that effect more than once.

Cross-examined by Mr. REYNOLDS.

Witness said this was soon after dinner, and the Prisoner had been there all the morning ?????; he was very tipsey; four or five ????? were there at the time, and he said it loud enough for all to hear.


He was constable of Stratford; he went with search warrant to the Prisoner’s house the of February; he found there a waistcoat with a little blood on it.

[Here the witness produced the waistcoat, which was at by his Lordship and the Jury:]

Witness found the waistcoat in the Prisoner’s bed chamber; he also found a dark blue coat there, but he did not see any dirt or blood on ; the waistcoat lay down in a corner, with the foul linen.

Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant VAUGHAN.

Witness found the waistcoat in the same dirty it then was; did not know it was the waistcoat in which the Prisoner killed his pigs; found it among other dirty things.

JOHN TARLTON sworn, and examined.

He was a farmer and resided at Hall End, in the parish of Ullenhall, about a quarter of a mile? from Mr. Booth’s; remembered being sent to Mr. Booth’s on the 19th of February, left home about three o’clock; the first he saw when he got there, he thought, old Mr. Booth; he went down to the stable thought to see the body; some of the boys shewed him where the body had lain. Remembered Mr. Burman and Mr. Jones coming into the stable; he received a spade, and saw it from the boy, Allibone; there was blood the stable. Witness had received a hat, had been given to him by one of the ; after it had been in presence of the ; he had also a horse-shoe, which he received on the Monday, after it had been the Coroner; they had been in his possession ever since.

Cross-examined by Mr. READER.

He received the hat at his own house, but could? Not say exactly from whom. The spade was delivered to him on Friday, he saw Mr. take it from Allibone. The shoe he received at the Swan at Henley; Dawes delivered it to him. He summoned the Prisoner at Mr. Booth’s, on Sunday morning to attend Coroner at Henley; when he was there the Prisoner’s wife said to him, “Mr. Tarlton, you the misfortune to have a man killed by a and there was no notice taken of it.” the Witness came away the Prisoner said about going home; when Witness if he did go he must be back by Monday; would he to be there early on morning. On Saturday the Prisoner a dark blue coat, and on Monday a light . Could not say the Prisoner had worn the produced in Court, either on Saturday . Did not recollect that the Prisoner this conversation.

JOSEPH DAWES sworn, and examined.

Constable of Wootton, was at Mr. Booth’s Saturday, and on the Monday as was present when the shoe was taken off foot; and took possession of it; he before the Jury and delivered it to Mr. it was handed to the Jury and then to Mr. . The shoe was then produced, and the identified it and swore to it.

THOMAS GIBBS again examined.

He took the Deceased’s hat the next day to Mr. Tarlton’s, he did not deliver it to him, but left it in the kitchen; the hat was produced on Monday, it was the same hat Witness took off the Deceased’s head.

JOHN TARLTON, again examined.

Could not tell who took the hat before the Jury; he had it then; Witness then produced the hat.

THOMAS GIBBS again examined.

Said William Booth had a dark blue coat on on Sunday morning. The hat produced was the one he took off the Deceased’s head.

Cross-examined by Mr. READER.

The Prisoner wore a blue coat all the while; he did not see any blood upon it. The hat was now, as near as possible, in the same state as when he took it off his head.


The Witness was a surgeon, and lived at Henley; he was sent for to attend the Deceased; he got there about half past four o’clock; Mr. Burman was there before him. Both of them immediately proceeded to examine the body of the Deceased. They cut the hair off his head that they might distinctly see the wounds; then washed the blood away, and had the body turned to examine the back part of the head, they had examined the two sides before. In turning the body a prodigious effusion of blood took place with a small portion of the brain issuing from the nostrils. They then ordered the body to be carried up stairs, and it was; there it remained till the following day when they examined it minutely. On Saturday the first wound they remarked was the one on the left side of the head, about five inches long, extending from the front part of the head towards the back part; along the parietal bone, that above the ear, it was straight, without contusion; it had the appearance of an incised wound inflicted by an instrument not having a keen edge. There was another wound above that, smaller, he believed about two inches, or not so much; it was within half an inch of the other, or thereabouts, it was of the same nature as that below; straight and incised. _On the right side of the head there were three wounds, two wounds about four inches in length; those wounds were on the parietal bone also; the third wound was lower, upon the temporal bone; these wounds were rather irregular, partaking both of lacerated and incised wounds. There was one on the hind part of the head about two inches and a half long; there was not any tumefaction round any of the wounds; the integuments adhering firmly to the bones, except where the wounds were inflicted the fracture of the skull was general throughout the right side, it extended along the back part of the head towards the left side; a small portion of the temporal bone came away. These were the appearances, on the dissection of the head. By an incised wound he meant such a one as might be cut without bruising the parts. He thought those wounds could not be inflicted by a horse; they could not. The reason why they could not was, they were all distinct, and the integuments adhering so firmly, it was evident that they must have been made by an instrument. If the wounds had been given by the kick of a horse they would have been in a perpendicular direction instead of a lateral one, if the person lay on the ground at wounds were inflicted. If the Deceased had been standing up, all those wounds could not have been inflicted on the head in the manner the Witness saw them; he must have fell from the first blow. If the horse had kicked the Deceased when he was up and down, they would have been different, he thought; the wounds would have been perpendicular, in some measure, and not all lateral. He was speaking, that if the body had been lying down, he would have received them perpendicularly. He had no appearance at all of being kicked, or any other wounds on any other parts of his body; there was a very slight discoloration on the breast bone that he did not think worth notice. If the horse had kicked him on the chest, it certainly would have had other discoloration and appearance. He examined the mare that was near the body of the Deceased; he examined her hind ; there was no blood, none in the least; he looked to find if there was any most accurately. There was no shoe on the near foot behind, it was particularly smooth. From the state of her feet, when he viewed them, he did not think it possible for the wounds to be inflicted by that mare. He had no doubt upon that subject from his knowledge and experience.

  1. We understand that the hat was upon the Deceased’s head when he was first found, look at that hat and examine it? Would it have been in that state if it had been kicked by any horse.

  1. In order to produce the wounds I have spoken of, the hat must have been cut.

  1. From your judgement am I to conclude they could not have been made with the hat on the head? A. They could not.

  1. You have no doubt? A. I cannot have any .

  1. Was it possible for the Deceased to have put on his hat after having received those wounds you have been describing? A. Oh, no Sir!

  1. Would any of those wounds or either of them have killed him? A. Those on the right side would unquestionably have killed him.

  1. Would they not have produced instant death? A. They must necessarily have produced death instantly.

  1. You took the spade from Allibone? A. No I did not.

  1. Will you look at that instrument? Did you observe any blood at the time? A. Yes, I did.

  1. Will you point out to the Jury where it was?

[Here the Witness took up the spade and described the blood to have been on both sides, and on the front side florrid, near and close under the left tread.]

  1. The blood under the left tread was very florrid.

  1. You say very florrid. A. Yes, it was.

  1. As to the other? A. The blood on the back part was not so florrid by a great deal, it was absorbed by dirt.

  1. What judgement do you entertain as to the blood there being absorbed? A. It must have been in a fluid state, otherwise it could not have been absorbed.

  1. You saw what the boy was doing of? A. No, I did not; I saw what had been done.

  1. Was it in a congealed state or not, when you saw it? A. It was in a congealed state.

  1. From your observation and experience, could it have produced that appearance, in a congealed state? A. No, Sir.

  1. Look at that instrument, (the spade) I desire to know whether, in your judgement, it would not have produced those wounds which you saw? A. It would, or any similar instrument.

  1. In your judgement, do you believe that (the spade) or one of that nature, they (the wounds) could have been inflicted with. A. They could.

  1. Can you have any doubt about it. A. I cannot have any doubt about it.

  1. You said there was no tumefaction. A. None at all.

  1. If inflicted by a horse’s shoe, would there not have been a great deal of tumefaction and contusion? A. By the kick of a horse it would have produced a great deal of it; there was none by these wounds.

Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant VAUGHAN.

  1. What I understand you to mean by an incised wound, is one inflicted by an instrument with a keen edge, which will not bruise? A. Yes. And that a wound inflicted by an obtuse instrument will be both cut and bruised? A. Yes.

  1. But you are not speaking of extremes? A. No.

  1. The blood was in a congealed state, so not likely to give that florrid appearance under the tread? A. No.

  1. What time might it be when you went into the stable after you got there? A. It might be more than an hour.

  1. At that time, then, the blood would have been in a congealed state? A. Certainly it would.

  1. You saw it had been applied to remove the dirt; supposing it to have been applied immediately after the body was found, it would have had that appearance? A. It would.

  1. How long have you been at Henley? A. Seventeen years.

  1. Have you had fractures under your care from the kick of a horse? A. I never have been called to one whose skull had been fractured by the kick of a horse.

  1. Then this opinion is all speculative and conjectural. A. Certainly – I did not see it done.

  1. You never before examined such a fracture, therefore it is conjectural; look at that shoe, and say, whether, in your judgement a similar wound could not have been inflicted with the one as with the other.

[Here he shew’d him the shoe and spade, and asked whether the shoe would not have inflicted a wound similar to one inflicted by the spade.]

  1. No it could not when nailed to a horse’s foot.

  1. The wounds would have appeared in a perpendicular direction, and not a lateral one? A. Yes; that was, upon a supposition that the body lay upon the ground when the wounds were given.

  1. Must these wounds have been inflicted if he had lain on the ground. A. I cannot say positively.

  1. Is there no possibility, from the position in which it was, that it could possibly have received these wounds? A. It could not have received all the wounds.

  1. Could it not have been put in a position to have received one? A. Yes.

  1. Do you mean to say none of these wounds were curved? A. They were not, they were irregular; but I must call them straight.

  1. I must ask you whether the edge of the hoof has not a sharp appearance? A. Certainly it might.

  1. Is it capable of giving a wound both lacerated and incised? A. Certainly it would.

  1. Was the bone altogether depressed, or raised as well? A. Part of the temporal bone was loose and taken out.

  1. Did the integuments adhere as close as other parts? A. They adhered close in every part, except where the wounds were inflicted.

  1. You have spoken of there being no bruise, but a slight discoloration on the sternum, or breast bone? A. Yes.

  1. Did you not think it necessary to open it? A. I did not.

  1. Understanding that there were wounds sufficient upon the head to kill him, you were not particular in examining other parts of the body?

  1. I did examine other parts of the body.

Q. to receive a blow on the body that will bring him to the ground, and yet leave no external injury? A. Certainly.

  1. There was a discoloration? A. There was. It was not black, neither was it florrid; it was a discolouration.

  1. Would you swear that on that spot he did not receive a blow that brought him to the ground? A. I did not swear that.

  1. You have told us you were not called in till after the body was removed, so that you cannot tell us in what condition the hat was when it was found. Is it impossible to receive a fracture with the hat on and it not cut? Was it impossible to receive these wounds without the hat being cut? A. I don’t think they could without the hat being cut; not wounds of that nature.

  1. Do you mean to swear that they could not but without the hat being cut? A. It is so in my judgement.

[Here his Lordship observed that he remembered an instance, where it was proved on a trial, at the Old Bailey, that a cut and fracture had been received, and the hat not cut.]

  1. Then men may receive wounds on the head of that nature, and the hat not be cut? A. I did think they could not till my Lord said otherwise.

  1. This body was found close to the standing-post? A. I did not see it there.

  1. Might he not have fallen against the post? A. I cannot tell that.

Re-examined by Mr. DARRELL.

  1. You have been asked whether the foot which had no shoe on, would have not inflicted an incised, lacerated, and upright wound. But would it have indicted any of these wounds on the head? A. No, it would not.

  1. Supposing the body had been kicked while on its legs, would it have produced the wounds you have seen? A. No, it would not.

  1. Could those six wounds have been inflicted without the hat being cut? A. It must have been cut.


Witness was a surgeon, lived at Henley; was present on the 19th of February, at the time Mr. Jones was at the house of Mr. Booth; was there a few minutes before him; examined the body of the Deceased with Mr. Jones. On Friday he found him supported in a chair by the fire, apparently in a lifeless state; after they had placed the body on a table, they had the hair removed and the parts washed; there were six distinct wounds. Did nothing to the head till the next day; the wound on the left side of the head was about five inches; it was the first that was shewn to the Coroner; one by that was an inch and an half in length. There were three on the right side, two on the left, and one on the back part. The five inch wound was produced by a blunt instrument, those on the right side were lacerated in a slight degree, with slight contusion or bruise; two of them were about four inches in length; the under one was about an inch and half; the integuements adhered firmly to the skull, this he was particular in observing during the dissection. Respecting the left side, that which extended five inches in length was without much contusion or bruise, but the integements were some way off the skull, separated or raised up, so that he could intriduce his finger by the wounds a little way; the other was irregular, not exactly straight.

  1. In your judgment by what sort of instrument were these wounds inflicted. A. Had I only seen one on the right side, I should have supposed it had been done by the kick of a horse-shoe; but what made me suppose these were not was the slight separation of the integuments from the cranium, and the wounds being distinct, I thought then they could not have been done by the kick of a horse.

  1. Was there more or less of contusion than would have been occasioned by the kick of a horse. A. There would have been greater contusion, and separation of the integuments: these were the appearances that I observed on the integements, but I don’t exactly recollect any other appearances. It appeared to me they were inflicted by an obtuse instrument.

  1. Will you look at that spade. In your judgment, could they have arisen from that? A. More probably from an instrument like that, than from the kick of a horse.

  1. Although one might be inflicted by the kick of a horse, is it your opinion they all could? A. No, I think not. This horse, on one of its feet had no shoe, it is my opinion they could not have been done by it. Had the wounds on the right side been inflicted by the kick of a horse, it is my opinion the bones of the cranium would have been a great deal more depressed.

  1. Supposing he had had his hat on, what effect would they have had on his hat? A. Certainly, they would have made a wound or cut. But then again, in these cases, the skin or integuments would have been very much loosened from the skull.

  1. You spoke of the integuments being severed, you said you could have put your fingers under; could it have taken place without severing the hat also? A. I think it could not.

  1. Did you examine the body generally? A. There was certainly a mark or bruise on the breast bone, but very slight.

  1. If he had been kicked by the horse, would it have been more or less? A. I cannot say it would.

  1. Did you think it of sufficient importance to lay the integument bare? A. I did not, it was so very slight.

  1. You have been speaking of the wounds on the right side, were they sufficient to have produce the death of the Deceased? A. Certainly they were of a nature to have produced immediate death. I think immediate death.

  1. Supposing a man had received these wounds on the right side of the head, could he have put his hat on? A. Certainly not.

  1. Do you believe they were all inflicted by the kick of a horse. A. No, certainly not.

  1. You took the spade, in what state was the blood? A. Absorbed in part; and in another part florrid, but not fluid. It was on it in the same state as blood by the side of a bason when a person is bled.

  1. Did you observe the blood on the floor of the stable? A. I did not look at it, I examined the feet of the mare minutely.

  1. This was a cart mare, with much hair at her heels; did you observe any blood on her legs or feet? A. None at all.

Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant VAUGHAN.

  1. The blood on the spade appeared in a florid state, as if received in a fluid state? A. Yes.

Q. Then it might have been received some time? A. Yes.

  1. Then if the spade had come in contact with blood in a fluid state, it would have given it the same appearance? A. Yes.

  1. You say, there was one wound on the right side, four inches in length, was that sufficient to have occasioned his death? A. Either of them certainly.

  1. If you had seen only that wound, you would have been of opinion, it would have occasioned his death? A. Yes.

  1. The wound was of such a nature that it might? A. It might.

  1. The integuments were not separated as you should have expected; and you think it is impossible they could by a kick, without the integuments being more lacerated. The same foot giving one would give another. A. Certainly, there would have been a greater laceration.

  1. Would not a kick depress a part and raise up another? A. No; there was no depression of the bones of the head.

  1. Do you mean to say, that receiving a kick upon the breast, such as that appeared, might not have brought him to the ground? A. I do not.

  1. You say that any of the wounds on the right side would have occasioned his death, and that had you seen only one you should have thought it had been by the kick of a horse, but in your opinion they were not? A. Yes.

Re-examined by Mr. DARRELL.

  1. If you had seen one only, you would have been of opinion that would have been by the horse, and would have occasioned his death? A. Yes, with the exception of one.

  1. Supposing you had seen five, should you then have been of opinion these wounds had been inflicted by the kick of a horse? A. I certainly should think they were not.

  1. You have attended persons who have been kicked by a horse, did you see any in which there was so little contusion and tumefaction? A. Never like these, they were so slight; and in those cases the integuments rose from the skull.

  1. Taking altogether, have you any doubt whether they were produced by some instrument, and not by the kick of a horse? A. I must think they were produced by some instrument, and not by the kick of a horse. I have been called in to four cases, and in all of them the wounds were inclined to curve.

  1. What was the shape of these which led you to conclude that they could not have been inflicted by the kick of a horse? A. There was no inclination to curve.

  1. Supposing he had been struck twice in a place, might it not? A. I think not.


The Prisoner being now asked by his Lordship what he had to say in his defence, replied, “I am, my Lord, as innocent of this charge, as the child unborn,” and left the rest to his Counsel; – who called, first,

SUSANNAH SMITE. – She lived next door to the Prisoner, William Booth; was at his house on the Tuesday before his brother’s death. When she went in he was helping the men to heave a pig up which they had killed. When he had done it he said he had spoiled his breeches, for which he was very sorry, as they were nearly new ones. Witness said, “Sir, I think you have spoiled your waistcoat too, you have bloodied it as well.”

[She looked at the waistcoat which had been found in the Prisoner’s bed-chamber with blood on it.]

Witness said that was the waistcoat, he had on then; she observed it; Prisoner said he did not mind the waistcoat, it was an old one, and he did not suppose he should wear it again. She observed the state the buttons were in, there were few but what were slipt. Had not seen the waistcoat from that time to this. – Had known the Prisoner seven years; he had a very good character by his neighbours, and was generous to all his poor neighbours; he had been overseer of the poor.

On her cross-examination she said – she knew the waistcoat because she had seen it many times; she knew two other of the Prisoner’s waistcoats, and they were plain ones. Mark Layton, William Thorpe, John Burton, and two more boys were present. When she went in her Mistress was laughing in the kitchen; she went to assist them. She was sure that was the waistcoat, she had washed it.

MARK LAYTON was next called. – He worked for the Prisoner, William Booth; remembered killing the pig the same week that his Master’s brother died; Susannah Smith was helping. His Master bloodied his waistcoat and breeches, the waistcoat was an old one like that. Had lived with the Prisoner since last Michaelmas, he had known him eight years, and never knew any ill of him.

WILLIAM GODWIN – said, he was a blacksmith, and lived at Ullenhall, about a mile from old Mr. Booth’s; he knew Mr. Booth, his father had shoed his horses for some time; knew the mare called the vicious mare, she had kicked at him some time ago; she had kicked a boy also, Francis Bolt, she knocked him some way from her; Witness picked him up, he was not able to speak at first; her shoes were not on.

JOHN BELLAMY – said, he had been kicked by a mare of Mr. Booth’s, but he did not know her again; he was behind her, and another lad was combing her; it was three years ago.

MATTHEW GLOVER – said, he lived near Handsworth, he had known the Prisoner ever since he came to Perry Barr; he had served the office of overseer of the poor; was kind and humane, and gave satisfaction to every body. Many years ago the Witness had an accident, he fell over a sheep and fell against a gate post, and had a large wound made in his head while his hat was on. He lay stunned for some time. We wound broke the skin, and was four inches in length; the hat remained on and was not cut.

On his cross-examination he said it was 26 years ago, that he tumbled against the gate post, it broke the skin, but did not cut the hat; in consequence some blood run down when he took his hat off.

THOMAS ALLCHURCH – lives near Halesowen; he had known the Prisoner four years, lived near him above two years, saw him once or twice a week; on being asked what his character was for humanity, he answered – “He never saw any thing else.”

THOMAS HOLLINGSWORTH – he lived, some years ago, with Mr. Gray, of Birmingham, livery-stable-keeper. He deposed that about five years ago, two horses ran away with him (his master) in a curricle; one of them kicked him upon the head, and he fell down upon the foot-board; he had his hat on when he fell down; his hat was on when he picked him up, senseless; he took his hat off to examine his head; he observed there was a great cut in his head; it bled much; it was under the hat. On being asked what was the state of the hat, he said, “It was much similar to one of those marks, (pointing to an indentation in the hat of the Deceased, which lay before him;) it had no marks on it as cut.” – His master’s skull was fractured – he saw the hole in his head; he was ill a long while. Mr. Freer attended him.

WILLIAM PARKES – said he lived at Great Barr, half a mile from the Prisoner’s; never knew any thing the matter with the Prisoner’s character, he was a humane kind man.

JOHN WAKEFIELD – said he lived at Perry Barr, about half a mile from the Prisoner’s, he had known him nine years, ever since he came into that country; witness had a great family; the prisoner was very good to his neighbour and the poor; he thought him a very humane kind hearted man.

The Defence being ended, his Lordship observed to the Jury, they had before them a case that demanded the most circumspect and deliberate investigation, as on their decision depended the Life of the Prisoner at the Bar. He had no doubt but the attention they had given to the evidence they had heard would enable them to discharge their duty, honestly and conscientiously, towards both the Prisoner and their Country. But, (said he), Gentlemen of the Jury, before I call your attention to the most serious and heavy charge against the Prisoner at the Bar, I must inform you that I have seen a printed handbill, numbers of which I understand have been distributed in Birmingham, and other parts of the country, for the purpose, evidently, of prejudging the Prisoner, and prejudicing the mind of the public against him, previous to his trial; it is a wicked and abominable thing, and the promoters of it deserve the severest punishment. He then requested the Jury to divest their minds of every thing which they had heard before coming into Court that day, and attend only to the facts which had been laid before them by the several witnesses, whose evidence he should, long as it was, read over to them.

His Lordship then proceeded to sum up the evidence, interspersing his own remarks upon various parts of it as he went on; observing particularly, those points which were favourable to the Prisoner;- as his impatience for the arrival of the Surgeons, by sending one of the men with his own horse after the first messenger- Ann French not seeing him for a long time before, and not seeing his face when she said he was going towards the stable, and the possibility of her mistaking him for the Deceased- his continuance at his father’s house so long after the death of his Brother, and no blood being observed on his clothes- his return on Monday in due time to attend the Coroner’s Inquest – the unnatural description of the crime itself – the natural wish a brother might have to assuage his sister’s grief, when he said, there was no recalling him, &c – the improbability that he would have chosen such a time of the day to have perpetrated such a crime, when all the family was about – the possibility that the mare (admitted to be vicious) might have killed the Deceased – the admission of Mr. Jones, that his opinion was speculative and conjectural, and no malice aforethought having been proved, except one instance of an intemperate expression three years ago, and that spoken when the Prisoner was in liquor, and in the presence of many persons. – His Lordship concluded with saying, in a very impressive manner, Gentlemen, I leave it to your decision, but remember it is better twenty guilty persons should escape punishment, than one innocent man should die.

The Jury then requested to withdraw from the Court, and having retired, returned, in about twenty minutes, and pronounced a verdict of – NOT GUILTY.

The Prisoner, who had been much agitated at different periods of the trial, bowed most respectfully to his Lordship and the Jury, and then withdrew from the Bar.

Counsel for the Prosecution, Messrs. Darrell, Bramston, Morice, and Fletcher. – Counsel for the Prisoner, Messrs. Vaughan, Clarke, Reader, and Reynolds.

The trial lasted ten hours. – The Court was full of spectators, and most of them had continued there during the whole of the day. – The Hall was very much thronged was people who were anxiously waiting the event of the trial.

Four years later, in 1812, William Booth was tried at Stafford for forging and money making at his premises in Perry Barr. He was found guilty and put to death by hanging – that is another story.