4: Second day of the trial
[Note: the date in the heading below appears to be incorrect. The correct date was January the 18th]
Chichester, Jan. 17, 1748-9.
The judges went to the court this morning about nine o’clock, and the court being sat, the seven following prisoners, viz., Benjamin Tapner, John Cobby, John Hammond, William Jackson,  William Carter, Richard Mills the younger and Richard Mills the elder, were put to the bar (the grand jury having returned both the bills found into court), and arraigned upon the indictment for the murder of Daniel Chater; the three first as principals, and the other four as accessaries before the fact.
The clerk of the arraigns called upon the several prisoners at the bar to hold up their hands, which being
done, he read the indictment aloud, which was as follows, viz.:
“That you, Benjamin Tapner, John Cobby and John Hammond, together with Thomas Stringer and Daniel Perryer, not yet taken, not having the fear of God before your eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, upon the 19th day of February, in the 21st year of his present Majesty’s reign, with force of arms, at the parish of Harting, in the county of Sussex, in and upon one Daniel Chater, being then and there in the peace of God, and his said Majesty, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did make an assault; and that you, the said Benjamin Tapner, a certain cord or rope made of hemp, of the value of sixpence, which you the said Benjamin Tapner had then and there in your hands, about the neck of him the said Daniel Chater, then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did put, bind and fasten; and that you, the said Benjamin Tapner, with the rope aforesaid by him about the neck of the said Chater, so put, bound and fastened as aforesaid; him the said Chater, then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did choke and strangle, of which said choking and strangling of him the said Chater, in manner aforesaid, he the said Chater did then and there die. And that you the said John Cobby, and John Hammond, together with Thomas Stringer and Daniel Perryer, both not yet taken, at the time of the felony and murder aforesaid by him the said Benjamin Tapner, so feloniously, wilfully, and out of his malice aforethought, done, perpetrated and committed, as aforesaid, then and there feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, were present,
aiding, abetting, comforting and maintaining the said Benjamin Tapner, the said Daniel Chater in manner and form aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, and out of his malice aforethought to kill and murder. And so that you the said Benjamin Tapner, John Cobby, John Hammond, together with Thomas Stringer and Daniel Perryer, not yet taken, the said Daniel Chater in manner and form aforesaid, then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully and out of your malice aforethought, did kill and murder against his Majesty’s peace, his crown and dignity. And that you, Richard Mills the elder, Richard Mills the younger, William Jackson and William Carter, together with John Mills, Thomas Willis and Edmund Richards, not yet taken, before the felony and murder aforesaid, by them the said Benjamin Tapner, John Cobby, John Hammond, Thomas Stringer and Daniel Perryer, in manner and form aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, done, perpetrated and committed (to wit) upon the said 19th day of February, in the 21st year aforesaid, at the Parish of Harting aforesaid, in the county of Sussex aforesaid, them the said Benjamin Tapner, John Cobby, John Hammond, Thomas Stringer, and Daniel Perryer, the felony and murder aforesaid in manner and form aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, maliciously, and out of your malice aforethought, to do, perpetrate, and commit, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did incite, move, instigate, stir up, counsel, persuade and procure against his Majesty’s peace, his crown and dignity.
To which indictment they severally pleaded Not Guilty.
This being done, William Jackson and William Carter were arraigned upon the other indictment as principals
in the murder of William Gally, otherwise called William Galley.
Which indictment the clerk of the arraigns read aloud to them as follows: That you, William Jackson and William Carter (together with Samuel Downer, alias Howard, alias Little Sam, Edmund Richards, and Henry Sheerman, alias Little Harry, not yet taken), not having the fear of God before your eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, upon the 15th of February, in the 21st year of his present Majesty’s reign, with force and arms, at Rowland’s Castle in the County of Southampton, in and upon one William Gaily, otherwise called William Galley, being then and there in the peace of God and his said Majesty, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did make an assault, and him the said William Galley, upon the back of a certain horse, then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did put and set, and the legs of him the said William Galley, being so put and set upon the back of the said horse as aforesaid, with a certain rope or cord made of hemp, under the belly of the said horse, then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did bind, tie and fasten; and him the said William Galley, being so put and set upon horseback as aforesaid, with his legs so bound, tied, and fastened under the horse’s belly as aforesaid, with certain large whips, which you had then and there in your right hands, in and upon the head, face, neck, shoulders, arms, back, belly, sides, and several other parts of the body of him the said William Galley, then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, for the space of one mile, did whip, lash, beat and strike: by
reason whereof, the said William Galley was then and there very much wounded, bruised and hurt; and not being able to endure or bear the misery, pain and anguish, occasioned by his having been so whipped, lashed, beat, and struck, as aforesaid, and by his being so wounded, bruised, and hurt, as aforesaid, then and there dropped down the left side of the said horse, MI which he then and there rode, with his head under the horse’s belly, and his legs and feet across the saddle upon the back of the said horse, upon which you, the said William Jackson and William Carter, together with Samuel Downer, otherwise Howard, otherwise Little Sam, Edmund Richards, and Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, not yet taken, then and there, untied the legs of the said William Galley; and him the said Galley, in and upon the same horse then and there, with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did again put and set, and the legs of him the said William Galley, being again so put and set upon the said horse as last aforesaid, with the same rope or cord under the belly of the said horse, you then and there, with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, under the horse’s belly did again bind, tie, and fasten; and him the said William Galley  being again so put and set upon the said horse, as last aforesaid, with his legs so bound, tied and fastened under the horse’s belly, as last aforesaid, with the said whips which you had then and there in your right hands, as aforesaid, in and upon the head, face, neck,’ arms, shoulders, back, belly, sides, and several other parts of the body of him the said
William Galley, you then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, for the space of half a mile further, did again whip, lash, beat, and strike; by reason whereof he the said William Galley was then and there much more wounded, bruised and hurt, and not being able to endure or bear the misery, pain, and anguish occasioned by his having been so whipped, lashed, beat, and struck, in manner, as aforesaid; and by his being so wounded, bruised, and hurt, in manner as aforesaid, did then and there drop a second time from off the said horse, with his head under the horse’s belly, and his legs and feet across the saddle. Upon which you the said William Jackson and William Carter, together with the said Samuel Downer, otherwise Howard, otherwise Little Sam, Edmund Richards and Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, not yet taken, then and there again untied the legs of him, the said William Galley, and him, in and upon another horse, behind a certain other person, did then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, put and set, and the said William Galley, being so put and set on horseback, as last aforesaid, with the same whips which you had then and there in your right hands as aforesaid, in and upon the head, face, neck, arms, shoulders, back, belly, sides, and several other parts of the body of the said William Galley, did then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, for the space of two miles further, until you came into the parish of Harting, in the county of Sussex aforesaid, again whip, lash, beat, and strike, by reason whereof the said William Galley was then and there much more wounded, bruised and hurt; and not being
able to endure or bear the misery, pain and anguish occasioned by his having been so wounded, bruised and hurt, in manner as aforesaid, then and there in the parish of Harting aforesaid, got off the said horse; upon which you the said William Jackson and William Carter, together with Samuel Downer, otherwise Howard, otherwise Little Sam, Edmund Richards and Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, not yet taken, him the said William Galley, in and upon another horse, whereon the said Edmund Richards, then and there rode, with the belly of him the said William (lalley across the pommel of the saddle, on which the said Richards then and there rode, then and there with force and arms, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did put and lay; but before you had gone the space of eighty yards further, William Galley, not being able to bear the motion of the said horse, on which he was so put and laid as last aforesaid, by reason of haying been so whipped, lashed, beat and struck as aforesaid; and by reason of his being so wounded, bruised and hurt, in manner as aforesaid, then and there tumbled off the horse, and fell upon the ground in the common highway there, by which fall he the said William Galley, was then and there much more wounded, bruised and hurt; whereupon you the said William Jackson, William Carter, together with Samuel Downer, otherwise Howard, otherwise Little Sam, Edmund Richards and Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, not yet taken, him the said William Galley in and upon another horse by himself, then and there with force and arms, feloniously wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did put and set; but the said William Galley not being able to sit upright on the said last mentioned horse, he the said
Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, did then and there get upon the same horse behind him, the said William Galley, in order to hold him on; but after you the said William Jackson, and William Carter, together with Samuel Downer, otherwise Howard, otherwise Little Sam, Edmund Richards, and Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, not yet taken, and the said William Galley had rode on a quarter of a mile further together, in manner aforesaid, he the said William Galley, not being able to sit upon the said horse, or ride any further upon the same, through the great misery, pain and anguish, occasioned by his having been so whipped, lashed, beat and struck, as aforesaid; and by his being so wounded, bruised and hurt, in manner as aforesaid, then and there tumbled off’ the said horse, on which he was so put and set as last aforesaid, and again fell to the ground; and as he tumbled and fell, the said Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, who rode behind the said William Galley, and upon the same horse with him, in manner aforesaid, then and there with force and arms feloniously, wilfully, and out of his malice aforethought, give to him the said William Galley, a most violent thrust and push; by reason whereof the said William Galley then and there fell, with much more weight and force to the ground than otherwise he would have done; arid was thereby then and there much more wounded, bruised and hurt. And that by reason of the said binding, tying and fastening, of him the said William Galley, by you the said William Jackson, and William Carter, together with Samuel Downer, otherwise Howard, otherwise Little Sam, Edmund Richards and Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, not yet taken, in manner and form aforesaid; and of the whipping,
lashing, lilting and striking, of him the said William Galley, by you, in manner and form aforesaid; and of the several wounds, bruises and hurts, which he the said William Galley received from such whipping, lashing, beating and striking in manner aforesaid; and other wounds, bruises and hurts which he, the said William (I alley so received from the several falls which he so had from off the said horse, on which he was by you so put, set and laid, in manner aforesaid; and of the said thrust and push which he the said Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, so as aforesaid, gave him the said William Galley, as he the said William Galley so tumbled and fell from off the said horse, as last aforesaid; he the said William Galley, at the parish of Halting aforesaid, in the county of Sussex aforesaid, did die. And further, that you the said William Jackson, and William Carter, together with the said Samuel Downer, alias Howard, alias Little Sam, Edmund Richards and Henry Sheerman, alias Little Harry, not yet taken, him the said William Galley, with force and arms in manner and form aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, and out of your malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against his Majesty’s peace, his crown and dignity.”
The indictment being read to them, Mr. Justice Foster acquainted the prisoners they might each of them challenge twenty of the panel, without shewing cause; but if they challenged more, they must shew a reasonable cause for so doing; and that if they agreed to join in their challenges they might be tried together, but if they did not, they would be tried separately; and left them to act in that behalf as they should see proper.
The prisoners then consulted among themselves for a
little while, and then agreed to join and be tried together. And then the jury were sworn, and charged by the Clerk of the Arraignments, whose names were as follows, viz.:
The counsel for the King were Henry Banks, Esq., Sidney Strafford Smythe, Esq., and two of his Majesty’s counsel learned in the law; also Mr. Burrel, Mr, Purkes, arid Mr. Steele, recorder of Chichester.
Mr. Steele opened the indictment, as soon as the jury were sworn, against the prisoners; after which Mr. Banks very judiciously and learnedly laid down the facts attending the murder, which we choose to give our readers in his own words.
Counsel for the King: “This is an indictment against the seven prisoners at the bar, for the murder of Daniel Chater. It is against the three first, viz., Benjamin Tapner, John Cobby and John Hammond, as principals in that murder, by being present, aiding, abetting and assisting therein; and against Thomas Stringer and Daniel Perryer as principals also, and who are not yet apprehended. And it is against the prisoners, William Jackson, William Carter and Richard Mills the younger, as accessaries before the murder; and also against three others as accessaries before the fact, viz., John Mills, another son of Richard Mills the elder, Thomas Willis and Edmund Richards, not yet taken and brought to justice.
“Although this indictment hath made a distinction between the several prisoners, and divided them into two classes, of principals and accessaries, yet the law makes no distinction in the crime. And in case all the prisoners are guilty of the charge in this indictment, they will be all equally liable to the same judgment and punishment.
“In the outset of this trial I shall not enlarge upon the heinousness of murder in general; nor shall I dwell upon those circumstances in aggravation attending this in particular. When I come to mention those circumstances of cruelty and barbarity, I doubt not but they will have all that effect upon the jury which they ought to have to awaken and fix your attention to every part of the transaction, and to balance that compassion which you feel for the prisoners, though they felt none for others. The effect I mean these circumstances should and ought to have, is to clear the way for that justice which the nation expects, from your determination and verdict.
“To comply with this general demand of justice upon the prisoners, his Majesty, in order to give the prisoners the earliest opportunity of proving their innocence and of wiping off this foul suspicion of murder they now lie under, or if guilty of a breach of the laws of God and man, that they may suffer the punishment due to their guilt, has been pleased, by a special commission, to appoint this trial to be before their lordships, not less knowing in the laws than tender and compassionate in the execution of them.
“I cannot here omit taking notice of the unhappy cause of this fatal effect, now under your consideration. Every one here present will, in his own thoughts, anticipate my words and know I mean smuggling.
Smuggling is not only highly injurious to trade, a violation of the laws, and the disturber of the peace and quiet of all the maritime counties in the kingdom; but it is a nursery for all sorts of vice and wickedness; a temptation to commit offences at first unthought of; an encouragement to perpetrate the blackest of crimes without provocation or remorse; and is in general productive of cruelty, robbery and murder.
“It is greatly to be wished, both for the sake of the smugglers themselves and for the peace of this county, that the dangerous and armed manner now used of running uncustomed goods was less known and less practised here.
“It is a melancholy consideration to observe, that the best and wisest measures of Government, calculated to put a stop to this growing mischief, have been perverted and abused to the worst of purposes. And what was intended to be a cure to this disorder has been made the means to increase and heighten the disease.
“Every expedient of lenity and mercy was at first made use of to reclaim this abandoned set of men. His Majesty, by repeated proclamations of pardon, invited them to their duty and to their own safety. But instead of laying hold of so gracious an offer, they have set the laws at defiance, have made the execution of justice dangerous in the hands of magistracy, and have become almost a terror to Government itself.
“The number of prisoners at the bar, and of others involved in the suspicion of the same guilt, the variety of circumstances attending this whole transaction, the length of time in the completion thereof, and the general expectation of mankind to be informed of every minute circumstance leading and tending to finish the scene of horror, will necessarily lay me under an
obligation of taking up more time than will be either agreeable to the court or to myself.
“To avoid confusion in stating such a variety of facts with the evidence and proofs thereof, and to fix and guide the attention of the gentlemen of the jury to the several particular parts of this bloody tragedy, at last completed in the murder of Chater, I shall divide the facts into four distinct periods of time.
“1st. What happened precedent to Chater’s coming to a public house, the sign of the White Hart, at Rowland’s Castle in Hampshire, kept by Elizabeth Payne, widow, upon Sunday, the 4th of February, 1747-8.
“And this period of time will take in the occasion and grounds of the prisoners’ wicked malice to the deceased and the cause and motive of his murder.
“2nd. What happened after Chater’s arrival at the widow Paine’s, to the time of his being carried away from thence by some of the prisoners to the house of Richard Mills the elder, at Trotton in Sussex.
“This will disclose a scene of cruelty and barbarity, previous to Chater’s murder, and show how active and instrumental the prisoners Jackson and Carter were therein.
“3rd. What happened after Chater was brought to the house of Richard Mills the elder, to the time of his murder, upon Wednesday night, the 17th of that February.
“This will take in the barbarous usage of Chater at Mills’ house; a consultation of sixteen  smugglers in what manner to dispose of Chater, and their unanimous resolution to murder him: and will shew Tapner, Cobby
and Hammond to be principals therein, and the other four prisoners to be accessaries.
“4th, and last period, takes in the discovery of Chater’s body in a well, where he was hung, with the proofs that it was the body of Chater.
“In the opening of this case, it will be impossible for me to avoid the frequent mention of one William Galley, also suspected to have been murdered: and for whose murder two of the prisoners, viz., Jackson and Carter, are indicted, and are to be tried upon another indictment.
“But the murder of Galley is not the object of your present consideration, nor do I mention his name either to aggravate this crime, by taking notice of his murder also, nor to inflame the jury against the prisoners at the bar; but I do it for the sake of method, and for the purpose only of laying the whole case before the jury; for the story of Chater’s murder cannot be told without disclosing also what happened to Galley, his companion and fellow-sufferer.
“To begin with the first period of time. Some time in September, 1747, a large quantity of uncustomed tea had been duly seized by one Captain Johnson, out of a smuggling cutter, and by him lodged in the custom-house at Poole, in the county of Dorset.
“In the night of the 6th of October following, the custom-house of Poole was broken open by a numerous and armed gang of smugglers; and the tea which had been seized and there lodged, was by them taken and carried away.
“This body of smugglers, in their return, passed
through Fordingbridge, where Dimer,  one of that company, was seen and known by Chater. Dimer was afterwards taken up upon suspicion of being one of those who had broken open the custom house, and was in custody at Chichester for further examination, and for further proof that he was one of that gang.
“And in order to prove the identity of Dimer, and that he was one of the gang, Daniel Chater, a shoemaker at Fordingbridge (the person murdered), was sent in company with, and under the care of, William Galley, a tide-waiter of Southampton, by Mr. Shearer, collector of the customs there, with a letter to Major Battine, a Justice of Peace for Sussex, and surveyor general of the customs for that county. Sunday morning, the 14th of February, 1747-8, Galley and Chater set out from Southampton, with Mr. Shearer’s letter, on their journey to Major Battine’s house, at East Harden, in the neighbourhood of Chichester.
“At the New Inn at Leigh,  in Havant parish, in Hants, Chater and Galley met with Robert Jenkes, George Austin, and Thomas Austin, and having shewed them the direction of the letter to Major Battine, they told them they were going towards Stansted, where Chater and Galley were informed Major Battine then was; and said they would go with them, and shew them the road. Their direct way to Stansted lay near Rowland’s Castle; but Jenkes and the two Austins carried them
to Rowland’s Castle that Sunday about noon, where this cruel plot was first contrived, and in part carried into execution.
“The malice conceived by the prisoners against Chater appears not to have arisen from any injury, or suspicion of injury, done by the deceased to the prisoners. But because Chater dared to give information against a smuggler, and do his duty in assisting to bring a notorious offender to justice, lie was to be treated with the utmost cruelty, his person was to be tortured, and his life to be destroyed. What avail the laws of society, where no man dares to carry them into execution? Where is the protection of liberty and life, if criminals assume to themselves a power of restraining the one, and destroy- the other.
“Having mentioned the motive of the prisoners in this murder, I shall now open to you a scene of cruelty and barbarity, tending to the murder of Chater, begun at Rowland’s Castle, by the two prisoners Jackson and Carter, in company with others, and from thence continued, until Chater was brought to the house of Richard Mills the elder, at Trotton, upon Monday morning the 15th of February, before it was light.
“And here you will observe how cruelly and wickedly, in general, the gang assembled at Rowland’s Castle behaved; and in particular, how active Jackson and Carter appeared in every step of this fatal conspiracy.
“Soon after Chater and Galley, and the three others, had arrived at Rowland’s Castle, the widow Payne suspected Chater and Galley intended some mischief against the smugglers; and for that purpose enquired of George Austin who the two strangers were, and what their business was. He privately informed her they were going to Major Battine with a letter. She desired
he would either direct the two strangers to go a different way from Major Battine’s, or would detain them a short time at her house, until she could send for Jackson, Carter and others. And she immediately sent her son William for the prisoner Jackson; and soon afterwards ordered her other son Edmund to summon the other prisoner Carter, and Edmund Richards, Samuel Howard, Henry Sheerman, William Steel and John Race, who all lived near Rowland’s Castle; and accordingly they all came, as also did Jackson’s and Carter’s wives. They were immediately informed by the widow Payne of what she suspected, and had been informed concerning the two strangers. Jackson and Carter being very desirous of seeing the letter to Major Battine, got Chater out of the house, and endeavoured to persuade him to let them see the letter, and to inform them of the errand to Major Battine. But upon Galley’s coming out to them, and interposing to prevent Chater’s making any discovery, they quarrelled with Galley, and beat him to the ground; Galley complained of this ill-usage, and said he was the King’s officer, and to convince them shewed his deputation.
“Chater and Galley were very uneasy at this treatment, and wanted to be gone; but the gang insisted upon their staying; and in order to secure and get them entirely in their own power, they plied them with strong liquors, and made them drunk; and then carried them into another room to sleep.
“During the two hours Galley and Chater slept, the letter was taken out of Chater’s pocket; whereby it appeared that Chater was going to give information against Dimer. The secret being thus disclosed to the gang, the next thing to be considered of by the smugglers, was how to save their accomplice Dimer,
and to punish Chater and Galley for daring to give information against him. For that purpose, whilst Chater and Galley were asleep, several consultations were held.
“It was proposed first to put Galley and Chater out of the way, to prevent their giving information against Dimer; and to that end it was talked of murdering them, and flinging them into a well, a quarter of a mile from Rowland’s Castle, that was in the horse pasture; but the proposal was overruled, fearing a discovery, as the well was so near Rowland’s Castle.
“The next thing proposed was secretly to convey Chater and Galley into France, at that time at war with England.
“The second scheme was, for all present to contribute threepence a week for the maintenance of Chater and Galley, who were to be confined in some private place, and there subsisted until Dimer should be tried; and as Dimer was done unto, so Chater and Galley were to be dealt with.
“The third and last proposal was to murder both.
“With a view and intention to execute this last, and the most cruel proposal, Jackson went into the room about seven that evening, where Chater and Galley lay asleep, and awaked them. They both came out very bloody, and cut in their faces; but by what means, or what Jackson had done to them, does not appear. They were immediately afterwards forced out of the house by Jackson and Carter; the others present consenting and assisting; Richards, one of the company, with a cocked pistol in his hand, swore he would shoot any person through the head who should make the least discovery of what had passed there.
“Chater and Galley were put upon one horse; and to
prevent their escape, their legs were tied under the horse’s belly; and both their legs tied together; and the horse was led by William Steel. After they had been thus carried about one hundred yards from Rowland’s Castle, Jackson cried out to Carter and the company, “Lick them, dÈÈn them, cut them, slash them, whip them.” Upon which, they whipped and beat them over their heads, faces, shoulders, and other parts of their bodies, for the space of near a mile. With this cruel treatment they both fell down under the horse’s belly, with their heads dragging upon the ground. They were again put on the horse, and tied as before; and whipped and beat with the like severity, Along the road for upwards of half a mile. And when they cried out through the agony of their pain, pistols were held to their heads, and they were threatened to be shot, if they made the least noise or cry. Being unable to endure this continued and exquisite pain, and to sit on horseback any longer, they fell a second time to the ground. By this inhuman usage, they were rendered incapable of supporting themselves any longer on horseback. Galley was afterwards carried behind Steel, and Chater behind Howard, the prisoners Jackson and Carter, with the rest of the company, still continuing their merciless treatment of Chater and Galley, but instead of whipping, they now began to beat them on the heads and faces with the butt-ends of their whips, loaded with lead. When they came to Lady Holt Park, in Sussex, Galley almost expiring with the torture he had undergone, got down from behind Steel: and ^it was proposed to throw him alive into a well adjoining to that park; in which well Chater was three days after hanged by the same gang. Galley was then thrown across the pommel of the saddle
and carried before Richards. He was afterwards laid along alone upon a horse, and supported by Jackson, who walked by him, and was at last carried before Sheerman, who supported him by a cord tied round his breast. When they came to a lane called Conduit-lane, in Rogate parish, in this county, Galley in the extremity of anguish, cried out, “I shall fall! I shall fall!” upon which Sheerman swore, “DÈÈn you, if you will fall, do then;” and as Galley was falling he gave him a thrust to the ground; after which Galley was never seen to move, or heard to speak more.
“Jackson, Carter, and the others, in order to prevent a discovery of the murder of Galley, went about one o’clock on the Monday morning, to the Red Lion at Rake, in Sussex, a public house, kept by William Scardefield, whither they carried Chater all over blood, and with his eyes almost beat out; and also brought the body of Galley. They obliged Scardefield to shew them a proper place for the burial of Galley; and accordingly he went with Carter, Howard, and Steel, to an old fox earth, on the side of a hill near Rake, at a place called Harting Coombe, where they dug a hole .and buried Galley.
“The same morning, and long before it was light, whilst some were employed in the burial of Galley, Jackson and Sheerman carried Chater to the house of Richard Mills the elder, at Trotton.
“I am now come to the third period of time: from Chater’s arrival at the house of Richard Mills the elder, to his murder upon Wednesday night, the 17th of February.
“And here it is that Richard Mills the elder appears to be privy and consenting to the intended murder of Chater. A private house was thought much more
proper and safe for the confinement of Chater, than a public house, at all times open to every man; and therefore Chater was to be removed from Scardefield’s. The prisoners and their companions being no strangers to Old Mills, but his intimate acquaintance, and confederates in smuggling; where could Chater be so secretly imprisoned, as at the private house of the elder Mills? and where could he be more securely guarded than under the roof of one of their gang? With these hopes and reliance, and in full confidence of the secresy and assistance of Old Mills, Chater was brought to his house by Jackson and Sheerman. When they came there, they told Old Mills they had got a prisoner; he must get up and let them in; upon which Old Mills got up, and received Chater as his prisoner, whose face was then a gore of blood, many of his teeth beat out, his eyes swelled and one almost destroyed. I shall here omit one or two particular circumstances, which the witnesses will give an account of; which shew that Old Mills was also void of all tenderness and compassion. “Chater was received by him as a prisoner, and a criminal; and therefore was to be treated as such. Old Mills’s house itself was thought too good a prison for him; and therefore he was soon dragged into a skilling or out-house, adjoining to the house, wherein lumber and fuel was kept. And although Chater was in so week and deplorable a condition as to be scarce able to stand, yet to prevent all chance and possibility of his escape, he was chained by the leg with an iron chain, fastened to a beam of the out-house; he was guarded night and day, sometimes by Sheerman, and sometimes by Howard, who came there that Monday evening. Thus he continued in chains until he was loosened for his execution. But lest he should die for want of
sustenance, and disappoint their wicked designs, he was to be fed and just kept alive, until the time and manner of his death was determined. During the whole time of this imprisonment, Old Mills was at home and in his business as usual. He betrayed not the trust reposed in him. He acquainted nobody with what had happened, nor with whom he was entrusted; but like a gaoler, took care to produce his prisoner for execution.
“On Wednesday, the 17th of February, there was a general summons of all the smugglers then in the neighbourhood, at Scardefield’s house, who had been concerned in breaking open the custom house at Poole, to meet that day at Scardefield’s. Upon which notice, all the prisoners (except Old Mills) came that day to Scardefield’s. And there were also present John Mills r another son of Old Mills, Edmund Richards, Thomas Willis, Thomas Stringer, Daniel Perryer, William Steel and John Race; Howard and Sheerman still continuing at Old Mills’s, and there guarding Chater. It was at this consultation at Scardefield’s unanimously agreed by all present that Chater should be murdered.
“This was a deliberate, serious, and determined act of minds wickedly and cruelly disposed, and executed with all the imaginable circumstances of barbarity.
“At this meeting Tapner, Cobby and Hammond were first concerned in, and became privy and consenting to, this murder. And there also Richard Mills the younger first became an accessary to this murder; but he was so eager in pursuit of it, that he particularly advised and recommended it; and said he would go with them to the execution, but he had no horse. And when he was told that the old man (meaning Chater) was carried by a steep place in the road to Rake, he
said – ‘if I had been there, I should have called a council of WPT, and he should have come no farther.’
“About eight o’clock on that Wednesday evening, all who were present at the consultation at Scardefield’s (except Richard Mills the younger, John Mills and Thomas Willis) went from Scardefield’s to the house of Old Mills, where they found Chater chained, and guarded by Howard and Sheerman.
“They told him he must die, and ordered him to say his prayers. And whilst he was upon his knees at prayers, Cobby kicked him; and Tapner, impatient of Chater’s blood, pulled out a large clasp knife, and swore he would be his butcher, and cut him twice or thrice down the face, and across the eyes and nose. But Old Mills in hopes of avoiding the punishment due to his guilt, by shifting Chater’s execution to another place, said – ‘Don’t murder him here: carry him somewhere else first.’
“He was then loosened from his chains, and was by all the prisoners (except Mills the father and his son), and by all the gang that came from Scardefield’s, carried back to that well, wherein Galley had before been threatened to be thrown alive. Jackson and Carter left the company some small distance before the others came to the well; but described the well to be fenced round with pales and directed them where to find it; and said ‘We have done our parts,’ meaning we have murdered Galley; ‘and you shall do yours,’ meaning you shall murder Chater.
“Tapner, in order to make good what he had before said, after Chater had been forced over the pales which fenced the well, pulled a rope out of his pocket, put it about Chater’s neck, fastened the other end to the pales,
and there he hung Chater in the well until he was dead, as they all imagined.
“They then loosened the cord from the rail of the pales, and let him fall to the bottom of this well, which was dry; and one of the accomplices imagined he heard Chater breathe, and that there were still some remains of life in him.
“To put an end to a life so miserable and wretched, they threw pales and stones upon him. This was the only act that had any appearance of mercy and compassion; and it brings to my remembrance the saying of the wisest of men, fully verified in this fatal instance of Chater’s murder ‘The mercies of the wicked are cruelties.’
“I am now come to the fourth and last period of time.
“And here it is observable, that although Providence had for many months permitted this murder to remain undiscovered, yet it was then disclosed and brought to light when the appointed time was come, and an opportunity given to apprehend and bring to justice many of the principal offenders.
“Upon the 17th of September last, search was made in pursuance of information given, for the body of Chater. And the body was found with a rope about its neck, covered with pales, stones and earth, in that well I have before mentioned, close by Lady Holt Park, in a wood called Harrass Wood belonging to Mr. Carryll.
“By the length of time, from February to September, the body was too much emaciated to be known with any certainty. But by his boots, clothes and belt, there also found, it evidently appeared to be the body of the unfortunate Chater.
“I have now opened to you the substance of all the most material facts: and should the proofs support the
truth of those facts, no man can doubt the consequence thereof, that Chater was murdered, and the prisoners were his murderers.”
Mr. Smith, another of the King’s counsel, also spoke as follows, viz.:
“The crime they are charged with is one of the greatest that can be committed against the laws of God and man, and in this particular case attended with the most aggravated circumstances.
“It was not done in the heat of passion, and on provocation, but in cold blood, deliberately, on the fullest consideration, in the most cruel manner, and without any provocation. The occasion being as you have heard, only because he dared to speak the truth.
“This prosecution, therefore, is of the utmost importance to the public justice of the nation, and to the safety and security of every person; for if such offenders should escape with impunity, the consequence would be, that no crime could be punished. It would teach highwaymen and all other criminals, to unite in the manner those men have done, and whoever received injuries from them would not dare to take any steps towards bringing them to justice, for fear of exposing themselves to the revenge of their companions.
“Our constitution, therefore, which must be supported by a regular administration of justice, and a due execution of our laws, depends, in some measure, on bringing such offenders tg condign punishment; and it is to be hoped a few examples of this kind will restore the peace and tranquillity of this county.
“In stating the facts, I shall point out to you the share which every one of the persons at the bar had in this murder.
“In October, 1747, the custom-house at Poole was broken open; the smugglers who did it, on their return, passed through Fordingbridge, where Chater saw Dimer among them; and having declared, so was obliged to make oath of it; on which information Dimer was committed to goal for further examination: and on the 14th of February, Chater was sent by the collector of Southampton, in company with Galley, with a letter to Mr. Battine, Surveyor General of. the customs, in order that Chater might see if the man in goal was the same person he saw at Fordingbridge.
“These two men, having enquired their way at the New Inn at Leigh, one Jenkes undertook to direct them, and carried them to widow Payne’s, at Rowland’s Castle, who saying she feared they were going to do the smugglers some mischief, sent for Carter and Jackson, Steel, Race, Richards, Sheerman and Howard, who, having made Galley and Chater drunk, and seen the letter to Mr. Battine, consulted what to do with them. Some proposed to murder them, others to send them prisoners to France, and others to confine them, till they saw what had become of Dimer, and to treat them as he was dealt with.
“Having sent Jenkes away, these poor men were left absolutely in the power of the smugglers; and indeed, into worse hands they could not have fallen; had they been taken in battle they would have had quarter, and been treated with humanity; had they fallen into the hand of enemies of those nations who give no quarter, their lot would have been immediate death; but as it was their hard fate to fall into the hands of smugglers, to have neither quarter or immediate death, but they were reserved to suffer the most cruel usage for several days and afterwards murdered.
“These poor wretches, after having been beat and
abused at Payne’s by Carter and Jackson, and the rest of the gang, were carried away by force, both set on one horse, with their legs tied under the horse’s belly, and whipt and beat by direction of Carter and Jackson, till they fell; then they were set up again in the same manner, and whipt and beat again, till they fell a second time; and were then set on separate horses, and used in the same manner, till Galley had the good fortune to be delivered by death from their cruelty; after which they carried Chater, who was bloody and mangled with the blows and falls he had received, to Scardefield’s, at the Keel Lion at Rake, who observed Jackson’s coat and hands bloody; and while Carter and the rest buried Galley, Jackson and Sheerman carried Chater to old Mills’s in the night, between the 14th and 15th of February, where he was chained by the leg in the skilling, or out-house, till the Wednesday night following, and Sheerman and Howard guarded him.
“Imagine to yourselves the condition of this unhappy man, certain to die by their hands, uncertain only as to the time, and the cruel manner of it: suffering for three days and three nights pain, cold and hunger; and what was infinitely worse, that terror and anxiety of mind which one in his situation must continually labour under; he must doubtless envy the condition of his companion Galley, who by an early death was delivered from the misery he then endured.
“On Wednesday following, the 17th of February, all the prisoners at the bar (except Old Mills) met at Scardefield’s, and there were present also seven more; at which meeting it was unanimously agreed by all present to murder Chater; and Young Mills particularly advised it; and said if he had a horse he would go with them and do it; and either then, or at
another meeting at Scardefield’s, when Carter and Jackson said, that as they came along, they brought Chater by a steep place thirty feet deep, Young Mills said, ‘If I had been there I would have called a council of war, and he should have come no further.’
“This being determined, the prisoners Tapner, Cobby, Hammond, Carter and Jackson, together with live more of that company went to Old Mills’s, where they found Chater chained and guarded by Sheerman and Howard, and told him he must die; he said he expected no other. Tapner then said he would be his butcher, and, taking out a knife, cut him across the eyes and nose; on which Old Mills said, ‘Don’t murder him here, but take him somewhere else first.’
“Tapner, Cobby, Hammond, Carter, Jackson, and the rest, who came there together, with Sheerman and Howard, then carried him away to murder him: Sheerman, Howard and Richards, having been concerned in Galley’s murder, said the rest should kill Chater, and therefore went away to Harting; Carter and Jackson having been likewise concerned in Galley’s murder, when they came to Lady Holt Park Gate, turned in there, and left the others; having first told them, ‘ The well is a little way off, you can’t miss it; ‘tis fenced round with pales, to keep the cattle from falling in.’
“Tapner, Cobby, Hammond, Carter, Jackson, and the rest, went then to the well, where Tapner put a rope round Chater’s neck to hang him; and some of the pales being broken down, Chater would have crept through. Tapner would not let him, but made him climb over the pales, weak as he was, and then hanged him in the well about a quarter of an hour, till they thought him dead; then having drawn him up till they could take hold of his legs, they threw him headlong into the
well; and fancying they heard him breathe or groan r threw posts and stones in upon him, and went their way.
“The terror of this act of cruelty had spread through the country, stopt every person’s mouth who had it in their power to give any information; so that the body was not found till September, when it was so putrified and consumed as not to be known but by the belt, and which Chater’s wife will prove to be her husband’s. If there was any doubt as to the identity of the man, we could shew likewise, that being examined by the smugglers just before he was murdered, he said his name was Daniel Chater.
“It appears therefore from this state of the case that all the prisoners are guilty of the indictment; Tapner was present at the consultation at Scardefield’s, and was the person who hanged him; Cobby and Hammond were present at the consultation, helped to carry him to the well, and were present at the murder, and therefore equally guilty with Tapner as principals; Carter and Jackson took him away by force from Payne’s, and the treatment of him there on the road shewed an intention from the first to murder him, though perhaps the particular death he was to suffer was not then agreed on. They were afterwards present at the consultation at Scardefield’s, where it was resolved to murder him, and went almost to the well with him; and when they parted, gave those who murdered him particular directions to the well. Young Mills was also at the consultation, and particularly advised and directed the murder, in which he declared he would have joined if he had a horse. Old Mills, though he kept no public house, receives this man brought in the night, in a bloody and deplorable condition. Chater is chained in his out-house from Sunday night till Wednesday; yet
Old Mills never discovers it to any person, or uses any means to deliver him, which is a strong evidence of his knowledge of their design; and when Tapner declared he would be his butcher and cut him, Old Mills expresses no disapprobation of the murder, does not dissuade him from it, but desires him ‘not to do it there, but carry him somewhere else first’ which shews his approbation of the fact; though to secure himself he would have had it committed at some other place.
“This, gentlemen, is the fact, which shews that securing themselves and their companions was not their principal aim; were it so, they would have murdered this man as soon as they had him in their power; but their motive seems to have been revenge, and a disposition to torture one who should dare to give any information which might bring them or their friends into danger.
“After hearing the whole evidence, if these men appear innocent, God forbid they should be found guilty; and I would not have the cruel circumstances of the fact incline you to believe anything we suggest that is not supported by the strongest proof; but if the fact is proved beyond a possibility of doubt to be in the manner w r e have stated it, I am sure you will do your duty, and by a just and honest verdict deliver your country from men so void of humanity.”
The king’s counsel having finished what they had to premise, proceeded to call the witnesses for the crown in support of the charge; the first witness called was Mr. Milner, collector of the customs at Poole, who deposed that about the 17th of October, 1747, he had advice that the custom-house was broken open; upon which he hastened thither, and found the outer door burst open, and the other door broken in pieces; that
the room wherein some run tea was lodged, that was taken by Captain Johnson, was broken open, and all the tea carried away, excepting a little bag containing about four or five pounds.
Mr. Shearer, collector of the customs at Southampton, was next called, who deposed that in February last he received a letter from the commissioners of the customs, acquainting him that one John Dimer was committed to Chichester gaol on suspicion of breaking open the custom-house at Poole, with directions to send the deceased Daniel Chater, who could give some information against Dimer, to Justice Battine, the Surveyor- General, and to acquaint Justice Battine with the occasion of his sending Chater; that he accordingly sent Chater with a letter addressed to Justice Battine, under the care of one William Galley, a tidesman in the port of Southampton; that they set out on Sunday morning, the 14th of February last. He could not take upon him to say how Chater was dressed, but he remembered he rode upon a dark brown horse, and had a great coat on, with another coat under it, and upon the under coat a belt; he could not recollect how Galley was dressed, but remembered that he was mounted upon a grey horse.
The next witness called and sworn was William Galley, the son of the deceased William Galley, who deposed that he remembered his father’s setting out upon this journey to Justice Battine, in February last; that he saw the letter to Justice Battine the night before his father set out, and saw the directions; he remembered the dress his father had on: it was a blue great coat, with brass buttons covered with blue, a close bodied coat, of a light brown colour, lined with blue, with a waistcoat and breeches of the same, and that he
rode on a grey horse; he remembered that Daniel Chater, a shoemaker at Fordingbridge, set out at the same time with his father, and had on a light surtout coat, with red breeches, and a belt round him, and rode upon a brown horse; that this was the last time he ever saw his father alive, and that he never saw Chater since.
Edward Holton was next called and sworn, who deposed that on the 14th of February last he saw Daniel Chater and another person, whom he took to be Mr. Galley, at his own house at Havant, in the county of Hants; that he knew Chater very well, and had some conversation with him; that Chater told him he was going to Chichester upon a little business, and then went out to Galley, and brought in a letter, which was directed to William Battine, Esq., at East Marden; upon which he (the witness) told him he was going out of the way; Galley wished he would direct them the way, that he directed them to go through Stanstead, near Rowland’s Castle; and that they said they should be back again the next day.
George Austin being called and sworn, deposed that on Sunday, the 14th of February last, he saw two men, one mounted on a brown horse and the other on a grey, at the New Inn at Leigh, in the parish of Havant; that they came to the New Inn when he was there and enquired the way to East Marden, to which place he was going to direct them, when one of the men who had a blue coat on, pulled a letter out of his pocket, which he (the witness) looked at, and seeing it was directed to Justice Battine at East Marden, he told them they were going ten miles out of their way, and that he and his brother, Thomas Austin, and his brother-in-law, Robert Jenkes, were going part of their road, and would
conduct them the best they could; that they went no further together than to a place called Rowland’s Castle, to a public house which was kept by the widow Payne; the two strangers, Galley and Chater, called for rum at the widow Payne’s. This was about the middle of the day, or something after. That the widow Payne asked him if he knew these men, or whether they belonged to his company; he told her they were going to Justice Battine’s, and that he was going to shew them the way; she then said she thought they were going to do harm to the smugglers, and desired him to set them out of the way; which he refused. She then seemed uneasy, and she and her son consulted together; that her son went out, and the prisoner Jackson came in a little time; that the prisoner Carter and several more came thither soon afterwards. He knew none but Jackson and Carter  . That Jackson enquired where the two men were bound for, and the man in the light coat answered they were going to Justice Battine’s, and from thence to Chichester: but Carter was not by at that time; that Galley and Chater had some rum, and Jackson called for a mug of hot which was gin and beer mixed, or something of that kind to the best of his knowledge they all drank together; he did not see any ill- treatment, nor either of the men bloody whilst he was there; that he went away between two and three, and left the two men there; the widow Payne called him out of doors, and told him his brother Jenkes wanted to speak to him; when he came out his horse was at the hedge by the back door, and his brother said he
wondered why the two men did not go away; upon which he went back again into the house, and his brother was uneasy because he did so; that the widow Payne advised him to go home, and said the two men would be directed the way: he was uneasy at going without them, because he saw so many men come in, and imagined they had a design to do some harm to them; that when he went away, Jackson and Carter were left with the two men, Galley and C hater, to the best of his knowledge; and Jackson, as well as the widow Payne, persuaded him to go home, saying it would be better for him. He was positive that Jackson and Carter were there, for he knew them very well.
The Court asked Jackson and Carter if they would ask the witness any questions,
To which they both answered they had no questions to ask him.
Thomas Austin was then called, who deposed that he was at the New Inn at Leigh on Valentine’s Day last, with his brother George, where he saw two men who enquired the way to Justice Battine’s; he went from thence with them to Rowland’s Castle; they went to the widow Payne’s at that place, and called for a dram of rum; the prisoners were not there at first, but in a little time Jackson came, and soon afterwards the prisoner Carter. That the widow Payne spoke to him at the outer door before either of the prisoners came and asked him if he knew the two men, and said she was afraid they were come to do the smugglers some mischief, and that she would send for William Jackson; accordingly her son went for him, and he soon came, and another little man and his servant. This witness further deposed that he saw in the house one Joseph Southern and the prisoner
Carter, but that Carter did not come so soon as Jackson. That Jackson struck one of the men who had a blue coat on, but they were all soon appeased, and then they all drank very freely, and he was drunk and went to sleep, and the two men were fuddled and went to sleep in the little room; that about seven o’clock Jackson went into the room and waked the two men; after they came out, the two men were taken away by Jackson and Carter, and one William Steel and Edmund Richards; but he did not remember they were forced away, and did not see them upon the horses, nor did he ever see them any more; this was between seven and eight o’clock.
Being asked whether he saw either of the men produce his deputation or heard any high words,
He said he did not; that he was asleep the best part of the afternoon, and did not see any ill-treatment, but that one blow which he had mentioned.
Being cross-examined at the request of the prisoners,
He deposed that he did not know who the two strangers were, but they were the same two persons that his brother George had just spoken of, and had a letter for Justice Battine; that one of them had a blue coat on, and rode upon a grey horse, and the other man rode upon a brownish horse; that he did not see the direction of the letter, but he heard it read by Robert Jenkes.
The next witness produced was Robert Jenkes, who came with the two deceased men from Leigh to this house, along with George and Thomas Austin, who, being sworn, deposed: that he saw two men upon 14th February last, at the New Inn at Leigh, one of them upon a brownish horse, the other upon a grey, and dressed in riding coats; that they were the same men
that the witnesses George and Thomas Austin had spoken of; that they all went together to Rowland’s Castle, and got there about twelve o’clock, and went into a house there which was kept by the widow Payne. He did not hear her give any directions to send for anybody; but the prisoners Carter and Jackson soon came thither; that whilst he was there he did not see any abuse, or observe that either of them were bloody, and that he had no conversation with Jackson further than that Jackson said he would see the letter which was going to Major Battine, and Carter, he believed, might say so too; when he wanted to go away, Jackson would not suffer him to go through the room where the two men were (for the two men were carried into another room), but Jackson told him if lie had a mind to go, he might go through the garden to the back part of the house where his horse should be led ready for him; that he did so, and found his horse there and went away.
Being now particularly asked if he could say why Jackson refused his going through the room where the two men were, he answered he could not be certain, but believed it was for fear the two men should go away with him; and that he did not order his horse to be led round to the garden himself; and that George Austin and he went away together upon his horse, and that Jackson declared he would see the letter one of the men had in his pocket; and the witness saw the direction of it was William Battine, Esq., at East Harden.
Being cross examined by the prisoner Carter, whether Carter said he would see the letter, he answered that both Carter and Jackson said they would see the letter for Justice Battine: that he (the witness) did not order his horse to be carried to the back part of the house; and that Carter was by, when he was told by Jackson,
that if lie had a mind to go, his horse should be led to the back part of the house.
Joseph Southern deposed that on Sunday, the 14th February last, he saw Jenkes, the two Austins, and two other men coming from Havant towards Rowland’s Castle. One of them had a blue coat on, and rode a grey horse; and he went to Rowland’s Castle himself that day, and saw Jenkes, the two Austins, and the same two men sitting on horseback, drinking at the widow Payne’s door; he stayed there best part of an hour, and saw them and several other persons in the house; that he saw Carter and Jackson in the house whilst he stayed there; he sat down and drank a pint of beer by the kitchen fire, but the other persons were in another room; that he saw the two men come out to the door and go in again, and one of them had an handkerchief over his eye, and there was blood upon it; that he met this man as he was going in, and heard him say to Jackson, “I am the King’s officer, and I will take notice of you that struck me.” That Carter was not present when this was said, but was in the house: the man who spoke thus to Jackson had a parchment in his hand; he likewise saw a letter in his hand, and heard him say he was going to Justice Battine with it; that he (the witness) went away between two and three o’clock, and did not know what became of the letter, nor had he heard either Jackson or Carter say what became of it.
This being all Mr. Southern had to say, and Jackson and Carter, though asked particularly if they would have him asked any questions, saying they had none, he was set down.
William Garret deposed that he was at the widow Payne’s on the 14th of February last, and saw Jackson
and Carter and two strangers there; that one of them who had a blue coat on, had received a stroke upon his cheek, and the blood run down just as he came in; this man was standing up by the back of a chair, and Jackson by him, and he heard Jackson say, “that for a quartern of gin he would serve him so again,” by which he understood that Jackson had struck him before. He did not hear the man say he was the King’s officer, but he heard Jackson say, “You a King’s officer! I’ll make you a King’s officer, and that you shall know.” Then when he went away he left them all there.
The prisoners would not ask this witness any questions.
The next witness produced was William Lamb, who being sworn, deposed, that he went to the widow Payne’s, at Rowland’s Castle, on the 14th of February last, about four in the afternoon, and found Jackson and Carter there; that before he went he saw one of the widow Payne’s sons call Carter aside, at his house at Westbourne: that there were several other people there (Rowland’s Castle) in another room, amongst whom were Thomas Austin and two men that were strangers to him, one of whom had 011 a blue great coat. He further deposed that the two men who were strangers he understood were going with a letter to Justice Battine; but that he saw no ill-treatment during the little time he stayed there. He said that during the time he was there Edmund Richards, one of the company, pulled out a pistol, and said that whoever should discover any thing that passed at that house, he would blow his brains out. But that Jackson and Carter, two of the prisoners, were not in the room when these words were spoken, as he verily believes. He saw, he said, the man in the blue great coat, pull a parchment
out of his pocket, and he heard him tell the people he was the King’s officer; his wig was then off, and there was blood upon his cheek; that he saw a letter, which he understood to be going to Mr. Battine; and Kelly and the prisoner Carter had it in their hands, but he did not know how they came by it; that he did not see the direction of the letter; but he observed it was broken open when he saw it in the hands of Carter and Kelly, and he understood, by the discourse of the company, that it was a letter which the two strangers were to carry to Mr. Battine, but he never heard it read.
The prisoners Carter and Jackson would not ask him any questions.
Richard Kent deposed, that he was at the widow Payne’s on the 14th of February; that he saw Jackson and Carter, and many others, particularly two strangers, who he supposed were Galley and Chater; that they took the strangers out with them, and that Edmund Richards told him that if he spoke a word of what he had heard or seen he would shoot him; but Jackson and Carter were not in the room when Richards said this.
George Poate deposed that he was at Rowland’s Castle on Sunday, the 14th of February last, about seven o’clock in the evening, and saw nine men there; Jackson and Carter were two of them; he stayed there about half an hour, and as soon as he came in he saw four or five men with great coats and boots on, most of them upon their legs, as if they were just going; he went and warmed himself by the kitchen fire, and soon after he heard the stroke of a whip, repeated three or four times, in a little room that was at the corner of the kitchen, but did not see who gave the blows, nor
who received them; that he afterwards heard a strange rustling of people, more than before, and saw seven or eight men come into the kitchen; that he knew Jackson and Carter, and William Steel, Edmund Richards, and two that went by the names of Little Sam and Little Harry; there were two other persons there, whom to his knowledge he had never seen before or since, and could give no account of them, nor did he observe how they were dressed; that soon after he thought he heard a blow, and saw Jackson in a moving posture, as if he had just given a blow, and was drawing up his arm in a proper form, as if he was going to give another; but William Payne stepped up, and called him a fool and a blockhead for so doing; upon which he sunk his arm, and did not behave in a like manner, any more in his sight; that just as they were going out of doors, Jackson turned round with a pistol in his hand, and asked for a belt, or string, but nobody gave him either, and he put his pistol into his pocket, and went away with the rest; that by the trampling of horses he supposed they all went on horseback, but which way he knew not; it was between seven and eight o’clock, as nigh as he could guess, when they went off; he did not hear any conversation about one of the strangers being a King’s officer, nor did he see the blow given, nor the person to whom the other blow was going to be given.
The prisoners Jackson and Carter said they had no questions to ask this witness.
Then his Majesty’s counsel desired that John Eaise, otherwise Race, he being an accessary to the fact, should be called, who appearing and being sworn, deposed, that on Sunday, the 14th of February, he was at Rowland’s Castle between twelve and one o’clock at noon; that when he came there he found Edmund Richards, William Steel,
the prisoners Carter, Jackson, and Little Sam, Richard Kelly, Jackson’s wife, and Galley and Chater; he saw Jackson take Chater to the door, and heard him ask him if he knew anything of Dimer the shepherd, and (‘hater answered he did, and was obliged to go and speak against him; that Galley then went out to keep Chater from talking to Jackson; whereupon Jackson knocked Galley down with his fist; that Galley came in again, and soon after Jackson and Carter. When they were all come in, he (the witness) with the prisoners Jackson and Carter, and Edmund Richards, went into the back room; that there they enquired of Jackson what he had got out of the shoemaker (meaning Daniel Chater); that Jackson informed them that Chater said he knew Dimer and was obliged to come in as a witness against him; that then they consulted what to do with them (Chater and Galley) this was about three o’clock in the afternoon: they first proposed to carry them to some secure place, where they might be taken care of till they had an opportunity of carrying them over to France; and that when this proposition was made, the prisoners Jackson and Carter, and Richards and himself were present. This resolution was taken to send them out of the way, that Chater should not appear against Dimer; and afterwards it was agreed to fetch a horse and carry them away; that Galley and Chater appeared very uneasy, and wanted to be gone; and thereupon Jackson’s wife, to pacify them, told them that she lived at Major Battine’s and her horse was gone for, and as soon as it came she would shew them the way to Mr. Battine’s; that he (the witness) then went away, and saw no more of them that night.
Being cross examined at the request of the defendant’s counsel, he said, “At this consultation there
was nothing mentioned, as he remembered then, but the securing them in order to carry them to France.”
This witness having gone thus far in his evidence, was set by for the present; the counsel for the crown declaring that they would call him again, to give an account of what passed on the 17th, when Chater was murdered, after they had examined the next witness.
Then William Steel, one of the accomplices in both the murders from beginning to end, was sworn, who deposed that he was sent for to the widow Payne’s on Sunday, the 14th of February; that Jackson, Little Sam, one Kelly, and two men more, and Jackson’s wife, were there when he came, which was about two o’clock in the afternoon, and soon afterwards Little Harry, Carter, Edmund Richards, John Race, the last witness, and Carter’s wife came thither; he said he did not know how Carter or Jackson came to be there, but the widow Payne’s son came and called him out, and said he must go to the Castle, his mother’s, for there were two men come to swear against the shepherd; that when he came in he found the two strangers, Galley and Chater, and Jackson, Carter, Richards, and some others; and that they were in general sober, but they sat drinking together about two hours; that Jackson took Chater out of the house to examine him about Dimer; and after they had been out some time, Galley went out to them, but soon returned, and said Jackson had knocked him down; the witness saw he was bloody all down the left cheek; that Jackson was not in the room when Galley came in, but came in with Carter a little time afterwards; that then Galley, addressing himself to Jackson, said he did not know any occasion Jackson had to use him in that
manner, and that he should remember it, and took down his name in Jackson’s presence. Galley likewise said he was an officer, and shewed his deputation to the people that were in the room.
This witness, continuing his deposition, said Galley and Chater began to be very uneasy, and wanted to be going, but that the prisoners Jackson and Carter, and the rest of them that were smugglers, persuaded them to stay, and be pacified, and all things should be set right; and the company continued drinking till Galley and Chater were quite fuddled, and were carried into a little inner room to sleep; this was about four or five o’clock, and they continued in the little room two or three hours; the rest of the company sat drinking all the while, consulting what to do with Galley and Chater. The prisoners Jackson and Carter, and Little Sam, Little Harry, Richards, and the witness were at the consultation. It was proposed to put them (Galley and Chater) out of the way, because they should not appear against the shepherd, meaning Dimer; after which it was proposed to throw them into the well in the horse pasture, about a quarter of a mile from Rowland’s Castle, but that it was thought not convenient to put them into a well so near, for fear of discovery.
Here the question was particularly asked Steel, the witness, which of them it was that proposed the murdering them directly and flinging them afterwards down the well; to which he replied, he believed he might.
After this it was next proposed to join and each man to allow them threepence a week, and to keep them in some secret place till they saw what became of Dimer, and as Dimer was served, so these two people (Chater and (Galley) were to be served. This was talked of
while Chater and Galley were asleep and there was no other proposal made as he heard at that time: but while they were talking of these things, the wives of Carter and Jackson said it was no matter what became of them (Galley and Chater), or what was to be done with them; they ought to be hanged, for they were come to ruin them, meaning the smugglers. He then said that about seven o’clock Carter and Jackson went into the inner room and waked Galley and Chater, and brought them out of the room very bloody and very drunk; he did not see what passed in the room, but was sure they did not go in so bloody, and he believed Jackson and Carter had kicked and spurred them, for they had put on their boots and spurs; that then Jackson and Carter brought them (Galley and Chater) out into the kitchen; and took them through to the street door all very bloody, when they set Galley the officer upon a brown or black horse and Chater up behind him; that Jackson, Carter and Richards put them on horseback, and tied their legs under the horse’s belly and also their legs together; then they tied a line to the bridle, and he (the witness) got upon a grey horse and led them along; that just after they had turned round the corner about 70 or 80 yards from the house, Jackson cried out “Whip them, lick the dogs, cut them.” It was then dark, and the company whipped and lashed them with their horse-whips, some on one side and some on the other with great violence, on the face and head and other parts of the body, and continued doing so while they rode about half a mile to a place called Woodash, or Wood’s Ashes; that there they alighted and Little Sam gave all the company a dram or two, but none to Galley and Chater: that as they were mounted again Jackson and Carter cried out,
“D...n them, lick them, whip them,” and they were whipped as before for about a mile further, and then they fell down under the horse’s belly, with their heads upon the ground and their legs over the saddle; upon which Jackson and Carter and some of the others of the gang dismounted and untied Galley and Chater, and immediately set them up again, and their legs were tied together in the same posture, and the company went on whipping them as before till they came to a place called Dean,  which was about half a mile further. They were beat very much, and in the judgment of the witness, it was almost impossible they should sit their horses; that when they came to Dean somebody of the company pulled out a pistol and said he would shoot them (Galley and Chater) through the head, if they made any noise whilst they went through the village. He could not tell who it was that threatened to shoot them, but apprehends it was done for fear the people in the village should hear them. They went on at a foot pace, and after they got through Dean they were whipped again as before; and when they came near a place called Idsworth, they fell down again under the horse’s belly, and then some of the company loosed them, and set up the officer (Galley) behind him (the witness), and Chater behind Little Sam, and in this manner they proceeded towards Lady Holt Park, which is near three miles from Idsworth, whipping Galley and Chater as before. But the lashes of their whips falling upon the witness as he sat before Galley, he (the witness) could not bear the strokes, and therefore he cried out, and then they left off whipping Galley in that manner.
This witness further said that Galley sat upon the horse till they got to Lady Holt Park, and then being faint and tired with riding, he got down; and then Carter and Jackson took him, one by the arms and the other by the legs, carried him towards a well called Harris’s Well by the side of Lady Holt Park; and then Jackson said to Carter “We’ll throw him in the well,” to which Carter replied “With all my heart;” and Galley seemed very indifferent what they did with him; but some of the company saying ‘twas a pity to throw him into the well, Jackson and Carter set him up behind the witness again and Chater was still behind Little Sam. They went on in this manner till they came to go down a hill, when Galley was faint and tired, and could not ride any further and got down there; upon which Carter and Jackson laid him on a horse before Edmund Richards, with his belly upon the pommel of the saddle. They laid him across the horse because he was so bad that they could not contrive to carry him in any other manner, and they carried him so for about a mile and a half from the well; that then Richards, being tired of holding him, let him down by the side of the horse; and Carter and Jackson put him upon the grey horse that he (the witness) was upon, and the witness got off. They set him up, his legs across the saddle and his body lay over the horse’s mane; that in this posture Jackson held him on and he did not remember that anybody else held him at that time; that they went on for about half a mile in this manner, Galley crying out all the time “Barbarous usage! barbarous usage! for God’s sake shoot me through the head or through the body.” He (the witness) thought Jackson was at this time pinching him by the private parts, for there were no blows given when he cried so;
that Chater was still with the company behind Little Sam, and they went on for about two miles and a half further, the company holding Galley by turns on the horse until they came to a dirty lane, at which place Carter and Jackson rode forwards, and bid the rest of the company stop at the swing gate beyond the water till they should return. Jackson and Carter left them here and went to see for a place proper for taking care of Chater and Galley, but soon came to them again at the swing gate and told them that the man of the house whither they went was ill and that they could not go thither, by which he understood that they had been in the neighbourhood to get entertainment. It was then proposed to go forward to one Scardefield’s, and Little Harry tied Galley with a cord and got up on horseback behind him in order to hold him up on the horse, and they went on till they came to a gravelly knap in the road at which place Galley cried out “I shall fall! I shall fall!” whereupon Little Harry said, “D...n you, then fall,” and gave him a push, and Galley fell down and gave a spirt, and never spoke a word more. He (the witness) believed his neck was broke by the fall; that they laid him across the horse again and went away for Rake to the sign of the Red Lion, which was kept by William Scardefield; that Chater was behind Little Sam and was carried to Scardefield’s house and was very bloody when they came to Scardefield’s; that Jackson and Little Harry went from Scardefield’s with Chater about three o’clock in the morning and Jackson afterwards returned to Scardefield’s and said he had left Chater at Old Mills’s, and that Little Harry was left to look after him that he might not escape. This was Monday, the 15th of February, and they remained all that day at Scardefield’s; that the prisoner
Richard Mills the younger was there on that day, and upon hearing from Jackson and Carter that they had passed by a precipice thirty feet deep when they had Chater with them, he said, “If I had been there I would have called a council of war on the spot, and he (Chater) should have gone no further,” or to that effect.
That two or three days afterwards the company met at Scardefield’s again, to consult what to do with Chater: that the prisoners John Race, Carter and Jackson, the prisoner Richard Mills the younger (a son of the prisoner Richard Mills the elder), Thomas Willis, John Mills (another son of old Mills), the prisoners Tapner, Cobby, Hammond, and Thomas Stringer, Edmund Richards, and Daniel Perryer, and he (the witness) were consulting what to do with Chater, and John Mills  proposed to take him out, and load a gun, and tie a string to the trigger, and place him (Chater) against the gun, and that they should all of them pull the string, to involve every one of them in the same degree of guilt; but this proposal was not agreed to. Then Jackson and Carter proposed to carry him back to the well near Lady Holt Park, and to murder him there, which was agreed to by all the company; but Richard Mills the younger and John Mills said they could not go with them to the well, because they had no horses; and as it was in their (the other persons’) way home, they might do it as well without them: and so it was concluded to murder Chater, and then throw him into the well.
As soon as it was agreed amongst them to murder Chater and fling him down the well, they went away
for Rake to the house of the prisoner Richard Mills the elder, and found Chater in a back skilling or out-house, run up at the back of Mills’s house, a place they usually put turf in; where they found him chained with an iron chain to a beam in the skilling; that Chater was bloody about the head, and had a cut upon one of his eyes, so that he could not see with it: that the prisoner Richard Mills the elder was at home, and fetched out bread and cheese for them to eat, and gave them drink; that the house is a private house, no alehouse; that they all of them went to and again, between the house and the skilling, and that the prisoner Richard Mills the elder was at home all the while; that the prisoner Tapner bid Chater go to prayers, and pulled out a large clasp knife, and swore he would be his butcher; and while Chater was at prayers, he cut him across the eyes and nose, and down his forehead, so that he bled to a great degree. He was ordered by some others of the company to say his prayers, for they were come to kill him, and kill him they would; and some of the company were then in the skilling, and the rest of them were in the house, but no one interposed to save his life; that he (the witness) was in the skilling when Chater was advised to say his prayers and was cut, and that Chater was chained by the leg at the time.
When they had kept him there as long as they thought fit, someone unlocked the chain and set him on horseback, and Race, Richards, Little Harry, Little Sam, the prisoners Tapner, Stringer; the prisoners Cobby, Hammond and Perryer; the prisoners Jackson, Carter, and the witness, set out with him to Lady Holt Park, to carry him down to the well; that when they came to a place called Harting, Richards, Little Harry and Little Sam went back; and when the rest came to
the white gate by Lady Holt Park, Carter and Jackson left them, but first told them they must keep along a little further, and they could not miss the well, for there were white pales; that it was about 200 yards further, some pales on the right hand of it, and that there were pales round the well. They went on, found the well by the direction given them, and carried Chater with them; that then Tapner, Hammond, Stringer and Cobby got off their horses, and Tapner pulled a cord out of his pocket, and put it about Chater’s neck, and led him towards the well. Chater seeing two or three pales down said he could get through, but Tapner said, “No, you shall get over,” and he did so with the rope about his neck; they then put him into the well and hanged him, winding the rope round the rails, and his body hung down in the mouth of the well for about a quarter of an hour; and then Stringer took hold of his legs to pull him aside, and let his head fall first into the well, and Tapner let the rope go, and down fell the body into the well head foremost; that they stayed there for some time, and one of the company said he thought he heard him breathe or groan; on this they listened, and being of the same opinion, went to one Combleach, a gardener, who was in bed, and asked him to lend them a ladder and a rope, for one of their company had fallen down the well; which he readily did, not thinking, as the witness verily believed, any otherwise. They brought the ladder with them, but as it was a long one they could not get it down the well through the hole in the breach of the pales; when they all tried to raise it up and put it over the pales; but then, not having strength sufficient, they laid that part of their design aside; and looking about them found a gate post or two, which they threw into the well and then left him.
Steel, the witness, being cross-examined as to this, said, he never heard the prisoner say he would not have them murder the man, and added, that he was sure he must hear them talk of murdering while they were at his house.
John Race being called again, said: That after he had left the company at the widow Payne’s on the 14th of February, he met some of the same company and others, on the Wednesday evening following, being the 17th of February, at Scardefield’s, at Rake; that the prisoners, Richard Mills the younger, Carter, Jackson, Tapner, Cobby, and Hammond, with Steel, Richards, Little Sam, Daniel Perryer, John Mills and Thomas Willis, were there; and it was proposed at that meeting to murder Chater. He could not say who first made the proposal, but to the best of his knowledge, it was either Carter or Jackson, and it was agreed to by all the company; it was not then resolved how it was to be done, but only in general, that he was to be murdered and thrown into a well; that they went to the house of Richard Mills the elder, to join Little Harry, who was left there to take care of Chater, and found Chater chained by the leg upon some turf in a skilling, at the back side of the house; that the prisoner, Richard Mills the elder, was at home, and ordered his housekeeper to fetch bread and cheese, and some household beer, for any of them to eat and drink that would, and was sure that old Mills knew that they came for Chater; that Tapner and Cobby were very earnest to go and see Chater; and Tapner having his knife in his hand, said, “This knife shall be his butcher”; and thereupon the prisoner, Richard Mills the elder said, “Pray do not murder him here, but carry him somewhere else before you do it”; that Old Mills said this on seeing that Tapner had his knife in his
hand, and hearing him declare it should be his (Chater’s) butcher; that they then went out into the skilling, and found Chater sitting upon some turf, and Tapner ordered him to say his prayers; whilst he was repeating the Lord’s Prayer, Tapner cut him over the face with his knife, and Cobby stood by kicking and damning him. This, too, was whilst the poor man was saying the Lord’s Prayer. That Chater asked them what was become of Galley, and they told him he was murdered, and that they were come to murder him. Upon which, Chater earnestly begged to live another day; that Cobby asked him his name, and whether he had not formerly done harvest- work at Selsey? To which he answered that his name was Daniel Chater, and that he had harvested at Selsey, and there he became acquainted with Dimer. That Little Harry unlocked the horse lock that was on his (Chater’s) legs, and Tapner, Cobby and Stringer brought him out of the skilling, and set him upon Tapner’s mare, in order to carry him to the well, to be there murdered, and thrown in; and that all the company knew at that time what was to be done with him; that they rode about three miles towards the well y and sometimes whipped Chater with their horsewhips; and Tapner observing that he bled, said, “DÈÈ.n his blood, if he bloods my saddle, I will whip him again.” When they came to Harting, Carter, Jackson, Richards, Little Sam, Little Harry, and Steel said, “We have done our parts, and you (meaning the rest of the company) shall do yours.” By which they meant, as he took it, that they had murdered Galley, and that the rest should murder Chater; and Richards, Little Sam and Little Harry, stopped there, arid did not accompany them any further; the rest went on towards the well, but Carter and Jackson stopped before they came to it,
and told them the well was a little further off, describing it to them, and told them they could not miss finding it, for it had some white pales by it, and that it was not above 200 yards further, and then Jackson and Carter left them; that he (the witness) and Tapner, Cobby, Stringer, Hammond, Perryer and Steel, came to the well, got off their horses, and took Chater off his horse, the witness was not certain which; and either Tapner or Cobby put a cord round his neck; that there was a “shord” in the pales about the well, and he heard Chater say he could get through there, but Cobby or Tapner said, “DÈn you, no; you shall not, you shall get over”; that Tapner wound the cord round the pales, and Chater being put into the mouth of the well, hung by the neck for about a quarter of an hour, and then they loosened the rope, and turned the body, so that it fell into the well head foremost. They stayed there till some of the company thought they heard him breathe or groan, and then went to get a rope and a ladder at one Combleach’s, a gardener; that they met Jackson and Carter and told them what they had done, and that they were going to get a rope and a ladder, for Chater was not quite dead; that they all could not raise the ladder; so they- got some old gate-posts and stones and threw them down upon him into the well, and then left him.
The prisoner Hammond desired the witness might be asked whether when they were at Old Mills’s, he did not offer to ride away, and make a discovery, but was prevented by the company.
Race said he never heard him say anything about it; but one of the company, which he believed was Richards, did threaten any of the rest who should refuse to go to the murder of Chater.
Ann Pescod deposed, that two men came to her father’s on the 15th of February, about one o’clock in the morning, and called for her father; that she asked one of them his name, and he said it was William Jackson. Her father who was then very ill, said they might come if they would; that Jackson did come in, and asked if they could not bring a couple of men there for a little while, to which she answered “No,” because her father was ill; and thereupon Jackson turned to the other man, and said, “We cannot think of abiding here, as the man is so ill,” and so they went away. She saw that Jackson’s hand was bloody.
She was ordered to look at the prisoners Jackson and Carter, and see if they were the two men that came, and she said Jackson was one, for that she took particular notice of him, his hand being bloody, and that she verily believed Carter was the other.
Then the King’s Counsel called William Scardefield, who deposed that he kept the Red Lion, at Rake, in the parish of Rogate, and that in the night, between the 14th and 15th of February, Jackson and Carter, with Steel and Richards, came to his house and called out to him, “For God’s sake get up and let us in”; then he let them in, and saw they were bloody. He asked them how they came to be so; and they said they had an engagement and lost their goods, and some of their men they feared were dead and some wounded. That they said they would go and call them that were at the other public-house; and while he was gone into the cellar, he heard horses come to the door; and some of the men went into the kitchen, some into the brewhouse, and some into the parlours. That he saw two or three men in the brewhouse, and there lay something like a man before them in the brewhouse, by the brew-
house door, and he heard them say he was dead. That some of them calling for liquor, he carried a glass of gin into the parlour, and saw a man standing upright in the parlour, with his face bloody and one eye swelled very much. That Richards was in the parlour with the man, and objected to his coming in, and Carter and Jackson and three others were then in the brewhouse, and Steel was with them. After they had drunk three mugs of hot, they got their horses out and sent him down for some brandy and rum, but when he came up with it they were gone 20 yards below the house, though several of them came back to drink, one or two at a time. That he did not know what became of the man that he saw in the parlour; but he observed they separated into two companies; that one of the company, a little man, asked him if he did not know the place where they formerly laid up some goods; and the prisoner Carter came back, and said they must have a lantern and spade. That Richards fell in a passion because he refused to go along with them, and upon seeing him coming towards them with a light, the company parted: that he saw a horse stand at a little distance, and there seemed to him to be a man lying across the horse, and two men holding him on, and he believed the person he saw lying across the horse was dead, but he was not nigh enough to see whether he was or not. That when they came to the place, one of the little men began to dig a hole; and it being a very cold morning, he, the witness, took hold of the spade and helped to dig; and in that hole the company buried the body that lay across the horse. That on the Wednesday or Thursday following, about twelve or one at noon, the prisoners Jackson and Carter, and all the rest of the company came again to
his house; and the prisoners Richard Mills the younger, and his brother John, were sent for, and caine to them.
Edward Sones proved that on the 16th or 17th of September last he found the body of a dead man in a well in Harris’s Wood, within 200 yards of Lady Holt House, and that there were two pieces of timber over the body. That he went immediately to get the coroner’s inquest, and when he came back he saw the man had boots on, and there was a rope about his neck; that the well is by Lady Holt Park, in the county of Sussex.
Mr. Brackstone produced the boots and a belt that were taken off the body, and given him by the Coroner.
Mrs. Chater, the widow of Daniel Chater, deposed that she remembered her late husband set out from Southampton on the 14th February last, and that she had never seen him since that time; she looked upon the belt produced by Mr. Brackstone, and said she knew it was the same belt her husband had on when he set out from home, by a particular mark in it; and she believed the boots produced were likewise her husband’s.
Mr. Sones proved also, that the horse which Chater set out upon was found about a month afterwards and delivered to the owner.
The King’s Counsel submitted it here.
Mr. Justice Foster acquainted the prisoners that the King’s Counsel, having gone through their evidence, it was now time to offer what they could in their own defence.
He repeated to each of the prisoners the particular facts the evidence had charged him with, and asked them severally what they had to say to clear themselves of that charge.
To which the prisoner Tapner said he did not know that they were going to murder the man, but Jackson and Richards threatened to kill him if he would not go with them, and he received three or four cuts from Hammond or Daniel Perryer, but he did not know which; that Richards and another man tied the rope; and he denied that he drew a knife and cut Chater across the face.
Mr. Justice Foster told him, that supposing he was threatened in the manner he insisted on, yet that could be no legal defence in the present case; and that in every possible view of the case, it was infinitely more eligible for a man to die by the hands of wicked men, than to go to his grave with the guilt of innocent blood on his own head.
Cobby said he did not know what they were going to do with the man, that he never touched him, and he knew nothing of the murder.
Hammond said when he understood what they were going to do, he wanted to go off and make a discovery; but the company prevented him; and that by the company he meant all the prisoners.
Richard Mills the elder, said he did not know what they were at, and did not think they would hurt the man; and did not know lie was chained till after they were gone away.
Richard Mills the younger, said he knew nothing of the matter, and never saw either of the men (Galley and Chater) in his life; he acknowledged that he was at Scardefield’s house, but said he knew nothing of the murder, and denied the charge; that Scardefield was the only witness he had, for he (Scardefield) knew when he came, and how long he stayed there.
Jackson said, the man who said he would be Chater’s
butcher, was his butcher, and nobody else, that he (Jackson) was not by when he was murdered, and was not guilty of it.
Mr. Justice Foster cautioned him not to deceive himself, and told him that with regard to the present charge, it was not necessary that he should have been present at the murder; he was not charged with being present, but as an accessary before the fact in advising and procuring the murder to be done: and that was the fact he was called upon to answer.
Carter said that when he went to the widow Payne’s, he only thought they were going to carry the men out of the way, till they saw what should become of Dimer, and that he never laid hands upon them; and went along with the company to prevent mischief.
Scardefield, the witness, was then called again, and Richard Mills the younger, being asked whether he would ask him any questions, only desired he might be asked what time he came to his house, and how long he stayed there; to which Scardefield answered, that Mills came to his house about half an hour after one; stayed there about an hour and a half, and went away on foot.
The rest of the prisoners said they had not any witnesses.
Upon which, Mr. Justice Foster opened to the jury the substance of the indictment as before set forth; and told them that whether the prisoners or any of them were guilty in manner as therein they are severally charged, must be left to their consideration, upon the evidence that had been laid before them.
That in order to enable them to apply the evidence to the several parts of the charge, it would be proper for him first to acquaint them how the law determines in cases of this nature; that with regard to the persons
charged as principals, wherever several persons agree together to commit a murder, or any other felony, and the murder or felony is actually committed, every person present aiding and abetting is, in the eye of the law, guilty in the same degree, and liable to the same punishment as he who actually committed the fact. And the reason the law goes upon is this, that the presence of the accomplices gives encouragement, support and protection to the person who actually commits the fact; and at the same time contributes to his security.
That it is not necessary that the proof of the fact, in cases of this nature, should come up to the precise form of the indictment; for if the indictment charges that A did the fact, and that B and C were present, aiding and abetting, if it be proved that B did the fact, and that A and C were present aiding and abetting, they will be all guilty within the indictment.
That accessaries before the fact are those who, not being present in any sense of the law at the time the fact is committed, have advised or otherwise approved the fact to be done. These persons, in the case of wilful murder, will be liable to the same punishment as those who committed the murder by their instigation, advice or procurement.
He then summed up the evidence very largely, and applied it to the case of the several prisoners, and concluded, that if upon the whole, the jury should be of opinion that either of the principals (Tapner, Cobby, Hammond, or the others charged as principals in the indictment) did strangle the deceased, and that the prisoners Tapner, Cobby, and Hammond were present aiding and abetting, they will be within this indictment.
And if they should be of opinion that the prisoners charged as accessaries before the fact, did advise, consent to, or procure the murder, they likewise will be guilty within this indictment, though they were not present when the fact was committed.
The jury, after some little consideration, gave their verdict, that Tapner, Cobby, and Hammond were guilty of the murder, as laid in the indictment: And
Richard Mills the elder, Richard Mills the younger, William Jackson, and William Carter, were guilty, as accessaries before the fact.
 Jackson was so ill that he was obliged to be brought in a chair; and likewise was permitted to have a chair, and sat during the time of both his trials.
 Chater, as well as Galley, was tied on the same horse, and in the same manner with him, yet in the indictment it only mentioned the name of Galley.
 There were sixteen in the whole, with Race and Steel, the two admitted evidence for the King.
 In the former part of this account we called his name Dimer otherwise Diamond, for he was as frequently called by the one as the other, but as he was named by the counsel Dimer, we shall keep to that name where he was so called.
 Mr. Banks omitted here speaking of his calling first on Mr. Holton in the village of Havant, but that will appear in its proper place.
 The other five prisoners were not at Rowland’s Castle, so that Mr. Austin could have no knowledge of them.
 The name of the place is Goodthrop Dean, a little village.
 The witness was not certain whether it was John Mills, or his brother Richard Mills, that made the proposal.