« PredošláPokračovať »
fea, the abandoned woman said “ She should be
sorry his man James, a poor innocent fellow, « should come to any harm ; but she should be “ glad, and earnestly wished that Mr. Sayer might 6 link to the bottom of the sea, and that the bot" tom of the ship might come out."
Not long after Mr. Sayer was gone abroad, No. ble began to give himself airs of greater consequence than he had hitherto dore. He was folicitor in a cause in the court of chancery, in which Mr. Sayer was plaintiff, and having obtained a decree, he obliged the trustees nominated in the marriage articles to relinquish, and assumed the authority of a sole trustee.
Mr. Sayer remained in Holland near a year, during which Noble publicly cohabited with his wife, and when her husband returned she refufed to live with him; but having first robbed him of above 2000l. in exchequer bills and other effects, she went to private lodgings with Noble, foon after which the was delivered of another child. After Mrs. Sayer had thus eloped from her husband, he caused an advertisement to be inserted in the news-papers, of which the following is a copy :
" Whereas Mary, the wife of John Sayer, Esq. “ late of Lisle-street, St. Anns, went away from “ her dwelling-house on or about the 23rd of May 6. Jaft, in company with Elizabeth Nevil, fitter to " the said Mary, and hath carried away near 1000l. “ in money, besides.other things of a considerable “ value, and is supposed to go by some other
name: he desires all tradesmen and others not " to give her any credit, for that he will not pay " the fame."
While Mrs. Sayer" cohabited with Noble he was constantly supplied with money, but he was
not her only astoriate at that time; for, during his occasional ablence, the gratified herself with the company of other lovers.
Noble now procured an order from the court. of chancery to take Mr. Sayer in execution for 4001. at the suit of Mrs. Salisbury, the consequence of a judgment confessed by him, for form's sake, to protect his goods from his creditors while he was in Holland. Mr. Sayer de." clared that the real debt was not more than gol. though artful management and legal expences had fwelled it to the the above-mentioned fum.
Hereupon Sayer took refuge within the rules of the Fleet Prison, and exhibited his bill in chancery for relief against these suits, and the deed of separation, which he obtained; but before he had an opportunity of suing out judgment against Noble, the vengeance of heaven overtook thai abandoned villain.
Mrs. Sayer finding herself liable to be exposed by the advertisement her husband had caused to be inserted in the news-papers, she, with her mother, and Noble, took lodgings in the Mint, Southwark, which was at that time a place of refuge for great numbers of persons of desperate circumstances and abandoned dispositions.
Mr. Sayer was 'now informed that his wife had taken lodgings in the Mint, on which he wrote , several letters to her, promising that he would forgive all her crimes, if she would return to her duty: but the treated his letters with as much contempt as she had done his person.
Hereupon he determined to seize on her by forçe, presuming that he should recover some of his effects if he could get her into his custody. He therefore obtained the warrant of a justice of the peace, and taking with him two constables,
and fix assistants, went to the house of George Twyford in the Mint; the constables intimating that they had a warrant to search for a suspected person; for if it had been thought that çhey were bailiffs, their lives would have been in danger.
Having entered the house, they went to a back room, where Noblé, Mrs. Sayer, and Mrs. Salifbury where at dinner; but the door was no sooner opened than Noble drew his sword, and stabbing Sayer in the left breast, he died on the spot. The constables immediately apprehended the murderer and the two women; but the latter were fo abandoned, that while the peace officers were convey. ing them to the house of a 'magistrate, they did little else than lament the fate of Noble.
As it appeared as if the mob would rise, from an apprehension that the prisoners were debtors, a constable was directed to carry the bloody sword before them, in testimony that murder had been committed; which produced the wished for, effect by keeping perfect peace.
The prisoners begged to send for council which being granted, Noble was committed for trial, after an examination of two hours, but the council: urged so many arguments in favour of the women, that it was ten o'clock at night before they were committed. Soon afterwards this unworthy mother and daughter applied to the court of King's-Bench, to be admitted to bail; but this favour was refused them.
The coroner's inquest having viewed Mr. Sayer's body, it was removed to his lodgings within the rules of the Fleet in order for interment; and three days afrerwards they gave a ver. dićt, finding Noble guilty of wilful murder, and the women of having aided and affifted him in that murder,
On the evening of the 12th of March 1713, they were put to the bar at `Kingston, in Súrry, and having been arraigned on the several indictments, and pleaded not guilty, were told to prepare for their trials by fix o'clock on the following morning
Being brought down for trial at the appointed time, they moved the court that cheir trials might be deferred till the afternoon, 'on the plea that some material witnesses were absent: but the court not believing their allegations, refused to comply with their request. It was imagined that this motion to put off their trials was founded in che expectation that when the business at the nifi prius bar was dispatched, many of the jurymen might go home, so that when the prisoners had made their challenges, there might not be a number left fufficienç to try them, by which they mighc escape till the next assizes, by which time they hoped some circumstances would happen in their favour
The trials being ordered to come on, Mr. Noble and Mrs. Salisbury each challenged twenty of the jury, and Mrs. Sayer challenged thirty-five*; so that it was owing to the great number of jurors summoned by the Theriff, that the ends of public juftice were not, for the present, defeated.
It will be unnecessary to recite the particulars of the evidence given on the trial, because those who have read the preceding narrative must be well apprized of its nature. Suffice it to say that
All persons indicted for felony have a right to challenge twenty jurors, and those indicted for petit-treason thirty-five. This may be done with. out alledging any cause.
the crime of the murder was clearly proved against Noble: however his council urged that some of the persons who broke into the house might have murdered Mr. Sayer, or, if they had not, the provocation he had received might be such as would warrant the jury in bringing him in guilty of manslaughter only. . As the court had fat from fix o'clock in the morning, till one o'clock the next morning, the jury were indulged with some refreshment before they left the bar; and after being out nine hours, they gave their verdict that Mr. Noble was “ Guilty,” and Mrs. Salisbury and Mrs. Sayer were." Not guilty.”
When Mr. Noblé was brought to the bar to receive sentence, he made a speech, of which the following is a copy :
My Lord, “ I am soon to appear and render an account of my sins to God Almighty. If your lordship fhould think me guilty of those crimes I have been accused with, and convicted of by my jury, I am then sure your lordship will think that I stand in need of such a reparation, such a humi. liation for my great offences, such an abhorrence of my past life, to give me hopes of a future one, that I am not without hopes that it will be a mo. țive to your lordship’s goodness, chat after you have judged and sentenced my body to execution, you will charitably assist me with a little time for the preservation of my soul.
If I had nothing to answer for but killing Mr. Saytr with precedent malice, I should have no need to address myself to your lordship in this manner. It is now too late to take advantage by denying it to your lord hip, and too near my end