ESSEX STANDARD, WEST SUFFOLK GAZETTE AND
FRIDAY, MARCH 26,
Early on Saturday morning
a terrible crime was committed at Fordham, near
Colchester. The details of the sad affair will
be gathered from the evidence taken at the
inquest, and which is reported fully below, but
we may briefly state the facts, as follows:- The
victims are Solomon Johnson, labourer, aged 81,
and Susannah Johnson, his wife, aged 79, and the
murderer, Thomas Johnson, aged 38, is their own
son. The scene of the tragedy is a
treble-tenement cottage, on an off-farm held by
Mr. R. Knight, and situated in a lonely spot,
some four hundred yards from the high road, and
a considerable distance from any other
habitation. The centre tenement was occupied by
the Johnsons, the other portions by a woman
named Mills and by four orphan children, whose
mother lay dead in the house. Some time ago, the
parricide exhibited symptoms of mental
derangement and became in consequence, an inmate
of the Lexden and Winstree Union, but he so far
recovered as to be allowed to go to the house of
his parents, which he again left, only a few
days before the tragedy, to pay a visit to some
friends at Colchester. On Friday night last,
however, he returned to the cottage, but nothing
occurred to excite attention till about seven
o'clock next morning, when Mr. Mills heard him
threatening to kill his parents. Immediately
afterwards the mother rushed in, and, from what
she said, Mrs. Mills sent one of the children
for help. The mother then returned to the house,
but very shortly afterwards the two deceased
were driven out of their house by Johnson, who
struck them about the head with a poker and
shovel. The poor old man was killed on the spot,
and his wife received such injuries that she
died very shortly afterwards. Johnson then
proceeded to threaten Mrs. Mills and the
children in the adjoining house, going so far as
to break the window; but, finding the doors
locked against him, he was proceeding towards
the village when he was pursued and overpowered,
and ultimately given into custody.
Examination of the
Prisoner before the Magistrates.
At twelve o'clock on
Saturday morning the unfortunate man Thomas
Johnson, who had been brought into Colchester
from Stanway Union, by Police constable
Richardson, was taken before the County
Magistrates sitting in Petty Session, the
following being upon the Bench : - P. O.
Papillon, Esq., Chairman; Capt. Brett; H. R.
Edwards; C. H. Hawkins, and E. Roberts, Esqrs.
Johnson, whose age was stated to be 38 years, is
a man of very dark complexion and bushy black
whiskers and beard, and his hands and face,
which were still besmeared with blood, bore
traces of the fearful deed he had committed, and
of his struggle with the men who apprehended
him. Altogether he presented a somewhat wild
appearance, but nevertheless he maintained
perfect composure during the brief examination,
and answered all the questions that were put to
him very readily and quietly.
On being placed in the
dock he informed the Clerk (Mr. Jones) his name,
and in reply to an enquiry as to what business
he followed, he said "I am no business at all -
I am a horseman, that is my occupation when I am
at work." He also stated that his father's name
was Solomon, and his mother's
The CLERK then told him
that he was charged with feloniously, and of his
malice aforethought wilfully killing both of
them at Fordham.
The CLERK. That is the
charge against you. You need not say anything
Richardson, stationed at Stanway, deposed - From
information received, I this morning, about
twenty minutes past 11 o'clock, took the
prisoner into custody at Stanway Union House.
Witness: Yes, sir, the
porter. The prisoner replied, "Yes. I have
killed two; my father and my mother." I said,
"What did you do it with?"
The CHAIRMAN. "Where you
dressed in uniform as you are now?"
The CHAIRMAN. "Did you
Witness: No, sir. In reply
to my questions he said "with the poker, about
seven o'clock this morning". I then took him
into custody, and brought him to the Court at
The CHAIRMAN. "Did
anything pass between you on your way to the
Witness. No, sir. I asked
a gentleman for a ride and we were driven to
Colchester, and nothing passed on the road
beyond the prisoner remarking that it was cold -
nothing in reference to this case. The CHAIRMAN.
Prisoner, would you like to ask Police Constable
Richardson any questions?
Prisoner. No, sir; I don't
wish to ask him any. I am fully decided about
Superintendent Daunt then
applied that the prisoner might be remanded
until Wednesday next, in order that he might be
able to properly investigate the case; and this
was agreed to.
The CLERK. Will you give
Mr. Daunt any instructions how to act in the
event of the Coroner requiring the prisoner's
attendance before him? I should advise you that
he might produce him, but not part with
The CHAIRMAN. He may
produce him anywhere, but he must not part with
Superintendent Daunt. The
two jurisdictions sometimes clash, although I
don't think they will in this case. I don't know
which is the supreme power, but I shall be
guided by instructions from the
The CHAIRMAN. There is no
doubt that at the present time the prisoner is
in our custody, and you will retain charge of
him for us; but so far as we are concerned, we
have no objection to your producing him before
the Coroner or any properly qualified Court, so
long as you consider him in custody as your
prisoner for us.
The CHAIRMAN asked
Richardson whether at the time he was
apprehended the prisoner was as calm and
composed as he was in the dock.
Richard replied that he
The prisoner was then
remanded till Wednesday next, the CHAIRMAN
telling him that if he wished to retain the
services of a professional gentleman to watch
the case on his behalf, he could do so by
communicating with Mr. Daunt.
Superintendent Daunt said
that he thought the present a good opportunity
to ask the Bench to allow him legal assistance
to conduct the case for the prosecution, which
they had the power of granting.
The CHAIRMAN said they had
no hesitation in granting the assistance asked
for, and thought Mr. Daunt was quite right in
asking for it.
Superintendent Daunt said
if the magistrates did not do it, the Clerk of
the Peace, under an order of the Court of
Quarter Session, would have done it.
The prisoner was then
removed from the Court, and was at once conveyed
in a cab to the County Police Station on the
On Monday morning, Mr.
WILLIAM CODD, Coroner for North Essex, held an
inquest at The Horseshoe Inn, Fordham, opon the
bodies of the two murdered people. The Rev. T.
L. LINGHAM, The Rector of the parish, was
foreman of the jury, and Admiral McHardy, Chief
Constable of the County; and Supt. Daunt were
present during the enquiry. Mr. H. Jones Clerk
to the Magistrates of the Lexden and Winstree
division also attended the inquest, by direction
of the Magistrates, to render any assistance he
could to the Coroner.
The usual formalities
having been gone through, the Coroner briefly
stated the nature of the case, and in the course
of his remarks, he read the following letter
which he had received from Supt.
Colchester, 21st March, 1875.
Sir, - The Chief Constable
wishes me to ascertain whether you would like
the prisoner, Thomas Johnson, charged with
murdering his father and mother, produced at
your enquiry at Fordham to-morrow.
The magistrates have no
objection, but since the prisoner has been here,
he has become very violent, and outrageously
mad, and I think it would be unwise and
dangerous to remove him to Fordham to-morrow. I
will however, do as you direct, and will thank
you to send me a telegram as early as possible
after receiving this letter.
I may add that the
Magistrates have remanded him to this station,
to be brought before them on
I remain, etc
W. Codd, Esq. Thos.
The Coroner said he was
much obliged to the Chief Constable and the
Magistrates for their courtesy, because their
attendance of the man might have been a matter
of some little importance, but inasmuch as there
was direct evidence of his having done the deed,
and he was well known to the witnesses, there
was no necessity for his being brought there for
identification. Under these circumstances he had
advised Supt. Daunt that it was not necessary to
produce the prisoner there, and accordingly he
was not in attendance.
The Jury then proceeded to
view the bodies and the scene of the fatal
occurrence, which is in an out-of-the-way place,
about a mile from the Horseshoes. On their
return to the inquest room, the following
evidence was taken:-
Mrs. Eliza Mills, wife of
a labourer, was the first witness called - I
lived next door to the deceased Solomon and
Susannah Johnson. The former was 80 years of age
- 81 next April, and the latter was about 79
years, according to what she has told
The CORONER. Did they live
alone? - A. Yes, with the exception of the son
who did this deed.
Q. And you live under the
same roof? - A. Yes.
Q. Now we come to the
facts? Did you see the son on Friday night? - A.
Yes, between seven and eight o'clock on Friday
night, he came to his father's house; I saw him
in the garden, and he said "Good night" to me; I
only caught a glimpse of him.
Now as to next morning? -
A. Well, I went to bed at night and never heard
anything until seven o'clock in the
Q. Well what happened
then? - A. I was standing in my room with my
little boy, when we heard Thomas Johnson call
out to his mother, "Go down you wi ---------,
what are you "looking at me for, I'll kill you".
Almost immediately after, Mrs. Johnson came into
my house and said to me, "Oh I say "dear
neighbour what shall I do; he, (meaning her son)
says "he'll kill me." I told he to "Give him
Q. She said; "Who can I
send?" A. I said, "My little boy "is here, and I
will send him for assistance," I did not know
where to send, but I sent him up to the public
house. She went back into her house and finished
dressing; but before my child could get far up
the road, Thomas Johnson drove the two deceased
out of the house into the garden. He followed
them out into the garden.
Q. Had he anything in his
hand then? - A. No, not then but he returned
immediately, and came out again with the poker.
Then he struck the poor old man several
Q. Were they running away
in the garden? - A. No; the poor old man
followed him, and his son then struck him
several times across his shoulder, until he fell
into an ash-pit in the garden.
Mr. JONES. Did you hear
anything? - A. Yes; the poor old gentleman
called to me.
The CORONER. Well, what
next? - A. After the poor old gentleman fell
into the ash-pit, he struck him on the head with
Q. Where were you at this
time? - A. At my door, where I could see all
that was going on. I said to him, "Tommy you
will kill your father and mother" and he said,
"Yes, I will kill them, the old ------". He then
ran to his mother.
Q. Did he not strike his
father more than once in the ash-pit? - A. Not
then. I will tell you presently. He then ran to
his mother and struck her with the poker across
the shoulder several times.
Q. Did it knock her down?
- A. Yes, she was down when I saw
Q. Did he strike her again
afterwards? - A. Yes, several times. She was
sitting down, and put her hands up and said, "Oh
Tommy, you'll kill me."
Q. Where did he strike
her? - A. On the arms and head. I then ran for
assistance to the nearest cottage that I could
come to. I felt as if I could not run any
further, and the woman came on for
Mr. JONES. And then you
went back? - A. Yes, and I went back across Mr.
Green's field to my cottage - I was out of my
path, but I knew Mr. Green would not mind that,
when he heard Thomas Johnson say "You may run;
I'll kill you you old -----. You may run; I'll
kill you." I did not see him for I was so
frightened that I could not look at him, but I
Q. Did he follow you? - A.
No, for I suppose the men happened
Q. Was she sensible? - A.
Q. What did she say? - A.
She said to me, "My dear neighbour, come to
Q. What did you say? - A.
I said. "I will in a minute, dear, but I am
afraid he is after me." I then went in and
locked my door for a few minutes, for I was
afraid he was after me. Finding he did not come,
I went and led her into my house. She sat a few
minutes and then said "Lead me into my house,
dear, for I shall die." She also said, "Oh I my
poor back and head, what shall I do, dear?" I
then led her into her house, and sat her in the
chair, after which she walked across the other
side of the room. Shortly afterwards I was
taking her husband's cushion away, and she said,
"Don't, perhaps he'll come in in a minute; she
also said, "Where's my dear old man?" I did not
like to tell her he was dead, although I knew he
was, for I had been and looked.
Q. When did you go and
look at him? - A. Directly I had led his wife
into her house. She asked me several times where
he was and asked me if he was dead. I did not
like to tell her and merely said, "He is
Q. When did she die? - A.
In about two hours - at nine by their clock, but
that might be a little too fast.
Q. Did she say anything
about Tommy? - A. No, she asked me "Who has done
this to me?" and I said, "Tommy;" upon which she
said, "Well, I don't think he knew it,
The CORONER. I don't
suppose the woman knew what she was saying, for
she had previously said, "You'll kill me
Supt. Daunt suggested that
witness should be asked whether any one else was
seen about the premises that morning.
The CORONER did not think
it was important at present.
Mr. JONES concurred,
remarking that witness actually saw the injuries
Witness was proceeding to
state that she afterwards heard children in her
house, but the Coroner said he could not take it
from her as she did not see it
Mr. JONES said there was a
witness present who saw that, and who also saw
the man knock deceased about with the
Supt. Daunt. Yes, a very
intelligent little girl.
Emma Campin aged 11 years,
and grand-daughter of the last witness, with
whom she lives, deposed - I was in my
grandmother's house on Saturday morning about
seven o'clock and was looking out of the window
while my grandmother was away. I saw Thomas
Johnson knock his father and mother about with a
shovel on the head and shoulders, he kept going
backwards and forwards to them. I saw him go
from one to the other six times. The old
gentleman was in the ashpit at that time. He
kept going backwards and forwards, striking them
each time with the shovel.
The CORONER. A wonderful
thing that after this, the woman should have
lived so long.
Mr. JONES. Yes, it is most
Witness (continuing). He
then went and got the poker, and came and broke
the grandmother's windows, and said he would
kill us. We all ran upstairs.
Q. What did he say? - A.
He said he would kill all of us in the house.
(There were two other children in the
Q. Did you see what became
of him at last? - A. He then left the premises
with the poker on his shoulders and walked up
the road. I saw no more of him.
(Witness identified the
shovel, which was produced. There were some
blood stains on it, and a hair, which Sergt.
Raven said was from the female deceased's
blacksmith, Fordham, said - On the morning of
Saturday last I was sent for to go to the
deceased's cottage, and as I was going down from
the road about 7 o'clock, I met Thomas Johnson
whom I knew. He had a poker across his
Mr. JONES. The witness had
another man with him.
The CORONER. Who was
Q. Well, what happened? -
A. I stopped him.
Q. What for? Did you know
what he had been doing? A. Yes, I knew he had
killed his father, and pretty nearly his mother.
When I stopped him he asked me if I knew who he
was. I said I did. He told me then that he was
God Almighty, and said "Do you let me come
past." I let him go past; and he told me to
follow him, which I did. We had proceeded about
200 or 300 yards when he turned round and
attacked me, saying "I'll kill you." We had a
good tight tussle then to see which was
Q. Did he strike at you?
A. Yes, several times with the poker, and hit me
twice on the arm. I have the marks now. Sparkes,
I believe, was the first to close with him. We
eventually got him down, and strapped him up,
and brought him to this house.
The FOREMAN. Was the poker
broken in the struggle?
Witness. Yes; it was
straight when I first saw it, and I think it was
broken when he struck me on my stick. During the
struggle he said he had the power of the
Almighty, and was to kill all he met with. After
we got him down he prayed to us not to kill him.
He was afterwards conveyed to the Lexden and
Winstree Union at Stanway.
Richardson, stationed at Stanway, reported the
evidence given by him before the Magistrates on
Saturday, as to receiving the murderer into his
custody about half-past 11 o'clock in the
morning, at Stanway, and to the prisoner
admitting that he had killed his father and
mother. Witness added that he was with the
prisoner all day yesterday (Sunday), and the
poor fellow was quite mad. He attacked witness
during the day, and caused a bruise on the cheek
bone. His cry all day was that he was God
Mr. JONES said the
question as to the man's mind was one with which
this Jury had nothing to do.
The FOREMAN thought
nevertheless it would be well it should go forth
to the public.
Mr. JONES said what the
man said as to claiming to be the Almighty would
show the state of his mind.
Mr. Chas. Jack Worts,
surgeon, Fordham, said - I was called to see the
deceased on Saturday morning, about 8
oclock. I arrived there about half-past 8
oclock. I first saw the man, who was lying
in the dust bin on his right side with his head
bent forward. I examined the wounds, and found
the occipital and parietal bones were both
smashed. It appeared to have been done with the
edge of a shovel. There was also a gash on the
forehead. The brain was protruding from the
wound. There were other wounds, but they were
matted with blood and hair; and I did not
examine for fractures, as it would have been
impossible to tell the extent of the fractures
without a post-mortem examination. The injuries
to the occipital and parietal bones were
sufficient to account for death. On examining
the body of the woman, who, I was told, had only
died a very few minutes, I found a large gash
across the top part of the head, and the
posterior part was battered in. There were other
severe wounds about the head, but I did not
examine for fractures. The wounds were covered
The CORONER remarked that
they might have been washed.
Mr. Worts said he knew the
woman was dead, and supposing the murderer to be
still at large, and fearing least he might do
further mischief, he went in search of him, and
found that he had been captured.
In reply to further
questions, witness said there were other wounds
on the head of a severe character, and he
attributed death to compression of the brain,
the result of the fracture.
The CORONER. Dont
you think it marvellous the poor woman lived so
Mr. Worts said it was
marvellous, but he explained, medically, how it
might happen that she lived so long.
It was not considered
necessary to call any further
The CORONER briefly summed
up. He said he thought there could be little or
no doubt that the unfortunate victims died from
injuries inflicted by their son, the prisoner
Thomas Johnson, and not only was there direct
and positive evidence to point to that
conclusion, but there was the mans own
confession, and under those circumstances he
apprehended they could only come to one
conclusion, that the man was guilty of wilful
murder. There was every reason to believe that
the murderer was in a state of mental
aberration, but the state of his mind was not
for them to inquire into, that being a matter
which would be sifted and decided upon at
another place. He thought no further
observations were required from him, and if the
Jury were satisfied with the evidence, it would
be their duty to return a verdict of wilful
murder against Thomas Johnson.
After a very brief
consultation, the Foreman said the Jury had not
the slightest hesitation in bringing in that
The CORONER. You could not
return any other.
The inquisition was then
formally made set by the Coroner, and the
witnesses were bound over to appear against the
prisoner at the Assize.
At the conclusion of the
inquiry the Rev. T. L. Lingham, Foreman of the
Jury, said it had been suggested to him by one
of the Reporters, and he thought the suggestion
was one which would meet with general
approbation, that considering the circumstances
in which the witness Mrs. Mills was placed, the
Jury might show their practical sympathy with
her, in her great domestic affliction, by making
a subscription on her behalf. She had recently
lost two daughters by death, and one of them had
left four orphan children, all of whom were
dependent upon her for support. He should be
happy to head the list with a sovereign, and
also to receive subscriptions from any gentleman
who might feel disposed to assist
This suggestion was warmly
taken up by the Jury and others in the room, and
in the result about £3 was collected for
the poor woman, which we have no doubt will be
still further increased by the contributions of
many who were not present.
Examination before the
On Wednesday, at noon, the
prisoner Thomas Johnson, was again brought
before the County Magistrates at the Town Hall,
Colchester, for further examination. There were
upon the Bench, P. O. Papillon, Esq., Chairman,
C. R. Bree, M. D., H. R. Edwards, E. Roberts,
and C. H. Hawkins, Esqrs. Admiral McHardy,
Chief-Constable of the County, and
Superintendent Daunt, were present during the
inquiry and considerable interest was manifested
in the proceedings, although, from the excellent
arrangements of the police the Court was not at
any time crowded.
The prisoner was brought
to the Court in a cab shortly after half-past
eleven, and a large crowd had collected outside
to witness his arrival. The poor fellow, who was
seated during the examination, presented a much
more wild appearance, than when brought before
the Magistrates on Saturday, shortly after
committing the deed, and he was carefully
guarded by two constables.
Mrs. Mills, the neighbour
of the deceased people, repeated the evidence
given by her before the Coroner, as to
witnessing the prisoner killing his parents.
During her examination, and also that of the
other witnesses, he manifested unmistakable
signs of religious mania and madness. Upon Mrs.
Mills saying that the last she heard of prisoner
before the dreadful occurrence was on Friday
evening, he remarked That was when God
first called that has been playing the
harp; her mother is risen from the
dead; and subsequently he stated that he
had told his parents years ago that he should
kill them, and accused Mrs. Mills of having
taken his inside out; and he also made other
In reply to the CHAIRMAN,
witness said that before the prisoner was sent
to the Union, in January, she several times
heard him threaten to kill his parents, but she
did not hear him threaten them after he came out
in February - he had been very good and quiet
since then; he was at his parents house
for about five weeks, but was away last
Wednesday and Thursday; he seemed very quiet and
comfortable after he came from the
Dr. BREE asked witness if
prisoner was given to drinking
Witness said he was not. A
steadier or kinder man never existed.
To the CHAIRMAN. He had
not done any work since he came out of the
Union. He appeared to be quite comfortable after
he came from the Union until the Saturday
The CHAIRMAN told prisoner
he could now ask Mrs. Mills any questions he
liked upon her evidence.
Prisoner. Have you
anything to say about me, Mrs. Mills.
Witness. No, Tommy,
nothing more than I have already said; you have
always been a good child to your poor old
people, and they have been good parents to
Prisoner. Not so very kind
the latter part of the time. What did they
bewitch me for?
Witness. I dont know
The CHAIRMAN. Any more
Prisoner. I have not much
to say. I believe what she says is very right
and very true.
Emma Campin, aged 11,
granddaughter of the last witness, who saw the
deed committed, also repeated the evidence given
by her before the Coroner in corroboration; and
added that previously to his being sent to the
Stanway Union in January, she heard him threaten
to set fire to his fathers
Prisoner, on being asked
the question, said he had no mind to ask this
witness any questions; and almost immediately
afterwards he looked up to the gallery above him
and shouted out several times Praise Him
ye noble army of martyrs; praise Him; praise
blacksmith, Fordham, who, with another man named
Jonathan Sparkes, apprehended the prisoner
immediately after the murder, was the next
witness, his evidence being the same as he gave
on Monday. In the course of his evidence,
prisoner said to him, with reference to his
having told him he was Almighty God. You
did not know that, did you? He also made
several ejaculations, such as It shall be
done! Now is the time to serve the
In answer to the CHAIRMAN,
witness said he knew the prisoner, but had never
heard him threaten his parents.
The CHAIRMAN. Have they
Witness. Yes, as far as I
know. I never knew anything
The CHAIRMAN. Would you
like to ask this witness any questions,
Prisoner. No; I have
nothing to say. All I confess is Guilty-Guilty,
my Lord. Nothing else to say.
In reply to a question,
Partridge stated that the poker which he took
from prisoner was broken in the scuffle with
Prisoner. Thats a
lie. What do you tell that lie for? I will bind
you hand and foot, and cut your head off. The
poker was not broken in the struggle-it was
broken at home.
The evidence of
Police-constable Richardson (who received
prisoner into custody at Stanway Union), taken
last Saturday, was read over; and prisoner said
he had nothing to ask him.
Mr. C. J. Worts, surgeon,
who was called to the deceased, again described
the nature of the injuries, which he said were
evidently inflicted by such weapons as a poker
and a spade, and were more than sufficient to
account for death in both cases. Witness was
speaking of the time when he arrived at the
scene (about nine oclock), when prisoner
interrupted him, and said it was seven
The CHAIRMAN explained
that the witness was not speaking of the time
when, as he (prisoner) said, he did the
Prisoner. Yes, he is.
Dont tell a lie; hold your tongue; I am
not going to have my fathers name
blasphemed, but will fight up to my knees in
blood for him; I will slay them one at a time,
and spear them; Ill put a ring through
your nose, and you shall have a six and fifty on
you; Ill bore it myself.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you wish
to ask Mr. Worts any question?
Prisoner. No, I have no
mind to ask him anything. (To Mr. Worts). You
old scamp; get down; what did you do to my head?
You withered it didnt you; get
The CHAIRMAN asked
prisoner to keep himself quiet for a few
Prisoner. Who are you.
Its old Papillon from from Lexden; I don't
fear you; I shall do God's justice.
CHAIRMAN. That is quite right; then you will
keep quiet; that will be one way of doing
Prisoner. I shall when I
like; I shall not be ruled by you; I shall talk
as long as I like, and you can help yourself.
Well see if my power is not the
produced the spade and poker with which the
blows were inflicted, and which had been
identified by the previous witnesses.
Mr. Worts, re-called
stated, in reply to the Bench, that he had known
prisoner for two years, and had attended him
professionally. His physical health had been
good, and his mental condition also, so far as
he knew, up to about the 13th January last. He
always, however, appeared a little
The CHAIRMAN. You have
known him for two years, and he always appeared
a little strange, but you never noticed anything
particular until the 13th January.
Witness. I never noticed
anything particular until that time.
The CHAIRMAN. And what did
you observe then?
Witness. I was sent for
about him as he had gone away.
The CHAIRMAN. You say
there was a slight strangeness about him, do you
The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean
strangeness of look or expression?
Witness. Strangeness of
look and manner; a restlessness of the eyes. I
account for this by the fact of his having had a
Dr. BREE. When?
Witness. About four years
ago I think. I heard this from his mother or
father, and he also told me so himself. On the
13th January I was sent for about prisoner
because he had torn up his mothers
petticoat and threatened her, and he had also
gone away and was missing. I told Mr. Oliver
Bull, the Overseer, to find him up and he was
found the same day, having, I believe, come from
London. I saw him at the Horse Shoes Inn, Mr.
Bulls house. He was then in a wild and
insane state, and I ordered him to be kept under
supervision that night and to be removed to a
place of safety next morning.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you see
him next morning?
Witness. No, on my going
to Mr. Bulls I found he had been taken to
The CHAIRMAN. When you saw
him the previous night, was he in a state that
you could talk to him?
Witness. He was very much
in the same state as he is now. Not quite so
Prisoner. My health has
not been good. I was right enough in my mind.
They took and forced me into the Union, and
after they got me there they took out my
Mr. JONES. You dont
wish to ask Mr. Worts any question?
Prisoner. No, thats
quite right so far. So far so good.
Mr. Alfred Gosling,
Deputy-Master at the Lexden and Winstree Union
Workhouse at Stanway, said - On the 14th January
last prisoner was brought into the House by Mr.
Bull. He was then in a great state of
excitement, but nothing like what he is now. He
was placed in one of the sick wards with three
or four other sick persons, and he remained
there till the 2nd February.
The CHAIRMAN. Was he
Witness. Yes, by the
orders and wishes of Mr. Laver, the House
Surgeon, and by the wishes of his mother and
Mr. HAWKINS. You say by
direction of Mr. Laver?
Witness. Yes he got quite
The CHAIRMAN. Did he leave
with his father or mother?
Witness. No; he started
out with a man who was going on an errand to
The CHAIRMAN. When he left
was he quite convalescent?
Witness. Yes, quite
capable of taking care of himself, and he could
converse on any subject.
The CLERK (Mr. Jones). Was
he discharged or did he go out on
Witness. He was
discharged; having recovered from his excited
state. His conduct and demeanour was then quite
proper and rational, and had been for quite a
The CHAIRMAN. During the
time he was an inmate of the Union, did you over
hear him make use of any expression as to his
father or mother?
Witness. None at all, only
in the kindest of terms.
The CLERK. Where you there
when he was brought to the Union on Saturday
The CLERK. Did he say
anything about the old people then?
Witness. No, not at first;
but after I had heard from Mr. Bull what he had
done, I asked him if it was true that he had
killed his father and mother, and he said "Yes,
it is quite true, and it is a bad
The CHAIRMAN. Even at that
time you did not hear him say anything against
Witness. No not at
The CHAIRMAN. Did he seem
quiet and calm when he came in?
Witness. Yes, quite quiet.
I asked him how he felt the previous night, and
how he could account for it? And he said, "I
went to bed and had a fair night's rest; I got
up this morning, and wanted to go up the road to
see Esther Bull. I think my parents did not like
me to go - I believe they tried to stop me. Then
a sudden feeling came over me, and I thought I
was the Almighty." Hav- said this, he rose from
his seat in a state of great excitement, and
said, "And I fancy you are the Almighty." That
was the only excitement I noticed in him on
Saturday. He did not say anything further then,
and I made a prisoner of him. I afterwards asked
him which he attacked first, and he said that he
killed his father first. I sent for
Police-constable Richardson, and handed prisoner
over to him.
Prisoner, in reply to the
usual questions, said he had no mind to ask the
witness any questions. He added, "He seems to be
the one, he is crying so, and I like a crying
No further evidence was
called, and the prisoner was then formally
charged with the murder, and asked if he wished
to make any statement.
Prisoner. It is quite
true. I want to destroy the Devil's kingdom and
to build up God Almighty's. Do you wish me to
say any ore? I am He, and here is my father
(nodding to Inspector Lennon) who is witness to
While the Clerk was taking
down this statement, which be afterwards signed,
prisoner continued making some strange and
The CHAIRMAN then informed
him that he would be sent to Springfield Goal to
await his trial for the murder at the next
Prisoner. Oh, the Assizes.
When do they commence? In March, I
The CHAIRMAN. No, in
Prisoner. Oh, I thought it
was in March. Don't tell me any lies. You are a
He was continuing in this
strain, when the Constables spoke to and quieted
The witnesses were then
bound over to appear at the assize, and prisoner
was at pace conveyed in a cab to the Railway
Station, and thence to Chelmsford by the 2.14