Convicted of a Conspiracy, of the Foulest Nature, at the Middlesex Sessions, and Sentenced to Imprisonment and the Pillory

            Convictions and punishments of this disgusting description we have hitherto excluded from our pages; nor should these monsters be named, were it not to introduce a witness of a novel description, who appeared in behalf of one of the prisoners. It may almost, indeed, be called a phenomenon in a court of criminal judicature.

            A Quaker appeared as a witness on behalf of the defendant Dudman, who submitted to be sworn on the Holy Evangelists, contrary to all the known rules of that religious body of men. The object of his testimony was to invalidate the evidence of the youth who prosecuted. The Quaker, whose name is Abraham Braithwaite, swore that he had a conversation with the prosecutor, in which he declared, that so far from the prisoner Dudman having deserved to be charged with so foul an offence, he always conducted himself towards him kindly and well, and he (the prosecutor) added, that he respected him exceedingly.

            On his cross-examination he was compelled (for he yielded with great reluctance to the pressing interrogatories of Mr. Alley, counsel for the prosecutor) to name the day when this conversation passed between him and the youth, and he said, some time between the 28th of October, and the 2nd of November; and being still further pressed to say why he fixed so accurately upon that precise period, he assigned, in the most solemn manner, as a reason, because on the 1st of November he had a letter, the subject of which enabled him to know that the conversation he alluded to with the prosecutor had taken place the day before, of course that it must have happened on the 31st of October. He was then desired to state to the court how, and from whom, he learned that there was any such charge made against the prisoner Dudman, and he replied, that he had heard it from a Mr. Ellis, where Dudman lodged.

            When he had finished his evidence, Mr. Ellis was called, at the instance of the Rev. H. B. Dudley, one of the magistrates, to ascertain whether he could confirm the account given by the Quaker; but, so far from that, he declared that he himself did not know of any such charge being made against Dudman; nor, in point of fact, was any charge made against him till the arrival in town of the prosecutor's brother, and that not till the 7th of November: of course the thing could not be known to the Quaker on the 31st of October. The jury, after some observations from the chair, found the defendants, to the satisfaction of a crowded court, guilty on both indictments; giving no kind of credit to the tale of the Quaker.

            The chairman, after expatiating on the foul and vile enormity of their crimes, sentenced them to two years' imprisonment, and, within the first month of that time, to stand one hour in the pillory; where the mob testified their execrations, by severely pelting them with the offal brought by butchers from Newgate and Fleet Markets.


Prev   Next