Executed near Bromley, in Kent, 29th of July, 1796, for murdering a Dairymaid
JOHN CLARKE was gardener to Charles Long, Esq., near Bromley, in Kent, and at the Summer Assizes for 1796, at Maidstone, was indicted for the wilful murder of Elizabeth Mann, his fellow-servant, who lived as dairymaid with that gentleman.
The deceased was observed, a few days before she was murdered, to appear very much dejected, in consequence of the prisoner's not paying that attention to her which he was accustomed to do. The day on which she disappeared was a Monday, and on the Tuesday she was found by the steward and coachman in the dairy, with a deep wound in her throat and a cord fastened tight round her neck. From the intimacy which subsisted between the prisoner and her, their suspicions fell on him; in consequence of which two officers from Bow Street were sent for, who, on their arrival at Mr Long's house, went to the dairy, where, after a strict search, nothing was found that could possibly create a suspicion that the unfortunate young woman had been guilty of suicide.
They immediately took Clarke into custody. He denied knowing anything of the matter; but, in stating how he had been employed on the Monday evening on which the murder was perpetrated, he contradicted himself in his several relations.
A piece of rope was then produced, which had been found in the tool-house of the prisoner, which proved to be of the very same manufacture, texture and size as that found about the neck of the deceased.
The jury, after a short deliberation, found him guilty. He was ordered for execution, and his body afterwards to be dissected.