IN the case of this gentleman, we have a shocking instance of the danger into which our passions lead us. A more unprovoked murder we cannot record. Mr. Plunket was a foreigner, born at Saar-Lewis, in the dutchy of Lorraine, and was the son of an Irish gentleman, who held the rank of colonel in the French service, and was related to Father Plunket, a priest, who was called the Primate of Ireland, and came to a fatal end in the year 1679. Young Plunket was made a lieutenant when he was only ten years of age, and served under his father in Flanders, Germany, and Italy. He was remarkably distinguished for his courage, having never exhibited the least sign of fear in all the engagements in which he was concerned.
Having been a while at Ostend, he came over to England with a gentleman named Reynard, having fled from that place on account of having murdered a man.
He was indicted at the Old Bailey, for the murder of Thomas Brown, by cutting his throat with a razor, on the 50th of August, 1714.
It appeared in the course of the evidence, that the prisoner lodged in the, parish of St. Anne, Soho, in the same house with the deceased, who being a peruke-maker by trade, Plunket bespoke a wig of him, which Brown finished, and asked seven pounds for it, but at length lowered his demand to six: Plunket bid him four pounds for it, but was so enraged at what he thought an exorbitant price, that he took up a razor, cut his throat, and then made his escape, but was apprehended on the following day.
As soon as the horrid deed was perpetrated, Brown came down stairs in a bloody condition, holding his hands to his throat, on which a surgeon was sent for, who dressed dressed his wounds, and gave him some cordials, by which he was so far recovered as to be able to describe the prisoner, who, he said, stood behind him, pulled back his head, and cut him twice on the throat.
It was proved that a sword and a pair of gloves belonging to the prisoner were found on a bed in the room where Brown was murdered; and Plunket having nothing material to urge in his defence, was found guilty, received sentence of death, and was executed at Tyburn, on the 22d of September, 1714.
He professed to die a Roman Catholic; and it was with the utmost difficulty that he was brought to confess the justice of the sentence in consequence of which he suffered.
[Note: It must be remembered, that at the commencement of the last century, when this foul deed was committed, young gentlemen wore enormous wigs. A hundred years reconciled them to their own hair, and the ladies alone now appear in wigs.]