Newgate Calendar - WILLIAM ODELL, A SOLDIER, AND JOHN DEMPSEY, A SAILOR

WILLIAM ODELL, A SOLDIER, AND JOHN DEMPSEY, A SAILOR

Executed at Tyburn, September 15, 1760, for Murder

            WE find no particulars of the lives of these men; yet, the singularity of a soldier and a sailor, each dressed as when they served their country, being carried in the same cart, through the most public streets of London, to suffer an ignominious death, for the commission of the foulest of crimes, induces us to give a distinct head to their case. Their offence is certainly attended with every circumstance that can rouse our indignation at such inhuman, cowardly, deeds, as those for which they so justly suffered.

            A soldier, whose profession teaches him courage, and inculcates the principle of protection to the weaker sex, to barbarously turn the weapon entrusted to him to defend his country, upon his wife, is a dreadful reflection. Nor are we less mortified, in finding a British sailor, whose courage and generosity is proverbial, like a dastard assassin, and with a deadly weapon of the most diabolical construction, attack an unarmed man, and murder him.

            The name of this disgraceful soldier, was William Odell. It was proved upon his trial, and with much reluctance do we promulgate the heads of the evidence against him, that he first strangled his wife, then with his sword, cut her almost piecemeal; and then threw her mangled body in a clay-pit. John Dempsey, the sailor, was condemned for murdering John Perry, near Ratcliffe-highway, by striking him on the head with a large stick, through the end whereof was driven long nails, which penetrating the skull, proved instant death.

            The body of the soldier was delivered to the surgeons, for dissection; but that of the sailor was hung in chains, near Ealing.

 

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