This most ungrateful and daring transaction, though no robbery was effected, we deem fitting a place in our Chronology, in order to caution people against admitting strangers into their houses, of equivocal character.
On the 24th of January, about eleven o'clock in the morning, Mr. Cator, an eminent attorney at law, in Lincoln's-Inn, was intruded upon by a man, who afterwards appeared to be one Nicholas Mallard, a Frenchman, who began a long story of his distresses, and prevailed upon Mr. Cator to give him a small sum of money. Still the object of his charity did not appear satisfied, upon which Mr. Cator, having at that time no clerk in his office, pretended he had business out, and must lock the chambers.
While turning for his hat, the infernal villain knocked him down, and with a stone, brought for the purpose, repeated the blows, with such sudden violence, as to render resistance in vain. Concluding him dead, the assassin began to rifle the chambers; but, while thus employed, the wounded man recovered his senses, and opening the window, soon raised the whole inn, in consequence of which the Frenchman was seized, in attempting to make his escape, though before that could be effected, he had almost reached the gates of the square.
No stolen property having been found upon the prisoner, and as he did not burglariously enter the chambers, Mr. Cator laid his indictment merely for the assault; though it is a matter of doubt, whether it would not have been held upon the black-act, which we have already explained.
He was sentenced to be imprisoned in Newgate for three years; a poor satisfaction to the prosecutor, who was beat about the head with such violence, as to have some of his teeth knocked out; and in many parts was badly wounded.