Newgate Calendar - JOSEPH RICHARDS

JOSEPH RICHARDS

A Most Ungrateful and Barbarous Villain, Executed at Kentish Town, near London, February 27, 1786, for Murder

            THE excellent fable of the husbandman who took the adder from the snow, and fostered it in his bosom, until the treacherous reptile, gaining warmth and strength, stung his benefactor, is, in this case, fully verified. The young wretch acted the fatal part of the adder, by murdering his kind and indulgent protector. May we never again have to record such dreadful and unheard-of ingratitude!

            Walter Horseman, a milkman, at Kentish Town, several years before took pity on a poor orphan boy, who was half starved, for the want of both food and raiment. He was put to do such services for his kind protector, as were fitting to his years, but he did not appear to possess any sense of gratitude. At length his behaviour growing from bad to worse, Mr. Horseman turned him away.

            In revenge, the remorseless wretch entered the house of his late employer, in the dead hour of night, and arming himself with an iron window-bar, he advanced to his chamber, where he slept with his little daughter, of four years of age, by his side; and, shocking to relate, beat him about the head, until his skull was split asunder, and one of his eyes beat out; and then made his escape. Mr. Horseman's wife, with a sick child, was on the next floor; and his son, two men, and a boy, on the same floor where the murder was committed. In this most dreadful state the miserable man lingered eight days before death came to his relief. So inhuman a murderer could not long find shelter—the fell deed was done on the 11th of February, and he was hanged near the spot on the 27th, at eighteen years of age, amid the execrations of a multitude of spectators.

 

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