British Executions

John Barnes

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 13 Oct 1708

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


John Barnes , of St. Pauls Shadwell , Labourer , was Indicted for the Murder of Ann Edgsbrook , by giving her one mortal Wound on the Throat with a Knife, on the 9th of September last, of which she instantly dyed . It appeared by the Evidence, that the Prisoner came to the Deceased's House on the 7th of September last, and lay there that Night, that the next Morning one Mrs. Vineyard a Lodger of the Deceased's went to London, and left the Prisoner, the Deceased, and a Mantua maker drinking together; and returning home about 6 at Night, she knock'd at the Door, but could make no Body hear; that she went to a Neighbours and came again about 9 a Clock, at which time she found the Door hall open, and the Prisoner a Bed upon the Ground-Floor, who call'd out and told her his Landlady was not at home; upon which she with a little Girl, went to Bed in a Room above Stairs, and left the Door open that the Deceased might come in. That about 8 the next Morning she went down, and found the Door fast shut, but the Deceased was not to be found; that she call'd in a Neighbour, and went into the Room where the Prisoner lay, and found him lying upon his left Side snoaring, and his right Hand out of Bed all Bloody. The Evidence further deposed, that throwing down the Bedcloaths his Throat was observ'd to be Cut, but the Wound not dangerous, his Shirt-Sleeves were tuck'd up and his Arm Wounded, but his Sleeve that cover'd the Wound was not cut; a bloody Knife was found in the Bed, and prov'd to be the Deceased's, his Breeches were found under the Bed, and under them a Pole-Ax: The Witnesses suspecting that the Prisoner had murdered the Deceased, they searched the House and could not find her; they then went into the Yard to search for her, where they found her in a Shed belonging to the House, with her Throat cut from Ear to Ear; her Stomach cut down throughout like a Sheep, and her Bowels and Heart taken out and put into a Tub; that upon searching her Head, a hole

was discover'd which exactly filled the blunt part of the Pole-Ax; a Case Knife that belong'd to the Deceased was likewise found under her. It did not appear that any of the Deceased's Goods were taken out of the House, and the Door being fast in the Morning, the Murder could not be committed by any without Doors. The Prisoner in his Defence, said he knew nothing of the Murder. Being ask'd, how his Throat came to be cut? he answer'd, That about 12 at Night a black Man did it, and that himself was much in Drink, and could not remember well how it came. The Evidence prov'd that his Cloaths were not Bloody; and he produc'd divers to his Reputation, who gave him a very good Character. But the Circumstances of his Shirt Sleeves being tuck'd up, and his Hands all Bloody; of the bloody Knife being found in his Bed, and the Pole-Ax which knock'd her down found under it; of no Body but himself (except Vineyard and the Child) being all Night in the House; of the Door being left a-jar when Vineyard came in, and fast lock'd and bolted when she arose: All these Circumstances concurring against the Prisoner the Jury found him Guilty .

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 6.0, 10 October 2011), October 1708, trial of John Barnes (t17081013-19).