British Executions

John Tomkins

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 25 Feb 1717

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


John Tomkins , was indicted for the Murder of Judith Spoonly , the 26th of January last, by giving her a Mortal Wound with a Sword on the right side of her Belly, of the Breadth of 1 Inch, and the Depth of 7 Inches, of which she instantly died .

He was a second time indicted upon the Coroner's Inquest for the same.

He was likewise indicted a third time upon the Statute of Stabbing.

John Bean , Colonel Clayean 's Servant, deposed, That having been abroad, he came home, and met his Master and Lady in the Entry, who told him, they knew not what the Butler had done to the Cook, but she was in a very bad Condition, and that he was gone; whereupon he went into the Kitchen, and found the Deceased sitting on the Ground, supported by others ; that he saw no Blood; that she had Life, but could not speak ; but removing her to another Place, they saw some Blood, and being searched by a Maid, they found she was wounded in the Belly. He went immediately in quest of the Prisoner, and found him at his Brother's House in Short's-Gardens: That the Prisoner asked him if the Maid was dead, he (to get him to come along with him the more easily) told him No, he had only given her a slight Wound in the Thigh; whereupon the Prisoner came along with him; and enquiring the Reason of his doing the Fact, he said, the Deceased had given him provoking Language: When they came near the House, the People in the Street said the Maid was dead, upon hearing which he would have gotten away, but he secured him. The Coachman deposed, that he having been dressing his Hourses, came into the House for something he wanted, and was told by Elizabeth Parrot , that the Butler and Cook were quarrelling; but he said, he did not care to concern himself, and so went not in, till he heard the Deceased cry out Murther; and then running into the Kitchen, he saw the Prisoner patting a Sword into the Scabbord, and the Maid holding her Hand upon her Belly, but never spoke afterwards. Elizabeth Parrot deposed, that she heard the Prisoner swear at her, and lay, he would do her Business for her: That she went out on a Errand, and returned in the Space of a few Minutes, and she was dead. The surgeon deposed, that when he came, the Deceased was dead, and that he found a Wound in her Belly, which Wound was the Cause of her Death. The Prisoner in his Defence said, that she had given him very provoking Language, and was going to throw something at him; that he drew the Sword designing only to frighten her, intending only to run it between her Arm and Body, but she ran upon the Sword, and forced it into her Belly. Upon the whole, the Jury found him Guilty of all three Indictments.

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 6.0, 10 October 2011), February 1717, trial of John Tomkins (t17170227-33).