OR, A brief and true Relation of three No­torious Murthers, committed by three Bloud-thirsty men, 2. upon their own Wives.

The one was done in the County of Kent, in the Isle of Tenet, Decemb. last.

The other was done at Islington, neere unto London, this present year, 1653.

The third was done upon a Major in Coven-Garden neere London.

Arthur Knight and Thomas Laret was exe­cuted, March 2. 1653.

This Coppy was drawn up on purpose to give the world satisfaction, whereby to know in what manner the mur­ders was committed: Being the very truth, and no more but the truth.

Printed for W. Gilbertson, at the signe of the Bible in Gilt-spur-street, without New-gate, 1653.

A Note of the Names of those that were hanged.

HEnry Atkinson for picking a pock­et of three shillings. Thomas Mor­ral for severall burglaries. Richard Dove, and John Cony for Robbing the Nor­wich Post. William Silver for burglary. Thomas Hanscombe for burglary. Ro­b [...]rt Woodstock for burglary, Robert Keyes for wives and Linnen. Silvester Stanbridge for Robbing a Majors house neere VVatford, and for other burgla­ries.

To the Readers and Hearers.

THat Conscience is fled, and Promises broken, is a thing that is too well knowne in these our froward and distracted times, as it may appeare by these three unhumane Murtherers, which made slaughter of their Lawfull wedded Wives.

The manner whereof shall directly be here Related, to the end that all Despe­rate, Dangerous, and Hasty spirited Men may take a speciall care by these Examples, that through the Temptati­ons of the Divell, they fall not into the like relapse.

So with my Prayers to Almighty God for all Men that will endeavour to serve the Lord, and keepe the Feare of God before their Eyes,

I remaine your Friend, Laurence Price. and so goe forward with my wofull Discourse.

Here followeth a brief and true Relation of one Master Spralling an Esquire, who lived in KENT.

THE World is come to such a passe, that many men make it their common practise and daily pastime to run headlong into the pitfall of mischiefe: some delights in swearing, some in whoreing, some in drunkennesse. some into o [...]e si [...]e, [...] some into others: and some there be that are become so bloudy minded, that they make no more conscience to kill a Neighbour, a Brother, or a wife, then they do to kill a dumb Beast or a Dog: As this sad [...]xample makes manifest.

How that in the County of Kent in the Isle of Tenet, in the Parrish which is called the Town of Saint Lawrance: there lived a welthy Esquire called-Master Spratling by name, who delighted much in keeping of Dogs for his pleasure.

And as it is supposed, be loved his Dogs better then he loved his wife: and many times would wrangle and fall out about his Dogs, who in his rage and fury, there was none that could pacifie his wrath so wel as his wife could doe.

One night amongst the rest, being Satur­day at night, December last 11. 1653. This Master Spratling came home in a madding rage, and finding so much fault about his dogs, that no one could tell how to qualifie his anger, in so much, that he made them all afraid that came neere him: at last his loving wise, with kind peswastons, came unto him and desired of him that he would be pleased to pray unto the Lord, and call upon him for mercy, and that he would forbeare to sweare and to curse; whereby he offended his Maker, and wronged his own soule.

But the more she sought to perswade him the worse he was, so swearing and calling his wife many ill names: said that he would be her butcher before the morrow morning: and there withall charged his man that was then present witch them, to kéep his wife in hold till he went forth to unloose a point and came to them again: for said he to his man, if thou let her goe, I will presenily be the death of thee

The young man fearing what his Master would doe to him if he let his Mistris goe, [Page 7] kept her in the roome where she was, til such time that his Master had bin forth and come in again, and this is the truth of the matter that he brought a Cord and a Cleaver with him, and so he bound his man hands and féet and cast him unon the ground.

His Wife séeing that, ran spéedily to the Dore, and laying her hand on the Latch, thought to get out of the Roome and scape away, but he quickly stopt her pas [...]age, and with his Cleaver gave her such a Chop, that he had almost cut off her hand at the first blow. whereat his wife with much patience spoke to him and gave him never a bad word, but praid him that he would be so good as to let her fetch a Chirurgeon to cure Her Wound and all things should be well: No said he, [...] can cure you my selfe; And with that word he gave her such a terrible stroke with the Cleaver, that be clove her head asunder; when he bad cut her, and mortifyed her, that the like was never séen, and that her bloud ran all about the Roome: he took a Vessell which he had, and laded up the Bloud of his Wife, and put it in the Vessell. After that he went into another Roome where his Dogs were, who when they had smelt the sent of the bloud, they fell a bawling and barking at him in a most wonderous sort, as if they had been sensible of the Barbarous murther which he had done to his wife.

But to make short dispatch, he kild all his Dogs, and threw the Carkase of his dead Wife amongst his dead Dogs: then he took his Dogs blould and mingled it with his Wifes bloud, and went to the young man which lay bound, and washt his face and his owne hands in the bloud, and sprinkled bloud upon the walls, and upon every thing that was in the Roome: when he had so done, he unbound his Man, and told him that he had given him his life.

Last of all, he tooke his Cleaver in one hand a Pistol charged, and so stood on his Guard all day on Sunday, till such time that the Deputy of the Island came and disarmed him, and brought him to Sandw [...]tch Prison, where he now remameth: His Daug [...]ter and other Servants which were in the House where he murthered his Wife, had o [...]kt up themselves in another Roome, and by that meanes they savd their Lives through Gods Mercy.

Now since Master Spratling hath beene in the Prison in Sandwitch Goale some cer­taine people that are of his acquaintance, have been to talke and discourse with him: where as one asking him whether he was not sorry for that he had so bloudily murthered his Wife; He answered, that if it were to doe againe he would doe it: and all that he was sorry for, was because he had kild no [Page 9] more of them.

The Lord in mercy grant that all Men that goes by the name of Christians, may be­have themselves as Christans oft to doe, so that they may not take delight in spilling in­nocent bloud,


Here followeth another bloudy Example, which is full as bad or worse then that which was done in KENT.

IN the Parrish of Islington néere unto London there dwelt a man whose name was Thomas [...] Laret a Carpenter by Trade, he having marryed a [...]ise which was known to be a very honest woman, and one that laboured and took great paines for her living, and oftertimes would put the money in his hand that she got about at good [Page 10] mens Houses by scowring, and washing and such like labours, yet he vild wretch would beat her, and kick her, and pinch her, and beat her with his fists about the head, so that many times when he came home in his divellish fits, he would beat her with Staffe, or Club, or any thing the that came next to his hand, till he had made her all of a gore bloud.

His commen course of life was to dominéer and vapour in all houses to Swagger, drink, roare and fight, and would curse and sweare, as if be would teare down the Heavens, and when he had brought himselfe out of quiet, he would come home and abuse his poore Wife in such a horrible manner, shat it would make a cender heart to bleed, to thinke of the Tor­ments that the poore Creature [...]dures: and although that many times his honest Neigh­bours would, and did gently and méekly chide him, and give good Counsel, he would sweare and curse at them, and deale the worse with her: Saying, if he cripled her, he must keep her, if he kild her, he must be hang [...]d for her: with these and many such unreasonable un­seasonable answers, he would send them pack­ing.

But now behold what after came to passe? the poore woman which is here spoken off, having been amongst some of her friends, and received some small parsell of money for work which she had done, and hoping to please her [Page 11] froward Husband, she bought a Sheeps head to make him some Pottage against he came home but all that she did or could doe, could not prebaile, for he having been amongst same of his back Companions, came home in a desperrts rage, idtending to kill his wife, and taking a Stoole in his hand, he struck her on the head till she fell to the ground: then drawing forth a Toole out of his Case, which was like unto a Knife, he stab'd and gave her many deadly wouds, whilst she cry'd out in this mournfull manner, saying, good Hus­band doe not kill me, I pray you spare my life, even for the Lords sake, consider déere Husband that I am with Child, and not a­bove sixe weeks to goe of my time, and thére­fore I pray you if you will not spare me for my ore sake, yet spare me for your Childes sake which is in my wombe, yet nothing could move the mercilesse Villaine to remorse, he never left stabing and striking till he had wounded her to death: one of the Neighbors that dwelt next to the place stood at the win­dow whilst he was beating his wife, and hear­ing her make a pitifull moane, durst not goe into the house, but cal'd to him as she stood and bad him not to kill his wise, but he gave her such a villanous answer which made her runne away for feare he should kill her also.

A his was done on wednesday morning, Ianua [...]y 12. the next morning he went to buy [Page 12] her a Coffin, thinking to bury his Wife with spéed, and so to colour the matter that his Villany should not be known: But before he could bring the businesse to passe, he was by meanes of the Wom [...]n that heard her cry, and another of the Nesghbors taken and brough before the Iustice of the Peace.

And being examined the was by the Cvi­dence found guilty and was sent by Order of Law unto Newgate Prison, there to re­maine till the next Sessions: For its thought that others that had a hand in the murthering of the Woman shall then come to try all with him.

And now to conclude, the Woman that was murthered had above thirty grievous wounds and stobs in her B [...]y, some in the Head, and Neck some in the [...]ides, and un­der the Arme pits some throug the Bowe [...]s, and Secret part. The like Villa [...]ous Act, all them that saw it, said that they never saw the like before.

That this is true, there néed no further witnesse, for there went more then a thousand people out of London to behold the Corps of the murthered Woman before she was bu­ried. The Lord send all honest Women bet­ter Husbands.

Thus have I laid open to the view of the world, such matters of Murder, that if it were not too wel known to be true, and that [Page 13] it was done so néere at hand it would never be believed.

It is said that since the time was limited, that every one might use their own conscience, that it is lawful for every one to doe as they list: but those things are contrary carryed: for all though there be liberty of Conscience allowed in some matters, there is no liberty alowed to doe Murther.

And although the Divel hath taught his Deciples such a Lesson that they care not who they kill, yet Gods word saith plainly, thou shalt doe no murther.

And now & would have all wilfull and de­sperate men and women to feare God and take heed what they doe. For if a man have the Conscience to kil his wife: or if a woman have no more conscience but to kil her Hus­band, the Law wil procéed against them: and whosoever kils his VVife shall be hanged for his wife: and although these two vile VVr [...]ches have not as yet had their ful try­all. yet certainly they are kept fast in Prison till such time that their triall is to be acted, and then no doubt but they shall be sure to have their desert: and it is verily supposed that one-of them, if not both is to be hangd in Chaines, God give them grace to call for Mercy, and to repent them of their evill Actions.

And now to draw to a concluston, I leave it to the discretion of all consciencious people to iudge of the matter, whether it be fitting [Page] for any man to goe abroad and make himselfe drunke amongst evill and perverse compani­ons, and afterwards come home in an antick humor and call his wife whore and bi [...]ch, to sweare and to curse, to kick and to spurne, to cut, strike or stab his harmelesse wife, as tis known that Thomas Laret did oftentimes doe.

It is written in the second Chapter of the Book of Genesis, that a man for that cause shall forsake both his Father and Mother, and all other Friends and Kindred and cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh, Gen. 2.23, 24.

I hope there is no man nor woman that is called by the name and title of a Christian, so wicked as to thinke the word of God not to be true: moroo [...]er, if we believé Gods Word to be true, that a man and his wife when they are marryed together are termed to be both one flesh: what man will be so wicked as to strike, and beate, and ban, and curse his own flesh which is his lawful & absolute wife: again, what woman, if she beliedes in God wil goe about to wrong her Husband, and to be an of­fence to him whom she oft to be a helper, Gen. 3.

But this which is here set downe is printed to the end for Men and Women not onely to heare it and looke upon, but also to consider of, and to conclude with the old Proverbe, happe are they that can take warning by other folks harmes.

Thomas Laret for murther [...] of his wife was a judgd to be hanged on a gibbet at Isling­ton neer unto the place wherere he did the murther.

Here followeth another bloudy murder com­mitted on the body of Maior Furnifall a gentleman of good rank and quality

A worthy gentleman of good account cald by the name of Maior Furnifall which had formerly been a Commander in the wars, in which time he behav'd himself so well, that he gaind the love of all sorts of people, as wellin the City as the Country, and wheresoever he came be had a diligent care that his souldi­ers should do no wrong: yet we may sée that the best of us all can no ways prevent danger: but by heavenly providence, as may appeare by this gentleman here spoken of, for one day he having been merry with some of his friends, his chance was to light on two of his mortall enemies, being brothers in wickednes for they met with Maior Furnifall, saluted him so they betrayd him with saying, God save you noble sir, and after their false friendship, they desired his company to drink a cup of Wine or Béere: which Maior Furnifall consented unto so they went all thrée together into a Cooks house to drink, which house is in Rus­sel-street in Coven-Garden next unto the rose Tavern, the Cook and his Wife are known to be very honest people, and have the good will and love of all their neighbors, the name of the Cook is Edward Bowers: the two bro­thers which are here spoken of, one of their names was Arthor Knight, and the other his [Page 16] his name was Thomas Knight, they having gotten the Maior in a room alone, without any one to [...]d or assist him, Thomas Knight held fast the Chamber doore whilst his brother Ar­thor Knight in a most bloudy manner ful up­on the Maior and wounded him with his knife, stabd him in severall places, cu [...] h [...] nose in a most grievous manner, and hauling of him down stamp upon with his feet till he left him for almost dead, which having done, took the money out of his pocket and so run forth into the street swe [...]ring god d [...]mme, that now they were throughly revenged, the Cook when he saw what was done, followed after them thinking to have staid them, Ar­thur Knight began to draw his Sword, and swoore he would do [...] as much to him, where­upon the Cook manfully ran to him and took a Weapon, and by that meanes he escaped with life, so the Cooks wife being a good spiri­rited woman, ventured her life in her Hus­bands behalfe, and held one of the Brothers or else her husband might have lost his life. But to conclude the Gentleman dyed with the wounds and bruses which they had given him, one of the Brothers is fled and gone, the other by order of Law condemnd to dye, and to be hang [...]d upon a Gibbet néere unto the place where the Murther was committed: God in his mercy give all men grace to take heed what company they come into, for in these times a man can hardly tell who to trust.


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