Reported On This Day 280 Years Ago (May 5 1739): Victim of barbarous murder was targeted by villains for his money

The Belfast News Letter of April 24 1739 (which is May 5 in the modern calendar)
The Belfast News Letter of April 24 1739 (which is May 5 in the modern calendar)

From the Belfast News Letter of April 24 1739 (which is May 5 in the modern calendar):

ENGLAND. Northampton, April 9.

On Wednesday last, between the Hours of eight and ten in the Evening, was committed the most inhuman and barbarous Murder and Robbery that has been known in the Memory of Man, on Richard Bromley, Butcher, of Weedon, in his Return from Daventry Market, in the High-street-Road, within a Quarter of a Mile from his own House, by some Ruffians, who, as is supposed, having first knock’d him off his Horse, fractured his Skull, cut his Head almost off, cut and stabb’d him in the Body in 16 Places, out of which ten were declared by the Surgeons to be mortal; his Hands and Face were cut and wounded in a miserable Manner, as we suppose, by endeavouring to save this Throat.

It is believed to be done by some neighbouring Villains that knew him, and that he was to have received a considerable Sum of Money, as well for a Note he had with him of 20l. to be paid that Day in Daventry, besides his Market Money, which was upwards of 6l. and in the Hurry to come at the Money, they cut off with his Pocket a Part of his Thigh.

The Villains afterwards fasten’d his Horse to a Hook near his own House.

[The total of £26 that the victim had on him is about £6,000 in today’s money]

LONDON, April 14.

On Thursday three Persons were convicted before the Hon. the Commissioners of Excise of having Quantities of dy’d Tea found in their Houses. The Penalty is 10l. Forfeiture for every Pound; and little enough too, the Villany of that Practice being rightly consider’d, where the Buyer is not only cheated of his Money, but robb’d of his Health also. [Note the spelling of villain in the top story includes a second letter ‘i’ whereas villany above is spelt without a second ‘i’. Spelling is often inconsistent in early News Letters, in part because the language was standardising.]

On Tuesday last while the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen were sitting at Guildhall, his Lordship receiv’d a Message from his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, signifying his Pleasure, that he and the Princess would be ready to receive the Compliments of the City, on account of the Birth of Prince Edward-Augustus, on Wednesday next at Norfolk-House; upon which his Lordship has ordered a Court of Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-Council-Men to be summon’d for Tuesday next, in order to acquaint the said Court with the above Message; when a loyal and dutiful Congratulatory Address will be agreed on, and presented by the whole body of Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council-Men, upon this happy Occasion.

There having been Errors in the Account given of the Christening of the new born Prince; this is to acquaint the Publick, that the Right Names of the young Prince are, EDWARD AUGUSTUS.

The Sponsors - The King of Prussia, The Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttle, The Dutchess of Saxe-Weissenfels.

The Proxies - His Grace the D. of Queensberry, Rt. Hon. the Marquis of Carnarvon, Rt. Hon. Lady Charlotte Edwin.

The Ceremony was perform’d last Wednesday Night, about Nine o’Clock, by the Bishop of Oxford. And on Thursday Night there was a very great Drawing Room at the said Court.

LONDON, April 14.

We hear from Gravesend, that on Tuesday last, Mr. Moore, Attorney, of King’s Head Court, Holborn, executed a Writ on one George Walton, a Waterman of that Town, who offer’d Bail, that Mr. Moore refused; however they sat down and drank till it was late; when Walton pressed him to accept of Bail, which the other still refused, he then suddenly pull’d out a Pistol, and presenting it said, There’s Bail for you that will do, and shot him thro’ the Head; after which he pull’d out another Pistol, and endeavour’d to make his Escape, but was secured and committed to Gaol.

[This is one of the first usages of the spelling gaol in the 1738/9 News Letters. Most times the spelling goal has been used]

We hear, that Methodical Madness rages still at Islington, notwithstanding this Cold Weather, and that a House is hired in the Lower-street, for the Disorder’d, and three Doctors are to attend four Days in a Week. [It is unclear why this outbreak is described as ‘methodical’ madness]