Reported On This Day 280 years ago (March 6 1739): Boy poisons to death his master, his master’s maid and dog

From the Belfast News Letter of February 23 1738, which is equivalent to March 6 1739 in the modern calendar. The new year did not begin until late March, and so December and January and February were all considered part of the same year

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 8:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 10:25 am
The front page of the Belfast News Letter of February 23 1738 (March 6 1739 in the modern calendar)

We hear from Staffordshire, that on Thursday last the Apprentice of Mr Plant, of Spott in that Country, was committed to the County Gaol for poisoning his Master.

There having been some Differences between them, on Account of the Boy’s being bound to serve to the Age of twenty four Years, his Master agreed to set him at Liberty when he was twenty-one, but thinking that Term too long, he put Poison into his Master’s Breakfast on Wednesday Morning last, who going out, the Servant Maid eat part of it, and finding it did not taste right, give the rest to the Dog: Upon which Disappointment, he repeated his Villainy the next Morning, and his Master eating of it cried out he was poisoned, and expir’d in great Agonies that Night; and on searching the Boy they found some Arsnick about him; and being carried before a Magistrate, he there confessed the Fact, and said he had no other Reason for doing it but to gain his Liberty, and behav’d with great Impudence, without any sort of Remorse.

We hear the Maid and Dog died on Sunday Night.

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The Remainder of the last two Packets. LONDON, February 10.

IT is certain that his Majesty will visit his German Dominions, this Summer, and that Lords Commissioners will be appointed to Govern this Kingdom in his Absence.

It is said that his Majesty takes this Journey to have an Interview with his Prussian Majesty, and to accommodate all Differences between the two Crowns; and that to strengthen their Friendship, a double Marriage is proposed between the two Courts.

His majesty will then have an Opportunity to reconcile Matters with the King of Denmark about the Affair of the Castle of Steinhorst, which is greatly wished may be amicably determined.

[King George I was a Hanoverian]

The Commons in a grand Committee on the Supply, resolved that 12,000 Seamen be employed in the Service of the current Year, and allow four Pound per Man per Month for their Maintenance, and this Day they reported Yesterday’s Resolution and agreed to it.

There is to be a Reduction of 8,000 Seamen.

We hear from Frankfort of the 29th past, that the Duke of Wirtemberg having withdrawn the Detachment of his Troops from the Garrison of Phillipsburgh, on Account of their being so ill paid and kept destitute of Necessaries, notwithtstanding his repeated Remonstrances: A Regiment of Foot was raised in the Country of Nienwied, to supply their Place, which is to be commanded by the Baron de Nierod, Privy Counsellor to the Count of that Name, known to have been very instrumental in bringing about the late Peace between the Emperor and the French King.

By this Day’s Holland Mail they advise from Dantzick of 6th Instant, that by their last Letters from Petersburg, the Imperial General, the Marquis de Botta, carried on his Negociations successfully with the Czarina’s Ministers on the Operations of the ensuing Campaign, that it is said the Czarina, considering the Difficulties the Poles make against the Russians passing on their Territories, had resolved to offer the Emperor a Sum of Money in lieu thereof; That Count Munich was not arrived at Petersburg when these Letters came away, having put off his Journey on Advice of the Tartars preparing for an Invasion into the Ukraine.

Yesterday the Rev. Mr. Whifield set out for Salisbury, Bath, Bristol, Glocester, Worcester, &c. in order to preach and collect Money for the Orphan House and Infirmary to be erected in the Colony of Georgia.

[George Whitfield, also spet Whitefield was an Anglican preacher who was one of the founders of Methodism with John and Charles Wesley]

On Tuesday about Noon the Footman of Mr. Marsh, an eminent Woollen-Draper at Aldgate, being in a high Fever hang’d himself in his Bed Chamber, in the Absence of the Nurse, who upon her Return found him dead with a violent Cut under his Chin, which is thought to be done with a Knife, in order to destroy himself that way.

On Thursday last a Woman was recommended to one of the Hospitals in Southwark in order to be admitted for a Dropsical Distemper, and the Case mentioned as very desperate; which last Consideration got her an easy Admittance; but soon after, she got rid of her Distemper [the end of this report missing]

We hear that Francis Lane, Esq; Member of Parliament for Tauntan in Somersetshire, succeeds Sir Charles Turner, Bart. as Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means in the House of Commons.