House of Commons Journal Volume 6
21 August 1650

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1802

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'House of Commons Journal Volume 6: 21 August 1650', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 6: 1648-1651 (1802), pp. 456-457. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=25967 Date accessed: 18 September 2014.


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Die Mercurii, 21 Augusti, 1650.

Prayers.

Respited Criminals.

A LETTER from Henry Roll, Lord Chief Justice, and Robert Nicholas, one of the Justices of the Upper Bench, from Taunton, of the Fourteenth of August 1650; and a Certificate from them of the whole State of the Matter, and Cause of Condemning of Nicholas Westwood, Samuel Cowdry, and Walter Goff, at the last Assizes, in the County of Wiltes, were this Day read; viz.

IN Obedience to the Vote of the honourable Parliament, on Thursday the Twenty-fifth of July last; whereby we were required to certify the whole State of the Matter concerning the Condemning of Nicolas Westwood, Samuel Cowdry, and Walter Goffe, at the last Assizes held in the County of Wiltes, for the Murdering of one Joel Swettingham (a very honest Man, and had been a Soldier and Drummer in the Service of the Parliament), at the Town of the Devises, in the said County of Wiltes, and continued faithful unto the Parliament until his Death;

We humbly certify, that the Evidence appeared before us to be thus:

Respited Criminals.

"That the said Westwood, Cowdry, and Goff, amongst divers other Soldiers, and new-raised Men, for Ireland, were quartered at Cannyngs, some Two Miles from the Devises: And some of the said Soldiers coming to the Devises, some Three Days before the said Murder committed, and offering some Incivilities unto the People of the Town, they were questioned for it by the Constable and Officers of the said Town; and were detained in Custody for some time; but were the same Day released; and so went back to their Quarters at Cannyngs; and from thence, within a Day or two after, the said Soldiers removed their Quarters to Bromham, about Two Miles likewise distant from the said Town of the Devizes: And, the next Day, being the Day when the Murder was committed, the said Westwood, Cowdry, and Goff, amongst divers other Soldiers, came to the said Town of the Devises, and expressed some Dislike against the said Townsmen, for Imprisoning of some of their Company, the Day or Two before: And the said Goff, coming into the Mayor's Shop of the Devises, and talking with John Imber his Apprentice, cast out some Words of Dislike, concerning the Imprisoning of the Soldiers a Day or Two before; and then asked of the said Apprentice, whether there were not a fat Constable in the Town; meaning one Fitzell, a very honest Man, and who had been ever faithful to the Parliament: And the said Goff expressed himself to be much discontented with the said Constable, for Imprisoning of the Soldiers some Two Days before: Then, saying, That he would be revenged to the Death of the said Constable, calling the said Constable Rogue: And, shortly after, the same Day, the said Goff, meeting with one Thomas Street, a Youth of the Devises, asked the way to some Place in the Town: The said Street told him, He might go which way he would: And the said Goff presently drew his Sword, and run the said Street into the Thigh: Whereupon the said Street's Brother took the said Goff's Sword, and endeavoured to break it; but, could not: Yet he bended it very much: Whereupon the said Goff run after the said Street's Brother, with his Sword in his Hand: And, the said Street's Foot slipping, he fell: And the said Goff laid on the said Street with his Sword very much: Which some of the Townsmen seeing, came to rescue the said Street from Goff: Whereupon the said Goff, Westwood, and Cowdry, and Two or Three Soldiers more unknown, fell on the said Swettingham, who had nothing to do with them, being then Gathering up of Monies for the Rent of the Butcher's Shambles; and, having only a wooden Hilt of a Hatchet in his Hand, defended himself as well as he could; but, in short Space, he was run into the Groin by the said Goffe; and received another Wound in the Buttock, by the said Cowdrey: And, feeling himself so wounded, run away very feebly, from them, into a House: And they all Three followed him: And there the said Westwood gave the said Swettingham a great Wound on the Shoulder: But Swettingham got into the House, and shut the Door, to keep out the said Westwood, Goff and Cowdry; for that they thrust very hard at the Door, to come in after him: But the said Swettingham, and some others, which were in the House, kept the Door fast, and kept them out: But the said Swettingham was so mortally wounded by them, that, within a short Time after, the same Night, he died. Upon which Evidence the Jury found them all guilty of the Murder: Upon which, Sentence of Death was given on all Three, in regard they were all Three present and Actors in the said Murder."

All which we humbly submit to the Consideration of the Honourable Parliament.

Taunton, Hen. Rolle,
14 Augusti 1650. Robert Nicholas.
Resolved, by the Parliament, That the Sheriff of the
County of Wiltes be, and is hereby, required to proceed
to the Execution of Nicholas Westwood, Samuel Cowdry,
and Walter Goff, according to Law; notwithstanding
the Order of Parliament of the Twenty-fifth of July last,
for respiting their Execution.
A Certificate from Henry Rolle, Lord Chief Justice,
and Robert Nicholas, one of the Justices of the Upper
Bench, of the whole State of the Matter, and Cause of
Condemning of Thomas Dirdo, at the Assizes for the
County of Wiltes, was this Day read; viz.
IN Obedience to the Vote of the Honourable Parliament, dated the Twenty-fifth of July last; whereby we
were required to certify the whole State of the Matter concerning the Condemning of one Thomas Dirdo, at the last
Assizes held in the County of Wiltes;
We humbly certify, that the Evidence appeared to be
thus:
"That the said Dyrdo, with some other Persons, came
to the House of one John Pitt, an Innkeeper, in Wiltes,
somewhat late in the Night: and desired Entertainment;
and, having set up their Horses, and prepared something
for their Suppers, finding most Part of the People gone
to Bed, set on the rest of the People of the House, and
bound them: And then the said Dirdo, as the said Pitt affirmed, on his Oath, to be one of the said Robbers, took,
of the Goods of the said Pitt, a Sack and Three Shillings
Eight-pence in Money: And the said Pitt affirmed further, That the said Dyrdoe, and the rest of the Company,
went into a Chamber in the said House, where one Matthew Kynton, a Carrier then lay, with their Swords drawn;
and demanded of the said Kynton his Money: And thereupon the said Kynton delivered them a Bag of Money,
wherein, he said, was Ten Pounds: And then the said
Dirdoe, and the rest of the said Company, cut the Packs
of the said Carrier, and took thence certain Broad Cloths;
a Part of which said Cloth one Coombes sold to one Blake,
who shewed the said Cloth, in a Suit on his Back, at the
Tryal of the said Dirdoe, and the said Coombes, and one
Hussey; and also took his Oath, That the said Coombes
affirmed he had the said Cloth, at the time of the said
Robbery: And he also affirmed, on his Oath, That the
said Coombes and Hussey told him, That they did the said
Robbery: Upon which Evidence, the Jury found them
all Three guilty of the said Robbery: And thereupon,
Sentence of Death was given against the said Dirdoe and
the said Coombes and Hussey: And we further certify, That
we were credibly informed, That the said Dirdoe was
burnt in the Hand, at the Sessions at Newgate, for a Felony by one Levendon Bliffe and him committed."
All which we humbly submit to the Consideration of
the Honourable Parliament.
Taunton, Hen. Rolle,
14 Augusti 1650. Robert Nicholas.

Resolved, That the Sheriff of the County of Wiltes be, and is hereby, required to proceed to the Execution of Thomas Dirdo, according to Law, notwithstanding the Order of Parliament of the Twenty-fifth of July last, for respiting his Execution.

Hussey's Reprieve.

The humble Petition of Edward Hussey, now a condemned Prisoner in the Gaol at Sarum, lately a Soldier in the Service of the Parliament, was this Day read.

The Certificate from the Justices of Assize, upon the former Order, touching Thomas Dirdo, was again read.

Resolved, That Edward Hussey, who stands condemned at the Assizes for the County of Wiltes, be reprieved, until the Parliament take further Order: And that Mr. Speaker do issue a Warrant to the Sheriff for that Purpose.

Ordered, That the Judges of Assize for the County of Wiltes be required and enjoined to make Certificate to the Parliament of the whole State of the Matter of Fact touching Edward Hussey, who was condemned at the last Assizes in the County of Wiltes.

Delinquents Estates.

Resolved, That the Committee for the Bill for Sale of Delinquents Estates be enjoined to meet at Two of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber; and report the Amendments To-morrow, the first Business.

Excise.

Colonel Thompson reports from the Committee to whom the Bill touching the Excise was committed, several Amendments to the Bill: Which were twice read.

Earl of Northampton.

Ordered, That the Report of the Lord of Northampton's Business, from the Commissioners of Goldsmiths Hall, be made by Mr. Allen, on Friday next, at Eleven of Clock.