The Newgate Calendar - ELIZABETH RICHARDSON

ELIZABETH RICHARDSON

Executed at Tyburn, 21st of December, 1768, for murdering an Attorney-at-Law, in Symond's Inn, Chancery Lane

THIS unhappy woman was seduced from the precepts of virtue and honour at an early period of life, and, after subsisting some years on the wages of casual prostitution, was taken into keeping by Mr Pimlot, an attorney-at-law, who had chambers in Symond's Inn.

Whether she had cause for jealousy is uncertain, but she was inflamed with that passion to a degree of violence, and frequently went to his chambers in the expectation of finding him engaged with some other woman.

One Sunday evening Mr Pimlot was engaged with some friends at a house in Fleet Street; and Richardson, going to his chambers and finding him not there, determined to wait till his return. About twelve o'clock Mr Pimlot entered his chambers, without being perceived by the woman, and went to bed.

About half-an-hour afterwards she in a most riotous manner insisted upon being admitted, declaring, with horrid imprecations, that she would not depart till she had seen Mr Pimlot, who for some time made no answer. This exasperating her to still greater outrage, she gave vent to her passion in the most profane language, and, after breaking one of the panes of the window, went towards the passage leading to Chancery Lane, but turning back, she was met by Mr Pimlot, who gave her into custody of the watch. She was no sooner taken into custody than, with a sharp-pointed penknife, with a blade about two inches long, she struck Mr Pimlot under the left breast. The watchman said: "You break the peace, madam, and I must take you to the watch-house." Immediately after this Mr Pimlot, taking the knife from the wound, said, in a faint and tremulous voice: "Here, watchman, take this knife; she has stabbed me."

Mr Pimlot proceeded to the watch-house, being followed by the constable and his prisoner. He sat down in the constable's chair, and on opening his waistcoat the blood was seen issuing from his wound, Leaning down his head, he presently expired, without speaking. The knife was examined, and blood appeared upon the blade.

When she perceived the blood issuing from Mr Pimlot's wound she clasped her hands and exclaimed: "What have I done! Oh, Mr Wilson, it was I that did this shocking deed: instantly send for a surgeon, send for a surgeon! I have murdered my dear Pimlot." She was immediately sent to New Prison; and her tears and other passionate expressions of sorrow proved her to be deeply penetrated by affliction for the crime she had committed.

A watchman was sent for Mr Minors, a surgeon, in Chancery Lane; but he being in bed, two of his pupils accompanied the watchman. Upon their arrival they found the gentleman dead.

On the following day the body was opened by Mr Minors, who found that the heart was penetrated, and that the wound exactly corresponded with the figure of the knife. The coroner's jury being summoned, a verdict of wilful murder was found against the prisoner, who was brought to trial at the next sessions at the Old Bailey; and being found guilty, she was sentenced to be executed on the following Monday.

After her body had hung the usual time, it was carried to Surgeons' Hall for dissection.

 

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