THIS was a most hardened and deliberate murderer, and had the audacity as well as wickedness to face his God with 'all his. sins upon his head,' and no 'preparation made.'
James Marsh and a man named Parsons lived in the employ of Mr. Metford, of Glastonbury, in Somersetshire. One Saturday morning, Parsons was going, as usual, for the purpose of paying the spinners of Mr. Metford their wages, and carrying in his cart a supply of work for the ensuing week. He was assisted in loading the cart by Marsh, who afterwards followed him on the road towards Wells. On his way he provided himself with the bone of a horse's leg, and got permission of Parsons to ride with him in the cart.
At a moment when Parsons was offering him a pinch of snuff, he knocked him down with the bone, repeated his blows and afterwards cut his throat. He was immediately after detected in endeavouring to hide the body. He fled instantly, but, being closely pursued, was apprehended, and confessed the murder.
The deceased had twelve pounds of his master's money; and this sum, it was supposed, tempted the wretch Marsh to take away his life, as he was in want of money to provide for his wedding, which was appointed to take place the ensuing week. This money was found on him.
For this dreadful deed he was brought to trial at the Spring assizes for Somersetshire, in 1816, when he was found Guilty, and ordered for execution.
From the time of his apprehension Marsh appeared quite insensible to the enormity of his crime, and behaved in the most hardened and audacious manner. He confessed his crime to the chaplain; but assigned no reason for it. On arriving at the fatal spot, finding the chaplain about to call him to prayers, he said 'No, I shall say no more -- where is the man? (meaning the executioner;) I am ready.' He was, however, prevailed on to join in prayer, after which he again called for 'the man,' and frequently repeated 'Make haste, I am ready.'
Thus perished this desperate murderer, in the 26th year of his age. He was a good-looking man, and of a mild countenance; not at all indicating the dreadful depravity of his mind.