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The Newgate Calendar - JOSEPH ARMSTRONG


Convicted of Murder, but cheated the Gallows by hanging himself, 17th of March, 1777

CAPTAIN A'COURT, a gentleman of fortune, intending to take his family on a visit to Cheltenham, hired Joseph Armstrong to attend them on such excursion, in the capacity of footman. It appears that his pertness and neglect soon disgusted Mrs A'Court, who requested her husband to discharge him. In revenge, he determined to poison her; in doing which he had the barbarity to keep her lingering in misery ten days, This he effected by putting arsenic, at different times, into her tea, of which, in that time, she expired in excruciating torment.

This being fully proved on his trial, he was sentenced to death; but when the jailer went to his cell, to summon him to his fate, it appeared that he had contrived to hang himself but a short time before, thus robbing the gallows of its deserved due, and preventing the wholesome example of the public execution of such a villain.


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