Catalogue description Prisoner name: James Const . Court and date of trial: Old Bailey, September Sessions...

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Details of HO 17/98/16
Reference: HO 17/98/16

Prisoner name: James Const.

Court and date of trial: Old Bailey, September Sessions 1827.

Crime: Rape of Susannah Poole in toll house in Commercial Road, Ratcliff, Clerkenwell [Middlesex] on 27 July 1827.

Initial sentence: Death, commuted to transportation for life.

Annotated: Nil.

Petitioner(s): Three petitions from John Heyborne Const of Clerkenwell [Middlesex], the prisoner's father. 96 residents of Clerkenwell and neighbourhood, including minister and churchwardens and officers of St James, Clerkenwell and St John, Clerkenwell. Churchwardens, overseers, trustees and vestry clerk of hamlet of Ratcliff, St Dunstan, Stepney. Mary Ann Const, the prisoner's wife. 12 members of jury at trial of prisoner.

Grounds for clemency: Many inaccuracies in prosecutrix's account of rape, as attested by witnesses; prosecutrix 'a notorious [whore]...whose word is not to be relied on'; toll house in busy section of Commercial Road with heavy traffic; distress of parents coupled with recent unexpected death of another son; prisoner has heavily pregnant wife and two young children dependant on him.

Correspondence: Letter from T Ord, former employer of prosecutrix, refuting her statement. Letter from David Rolfe of Limehouse Fields [Middlesex], landlord of prosecutrix's family, stating that their evidence not to be believed. Letter from the Reverend James Rudge, Limehouse [Middlesex], refuting evidence of prosecutrix. Letter from Alexander Shirrett of Rotherhithe [Middlesex], alleging that prosecutrix delivered of bastard child two years ago by Dr Barnet of Limehouse. Letter from Mr Wyatt, Police Office Whitechapel [Middlesex] attesting to characters of Thomas William Barnett, surgeon, and Thomas Hooker of Limehouse, chemist.

Other papers: Statement on behalf of prisoner, with 18 appendices including affidavits of witnesses and drawing of Commercial Road and toll house, by B Shillingsford, Islington.

Additional Information: Prisoner indicted with watchman named Coltman.

Date: 1827 Sep - 1828 Feb
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: SM 16
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

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