An Horrid and Bloody Murther


The full and true relation of an horrid and bloody murther committed on the 11th July last, by one neighbour upon another, who being both drunk, quarreled on the road between Bedford and Ravesnden, the town where they lived and after some scuffleing, the one stab’d the other into his breast with his knife, of which wound he presently dyed he that did it is now in the County Jail. London 1679


(Moral exordium)

On Friday being the 11th of this instant July, there hapned two men, who were very near neighbours, both living in Ravesnden in the county of Bedford, to have occasion of bringing some loads of Hay to the Town of Bedford, and having done their business, stayed some time after to refresh themselves, but being in, they soon forgot themselves and drank more than was fit, making themselves rather beasts than men, since beasts drink only to suffice, not deserting nature, but all this was without any appearance of a quarrel or the least sign of Anger between them, while they were yet in Town, but being gone near half of their way home, they fell at difference though none was so near as to hear what words passed between them, and from thence to scuffling or wrestling together, in so much that the murthered whose name was Jarvis, gave the murtherer a foil, who rising hastily again, swelled with malice and revenge to see himself so thrown by his neighbour, pluckt his knife out of his pocket, ran with all his strength upon the other, and struck his knife into his body up to the haft, a little below his left breast, and as is supposed, into his very heart, for with the violence of the thrust, he fell backwards to the ground, and immediately dyed without speaking a word more than saying, "Ah Ned what hast thou done?" And thus the poor man when he least expected it, and in the midst of his cups, did receive so great a fall, in lieu of the foil he gave, that is to be feared, without the mercy of Almighty God, will prove to be his eternal ruine.

And although the murtherer did not do the utmost of his endeavour to make his escape, yet he left his dead neighbour on the ground, with the knife in his body, and ran with speed to some of his neighbours and relations, and there bitterly crying and howling, told them that he was ruined both body and soul, for that he had cruelly murthered his Friend; but for all his confession to them, and others; and withal owning the knife to be his; yet upon examination before the Coroner, ‘tis said, he denied the fact and never owned the knife; however there was one witness that happened to be so near as to see, though not to hear all, who upon his examination said that he did see them scuffling together and that when the murthered fell, the other ran away with what speed he could, but offended Justice quickly found him out and sent him to the County Gaol, there to expect condign punishment due to his impious crime. And thus may the Christian Reader extract wisdom out of folly, and charity out of cruelty, so shall he live as happy as this poor creature has died miserable and finish his days in as much tranquility as the murtherer is like to do and his in shame and confusion.

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