Front Page Titles (by Subject) Sect. 1.: Record of an Indictment and Conviction of Murder, at the Assizes. - Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books, vol. 2
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Sect. 1.: Record of an Indictment and Conviction of Murder, at the Assizes. - Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books, vol. 2 
Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books. Notes selected from the editions of Archibold, Christian, Coleridge, Chitty, Stewart, Kerr, and others, Barron Field’s Analysis, and Additional Notes, and a Life of the Author by George Sharswood. In Two Volumes. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1893).
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Record of an Indictment and Conviction of Murder, at the Assizes.
Warwickshire, to wit. } Be it remembered,Session of oyer and terminer.that at the general session of the lord the king of oyer and terminer holden at Warwick in and for the said county of Warwick, on Friday, the twelfth day of March, in the second year of the reign of the lord George the Third, now king of Great Britain, before Sir Michael Foster, knight, one of the justices of the said lord the king assigned to hold pleas before the king himself, Sir Edward Clive, knight, one of the justices of the said lord the king, of his court of Common Bench, and others their fellows, justices of the said lord the king, assigned by letters-patent of the said lord the king,Commission ofunder his great seal of Great Britain, made to them the aforesaid justices and others, and any two or more of them, (whereof one of them the said Sir Michael Foster and Sir Edward Clive, the said lord the king would have to be one,) to inquire (by the oath of good and lawful men of the county aforesaid, by whom the truth of the matter might be the better known, and by other ways, methods, and means, whereby they could or might the better know, as well within liberties as without) more fully the truth of all treasons, misprisions of treasons, insurrections, rebellions, counterfeitings, clippings, washings, false comings, and other falsities of the moneys of Great Britain, and of other kingdoms or dominions whatsoever; and of all murders, felonies, manslaughters, killings, burglaries, rapes of women, unlawful meetings and conventicles, unlawful uttering of words, unlawful assemblies, misprisions, confederacies, false allegations, trespasses, riots, routs, retentions, escapes, contempts, falsities, negligences, concealments, maintenances, oppressions, champerties, deceits, and all other misdeeds, offences, and injuries whatsoever, and also the accessories of the same, within the county aforesaid, as well within liberties as without, by whomsoever and howsoever done, had, perpetrated, and committed, and by whom, to whom, when, how, and in what manner; and of all other articles and circumstances in the said letters-patent of the said lord the king specified; the premises and every or any of them howsoever concerning;oyer and terminer,and for this time to hear and determine the said treasons and other the premises, according to the law and custom of the realm of England; and also keepers of the peace and justices of the said lord the king,and of the peaceassigned to hear and determine divers felonies, trespasses, and other misdemeanours committed within the county aforesaid, by the oath of Sir James Thomson, baronet, Charles Roper, Henry Dawes, Peter Wilson,Grand jury. Samuel Rogers, John Dawson, James Phillips, John Mayo, Richard Savage, William Bell, James Morris, Laurence Hall, and Charles Carter, esquires, good and lawful men of the county aforesaid, then and there impanelled, sworn, and charged to inquire for the said lord the king and for the body of the said county, it is presented: That Peter Hunt,Indictment. late of the parish of Lighthorne, in the said county, gentleman, not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, on the fifth day of March in the said second year of the reign of the said lord the king, at the parish of Lighthorne aforesaid, with force and arms, in and upon one Samuel Collins, in the peace of God and of the said lord the king then and there being, feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, did make an assault; and that the said Peter Hunt, with a certain drawn sword, made of iron and steel, of the value of five shillings, which he the said Peter Hunt in his right hand then and there had and held, him the said Samuel Collins, in and upon the left side of the belly of him the said Samuel Collins then and there feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, did strike, thrust, stab, and penetrate; giving unto the said Samuel Collins, then and there, with the sword drawn as aforesaid, in and upon the left side of the belly of him the said Samuel Collins, one mortal wound, of the breadth of one inch and the depth of nine inches; of which said mortal wound he the said Samuel Collins, at the parish of Lighthorne aforesaid, in the said county of Warwick, from the said fifth day of March in the year aforesaid, until the seventh day of the same month in the same year, did languish, and languishing did live; on which said seventh day of March in the year aforesaid, the said Samuel Collins, at the parish of Lighthorne aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, of the said mortal wound did die: and so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do say that the said Peter Hunt him the said Samuel Collins, in manner and form aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against the peace of the said lord the now king, his crown, and dignity. Whereupon the sheriff of the county aforesaid is commanded that he omit not for any liberty in his bailiwick,Indictmentbut that he take the said Peter Hunt, if he may be found in his bailiwick, and him safely keep, to answer to the felony and murder whereof he stands indicted. Which said indictment the said justices of the lord the king above named, afterwards, to wit, at the delivery of the gaol of the said lord the king, holden at Warwick in and for the county aforesaid,Session of gaol-delivery. on Friday, the sixth day of August, in the said second year of the reign of the said lord the king, before the right honourable William lord Mansfield, chief justice of the said lord the king, assigned to hold pleas before the king himself, Sir Sidney Stafford Smythe, knight, one of the barons of the exchequer of the said lord the king, and others their fellows, justices of the said lord the king, assigned to deliver his said gaol of the county aforesaid of the prisoners therein being, by their proper hands do deliver here in court of record in form of the law to be determined. And afterwards,Arraignment. to wit, at the same delivery of the gaol of the said lord the king of his county aforesaid, on the said Friday, the sixth day of August, in the said second year of the reign of the said lord the king, before the said justices of the lord the king last above named and others their fellows aforesaid, here cometh the said Peter Hunt, under the custody of William Browne, esquire, sheriff of the county aforesaid, (in whose custody in the gaol of the county aforesaid, for the cause aforesaid, he had been before committed,) being brought to the bar here in his proper person by the said sheriff, to whom he is here also committed. And forthwith being demanded concerning the premises in the said indictment above specified and charged upon him,Plea: not guilty. Issue. how he will acquit himself thereof, he saith that he is not guilty thereof; and thereof for good and evil he puts himself upon the country. And John Blencowe, esquire, clerk of the assizes for the county aforesaid, who prosecutes for the said lord the king in this behalf, doth the like. Therefore let a jury thereupon here immediately come before the said justices of the lord the king last above mentioned, and others their fellows aforesaid,Venireof free and lawful men of the neighbourhood of the said parish of Lighthorne, in the county of Warwick aforesaid, by whom the truth of the matter may be the better known, and who are not of kin to the said Peter Hunt, to recognise upon their oath whether the said Peter Hunt be guilty of the felony and murder in the indictment aforesaid above specified, or not guilty: because as well the said John Blencowe, who prosecutes for the said lord the king in this behalf, as the said Peter Hunt, have put themselves upon the said jury. And the jurors of the said jury by the said sheriff for this purpose impanelled and returned, to wit, David Williams, John Smith, Thomas Horne, Charles Nokes, Richard May, Walter Duke, Matthew Lion, James White, William Bates, Oliver Green, Bartholomew Nash, and Henry Long, being called, come; who, being elected, tried, and sworn to speak the truth of and concerning the premises, upon their oath say,Verdict: guilty of murder.that the said Peter Hunt is guilty of the felony and murder aforesaid, on him above charged in the form aforesaid, as by the indictment aforesaid is above supposed against him; and that the said Peter Hunt at the time of committing the said felony and murder, or at any time since to this time, had not nor hath any goods or chattels, lands or tenements, in the said county of Warwick, or elsewhere, to the knowledge of the said jurors.1 And upon this it is forthwith demanded of the said Peter Hunt, if he hath or knoweth any thing to say wherefore the said justices here ought not upon the premises and verdict aforesaid to proceed to judgment and execution against him: who nothing further saith, unless as he before had said. Whereupon, all and singular the premises being seen,Judgment of death,and by the said justices here fully understood, it is considered by the court here, that the said Peter Hunt be taken to the gaol of the said lord the king of the said county of Warwick from whence he came,and dissectionand from thence to the place of execution on Monday now next ensuing, being the ninth day of this instant August, and there be hanged by the neck until he be dead; and that afterwards his body be dissected and anatomized.
[1 ] This averment is now rendered unnecessary. See 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. 28, 5.