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    Rex v. Wemms: Suffolk Superior Court, Boston

    From: Adams Papers | Legal Papers of John Adams | Volume 3 | R. Criminal Law, continued: The Boston Massacre Trials | Rex v. Wemms: Suffolk Superior Court, Boston

    James Crawford. At dark that night, I went home and was not out till next morning. I met Numbers of People that night as I went home, going down with sticks in their Hands. At Calefs Corner, saw a Num­ ber above 12 with sticks in their Hands. Heard no Declarations. In Quaker Lane I met many more than common, going towards K’s Street. I was going to Bulls Wharfe where I live and met them. They...
    Dr. Richard Hyrons. About 7 o Clock. Saw several soldiers at my own door a little after 8, passing and repassing, some with Clubbs, some with Bayonetts. The Noise and Confusion seemed to come from the Bottom of the Street towards the Markett. In 8 or 10 minutes I heard a Person run thro B oylston’s Ally with great Violence from Cornhill. He ran towards the barrack Gate, and then ran back again...
    James Crawford. Went home to Bulls Wharf at dark about 6 O Clock. Met Numbers of People, going down towards the Town House, with sticks. A t Calfs Corner, Saw above a dozen with sticks. In Quaker Lane and Greens Lane met many, going towards K ing S treet . Very great Sticks, pretty large Cudgells, not common Walking Canes. Archibald Gould. Going to Crawfords at Bulls Wharf. At 8, at Swing...
    On Saturday i.e. Tuesday , the 27th November, 1770, the Court being met, the prisoners were brought into Court and set to the bar, when the Court proceeded thus. . . . Clerk. How sayest thou, William Wemms , art thou guilty of the felony and murder whereof thou standest indicted, or not guilty? William Wemms . Not guilty. Clerk . How wilt thou be tried? William Wemms . By God and my country....
    May it please your Honours, and you Gentlemen of the Jury . Having gone through the evidence on the part of the crown, it is my province to support the charge against the prisoners. The examination hath been lengthy, and from the nature of the transaction complex, and in some part difficult; I shall apply it as distinctly as I am able, without endeavouring to misrepresent or aggravate any...
    May it please your Honours, and you Gentlemen of the Jury. The prisoners at the bar stand indicted for the murder of five of his Majesty’s leige subjects, as set forth in the several indictments, which have been read to you: the persons slain, those indictments set forth, as “being in the peace of God and our Lord, the King,” at the time of the mortal wounds given. To these indictments, the...
    Monday   3 December , NINE o’ Clock, the Court met according to adjournment, and proceeded. May it please your Honours, and you Gentlemen of the Jury, We have at length gone through the evidence in behalf of the prisoners. The witnesses have now placed before you, that state of facts, from which results our defence. The examination has been so lengthy, that I am afraid some painful sensations...
    May it please &c. It now remains to close this Cause on the part of the Crown, a cause, which from the Importance of it has been examined with such minuteness and protracted to such a length that I fear it has fatigued your attention as I am certain it has exhausted my Spirits. However Gentlemen it may serve to show you and all the world that the Benignity of the English Law, so much relied on...
    Gentlemen of the Jury, William Wemms, James Hartegan, William McCauley, Hugh White, Matthew Killroy, William Warren, John Carrol and Hugh Montgomery, prisoners at the bar, are charged by the Grand Jurors for the body of this county, with having feloniously and of their malice aforethought, shot and thereby killed and murdered Samuel Maverick, Samuel Gray, James Caldwell, Patrick Carr, and...
    James Brewer . To the best of my Remembrance I saw Kilroy . I came up r oyal exchange Lane, and saw the Sentry with his Bayonett breast high, and a Number of Boys 20 or more round him . He was on the steps of the C ustom H ouse . I spoke to the Sentry, and said to him, no Body would hurt him. The Boys were talking together, but doing nothing. I saw the Party come down. I spoke to C aptain P...