He had attended at the assizes as a grand juror, and an indictment was preferred against a man for murder, who was placed in the dock charged with that offence, and a witness was called to prove the case for the prosecution. On his examination, however, it was discovered that he was no other than the murdered man himself. There was the man indicted for murder, and arraigned on the indictment, and the first witness called was the man whom he was accused of having murdered.
On finding that this indictment could not be sustained in consequence of this somewhat remarkable mistake, one of the jury applied to know whether it was a case in which they could find a bill for manslaughter. In fact it turned out, that a severe assault only, had been committed, and yet this was a case, in which a return might have been made, both of the charge of murder and manslaughter, although the man supposed to be murdered was actually living.
Thomas Spring Rice MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, House of Commons, 15 April 1839
Very interesting!!!Do you give a talks about this? I am in the Lichfield IWA and this would be a great talk!!!
Lynn Evans 07933236785
As it happens, I gave a talk to the IWA in Lichfield a few years ago. I was glad to be able to visit Dr Johnson’s birthplace. bjg