Victorian Trials – 1837-1849

This is a list of some trials in Britain between 1837 and 1849.

This is not, of course, a definitive inventory. It is likely that details of the case were reported in the news. If you can find the name you are searching please make contact by using the enquiry form. I will see if any archive material is available. If you cannot find the person you are searching don’t worry – please enquire anyway. I will do a search and get back to you.

The data for these British trial pages is sourced from references more than 100 years old and took a long time to transcribe and digitise for the internet. They make fascinating reading and create temptation for us to find out more. They cover all life from murder to executions, libel, slander, bankruptcy, love affairs, divorce, wills, land disputes – it’s all there for us to discover and read about in the newspapers generations on.

I have transcribed these pages as faithfully as possible with little change to the language and style. I have taken time-out to remove any references that, today, we might find racist or offensive (as language and attitudes towards life has changed dramatically since the days of these court proceedings).

Bolam, for murder of Mr Millie verdict man­slaughter, 30 July, 1837

Rev Mr Stephens, at Chester for inflammatory language, 5 Aug, 1837

John Frost, an ex-magistrate and others for high treason guilty sentence commuted to transportation, 31 Dec, 1837

Benjamin Courvoisier, for murder of lord William Russell hanged, 18 June, 1840

Gould, for murder of Mr Templeman transported, 22 June, 1840

Edward Oxford, attempted the life of the queen adjudged insane and confined in Bethlehem, 10 July, 1840

Madame Lefarge, in France for the murder of her husband guilty, 2 Sept, 1840

Captain J W Reynolds, 11th hussars by court-martial guilty the sentence excited great popu­lar displeasure against his colonel lord Cardigan, 20 Oct, 1840

Lord Cardigan, before the house of peers capitally charged for wounding captain Harvey Tucket in a duel acquitted, 16 Feb, 1841

The Wallaces, brothers merchants for having wil­fully caused the destruction of the ship Dryad at sea to defraud the underwriters transported, 4 March, 1841

Josiah Mister, for attempting the life of Mr Mackreth guilty, 23 March, 1841

Bartholomew Murray, at Chester for the murder of Mrs Cook, 5 April, 1841

Earl Waldegrave and captain Duff, for an aggra­vated assault on a police constable guilty judg­ment six months’ imprisonment and fines of £200 and £20 3 May, 1841

Madame Lefarge again for robbery of diamonds, 7 Aug, 1841

The great case Allen Bogle v Mr Lawson, pub­lisher of The Times newspaper for an alleged libel in stating the plaintiff to be connected with numerous bank forgers throughout Europe in their schemes to defraud Messrs Glyn and Com­pany bankers of London by means of fictitious letters of credit damages one farthing This exposure so honourable to The Times led to The Times Testimonial, 16 Aug, 1841

Mr MacLeod, at Utica America for taking part in the destruction of the Caroline commenced acquitted after a trial that lasted eight days, 4 Oct, 1841

Robert Blakesley, for murder of Mr Burdon of Eastcheap hanged, 28 Oct, 1841

Mr Beaumont Smith for forgery of Exchequer bills to an immense amount he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to transportation for life, 4 Dec, 1841

Sophia Darbon v Rosser, breach of promise of marriage damages £1600, 8 Dec, 1841

Mr John Levick and Antonio Matte, principal and second in the duel in which lieut Adams was killed at Malta both acquitted, 10 March, 1842

Vivier courier of the Morning Herald at Boulogne for conveying the Indian mail through France for that journal contrary to the French regula­tions, 13 April, 1842

Daniel Good, for murder of Jane Jones the Roe­hampton murder found guilty and sentenced to be hanged, 13 May, 1842

John Francis for attempting to assassinate the queen, 7 June, 1842

Thomas Cooper, for the murder of Daly the police­man hanged, 4 July, 1842

Nicholas Suisse, valet of the late marquis of Hert­ford at the prosecution of that nobleman’s executors charged with enormous frauds acquitted, 6 July, 1842

M `Gill and others, for abduction of Miss Crellin guilty, 8 Aug, 1842

Nicholas Suisse, again upon like charges and again acquitted 24 Aug, 1842

Bean, for pointing a pistol at the queen a months’ imprisonment, 25 Aug, 1842

The rioters, in the provinces under a special com­mission at Stafford, 1 Oct, 1842

The Cheshire rioters, under a special commission before lord Abinger, 6 Oct, 1842

The Lancashire rioters, also under a special com­mission, 20 Oct, 1842

Alice Lowe, at the prosecution of lord Frankfort acquitted, 31 Oct, 1842

Mr Howard, attorney v sir William Gosset ser­jeant-at-arms, 5 Dec, 1842

Mr Egan, in Dublin for the robbery of a bank parcel acquitted, 17 Jan, 1843

Rev W Bailey LLD, for forgery guilty trans­portation for life, 1 Feb, 1843

MacNaughten, for the murder of Mr Drummond secretary to sir Robert Peel acquitted on the ground of insanity, 4 March, 1843

The Rebeccaites, at Cardiff under a special com­mission, 27 Oct, 1843

Samuel Sidney Smith, for forgery sentenced to transportation for life, 29 Nov, 1843

Edward Dwyer, for the murder of his child at Southwark guilty, 1 Dec, 1843

Mr Holt, of the Age libel on the duke of Brunswick guilty, 29 Jan, 1844

Lieut Grant, second to lieut Munro in his duel with col Fawcett acquitted, 14 Feb, 1844

Fraser v Bagley, for criminal conviction verdict for the defendant, 19 Feb, 1844

Lord William Paget v earl of Cardigan for criminal conviction, verdict for defendant, 26 Feb, 1844

Mary Furley for the murder of her child in an agony of despair, 16 April, 1844

The will-forgers William Henry Barber (since de­clared innocent) Joshua Fletcher Georgiana Sir Home Popham by court-martial repri­manded 7 March, 1844 all found guilty 15 April sentenced 22 April 1844 [In 1848 Mr Barber returned to England with a free pardon and an acknowledgment of his inno­cence by his prosecutors he was re-admitted to practise as an attorney and on the 3rd of August 1859 in conformity with the recom­mendation of a select committee of the house of commons the sum of £5000 was voted him “as a national acknowledgment of the wrong he had suffered from an erroneous prosecution”]

Crouch for the murder of his wife found guilty 8 May hanged, 27 May 1844

O’Connell senior O’Connell junior Steele Ray Barrett Grey Duffy and rev Thomas Tierney at Dublin for political conspiracy the trial commenced 15 Jan and lasted twenty-four days all the traversers were found guilty 12 Feb Proceedings on motions for a new trial &c ex­tended the case into Easter term and sentence was pronounced upon all but the clergyman on whom judgment was remitted, 30 May, 1844

Augustus Mamas, for the murder of Sarah Macfarlane guilty, 14 June, 1844

Wm Burton Newenham, for the abduction of Miss Wortham guilty, 17 June, 1844

Bellamy, for the murder of his wife by prussic acid acquitted, 21 Aug, 1844

John Tawell, for murder of Sarah Hart hanged, 14 March, 1845

Thomas Henry Hocker, for murder of James De­larue, 11 April, 1845

Joseph Connor, for murder of Mary Brothers, 16 May, 1845

The Spanish pirates, for murder of ten Englishmen at sea, 26 July, 1845

Rev Dr Wetherall, for criminal conviction with Mrs Cooke his own daughter, 16 Aug, 1845

Captain Johnson, of the ship Tory for the murder of several of his crew, 5 Feb, 1846

Miss M A Smith v earl Ferrers, breach of promise of marriage, 18 Feb, 1846

Lieut Hawkey, for the murder of Mr Seton in a duel acquitted, 16 July, 1846

Richard Dunn, for perjury and attempted fraud on Miss A Burdett Coutts, 27 Feb, 1847

Mitchell, the Irish confederate transported for 14 years, 26 May, 1848

Wm Smith O’Brien Meagher and other confede­rates sentenced to death the sentence after­wards commuted to transportation (pardoned in 1856), 9 Oct, 1848

Bloomfield Rush, for murder of Messrs Jermy at Norwich hanged, 29 March, 1849

Gorham v the bishop of Exeter, ecclesiastical case judgment given in the court of Arches against the plaintiff 2 Aug, 1849 [The bishop had refused to institute the rev Mr Gorham into the living of Brampton-Speke in Devonshire alleging want of orthodoxy in the plaintiff who denied that spiritual regeneration was conferred by baptism the court held that the charge against the plaintiff of holding false doctrine was proved and that the bishop was justified in his refusal Mr Gorham appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which pronounced its opinion (8 March 1850) that ” the doctrine held by Mr Gorham was not contrary or repugnant to the declared doctrine of the church of England and that Mr Gorham ought not by reason of the doctrine held by him to have been refused admission to the vicarage of Brampton-Speke” This decision led to subse­quent proceedings in the three courts of law suc­cessively for a rule to show cause why a prohi­bition should not issue directed to the judge of the Arches court and to the archbishop of Can­terbury against giving effect to the judgment of her majesty in council The rule was refused in each court and in the end Mr Gorham was insti­tuted into the vicarage in question 7 Aug 1850]

Manning and his wife, for murder of O’Connor guilty death, 27 Oct, 1849

Victorian Trials – 1837-1849