Richard Cope - (Journeyman jeweller)
Nov. 12 - At Westminster Hospital, from injuries received Oct. 20, while attending the shop of his master, Mr. Berry, jeweller, Parliament-street, when his skull was beaten in with a life-preserver by a ticket-of-leave man, named Robert Marley, aged 36, Richard Cope: for some time he progressed favourably, and while in full possession of his faculties was able to identify his assassin, who was taken to his bedside for that purpose, when his deposition was taken by a magistrate and properly attested. The coroner's inquest returned a verdict of "Wilful murder" against Robert Marley.
Source: The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review - January 1857
THE MURDEROUS OUTRAGE IN PARLIAMENT STREET
The man calling himself Jenkins, but who has been recognised as a ticket-of-leave man, who, under the name of Morley, had been convicted of burglary and sentenced to seven years' transportation, was brought up on remand at Bow street, on Tuesday, charged with murderously assaulting Richard Cope, journeyman to Mr Berry, jeweller, of Parliament street. A fresh witness, named Hickling, deposed that he was passing Mr Berry's shop on Monday evening, the 20th ult. There were several persons standing by the door, and witness also paused. He saw a man inside striking some one, but could not see the person struck. Presently a man came out smoking a cigar, and carrying a parcel wrapped in black leather, or a leather bag. He closed the door after him, but it “went open" again, and then witness saw a man lying on the floor bleeding. Witness then joined in the pursuit, and did not lose sight of prisoner till he was taken in Palace-yard. He was not more than twenty yards behind him. He believed the prisoner to be the same man,—Henry Croft deposed that he resides at Wokingham, and was formerly in the police. At the time in question he was passing along Parliament street with a young woman, when he heard a faint cry of murder from the shop of Mr Berry. He thought at the time that it was a woman's voice. He saw the prisoner in the inside, in the act of striking a blow, but could not see the person struck. The prisoner struck over the counter, and repeated the blow four or five times. Some one who was standing by said “It is only a man beating his wife,” and walked quickly away. The prisoner, when he left off striking, took up a parcel, and left the shop smoking. Witness watched him till he got about ten yards off, and then looked into the shop again. He then saw the man behind the counter push up the flap of the counter with both hands, and then fall back covered with blood. Some of the bystanders went in, brought the man out of the shop, and carried him to the hospital. Witness saw the prisoner when he was brought back to the shop, and he was quite certain he was the same man.—Mrs Walsh, deposed that about ten o'clock on Monday night she was going with her husband from Millbank street to Parliament street. She found the life-preserver now produced on the foot-pavement near Canning's statue. She took it home and kept it till Wednesday, when her husband read of this case in the papers. She then went to the station and gave it up. It was now in the same state in which she found it. This weapon is considerably larger than the usual size of such instruments, loaded at both ends, and strongly bound in leather., which is cut in two or three places.—Mr Jardine remanded the prisoner till Wednesday next.—About seven o'clock in the evening, Cope, who had not previously articulated a single word, was heard by one of the nurses in the ward where he was lying in the Westminster hospital, to whisper his ability to eat something. Immediately information was given to Mr Marshall, the house-surgeon, who, after seeing the patient, communicated with Mr Walker, chief of the police, with a view to obtain the attendance of a magistrate at the bedside of the injured man. Mr Jardine, accompanied by Mr Burnaby, the chief clerk at Bow street, accordingly attended, and the prisoner was also brought to the hospital. Mr Marshall having satisfied himself that Cope was in a perfectly rational state, and able to articulate, Mr Jardine and the other officials were introduced. Mr Burnaby took a position close to Cope's bedside, and explained to him the occasion of the visit. The prisoner was then brought in and placed at the foot of Cope’s bed, in a position allowing full view of his features. In reply to the question by Mr Burnaby whether he knew the man standing at the foot of the bed, Cope after surveying him for a few moments, saintly ejaculated—“Yes.” Mr Burnaby pursued the question by inquiring how he knew the prisoner, upon which Cope replied “That is the man who struck me.” Mr Burnaby next asked Cope whether he could tell what it was he was struck with ? He said: “A life preserver.” Mr Burnaby then asked the sufferer whether he could tell how many blows had been given to him by the prisoner, Cope appeared anxious to reply more fully to this inquiry, but, after an effort, was only able to articulate a simple “No.” Mr Burnaby, after a short pause, next asked Cope whether the prisoner had spoken to him before commencing to attack him. The unfortunate man, whose utterance up to this point had been gradually becoming more imperfect, appeared excited by the last question, and in reply muttered some inarticulate sounds from which nothing could be gleaned. It was thought advisable not to ask Cope any further questions, and he was now required to affix his mark to the deposition upon which he then tremblingly affixed his attestation. The prisoner was removed. After Mr Jardine had retired, Mr Walker, expressed a desire to put one other question to Cope, being desirous to ascertain whether he had any previous knowledge of his assailant. It was done with all due care, and the patient, having had half an hour's repose, replied by a distinct negative. Cope had a disturbed night after his assailant had been confronted with him on Tuesday evening, and was not so well next day. Considerable risk was run in subjecting him to the excitement consequent upon his examination, and Mr B. Holt, senior surgeon at the hospital, who happened to be absent from London at the time, has expressed his disapproval of the patient's having been subjected to so trying an ordeal while in the extremely critical condition in which he still continues.
Source: The Examiner - 1st November 1856
THE PARLIAMENT STREET MURDER
Joseph Jenkins, alias Robert Marley, aged 39, surgical instrument maker, was indicted for the wilful murder of Richard Cope.
The crime for which the prisoner was indicted had caused the greatest sensation. The murder was committed in a shop, so small that every passer-by can see the whole of it—in one of the principal thoroughfares, and so placed, that persons within can scarcely speak with full voice without being heard in the street—and at an hour of the evening when the streets are full of passengers.
The prisoner, a tall man of respectable appearance, pleaded “Not Guilty,” in a loud voice.
Mr. Frederick Berry.—I am a jeweller, and reside at Stafford Row, Pimlico. My shop is in Parliament Street. It projects beyond the house, and there is no room over it. The shop is not more than 3 feet deep. The door of the shop swings in two parts, and I generally sat on the left-hand side as people entered, and the deceased worked on the opposite side to me. The counter in the shop is about two feet wide, but the deceased had nothing before him but a work board, and he was separated from the shop by a glass partition and door. The deceased had been in my service for 10 years. My custom was to have the stock of jewelry packed up every night and put in a secret and secure place. No one slept upon the premises. The deceased and I generally left the shop together, but if I went first he used to bring the keys and a box in a blue bag to my house. If we left together he used to carry the bag and box. This box was empty. I was at the shop on the night of the 20th of October. The stock consisted of watches and jewelry that were exposed in the window for sale. I went away from the shop a few minutes past 8 on the 20th of October, leaving the deceased behind in the usual place where he worked, behind the glass door. I returned to the shop a few minutes past 9 on the same evening, and I then found the deceased on my side of the shop. I stayed about ten or twelve minutes, and when I left the shop was still open and the gas burning, and the deceased had commenced packing up the stock and had put away the watches left to repair. The stock on my side was all in the window and on the counter. I brought a flag basket with me containing a codfish when I came back, and I placed it in front of the counter, and told the deceased to bring it with him to my house when he came with the keys. This basket could have been seen in the place where I left it when the door was opened. The deceased was a cripple and a very small man. He ought to have been at my house by about 20 minutes to 10, but he did not come, and the next morning I heard he was at the hospital. Nothing was stolen from the shop but the fish and the basket.
George Lerigo.—I live at Chapel Street, Oxford Street, and am a milliner's porter. I was passing Mr. Berry's shop from Westminster Bridge on the night of the 20th of October, about half-past 9 o'clock. My attention was attracted by hearing a groan from the inside of the shop. It was like that of some one who was suffering. I saw three men standing close to the door of the shop, and apparently looking in. The righthand side of the door was open about an inch, and quite sufficiently to enable any one to see the counter of the shop. I asked the men what was the matter, and they said it was a man and his wife quarrelling, and I walked on, leaving them behind. When I had got about six yards on, and not quite so far as the mews at the back of Richmond Terrace, I returned, not feeling satisfied with the answer the men had given me, and went again to the door of the shop. All three men were still there. I opened the door. There was a gaslight in the shop. I saw the prisoner standing on the lefthand side and leaning over the counter with a life-preserver in his hand, with which he was striking the deceased, who was crouched down beside the counter. He struck him on his bare head, on the left side, and I saw him strike three or four blows. I then appealed to the passers-by for assistance, and at this time the three men I had first seen had gone away. The persons I applied to stopped and looked in, and the prisoner turned round from the man he was striking, picked up a parcel from the floor and a piece of lighted cigar from the counter, and went out of the shop with the life-preserver still in his possession. I did not notice what sort of parcel it was that the prisoner picked up. I paid more attention to the man's face. When he came out of the shop he turned to the left towards Westminster Bridge, and I followed him. I said to the people about, “There he goes, won't you secure him 2" But they did not interfere, and I pursued the prisoner alone. He went on to Derby Street, and turned down there into Cannon Row, and when he saw I was following him he began to run, and I called out “Stop him, stop him 1" When the prisoner got to the end of Cannon Row he crossed Bridge Street and ran down the court opposite towards Palace Yard, and he was stopped in that passage by a waterman named Allen. He was not out of my sight until he got to the passage leading to Palace Yard. I did not see the parcel in the prisoner's hand when he began to run, but he had it up to that time. After the prisoner was secured I went back to the shop and saw the deceased, and he was taken to the hospital. There was no one in the shop but the prisoner and the deceased. There certainly was no woman in the shop. As we were taking the prisoner back to the shop we passed the deceased, who was being carried to the hospital. I am quite sure the prisoner was the man I saw striking the deceased.
Mr. James Gipling said—I am a grocer living at Liverpool Street, King's Cross. I was passing along Parliament Street on the night of the 20th of October, about 25 minutes past 9 o'clock, and I saw several persons standing outside Mr Berry's shop. The door of the shop was partially open. I saw a man inside the shop in the act of striking at something behind the counter. I then saw the man take up a parcel from the floor, and put a cigar in his mouth and come out. I could not recognise the man who came out. He walked away towards the bridge, and, as the door was opened, I saw a man lying on the floor and bleeding from the head, and I followed the man who had come out of the shop. He turned down Derby Street, and at that time I was about 20 yards behind him ; and I observed that he had a parcel in his hand. He turned to the right, and when he found he was pursued he started off, running towards Palace Yard, and I went after him until he was stopped, and only lost sight of him as he turned into Palace Yard.
Henry Croft gave evidence of the same circumstances.
Allen, attendant at the hackney-carriage stand in Palace Yard deposed to hearing the cry of “Stop him!” and saw the prisoner running. He stopped him. He then had a lighted cigar in one hand, but nothing in the other. It is a most singular coincidence, that this witness, whose capture of the prisoner was the essential point of the case, was the brother-in-law of the murdered man.
Mrs. Mary Walsh said – On the night of the 20th of October I was in Palace Yard, near Canning's statue, when I picked up a life-preserver. It was lying on the foot pavement next to the statue. I afterwards gave the life-preserver to the police inspector.
Mr. H. Burnaby, the chief clerk at Bow Street, deposed that he went with Mr. Jardine, the magistrate, to the Westminster Hospital on the 28th October, and an examination of the wounded man was taken in the prisoner's presence. He took down the statement in writing, and read it over to the prisoner, who had an opportunity of hearing all that took place. Witness asked him if he wished to put any questions to the wounded man, and he said nothing, but shook his head.
The statement was put in and read. It was as follows:– “I know that man. He is the man who struck me. I don't know how many blows he struck me, but he struck me with a life-preserver." The medical officers described the wounds of the deceased; they were such as would be inflicted by a life-preserver—there was a compound fracture of the skull. The poor man lingered till the 9th of November. The surgeon described the appearance presented by the skull upon the post-mortem examination, and stated that the immediate cause of death was the deposition of matter upon the lungs, but he said he had no doubt that the state of the lungs was occasioned by the injury to the head.
Several medical witnesses of repute were called by the Crown to prove that it was a very common result of violent injuries to the head that such a state of the lungs as appeared in this case should be presented. The exact modus operandi, one of them said, was a question in dispute among the medical profession, but he believed that they were all agreed upon the fact.
It was, in fact, the case of the prisoner that the poor man had died from disease of the lungs, and not from the injuries he had received.
The jury, however, were quite satisfied by the evidence of the medical men, and after short deliberation found the prisoner “Guilty.” The prisoner, who was a very practised criminal, having been already transported and released on ticket of leave, received his sentence with firmness, and thenceforward to the day of his execution maintained a composed demeanour. He had probably contemplated nothing more than to stun the poor shop-man as a preparation for plundering the shop; but he seems to have been perfectly aware that he had no chance of escaping his doom, and died firmly and with some degree of penitence. It is, however, remarkable that he asserted to the last that he had no accomplices—but that he had accomplices is beyond reasonable doubt. The fish-basket was never produced, nor the black parcel which he held in his hand in his flight—they had probably been passed away to confederates.
It will scarcely be believed that the employer of the boy, Lerigo, discharged him from his service, because his attendance at the police courts interrupted his business. Baron Alderson, however, ordered him to be paid a reward of 20l., and 10l. to Allen.
Source: The Annual Register: Or a View of the History, Politics and Literature, for the Year 1856 - 1857