Account of one of the most shocking murders ever read of, com-
mitted by John Matw. Williams, at Milledge, on the body
of his own Wife, by stabbing her in several parts of the body
and cutting her throat from ear to ear ; also an account of his
murdering his own infant only eight days old, by dashing it
on the ground, and throwing it over the window, on Tues-
day the 15th of July, 1823 ; likewise an account of the gallant
manner in which he was seized by his servant girl.
Last evening, we were summoned to witness a scene, from which humanity recoils
with horror and indignation ! a scene, perhaps without a parallel since the first orga-
nization of civil society. The circumstances are no follow : it appears that there had
been a fishing party during the day, composed, perhaps, of relations, and friends, and
acquaintance, of which party John M. Williams, the person who committed the cruel,
shocking and inhuman deed, was one. On their return in the evening, accompanied
by his brother-in-law and his wife, he appeared to be in an ill-humour with his wife,
and descended even to abuse; but by the friendly interposition and good offices of
the company there present, he desisted for that time, and the storm, that appeared
lowering, passed over without leaving any vestiges indicative of its recurrence; but
alas! it was a most fatal security, into which he had lulled their suspicions! When
about to depart, he bade the sister of the wife, in an impressive manner, to hid her
farewell; but not suspecting the import of this propheac observation, they proceeded
Before they had been absent fifteen minutes, he commenced the execution of his
diabolical designs, by upbraiding her with incontinency, and ended his insulting and
abusive language, by stabbing her in the body with a clasp knife, which inflicted a
deep wound in her shoulder. She immediately fled, but in conseqence of her debility,
occasioned by her having given birth to an innocent child, then not a fortnight old,
he easily overtook her, and with a tremendous blow, brought her senseless to the
Commanding the assistance of his servant girl, who was close at hand, he conducted
her to the house, and placed her on the bed, when animation was soon restored ; he
then with the most unexampled ferocity, caught hold of his sleeping and innocent
infant, and with savage and unrelenting fury, dashed it with violence on the ground,
and again taking it by the logs, threw it forcibly into the yard behind the house.
Returning to the bed side, with his knife drawn and stained with blood, he recom-
nenced his abuse of his wife, and endeayoured to extort consessions, by repeatedly
stabbing her, renewing his inquiries with a hellish satisfaction at each successve stab,
while the miserable victim of his cruelty, protested her innocence, and implored his
mercy with tears and intreaties, sufficient to have softened the most savage heart.
The servant girl, overcome with sympathy, prosting by his position, seized him, ano
pushed him out at the door, thereby giving to. Mrs. Williams an opportunity to make
her escape, which she embraced with as much alacrity as her weakened and wounded
situation would admit of, and had fled perhaps about fifty yards, when the unfeeling
monster overtook her, and dragging her by the hair of the head to a considerable dis
tasce, put an end to her life, by cutting her throat from ear to ear, in the most crue
and shocking manner ever witnessed.
By this time, the alarm had reached the nearest neighbour, who hastened direct;
to the scene of misery. The murderer, by this time, had exchanged the knife for a
razor, and kneeling down in the attitude of prayer beside the body of his murdered
wife, was endeavouring to dispatch himself ; he had completed part of his design, but
finding the task more difficult than that of murdering his wife; he only succeeded in
making a slight incision in the wind-pipe, when his hand was arrested, and it is hoead
will recover, to answer before an earthly tribtnal for the perpetration of this Unnatu-
ral deed. Four helpless children bewail the loss of their mother.
Copied from the Free Press Newspaper, Glasgow.
W. Carse, Printer Glasgow.
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Date of publication:
1823 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(43)
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