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victed of the rape, after having been hung up by the neck, with the others as above, for the space of twenty-two minutes, or more, was cut down, and being begged by the Surgeons' Company, was carried in a hackney.coach to their hall, to be anatomized. But just as they had taken him out of the coach, and laid him on a table at that place, in order to make the necessary preparations for cutting him up, he was, to the great astonishment of the surgeon and assistants, heard to groan; and upon examination, finding he had some other symptoms of life, some of the surgeons let him blood, and after having taken several ounces, he began to stir, and in a short space of time was able to rear himself up, but could not immediately speak, so as to be heard articulately. Upon this, messages were sent to my
brother sheriff and me, and the news was soon spread about, insomuch that by about five o'clock in the afternoon, a very great mob had gathered about the hall, which intimidated us and our officers from attempting to carry him back to Tyburn this same day, in order to hang him up again, and complete his execution; as we might have done by virtue of our warrant, which was to execute him any time in the day. Therefore we kept him here till about twelve o'clock in the night, when the mob being dispersed, we signed a warrant for his recommitment to Newgate; whither he was accordingly carried in a hackney-coach, and being put into one of the cells and covered up, and some warm broth given him, he began so far to recover as to be able to speak, and ask for more victuals, but did not as yet seem so sensible as to remember what had happened.”
Two days afterwards the sheriffs waited on the Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State, to know his Majesty's pleasure regarding the disposal of the crimi
nal who had thus strangely escaped dissection and death ; and who was then in Newgate, “ fully recovered in health and senses.” His Grace' desired them to draw up a narrative of the circumstances, in writing, which was done accordingly; and it was added, that the prisoner had been found guilty on no other evidence but his own confession before a Justice of Peace.
“ The story of the lad's recovery was now become the common topic of conversation, numbers of people going every hour to Newgate to see, and ask him questions ; and though he was at best but a poor senseless, illiterate boy, and remembered nothing, (as I was told by several who saw him) of his being carried to execution, no, nor even of his being brought to trial; yet there were bundance of Grub-street papers cried about the streets, giving an account of the wonderful discoveries he had made in the other world, of the ghosts and apparitions he saw, and such like invented stuff, to get a penny.
“ The conjectures of his not dying under the execution are various ; some suggesting it was because he was not hung up long enough ; others, that the rope was not rightly placed; others, from the light weight of his body. But the true reason, as I was informed, and which was accounted for physically, was, that he had been in a high raging fever since his commitment to Newgate, and was for the most part light headed and delirious, and consequently having no impression of fear upon him, and his blood circulating with violent heat and quickness, might be the reason why it was the longer before it could be stopped by suffocation; and this likewise accounted for his not knowing any thing that had happened (he being so ill) either at his trial or execution."
It oes not appear from Mr. Hoare's Journal, whether Duell received a pardon, but the Gentleman's Magazine for December in the above year, informs us that he was ordered to be transported for life. It states, also, that when one of the servants at Surgeons' Hall, was washing the body for dissection, he found the breath to come quicker and shorter, on which a surgeon took some ounces of blood from him, and in two hours he was able to sit up in a chair. The rape and murder had been committed at Acton, on a woman named Sarah Griffin.
That this was by no means the only instance of the resuscitation of the human body after it had been conveyed to Surgeons' Hall for dissection, is evident from the following curious order, made at a court of assistants on the 13th of July, 1587, which has been copied from the minute books of the Company.
“ Item. Yt ys agreed that yf any bodie which shall at anie tyme here after happen to be brought to o'r hall for the intent to be wrought uppon by Thanathomistes of o'r Companie, shall revyve or come to lyfe agayne, as [has) of late hathe ben seene, the charges aboute the same bodie so revivinge, shal be borne, levied, and susteyned, by such person, or persons, who shall so happen to bringe home the bodie. And further shall abide suche order or ffyne, as this Howse shall award.”
Another instance of extraordinary recovery after suspension has been thus related in the fourth volume of the Osconiana.
« Anne Greene, a person unmarried, was indicted, arraigned, cast, condemned, and executed, for killing her child, at the assizes at Oxford, December 14, 1650. After some hours her body being taken down, and prepared for dissection in the anatomy school, some heat was found therein, which by the doctors was improved into her perfect recovery. Charitable people interpret her so miraculous preservation, a compurgator of her innocence. Thus she intended for a dead, continues a living anatomy of divine providence, and a monument of the wonderful contrivances thereof. If Hippolytus, revived only by poetical fancies, was surnamed Virbius, because twice a man, why Mulierbia, by as good proportion may be applied to her, who since is married, and liveth in this country in good reputation."*
Among other epigrams on this subject, the following with the translation was written by Dr. Ralph Bathurst.
In puellam isepono Tuoy a patibulo reviviscentum.
Cum poterat Stamen sic renovare suum.
Thou more than mortal, that with many lives
INGENIOUS MECHANISM. Stow, in his “Summarie of the Chronicles of England,” anno 1604, p. 328, under the date 1579, records the following remarkable instance of skilful workmanship by a citizen.
* Fuller's Worthies. For a longer account of Anne Greene, see Morgan's Phønix Britannicus.
"This yeare Marke Scaliot, Blackesmith, citizen of London, for triall of his workmanshippe made one hanging Locke of iron, steele, and brasse, of eleven severall peeces, and a pipe key, all cleane wrought, which weighed but one graine of golde. He also at the same time made a chaine of golde of fortie three linkes, to the which chaine the locke and key being fastened, and put about a Flea's necke, she drew the same with ease. All which locke and key, chaine and fley weighed but one graine and a halfe; a thing most incredible, but that I myselfe have seene it."*
MARSHALSEA PRISON, SOUTHWARK.
AMONG the inhabitants of this noted prison in Henry the Eighth's reign, was "a rabblement" of army surgeons, who had accompanied the troops to France, and whose incapacity became so apparent at the Siege of Montreuil," the soldiers dying so fast of very slight wounds," that the Duke of Norfolk found it expedient to appoint a commission to examine the medical department on the spot. One of the commissioners was named John Gale, a sensible rational professor, who in his " Office of a Chirurgeon," has given the ensuing curious result of the inquiry.
"We found," says Gale, "many who took upon them the names of surgeons, and the wages also. We demanded of them with whom they were brought up. They with shameless faces would answer, one cunning man, or another, which was dead. We then demanded what chirurgery stuff they had to cure men with? And they
* The margin says, "The lock and key weighed but one wheat corne;" and the "chain but halfe a wheat corn."