Notes taken from local newspaper reports into the 1882 trial of James Temporal for the manslaughter of Annie Elizabeth Burton.

Nottingham Evening Post 08 November 1882

The Alleged Murder in Narrow-Marsh
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Trial This Day
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    At the Nottingham and Lincoln Assizes to-day, before Mr. Justice North, James Temporal, 51, frame-work knitter, was charged on the coroner's warrant and the magistrate's commitment, with having wilfully murdered Annie Elizabeth Burton on the 15th September, 1882. The prisoner bore himself with remarkable confidence and self-possession in the dock. The prosecution was conducted by Mr. Weightman, and the defence by Mr. R. Harris.
    Mrs. Eliza Bradley, wife of Richard Bradley, said she lived in Narrow-marsh, and had known the deceased woman, Annie Elizabeth Burton, for a year and a half. Deceased had lived with the prisoner at no. 39, next door to witness. She had three children, the youngest being born while she was living with the prisoner. On Friday evening, the 5th September, witness saw the deceased near her own door at a quarter to ten. Deceased asked witness to go into the house and see her little boy who was ill. She did so. The prisoner was not then in the house. witness remained only a few minutes, then returning to her own home. The prisoner came to her house at five minutes past ten. He threw the door wide open and asked her to go with him. He appeared much frightened. She went to his house and saw Mrs. Burton lying on the floor near the cupboard on her left side. She was then groaning very much. Witness took her in her arms, telling the prisoner to send for some brandy, but deceased expired before the brandy came. When the witness saw that she was dying she said so to the prisoner, who did not speak. Witness then asked whatever was the matter, and again he did not speak. She asked him several times afterwards, and at last he said, "I threw the poker at her." Witness asked, "Where did it hit her?" and he replied, "It never did hit her." Witness said, "What is the cause of this, then?" and he replied, "She tried to throttle me, and I pushed her and she fell." He left witness then and went upstairs. She called out several times to him to bring a pillow to put deceased's head on. He brought a pillow, which was put under the woman's head. He looked at her for a few minutes, and said, "Poor wench" twice. He then went upstairs again. The daughter heard witness say, "Jim, she is dead," and then came downstairs. This was before she called for the pillow. When witness said that she was dead, the prisoner replied, "Don't say so, my wench." Shortly after the prisoner had gone upstairs a second time, she heard a lumbering noise, and sent her daughter, who had followed her into the house, for a police-constable. P.c. Sills and another policeman came, and witness went to her own house. About twenty minutes afterwards she was sent for again, and going back went upstairs into a bedroom, where she saw the prisoner lying with his throat cut. He was brought downstairs, and the remains of the deceased carried to the bed and undressed. Witness assisted in the undressing.- Cross-examined by Mr. Harris : I had lived near the prisoner and deceased a year and a half. The prisoner had always seemed kind to her and to all her children, and was a very good neighbour. She was subject to hysterical fits and was a very passionate woman. Witness had many times reasoned with her about her violent temper. She had often seen the deceased throw bottles and other things at the children. She had very often seen the prisoner stand between the children and the deceased to protect the latter from the violence of the former. The pocket knife which was found in his possession was quite dry and closed ; there was no mark about it. Deceased was a jealous woman, and had expressed her jealousy to witness. When he came to her at five minutes past ten he seemed "quite broken-hearted," so as to be almost beside himself. He put his arm under her and supported her while she was dying.
    Fanny Burton said she was 14 years of age, and lived with her mother at 41, Narrow-marsh, the prisoner living there also. On Friday, 15th September, she was at home in the evening, and went upstairs to make the beds at about nine o'clock. Her mother and the prisoner were at that time just beginning to have tea. There had been a slight quarrel between them about a cucumber. She wanted to cut it and he said he would not allow her. She then got hold of his neck with her hands, and he pushed her away. They then sat down. Witness then went upstairs and remained there some time. She was up two pair of stairs, and the door of the room in which she was was open. The stairs led down into the kitchen ; the prisoner and her mother were sitting in the "house," there being an open door between the kitchen and the "house." When she had been upstairs for some time she heard her mother call out, "Oh, Jim." She screamed loudly, but these words were all witness heard. She had not heard anything else while she had been upstairs, but she could not have heard unless people were talking loudly. She stayed upstairs about a quarter of an hour after she heard her mother scream. She then heard Mrs. Bradley say that her mother was dead, and coming downstairs saw her mother lying dead upon the floor. The prisoner was there and went upstairs, and on Mrs. Bradley calling for a pillow brought it down, afterwards going upstairs again. Shortly afterwards she heard a rumbling noise upstairs, the police came, and she was taken into Mrs. Bradley's house next door. She identified the knife produced as that usually carried by the prisoner.- Cross-examined : The prisoner kept a green-grocer's shop. He was always very kind to her and the other children, as well as to their mother. They were fond of him. When they were sitting down to tea there appeared to be no ill-feeling between them at all. The quarrel about the cucumber had taken place when she went upstairs and when they were about to have their tea. When the deceased was about to cut the cucumber she picked up a knife from the table ; it was a new knife ; not an old worn one. When the deceased took hold of him by the throat she had the knife in her hand, and he wrenched it away. She then seized him by the throat. deceased had thrown bottles, weights, &c., at witness and the other children, and the prisoner sometimes protected them from her. He always seemed fond of her mother, and treated her kindly. While upstairs she could hear her mother's voice, but no sound of any struggle.- Re-examined : The knife with which her mother was about to cut the cucumber was a black-hafted table knife.
    Dr. Herbert Owen Taylor deposed that on the 15th September last he was sent for to No. 41 Narrow-marsh. He there saw the deceased woman lying on the floor, and partly leaning against the wall, quite dead. He at that time made only a superficial examination. He went upstairs to the prisoner's bedroom, and there saw the prisoner, whose throat was cut. The prisoner was afterwards sent to the General Hospital. On Sunday, September 17th, witness made a post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased, which he found well nourished, and without external marks of injury or illusage. There was a wound of an incised character, proceeding downwards and inwards towards the back, about three-quarters of an inch in length. The wound was situated on the upper border of the fifth rib, immediately towards the outer border of the left breast. The instrument by which the wound was inflicted penetrated through the skin and superficial muscles to a point mid-way between the fifth and sixth ribs. The substance of the heart was penetrated, and death was the result of the injuries. Death would ensue within a very short time of the infliction of the wound. On examining the clothing of the deceased he found cuts corresponding to the wound through the dress, stays, and chemise of the deceased. Such wound as that to which he had referred might be caused by a knife like the one now produced. There was no external bleeding except a drop or so of blood on the chemise, and the wound could only have been caused by a blow delivered with considerable force. The wound was about two inches in depth. He had examined the knife microscopically two or three days after the death, but found no trace of blood upon the knife. If the knife produced had inflicted the wound a sudden sharp stroke and instant withdrawal of the instrument through clothing would not be inconsistent with the absence of blood upon it. He did not think that the wound described would have been caused by the deceased falling upon any instrument. It must have been caused by a blow dealt from above, and an ordinary table knife would not have inflicted such a wound.- Cross-examined : As he had said he had examined the knife microscopically, without finding upon it traces of blood. If a knife were suddenly forced through similar material to that in this case into blood and instantly withdrawn it would be free from marks of the blood. If the deceased had attacked the prisoner whilst he had a knife in his hand, and there had been a violent struggle, the wound might possibly have been caused in such a way.
(Case proceeding.)

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NOTTINGHAMSHIRE GUARDIAN 10 NOVEMBER 1882 P2

Notts. And Lincoln Assizes.

    The opening of the commissions for "Winter Assizes County No. 4," comprising the counties of Nottingham and Lincoln, with the city of Lincoln and the town of Nottingham, took place on Monday afternoon. Mr. Justice North arrived from Leicester at a quarter to four, and was met at the station by the High Sheriff (Sir Henry Bromley) and a detachment of the county police, by whom he was escorted through Station-street, Carrington-street, Low Pavement, Middle Pavement, and High Pavement to the Judge's lodgings in the last-named street. Here his lordship robed, and was conducted to the County Hall, accompanied by the High Sheriff, the Under-Sheriff (Mr. Newton), the Acting Under-Sheriff (Mr C. Bradshaw), and the High-Sheriff's Chaplain. The commission for the trial of prisoners from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and the city of Lincoln was then opened and read by Mr. Cockburn (deputy clerk of assize), after which the Court was adjourned till eleven o'clock on Tuesday. Next proceeding to the Town-hall his lordship was met by the Mayor (Ald. Goldschsmidt), the Town Sheriff (Mr. T. Bayley), the Town Clerk (Mr. S. G. Johnson, the Borough Under-Sheriff (Mr. S. Maples), Mr F. Rawson (magistrates' clerk), Mr. S. Stevens (chief constable), Mr. T. Hill, J.P., Mr. S. Butler, J.P., and the Governors of Nottingham and Lincoln Prisons.The formality of opening the commission for the town was gone through, and the Court adjourned till half-past ten o'clock on Tuesday, the Judge afterwards attending divine service at St. Mary's Church, whither he was accompanied by the officials.
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    The Autumn Assize for the counties of Nottingham and Lincoln was
opened on Tuesday morning before Mr. Justice North. At half-past ten o'clock his Lordship, attended by the Mayor (Ald. Goldschmidt), the Sheriff (Mr. T. Bayley, the High Sheriff of the County (Sir H. Bromley), and the Town Clerk (Mr. S.G. Johnson, took his seat at the Town Hall. The following gentlemen were sworn on the 
        Town Grand Jury
                Mr. W. Sculley, Foreman
    Mr. J. Ashforth        |    Mr. A.J. Black
    Mr. J. Adamas        |    Mr. J. Liberty
    Mr. J. Wright        |    Mr. W.F. Bromley
    Mr. J.W. Aldridge        |    Mr. J. Brown
    Mr. J.W. Alcock        |    Mr. E. Elsey
    Mr. J.R. Annibal        |    Mr. H. Blagg
    Mr. L.W. Atkin        |    Mr. K.B. Cox
    Mr. A.B. Baillon        |    Mr. G.N. Creasey
    Mr. S. Hamel        |    Mr. J. Cropper
    Mr. W. Ball            |    Mr. R. Dickinson
    Mr. H.W. Bircumshaw    |    Mr. G. Pearce
    Mr. F. Wright        |

THE CHARGE
    His Lordship in charging the Grand Jury, said that the calendar of  prisoners for the town proper contained twelve cases, but in addition to that number there was one prisoner who was sent for trial after the calendar was printed. With respect to those thirteen prisoners he had read the depositions, and he did not think there was anything which would give the Grand Jury any trouble. There were two or three cases to which he would allude, rather on the grounds of the serious nature of the charges, than because he thought they would have any difficulty in dealing with them....
The next case which he would mention was a serious one ; it was the charge against a man named James Temperial for the wilful murder of Annie Elizabeth Burton in Nottingham. The woman was not his wife ; she was a widow, and had two children by her first husband, but she had lived with the prisoner for two or three years as his wife and they had one child. The evidence indicated as far as it went that her temper had been very violent. She had not been a very kind mother to her children, and the man had been a hardworking, kind father to his own child and to the other two also. It appeared from the evidence that on the evening in question they were in their room a short time ; there was no evidence of an antecedent quarrel, except that the daughter said that there had been some little quarrel before she went upstairs, and that it seemed to be all over. The next thing heard was when the child was upstairs making the bed or doing something of that kind ; she heard in her mother's voice the exclamation, "Oh Jim!" and very soon afterwards the prisoner went into the house of one of his neighbours and made some remarks about the state of his wife, which induced a woman to go into the room , where she found the deceased either dead or dying. There was nothing to indicate any quarrel or strife between the two except the exclamation which the child heard, which she would probably think was uttered by the woman about the time her death blow was received. It was found on examination that the woman had been stabbed by some sharp-pointed instrument which had penetrated to the heart, but there was nothing to show the circumstances under which that wound was received excepting the cry to which he had referred. It was suggested to the doctor in the course of his cross-examination that it was possible the woman might have inflicted the wound herself, but he said it was highly improbable. He would point out that they could not act on possibilities unless there were evidence to support them, and against the view of the case there was the significant fact that the man went upstairs and attempted to commit suicide. With those words he left the case entirely in their hands.
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The Alleged Murder In Narrow-Marsh.

    At the Nottingham and Lincoln Assizes on Wednesday, before Mr. Justice North, James Temperil, 51, frame-work knitter, was charged on the coroner's warrant and the magistrates' commitment with having wilfully murdered Annie Elizabeth Burton on the 15th September, 1882. The prisoner bore himself with remarkable confidence and self-possession in the dock. The prosecution was conducted by Mr. Weightman, and the defence by Mr. R. Harris.
    Mr Weightman said that on behalf of the Crown he was there to say that the facts proved before them by the witnesses undoubtedly ammounted to a wilful murder on the part of the prisoner at the bar. Mr Harris appeared for the prisoner, and it would be for him to alter the aspect of the facts before them if he could do so. The case was a short one. On the 15th September the prisoner at the bar lived with the deceased, who was a widow, at 41 Narrow-marsh. Three children lived with them, the youngest of them being the prisoner's. He appeared to have been a man very affectionately attached to the deceased and to her children, to have been a kind-hearted man, and as far as they knew, hardworking : while the deceased appeared to have been a woman of more or less violent temper. On the 15th September, about nine o'clock, the eldest daughter, a girl of fourteen years, appeared to have gone upstairs to amke the beds, and left te prisoner and her mother downstairs. There appeared to have been some little quarrel about a cucumber earlier in the evening, but that had passed away. About quarter to ten o'clock Mrs. Bradley, a woman who lived in an adjoining house, went to the door and deceased asked her to come and look at her little boy. She did so, and about a quarter of an hour afterwards Mrs. Bradley went home. Some few minutes after that the prisoner came to her at her house and asked her to go back to his house for a few minutes. She followed him there and saw the deceased lying on the floor on her left side, her head leaning against a cupboard which was in the wall, and groaning heavily. Mrs. Bradley put her arms around her and held her for for a minute or two, when the deceased sobbed heavily once or twice and expired. The prisoner, who had remained in the room, ran upstairs, but on calling to him for a pillow he brought one down, and it was put under the head of the deceased. Mrs. Bradley then asked him how it had happened, and he said that he threw the poker at her. She said, "Where did you hit her?" and he replied that he did not hit her. Then she said "What is the cause of this, then?" on which he said "She tried to throttle me nad I pushed her away." He then went upstairs, and a few minutes afterwards he cut his throat in the bedroom. Dr. Taylor was sent for, and the man was first attended to, after which he was conveyed to the General Hospital. Subsequently Dr. Taylor examined the body of the woman and found that she had died from a stab in her left side, which had penetrated between two of the ribs, going straight through the tissues of the heart itself, and thus causing almost instantaneous death. The doctor would tel them that the haemorrhage was all internal. In the prisoner's pocket a clasp-knife was found, and the allegation on the part of the crown was that the prisoner inflicted upon the woman that wound with the knife, which he afterwards closed and put into his pocket. The police-constable asked him what he had cut his throat for, and he replied that his wife and he had been playing together, that she fell over a chair, and said that she had broken her back and was a dead woman; he then cut his throat. The question might arise whether the injury was self-inflicted or not, but the surgical evidence would show that was nearly impossible. He (Mr. Weightman) in conclusion asked the jury to find to find a verdict that the prisoner had been guilty of a capital offence.
    Mrs. Eliza Bradley, wife of Richard Bradley, said she lived in Narrow-marsh, and had known the deceased woman, Annie Elizabeth Burton, for a year and a half. Deceased had had lived with the prisoner at No. 39, next door to witness. She had three children, the youngest being born while she was living with the prisoner.. On Friday evening, the 5th September, witness saw the deceased near her own door at a quarter to ten. Deceased asked witness to go into the house and see her little boy, who was ill. She did so. The prisoner was not then in the house. Witness remained only a few minutes, then returning to her own home. The prisoner came to her house at five minutes past ten. He threw the door wide open and asked her to go with him. He appeared much frightened. She went to his house and saw Mrs. Burton lying on the floor near the cupboard on her left side. She was groaning very much. Witness took her in her arms, telling the prisoner to send for some brandy, but deceased expired before the brandy came. When witness saw that she was dying she said so to the prisoner, who did not speak. She asked him several times afterwards, and at last he said, "I threw the poker at her." Witness asked, "Where did it hit her?" and he replied, "It never did hit her." Witness said, "What is the cause of this, then?" and he replied "She tried too throttle me, and I pushed her and she fell." He left witness then and went upstairs. She called out several times to him to bring a pillow to put deceased's head on. He brought a pillow, which was put under the woman's head. He looked at her for a few minutes, and said, "Poor wench" twice. He then went went upstairs again. The daughter heard witness say, "Jim, she is dead," and then came downstairs. This was before she called for the pillow. When witness said that she was dead, the prisoner replied, "Don't say so my wench." Shortly after the prisoner had gone upstairs a second time, she heard a lumbering noise, and sent her daughter, who had followed her into the house, for a police-constable. P.c. Sills and another policeman came, and witness went to her own house. About twenty minutes afterwards she was sent for again, and going back went upstairs into a bedroom, where she saw the prisoner lying with his throat cut. He was brought downstairs, and the remains of the deceased carried up to the bed and undressed. Witness assisted in the undressing.- Cross-examined by Mr. Harris : I had  lived near the prisoner and deceased a year and a half. The prisoner had always seemed kind to her and to all her children and was a very good neighbour. She was subject to hysterical fits and was a very passionate woman. Witness had many times reasoned with her about her violent temper. She had often seen the deceased throw bottles and other things at the children. She had often seen the prisoner stand between the children and the deceased to protect the former from the violence of the latter. The pocket knife which was found in his possession was quite dry and closed ; there was no mark upon it. deceased was a jealous woman, and had expressed her jealousy to witness. When prisoner had come to her at five minutes past ten he seemed "quite broken-hearted," so as to be almost "beside himself." He put his arm under deceased and supported her while she was dying.
    Fanny Burton said she was 14 years of age, and lived with her mother at 41, Narrow-marsh, the prisoner living there also. On Friday, 15th September, she was at home in the evening, and went upstairs to make the beds at about nine o'clock. Her mother and the prisoner were at that time just beginning to have tea. There had been a slight quarrel between them about a cucumber. She wanted to cut it and he said he would not allow her. She then got hold of his neck with her hands, and he pushed her away. They then sat down. Witness then went upstairs and remained there some time. She was up two pair of stairs, and the door of the room in which she was was open. The stairs led down into the kitchen ; the prisoner and her mother were sitting in the "house," there being and an open door between the kitchen and the "house." When she had been upstairs for some time she heard her mother call out, "Oh Jim." She screamed loudly, but these words were all witness heard. She had not heard anything else while she had been upstairs, but she could not have heard unless people were talking loudly. She stayed upstairs about a quarter of an hour after she heard her mother scream. She then heard Mrs. Bradley say that her mother was dead, and coming downstairs saw her mother lying dead upon the floor. The prisoner was there and went upstairs, and on Mrs. Bradley calling for a pillow brought it down, afterwards going upstairs again. Shortly afterwards she heard a rumbling noise upstairs, the police came, and she was taken into Mrs. Bradley's house next door. She identified the knife produced as that usually carried by the prisoner.- Cross-examined : The prisoner kept a greengrocer's shop. He was always very kind to her and the other, as well as to her mother. They were fond of him. When they were sitting down to tea there appeared to be no ill-feeling between them at all. The quarrel about the cucumber had taken place when she went upstairs and when they were first about to have their tea. When the deceased was about to cut the cucumber she picked up a knife from the table ; it was a new knife ; not an old worn one. When the deceased took hold of him by the throat she had the knife in her hand, and he wrenched it away. She then seized him by the throat. deceased had thrown bottles, weights, &c., at witness and the other children, and the prisoner sometimes protected them from her. He always seemed fond of her mother, and treated her kindly. While upstairs she could hear her mother's voice but no sound of any struggle.- Re-examined : the knife which her mother was about to cut the cucumber was a black-hafted table knife.
    Dr. Herbert Owen Taylor deposed that on the 15th September last he was sent for to No. 41, Narrow-marsh. He there saw the deceased woman lying on the floor, and partly leaning against the wall, quite dead. He at that time made only a superficial examination. He went upstairs to the prisoner's bedroom, and there saw the prisoner, whose throat was cut. The prisoner was afterwards sent to the General Hospital. On Sunday, September 17th, witness made a post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased, which he found well nourished, and without external marks of injury or illusage. There was a wound of an incised character, proceeding downwards and inwards towards the back, about three-quarters of an inch in length. The wound was situated on the upper border of the fifth rib, immediately towards the outer border of the left breast. The instrument by which the wound was inflicted penetrated through the skin and superficial muscles to a point midway between the fifth and sixth ribs. The substance of the heart was penetrated and death was the result of the injuries. Death would ensue within a very short time of the infliction of the wound. On examining the clothing of the deceased he found cuts corresponding to the wound through the dress, stays, and chemise of the deceased. Such a wound as that to which he had referred might be caused by a knife like the one now produced. There was no external bleeding except a drop or so of blood on the chemise, and the would could only have been caused by a blow delivered with considerable force. The wound was about two inches in depth. he had examined the knife microscopically two or three days after the death, but found no trace of blood upon the knife. If the knife produced had inflicted the wound a sudden sharp stroke and instant withdrawal of the instrument through clothing would not be inconsistent with the absence of blood upon it. He did not think that the wound described would have been caused by the deceased falling upon any instrument. It must have been caused by a blow dealt from above, and an ordinary table knife would not have inflicted such a wound.- Cross-examined : As he had said, he had examined the knife now produced microscopically, without finding upon it traces of blood. If a knife were suddenly forced through similar material to that in this case and instantly withdrawn it would be free of from marks of the blood. If the deceased had attacked the prisoner whilst he had a knife in his hand, and there had been a violent struggle, the wound might possibly have been caused in such a way.
    P.c. John Sills said he was a member of the Nottingham borough police force, and on Friday, the 5th September, was called to No. 41, Narrow-marsh, at about 20 minutes past ten o'clock at night. He there found a woman lying dead downstairs, and going upstairs he saw the prisoner down upon his hands and knees. Witness asked him "what he had been on with." He replied, "I have cut my throat." Witness asked, "What have you done it with?" He answered, "With a razor; it is in the drawer." Witness asked him "What did you do it for?" and he replied, "Me and my wife had been playing together, and she fell over a chair. She said, 'Jim, I've broke my back.' A neighbour then came in a and told me she was dead, and I went upstairs to cut my throat." Afterwards witness sent for Dr. Taylor, and on searching the prisoner found the knife produced.
    Inspector Alfred Foster said that after the prisoner had left the General Hospital he took charge of him, and conveyed him to the Central Police-station. He said to him, "It is a very serious charge against you. You need not say anything unless you like, but what you do say will be taken down in writing, and may be used against you. You are charged with murdering Annie Elizabeth Burton, a woman with whom you cohabited at No. 41, Narrow-marsh, at about ten o'clock on the night of Friday, 15th September, by stabbing her with a knife." The prisoner said, "I am innocent."
    This concluded the case for the prosecution.
    Mr. Weightman addressed the jury on behalf of the Crown, contending that the fatal stab was deliberately inflicted by the prisoner. He then proceeded to deal with the evidence in detail in support of this contention, and concluded by saying that it was his duty, however painful, to ask the jury to pronounce that the only possible verdict could be returned consistent with the evidence was one of wilful murder against the prisoner at the bar.
    Mr. Harris then proceeded to deliver his address. He said it was a most painful duty which was cast upon the jury - to determine whether the prisoner was guilty or not of the crime of wilful murder. He need not dwell for a moment on the awful responsibility which rested upon them. His own responsibility was bad enough; the responsibility of the learned Judge was bad enough; but the responsibility of the jury seemed to him to be far more solemn than that either of the learned Judge or himself, because an adverse verdict - one to the effect that the prisoner was guilty of wilful murder - would of course send him to the gallows. His learned friend in opening his case had left the jury exactly what he would do - three alternatives - first, whether they should find the prisoner guilty of wilful murder; secondly, whether they should find him guilty of manslaughter; and thirdly, whether they should acquit him altogether. If it were to be a conviction it must be "wilfully and with malice aforethought." Let them just ask themselves, first of all, what evidence pointed to it. No human eye, except that of the prisoner, and the deceased woman, saw how it happened, and, therefore, the jury were left to conjecture, which was to say that they were left to form a conclusion upon the evidence as to the mode in which the injury was inflicted, and that was very grave responsibility for them. They had not got a witness there who could say, "I saw him take a knife from the table, or take a knife from his pocket and deliberately strike that woman while she was sitting in her chair." If that were the case he would in vain have pleaded to them to reduce the case to manslaughter, which was a crime shorn of the horrible incidents of ""willfully and of malice aforethought" which accompanied murder. There was no malice aforethought and there was no wilfulness in manslaughter, but at present it would not be safe to find that that man was guilty of murder upon the evidence. They had no evidence as to how the wound took place. The man himself was in the box; the law of the country did not allow him to give his explanation; they had no human witness to tell them how that dreadful affair happened; and they must be left therefore to exercise their reason; and he need not say that although humanity and mercy did not enter a jury box they could not shut humanity out of the human heart. While examining as reasonable men the evidence as to the murder they would examine it humanely, and would not stretch anything against the prisoner, but rather would construe anything doubtful in his favour. If it might have been committed innocently, and might have been committed guiltily, they would assume that it was committed innocently. Mr. Harris proceeded to contend that the prisoner's whole conduct and mode of life was against the supposition of murder, and after the injury had been inflicted he was so stricken by remorse, and misery, and sorrow, that he went upstairs and cut his own throat. If the woman assaulted him when they were alone, if she rushed at him with the kife, assaulted him with her fists, or seized him by te throat, and the man in the heat of the moment and under terrible provocation took up a knife that was on the table and plunged it into her, the jury would have a right to say that was manslaughter, on account of the provocation, and not murder. If they in their common sense could see that it was just possible or probable that she assaulted him after the girl went upstairs, and exercised her usual violence upon him, that was sufficient to justify them in not taking the prisoner's life. But must they find him guilty of manslaughter? How did they know what took place? How did they know that the theory which he had propounded, and which the doctor had given him some warrant for, was not the true theory? They were left to conjecture and to exercise their own common sense, and if that theory did not recommend itself to their common sense, let them dismiss it. Supposing again, that there was a struggle for the possession of the knife, and that the injury was done then, that would be an accident, because he was defending himself from her violence. Were they quite sure that the woman did not rush at the prisoner with the knife after the prisoner went upstairs, as she had done before the girl went upstairs? He (Mr. Harris) could say no more, but asked the jury in all honesty, in all sincerity, and not without confidence, to say that the prisoner was not guilty of either wilful murder or manslaughter.
    Hi Lordship next summed up to the jury, first pointing out with some elaboration the technical meaning of malice aforethought. The nearest illustration to the case in question was that of a quarrel between a husband and wife, in which the former hit the latter on the head with a pestle. That was held to be murder because it was considered that in using a weapon a man ought to think of the probability or improbability of what he did leading to death. If that reasoning held good with respect to a pestle, it would be very much more severe with respect to a more dangerous weapon like a knife. The jury, in coming to their decision, must not be guided in any way by conjecture, but by facts. If there was anything to reduce what would be murder to manslaughter or accident, they might say so, but they must have something that satisfied themselves other than mere conjecture.
    The jury retired, and, after a quarter of an hour's absence, returned with a verdict of guilty of manslaughter.- Sentence was deferred.
    
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Sheffield Daily Telegraph 10 November 1882

The Nottingham Tragedy

    At the Nottingham and Lincoln Assizes yesterday sentence was passed on the man James Temporal, who was on the previous day indicted for the wilful murder of his paramour, Annie Elizabeth Burton, on the 15th September last, but who was only convicted of manslaughter. In sentencing prisoner Sir Ford North said he did not know on what grounds the jury had arrived at their verdict, unless some kindness which Temporal was proved to have shown to the woman and her children had affected the view taken by them of the case. If he could, his Lordship said, he would have liked to know under what circumstances prisoner had been two or three times sentenced for cruelty and aggravated assaults on his wife. He should pass a sentence of ten years' penal servitude.

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Nottinghamshire Guardian 17 November 1882

THURSDAY.- (Before Mr. Justice North.)

The Alleged Murder in Narrow-Marsh.

    James Temporil, who was convicted on the previous evening of the manslaughter of Annie Elizabeth Burton, in Narrow-marsh, on the 15th September last, was brought up for sentence. On being asked by the Clerk of Arraigns whether he had anything to say why judgement should not be passed upon him, he said, "I hope your lordship will be as lenient to me as you can." The Judge said: James Temporil, you have been tried for the murder of Annie Elizabeth Burton, who was living with you, and have been found guilty of manslaughter. The jury have come to that conclusion. I do not know on what grounds, but that is the view they have taken, and you have the benefit of it. There was some evidence given to show your kindness to the woman and the children, and that may have affected the view the jury took of your case; but this is not a matter I can take into consideration. If I could, I should want to know under what circumstances you have been two or three times sentenced for cruelty and aggravated assaults on your wife. The sentence I pass upon you is one of ten years' penal servitude.

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