With Verses Addressed to "The Fair Sex" [Murder]. Williams, John. The Winchester Tragedy; A Full True, And Particular Account of a Most Bloody Murder! Committed on the Body of Mary Thomas, Near Winchester, In the County of Hants, By John Williams, A Young Farmer, In the Same Neighborhood, On Sunday Last. London: Printed and Sold by T. Evans, [c.1811]. 8 pp. Woodcut illustrations on title page and p. 6. Octavo (7" x 4"). Disbound stab-stitched pamphlet. Light soiling and edgewear, light toning. A well-preserved copy of a rare title. $650. * Mary Thomas, not yet 18, fell in love with John Williams, a young farmer who lived near Winchester. Williams promised to marry her when she became pregnant. However, he shifted his attention another young woman who recently inherited ?200. He was determined to marry her. Mary and the unborn child complicated his plans. One night, he put his arms around Mary, as if to kiss her, then pulled out a concealed knife and cut her throat in a most dreadful manner. He then dragged the body to a ditch, covered it with brambles and returned home. The investigation led to Williams. Despite the evidence of his guilt, he persisted in denying the crime until he was confronted with Mary's body. He was so shocked that he confessed his guilt. The two crude woodcuts depict Williams being taken through town by horse and cart surrounded by a baying crowd and the second shows him hanging from the gallows. The pamphlet concludes with verses "Addressed to the Fair Sex." Not in the ESTC. Two editions listed in COPAC, one of ours (at the British Library).
Book number 70026