Trial and execution of David Thompson Myers

David Thompson Myers 1812

My thanks to Paul Reeve for alerting me to this hidden family secret at The British Newspaper Archive

 

Clipping on left is from Hull Packet, 19 May 1812.

 

David Thompson Myers, late of Stamford, draper, has been committed to Peterborough gaol, to take his trial at the ensuing sessions for an abominable offence, charged to have been committed by him in a plantation in Burghley Park.

Leeds Intelligencer, Monday 30 March 1812

 

At Peterborough Sessions on Wednesday last, David Thomas [sic] Myers was tried on an indictment charging him with the commission of and abominable offence with Thomas Crow, apprentice to Mr Horden, tailor, of Stamford, in Burghley Park. The nature of the case prevents one giving more than an abstract of the business. The evidence of Crow was corroborated in the most satisfactory manner by several respectable witnesses; and on the part of the defence, although eleven persons were called to invalidate Crow’s evidence nothing transpired to affect it in the least. After an impartial summing up of the evidence by the Learned Chairman, the Jury retired, and in less than five minutes returned the verdict of – Guilty. Sentence was immediately passed upon the Prisoner, and his death-warrant is signed for Monday, the 4th of May next. The Prisoner was very much affected during his trial; he never looked up except once, when the names of the Jurors were called over. The court was crowded to excess, and, we believe, there never was a verdict recorded in it that gave more universal satisfaction.

Sussex Advertiser, Monday 13 April 1812

 

Last week a petition from the Rev. Mr Myers was presented to the Prince Regent, on behalf of his unfortunate nephew, D. T. Myers, now under sentence of death in Peterborough gaol. A copy of this petition, by his Royal Highness’s commands, was transmitted to the magistrates at Peterborough with instruction that they would furnish him with the circumstances of the case. We understand that a correct copy of the whole evidence as given upon the trial was immediately forwarded to the Secretary of State, from whom an answer was received on Saturday, stating “that his Royal Highness would not reverse the sentence.” Although, from the evidence adduced upon trial (independently of the prisoner’s subsequent confession) his guilt was as glaring as the light, it must nevertheless be a source of satisfaction to his prosecutors, his judges, and the jury, that their proceedings have been sanctioned by the Regent and his privy council, some of whom are confessedly the most able lawyers of the present day.

Leeds Mercury, Saturday 09 May 1812

 

On Monday D. T. Myers, late linen-draper, in Stamford, underwent the sentence of the law, at the usual place of execution, near Peterborough, in the presence of at least 6000 spectators, for an abominable crime. Great exertions were made to obtain a pardon for him; but Mr Ryder gave his friends to understand, that offended justice must inevitably strike its mortal blow against an abomination of so hideous a description. Thursday se’nnight he took a pathetic farewell of his wife. It is but justice to mention that his feelings for her and a family of six children were of the most tender description. He entreated, before leaving the prison to proceed to the gibbet, that the last letter he received from his wife, with a copy of his reply to it, might be laid on his breast, when stretched out in his coffin, and be consigned to the earth with his body. He took the sacrament in a spirit of sincere penitence on Friday, and also on the morning of his execution. His coffin, at his own desire, was placed with him, in his cell, during Sunday night. At a quarter past 11 next morning the procession moved from the gaol, for the place of his execution, which is at some distance from the town. The convict was indulged with a chaise, in which he took his seat accompanied by a clergyman. The hearse, containing the coffin to receive his body, went before him, full in his sight. In about half an hour he reached the fatal tree, under which a new drop had been erected. He ascended the platform firmly, and his face seemed composed and even cheerful. While the executioner was putting the rope round his neck, he with much coolness, assisted in opening the collar of his shirt. The night-cap was put on his head; he then threw down the skin of an orange, which he had been sucking, and pulled the cap over his face with his own hands, exclaiming, as he did so “Now is my last curtain drawn.” The executioner left him, undrew the bolts that supported the drop, and precipitated him into eternity.

The Ipswich Journal, Saturday 16 May 1812

 

See my post about this startling discovery for the British Newspaper Archive Blog

http://blog.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/2012/05/04/when-a-skeleton-can-cans-its-way-out-of-the-ancestral-cupboard/

 

Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Lord, Remember Me!", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, enlarged 7 Dec. 2014 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1812myer.htm>.

More research about D.T. Myers by Chris Adams:

https://www.chradams.co.uk/lincsfamilies/myers/dtmyers.html

his son, George David Myers:

https://www.chradams.co.uk/lincsfamilies/myers/gdmyers.html

and grandson, Dr Charles John Myers:

https://www.chradams.co.uk/lincsfamilies/myers/drcjm.html

 

The image on the right is from an article by Steven Dryden at the British Library.