Charles Westron In Court

On Sunday the 20th of January 1856, Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper published an account of the appearance, at Clerkenwell Police court, of Charles Westron for the murder of Mr. Waugh:-


On Wednesday, the Clerkenwell police-court was crowded to excess to hear the charge against the prisoner, Charles Broadfoot Westron, a clerk out of employ, residing at No. 23, Newland-street, Kensington, who was charged with the wilful murder of Mr. Waugh.

The prisoner who appeared quite unconcerned, is a diminutive-looking man, with a hump on his back.

The first witness called was Mr. Lewis Mathew Peeker, who said:-

“I reside at No. 11, Stationer’s- hall-court, city, and at 9, Harrington-street, Camden-town, and am an engraver.

This day, about half-past ten, as I was proceeding along Bedford-street, Bedford-row, I saw a gentleman before me, and he was about to turn down Hand-court. I then saw the prisoner run across the road – that is to say, he came from Hand- court towards Mr. Waugh, the deceased.


The prisoner lifted up his hand and I immediately saw a flash and heard a report. That report proceeded from the weapon the prisoner had in his hand. Mr. Waugh bounded up about a foot in the air, and fell on the ground breaking his hat in the fall.

A gentleman then came up and took hold of the prisoner’s arm. Before that, I should mention the prisoner threw a pistol on the ground.

Another pistol was also given to me, which was cocked, loaded, and had a cap on. Both pistols were brass.

I was about thirty feet from the deceased when he fell. I did not hear the deceased say anything.


The prisoner, who was standing with his arms folded and appeared very cool and collected, said in answer to Mr. Tyrwhitt that he had no question to ask.

Mr. Inspector Checkley said that it was the only witness he had at present, and asked that the prisoner might be remanded until the afternoon.

The prisoner, who had nothing to say, was then remanded for a short time.


On being brought up the second time, the following evidence was taken.

Mr. Abraham said that he was the managing clerk to Mr. G. Atkinson, of 51, Bedford-row.

He opened the window to let the smoke out when he saw the prisoner standing at the corner of Hand-court.

He gazed about for a few minutes when he saw the prisoner, that being about half-past ten.

He saw the prisoner walk across the road, and deliberately shoot Mr. Waugh.

He said that Mr. Waugh had ruined him, and had compelled him to eat bread and cheese for ten days.

Mr. Waugh expired before the prisoner left his presence.


Mr. Septimus Gibson, a surgeon, was next examined.

He stated that he was called to see the deceased at about half-past ten that morning, and he found him being taken into his office, No. 5, Great James-street, Bedford-row.

His clothes were saturated with blood, and he was quite dead.

He examined the body, and found a perforated wound of the chest below the fourth rib, close to the breastbone. That was the region of the heart.

The ball had taken a downward direction, and had passed through the substance of the heart. That wound would have been the immediate cause of death.

He probed the wound, and found it to be more than four inches deep. The ball had struck the cartilage of the ribs.


Thomas Hutchinson, street-keeper, said that he heard a report of firearms, and he saw Mr. Waugh fall to the ground.

He then ran up, when the prisoner said, “He ruined me, and I will ruin him.”

He asked the prisoner if he had any more firearms, and he said, “‘No.”

A pistol was at that time lying in the gutter.

He then took him into custody, when he said, once or twice, “The deceased had been the ruin of him, and that he wanted his money to go abroad with.”

In Brunswick-square he pulled a large knife out of his breast pocket.

He took him into custody because he heard a report, saw Mr. Waugh fall, and a gentleman told him that the prisoner had shot Mr. Waugh.


Richard Beckenden, a porter, said he was coming out of Hand-court into Bedford-row, when he saw the prisoner standing, and deliberately aim with a pistol at Mr. Waugh, and directly after he heard a report, and then the deceased staggered and fell.

As he was falling, he heard the deceased say, “Hold him,” at which time he (the witness) had his hands on his shoulder. The prisoner then said, “I did it. I have not a friend in the world. ”

Mr. Waugh never said anything else.

He then gave the prisoner into the custody of the street-keeper.

He saw the pistols, which were made of brass, and the one which was taken from his trousers pocket was loaded.


James Lymes, a bootmaker, said he was close to the spot where this melancholy affair took place.

The first thing he saw was the prisoner run from Hand- court, passing in front of the witness, when he turned round and saw a gentleman meeting the prisoner, who raised his arm, and he then saw the pistol go off.

As soon as the pistol was fired, he threw it into the street.

He was going across to take hold of the prisoner, but he felt so nervous that he could not go.

The deceased, when the pistol was fired, was not more than a yard or two from the prisoner. They met face to face. After he had fired the pistol the prisoner said, “You have ruined me.” The deceased exclaimed, “Take him.” and then fell down.

When the prisoner saw him fall he threw two pistols in the road. Witness picked them up, when he found one was loaded and the other was quite warm. The pistols are marked “Richards,” and are very old ones.


Mr. Inspeoter Checkley, E division, said:-

I received the prisoner into my custody. On the road to the station-house he made a statement to me. While in the cab he said, “If it had not been for the deceased I should have been in possession of £800. Now I shall only have £400. God knows when I shall have that, as he has thrown it into chancery.”


Francis Hayes, sergeant, 49 E, said:-

I was on duty when the prisoner was brought to the station-house, He said Mr. Waugeh had brought it all upon himself; he had cheated him of his estate, some acres of land. He also said that he had married into his (the prisoner’s) family; he was a relation of his. The prisoner added, “Now I am satisfied.”


This being the evidence at present adduced, Mr. Tyrwhitt asked the prisoner what he had to say to the charge.

Prisoner (coolly):-  “I have nothing to say at present.”

Mr. Tyrwhitt:- “I shall remand you for further examination to Wednesday next.”


Mr. Mould, the chief clerk, then bound over the above witnesses to appear and prosecute the prisoner at the Old Bailey sessions for the wilful murder of the deceased.

The prisoner stopped from the bar with apparent indifference, and he was taken to the lock-up cell by Waddington, the gaoler, who was instructed not to leave him by himself, and to keep a careful watch over him.

In the course of the day he was conveyed to the house of detention in the prison van.


At his subsequent Old Bailey trial Westron was found guilty of the murder of Mr. Waugh, and, despite the jury making a recommendation of mercy, he was sentenced to death.