The Viall Assault

Foxearth & District Local History Society

A strange attempt at murder, by what must have been a deeply disturbed young man
Foxearth & District Local History Society

Bury and Norwich post

July 22nd 1829.

There was a shocking occurence at Clare on Wednesday morning according to our intelligence. A young man named George Green, a shopman to Mr Bridge, a draper of Clare, had been discovered in his bedroom (where he slept with another apprentice named Viall in different beds) covered with blood with his throat cut, the maid was dispatched for a surgeon who arrived and stitched the wound which started at his right ear and extended round the neck to the left ear, Viall cheerfully assisted the surgeon.

There was an inquiry of who inflicted the wound, Viall asserting that Green must have done it himself or that it was the work of a journeyman recently dismissed for dishonesty, Mr Bridge accused Viall of the crime which he denied but afterwards admitted.

The investigation was by Col.Mathew of Pentlow Hall and a warrant was made out for the arrest of Viall and he was removed to Bury gaol.

He has since made a statement that he had no malice towards Green but meant to destroy himself and fearing that Green would prevent it he resolved to kill him, a paper was found in a box with a sketch of a man hanging and a account of the Trial Of W.Viall.

July 29th 1829.

The youth Green, so dreadfully mutilated by the fellow apprentice Viall at Clare that there are fears that he will be a cripple in one arm.

August 12th 1829.

William Viall ageed 16 years was charged with cutting and wounding George Green with intent to kill or wound him.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty, the learned Judge placed the fatal emblem on his head and told the prisoner "you will be executed in a few days when you leave this place, during your confinement you have been visited daily by a clergyman who has done everything in his power to bring your mind into a proper state", his Lordship then passed the sentence of death.

August 19th 1829.

William Viall convicted at the late Assizes still remains under the sentence of death which will be carried out on Wednesday unless a reprieve shall arrive.

On Thursday last a respite for Viall has been received during his Majesty's pleasure by the Governor of Bury gaol.

October 21st 1829.

An order has been received at Bury gaol for transportation of William Viall who was convicted at the last Assizes for cutting the throat of George Green at Clare with the intent to murder.

November 18th 1829. .

Removed to the hulks at Portsmouth, William Viall to be transported for life.