Behaviour since his Condemnation, at Norwich, &c

The following is taken from the Liverpool Mercury:- "We received the following strange letter, which we print just as we received it. Whether it is a mere hoax of some witless fellow, or is really written by some tool or friend of the convict, we cannot even guess. The hand writing is about as bad as the spelling, but it does not appear to be feigned. It bears the Liverpool post mark, with the following superscription, and is as follows:-

the Liverpool Mercury
Lord Street

to Mr Edler
I wish to make it known to the world that Mr Rush is not the murderer of Jermy, the riter of this is the man but before they can know eney thing about me I will bee far on the sea they may hunt me as the plea I am sorry the innocent should suffer germy done my relation an ingerrey and I made him suffer so I am revenged that is all I wanted if they hang him, they hang the innocent I left that knight of the murder poor Rush fel in for it but he knowas nothing about it
I am a paucher
so was my relation"


Wymondham Bridewell, April 18, 1849

My dear, once affectionate Rush,
Deeply do I deplore the situation you are placed in at this moment - a situation which I believe myself to be the cause. Do not blame me, Rush, it was all your own fault. You said, at your examination; "Call Emily Sandford, my housekeeper, and Savoury, for they will prove my innocence." Only for that I should never have appeared against you. When I was called, my conscience compelled me to speak the truth; but it was your fault that I mentioned all the circumstances-you, on your trial, cross-examined me so much, that you compelled me to tell more than what I really should have done. The newspapers are all, in their articles scandalizing my character, touching my family. Dear Rush, if you had been now at liberty I do not imagine for one moment that you would allow such aspersions against me go unpunished, knowing that I always behaved to you, and your unhappy family, more like a wife an mother, than a housekeeper, as you termed me. Consider the evidence of our guilt, at this moment fondling on my knee- a tender child born in a felons' gaol, but not with "a brand on its forehead." Rush, I never expected that from you. What is to become of all your poor dear children? Are they to be cast upon the wide world? Do say No! Before you leave this wide, and what you term "troublesome world." Take what the publisher offered you, if you respect your offsprings, and write your life. Do remember an hereafter. Do think of the ties that were brought into the world for your comfort; and above all, remember you will shortly be launched into eternity; as Mrs Bryant, the matron, informs me that your execution is fixed for the 21st. Dear Rush, forgive me what I have said; I have spoken rather harsh, but still I have occasion so to do-you have ruined me -my character is lost for ever. I can say no more at present, my heart fails me, but remember me, my child, and your other poor children. For the present, I remain, your's, affectionate,


Norwich, Sunday Evening. - This day, Mr Pinson, the Governor of Norwich Castle, attended by the Rev Edward Postle, county magistrate, and the Rev Mr Brown, Chaplain of the Prison, waited upon the convict Rush, immediately after the afternoon service, to take down his confession. Rush said he would not deliver it up until Mr Postle was turned out of the cell. This was accordingly done, when he delivered into the hands of Mr Pinson the following:- This is my dying declaration before leaving this world. I acknowledge that I am guilty of the horrible crime I am convicted for; at the same time I am convicted upon nothing but circumstantial evidence, as no one but the Almighty saw me commit the deed. Emily Sandford has not told the truth of my being out all the time she stated, as I was not out more than fifty minutes. It is true about the disguise I wore, as the one produced is the same except the wig, which has never yet been found. It is, with the weapons yet concealed where I now point out to you: As you go up to Stanfield Hall, from the main road, on the right hand side, you will perceive a large stone, similar to a curb, adjoining it is a flag, under which you will find a brace of double barrelled pistols, inside the wig, the same which I committed this horrible tragedy. I purchased them at Mr Dempsey's gun smith, Whitechapel, London, nine months previous to the murder. The ramrod found on the premises is not the one I used; as I had none with me, having used a piece of thick wire for the occasion for fear of detection. I can tell you no more, only that I am guilty-It being revenge I sought. I attempted to conceal it, hoping to keep my poor children from shame and disgrace. But conscientiously from my heart, I believe that if Larner and Jermy had been convicted for the deed, I should let them have suffered for it. I have told you all the facts to the murder, but I shall leave some papers behind me ..... in my cell on the day of my execution, which will dispell ..... had in view.

Emily Sandford, alias Widow James was next called. She was dressed in deep mourning, and advanced to the witness box with feeble and tottering steps. Rush fixed his eyes on her with a severe and watchful scrutiny, but no changes came over his features. His hands, however, shook in every fibre. When she got in the witness box, she raised a thick crape veil which had previously covered her face, and turned a look full anguish-almost of despair-upon the prisoner. Her features were pale as death, the lips parched and white, and her whole appearance that of one who was worn away with grief. When she had been sworn, and just as Mr Prendergast was about to open the examination, the prisoner rose, and again fixing his eyes on the witness, said, My Lord, I wish to say -

Mr Baron Rolfe: You must not speak.

The witness stated that she first became acquainted with the prisoner two years ago. About a year ago she left London to live with him at Stanfield Hall Farm, and about beginning of February 1848, she went back to London, and lived with him there in lodgings under the name of James. Remembered person of the names Thomas Jermy, farmer, and Richard Reid coming there on October last. A paper which she had written before they came, from a copy given to her by Mr Rush, was produced at that meeting, and they all signed it. It was dated October 3rd. That was the day she wrote it. [This was the agreement respecting the farms found in the secret drawer of the prisoner at Potash Farm.] After they had gone, she also signed, at the request of Mr Rush. Mr Rush said that Larner and Jermy should go to Felmingham Farm. Mr Rush was to pay their expenses in going down. On the 5th October left London, and went with Rush to Potash Farm. They slept together that night. On Friday, the prisoner took her and the boy Savoury part of the way to Stanfield Hall, but left them at the moat. On his return from the hall she asked him if he had agreed with Mr Jermy. He said "No, but I trust we will." The witness proceeded to state that she went to Norwich the same day, and that the next day the prisoner saw her at the Swan Inn, and bought her some papers to copy. Some time afterwards, Rush having been to London in the interim, he brought her two other papers, which she copied on stamped paper, at his request. The Sunday after that (said the witness) he came and showed me one of the pieces of stamped paper. [Here the witness leant back weeping, and quite overcome. Her emotion appeared to be caused by a hurried glance she took at the prisoner.] On showing me the papers he said I want you to put your name to what you wrote for me the other day. I think he produced both the copies I made. (The prisoner here interrupted,) when the Judge said, - Had anything been added since you wrote the papers? Witness: I observed that the words "I. Jermy" had been added. (Sensation.) He asked me to write my name, and the word "witness" after it, which I did. He left me about four o'clock. I remarked to Mr Rush that the paper was the dated on the day we went to Stanfield, and that he made me witness though I did not go in. We had some words about it, and he said he did not wish to make me a witness. He told me that the papers were only copies. I wrote on Monday a letter to him on the subject, but I can't say that he has destroyed it, or has said so to me.

Mr Pinson, the governor of Norwich Castle was then called and examined: I was present at the cross examination of Emily Sandford on the 3rd of December. I heard the prisoner say. "If she signs that (her deposition) I hope her hand may rot off; and if she has a child by me, I hope it may be born with a brand on it."

Mr William Frederick Howe, said-I was in Catherine Street, Strandin 1847, at Jessops's wine and refreshment rooms, with the prisoner, and a fighting man came in. Mr Rush asked who he was, and his name was mentioned as Samuel Simmonds, Mr Rush then took up a glass of claret, which was before him, and said, "If I could strike like him I would knock down Jermy like a bullock." Very early in 1848, at Mr Waugh's office, there was an action of ejectment going on for Mr Rush; and the prisoner and I were walking down James Street, when he said, with reference to the action and Mr Jermy, "It will not be long before I serve him with an ejectment, or he has an ejectment for the other world."

A many other witnesses were examined, and the case closed for the prosecution on Monday evening, and the prisoner commenced his defence on Tuesday.

His defence occupied the court upwards of 14 hours, when Mr Baron Rolfe summed up at considerable length, and laid great stress upon the evidence of Eliza Chestney, the wounded servant, and that of Emily Sandford.

The Jury retired, and in a short time returned into Court with a verdict of Guilty against James Blomfield Rush.

The Judge assumed the Black Cap, and passed the usual sentence of Death.

Conduct of Rush in Prison

Since the conviction of the murderer there has been apparently little change in his outward acts, and he does not seem to be alive to the solemn and serious position in which he is placed.On leaving the dock after the sentence was declared, he said to the officials who had been in charge, "I am thirsty, give me some porter." He was informed that the prison regulations would not allow him to be so accommodated, but that he could have some tea, an alternative which he somewhat reluctantly accepted. Shortly afterward he said with composure, "This is a troublesome world." On the Rev Edward Postle, one of the county magistrates who committed Rush in the first instance, passing, the murderer recognised the Rev gentleman through the bars of the cell. He exclaimed, "Is that you, Postle, I have a clearer conscience than you have now." He was asked whether he would avail himself of the spiritual services of the Rev Mr Brown, the chaplain of the castle. "Oh, no, not at all I can do without him while I am here." He remained in his cell in which he was placed immediately after his committal, and he will remain there till the day appointed for his execution. He is very reserved, a portion always of his character, and will enter into no communication, with the officers of the castle, except as far as is necessary to convey to them his wants. The only person who has visited him since his conviction is his solicitor; no member of his family has made an application. The murderer employs himself by walking up and down a small yard attached to his cell, and when he does condescend to speak, he makes some jocular remark about his wish to get out of the world, and that he would not be the only one who had to complain of the troubles of this world. At times he whistles, and at others remarks upon the discordant noises proceeding from the fair outside. One of the county magistrates made the following remark to our reporters this morning:-"Rush says he has bilked Sir G Grey, the commissioners of bankruptcy, the judges in civil actions in which he was concerned, and every body else with whom he has had communication; whether he will bilk Mr Calcraft, the executioner, remains to be seen." All the money left his children by his wife has been spent, and the future condition of the family must be truly lamentable, an ejectment from the farms having been served. The execution will take place on Saturday, April 21, on the Castle Bridge.

Printed at the London Steam Press, Fleet Street

(Own Collection)