John Peter Dramatti

Perp: John Peter Dramatti

Crime: Murder

The Victim: His Wife

Weapon of Choice: Sword

Motive: Domestic dispute originating from deception

Date : 1703

Punishment: Executed

Location: Tyburn

The Story

This unfortunate man was the son of Protestant parents, and was born at Saverdun, in the county of Foix, and province of Languedoc, in France. He received a religious education; but when he arrived at years of maturity, he left his own country, and went into Germany, where he served as a horse-grenadier under the Elector of Brandenburgh, who was afterwards King of Prussia. When he had been in this condition about a sum; he came over to England, and entered into the service of Lord Haversham, and afterwards enlisted as a soldier in the regiment of Colonel de la Meloniere. Having made two campaigns in Flanders, the regiment was ordered into Ireland, where it was dismissed from farther service ; in consequence of which Dramatti obtained his discharge.

He now became acquainted with a widow, between fifty and sixty years of age, who pretended that she had a great fortune, and was allied to the royal family of France; and he soon married her, not only on account of her supposed wealth and rank, but also of her understanding English and Irish, thinking it prudent to have a wife who could speak the language of the country in which he proposed to spend the remainder of his life. As soon as he discovered that his wife had no fortune, he went to London and offered his services to Lord Haversham, and was again admitted as one of his domestics. His wife, unhappy on account of their separate residence, wished to live with him at Lord Haversham's, which he would not consent to, saying, that his lordship did not know he was married.

The wife now began to evince the jealousy of her disposition, and frequent quarrels took place between them, because he was unable to be with her so frequently as she desired.

At length, on the 9th of June, 1703, Dramatti was sent to London from his master's house at Kensington, and calling upon his wife at her lodgings near Soho-square, she endeavoured to prevail upon him to stay with her. This, however, he refused ; and finding that he was going home, she went before him, and stationed herself at the Park-gate. On his coming up, she declared that he should go no further, unless she accompanied him ; but he quitted her abruptly, and went onwards to Chelsea. She pursued him to the Bloody Bridge, and there seized him by the neckcloth, and would have strangled him, but that he beat her off with his cane. He then attacked her with his sword ; and having wounded her in so many places as to conclude that he had killed her, his passion immediately begun to subside, and, falling on his knees, he devoutly implored the pardon of God for the horrid sin of which he had been guilty. He went on to Kensington, where his fellow-servants observing that his clothes were bloody, he said he had been attacked by two men in Hyde Park, who would have robbed him of his clothes, but that he defended himself, and broke the head of one of them.

The real fact, however, was subsequently discovered ; and Dramatti being taken before a magistrate, to whom he confessed his crime, the body of his wife was found in a ditch between Hyde Park and Chelsea, and a track of blood was seen to the distance of twenty yards ; at the end of which a piece of a sword was found sticking in a bank, which fitted the other part of the sword in the prisoner's possession.

The circumstances attending the murder being proved to the satisfaction of the jury, the culprit was found guilty, condemned, and, on the 21st of July, 1703, was executed at Tyburn.