Here it is typed out so as to be more readable:
MURDER OF THE LATE NICHS. FAIRLES, ESQ., OF SOUTH SHIELDS.
We have been favoured with a perusal of the official documents in reference of the most extraordinary confessions ever in the annals of crime. The facts connected with the murder of Nicholas Fairles, Esq., at Jarrow, near South Shields, about four years ago, will be fresh in the recollection of our readers. The victim, it Will be remembered, was an active Magistrate of the County of Durham, and the deed of blood was committed on the highway, in a populous neighbourhood and in broad daylight. The murderers were Wm. Jobling and Ralph Armstrong, belonging to the Pitmen’s Union, the members of which, work for an advance of wages, were organized by several designing demagogues, under whose auspices, and, as it now appears, at whose instigation, the deluded men committed crimes of the most desperate and awful description. The guilty perpetrators of many of those acts of outrage, which filled the public mind with dread, were never brought to justice, but there could be doubt to the identity of the murderers of Mr. Fairles. Two women saw the deed committed: a host of witnesses also observed Jobling and Armstrong run away from the scene of their atrocity.
Armstrong's hands were red and reeking with the life-blood of the unfortunate gentleman, who lingered sufficiently long to make a deposition as to the villainous deed.
Jobling was apprehended, convicted, executed, and gibbeted at Jarrow Slake.
Rewards, to the amount of £500, were offered fur the apprehension of Armstrong - a sum sufficiently large, one would have thought, to tempt the enpidity of those persons who might be acquainted with the place of his concealment. But, if the confession to which we have adverted be correct, such was not the case.
A man, who has gone by the name of “Wm. Robinson,” as a sailor on board her Majesty’s ship “Tribune,” cruising off the island of Corfu, in the Mediterranean, made a detailed confession of the murder, before the Captain and officers, on the 15th and 16th days of January last.
He gave a circumstantial account of the crime, as the facts were elicited in County court of Durham on trial of Jobling. He further stated that he remained in concealment in the neighbourhood where the crime perpetrated, until after gibbet, exposing the body of Jobling, was erected in Jarrow Slake. He was then, he says, along with three other men, employed by the Delegates of the Pitmen’s Union, to cut down the body of Jobling. This daring act was accomplished in the dead of night, and the body, as it was in chains, was carried in a waterman’s boat, outside Shields Bar, and thrown into the sea. For this service, himself and the other three men receved, from the Pitman’s Delegates, and out of the Union Funds (we use the Pitmen’s Delegates, words), “the sum of two pounds each and a blow-out of grog and porter, and a supper.” The individual, who has made the above statement, further confessed that the of “Robinson.” by which he had gone since he served in the ship Tribune. the maiden name of his mother, but that his real name was William Armstrong.
After having twice attested and signed the confession of which the above is the substance, Captain Tomkinson, of the Tribune. discharged him to his Majesty’s ship Sapphire, to proceed from her by the steam packet to Malta, for the decision of Sir Josias Rawley, the commanding officer on the Mediterranean station. There can, therefore, be no doubt that man will speedily arrive in this country.
The necessary steps as to his identity will, of course, be immediately taken, and, if he be really the murderer, his eventual conviction of the crime may be looked upon as certain.
It is much to be regretted that Captain Tomkinson did not send, along with the confession, a description of the man. This might have entirely removed any doubt as to the subject of identity.
There are several slight discrepancies in the fellow’s statement. For example, the real name of the murderer was “Ralph,” and not “William” Armstrong.
There are also one or two other points, but after a careful perusal of the official documents, and comparing the facts stated with those which were elicited in the trial of Jobling as reported in this paper, we have not a shadow of doubt on the subject. Under an impression that the entire publication of the confession might, at the present moment, frustrate the ends of justice, we have been induced to suppress it. One remarkable feature of the case is, that the man, previous to his confession, was a drunken, disorderly fellow, and had often, when in liquor, stated to his messmates that he was the murderer of Mr. Fairles.
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