Doctor Richard Hirons, sworn.
Q. Do you know any thing of the proceedings at Murray's barracks on the evening of the 5th March last, previous to the firing in King-street?
A. I live opposite the barrack-house, and was at home that evening. A little after
eight I heard a noise and disturbance in the street, I went out to know what it was,
and was told there was a difference between the towns people and soldiers. I saw several
soldiers pass and repass, some with bayonets, some with clubs and one thing and another.
I stood at my own door; I observed the noise seemed to come from towards the market;
I saw a number of people running to and fro across the bottom of the street. I shut
my door and went in about eight or ten minutes. I heard a noise like a single person
running thro' Boylston's alley with great violence; he ran as I took it towards the barrack gate, and cried out,
town born turn out, town born turn out, then turned to the side of the lane, and said
town born turn out, town born turn out. I heard this repeated twenty or thirty times,
I believe, it was the constant cry. I remember after coming out the second time, to
hear the voice of a person which I took to be Ensign Maul, say, who is this fellow, lay hold of him. I did not hear a word pass betwixt the
people that passed backwards and forwards, and the Sentinel at the barrack gate, nor
from the Sentinel to them; this cry of town born turn out, was repeated for seven
or eight minutes, when I heard the voice of a great many more.
Q. Were they soldiers?
A. I do not know, they might be soldiers; from the first of that cry it might be a
quarter of an hour or more, they seemed to retreat and come on again, and struck their
sticks very hard against the corner of the house. The collection of such a number,
with the noise of the clubs, induced me to lock my door, put out my light in the fore
part of my house, and to go upstairs into the chamber fronting the barracks; when
there, I observed four or five officers of the 29th, standing on their own steps,
and there might be betwixt twenty or thirty of the town's people surrounding the steps.
About that time came a little man, who he was I do not know; he said, why do you not
keep your soldiers in their barracks, they said they had done every thing they possibly
could, and would do every thing in their power, to keep them in their barracks, on
which he said, are the inhabitants to be knocked down in the street, are they to be
murdered in this manner; the officers still insisted they had done their utmost, and
would do it, to keep the soldiers in their barracks; the same person then said, you
know the country has been used ill, you know the town has been used ill, we did not
send for you, we will not have you here, we will get rid of you, or we will drive
you away; which of the last expressions I cannot say, but it was one or the other:
the officers still insisted they had done their utmost, and would do it, to keep the
soldiers in their barracks, and begged the person to use his interest to disperse
the people, that no mischief might happen; whether he did address the people or not,
I cannot say, for the confusion was so great I could not distinguish.
Q. How was that man dressed?
A. He was a little man, I think in a surtout; immediately the cry of home, home, was
mentioned; I don't recollect seeing any person go away at the first cry, and there
was such confusion I could not tell what was said, but in five minutes afterwards
the cry home, home was repeated, on which the greatest part of them, possibly two
thirds, went up Boylston's alley towards the Town-house, huzzaing for the Main Guard.
Q. What number were there?
A. A considerable number. I then observed more of the towns people come from towards
the Market; there was a good deal of squabble and noise betwixt the people and the
officers, but what was said I could not hear. The next thing I recollect in the affair
was, a little boy came down the alley, clapping his hand to his head, and cried he
was killed, he was killed; on which one of the officers took hold of him, and damned
him for a little rascal, asking him what business he had out of doors; the boy seemed
to be about seven or eight year old. Some little time after that, I saw a soldier
come out of the barrack gate with his musket, he went directly facing the alley, in
the middle of the street, and kneeled down on one knee, and said now damn your bloods,
I will make a lane through you all; while he was presenting, Mr. Maul an Ensign, with either Mr. Dixon or Mr. Minchin, I do not know which, came after him, immediately laid hold of him, and took the musket
from him, shoved him towards the barrack, and I think gave him the musket again, and
charged him at his peril to come out again. I do not recollect any discourse that
passed between the towns people and officers, there was still such clamour and confusion,
that I could not hear what passed; but in a little time either the soldier who came
out before, or another, came out again, he repeated much the same words as the other,
he had his gun in his hand, he did not offer to kneel down, but used the same expressions.
Q. Did he present his firelock?
A. He was presenting when Mr. Maul knocked him down, took his musket from him, drove him into the barracks, and I think
the barrack gate was then shut; about this time I recollect I heard Dr. Cooper's bell ring, I heard some officer say, go and stop that bell from ringing, whether
any body went or not, I cannot say, but it did not ring a great while: About this
time I saw Capt. Goldfinch of the fourteenth, on the steps with the officers of the twenty-ninth; there came
up another little man, who he was I do not know, but in a much different manner from
what the other did.
Q. How was he dressed?
A. He had on a great coat or surtout of a light brown, he requested the soldiers might
be kept in their barracks, and that the officers would do every thing in their power
to keep them there, the officers said, they had, and would do so; and as the soldiers
were in their barracks, begged the people might go away; this little man said to the
people, gentlemen, you hear what the officers say, that the soldiers are all in their
barracks, and you had better go home; on which the cry was, home, home, home.
Q. Do you suppose this was after you heard the bell ring?
A. Yes; on which a great many went up the alley again, and I heard the expression,
Let us go to the Main-Guard: Capt. Goldfinch was still on the steps, and I heard his voice still talking, and I think he desired
every person would go away; while he was talking, I heard the report of a musket.
Q. How long was that after the cry of home, home?
A. It was not many minutes; in a few seconds I heard the report of a second gun, presently
after that a third; upon the firing of the first gun, I heard Capt. Goldfinch say, I thought it would come to this, it is time for me to go. I then saw a soldier
come down the alley from Cornhill, and went up to the steps where the officers stood, and said, they fired from or upon
the Main guard. I then heard the drum at the Main-Guard beat to arms, I came down stairs and did not go out till I was sent for to some of
the wounded people.
Q. At the time when the first soldier came out, were there a body of people in the
street before the barracks?
A. There were some, but I suppose the most part were in the alley, there were several
about the meeting-house.
Q. Did they say or do any thing to the soldiers who came out with their muskets?
A. The officers immediately took hold of them and turned them in.
Q. Was you sent for to Maverick? A. Yes.
Q. Did he say any thing to you?
A. Yes, about two hours before his death, I asked him concerning the affair, he went
he said up the lane, and just as he got to the corner, he heard a gun, he did not
retreat back, but went to the Town-House, as he was going along, he was shot: It seems strange by the direction of the ball,
how he could be killed by the firing at the Custom-House; it wounded a portion of the liver, stomach and intestines, and lodged betwixt the
lower ribs, where I cut it out, the ball must have struck some wall or something else,
before it struck him.
Q. Where did he say he was when he was wounded?
A. He was betwixt Royal exchange-lane and the Town-house going up towards the Town house.
Dr. Hyrons. A little after 8 heard a confused Noise not far off, went out, was told Soldiers
and people were quarrelling, saw a Number of Soldiers pass and repass with Swords.
Saw a Number of people cross the Street. Went in and in a few Minutes after heard
a person run thro' the Alley with great Violence towards the Barrack Gate crying Town-born
turn out, Two or Three Times he did this. Ensign Mall cried, Whose that Fellow? After
the Repetition of Town born turn out 7 or 8 Times, I heard the Footsteps of several
more and in a very short Time a great many more. Soon a great Clashing of sticks against
The Fence &c. A little Man, I don't know who, came and addressed the Officer why don't
You keep your Men in. I have done all I can, and shall do all I can. Upon which says
the little Man, are the people to be knock'd down and murdered, upon which the Officer,
We have done the Utmost we can. Then the little Man, you know the Country has been
used ill, you know the Town has been used ill, We did not send for you, We won't have
you, We'll get rid of you or drive you away, I don't know which. The Officer still
replied They had done their utmost, and beg'd The Man to use his Influence to disperse
the people that no mischief might be done. Whether he did so or not I can't say, as
I could not distinguish Voices He had a Surtout on. Immediately the Cry home, home.
I don't recollect seeing any go at first, but This Cry was repeated, and The greatest
part about 2 Thirds ran up Boylstone's Alley and huzza'd for the Main Guard; Then
observed some more of the Town's people come up from towards the Market. There was
upon This a great Squable and Noise between the people and officers no Blows. A little
Boy with his hand on his Head cried I am kill'd, I am kill'd! Upon which an Officer
damn'd him for a Rascal and asked him What Business he had out of Doors. The Boy not
more than 6 or 7 years old. Not long after observed a Soldier come out of his Mess-house,
down upon his knee before Boylst. Alley, presented his musket and said now God damn
your Blood I'll make a Lane thro' you all. While he was presenting Minchin or Dixon
laid hold of him and turn'd him in to the Barracks telling him to come out again at
his peril. Not long before the same Soldier or another came out again with his Gun.
He repeated much the same Words as the other, was presenting and one of the officers
knock'd him down, and after This Thinks the Gates were shut. About This Time heard
Dr. Cooper's Bell ring, had heard the 9 o'clock Bell before as he thought. One officer
said go and stop that Bell. About This Time recollects seeing Capt. Goldfinch of the
14th on the Steps. There came up a little Man but in a quite different Manner from
the Other, desired 'em to keep their Men in; They said it should be done, and beg'd
he would get the People away. The little Man said, you hear what the Officers say,
you had better go home, upon which the Cry was Home, home, home again; on which a
great many of them went up the Alley, and said let's go to the Main G[uard] a Second Time. Not many minutes after This before he heard the Report of a Musket,
and in few Seconds a 2d Muskets, and then a Third. I heard Capt. G[oldfinch] say then, I tho't it would come to This, it's Time for me to go. A Soldier came,
and told the Officers, as I tho't, that They had fir'd upon the Main-guard.