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,
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
you not keep your soldiers in their barracks, they said they had done every thing
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
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
the country has been used ill, you know the town has been used ill, we did not send
you, we will not have you here, we will get rid of you, or we will drive you away;
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
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
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
possibly two thirds, went up Boylston's alley towards the
Town-house, huzzaing for the Main
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
I recollect in the affair was, a little boy came down the alley, clapping his hand
his head, and cried he was killed, he was killed; on which one of the officers took
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
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
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
to come out again. I do not recollect any discourse that passed between the towns
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,
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
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
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
every thing in their power to keep them there, the officers said, they had, and would
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
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
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
Q. Was you sent for to Maverick?
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,
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
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
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
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
Times, I heard the Footsteps of several more and in a very short Time a great many
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
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.
the little Man, you know the Country has been used ill, you know the Town has been
ill, We did not send for you, We won't have you, We'll get rid of you or drive you
I don't know which. The Officer still replied They had done their utmost, and beg'd
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
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
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
again with his Gun. He repeated much the same Words as the other, was presenting and
of the officers knock'd him down, and after This Thinks the Gates were shut. About
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
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