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General Court Martial of John Lawrence
Part 2 of 3

Wednesday the 23rd Feby. 1780

The Court being met pursuant to Adjournment.

The Court Adjourned ‘till Thursday morning 11 o’Clock.

Thursday the 24th Feby. 1780.

The Court being met pursuant to Adjournment.

Lieut. John PENDRED was again examined.

        Q:(by the Court)—  Was the ground measured?

        A: Yes, the ground was measured about the distance of Six Yards, but Ensn. MOFFET wanted it to be only four Yards.

        Q: Did they fire by word of Command?

        A: Yes.

        Q: Where was Ensn. MOFFET quartered previous to the Duel?

        A: In one of the Huts in Richmond redoubt.

        Q: What distance is it from the Redoubt, to the place where the Duel was fought?

        A: About four miles.

        Q:(by the Prisoner)— Did not he (the Witness) carry him (the Prisoner) the note produced in Court previous to the Duel Vizt.

                                        Richmond 13th Jany. 1780
    In consequence of your behaviour last night to me (when totally intoxicated) requires that satisfaction due by one Gentleman to another. Mr. McNABB sends you your side arms, and wishes that you should not consider yourself longer under an arrest by him. I now call upon you as a Gentleman and a Soldier with your Sword & Pistols to wipe off any Odium I might have received by your Ungentlemanlike behaviour to
                                          John MOFFET

        A: Yes.

        Q: Did not Ensn. MOFFET go to him (the Prisoner) on the Evening of the 13th Jany. Six miles to fight him?

        A: Yes.

        Q: Was not he (the Prisoner) wounded at the same time that Ensign MOFFET fell?

        A: The skin was raised on the right side, just under his breast.

The Court Adjourned till Friday the 25th Feby. 1780.

Friday the 25th Feby. 1780.

The Court being met pursuant to Adjournment.

The Prisoner (Ensn. LAWRENCE) being put upon his Defence, delivered himself to the Court in the following manner—Vizt.

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Court

I stand charged before this Court for the Crime of Murder. I am very unhappy that I have been under the necessity of acting a part that has subjected me to such a Charge.

Ensn. MOFFET (the unhappy Gentleman who fell) sent me a Challenge on the Evening of the 13th Jany. to meet him immediately—I declined it—but as I was compell’d by the words of the Challenge, promised to meet him the next morning.

I considered myself bound by the Laws of honor, to give him the Satisfaction he demanded. My reputtation as an Officer and a Gentleman, in short my all was at stake—had I omitted meeting him in the manner he requested, I must ever after been treated as a Rascal and Coward—unhappy alternative—

Called upon as I was, I humbly conceive (by the Evidence of Mr. THOMPSON, Mr. PENDRED, and the Tenor of the Note of the 13th Jany. that Ensn. MOFFET sent me) it has appeared to the Court, that I only acted in my own Defence and that I was not guilty of any unjust or ungentlemanlike behaviour on that occasion.

I humbly ask the Courts pardon for taking up so much of their time in my Defence. I have been careful to make it as short as possible, Knowing that justice will govern your Decrees, I chearfully submit to your determination.

Click here for ---> Lawrence Court Martial, Part 1

                               Lawrence Court Martial, Part 3

Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 91, Pages 201–213.

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