JOHN WALLER, alias TREVOR,
Pilloried for perjury, and pelted to death by the populace, 13th June, 1732
THE pillory is an engine mode of wood, to punish offenders, by exposing them to public view, and rendering them infamous. There is a statute of the pillory 51 Henry III.; and by statute it is appointed for bakers, forestallers, and those who use false weights, perjury, forgery, &c. Lords of Leets are to have a pillory and tumbrel or it will be the cause of forfeiture of the leet; and a village may be bound by proscription to provide a pillory, &c. The name is derived from two Greek words, signifying 'to look through a door;' because one standing on the pillory puts his head, as it were, through a door.
This profligate wretch, Waller, to robbery added the still greater sin of accusing the innocent, in order to receive the reward in certain cases attending conviction. The abominable dealer in human blood was tried at the Old Bailey for robbing, on the highway, one John Edglin, and afterwards, under the name of John Trevor, giving a false evidence against the said John Edglin, whereby his life might have become forfeited to the abused laws of the country. On the latter charge he was found guilty.
It appeared, on this memorable trial, that Waller made it a practice to go the circuits as regularly as the judges and counsel, and to swear robberies against such as he deemed fit objects for his purpose, from no other motive than to obtain the reward given by each county for the apprehension and conviction of criminals for highway robberies and other offences therein committed.
The sentence of the Court was, that he should pay a fine of twenty marks, and be imprisoned for the term of two years, and at the expiration thereof to find good and sufficient security for his good behaviour during the remainder of his life; that he do stand twice in and upon the pillory, bareheaded, with his crime written in large characters; and that he do also stand twice before the pillory, likewise bareheaded, one hour each time.
On Tuesday, the 13th of June, 1732, this wicked man was put in the pillory, pursuant to his sentence, at the Seven Dials, in London; where, so great was the indignation of the populace, that they pelted him to death and the day after the coroner's inquest gave a verdict, 'Wilful murder by persons unknown.'