LIEUTENANT JOHN LANDER
Executed on Pennenden Heath, in Kent, 16th of August, 1756, for Murder
JOHN LANDER was a lieutenant in the garrison of Chatham, and, having just received a month's pay, agreed with another officer, wild and unthinking as himself, to set off to London. For this purpose they hired a post-chaise, and ordered the post-boy to drive at full speed, or they would run him through the body. The first stage the boy, thus intimidated, whipped the poor horses until he broke their wind, which proved infinite sport to the inhuman fellows whom they dragged after them.
At Dartford they changed horses, and no sooner were they clear of the town than they repeated the word of command to the fresh boy, who accordingly urged the poor horses to their speed. At the foot of Shooter's Hill he slackened his pace, when they shouted to him to drive the same pace. On his answering the horses could not gallop up the hill, they jumped out of the chaise, and one of the degraded officers knocked the poor boy down, when Lander, drawing his sword, ran him through the body with such force that it actually pinioned him to the ground.
This ungovernable and base transaction of course impeded their journey. Instead of revelling in London they were sent to Rochester Jail, and brought to trial, when Lander was found guilty of wilful murder. He was executed on the 16th of August, 1756.