Marquis de Paleotti

Perp: Marquis de Paleotti

Date: March, 1718

The Crime : Murder. Marquis de Paleotti stabbed his servant with a sword after he refused to ask any more people for money on Paleotti's behalf.

Victim: Paleotti's male servant

Motive : Desperate for money to pay his debts

Punishment: Executed

Location : Tyburn

The Story :

This nobleman was at the head of a noble family in Italy, and was born at Bologna. In the reign of Queen Anne he was a Colonel in the imperial army. The Duke of Shrewsbury, being at Rome, fell in love with and paid his addresses to the sister of the Marquis; and the lady having been married to him in Germany, they came to England.

The Marquis quitting the army at the peace of Utrecht, visited England to see his sister ; and being fond of an extravagant course of life, and attached to gaming, he soon ran in debt for considerable sums. His sister paid his debts for some time, till she found it would be a burdensome and endless task ; and she therefore declined all further interference. The habits of the Marquis, however, were in nowise changed, and being one day walking in the street, he directed his servant, an Italian, to go and borrow some money. The servant, having met with frequent denials, declined going : on which the Marquis drew his sword and killed him on the spot.

He was instantly apprehended, and committed to prison ; and being tried at the next sessions, was convicted on full evidence, and received sentence of death. The Duke of Shrewsbury being dead, and his duchess having little interest or acquaintance in England, it appears that no endeavours were used to save him from the punishment which awaited him, and he was executed at Tyburn on the 17th of March, 1718.

Italian pride had taken deep root in the mind of this man. To his last moment it was predominant. He petitioned the sheriffs that his body should not be defiled by touching the unhappy Englishmen doomed to suffer with him, and that he might die before them, and alone. The sheriffs, in courtesy to a stranger, granted this request, and thus, in his last struggle, he maintained the superiority of his rank.