William Barton, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 19th April 1721.

Reference Number: t17210419-37
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

William Barton , of St. Pancras , was indicted for Assaulting John Lord Viscount Lisbon on the High Way, on the 20th of February last, putting him, in Fear, and taking from him a Silver Hilted Sword value 6 l. and 12 s. in Money . The Prosecutor deposed that he was robb'd coming from Hampstead the Night aforesaid, that his Man told him there were three Foot Pads, but he saw but two, that they took his Sword, and what Silver he had left out of a Guinea he had changed at Hampstead; he could not say how much, but believed it might be about 12s. and a Snuff-Box from a Gentlewoman that was in his Chariot with him. James Reading deposed that the Prisoner, one Dickinson and himself committed the Fact; that he stopt the Coach, that my Lord ran his Cane at his Face, but he clapt a Pistol to my Lord's Breast and threatned to shoot him; that they took his Sword and 12s. from him, and a Snuff-Box from my Lady; that my Lord pray'd us not to take her Wedding Ring, she being with Child, and he this Evidence promised they would not. That Dickinson sold the Snuff-Box for 9 s. and the Hilt of the Sword was sold for 35 s. that he knew the Prisoner very well, that he was Transported 6 Years ago, and lately return'd. The Prisoner in his Defence said, that he was out of England at that time, but could not prove it because the Captain he was with then, was now gone to the Baltick; that he had other Evidence, but they were in the Country. Then endeavoured to invalidate the Evidence of Reading, by saying that he took up John Grimes and let him go again, and also one Shaw, and had 10 Guineas to let him go, and called John Grimes to prove it. John Grimes deposed, that he went to see Reading in New Prison, who charged him with stealing a Silver Hilted Sword, and afterwards clear'd him. Reading being call'd again to answer to that, deposed that Grimes was just run away from his Master and come to them and was very desirous to enter into their Gang, whereupon he had him secured for that Night, and the next Day told the Justice the matter, who then told Grimes that he was his best Friend in preventing his Ruine. And as to Shaw he said he did give an Information against James Shaw ; but the Constable took up another Shaw and sent for him; whom he knowing not to be the Person, they let him go without any Reward. Mr. Robinson (the Constable) confirmed what Reading said relating to Shaw. The Jury considering the whole matter, found him Guilty . Death .


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