Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery
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James Harman , and John Davis , of St. Brian's Barnet , were indicted for assaulting John Nicol , Esq. on the High-Way, and taking from him a Guinea and 17 s. in Silver , the 29th of June last. They were also indicted a second Time, for assaulting Mr . Richard Reed on the High-Way, and taking from him a Guinea, a Moidore, and a broad Piece of Gold , at the Time aforementioned. Mr. Nicol depos'd, That as he was coming to London, in his Chair, two Men came up to him, beyond Muzzle Hill , and bid him stop, held Pistols to him, and demanded his Money, whereupon he gave them a Guinea and 17 s. that then they bid him give them his Watch, but he told them he had none; then one of them bid him give him his Pocket Book, to which he reply'd, he had none, then he bid him pull out his Pocket, and he did, taking out some Papers which he said, were of no value to the Person that took them, desiring him to let them alone; but he would have them. And having robb'd him and Mr. Reed, they rode away, and left him to Prosecute his Journey; that meeting with Captains Parsons. they acquainted him with what had befallen them, and described the Men and Horses, and he rode after them, and they were apprehended at Hackney. He did not swear to their Faces, because they had Masks on; but the Papers that were taken from him, and also from Davis, when he was apprehended, were produc'd in Court, and he swore to them. That he afterwards saw the Horses on which they were taken, and they were the Horses that those that robbed him, rid on. Mr. Reed depos'd, That as he was coming from Cony Hatch; he also was met by two Men on Horse-back, who drew their Pistols, told him they wanted Money, and he gave them a Guinea, a Moidore, and a broad Piece: That they then rode off, and were pursued by Captain Parsons, by his and Mr. Nicols Description of their Persons, Clothes and Horses, he not being able to swear to their Faces, they being mask'd.
Captain Parsons depos'd, That he meeting with the Prosecutors on the Road, and they telling him, they had been robb'd by two Men on Bay Horses; one of them being a little Man, and the other wearing a Rug Coat: He pursu'd them, and calling by the Way, desired another to accompany him, and riding after them, heard of them from Place to Place, as at Hornsey, Edmonton, Stamford,
William Newson depos'd, That Captain Parsons calling at the Green Man, at Muzzle Hill, and desiring Assistance, he got a Horse, rode after him, and overtook him about Hornsey-Church, they pursued the Prisoners, hearing of them from Place to Place, and at Turnpikes, till they came to Hackney. That they first got Intelligence of them in the Green Lane, at the Turnpike, where they were informed they were in haste, threw the Man a Shilling, and asked the Way to Epping: That they pursued them to South-gate, to Bore's-Farm, and till they came to Edmonton, and afterwards got Notice of them at the Turnpike at Stanford, and so pursued them to and fro for a Journey of near 20 Miles, till they came to Hackney, where they heard at the Meremaid Tavern, they had been there, changed their Coats, and were just gone, and that there being a Man that was there, that had led their Horses, he lent him his Horse, and he taking a Broom-stick rode after, overtook, and stopped them, and they were afterwards apprehended, he catching hold of Harman's Bridle; but as Davis was riding away, his Horse threw him, and he was also apprehended.
Robert Billington depos'd, That he being at work at Hackney, the former Evidences coming with a Hue and Cry, he mounted one of their Horses, rode after them with a Stick in his Hand; and coming up to them, stopped them, threatning, that if they offered to put their Hands to their Pockets, he would knock them down.
There were several others Evidences that depos'd, That at searching them, they found a Mask, and Pair of Pistols in Harman's Pocket, that another Mask was found thrown in the Chimney, in the Room, where Davis was, and a Pair of Pistols hid behind the Door, that they had changed their Coats at the Meremaid Tavern, and that Mr. Nichols's Papers were taken out of Davis's Pocket at Justice Holworthy's; also a Purse of Money was found on them that had such Pieces of Gold in it, as the Prosecutors had lost.
The Prisoners stiffly deny'd the Fact, and Harman being ask'd what he did with the Mask that was taken out of his Pocket, he reply'd, that he was going to a Masquerade; but gave no Account where was the rest of his Masquerading Equipage. The Fact being plainly prov'd, the Jury found them both guilty of both Indictments. Death .