John Hornby, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 1st May 1728.

Reference Number: t17280501-26
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

John Hornby , of St. Gregory, in the Ward of Castle Barnard , was indicted for assaulting Edward Ellis on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Silver Watch value 4 l. and two Guineas in Money .

Mr. Ellis depos'd, That on the 5th of January last, about 12 at Night, 2 of the Men came up to him in St. Paul's Church-Yard , that one of them caught him by the Throat, and another tripp'd up his Heels, that they beat him when he was down, and then took away his Money and Watch; that he hearing of Neaves being taken, went and enquired of him, and was told by Neaves himself, That he, with John Hornby, and Brown, alias Benson, were the Persons which robb'd and abus'd him; he then gave this Deponent an exact Description of his Watch, and repeated the Particulars which happened when they robb'd him.

Thomas Neaves depos'd, That at the Time aforesaid, himself, the Prisoner and Brown, alias Benson, assaulted and robb'd the Prosecutor as aforesaid; that he took the Watch and Money, and Hornby would have taken his Ring, but could not get it off his Finger; that they sold the Watch to one Madam Toy, who used to buy their stolen Goods, and entertain them at her House; that two Days after this Fact, Benson and Hornby went to Norwich.

Madam Toy depos'd, That she received a Watch of Neaves as a Pledge for Money, Drink, &c, but she could not remember that Hornby was with him, or that she had ever seen him.

Mr. Robertson depos'd, That he heard Madam Toy say the Day before this Trial, That she knew Hornby, and that he had lodg'd at her House, but went by another Name.

John Graves being call'd to Hornby's Reputation, said, He had heard an ill Character of him, and that he had been a Gamester with him and Neaves, but for the Life he had led this last Half Year, he could not Account, nor could any of the Witnesses call'd by him, say any Thing as to his Course of Life for the last Half Year. He being a Joyner , was ask'd if he could prove that he had followed his Business this last Half Year, and how he had maintained himself. He brought two Witnesses, who swore, the one, that he had set up three Shelves, and drove a Staple into a Door, and a Nail into a Lock, and the other, That he had talk'd about setting up a Bedstead for her in that Time, but did not. Upon his pleading a great deal of Innocence, Neaves desired he might be asked, if he was not some Time since committed to Tuttle-fields Bridewell, and for what, but he confidently denied his ever being there, tho' his own Father being in Court, confess'd he had been there, and could not give him any Character that was to his Advantage. Upon the Whole, the Jury found him Guilty . Death .


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