Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Hugh Horton , alias Norton , of St. Margaret's Westminster , was indicted for assaulting Stephen Croucher , in the King's Highway, putting him in Fear of his Life, and taking from him a Sorrel Gelding , of the Price of 5 l. the Property of Thomas Austwick , a Mail, value 4 l. and fifty Leather Bags, value 5 l. the Property of our Sovereign Lord the King , the 1st of March last.
Stephen Croucher depos'd, That as he was going with the Bristol and Gloucester Mail, and being near Knight's-Bridge , a Man came out of a Gateway, and bid him Stand, catching hold of the Horse by the Bridle, that thereupon he (this Evidence) said, you are mistaken, I am but a Post Boy ; that the Man answer'd , I know what you are, you must come along with me, and threatened, if he cry'd out, or spoke a Word before he told him which was the Bristol Bag, he would kill him; that then he led him to the farther Side of a Field, pulled him off the Horse, took off the Mail, and took a Knife in his Hand, and either out open, or unbuckled the Mail; and having a Sack by him, he took out several Bags, and put them into the Sack, and ty'd him, and cut off the hinder Mail Pin, and the Cropper , and laid the Sack upon the sore Mail Pin, and was going to get up, but came to him again, and said, he had not ty'd him fast enough, and ty'd his Hands behind him, and then got up on the Horse, and carried away the bags ; and when he rid away, threatened, that if he (this Evidence) offered to stir before the People came to fetch the Oxen sent of the Ground, he would kill him.
This Evidence being ask'd, what time this was? Reply'd, about 4 o'Clock in the Morning. Being ask'd, if he knew the Prisoner to be the Man ? He answer'd, he could not swear positively to that, but that his Stature and Size was very like, and that he talk'd much like the Prisoner. Being ask'd , what Coat he had on? He reply'd, he had a great Coat on, the Cape of which was button'd about the lower part of his Face, and his Hat flapping over the upper part, and as to the Colour of his Coat, he could not tell what it was, it being very dark, and it Snowing very hard, it was cover'd with Snow.
Daniel Burton depos'd, That he and the Prisoner lodg'd together in the same House, at one Mr. Marlow's, and that the Prisoner had divers times sollicited him to go along with him to rob the Bristol-Mail, telling him, that they were both short of Money, and it was better to go out and raise some Money, saying, it was very easy to be done, there was only a Boy with it, and then they should be be made for ever; that he not liking his Proposal, did not Consent, and being afterwards in the Company of one Mason, he told him (this Evidence) that the Prisoner was but an indifferent sort of a Man, and had been the Ruin of him, and the Prisoner also proposing to rob Mrs. Marlow some Night when she went out, he acquainted Mr. Marlow and his Wife, that she was in great Danger if she went out of a Night; and likewise told him, if he did not turn him (the Prisoner) away, he would go away himself, and that Mr. Marlow did turn him away; that when he went away, he ow'd Mr. Marlow five Pound ten Shillings, that he came several times afterwards to the House, and Mr. Marlow told him, if he would pay him in a Month's time, he would abate him 10 Shillings of the Sum.
This Evidence being ask'd, about what time it was that the Prisoner propos'd to him the robbing of the Bristol-Mail? He answer'd, it was about 2 or 3 Months ago, when he first propos'd it, and that he propos'd it several times.
William Marlow being call'd, depos'd, That the Prisoner had lodg'd with him about half a Year, and ow'd him five Pound; and being gone away from his House, came and knock'd at his Door on Monday the 2d of March, in the Morning, that he look'd out of Window, and the Prisoner bid him come down, which he did, and he told him that he was come to pay him his Money; that he reply'd, that was very well; that he then gave him a Bank
This Evidence being ask'd about the occasion of his giving the Prisoner Warning, and if it was not upon the Information that Burton had given him, of his Design against his Wife, and his Proposals of robbing the Bristol-Mail? Said, his Memory was bad, he could not well remember. Being ask'd, what Character he had heard of the Prisoner? He answer'd, that he had heard, that he, and one Mason, had been turn'd out of the Guards for some Misdemeanour.
Henry Bingley , Clerk to Mr. Broadhead, depos'd, That a 20 l. Note was brought by Mr. Marlow, to Mr. Broadhead, on Monday the 2d of March, and there was an Endorsement upon it, but he could not say what the Endorsement was, and that he paid this Note away to one Mr. King , a Factor.
James King depos'd, That he did receive a 10 l . Note of Mr. Bingley, and there was an Endorsement, and he thinks it was this, Not to pay till the 5th; and he paid it away to Mr. Victorine's Man, in Thames-street.
William Yates depos'd, That he was Servant to Mr. Victorine, and did receive a Bank Note of 20 l. of Mr. King , on the 7th of March , and there was an Endorsement, to be paid the 5th of March, and that he paid it to Mess. Knight and Jackson's Man.
George Clark depos'd, That upon the 28th of February he inclosed this Note in a Letter, and directed it to Bath, and sent it from the Crown Tavern in Leaden-hall-street , to the Post-Office.
William Burleigh depos'd, That upon searching the Prisoner, he took out of his Breeches a Pocket-book, or Case, and that the Prisoner said he found that, and the Bills in it, in Common-Garden; and that it was between the Lining of his Breeches, and his Flesh, near his Garter ; that he had in his Pocket, two Guineas, a Moidore, and some Silver.
Mr. Jones was ask'd, where the Prisoner said he found the Notes, at the time he took the Prisoner, and the Pistols? He reply'd, to the best of his Memory, he said, in Lincoln's-Inn, or Lincoln's-Inn-Fields.
Mr. Langley, Turnkey of Newgate, depos'd, That when he was brought to Newgate, he search'd the Prisoner, and found 3 Bank Notes, and five 50 l. Notes of Mr. Hoare's, and he deliver'd them to Mr. Archer.
Mr. Archer confirm'd the Evidence of Langley.
Woodford Moore depos'd, That on the 28th of February, he inclos'd two Bank Notes of 20 l. each, in a Letter, and directed it to Mrs. Martin at Bath, and deliver'd the Letter to Mrs. Gibson.
Thomas Gregory depos'd, That he took out a Bank Bill of Exchange at the Bank, of February , and got a Friend to inclose it in a Letter , and directed it to Mr. Chandler, and desired a Person to go with him to see him put it in; this was one of the three taken upon the Prisoner by Mr. Langley.
Mr. Wayte depos'd, That he put this Letter into the Post-Office, and this Note was inclos'd.Richard Evans , at Bristol; that this was on Saturday the 28th of February.
Mr. Houghton depos'd, That the Bill that was found in the Pocket-Book, was in his (this Evidence's) Custody on the 28th of February, that it was directed to Matthew Wales in Bristol, and that he called his Servant to see him put in the Bill, and gave it to Mr. Wallet to carry to the Post-Office.
Mr. Wallet depos'd, That he saw the Bill inclos'd by Mr. Houghton, and he deliver'd it in at the Post Office.
Mr. Potts depos'd, That he seal'd all the Bags that were in the Bristol Mail, and buckl'd it up, and saw it deliver'd to the Post-Boy.
Mr. Jones depos'd, That when he search'd the Prisoner's Lodgings the 14th of March, he found in a Trunk, the Receipt the Prisoner had of Marlow for 5 l. and there were several slips of Leather, which were suppos'd to be part of the Bag, in which the Bristol Letters were.
Mr. Crawley , who dresses the Leather for the Post-Office, depos'd, That he did believe those slips of Leather did belong to the Mail, but could not be positive it was part of the Post of five Bags.
Mr. Archer depos'd, That he did believe those slips were part of the Post-Office Bags, and the rather, because of the Marks of Wax dropp'd upon it, which is what frequently, or always happens in sealing them; being oblig'd to use a great deal at a time.
The Prisoner deny'd the Fact, said, he was not the Man that committed it, and that he did really find the Notes; exclaim'd very much against Daniel Burton , and said, he believ'd it was a Trap laid for him; and that he would produce Evidences, to prove, that he was at Home all that Night that the Post-Boy was Robb'd, and call'd the following Evidences.
Elizabeth Hales depos'd, That the Prisoner lodg'd in her Room, and that he was at Home that Night the Bristol Mail was Robb'd; that he came in that Night at 9 o'Clock, and did not go out of her Room till 6 o'Clock in the Evening the Sunday following.
Being ask'd, what Day of the Month t hat was? She answer'd, The 30th or 31st of February, and was at Home all Day the 1st of March.
Being ask'd, How she knew that it was that Day the Mail was Robb'd? She reply'd, That she heard the People talk of it as she look'd out of her Window in Long-Acre.
Being ask'd, How long the Prisoner had lodg'd with her? She answer'd, Almost three Months.
Being ask'd, If she was not his Wife? She reply'd, No. And whether she did not some times go by his Name? She answer'd, No.
Being ask'd, If she had two Beds in her Room? She reply'd, No. And whether they did not use to lie together? She reply'd, When he went to Bed, she sometimes sate up, and sometimes lay down upon it, and when she went to Bed, he did the like; She added, she nurs'd his Child, and it had been sick about a Fortnight.
Being ask'd, How she could be sure the Prisoner was in her Room all Night the 28th of February? She reply'd, That he went to Bed, and she sate up, the Child being sick.
Sarah Andrews depos'd, That she having some Work to do that Night in haste, she went to her Sister Elizabeth Hales about Six o'Clock, to get her to help her; and that the Prisoner came in, and she work'd till Twelve o'Clock, and then she and her Sister went
The Jury, after a full hearing of the Matter, found the Prisoner guilty of the Indictment. Death .