Hugh Morris, Robert Johnson, James Bryan, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > robbery, 14th October 1730.

Reference Number: t17301014-71
Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > robbery
Verdicts: Guilty; Guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death

Hugh Morris , Robert Johnson and James Bryan , alias Brien, alias Obrien , of St. Mary le Savoy , were indicted for assaulting Jane Kidd on the King's Highway, putting her in fear of her Life, and taking from her one Gold Ring, set with Diamonds, value 15 l. 15 s. one Diamond Ring, value 4 l. one Gold Ring set with a Ruby, value 3 l. one other set with a Garnet, and with Diamonds, other Goods, one Guinea, and 6 s. 6 d. in Money , the 18th of July last.

The Prosecutor depos'd, That she being in a Coach about 3 o'Clock in the Morning, over-against the Savoy-Gate , the Coach was stopp'd, and she saw five Men, two of which came one on each side of the Coach, and put in Pistols, and one of them came into the Coach, and cut off her Pocket, in which was at Snuff-Box, in which were the Rings; but she could not swear to their Faces, tho' it was then Day-light; but did believe that Obrien was one of them that held a Pistol into the Coach.

Bernard Fink depos'd, That they went out together the Night before to Rob, and meeting with the Coach, William Yates , alias Warrington , stopp'd it, having Robb'd a Gentleman before; that there were 2 Gentlewomen in the Coach, and James Obriens and Hugh Morris put Pistols into the Coach, and bid them deliver, and open'd the Coach Door, and he (this Evidence) went in, and cut off the two Ladies Pockets, and having took the Things out of the Pockets, they flung the Pockets away into Lincoln's-Inn-Fields , and the Things were distributed among them, and that the Prisoners, and the others, had each of them a Ring, which they wore on their Fingers when they went to Windsor; that Johnson had a Ring with one Stone, and 6 Sparks round it; that Brian had a Ruby Ring with 2 Sparks on each Side; and Morris had a green Stone, which he lost upon the Road to Windsor; that this was on Saturday about 3 o'Clock in the Morning, and one Ring was given to Johnson's Wife to pawn, and was pawn'd the same Day, and he (this Evidence) had two Guineas for his Share of a Watch that was sold, and the Ring was sold for three Guineas and a half.

William Yates, alias Warrington depos'd the same that the former Evidence had done, and added, That while they were Robbing the Coach, three Soldiers coming along, they went to them, and presenting their Pistols, and threatning to shoot them through the Head if they offer'd to molest them, they turned down a turning by the Savoy. The Prisoners denying their being present at the Commission of the Robbery, he added, That they were all there, that they had been together almost all that Day, and had been drinking at the King's-Head near Brook's-Market, and afterwards at a Coffee-house in Covent-Garden, that they had Robb'd three Gentlemen before.

John Smith depos'd, That Mr. Poplet came to borrow a Pair of Pistols, in order to pursue some Rogues that had Robb'd at Hockley in the Hole; that arriving at Windsor, they saw Morris and Bryan in Prescot-Street , just going into an Inn, that each of them had a Pistol in his Pocket; that seizing them, Morris would have been made an Evidence, and told him , that the other three were at Datchet ; that then he sent Poplet to Datchet to secure them, while he said to secure the other two.

- Poplet depos'd, That he went to Datchet, and getting Assistance , going to an Inn , enquir'd for the Prisoners, but the Landlord deny'd them; that going up Stairs, they broke open a Door, and found Warrington , Johnson and Fink all in Bed together, with their Breeches under the Bolster, and-two Pistols loaded lay between the Breeches and the Bolster; that they apprehended them, and found the Rings upon their Finger, according to the former Evidence.

The Prosecutor depos'd, That those were the Rings of which she had been Robb'd.

The Prisoners deny'd the Fact, and their being in Company with Fink and Warrington ;

and Obrien call'd several Evidences, who depos'd, That Obrien was at Home at his Father's House, at the time the Fact was committed .

Richard Hasper depos'd, That the Prisoner Obrien invited him to Supper that Friday Night, it being his Birth-day, that he was there from 10 to 3 in the Morning.

Thomas Clements depos'd be same the other had done.

Ferrers Obrien , the Prisoner's Father, depos'd the same; but being ask'd by the Court, how he knew it was the time when the Robbery was committed, said it was the Friday Night, the 17th Day of the Month, but could not tell what Month it was.

Bridget Obrien depos'd, That she saw him go to Bed the 17th of July, having been at Supper, and a Merry-making, till between 9 and 3 o'Clock the next Morning.

Elizabeth Felton depos'd, That she had also supp'd that Night with the Prisoner, that they had been drinking Scotch Ale very freely, and the Prisoner Obrien went to Bed very much fuddled at 3 o'Clock in the Morning, and then the Prisoner's Father went home with her.

Mary Jones depos'd, That as to the Ring that Bryan had, she lent it him, that it had been given her by Warrington that Saturday Morning about 8 o'Clock, and half an Hour after she lent it to Bryan for 2 or 3 Days, he being going to Windsor; but the Jury not giving credit to these Evidences, the Jury found them all three Guilty of the Indictment. Death .

These Prisoners were also indicted a second time for taking a Pocket, and 4 s. in Money, &c. from Margaret Lecroy at the same time. This Prosecutor being in the Coach with the former, the Evidences to this Fact were the same as to the former; the Fact being plainly proved, the Jury found them all Guilty of this Indictment likewise.

They were all three indicted a third time for Assaulting and Robbing Abraham Reynardson , Esq ; and taking from him a Silver-hilted Sword, a Gold Watch, a Gold-headed Cane, and 6 s. in Money , the 16th of July last. The Evidences to this Fact were the same as to the others.

Mr. Reynardson depos'd, That as he was walking Home near the Turnstile in Holbourn , two pass'd by him, and the third turn'd up on him, and collaring him, the rest came back again, and Robbed him of the Things mentioned in the Indictment.

Warrington depos'd, That the Prisoners and Fink, with himself, committed the Robbery; that himself and Johnson pass'd the Prosecutor, and Bryan collar'd him, and put a Pistol to his Head, and Morris was a little way behind; that Bryan took the Watch, and Fink took the Money out of his Pocket, and Johnson his Silver-hilted Sword and Cane.

Mary Warrington depos'd, That Huky Morris came to her House the Morning (before they were taken up on the Sunday) at Four o'Clock, and all the three Prisoners were there, and also Fink and her Husband; and her Husband gave her a Gold Watch, and a Gold-headed Cane, and that about 7 or 8 o'Clock they came again, and shew'd her 4 Diamond Rings, and Bryan had 2 of them; they told her they were going to Windsor to fetch a Wife of Bryan's, and she saw them get on Horseback. The Fact likewise being plainly proved, the Jury found them Guilty of this Indictment also.


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