William Whitford, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 4th December 1730.

Reference Number: t17301204-81
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

William Whitford , of St. Giles's Cripplegate , was indicted for assaulting Elizabeth Wright , on the Highway, putting her in Fear, and taking from her 18 Guineas , the 12th of November last.

Elizabeth Wright depos'd, That she saw the Prisoner near Moorgate, and he followed her over the three Moorfields , and when she came to the Dissenters Burying-Ground , he gave her a thrust, and held a Pistol to her Breast, and said, you old Bitch, if you do not give me your Money, I will shoot you thro' the Heart, that this was in the Afternoon about 4 o'Clock, a quarter of an Hour over or under; that he

pull'd out a Penknife, and cut her Pocket, and took the Money, and that two of the Guineas dropping, he turn'd back to pick them up; that she perceiv'd him to turn into an Alehouse at the Corner of Featherstone-street, (which was his own House,) she follow'd him thither, laid hold on him, and charged him with taking her Money, but he, his Wife, and the Gang in the House, abus'd her, call'd her old Bitch, and thrust her out of Door, and she standing there and demanding a Constable he went out (as she supposes) at another Door.

John Carter , the Constable, depos'd, That he being sent for, went in with the Prosecutor to search for the Prisoner, and he held a Candle, while she look'd on, and view'd all the Company that was in the House, which were 20 or 30 loose vagabond Fellow'd, but she fix'd upon none of them; that she describ'd the Person who robb'd her so exactly, that he was fully persuaded that it was the Prisoner; that not finding him that Night, and having gotten a Warrant to apprehend him, he sent for the Prosecutor, and planted her in a House over the way, while he went in to see if the Prisoner was at home, giving her a Sign when she and those with her should come over; and going in, the Prisoner told him, that an old Bitch the Night before had scandaliz'd him with Robbing her, saying, he would give five Pound to know her; that thereupon he told him, if he would give him a full Pot of his Amber Beer he would inform him who she was; upon which he fetch'd the drink, and in the mean time he made the Sign, and the Prosecutor came over, and upon sight of the Prisoner, charg'd him to be the Man that robb'd her, upon which he trembled and quak'd; that they carried the Prisoner before Justice Manley , and there the Prisoner sent for Mr. Grierst, his Brewer, who inquiring as to the time when the Robbery was done, asserted the Prisoner was in his Company from 3 o'Clock till 7; and that there came in another who ha d been a Brewer, who lodg'd in the Prisoner's House, who affirm'd , that at 4 o'Clock he met him going to Mr. Grierst, as he told him, to get his Licence renew'd, and own'd, that when he came he found the Prosecutor at the Prisoner's House.

Richard Richardson depos'd, That he was present with the former Evidence, and that the Prosecutor was positive the Prisoner was the Man that robb'd her.

John Forth depos'd, That he passing by the Prisoner's Door between 4 and 5 o'Clock, saw the Prosecutor go in and get the Prisoner hold by the Arm, and that she then charg'd him with the Robbery, and said, he had taken 18 Guineas from her, and that the Woman of the House push'd the Prosecutor out of Door.

The Prosecutor being ask'd, If she was sure the Prisoner was the Person who robb'd her? She reply'd, she was sure he was the Person, and no other.

The Prisoner deny'd the Fact, and call'd the following Evidences.

Thomas Grierst depos'd, That the Prisoner came to him at 3 o'Clock, to go with him to renew his Licence ; that he knew the time, he hearing St. Paul's Clock strike 3, and he desir'd the Prisoner to stay while he was shav'd, which might be half an Hour, and was never out of his Company till 7 o'Clock.

William Langley depos'd , That he came to Mr. Grierst at about half an Hour past 3 o'Clock, and the Prisoner went with them to Clerkenwell to get a Licence, and then to Sadler's-Wells , and came back to St. Martins le Grand , and the Prisoner was not out of their Company till about 7.

Jacob Batt depos'd, That he went with Mr. Langley to Sadler's-Wells , that he went to Mr. Grierst's somewhat after 3 o'Clock, and it was near 4 when they went to Sadler's-Wells , they were there a little after 4 o'Clock, stay'd there about 3 Quarters of an Hour, and came back to Smithfield at near 6.

Thomas Philips depos'd, That on the 12th of November between 5 and 6 o'Clock, the Prisoner and Mr. Grierst's came to his House at the Corner of St. Ann's-Lane, in St. Martins , and bought half a dozen of Pots, he being a Pewterer .

The Prisoner call'd some Evidences, who depos'd, That the Prosecutor said the Person who robbed her was in a light-coloured Coat, and a light Wig; but this was contradicted

both by the Constable, the Justice of the Peace, and others, who affirm'd, and said it was a Man whose Hair was as Black as the Constable's, which was pretty Black. After a full hearing of the Matter, the Jury found him Guilty of the Indictment. Death .

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