William Burroughs, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 2nd June 1731.

Reference Number: t17310602-34
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

William Burroughs , of St. Giles's in the Fields , was indicted for assaulting Edward Allen on the King's Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him 18 d. in Silver, 3 penny-worth of half-pence, and his Hat , the 26th of May last.

The Prosecutor depos'd, That having been Drinking in King's-head-Court in Holborn , and going away between 12 and 1 o'Clock, he took Coach to go home to Swallow-street , that as he was going along, 7 or 8 Men came up to the Coach, and the Coachman was commanded to stop, that the Prisoner came up to the Coach side, held a Pistol into the Coach, snap'd it at him, demanded his Money, which he gave him, and afterwards swore he would have his Hat too; that pulling him almost half way out of the Coach, his Hat was snatch'd off, but he would not swear that was taken by the Prisoner; but as to the Money, he was sure that was taken by him, he having a full view of his Face, parlying with him for some Time, that the Coachman coming down at the snapping the Pistol, said, they should not kill the Gentleman, that having gotten his Money and Hat, they went away, and he immediately got out of the Coach and pursued them, and crying out, stop Thief, the Prisoner was stopp'd, a little way off, he thinks about 40 or 50 Yards; and that after he had apprehended him, he owned that he had his Money.

Edward Mason , the Coachman, depos'd, That he took up the Prosecutor to drive him to the Man in the Moon in Swallow-Street, that he not being very well that Day, had gotten James Brock to drive for him, and himself sat on the cross Traces, that as the Boy was driving, 7 or 8 Men came up to the Coach, and some of them cry 'd, D - n you, stand; but he bidding the Boy drive on, one of them snap'd a Pistol, that the Boy standing at the snapping of the second Pistol, they went to the Coach, took the Prosecutor's Money, snapping another Pistol at him, and swore they would have his Hat too; upon this he jump'd down, telling them , they should not Murther the Gentleman, how should he come by his fare, since they had taken his Money? that they said to him, D - n your Eyes, what Business have you out of your Coach-box? and some of them cry'd out, Shoot him; but one (which he believes to be the Prisoner) cry'd, don't shoot him, I know him to be a Man. That they making off, he let the Prosecutor out of the Coach, and he pursued the Prisoner, and he was upon the out-cry taken in a Minute or two.

John Brock depos'd, That the last Evidence having got him to drive for him, being at Gray's-Inn-Gate, the Prosecutor call'd a Coach, and as they were driving him, 7 or 8 Men came up, and bid him stand, flashing a Pistol at him, which frightened him so, that he was ready to creep into the Hay-bag; that they robb'd the Prosecutor, he hearing his Money rattle in a Hat, that they saying, that they would have his Hat, he said you have got my Money, go about your Business, being not willing to give them his Hat.

Henry Whetton depos'd, That as he was coming from Dean-street, he saw four Fellows, who went along by 2 and 2, and he hearing an out-cry of Street-Robbers, he catch'd hold of the Prisoner, that immediately 'Squire Greenwood came up with his Sword drawn, and presently the Prosecutor came up, that Mr. Greenwood's Coach was about an 100 Yards off, and he saw the Men before run up to Mr. Greenwood's Coach, 2 on one-Side, and 2 on the other, that upon the out-cry of, stop Thief, they ran away, but he caught the Prisoner, who when he was charged by the Prosecutor with robbing him, said nothing at all to it.

Richard Leven , the Constable, depos'd, That he being upon his Rounds, and hearing the out-cry of, stop Thief, made up towards them, and found the former Evidence, and Mr. Greenwood with his Sword drawn, and the Prisoner together, that he carried him to the Round-House, and there he confess'd he was in the Robbery, and that he took the Prosecutor's Money, and would have been made an Evidence, but afterwards trifled with Justice Giffard.

'Squire Greenwood depos'd, That he going in a Coach near the Bull and Gate in Holborn, had his Hanger drawn lying by him, and that

4 Men came up to the Coach, 2 on one side, and 2 on the other , and one of them had almost gotten in, and that upon the Outcry they ran away, and he jumped out of the Coach and pursued them, but they all got away but the Prisoner, who had been stopp'd by Henry Whetton.

The Fact being clearly prov'd upon the Prisoner, and he having nothing material to say in his Defence, the Jury found him guilty of the Indictment. Death .


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