George Mason, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 8th December 1731.

Reference Number: t17311208-38
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

George Mason , of St. Andrew's Holbourn , was indicted for assaulting Anne Kendall on the Highway, putting her in Fear, and taking from her a Bermudas Hat, value 5 s. and 2 s. in Money , the Goods and Money of her Husband Benjamin Kendall , the 5th of November last.

Anne Kendall. On the 5th of November last, between 9 and 10 at Night, as I was crossing Holbourn from the Little-Turn-Stile , the Prisoner and 2 other Men stopp'd me; What do you want? says I, and wish that he knock'd me

down, by giving me a punch in the Face with a Link, or some such Thing, for it stuck like Pitch, and then he took away my Hat. I catch'd hold of his Great Coat, and recover'd my self, for I was not willing to lose my Hat; but he got away, and I follow'd, and cry'd, Stop Thief, and I kept him in Sight till he was taken by a Constable. I had ty'd my Hat fast upon my Head with a Ribbon, and he pull'd so hard that he left the Ribbon about my Neck. So when I came up to him again, the Constable took a Man's Hat from under the Prisoner's Great Coat, and said, Is this your Hat? No, says I, mine is a Bermudas Hat, lined with blue Silk. I had not let him go so easily at first, but I had got a pair of Stays in my Apron, and I was afraid of losing 'em. I lost 2 s. besides, but I can't swear he had it.

Edward Priddam . I heard a Woman cry, Stop Thief! my Hat! my Hat! and saw the Prisoner running across the way; I let him pass me, and then seiz'd him. Presently the Prosecutrix came up to us with a String about her Neck, and accus'd him of Robbing her. I found a black Hat under his Great Coat, but the Woman said that was not her's, for that her's was a Bermudas Hat lin'd with blue Silk, and that the Prisoner had pitch'd her Face with a Link. I look'd on the Ground, and within two Yards found this Bermudas Hat, which she presently said was her's. The Prisoner offer'd to make himself an Evidence against his two Companions.

Edward Bladen . As the Prosecutrix cross'd Holbourn, I saw three Men attack her. She said be quiet, or I'll cry out; they thrust her into the middle of the Street, and the Prisoner pull'd her Hat off, put it under his Arm, ran as fast as he could, and was not out of my Sight till he was taken. When he was in the Round-House, he at first said, that what they did was only in Rognery to have a little Fun with the old Woman, by pulling and hauling her about, and then letting her slipdown; but afterwards he own'd, that they thrust her into the middle of the Street, and knock'd her down.

Richard Faircloth . I assisted the Constable. As the Prisoner was going to the Round-House , he said, Now I am sorry for what I have done, I meant no begun , but I fear a great deal of hurt will some of it, for I did take the Woman's Hat.

Prisoner. I and two more were drinking at the Cow's Face when the Prosecutrix came in Drunk, and would have pawn'd a pair of Stays for some Liquor, for she said she had no Money (tho' now she swears that I robb'd her of 2 s.) But neither Mrs. Fowler, who keeps the House, nor her Man, would let her have any more.

Richard Mason , the Prisoner's Brother. The Man at the Cow's Face told me the same thing.

Abraham Mason . And he told me.

Anthony Dennison . And me too.

The Constable. And the same Man told me, that the Woman pull'd out 2 s. that the Prisoner and his two Companions were three notorious Rogues, and that he would draw them no more drink, but turn'd 'em out of Doors, for he would not have a Disturbance in his House.

The Court. What was said by the Man or the Woman at the Cow's Face is no Evidence on either side, except they were here to swear it themselves.

Anthony Dennison . I have lived a great many Years in the Neighbourhood of the Prisoner and his Relations; and I never heard any thing of this kind before. He's a Weaver by Trade, and his Parents are honest industrious People. There was a Proposal to make him an Evidence against his two Companions, and a Council was see'd to move it; upon which the Constable said, If we should not prove the Fact against them, what a Case shall I be in? I shall get nothing .

Constable. No, I said I would act according to the Opinion of the Court, which I did, and found we had no Fact that we could fix upon the other two.

Justice Hilder. The Prisoner was brought before me on a violent Suspicion of a Robbery. A Woman was knock'd down and robbed by three Men, but could not tell which of them knocked her down. The Prisoner made an Information against the other two.

Samuel Hubbard . The Constable and Prisoner consulted together about going to Hicks's-Hall to make the Prisoner an Evidence against Crank and Pace, his two Companions, but afterwards the Constable declin'd it .

- Wood. The Prisoner was my Prentice . I beat him once about not taking to his Business readily, and so he was turn'd over to

his Brother; but I have heard no harm of him since till this Affair.

Several Witnesses. The Prisoner work'd at his Trade for a living, and we believ'd him to be honest. The Fact being plainly prov'd, the Jury found him Guilty . Death .


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