William Woolcott, Henry Barns, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 25th May 1732.

Reference Number: t17320525-10
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

15. William Woolcott , alias Williwick , and Henry Barns were indicted for assaulting William Pardon on the Highway, in Whitechapel Parish, putting him in Fear, and taken from him 2 Keys, a Hat, a Wig, and 5 s. 10 d. in Money , April 5 .

William Pardon. Between 10 and 11 at Night, at the End of Red-Lion-Street, in Goodman's Fields , I saw 4 suspicious Fellows on the opposite Side of the Way; they cross'd towards me. I went into the middle of the Street, and began to run, in hopes to avoid them; for I had but 4 or 5 Doors farther to go; but I happen'd to fall, when immediately one of them got upon me, and the others about me; they cut me on the Head in several Places. You may see the Scars. I struggled and struck at them with my Hand, and (when they kept my Hand down) with my Foot. They took from me my Hat and Wig, 2 Keys, 5 s. and about 6 Pennyworth of Halfpence ; and then leaving me in a very bloody Condition, they vanish'd, as I thought all at once, and I made shift to get home. The Assault was so sudden and the Abuse so great, that I could not take so much notice of them, as to know them again. I was afterwards sent for by a Justice of Peace, on an Information given by James Tripland .

James Tripland. I and James Stratford , and the two Prisoners committed the Robbery. As the Prosecutor began to run, I set my Leg before him, and threw him down, and then I hit him a knock on the Head with a Broomstick, and Barns gave him another; we held him down, and Wolcott and Stratford rifled him. We sold the Hat and Wig for a Crown to Nell Wilford , who is now in Jail (for stealing the Goods of James Bromly ) she's one that buys stolen Goods, and sells 'em in Rag Fair. This 5 s. and 6 s. 5 d. Halfpenny, that we took from the Prosecutor was equally divided among us four.

John Matthews , Constable. I took Woolcott at the Dunghill by the Glass-House against Rag Fair. He said he was a dead Man, but was innocent of this Fact.

William Atly . On Tripland's Information, I had a Warrant to take Barns, and found him. He said he had committed several Robberies, but believed he was in no Danger, because the People (his Comrades) were in safe Custody, and therefore he fear'd no body.

Barns. I was taken on Chetwin's Information, and not on Tripland's ; I never was in Tripland's Company in my Life.

Tripland. Yes. but he has many a Time; we have often gone together to Shops to steal Money Boxes. and Sugar Loaves, and such kind of trifling Things.

Francis Weaker . I was with the Constable when Barns was taken, and carried before Alderman Brocas and Mr. Justice Phillips, he own'd he had been in several Robberies but said the People were safe in Jail. I asked him if he knew James Stratford ? He said, no; but by and by he said he was playing at Skettles with Stratford

when he was taken. I thought, says I, you said you did not know James Stratford ? O, says he, that was another Man of the same Name.

Henry Jackson . I heard Barns say that he had been guilty of some Things, but the People were in Custody; he would not name Particulars.

Barns. I was at Home at my Mother's when the Robbery was committed. Tripland swore he would hang me if there were no more Men in the World. He was Transported 4 or 5 Years ago by the Name of James Ogden ,

Woolcott. Tripland said he knew he was a dead Man, but he would hang 50 before he would be hanged himself. He was Transported by his Uncle's Name, James Ogden , who is an Oyster Meeter.

Court. If you could produce the Record of his Transportation, it might be of some Service to you. The Jury found them both Guilty . Death .


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