John Johnson, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 6th September 1732.

46. John Johnson , alias Drew , was indicted for assaulting William Arnold , Esq ; on the Highway, in the Parish of Kensington , putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Gold-watch and Chain, value 16 l. a Cornelian Seal set in Gold, value 8 l. a Chrystal Seal set in Gold, value 3 l. and one Guinea , the 30th of May .

He was a second Time indicted for assaulting John Pedley , on the Highway, in the Parish of Hendon , putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Silver-watch, val. 5 l. 5 s. a Seal and Chain, value 1 s. 6 d. and 5 s. in Money , June the 23d .

He was a third Time indicted for assaulting Eleanor Wingfield , on the Highway, in the Parish of Hendon , putting her in Fear, and taking from her a Silk Purse, value 6 d. and 1 Moidore, 1 half Broad-piece, 1 quarter Broad-piece, 2 Guineas, and 3 s. the 23d of June .

He was a fourth Time indicted for assaulting Elizabeth, the Wife of Benjamin Champion , on the Highway , in the Parish of Hendon , putting her in Fear, and taking from her a Gold Ring set with Diamonds, value 4 l. a Gold Ring set with Stones, value 5 s. a Gold Ring, value 10 s. 1 Guinea, and 1 s. the Goods and Money of her Husband Benjamin Champion , July 20 .

He was a fifth Time indicted for assaulting Benjamin Champion , on the Highway, in the Parish of Hendon, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Silver Watch and Chain, val. 3 l. and 3 s. 6 d. in Money , July 20 .

First Indictment.

Prisoner, My Lor d, I have 2 Witnesses, Gentlemen of very good Credit, to prove that I was in another Place when these Robberies were committed ; but they cannot come till to Morrow.

Court. Which of the Robberies?

Prisoner. I can't say which in particular.

Court. Then 'tis a mere pretence for puting off your Trial.

Mr. Arnold. On Whitsun Tuesday, the 30th of May last, between 8 and 9 in the Evening, as I was coming in a Chariot from Kensington to Chelsea , the Prisoner upon a bright Bay Horse, with a black Main and Tail, rode up to the Chariot Side, and demanded my Watch and Money. I delivered my Watch and a Guinea.

Court. A Gold Watch?

Mr. Arnold. Yes; there were two Seals hanging to it, one was a Cornelian, with my Coat of Arms, and the other a Chrystal with Cicero's Head. My Perriwig-maker afterwards inform'd me, that a Highwayman was apprehended, and that two such Seals, among other Things, were found in his Custody. I went to see the Prisoner in the Press-Yard, in Newgate, and knew him at first Sight.

Prisoner. By what Circumstances did you know me, that you are so very sure of it?

Mr. Arnold. By the Features of your Face in general, and by your Eyes and Nose, which are pretty remarkable, in particular.

Prisoner. You seem to swear mighty positively. I hope you have some Body in Court that will give you a Character ?

Mr. Arnold. I was not on that side next him when he robb'd me, so that I had a full view of his Face. The Gentleman who was with me in the Chariot, is now out of Town.

Court. Was it light enough to see his Face distinctly?

Mr. Arnold. Yes, the Sun was scarcely set, and I observ'd him in a very particular Manner.

Prisoner. 'Tis hard that I can't have a Witness to swear that I was in another Place at that time; I was many Miles off.

Thomas Harrison . I keep the Fox Alehouse, at Hungerford-Market. On Sunday, the 30th of July, the Prisoner and one Elizabeth Stannet , who goes for his Wife, came in a Coach to my House, and brought a Box, a Trunk, and a Parrot in a Cage, with them. They at first talk'd of getting a Warrant to go by Water to Greenwich; but

afterwards said, they would stay till Master Jacky came. However, they went away between 12 and 1, and charged me to take care of the Parrot, and to desire Jacky, when he came, to stay there for them.

Next Morning Mr. Bays came from High-gate, to enquire after the Prisoner, and Stannet, and Jacky, and told me that Jacky had robb'd him of 40 or 50 l. Jacky came about 9 o'Clock. Mr. Bays seiz'd him, and he confess'd that he had stolen the Goods, and that they were all in the Trunk. Soon after a Waterman brought this Letter* for Jacky. 'Tis directed for John Carbury, but he goes by the Name of Conan. The Waterman said, that the Person he had it from was in his Boat. I look'd out of Window, and saw the Prisoner in the Boat; upon which the Constable went down and took him. When the Prisoner came up, he said to Mr. Bays, Billy, if Jacky has done this foolish Thing, and you can have your Goods again, I hope you will give him no farther Trouble. We ask'd the Prisoner, whose Things they were in the Box and Trunk? And he said, they belong'd to the Gentlewoman [Stannet .]

* To Mr. John Carbury, These,

Jack, I beg you will take all the Things, and come where you was Yesterday as soon as you can; you will see me as you come along on the Right-hand of the River, as soon as you are through Bridge. J. R.

Court. Who left those Things with you?

Harrison. Both the Prisoner, and the Gentlewoman desir'd me to help 'em to take those Things out of the Coach; I took the Deal-Box, and the Parrot Cage, and the Coachman brought the Trunk. In the Trunk or Box, I know not which, we found, among other Things, 2 Seals, and 2 Rings, one of them a Diamond Ring. Madam said before the Justice, that the Seals were old Family Seals of little Worth, and that the Rings were her own. As those Seals were own'd by no Body else, they were deliver'd to the Care of James Golding the Constable.

James Golding . The Seals were seal'd up in this Purse by Mr. Hall, and then deliver'd to me before Justice De Veil, they are now in the same Condition as when I receiv'd them. The Prosecutor has not yet seen them. The Prisoner was taken on the Information of one Colney.

Prisoner. I don't know what Seals you have put into that Purse; but you're a perjur'd Villain, you said at first, that they were seal'd up with your own Seal.

Court. Open the Purse, and take the Seals out.

Harrison. These are the same Seals that I saw in the Box or Trunk.

Mr. Arnold. And these are the 2 Seals that the Prisoner robb'd me of. Here's the Engraver who cut them.

John Yeo . These are the same Seals I cut for Mr. Arnold. Here is an Impression that I took off from one of them (the Cicero's Head) before I deliver'd it to him, and it agreet exactly with the Seal.

Prisoner. The Man that had the Seals made his escape; and the same Man had the Watch that they belong'd to; the Trunk did not belong to me.

William Bays . The Prisoner and Stannet took Lodgings near my Mother's House, and he brought the Trunk with him, my Mother keeps the Red-Lion at Highgate. One Conan, whom they call Master Jacky, came to see him, and brought such a Horse with him as Mr. Arnold has describ'd. They recommended Conan to my Mother for a Lodger, Conan lay at my Mother's o' Saturday Night, and robb'd her of the value of 50 l. and went off; on Sunday Morning the Prisoner brought a Hackney Coach from London, and he order'd the Coachman to take in the Trunk, the Box, and the Parrot, and then Madam Stannet went into the Coach, the Coachman drove back again towards London; but the Prisoner said he would walk over the Fields, and meet 'em out of Town. Finding that my Mother had been robb'd, I went to London, and enquir'd among

the Hackney Coachmen, for one that had taken up a Gentlewoman and a Parrot at Highgate. The Circumstance of the Parrot being pretty remarkable, I found out the Coachman, and he told me, that he drove them to the Fox at Hungerford-Market ; and there Master Jacky, and Madam, and the Prisoner were taken and committed to the Gatehouse; but Master Jacky made his escape out of Goal.

Second Indictment.

Mr. Pedley. On Friday the 23d of June, about 8 in the Evening, as I was coming along Cowhouse-Green , near Hendon , toward Hampstead, in a Chaise, the Prisoner came up on a Bay-Horse, with a black Main and Tail, and clapping a Pistol to my Breast, bid me deliver, or I was a dead Man; I gave him my Watch and Seal, and 5 s. He told me if I ever advertis'd the Watch, I was a dead Man. Then he went to this Lady (Mrs. Wingfield) who was in the Chaise with me, and said, God Damn you Madam -

Court. That's in another Indictment, you are now only to speak of what relates to your self.

Prisoner. Are you sure it was I? You'll swear any Thing; where do you live? What dress was I in? What Hat and Wig had I on?

Mr. Pedly. You had a whitish Coat, a light Bob-wig, and a scallop'd lac'd Hat. I am satisfy'd that you are the Man, not only by your Face, but your Voice.

Mr. Serjeant. I was at the Fox at Hungerford-Market, when the Prisoner and Jacky were taken. And this Seal was found in the Prisoner's Box. I heard him own that it was his Box. I shew'd the Seal to an Engraver, and he told me, the Arms belong'd to the Name of Pedly; and so upon enquiry I found out the Prosecutor.

Eleanor Wingfield . I saw the Prisoner hold the Pistol to Mr. Pedly, and I cry'd out to him not to shoot; but he swore, and threaten'd he would, if Mr. Pedley did not immediately deliver. I saw the Prisoner afterwards in the Press-Yard, and presently knew him to be the same Man.

Third Indictment.

Mr. Pedley. As soon as the Prisoner had robb'd me, he went to Mrs. Wingfield, who was in the Chaise with me. He held a Pistol in his Right-hand, and extended his Left, in order to take her Purse.

Prisoner. In order, did you see me take it?

Mr. Pedley. Yes; it was a Green Purse, and I saw some Gold in it.

Prisoner. You saw; you do but think so, must a Man lose his Life upon your Thoughts? How should you know what was in it?

Mr. Pedley. We called at a House, on Edgworth Road, and when I went to pay, they could not change my Money, upon which Mrs. Wingfield said, she had got small Money, and so she open'd her Purse, and I saw several pieces of Gold in it.

Prisoner. You swear very plain; have you any thing else to say?

Mrs. Wingfield. When the Prisoner had robb'd Mr. Pedley, he came to me, and in very rough Language demanded my Purse and Rings. I had no Rings, but gave him my Purse. There were in it a Moidore, a half 3 and 20 Broad-piece, a Quarter of 5 and 20 Piece, some Silver, and several Notes.

Prisoner. Do you swear that you was in the Chaise with Mr. Pedley?

Mrs. Wingfield. Yes.

Prisoner. And pray what Horse did I ride?

Mrs. Wingfield. A bright Bay, with a black Main and Tail.

Prisoner. Well, I must not be suffer'd to stay till I can have my Witnesses, and therefore I am incapable of defending my self any longer; 'tis very hard. But are you sure, Madam, that I am the Man?

Mrs. Wingfield. Yes, very sure; I knew you again, the first time I saw you in the Press-Yard.

Prisoner. Pray, Madam, what have these Whores-Birds given you to swear all this? Are you Mr. Pedley's Wife?

Mrs. Wingfield. No; but I am a near Relation.

He was try'd next Day on the fourth Indictment.

Mrs. Champion. On the 20th of July I was robb'd between Hendon and Edgworth , by the Prisoner in a Mask; he took from me 3 Rings, a Guinea, and some Silver; but as soon as he had robb'd me, he pull'd off his Mask, and look'd me full in the Face for a Minute. I think this is he, I remember his Eyes in particular. These are two of the Rings he took from me.

Mr. Serjeant. On the 1st of August, I found these Rings in the Prisoner's Box, at the Fox in Hungerford-Market. I traced out Mr. Champion by the Arms on his Seal (for he had been robb'd of his Watch and Seal) and he describ'd the Rings to me before he saw them.

Prisoner. I'll give the Court no more trouble.

The Court judg'd it unnecessary to try him on the fifth Indictment. The Jury found him Guilty of all the four. Death .


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