William Keys, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 4th April 1733.

Reference Number: t17330404-51
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

66. William Keys , of Finchly , was indicted for assaulting Richard Richardson , on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him, 2 Guineas , Jan. 27 .

Mr. Richardson. On the 27th of January, about Two in the Afternoon, my Chariot was stopp'd on Finchly-Common , by the Prisoner on Horse-back. He held a Pistol to my Breast, and demanded my Money, and threaten'd to shoot me dead if I did not deliver. I gave him two Guineas; and I am very positive to his Person, for I look'd full in his Face all the Time he was robbing me, which was about a Minute, and I have since seen him at Hertford.

Prisoner. What Clothes had I on?

Mr. Richardson. A great Coat, with a large Cape; but I can swear more positive than his Clothes, for he had no Mask, nor any manner of Disguise, not so much as the Cape of his Coat turn'd up.

Joseph Joice . I was behind the Coach. The Prisoner rid up to the Coachman, and said, If he did not stand, he'd shoot him thro' the Head that Moment. Then he went to the Coach-Door, and putting his Pistol into the Coach, he demanded my Master's Gold, and said, he would shoot him, dead if he did not deliver that Moment; my Master gave him something; but he was not contented with it, for he said, he must have more, he would search himself; and then he put his Hand into the Coach. He had a brown Cape-Coat, with the Cape down; he had no Disguise, and I had a full view of his Face, and am very sure that this is the Man.

Prisoner. Did you never own to your Master that you did not know me?

Joice. No; I had no Reason so to do, for I remember both your Face and your Voice.

James Jones . I was on the Coach-box; the Prisoner came leering along, and gallop'd up to my Horse's side. Damn you, says he, Stand! or I'll shoot this Minute. Then he went to the Chariot, and said to my Master, If you don't deliver your Money this Minute, by God I'll shoot! He was bare-faced; I observed that his Hand shook, and I thought I had seen his Face before, but I could not recollect where, nor when.

Prisoner. When you came to see me in Hertford Jail, you said you did not know me.

Jones. No; I told him I had seen him before; and upon that he turned about and said, I might see him behind too.

Prisoner. You said the man that did the Robbery had Grey Eyes and Grey Eyebrows.

Jones. I never said any such Word; I pick'd him out from half the Jail.

Prisoner. You had no Occasion to view me a second time, if you had known me at first; but I shall prove that I was in London when the Robbery was done.

Peter Kenny . The Prisoner was at Work with me all that Day.

Court. What Day?

Kenny. The 27th of January last.

Court. What Business do you follow? and where do you live?

Kenny. I live at the White Perriwig in Duke-street in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields; I am a Perriwig-maker, and the Prisoner is the same Trade.

Court. Are you a Housekeeper?

Kenny No; I keep a Shop there, but not the whole House. I have been there 2 Years. I served part of my time at the Corner of Bow-street, and lived there five Years for my self.

Court. Are you sure the Prisoner was all Day at your Shop on the 27th of January.

Kenny. He was my Journeyman from September last to the half an Hour past 8, on the 14th of February following. On Friday Night, the 26th of January, we lay together; he got up to Work next Morning at 7 o'Clock, and he worked with me till 8 that Night. We both work'd at one Table, he at one end, and I at the other, and I was not out of his Company in all that time, except about 2 o'Clock, when I went to the King's-Head over the way to get a Pint of Beer, but I was not absent above half an Hour.

Court. How came you to take such particular Notice of the 27th of January? was there any thing remarkable in that Day?

Kenny. The 27th of January was a Saturday, which is always a very busy Day with us; and therefore he could not be absent that Day without my taking particular Notice of it. Then he went out of Town the 14th of February, which was but 2 Weeks and odd Days, and 4 or 5 Days afterwards he sent me a Letter that he was in Hertford Jail, and this put me upon recollecting the Day.

Court. What Countryman are you?

Kenny. I have no need to deny my Country; I was born in Ireland.

John Myers . The Prisoner owed me a little money, and on Saturday being the 27th of January, at half an Hour past 2, I went to his Master's Shop in Duke-street to ask for it.

Court. What Business are you?

Myers. A Surgeon.

Court. How came you to be so punctual as to the time?

Myers. A Patient came to me just after Dinner, and as soon as I had dispatched him I went to the Prisoner, and found him and his Master at work together. His Master went over the way to the Alehouse soon after I came, and then I asked the Prisoner for the money, but he did not pay me.

Court. Did you stay till his Master came back?

Myers. No; I did not stay above a Quarter of an Hour.

William Lynch . The Prisoner used to drink at my House, in Prince's-street; I know he lived with Mr. Kenny, and was a very civil Man.

Edmund Birk . I bespoke a Wig of Mr. Kenny, and desired to have it made by Friday or Saturday; I called there on Saturday between 10 and 11 in the morning as I was going to the other end of the Town, and I called again as I came back, betwixt one and two, and I saw the Prisoner there (at both times) at work in a Banyan, with his Master - I live in Spittle-Fields.

Arthur Lynch . The Prisoner has been my Servant; I knew him first at Cales in Spain; He then liv'd with a Peruke-maker who work'd for me. But afterwards, being out of Business, I took him into my Service. He was with me about a month in Spain, and then I brought him over with me, and he continued 2 months in my Service here. He had a fair Character in Spain; I trusted him with my Clothes and other Things, and when he left me he return'd his Charge.

Prisoner. One man's Face may be like another's; the Prosecutor and his Servants, who never saw me before I was apprehended, may be mistaken; but my Witnesses have known me for a considerable time. The Jury found him Guilty . Death .


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