John Beach, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 5th December 1733.

Reference Number: t17331205-31
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

36. John Beach , was indicted for assaulting Francis Curfoy , on the Highway, in the Parish of St. George in the East , putting him in Fear, and taking from him, a Handkerchief, a pair of silk Garters, a Key, and a Bill of Exchange, Dated Oct. 6. 1733. drawn by Christopher Hooper on Anthony Hooper , for 5 l. 9 s. Payable at 5 Days sight, and 4 s. in Money , the Property of Francis Curfoy , Oct. 31 .

Francis Curfoy . Between 10 and 11 at Night, the 31st of October, as I was going home, I met the Prisoner in Wapping, and enquir'd of him, the Way to my Lodging, for I was a Stranger in Town. He said it I'd give him any thing, he'd shew me the Way, I agreed to give him 6 d. He led me a back Way, till we came to a Brandy-Shop ; I found I was wrong, and told him so. He said he brought me thither for a Dram; I gave him a Dram or two, and went out. He follow'd, knock'd me down, and took 4s. a Bill for 5l. 9s. (dated at Portsmouth, Oct. 6. 1733. drawn by Christopher Hooper on Anthony Hooper , Payable in London, at 5 Days sight) and a pair of silk Garters, and the Key of my Chest, out of my Pockets. My Handkerchief was ty'd about my Neck in a double Knot, and in getting it off, he had like to have strangled me. I cry'd out, Murder! and said, Fye upon it, what a sad thing it is, for a Man to be robb'd in his native Land ! A Woman came out of a Chandler's-Shop with a Candle, and yet, for all that, the Prisoner kept pulling my Handkerchief, 'till he had got it off, and then he run away. The good Woman, I don't know her Name, took me into a House, and gave me a Farthen's worth of Small-beer. I was afraid to go home, left I should meet the Prisoner again, and so I stay'd in that House all Night - I had never seen the Prisoner before, but I had a full View of him in the Brandy-Shop, and am sure he is the same Man. He was taken that Night, I know not how; but next Morning Tho Ovington , (the Officer, who took him ) came to enquire for me, and told me, the Prisoner was in Shadwell-Cage. I went thither; I knew him at first sight, and said, he was the Man who robb'd me.

Prisoner. Wath I the Man ath produthed the Handkerchief before the Juthtith.

Curfoy. It was produced by a Woman who went for the Prisoner's Wife, I think her Name was Jane.

Prisoner. But did not a Fellow that wath before the Juthtith own it, and thay, that he gave it to her?

Curfoy. No; she said she had it from him, but he deny'd it.

Prisoner. Wath not I drinking in the Bandy-thop when you thaw me firtht ?

Curfoy. No; I met you first in the Street, and we went into the Shop together.

Prisoner. Wath nobody elth in the Thop but you and I?

Curfoy. Nobody but the Woman of the Shop.

Prisoner. Wath you drunk or thober?

Curfoy. I was not drunk, but I had got a small Cup of Liquor.

Grace Thornton . I had been winding Silk all Day, and went down to a Chandler's Shop in Blue -coat-fields, between 10 and 11 at Night to drink; I had been there but a few Minutes before I heard a Man cry out Murder! Its a sad Thing for a Man to be robb'd in a Christian Land by his own Fellow-natives. I ran out with a Candle, and saw the Prosecutor sitting on the Stones at Brown's Door, and a Man (which I believe was the Prisoner) pulling a Handkerchief off his Neck, and then he ran away. The Prosetor's Nose was cut, and he was very bloody. He ask'd me for a little Water; I told him I'd give him a Farthing's worth of Small-beer, and so I lifted him up, but he sell down again, whether it was owing to Drink, or to the Damage he had suffer'd, I can't say; at last I got him into the Chandler's Shop, and gave him some Small-beer, and ask'd him why he did not get a Dram? He felt in his Pocket, and said he had lost 4s. but hop'd his Note was safe; but searching farther, he said that was gone too; so I left him, and went to bed. The Houses in our Neighbourhood are left out in Tenements to Lodgers; between one and two, Mr. Ovington, the Beadle, and the Watch, came and knock'd at our Street-door; my Husband went down and let 'em in; they said they came to search for some Fellows that had made a Disturbance; they went backwards, and saw the Prisoner getting over the Wall in the Yard into an Alley, and there he was taken.

Prisoner. When I wath drinking with the Prothecutor in the Low-room, where he afterwardth lay, you came to the Door and lock'd it; pray wath not hith Nothe cut then?

Thorton. Not that I know of.

Prisoner. I wath taken up for a Quarrel, and sent to the Cage, and thith Woman came to thee me there, and thaid thee did not know me.

Thornton. I never was nigh the Cage.

Thomas Ovington , Beadle. Between one and two in the Morning a Woman came to the Watch-house, and said there was a Disturbance in Blue-coat-fields; I went with the Watch thither, and knock'd at the Door, and Thornton let us in, and said, the People were got out backwards; we follow'd; the Prisoner was getting over the Wall; I went into the Alley and found him sitting on a Bench thus - with his Hands on his Knees, as if he had been asleep. John, says I, you must go with me to the Watch-house. Go with you, you Black-guard Dog? says he. Do you know who you talk to? I'd have you to know, Sirrah, that I have got Money, and a 5 l. Note in my Pocket. I made no more Words, but took him away. When he was in the Watch-house he pull'd a Paper out of his Fob, and said, See here, you Rascal! you Black-guard Rogue! here's a 5 l. Note! I ask'd him to let me see it in my Hand, but he refus'd, and put it up again.

Prisoner. Did you find any Note upon me, when you search'd me in the Morning?

Ovington. No; I search'd him only for Arms, for I did not then think the Paper he had shewn me was really such a Note as he said it was. In the Morning the Prosecutor came to see him in the Cage, and said directly, That's the Man! He robb'd me of 4 s. a pair of Garters, a Key, a Handkerchief, and a Note of 5 l. 9 s.

Prisoner. One of the Watchmen search'd

me, and found but a Groat in my Pocket, and that he took away.

Ovington. I did not see any Watchman search him.

Prisoner. I wath going to thee for my Wife, and call'd in at thith Brandy-thop to drink, and there I thaw the Prothecutor and another Man, like a Thea-saring Man, and they akth'd me to drink with them, and we had two Half-pinth of Brandy together, and then I went about my Bithineth, and going home there wath a Quarrel, and I went to take a Manth part, and so I wath thent to the Cage.

The Jury found him guilty . Death .


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