Thomas Taverner, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 30th June 1734.

Reference Number: t17340630-4
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

5. Thomas Taverner, alias Cotton , was indicted for assaulting Mary, the Wife of Samuel Russel , on the Highway, putting her in Fear, and taking from her a Silk-purse, 2 Gold-rings, and 2 s. Jan. 2 .

Mrs. Russel. About 4 in the Afternoon, going from Islington , to Newington , Green, my Chariot was stopt near the Turnpike, by two Men on Horseback, One of them came up, on a whitish Horse but very dirty, to the Chariot Door, with a Pistol, and said, Damn you, deliver! - be quick - Your Purse, your Money, your Rings! I was much surpriz'd, and said, Don't frighten me, and I'll give you all. I gave him my Purse, he pull'd off my Glove, and took 2 Rings, one, which was a Mourning-ring, he pull'd off, and I think, I gave him the other. I desir'd him to return me a Key, that was in the Purse, but he damn'd me, and rode off. My Coachman drove to the Turnpike, and then desir'd me to let him take one of the Horses, and pursue the Highwayman. I

gave him leave, and he follow'd them, and they were both taken that Night. But some, who took the Prisoner, let him go again. I verily believe the Man who robb'd me was the Prisoner. He was as like him as possible and such Clothes as the Prisoner has now, but I cannot swear positively.

Prisoner. What's become of the other Person who was taken?

Mrs. Russel. I hear that he is gone to Sea.

Prisoner. How could he be discharged, when he confest the Fact, and I was taken at Bristol?

Mrs. Russel. The Man the Prisoner speaks of, was Robert Morpeth who was taken for this Robbery, and made an Evidence*. The Prisoner being taken at Bristol I went to Morpeth's Father, and asked him where his Son was, for I wanted him to be an Evidence? He said his Son was discharged and gone to Sea.

*In January last, against William Byrom for stealing a Silver-Cup, but Byrom was Acquitted. Session Paper. Numb. 2. p. 53.

Prisoner. That was because his Father was rich, for he convicted Nobody.

Mr. Justice Booth. The Prisoner being taken at Holloway, some of his Friends let him slip away. Next Morning I went with Joseph Collins to Morpeth, in New-Prison, to enquire for a Family-Ring, which was taken from Mrs. Russel, and Morpeth deliver'd it to Collin's (who had been Servant to Mr. Russel) and confest that he and the Prisoner -

Court. His Confession is no Evidence against the Prisoner - How came Morpeth to be discharged?

Mr. Booth. After he had been an Evidence he was referr'd to me and Justice Harvey to be discharged, if there was no farther Prosecution. We waited till the next Sessions and a Month after, and no Prosecution then appearing he was according discharged.

William Ward (the Prosecutor's Coachman.) A little on this side the Turnpike that goes to Newington-Green, I saw the Prisoner and another coming through the Turnpike, they past the Chariot and turn'd short and said, Damn you stop! But not stoping immediately, the Prisoner cry'd, Damn your Body and Soul, stop or I'll shoot you this Minute He had a Pistol in his Hand. I stop'd, and he went to the Chariot-door to my Mistress, and another Lady who was with her, and Damn'd their Bloods for a Couple of Bitches, bid them deliver their Watches. They said they had none. Then he demanded their Money and Rings, and I saw him take a Ring off my Mistresses's Finger. The other Rogue was then on the Off-side of the Chariot. They rid away together towards Islington, and I drove to the Turnpike, took one of the Horses, and rais'd an Hue and Cry, and pursued them to Holloway, where they parted. One of them went towards Highgate, and was follow'd by some of the Company. The Prisoner quitted his Horse, ran down a Lane, and got into a Field. I dismounted too, and pursued him - One of the Company leap'd the Hedge with his Horse, and rode up to the Prisoner who offer'd a a Pistol at him, but another came behind the Prisoner, and pull'd him backwards. My Horse being left in the Lane with another Horse, they fell a Kicking one another; and the Prisoner being seiz'd, I went to take care of my Horse, and in the mean time those who had got the Prisoner let him slip away, for it seems they were acquainted with him - I am positive that he is the Man, and I pick'd him out among several in Newgate - He had brown Clothes, and his Horse was a White Grey, but very dirty.

Thomas Ogle . As I and 3 or 4 more were binding Hay at Holloway, we heard the Hue and Cry, and saw the Prisoner ride down the Lane between Mother Red-Cap's and the Castle, and Ward follow'd him. The Prisoner quitted his Horse, ran through a great Slough, and got over the Hedge into the Field. We ran to assist, and the Gentleman being unwilling to ride through the Slough, put me upon his Horse and I leap'd the Hedge and came up with the Prisoner. He drew a Pistol and offer'd to fire at me, but another Gentleman came behind him and pull'd him backwards, and the Pistol fell out of his Hand. Then I laid hold of his Pistol, and Ward was

the next Man who came up. Ward's Horse quarrelling with another, in the Lane, he ran to part them, and I follow'd to assist him, and as I return'd I met 20 or 30 of them in a Body, and they said the Prisoner was gone.

Court. And why did not you pursue him again?

Ogle. I was then a Field off, and when I found the Pistol loaded, I was frighted, considering how I had hazarded my Life.

Court. But the Danger was over when you had got the Pistol?

Ogle. But they did not care to follow him, for some of them knew him?

Court. Did you know him.

Ogle. I had seen him often.

Prisoner. What Clothes had I.

Ogle. Brown.

Prisoner. By what Particular do ye know me to be the Person?

Ogle. As he lay on his Back, I saw some Scars in his Throat.

Court. See if you can find such Marks now.

Ogle. (Going to the Prisoner.) Yes - Here is the same.

Thomas Hodgkin . On the 11 of February, I met the Prisoner, and 5 others in Bristol; and as I knew him, and had seen an Advertisement that he was concern'd in the Robbery by Newington, I got assistance, and dogg'd them to a Place call'd the Castle, where we took the Prisoner, and carried him before the Mayor, who sent him to Newgate.

Prisoner. I was sick a Bed when the Robbery was committed.

Frances Lee . The Prisoner kept an Alehouse in Swan-Alley, but failing there, he came to lodge at my House in Pear-Tree-street, in Brick-lane, and kept up close, for Fear of being arrested. He came a Month before the Robbery, and staid with me 5 Months; and then he went to Bristol in order to go to Dublin.

Court. But did he never go out?

Lee. Yes, now and then, privately - And he was a Week at Mrs. Pinnock's, at Islington, but I went to him every Day with Victuals.

The Jury found him Guilty . Death .


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