Robert Colson, Mary Colson, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Theft > receiving, 11th September 1734.

Reference Number: t17340911-33
Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery; Theft > receiving
Verdicts: Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishments: Death

41. Robert Colson , was indicted for assaulting Elizabeth Bedford , in an open Field near the Highway, putting her in Fear, and taking from her 4 Handkerchiefs, a Waistcoat, a Shirt, a Cambrick Head, a Cloak, a Tortoise shell Ring, a Gold Ring, a Cypher Ring, a Gold Ring set with Diamond Sparks, a Snuff-Box, and other Things, and 5 s. in Money , June 1 .

He was a second time indicted for assaulting Timothy Towle , in an open Path near the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Violin, a Coat, and Waistcoat, 5 Music Books, a Cap, and 1 s. June 5 .

And Mary his Wife , for the same Goods, knowing them to have been stolen .

Elizabeth Bedford . On Whitsun Eve, between 7 and 8 in the Evening, as I and my Husband were going with a Bundle to Hampstead , we had gone but a little way before I bethought my self that we had forgot a pair of Shoes, and so my Husband left the Bundle

with me, and stept back to fetch them. I stood waiting and looking for his return; till I saw a Man coming into the Field, and supposing it might be my Husband I turned about and went forward slowly. I had not gone far before I was overtaken by two Men in light Colour'd Stockings. They past by me without speaking. I was afraid they were Thieves, because of their white Stockings - For it seems white Stockings is a mighty Fashion among Thieves - One of these Men was the Prisoner. They walked a little before me, and coming into a small puddle of Water, the Prisoner offer'd me his Hand. I thank'd him, and so we went on to the End of the Field; where the path divides in two; one goes to a Gate, and one to the Gap. I went towards the Gate, and they the other way: But presently they turn'd towards me - And one of them, not the Prisoner, came up and said, What Money have you got young Woman? I told him none. Upon which he pull'd a Pistol out of his Pocket, and took away my Bundle, and gave it to the Prisoner. Then he took off my Cloak and Apron, and put his Hand down my Bosom; and asked if I had got any thing there. I said - No - Don't frighten me, for I am with Child, Damn your blood, says he, stand still and I won't hurt you - The Prisoner at the same laid his Hand upon my Shoulder, and ask'd me why I made such a Noise, and said they would do me no Harm, if I would be quiet. Then the other took my Ring off, and ask'd me again what Money I had in my Pocket; I said a little; and was going to take it out, but he thrust his Hand in and broke my Pocket off. There was 5 s. a Cypher-ring, and my Wedding-Ring, and some other Things in my Pocket. I begg'd them to return me my Wedding-ring, and promised to send them twice the value of it to any Place that they would appoint, and never complain of them. But they jump'd over the Ditch and went off with that and the rest of the Things - The Prisoner had dark Clothes, white Stockings, and a blue Linsey Woolsey Apron. I turn'd back and met my Husband about the middle of the Field, and told him how I had been robb'd.

John Gay , Pawnbroker. Mr. Cook the Beadle brought me a List of what the Woman had been robb'd of - These 2 Aprons and Pinners were Pawn'd by the Prisoner's Wife on the 3d of June.

Prosecutrix. These are the same I was robb'd of.

Francis Waker . There was a Warrant against the Prisoner for robbing Timothy Towle . I and others have been several times after the Prisoner in Blue-House-Fields, and at last on the 13 of August, or there abouts, we found him at an Ale-house Door in Vine-Street, drinking with one Bung: But this Bung was not the Accomplice that was with him when the Woman was robb'd. The Prisoner had a Knife in his Hand, and a screw Pistol charged with 2 Balls, and the Pan full of Powder, in his Pocket.

Phillip Cook . I assisted in taking the Prisoner.

William Bedford . I met my Wife in the Field, she told me she had been robb'd; and described the Prisoner.

Prisoner. I never saw the Woman before - She can't say that I robb'd her.

Second Indictment.

Timothy Towle . On Friday the 5th of July about 2 in the Morning, as I and John Fenicks was coming from Hamersmith towards London, we were attack'd by 2 Men near Holland walk by Kensington. It was a Moon light Morning, and I believe the Prisoner both by his Person and Voice was one of them. He came up and to me asked what Money I had. I told him but little, upon which he curst me, and presenting a Pistol, said, Deliver directly, or I'll shoot your Brains out. I gave him a Shilling which was all the Money I had, and then he made me strip off my Coat and Waistcoat, which he took away. My Violin was in my lining of my Coat, and was Pawn'd by the Prisoner's Wife to John Gay who was my Acquaintance, and told me of it.

John Gay. The Prisoner's Wife brought this Fiddle to me on the 2d of August. I took it in because Towle had told me that he had been robb'd of a Fiddle, and I was in hopes it might be his, though the name was scratch'd out. She said she had it of her Husband, and

he own'd it and said he bought it at Rag-Fair. I sent for Towle, and he swore it was the same that he had been robb'd of.

John Fenicks . The Prisoner and another Man attackt us with Pistols, which they clapt to our Ears, and with a volley of Oaths demanded our Money. For my part: was pretty easy, for I had nothing to lose; but the Prisoner took a Shilling from Towle, and was going away, but was so kind as to turn again and ease him of his Coat and Waistcoat and Fiddle - The Prisoner had a shabby Coat and a Crape Hatband.

Prisoner. I buy and sell Clothes, and I bought the Fiddle at Rag-Fair.

Mary Colson . I had the Fiddle from my Husband, and he bid me Pawn it.

The Jury found Robert Colson Guilty of both Indictments . Death . And Acquitted his Wife.


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