George Ward, Theft > housebreaking, Violent Theft > robbery, 5th May 1736.

Reference Number: t17360505-3
Offences: Theft > housebreaking; Violent Theft > robbery
Verdicts: Guilty
Punishments: Death

4. George Ward , was indicted for breaking, and entering the House of Thomas Gibson of St.

James's Clerkenwell , (with Patrick Hall and Edward Dillon , not yet taken;) and stealing thence, a silver Watch value 4 l. a silver Porringer, value 30 s. a silver Cup value 3 l. a Pair of black silk Stockings, value 10 s. and a silver Spoon, value 10 s. The Goods of Thomas Gibson , March 26, 1735 .

He was a second time indicted, for assaulting Thomas Gibson in his dwelling House, putting him in fear, and taking from him 10s. in Money the 26th of March aforesaid

Thomas Gibson . The Time mentioned in the Indictment, my Servant and I were at Work in the Bake-house; I sent him into the Yard for something, and hearing him cry out, I took up a long Pole and ran to the Door; this was about two o'Clock in the Morning; I had no sooner got to the Door, but a Man fired a Pistol at me, and wounded me in my Arm and Breast. A Second fir'd and wounded me in the Face, and beat me backwards. Then I saw three Persons, they took me in their Arms, unbottoned my Breeches, took out my Money, and laid me down; they brought my Man into the Bake-house, tied his Handkerchief over his Eyes, his Hands behind him, and sat him down by me. The Prisoner stood over me, swearing with horrid Oaths, if I spoke a Word, he would blow my Brains out, while the others got Candles and robb'd the House. They took many more Things than are mentioned in the Indictment; all that I had that was Valuable they took with them. The Prisoner was taken at Bridgewater in Somersetshire, and made a Confession before the Mayor and Alderman. One of the Rogues had been my Servant, and, I suppose, he was the Director in the Affair; the Prisoner I am positive was the Man that stood over me; I can't say whether they broke any Lock to get in; I believe they got over the Wall that is next the Fields, but they broke several Locks in the House to get the Goods.

John Gibson . I was at the apprehending of the Prisoner at Bridgewater, where he made a Confession.

The Confession being prov'd, it was read.

Parish of Bridgewater. The Confession of George Ward , taken the 24th of Feb. 1735, before Ambrose Hosee , Mayor, and Sam Smith , Justice of the Peace for the said Borough, who says, 'That he is about 24 or 25 Years old, ' born at Dublin, and was brought up a Joyner ; ' that he came from thence to London about last ' March was twelve Months, and work'd with ' one King, a Joyner, in Covent-Garden, lodged ' in Newtoner's Lane, at the House of one Fitzgerald, ' and at two or three other Houses near ' Drury-Lane, all the Time except about two or ' three Weeks that he lodged with one Conolly; ' that about the Beginning of March he went to ' Bristol, staid there three Days, and lodged in ' the House of one White; that he took Shipping ' there for Dublin, with Patrick Hall, and ' Edward Dillon . Dillon came into Bristol in Company ' with this Examinant, and Hall came to ' Bristol some Days after them; that he did not ' expose to Sale the Goods of any Person whatever. ' That in August he came to England, ' went to London, where he work'd at his ' Trade.

The 2d Confession of George Ward as aforesaid: Who saith, 'That notwithstanding his former ' Examination, yet he, for the sake of the ' Discovery of the Truth, and in hopes that his ' Majesty will shew him mercy, and admit him to ' be an Evidence, Farther confesseth, and faith, ' That he was present with, and assisting to ' Patrick Hall , Edward Dillon and Row, in ' entering the House of Thomas Gibson at Clerkenwell, ' about the Hour of two in the Morning, ' the 26th of March last, and robbing the ' said dwelling House of 2 Pieces of Gold, two ' gold Rings, several Shirts, a pair of silver ' Buckles, a silver Cup, a silver Porringer, Spoon, ' and other Goods, which were sold, and the ' Money divided between them and this Examinant: ' That Hall had been a Servant to Gibson, ' and had left his Service: That Hall, Row and ' Dillon being in company together, Hall proposed ' the committing this Robbery, telling them ' if they would try to get Money, his Master ' had Money, and he knew how to get into the ' House; that the Matter being agreed upon, ' the Night before the 25th of March, they ' went to the House; Hall led them to the Back-door, ' and that Gibson and his Man were up at ' Baking; the Man coming out of the Bake-house; ' He this Examinant, rush'd into the said ' Bakehouse and secured Gibson, while the others, ' rifled the House; and that the said Row, Hall ' and Dillon, are all in, or about Dublin.'

Signed by the said George Ward .

Bryan Bird . I was Servant to Mr. Gibson at the Time he was robb'd and was then with him at Work. I had occasion to go into the Yard for the Scovel to sweep the Oven, and which hung on the back of an Oven facing the Bake-house: As soon as I had laid hold on the Scovel, I heard a Noise, and turning about, I saw 4 or 5 Men, I am not positive to the Number, for I was much surprised: They rush'd upon me, and knocked me down, and silenced me, by threatning to blow

my Brains out, they put a Sword to my Throat, and held Pistols to my Breast. I heard two Pistols discharged at my Master, and heard him cry out. Some time afterwards they took me in Doors.

Q When you went out of the House into the Yard, did you shut the Door after you?

Bird. I don't remember whether I did or not. The Lock of the Yard Door was not broke, but they broke several Locks in the House, particularly, the Lock of a Chest of Drawers, and some large Locks on the Doors of the Rooms. Guilty , Death .

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