James Ryan, Gerrard Fitzgerald, James Falconer, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 14th January 1737.

Reference Number: t17370114-15
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

18, 19. James Ryan , Gerrard Fitzgerald , and James Falconer , were indicted for assaulting James North in the King's Highway in the Parish of Pancras , putting him in Fear, &c. and taking from him a Cloth Great Coat, a Cloth Coat, 2 Handkerchiefs, a Pair of Breeches, and a Holland Stock, and 10 s. in Money , Nov. 7.

James North . About 7 or 8 o'Clock at Night, Nov. 7. I was going up Highgate Hill , and I was robb'd by three Men; but I cannot swear to the Prisoners; two Men came up to me, and the other stood at a Distance to look out. They rifled my Pockets, and took five Penn'orth of half Pence, and 10 s. which was in a little Silk Purse. I am not positive whether there was any Silver among the Half-pence or not. One Man had a great hoarse Voice, the other was a spare Man, a low Voice, and pale Complection; the Moon was over-cast, and it was pretty dark; so I cannot be positive to the Men; but here is the Hat which was taken on O'Bryan's Head, and which they took from me when I was robb'd. They put me into a Ditch, and took my own Cloaths, and made me put on these, which I have here in this Handkerchief.

Q. How far was the Ditch from the Place where you was first assaulted?

North. I was going to Highgate, and they took me over two great Fields, and thro' a Gateway, to the farther Corner of the second Field. My Money they took from me in the Road, and my Cloaths in the Ditch, at the farther end of the second Field. Two robbed me, and the third stood at a Distance, seemingly to keep Guard.

Ryan. With humble Submission - keep the Prosecutor in Custody. O'Bryan is instructed in all Villainy; he has had the Opportunity of it.

C. (To O'Bryan) Take care you speak nothing but the Truth, and remember you are upon your Oath to do so.

O'Bryan. The Prisoners at the Bar robbed a Man near Kentish Town. Ryan and Falconer led him cross the Road, and Fitzgerald stood at some Distance. One of them took hold of him, and the other push'd him thro'a Ditch and a Hedge, into a Field on the Right Hand going to Highgate. Ryan commanded me to stand at a Distance with Arms; I follow'd, at a Distance, and saw the Man stripp'd naked, but Ryan commanded me back, to watch the Road. I can't tell which of

them stipp'd him, but Ryan, Falconer, and Fitzgerald, were with him, and one of them went into the Ditch with him, but which of them it was I cannot tell. When they had done with the Man, they came to the Place where I stood, and Ryan gave me the Man's Hat out of his Hand; and here it is; this is the very same Hat.

North. This is the Hat I lost at that Time; 'twas taken from me in the Ditch.

Q. What Time was it when you went upon this Robbery?

O'Bryan. As near as I understand, 'twas between Eight and Nine at Night, between Kentish Town and Highgate, at the Bottom of the Hill.

Q. How many were present at the Robbery?

O Bryan. There was Ryan and Falconer first; they laid Hands on the Man first. Fitzgerald went to them, but at the present Time he stood at some Distance from them.

Ryan. My Lord, with humble Submission - look in that Fellow's Face, while he talks.

Q. Where was you when they went up to the Man?

O'Bryan. I was a little behind, and I went up to'em the same Time. They open'd his Breeches in the Road, whether they took any Money, I cannot tell; but they carry'd him thro' Hedge and Ditch, and over one Field to another, and there, in a Ditch, they chang'd Cloaths with him. Ryan, when he had done, gave me Two Shillings and Three Pence, but I had nothing of his Cloaths but the Hat. They did not tell me of the Cloaths they had given him, but they told me they had ty'd him with his own Garters.

North. They made me take my Garters off my right Leg, and they ty'd my Hands prodigious hard.

Ryan. Only compare his Affidavit now with what he produced before his Worship Justice De Veil, and the Governor of the Tower.

Fitzgerald. Ryan can clear me.

O'Bryan. I have known Fitzgerald these 12 Months

Counsel. When was you last in France?

O'Bryan. About four Months before I was taken.

Counsel. Don't you remember your telling any one, that you intended to go to France the 27th of October last?

O'Bryan. No, I don't remember any thing of it.

Counsel. Do you know one Mrs. Garvey?

O'Bryan. Yes.

Counsel. Do you know one Antony Ellis?

O'Bryan. No.

Counsel. Do you know one Mr. Clark?

O'Bryan. Yes.

Counsel. Do you know Francis Allen, or Elizabeth Broughton?

O'Bryan. No.

Counsel. Do you remember any thing of meeting Garvey's Wife in Flanders in November last?

O'Bryan. No; I do not. I heard that this same Woman kill'd a Man, and run away. Now she is come to swear falsly against me. She is a vile Woman, and keeps a House for Thieves, Highway Robbers, Pickpockets and Rogues.

Counsel. Do you remember any thing of Mrs. Garvey's being in Flanders in November last?

O'Bryan. No, I don't remember I saw her at all.

Counsel. Do you remember any thing of lending her Money in Flanders, and of receiving from her a Token to her Husband, within these two or three or four Months?

O'Bryan. No, I don't.

Counsel. Were you in Company with Fitzgerald lately?

O'Bryan. I was in one Sherlock's House, one Night, and he was sitting at one Table, and I at another; I have been drinking in the same House, but not in his Company. The same Night that the Robery was committed, I was in one Cosgrave's House, in Princes-Street; and Ryan told me there, that Fitzgerald and Falconer were to meet him behind the Duke of Bedford's House in the Fields.

Ryan. I want to know what he has to object against my Wife.

- Hear his Objections. I beg the Affidavit he made before Justice De Veil, and the Governor of the Tower, may be produced.

Mr. De Veil. This is the Examination I took, which O'Bryan sign'd after it was read over to him.

Clerk Reads.

Middlesex. The Information of Terence O'Bryan, taken before me Thomas De Veil, Esq; &c. Jan. 9, 1736-7. Who being on Oath says, That James Ryan, Gerrard Fitzgerald, and James Falconer, were concerned with him in a Robbery committed a little beyond Kentish Town, about three Months ago, but says, he cannot swear to the Person, who then was robb'd.

Falconer. He says there, the Robbery was committed three Months ago, and the Prosecutor says it was on the 9th of November. He likewise told Justice De Veil, that we went together out of Ryan's House.

Mr. De Veil, He did say so. After I had taken the Examination he was asked from whence they set out; and he said, he went from Ryan's Room.

Q. From what Place did you go when this Robbery was committed?

O'Bryan. We came from Cosgrave's House in Princes Street, and Fitzgerald and Falconer were to meet as behind the Duke of Bedford's. I am a free Evidence; when I came in, there was nothing laid to my Charge - What Need have I to take away their Lives?

Counsel. The Prosecutor says, he saw no more than three Men, and O'Bryan swears there were four.

C. He swears that three Men went up to him, and that he stood at a Distance

Eliz Garvey . I live at the Horshoe and Magpie in Drury lane, and know O'Bryan very well; he used to frequent my House. On the 1st of November I was obliged to go away for France. Col. De Veil knows 'twas on Account of Hawkins and Brown. I left my House on the Monday, and I met O'Bryan at Arras in Flanders on Tuesday or Wednesday following; he was along with the Carravan and seeing me, he asked if I wanted Money, I told him, no; you will perhaps, says he, for you are going to a very dear Place; and he offered to lend me half a Guinea. I took it, and gave him this Pocket-Piece to give my Husband as a Token, that he was to pay him half a Guinea again; and on the 11th Day of the Month, I wrote to my Husband, and informed him, I had deliver'd O'Bryan the Pocket-Piece upon this Occasion.

Anthony Ellis . I know O'Bryan. He came from France in November last, about Nine o'Clock in the Morning; I can't swear to the Day, but I think it was about the 15th or 16th. My Master was sitting by the Fire, and he said he was very cold, being just come off the Water, and was then return'd from France. He said he had seen my Mistress on the Way, and had lent her Half a Guinea; at the same Time giving my Master the Pocket Piece. I can't say whether my Master paid him the Half Guinea again, but they had a great deal of Discourse together, more than the Half Guinea came to. He owes 3s. 6d. upon our Score now. I live at the Horshoe-and-Magpie in Drury lane.

Wm Clark . Oct. 27. O'Bryan left my House to go to France; on Nov. 16 he return'd, and paid me 8 s. in part of a Debt. I wrote this Memorandum the Day that he went away, but I cannot tell the Day of the Week.

O'Bryan. Can you tell whether I went to France or not?

Clark I know it, but from his telling me so. I know Fitzgerald very well, as far as I Know he works hard for his Bread, at labouring among the Bricklayers.

Judith Webb . Francis Allen , at Red Bull Alehouse in Vine-street, and Elizabeth Browlter the Prisoner's Sister, appear'd to Fitzgerald's Character.

Q. (To O'Bryan) When did you last go to France?

O'Bryan. Half a Year ago I did not go in October last. I went but towards Dover, and turn'd back again.

Q. Did you meet Garvis at any Time, at Arras in Flanders.

O'Bryan. No, I did not, nor did I lend her Half a Guinea, nor do I know any Thing of the Token she speaks of; nor did I ever declare to any one, That I had been in France, and was return'd the 16th of November I hope the Court will look in their Characters.

Thomas Longbottom . When we enquired after Falconer, Barnes and I found him at the Swan in Vere Street. The House was full of Labourers, so I told him I wanted to speak with him hard by; he told me, he smelt a Snitch, and would come out for no Body

- Barnes I took Fitzgerald up for the Rescue of Casey. He has the Character of a reputed Thief and Pick Pocket at the Play-houses. When Longbottom and I were perswading him to come out of the House where we found him, he said, he smelt a Snitch and would not come out

Richard Eustace . On Tuesday last I was at the Golden Lyon-by Hicks-Hall; there was Mr. Keate, and Mr. Bignal, and the Keeper of New Prison; and O'Bryan, was there in Custody of the Clerk of the Papers of Tothill fields Bridewell. I spake to O'Bryan, and he said, he believed he knew me in Flanders. I asked him, if he remember'd his meeting between Arras and Bethune in Flanders Yes, says he, and I lent her Half a Guinea, and she gave me a Piece of Silver to return her Husband, but it was a long Time before November.

O'Bryan. Here is the Keeper of New Prison; ask him if he heard any such Discourse: -

'Tis all false.

Barnes. Among all these People that have sworn, there's not one but what are Irish. All Guilty . Death .


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