William Brown, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 7th December 1737.

Reference Number: t17371207-7
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

10. William Brown , was indicted for assaulting William Haines in a Field near the King's Highway, putting him in Fear, &c. and taking from him a pair of wrought base Metal Buckles, value 12 d Oct. 12 .

William Haines On the 12th of Oct. about 9 in the Evening, I was coming with some Friends from Mr. Dobney's, and in the Field between the Pond and the New River Head , I stopp'd to make Water, my Company being a little Way before me, I call'd to them, and bid them not go without me, and presently I heard a Cry of Murder, and a Pistol was fired. I was going to make up to my Company and a Man stopp'd me, and demanded my Money, Watch and Rings, and gave me a Knock on the Head, I told him I had no Watch but he searched me all down to my Shoes, and said here's a good pair of Buckles, and took them away; then he jump'd away, and a Pistol went off, and one of them cry'd, D - n you take that among you. After I was robb'd I ran back to Dobney's and got his Man to come over the Fields with me with two Dogs. We call'd in at Sadler's-Wells, and there I found my Friends and the Prisoner.

Joseph Critchley . I was coming from Dobney's with 4 Friends, and I happen'd to be foremost; when I came to the Stile, I saw the Prisoner and two more, one of each Side of him. The Prisoner jump'd off the Stile, and said D - n your Bl - ds deliver this Minute. I was surpriz'd, and while I was putting my Hand in my Pocket, I heard a Pistol go off at one of my Friends behind me: Then I heard another Friend say, - fight away Boys, they have nothing but Powder, the Prisoner immediately clapp'd a Pistol to my Face, I struck it by with my Hand, and off it went.

Then I grasp'd him about the Middle, and he broke my Head, I suppose with his Pistol, I held him 'till one of my Friends came up and knocked him down. He never was from us, nor out of my Sight, but the other two ran away. Haines was the last Man in the Company; what happen'd to him I can't tell, but we carried the Prisoner to Sadler's-Wells; and when he came in to us there, his Buckles were out of his Shoes. The Prisoner confessed the next Day, that he had sent to the Men that were concern'd with him in this Business, to tell them that they had no need to abscond in order to get them taken up, and with an Intent to impeach them.

John Martin , confirm'd the former Witnesses, adding, that he likewise was attack'd by one Man, who endeavoured to rifle him; but Mr. Stevens coming up to his Assistance, the Fellow quitted him, that he heard one Pistol fir'd, and saw another flash; that Stevens got the Prisoner down in the Grass, upon which one of his Comrades fir'd a Pistol, and bid them take it among them; and that the Ball from this Pistol wounded his Brother in the Cheek.

Martin Stevens , confirmed the foregoing Evidence, and deposed, that he gave the Prisoner several Blows before he knock'd him down; that the Prisoner call'd to his Companions and bid them fire; upon which a Pistol was fired among them; upon which the Prisoner got up and would have run off, but they secur'd him directly, and carried him to Mr. Forcer's ( Sadler's Wells )and from thence to Justice Poulson, who committed him.

Prisoner. These two Men that were with me perswaded me to go out with them, I did, and at Holloway they proposed robbing the first Man that came by. I told them I would not be concern'd, but they dragged me along, and when we came to this Field, they attack'd these People. I was making the best of my Way off, and Mr. Stevens follow'd me and knock'd me down. Guilty , Death .


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