James Lawlor, James Leonard, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 21st February 1739.

Reference Number: t17390221-4
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

147 , 148. James Lawlor , alias Lawley , and James Leonard , were indicted for assaulting George Lines on the King's Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Hat, value 21 s. a Peruke, value 3 l. 3 s. and a Gun, value 25 s . Dec. 24 .

George Lines . On Sunday the 24th of December, between ten and eleven at Night, I was coming from the Castle Tavern, in Denmark street , with a Gun upon my Shoulder, and Lawlor stopped me, and asked me, what I had to do with that Gun. I can't be so positive to the other Prisoner as I am to him, but I was struck at, and my Hat and Wig were taken away, and then they knocked me down. They knocked me down as dead as a Herring, and then they took my Gun. I can't swear Lawlor took it, but he was one of the Men.

Lawlor. Did you ever see me before in your Life?

Lines. Yes; I saw him that Night; but I did not want to see him.

Lawlor. As God is my Judge I never saw him before.

Lines. There was a Lamp close to the Place, and I can swear Lawlor was one of the Men.

Lot Cavenagh . This Lawlor, and Leonard, and I, have gone out a thieving together, several Times. I lived in Lawler's Cellar, and have known both the Prisoners thirteen or fourteen Years; I have gone a thieving with them in Ireland. When we committed this Robbery, there was another Man with us, beside the two Prisoners, and we laid hold of the Prosecutor, while Leonard watched on the other Side of the Way. We drank a Pint of Gin, between us four, before we went out; and wanting Money, we said we must have it, so as we were coming down Drury-Lane, over against the Coal Yard, we saw this Man with his Gun Lawlor said to him, - d - mn you, What Business have you with a Gun, and struck him with the Stock of the Pistol which he had in his Hand, but he did not fall down I held one of his Hands, to prevent his laying hold of any of us; and at the second Blow, he was knocked down. We took his Hat and Wig before he was knocked down, but I can't tell whether the Gun was seized before or after. The Name of the fourth Man in our Company, was Noland; and Leonard was to stand on the other Side of the Way, and to cry Tommy! Tommy! when any body came by: And he calling out Tommy, as soon as we had got the Man's Hat and Wig and Gun, we had not Time to rifle his Pockets, but were obliged to run away with what we had got. Lawlor pawned the Wig for six Shillings, and I pawned the Hat for three, to a Man, who, I believe is in Court, but they were not both pawned the same Day; and Leonard did not go to the Pawnbroker's with us, for we were afraid if so many of us went, the Folks would not have a good Suspicion [Opinio] of us. The Hat was pawned first, and in two or three Days Time, we pawned the Wig, and Leonard staid at Home in Lawlor's Cellar, while we were gone. The Money for the Hat and Wig, was nine Shillings, which we divided, and had two Shillings and three Pence a piece. I never was before a Judge for any Dishonesty in my Life.

- Thompson. I know the Hat and Wig very well. This is Mr. Lines's Hat. I carry'd it to have a new Loop put to it; and this is the Wig he had on when he went out that Sunday, - but he came home without it. I have carry'd it twenty Times to the Barber's. He had them both on, when he went out, but he came home without either.

Lines This is my Hat and Wig.

A Witness. Cavenagh brought the Hat to me, and wanted three Shillings upon it. Lawlor came with the Wig, and asked six Shillings upon that, telling me, he should fetch it again in two or three Days. I thought them both very honest Men.

Lawlor. Ask this Witness if he knows James Lawlor?

The Witness. I can't swear justly to him, - but that Man, [pointing to Lawlor,] is like him

and the Man that brought the Wig said his Name was James Lawlor.

Lawlor. 'Tis not very likely I should pawn a Thing I had stole in my own Name.

Q. to Lines. How came you to be out with a Gun on Saturday Night?

Lines. The Man of the Tavern wanted a Gun for the Train'd Bands, so I sent for it, and would have sold it him, but we could not agree for the Price; so I was carrying it home again.

Lawlor. I can give an Account where I was that Night. Call Garret Cavenagh .

Garret Cavenagh. I know Lawlor; he lodged with me about a Year ago, and paid me honestly: He has no Way to get his Bread but by Work, and the Labour of his Hands. I am a Smith, and he has work'd with me. I know nothing more.

Mrs. Buckland. He work'd with me upwards of three Years, in and out, and I never saw any thing dishonest in him. I live in Princes-street, by Bridgewater-Square.

Mrs. Lambeth. Leonard came to lodge with me a Fortnight before Christmas last; and on Christmas-Day in the Morning he and his Wife had a Quarrel, and she tore his Coat, and he could not go out all Day. Mr. Lines came to my House on St. Stephen's Day, and said he had lost his Hat and Wig, and Gun, and said he would give a Treat to have them again.

A Witness. As to Leonard, I have intrusted him with more than my own, backwards and forwards, and he always behav'd well. The second Day after Christmas Day, Lines came into Lambeth's House, and said he had been robb'd of his Hat, Wig and Gun, in Drury Lane; and that the Man who knock'd him down was in a close Set-to Coat. Leonard was then in the House, and Lines would have drank with him, but Leonard refus'd: Lines told us at the same time, that he was very much in Liquor.

Two other Witnesses gave Leonard the Character of an honest labouring Fellow. Both Guilty , Death .


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