John Hyde, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 16th April 1740.

Reference Number: t17400416-35
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

228. + John Hyde , of Harmonsworth , was indicted for assaulting William Austin on the King's Highway, putting him in Fear , &c. and taking from him, 7 s. in Money; a Piece of Silver Coin, value 6 d. and a Piece of Copper Coin, value 1 Farthing , March 7

William Austin . I take the Prisoner to be the Man that robbed me - I believe he is the Man that was in Company with Moore*, who robbed my Master, (Mr Freeman) on Hounslow-Heath , in his Coach, as we were coming out of the Lane, from Colebrook, on the 7th of March. I am a Servant of Mr Freeman's, and was on Horseback at the same Time, attending the Coach. It was after 4 o'Clock, or between 4 and 5 in the Afternoon; and we were got about 3 or 4 Hundred Yards on the Heath, when Moore rode up to the Coach, and ordered the Coachman to stop; and pulling a Pistol out of his Breast, he demanded my Master's Money. Another Man at the same Time rode up to my right Shoulder, and said, let's see what you have got. I asked him, what he wanted? He clapped a Pistol to my Breast, and punched me with it on the Breast, then he clapped it to my Throat, and said, - D - mn you, your Money and Watch, or I'll shoot you dead. Then he drew his Hanger, and gave me a Thrust with it on my Wrist; the Mark is here now: and after this, he pulled out a crooked Gardener's Knife, and cut my Horse's Bridle, and took from me 7 Shillings in Silver, a copper Piece, and one old Shilling, - I think it was a Peice of Queen Elizabeth's Coin. Moore, and the Man who robb'd me, were both on Horseback; and he who robb'd me was not disguised, - he had nothing upon his Face, but I can't swear positively that the Prisoner is the Man, for I was in such a surprize, that I did not mind his Face, so much as I ought to have done: but I can swear to the Copper-Piece, which the Constable found upon the Prisoner, and took from him. Moore robbed my Master at the same Time, and did not molest me at all. He was about half the Length of the Court distant from the Man who attacked me, and I had some Knowledge of him, for I had seen him before.

* See the following Trial.

Prisoner. You say you are not positive that I am the Man?

Austin. No. - The Man who robbed me, took took off my Hat, and threw it on the other Side of the Way; and some Men coming by, he ordered them to take it up, and give it to him. I told him my Hat would do him no Service, and desired him not to take it: upon which, Moore ordered him to return me my Hat.

John Way . On the 7th of March last, as my Master was coming from Colebrook to London, we met 2 Men on Horse, - back in the Road, a little before we got on Hounslow Heath : and I observed them to look wishfully at the Coach, as they rode by it. They rode about an Hundred Yards, and farther on, in the Road, and I turn'd back several Times to watch their Motions, and seeing them stop their Horses and turn about, I said to Austin, I fancy they are Highwaymen. They walk'd their Horses 'till they came upon the Heath; then they both gallop'd up to us, and one Man rode up to the Coach, and the other stopp'd Austin; I can't swear to the Prisoner, because his Back was towards me; but I saw the Man punch him first with the Pistol, and then he drew his Hanger and punch'd him with that, and I saw Austin put his Hand in his Pocket, and give him something. I did not see his Bridle cut, 'till he came up to the Coach, and then he was forced to borrow another. I cannot swear to the Prisoner's Face.

Zechariah Hobbs . I am a Constable: I know the Prisoner full well. I saw him and his Partner differ, - I can't say his Partner, - but I saw two Men quarrel, and the Prisoner was one of 'em The Prisoner was on Horseback, the other Man was on Foot, with his Horse's Bridle on his Arm. This was on Friday the 7th of March, in a Lane between Harlington-Town, and my Lord Bolinbroke's. The other Man said something to the Prisoner, - what it was I can't tell; but the Prisoner wrapp'd out a great Oath, and d - mn'd his Soul, and said he would go no farther with him, as he had used him so ill; and accordingly he clapp'd Spurs to his Horse, and rode on: and the other Man cry'd after him, - Go thy Ways Jack. The Prisoner, when he had left his Companion, rode off towards Harlington, and the other went towards Dawley. When the Prisoner came up to us, he asked to what Place that Road lead? I told him to Uxbridge. He said, he wanted a good Inn, for he had met with a Man who had robbed and abused him. I said, I believed it was no such Thing. and that I imagined the Man who was with him, and he, were Consederates; for I had heard the Words he spoke, and heard likewise a Pistol go off between them. Upon this the Prisoner pulled off his Wig, and shewed us his Head, which was broke, and said, - See how I have been beat and

abused. The Blood ran down his Cheek, and he said he would follow the Man who had done him the Mischief. I told him, if he had been so served, it would be better for him not to go that Way, left he should meet with the Man again; and then, says I, perhaps he'll kill you. I bid him go to the Woolpack, near Dawley-Lodge, telling him, he there might have Entertainment for himself and his Horse. He went thither, (and told a most deplorable Story, as I afterwards heard;) and I went about my Business, after I had directed him to the House. But about one o'Clock, in the Morning Night of the same Day, that is, in the Morning of the eighth of March, I was sent for to take charge of the Prisoner; and accordingly I took him out of Bed at the Woolpack, about two o'Clock, and searched him. He had a Pistol, and a Hanger; these Slugs *, and some Money I took from him; among which I found that particular Piece, which Austin swears to. These Slugs he shot at another Man, that same Afternoon, and they dropp'd into his Sleeve. This is the Pistol, and this the Piece of Money of Austin's, and I have had the Custody of them ever since.

* All the Slugs found on the Prisoner appeared to have been such Leads as Printers make use of in their Business.

Austin. This Piece of Money is mine; it was taken from me when I was robbed of my Money, on the seventh of March.

Hobbs. I took it out of the Prisoner's Pocket.

Austin. After the Robbery was committed, Moore, and the Man who robbed me, rode off together. I saw no Quarrel between them then. They were upon sorrel Horses, and one of them had a Blaze down his Face.

Hobbs. And when I directed the Prisoner to the Woolpack, he was on a bay Mare, with a Blaze down her Face.

Austin. The Man who robbed me rode on a sorrel Horse, or a bright Bay; I can't speak to any other Marks, nor can I tell whether it was a Mare or Gelding: and one of the Horses had a Blaze down his Face, but I can't tell which; for I was very much surprized, and was afraid of being shot, or run through.

Hobbs. This is the Hanger I took from the Prisoner. I took likewise an old Piece of Queen Elizabeth's Money from him, but that I have lost; and a Piece of sealing Wax, which I have not brought.

Austin. Among the Money taken from me, was a Shilling above an hundred Years old, a very thin Piece; and a Piece of sealing Wax, and a Key, the Property of my Master, was took from me at the same Time.

Hobbs. These three Keys I found upon the Prisoner.

Austin. The Key I lost is not among these. The Hanger with which I was wounded, was a strait one, with a sharp Point like this, but I can't swear to it; I did not see the Handle.

Hobbs. This Hanger was bloody to the Point, when I saw it. Here is the Prisoner's Powder-horn, which I took from him. He threatened me, and two other Persons, who went with me to see him in Prison, that let him live or die, we and our Houses should all be rewarded. They heard him speak those Words, as well as I.

James Woodcock . On the seventh of March, between five and six o'Clock in the Afternoon, I was going along the Road-side about my Business, and the Prisoner and another Man came down Colebrook-Road, on the farther Side of Hounslow-Heath . Just as they came over against me, one of them made a Stop; I turned my self round, and before I had Time to speak, the Prisoner shot 3 Slugs into my Arm. Then he rode away, and his Hat flying off, he order'd me to take it up and give it to him: I did not do it; but a Woman, coming by, took it up and gave it him. I thought he was a Highwayman, but he did not rob me, and I gave him no Offence, so I don't know what he shot me for. I did not know the Prisoner before, but I am sure he was the Man that shot me. These are the 3 Slugs, and this is the Coat I had then on. These are the Holes the Slugs made in my Coat-sleeve: They went thro' my Coat, and wounded me, but did not lodge in my Flesh: I took them out of my Coat-sleeve.

Josias Hollison . I keep the Woolpack, at Dawley Lodge, about a Mile, or a Mile and a Quarter from Hounslow Heath. The Prisoner came to my House the 7th of March about 6 in the Evening; he was very bloody, and said he had been robb'd of 5 l. and his Watch. His Head was broke in 2 Places, and the Blood ran down his Face, and upon his Coat. I never saw him before that Time, but I am sure he is the Man. After he had told me he had been robb'd, he described a Man, and asked me if I had not seen such a Highwayman go by? Mr Harvest was present, and told him, he had seen such a Man pass by, and he would go after him, and

endeavour to take him, as soon as he had put up his Horse into the Stable. But I let Mr Harvest know I did not like the Prisoner, and that I fear'd he had been robbing others himself, instead of having been robb'd: So instead of following the other Man, he dress'd the Prisoner's Head, and rubbed it with something I gave him. After this the Prisoner drank a Pint or two of Wine, and then pulled out this Hanger, and this Pistol: these are the same; I took particular Notice of the Pistol: the Stock and the Rammer are broken. I took them both, and laid them aside; but when he went to Bed, he insisted on having the Hanger to lay by him, so I fetch'd it, and laid it down by his Bedside: then I locked the Door, and kept the Key on the outside. Mr Harvest and Mr Timms being present, they were very uneasy about him; they said he was a Smuggler, (for he had offered to sell us Brandy and Rum,) and having told us, before he went to Bed, that he had borrowed a great Coat of one John Reynolds , at Cranford-Bridge, we sent thither, and found he had borrowed a Coat there; but Reynolds sent us Word, that if we had him, we must secure him, for he believed he had been that Afternoon out upon the Highway, and had done Murder. This confirming us in our Suspicion, we sent for a Constable about 12 o'Clock at Night, and secured him. It was one John Barton we sent to Reynolds to enquire concerning the Prisoner, but he has had the Misfortune to break his Collar-Bone, so he is not here. I have the Prisoner's Mare in my Custody: she was in such a Sweat when she came in, that no one could tell well what Colour she was; but she is a kind of a Sorrel: She had been rode so hard, that when she came into the Stable, she could hardly stand. This is the Prisoner's Whip, and the Handle is broke.

Austin. I can't swear to the Whip, nor to any thing but that Piece of Money.

Hollison. The Hanger was bloody about half Way; it looked as if he had cut somebody with it, and the Handle was bloody too, but that I imagine might be made so with his own Blood.

Francis Harvest . On the seventh of March last , I was at the Woolpack at Dawley-Lodge; the Prisoner came in almost fuddled, and his Horse was almost knocked up, he said, he had been wounded by a Highwayman, and had been robbed of 5 l. and a Watch. When his Horse was got into the Stable, I washed his Head; it was bloody in two Places, and he told me, he had been fighting with a Man, who had drawn his Hanger, and had cut him; I thought this was not true, because the Wounds in his Head did not appear to be Cuts, but rather to have been made by Blows with a Stick, and I imagined he had been robbing somebody himself: but wanting to draw something more out of him. I said to Hollison, - if you'll call for a Pint of Wine, I'll go and see if I can find the Highwayman. The Prisoner then said, - the Man who had robbed him had got two Pistols, and he knocked one of them out of his Hand, and if he (himself) had not been drunk, he should have killed him. I asked him, where he lived? He told me, he lived at one Wagstaff's , at the White Lion , at the Bank side , and he would make me amends for my Care of him; and that he was a great Dealer in Brandies and Rum: and pray, says he, whose Mills are they upon the Heath? I told him, they belonged to Mr Underhill . O, says he, I have a Bill for 50 l. upon him in my Pocket; pulling out some Papers at the same Time. I thought it was strange he should not know the Name of the Owner of the Mills, and yet have a Bill for 50 l. upon him in his Pocket: so I asked him, who he knew thereabouts? He mentioned John Reynolds , at Cranford-Bridge , so John Barton and I went thither to Reynolds, and having heard what he said, I went home to Brentford, and was not present when the Prisoner was secured and searched.

Mr Timms. I was not present when the Money and these Things were taken from the Prisoner; but I saw him that Evening in a narrow Lane, and his Head was in a very bloody Condition. He asked me, where there was a Publick-House, or an Inn, that he might be taken Care of; for he had been abused, he said, by a Man on a sorrel Horse, and a light coloured Coat. There was a Man had passed by, some Time before, on a sorrel Horse, but that Man had a dark colour'd Coat on, so I thought he could not be the Person. The Prisoner went to the Woolpack; I put his Horse into the Stable, and Mr Harvest talked with him. At last we found him in several different Stories, and imagined he had been robbing somebody himself; so after we had sent a Man to Reynolds, to enquire if he knew the Prisoner, a Constable was got, and he was taken into Custody: but I was not present at that Time.

Prisoner. What Colour was my Horse?

Timms. 'Twas a sorrel Mare.

DEFENCE.

Thomas Hart . I have known the Prisoner six or seven Years; he is a Plummer by Trade, but I can't tell where he lives. The last Time I saw him was at his Lodgings at the White-Lion at the Bank-Side . He's not a Housekeeper. He served his Time out lawfully with a Plummer, but how long he has been out of his Time I can't tell. During the Time I have known the Prisoner, I never heard any Harm

of him . His Father lives at Reading, in Berkshire, and keeps a sort of a Publick-House, and a Farm besides, and bears a good Character in general. His Friends at Reading are in pretty good Circumstances, and capable of doing for him. They are honest People, and People of great Reputation. His Father was spoke to to come up to Town, on this Occasion; but he has Business in the Country, and could not possibly attend.

Jury. Pray what are you?

Hart. I am a Printer I live in Green Arbour-Court, in the Old-Baily, in the Parish of St Sepulchre's. I was a House-keeper in Aldermanbury ; but Business not answering, I left it off and worked Journey-work again. (He was ordered to look at the Slugs) As to these Slugs, I never saw them before to my Knowledge: I did not furnish the Prisoner with them.

- Marshall . The Prisoner's Brother served his Time with me, duly and truly: and when the Prisoner was out of Business, he was welcome to my House for a Week together; and he always behaved civilly. I am a Watchmaker, and 'twas in his Power to have defrauded me of Things of Value: but he always behaved well, and when he came to lie with his Brother, he was welcome to his Victuals and Drink. I have known him three or four Years.

John Marshall . I have known him between eight or nine Years. In that Time I never knew any Hurt of him, nor ever heard any till now. I have employed him as a Plummer , and found him deal faithfully and justly by me. He has been several Times in my Father's House, and hath lodged there, and has been entrusted with Things of Value, but I never knew him do any thing tardy: and his general Character is a good one. My Father is a House-Carpenter.

The Jury found the Prisoner Guilty . Death .


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