Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
6, 7. John Castody and Robert Hunt of St. Giles's in the Fields , were indicted (with a certain Person unknown) for that they on the 8th of Feb . on the King's Highway, on Richard Briton , in the Peace, &c did make an Assault, and him in Fear, &c. did put, and a Watch with the outside and inside Cases made of Silver, value 6 l a Brass Watch Key, value 1 d a pair of Silver Shoe Buckles, value 10 s. a pair of Silver Knee Buckles, value 5 s. and 2 s. 6 d. in Money, the Goods and Money of the said Briton, from the Person, against the Will of the said Briton, did steal, &c.
Richard Briton . On Saturday the 8th of this Month, I and two or three more had some Business at Mrs. Fastnege's, the Coach and Horses in Drury-Lane, we staid there till about 2 in the Morning, and the two Prisoners came into the House, and called for Liquor. They sat in the next Box to me, and asked what o'Clock it was; I shewed them my Watch, and it was then past 2. They staid to drink a Pint of Two-penny, and then went away. In a few Minutes I parted with my Friends, and went down Princes-street, into Lincoln's-Inn-Fields , and turned on the same Side with the Duke of Newcostle's House: I immediately heard a Noise at my Heels, like the running of a Man, and turning about, saw the Prisoner Hunt, with the same Coat on as he has now; he attempted to hide himself, and I being suspicious of some Mischief, walked as fast as I could till I got up to the Corner; then the Prisoner Cassody came up and ran a Pistol into my Mouth, and said, Stand and deliver, or you are a Dead Man! he advanced on me, and the Lamps shone in his Face. Immediately Hunt came up, and clapp'd a Pistol to my Breast, and one of them said, D - n your Bl - d, you have a Watch, I know you have. They took it from me, likewise my Shoe and Knee Buckles, and swore, if I made the least Resistance they would murder me, for they had a set at every Corner of the Fields, and a third Person stood at a Distance. When they left me, I went to a Watchman and told him the Story, but he said he cou'd not help it On the Monday following I advertised a Reward of 5 Guineas for any Person to impeach his Accomplices, and one that makes it his Business to take these People, told me where I might go and see 10 or 20 of the same Sort. I went there, and had not sat long before Hunt went by the Door, and Cassody presently after him, and I knew them to be the Men who robb'd me.
Joseph Williams . I was with the Prosecutor at the Coach and Horses in Drury-Lane. The two Prisoners came in, and ask'd what o'Clock it was? Briton pulled out his Watch, and it was some Minutes past 2. They staid to drink a Pint of Two-penny, and went away together. The Prosecutor parted with me presently afterwards, and he went down Princes-street in order to go Home. The next Day he inform'd me of this Robbery, and gave me exactly the same Account of it as he has done now. On the Monday following, I went with him and some other Persons, in Search of the Prisoners, and accordingly went to a House in Drury-Lane, that harbours these People, where we had not staid long, before Hunt and Cassody went by, and the Prosecutor knew them to be the Persons that robb'd him.
William Lewis . I happen'd to be at the Coach and Horses, when the Prisoners came in, Hunt ask'd what o'Clock it was? and Briton pull'd out his Watch, and said it was some Minutes past 2. When he had satisfied them what o'Clock it was they left the House, and Mr. Briton and his Friends soon follow'd, and the next Day I heard of the Robbery. I went with some other Persons, and secur'd Hunt, but in the Skirmish he cut my Hand almost off.
Mrs. Fastnege I keep the Coach and Horses in Drury-Lane. The two Prisoners came to my House and drank a Pint of Two-penny at the same Time that Mr. Briton and his Friends were there; Hunt asked what o'Clock it was? and Briton pulled out his Watch, and said it was past 2. The Prosecutor paid his Reckoning, and said he would go, and immediately the Prisoners paid for their Liquor and left the House. In a few Minutes afterwards
Hunt. I desire the Prosecutor may be asked, what Time of the Night it was?
Briton. It was between 2 and 3 in the Morning.
Hunt. Was it quite light or quite dark?
Briton. It was a clear Night, and I could have seen to take up a Pin, besides it was just by the Duke of Newcastle's House that I was robb'd, and there are several Lamps thereabouts.
Hunt. I desire he may give an Account what Time of Night and what Colour the Night was.
Briton. I have said before, - it was a fine clear Night.
Hunt. What Sort of Cloaths had I on?
Briton. He had the same Coat on as he has now.
Hunt. He said before the Justice, he never saw me but once, and that was too soon.
Briton. When the Prisoners came into the Coach and Horses, their Coats were button'd under their Chins.
Hunt. Mr. Lewis, I would ask you a Question, Sir, if you please, what sort of a Night was it, when Briton was at the Coach and Horses?
Lewis. It was a fine clear Morning.
Hunt. This Fellow will swear Black is White; I don't scruple his Conscience in the least Shape in Life.
Cassody. I never saw the Prosecutor before I saw him in the Gatehouse.
- Rhodes. I know the Prisoner Cassody, and when I took him he did not resist As to his Character, I believe it is very midling; - I can't say I have heard a good Character of him but I never knew any Harm of him.
Both Guilty , Death