William Burnet, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 14th January 1743.

Reference Number: t17430114-28
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

99 + William Burnet was indicted for assaulting Elizabeth , the Wife of Francis Bailey , on the Highway, putting her in Fear, and taking from her a short Cloak , Val. 6 s. the Property of Francis Bailey Dec. 18 .

Elizabeth Bailey . On the 18th of December, as I was going home, in company with Mrs Jackson, at half an Hour after 11 at Night, two Men came out of an Ale-house in the Strand, near Southampton-street , the Prisoner came to the left Side of me, untied my Cloak, took it off my Shoulder, and run away with it. - I saw him do it; he looked me in the Face all the time, but I had not Power to cry out, or make any Resistance, I was so frightened. I am sure the Prisoner is the Person, because there was a Light at the Door, and another in the Entry. The other Man ran away. The Prisoner owned the Robbery the next Morning before the Justice.

Prisoner. Would you have sworn against me, if you had not carried me back to the Ale-house? -

Bailey. Yes, I would: I said you was the Man as soon as the Watchman brought you up to me.

Winisred Jackson. The Prisoner came behind Mrs Bailey: I saw him at her Shoulder, and he pulled her Cloak off in a Minute. I cannot say whether he untied it, but he gave it a Tug, and it was gone: He run away with it. I cried out, Stop Thief; and he was taken. - When he was brought up to her, she said, That is the Man.

Court. Did not you, or she, doubt of his being the Person, 'till you went to the Ale-house and satisfied yourselves?

Jackson. I knew him from the very first. I said, as soon as he was brought up, he was the Person; we went into the Plume of-Feathers Ale-house , because he said he had not been there; and the Mistress of the House, the Drawer, and two or three more Persons , said, he had been there, and had been gone out of the House but a few Minutes.

Thomas Lucas . On the 18th of December I was in the Strand, and saw the Prisoner running along with a Scarlet-Cloak in his Hand; he turned into Southampton-street : I made a Blow at him with my Stick, but missed him: I run after him and cried out, Stop Thief ; and a Watchman asked , Where is he? And I said, On the Bedford Head-Side. A Chairman had stopped him before the Watchman took him: He had no Cloak upon him when he was taken, so he must certainly have dropped it; he never was out of my Sight till he was taken. The Watchman said, he was a Thief; and the Prisoner told him, he would learn him to take his Character away. Says I to the Watchman, Hold him; I will see whether his Character is good or no. When he was carried to Mrs Bailey , she said she saw him come out of the Alehouse ; and he said, You lye, you Bitch, I have not been in the House To night.

[His having been in the Ale-house just before was confirmed by the other Witnesses.]

Joseph Smith , a Chairman. I stopped him, and the Watchman came over, and said he was a Thief , so I delivered him up to the Watchman.

Prisoner. Was I walking or running; or had I any thing about me?

Smith. He was walking with his Hands before him , he had nothing about him then.

John Gager , Watchman at the Corner of Southampton-Street . The Chairman delivered him to us, I went into the Strand to find the Gentleman, who cried out stop Thief, and the two Gentlewomen challenged the Prisoner directly, and said he was the Thief; he abused them very much for pretending to take away his Character, and would have charged the Constable with them, for he said he was going about his Master's Business.

T. Manning. I am a Watchman, and stand next Door to the Bedford-Head ; hearing a Cry of Stop Thief, I took to the middle of the Way, and dogged the Prisoner; I found him two Doors from my Stand, walking, and he was fumbling about his Pocket, and I thought I saw him fumble something out of it, and I believe it was the Cloak, and that he dropped it down one of the Areas.

Mary Sheffield . At 8 o'Clock on Sabbath-Day Morning; a Chairman knocked at our Door, and said, Neighbour here is a Cloak in your Area: that is the Cloak I found in our Area, two Doors from the Bedford-Head , in Southampton-Street ,

Elizabeth Bailey . That is my Cloak.

Prisoner. I have nothing to say, but that I get my Bread honestly by riding Postilion ; I rode Postilion to my Lord Fairfax, I went to see my Sister the Saturday before I was taken, and she kept me all Night. I was to have gone with a set of Horses to the Bath, but staying too long, the Horses went away without me. My Lord Cardigan would give me a Character for my H, if I was going into any Place. Guilty , Death .


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