Bryan Cooley, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 14th January 1743.

Reference Number: t17430114-34
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

108. + Bryan Cooley was indicted for assaulting Joseph Emmerton on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Cane with an Ivory Head, Value 5 s. January 2 .

Joseph Emmerton . On Sunday was se'nnight, in the Evening, between 10 and 11 o'Clock, at the End of Sheer-Lane, in Fleet-street , I went to make Water, and a Man slung me down (he must have tripp'd up my Heels to do it) and immediately there was a Man on one Side of me and a Woman on the other, I had a Watch in my Pocket but they could not get their Hands into my Pocket, so they moved off with my Hat and Wig; I did not see the Man or Woman move off with my Hat and Wig; then Somebody, I cannot say it is the Prisoner, it was a Man, got hold of my Cane and dragged me along upon my Back, about 5 or 6 Foot; says he, What will not you let me have it? My Friend happened to be coming by, and asked me, how it was that this Man fell out with me; I told him, I supposed he wanted to rob me: - That very Man that dragged me forced my Cane from me; there was no Hat nor Wig by me when I got up.

Mr York. On Sunday, January 2. between 10 and 11 in the Evening, I was coming from Temple-Bar, and I saw the Prosecutor upon his Back, and the Prisoner, whom I very well remember, had hold of this Cane by one End, and Mr. Emmerton had hold of the other as he lay upon the Ground, and the Prisoner was pulling it from him with great Violence, but Mr Emmerton held it as fast as he could, the Prisoner dragged him some Way upon his Back, in order to get it from him, and before I got near enough to lay hold of him he had jerked it out of his Hand, and was turning about to make off with it, but before he could get into a Run I was close enough to collar him, which I did, and charged him with robbing the Gentleman: Says I, You Villain you have robbed the Man: What I? says he, and clapp'd the Cane behind him, as I believe, with an Intention to drop it; but I took hold of the Cane, and then he held it pretty fast, and it was with some Difficulty that I wrenched it from him; then I took him by the Collar and insisted on securing him; presently a Woman came up and asked, What I did with him? and an ill looking Fellow or two came up, and behaved in such a Manner that I thought I was in danger of of having him rescued; and having an Oak Stick in my Hand, I was forced to make use of it in a resolute Manner, or he would have been rescued from me; when I got him to the Sign of the Cock I shewed him into the Entry and secured him. - I am sure the Prisoner is the Man, he was never out of my Hand till I got him into the Alehouse. - This is the Cane I took from the Prisoner, and what I believe he took from Mr Emmerton ; I have had it in my Custody ever since.

Emmerton . This is my Cane, which was taken from me.

Mr York. I asked him at the Cock, What made him do it? he said, He did not do it. - he said in general, I did not do it; I did not do it; but I am sure he is the Man; I was afraid of the Gang that was there, I am sure they were very bad People by their Expressions.

Thomas Ridgway . I live at the Golden-Ball in Bell-Yard, by Temple-Bar; the Prisoner has been my Servant about 3 Years, in carrying Bottles for me, and I believe him to be an honest just Man, I have trusted him to receive Money for me and he has brought it honestly and truly.

John Mooney . The Prisoner is a poor honest Man who endeavours well for his Bread; I have known him 9 Years, and I never knew any Thing of him but what was true and honest. Guilty Death .


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