John MackEvoy, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 12th September 1744.

Reference Number: t17440912-49
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

404. + John MackEvoy , of St. John Hackney , was indicted (with Christopher Askin not taken) for assaulting John Gostelow on the highway, putting him in fear and taking from him a watch, value 3 l. the property of Thomas Cox , and 2 s. 6 d. in money , the property of the said John Gostelow , August 15th .

John Gostelow . I am coachman to Alderman Heathcote. On the 15th of August, I was driving the Alderman to Walthamslow , and going over Hackney marsh about the midway between the bridge and Hummerton gate, about nine o'clock at night three or four men came up to the coach on foot; the first man that came up clapped a pistol to me, and said if I stirred another step he would blow my brains out.

Q. Is the Prisoner the person?

Gostelow. I believe he is not, but I can't be positive; then another person came to me, put his hand in my pocket, and took my watch and 2 s. 6 d. in money.

Alderman Heathcote. Did he take only the watch out of your pocket, or the money and watch both?

Gostelow. I believe he took both; but I cannot be positive - my back was towards them, and I had some difficulty to keep the horses quiet, that I had no opportunity of making much observation.

Q. Had the person that came up to you and took your watch and money any pistol in his hand?

Gostelow. I did not observe that he had.

Q. Did they rob the coach first or you first?

Gostelow . There were some of them robbing the coach, but whether they robbed it at the same time or a little before or a little after I cannot tell - after they had robbed me, they turned about and did not return any more - they went off towards the gate, towards Hack ney.

Q. Is the watch your own?

Gostelow. It is mine and it is not - it was in pawn to me for about two guineas - when I was paid the two guineas I was to return the watch.

Patrick Askin . On the 15th of August, MackEvoy, Christopher Askin and I went into Hackney marsh, and about nine o'clock at night we saw a coach. I went up before to see what sort of a coach it was, and I believe Christopher Askin stopped the coach - the Prisoner and Christopher Askin had pistols, and I had a hanger.

Q. Who robbed the coachman?

Askin. John MackEvoy robbed him of his watch, and I robbed him of his money - MackEvoy had the coachman's watch for his share.

Prisoner. Was it one person that robbed you or were there two?

Gostelow. I think it was one person that robbed me both of watch and money.

Q. to Askin. You say you took his money.

Askin. Yes, I got up upon the coach box and took his money.

Q. Who robbed the coach?

Askin. John MackEvoy .

Q. Did he rob the Alderman before he robbed the coachman?

Askin. Yes.

Q. to Gostelow. Was your master robbed first or you?

Gostelow. Really I can't say, I think it was at the same time.

Q. Was it the same man that robbed the Alderman, that robbed you?

Gostelow. It was dark, I could not tell.

Askin. After I had taken the coachman's money I rifled the footman. Then we went towards Hackney, and went that night to the blue Lion in Red-Lion Street.

Alderman Heathcote. Did the coachman readily deliver his watch?

Askin. No, he was very unwilling to deliver it.

Alderman Heathcote. How came he to deliver it then?

Askin. I believe, because you said, give him the watch and I'll make you satisfaction for it.

Q. to Gostelow. Did the man that bid you stand stay till the coach was robbed, or did he go away directly?

Gostelow . He went off a little way, and came up again .

Prisoner. Was Alderman Heathcote's footman robbed of any thing?

Askin. He was robbed of some money . - I can't tell how much, because we committed several robberies that night; I put all the money together.

[Alderman Heathcote made a motion to speak.]

Prisoner. I beg your silence, Mr. Alderman Heathcote, if you please; I desire Askin may be asked, whether he took a watch from Alderman Heathcote's footman?

Askin. No, I did not take a watch from him, if I had twenty watches I would not deny that I had them.

Alderman Heathcote. Did not you search my fingers for rings?

Askin. I came up to you and asked for your rings, and you said you had none, and I took your Honour's word.

Alderman Heathcote. My chariot was stopped in Hackney-Marsh , about the middle of the marsh between the bridge and Hummerton-Gate . One of the persons who came up to the chariot door, and presented a pistol into the chariot, had my money and my watch, and took me out of the chariot and rifled my pockets: I saw one of them at the wheel of the chariot, and heard him say he would blow my coachman's brains out, if he would not give him the watch. I was afraid he would do the coachman some mischief, as he did not readily give him the watch, and (as the Evidence has declared) I desired him to give him the watch, and I would pay him for it. Upon which, my Lord, I believe the coachman either gave them the watch, or suffered them to take it from him - He told me he had lost a watch.

Q. Did not you look at the person that robbed you?

Alderman Heathcote. I looked at him a little as he was by the side of the chariot, but I did not look much at him, because I thought he might think I did it with a view of bringing him to justice.

Prisoner. Please to ask Mr. Alderman Heathcote whether his footman lost his watch?

Alderman Heathcote. I can't tell what my footman lost; he told me he lost a watch, and I advertised it according to the description he gave me of it.

Jury. Mr. Alderman, had two of them pistols?

Alderman Heathcote. I only saw one pistol that I could distinguish.

Prisoner . I desire Alderman Heathcote's footman may be called?

Jonathan Trevethan . I was the footman behind the coach.

Q. Was you robbed of any thing?

Trevethan. I was robbed of three shillings and a silver watch.

John Thomas the Constable. I was at Justice Fraser's and saw a box there with several watches and other things in it.

Q. Did MackEvoy own the box to be his?

Thomas. No, he did not - I can't tell whose the box was; I opened the box and took out four watches, and I took three out of another box the Saturday before. [The box that had been in the possession of MackEvoy was produced.]

Q. Did Gostelow challenge one of the watches?

Thomas. Yes.

Q. Is this the box the coachman challenged his watch out of?

Thomas. This is the same box?

Peter Burchall gave evidence to the same effect as on the preceding trial; that on Thursday the 6th of September, the Prisoner came to his house and brought a box, and said his name was John MackEvoy , and that by his order he directed it for Mr. John MackEvoy , to be left at the Nag's-Head-Inn in Liverpool , till called for. That he saw that box opened at Justice Fraser's, and is the same box the Prisoner left with him; that there were four watches taken out of the box, and that Gostelow challenged one of those watches as his.

Q. Who took the box from your house to Justice Fraser's?

Burchall. I believe it was Alderman Heathcote's Beadle that broke open my counting-house, and took it up there.

Prisoner. I have witnesses to prove where I was at the time they charge me with these things, but they are in the country, so your Lordship may go on with my trial as you please. Guilty . Death .


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