Ann Gwyn, Ann Barefoot, Violent Theft > robbery, 17th October 1744.

Reference Number: t17441017-22
Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

457, 458. + Ann Gwyn , and Ann Barefoot , of St. Andrew's, Holbourn , were indicted for assaulting William Hamilton , in the dwelling house of Henry Gray , putting him in fear, and taking from him 12 s. 6 d. the money of the said William , in the said dwelling house , Oct. 12 .

William Hamilton . I had been at a house in Smithfield with a load of glass bottles; (I'll tell you the whole story from the beginning to the end) I was going through an alley, and in that alley three women laid hold of me.

Q. In what alley?

Hamilton. An alley as you go down Holbourn, I don't know the name of the alley - They told me it was Black-Boy-Alley . These three women pulled me into a house, and one more came which made up four ; they put their hands to my throat, and almost throtled me , and one of them clapped her hand before my mouth.

Q. Look at those two women, and see whether they are any of the women?

Hamilton . These are the two women - I am sure of it.

Q. What did they do to you?

Hamilton . One of them put her hand in my pocket.

Q. Which of them did that?

Hamilton. Ann Barefoot did; I had ten shillings in my pocket, wrapped up in a paper, and that was taken from me.

Q. You may go nearer and look, if you are not sure. [The old man looked very stedfastly at her.]

Hamilton . That is her, I know her. They throtled me, and after they had throtled me, she [Barefoot] took half a crown more from me.

Q. What did Gwyn do, did she hold you?

Hamilton . Three of them held me.

Q. Was Gwyn one of them?

Hamilton . Yes.

Q. What time of the day was it?

Hamilton . It was 12 o'clock in the day time.

Q. What is it a bye alley, are not people walking backwards and forwards there?

Hamilton . There were some people walking, but no body came to my assistance.

Q. Where were you when they took your money from you?

Hamilton . They had dragged me into a house, and into a room, and took my money from me in the house.

Q. Was it a publick house?

Hamilton . No.

Q. Was the door open?

Hamilton . The door was open when they drew me in.

Q. What did you do afterwards?

Hamilton . As soon as I was able I got into the street, and there was a Gentlewoman over-against the alley, that said I should have money from her to go before a Justice; so I got a warrant, and we took one of them in another house just by .

Q. Who did you take then?

Hamilton. Gwyn .

Q. How long afterwards?

Hamilton . Within half an hour, or an hour.

Q. Had she any of the money?

Hamilton . She had some of my money at the same time, I could swear to one piece, an half crown; I know the half crown. [The High Constable of Holbourn division produced the half crown.]

Hamilton . This is the half crown - I know

it by a little notch in it, I could not swear to the rest of the money; we carried her before a justice, and she was committed to Prison.

Q. How was the other taken?

Hamilton . She was taken by the information of the accomplices.

Barefoot. I was just come home with a basket of sisters , when the Constable took me. Do you know me?

Hamilton . I did not know you when you first came up to me, but I knew you too well afterwards.

Q. When was this done?

Hamilton . Last Friday.

Gwyn . Was I ever in your company, or ever drank any thing with you in my life?

Hamilton. No, you never drank any thing with me.

Gwyn . Did you ever see me before?

Hamilton. No, I never did before, and it was too soon then.

- Reynolds . I have a piece of ground adjoining to this place, where the Prosecutor was robbed; one of the Prisoners held him by the throat while the other picked his pocket.

Q. Where was this done?

- Reynolds . This was in Black-Boy-Alley.

Q. Where is your piece of ground?

- Reynolds . It joins to the house, where this robbery was committed. I saw one of the women have him by the throat, and as soon as I saw it I went to his assistance; we had taken them all four if we had had any assistance. I am sure I have seen forty robberies committed in that place; has a very by place, I don't doubt but there have been 500 robberies committed there, and I believe some murders too if they were known, and I believe all the neighbours know it, there are neighbours to testify it.

Q. Who lives in the house?

- Reynolds . It is an empty house, only they make use of it for this purpose. They pick up the men, carry them in there, and rob them, then beat them, and turn them about their business.

Q. Who had the Prosecutor by the throat?

- Reynolds . The woman in the blue gown, Barefoot .

Q. How could you see that from your ground?

- Reynolds . I could see into the room as plain as I can see into this court.

Q. What trade are you?

- Reynolds . I am a carpenter, I keep my timber there. If the men had not been taken out of the place by the Constables and Soldiers, I durst not have gone to have assisted this man.

Barefoot. He only wants to take our lives away for the sake of the reward.

The Prosecutor was again directed to go up to the Prisoners, and look at them, to see if he was sure they were the persons.

The Prosecutor went to the bar, and look'd hard at them, and said to Barefoot, You are the woman, you are indeed; if these were the last words I was to speak, these are the women that robbed me.

Q. Which of the women was it that laid hold of you by the throat?

Hamilton . That's the woman, [Barefoot.]

Q. Who picked your pocket?

Hamilton. The other woman, Gwyn.

Justice Poulson said that was not the account he gave before him.

Q. Are you sure which of the two Prisoners picked your pocket?

Hamilton . To the best of my remembrance, she in the blue, [That was Barefoot .]

Q. Who does this house belong to?

- Reynolds. It belongs to one Henry Gray *, he took this house only for this purpose.

* Henry Gray, a noted Gambler.

Barefoot. Ask Mr. Reynold's , how he can see through pales, that are as high as this yard.

- Reynolds . There are openings between the pales, that I can see as plain into that room as I can into this rt .

Q. Are you sure these are the two women you saw commit this robbery?

- Reynolds . I am sure these are the two women.

Q. How far is your yard distant from that room?

- Reynolds . I believe about 7 feet.

Barefoot . I asked Mr. Reynolds , whether he knew me, and he said he knew nothing of me; this is only because he owes me a spight for selling him some oisters . Guilty Death .


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