Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
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440. + Richard Lee , otherwise Country Dick , of St. Giles's in the Fields , was indicted for assaulting William Price , in the dwelling house of Mary Johns , putting him in fear, and taking from him a hat, value 7 s. a perriwig, value 12 s. a silver stock buckle, value 6 s. a pair of silver buttons, value 2 s. and 10 s. in money, his property , Sept. 23 .
William Price . On Sunday the 23d of September, I was coming from St. Giles's church, between 12 and one, after chapel was done. I was a going home to dinner, and just by Newton Street this young chap [the Prisoner] over-took me, passed me, and came just before me, and said, Sir, do you know any body that wants a servant, he said, I am of no trade, I want a Drawer', or a Freeman's place. I said, I did not know of any, he must go to some intelligence office. He asked me what countryman I was, I said I was a Herefordshire man. he said he was of that country too. Said he, I have been in London about a month, I am very poor. I have no money at all. But when we came to Newton-Street, he said, I have one penny. I'll be a penny to your half-penny, and we'll go and drink together. He said he had a thing which he wanted me to read.
Q. Did he shew you any thing?
Price. No, he did not shew me any thing at all. I thought it was a letter he wanted me to read. I said I would not go and drink with him that way, for I knew it to be a very bad place, I said if he would go with me any other way, I would go and drink a pot with him. When we were going down Newton-Street, he took hold of me, and begged me to come on, says he, Here's another man following me, I have found a thing, and he wants it, but if you will come along with me I'll shew it you. - There was a person behind, and he said to the Prisoner, Young man will you take a crown more than I offered you. The Prisoner said, For God's sake come on, this man will not let me alone, let us go into some house or other, and I'll tell you what this man is about. He offered me his waistcoat all in gold, [his gold waistcoat] his hat and wig, and 15 s. in money for the things I have found. Said I, how for are you a going this way? He said, just by.
Q. Did he hawl you, or force you along?
Price. Not in a forcible way. Then he carried me to Mary Johns house, and up a long entry. Just as the Prisoner got me into the entry, as I was going in at a door into the kitchen, a man came up to me, and they forced me along the entry into a room backwards. The prisoner took me to the other end of the room, and the other fellow stood at the door. Then the prisoner said he would shew me what he had found, and pulled a ring out of his pocket, and said, This is the thing I found, which that man offered me all the money and things for that I told you of; and asked me if I would read the Posey upon the ring, and I would not read it. Then he called the other man to read it: I love none, but you alone. Then he put his hand into his pocket, and said, he had another of them. He said, As you are my countryman, if you have a mind to have these two rings you shall have them. Then he began to ask me what I had about me, and whether I had money to pay for those two gold rings. I said I did not want any gold rings. He look'd at my shoe buckles to see whether they were silver, and looked at my stock buckle, and buttons, and he asked how much money I had about me, I said about ten shillings. Then he said could give him my shoe buckles, and stock bucd buttons , and the ten shillings, I should have the two gold rings, which were worth five pounds me . I told him I would not have them upon any account: he said they were gold. I said, If they are gold you did not come honestly by them. Then he cused me . He pressed me two or three times to take them, and I told him I would not
Q. Where was the other man all this while?
Price. He stood at the door with a stick in his hand. - The other man said he would have my money, so I thought I had better give it them than run the risque of my life, and I pulled out the money my self.
Q. Did you give them the money?
Price. No, I did not give them the money; the Prisoner took the purse out of my hand with the money in it. - I think there were 10 s. in the purse. After he had got those things, and the money, he said, Here are the two gold rings for you, but I would not touch them. When he found I would not take the rings, he laid them down upon the window in a paper, and went away directly. Then I thought as he was gone, it was proper to take the rings, in order to shew to people. - I h ave not got the rings.
Q. Were they gold rings?
Price. No, they were nothing but brass. When I went home to my master's, ( - I am a smith) I complained how I was served, and got a warrant to take up the woman of the house, and the Prisoner; and she said, if you will be quiet I will get you your things again, and a girl brought to my master's house my hat and wig, and every thing but my money. So by the persuasion of the constable, and my master, who thought his life in danger, I took the things again and said no more of it.
Q. How did you know the prisoner's name?
Price. The girl said it was Country Dick who took the things.
Prisoner. Did you make any noise, when you were robbed?
Price. No, I did not make any great noise.
Prisoner. Did not you drink with me?
Price. No, I did not drink a drop.
Prisoner. Did not you give me the money?
Price. No, I did not.
Richard Read , Constable. My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury, I know the Prisoner at the bar to be a very notorious man. Last Monday was se'nnight we had a general privy search night. Upon searching a house at the end of Church-Lane, in St. Giles's, the sign of the Harp and Pound. about 11 at night, going up stairs on the left hand there was a little bed, I put my hand into it, it was warm as if somebody had just been in it. I went up two pair of stairs, and there was a room with three beds upon the ground, with one man in each bed, and I searched under the beds to see if there were any arms, after every body was gone out of the room, except a soldier and myself. Says the soldier, here's a closet you have not searched yet. No more I have, said I. I put my hand in, and felt something like linen, I pulled it to me, imagining it to be something of linen hanging in the closet, and it tore. Upon examining it, I found it to be the slap of a shirt. I put my hand in again and pulled the Prisoner's head out at the door, then I called out, and said, Gentlemen, I have got hold of a fellow, who is a common rescuer of Prisoners, and pulled him quite out. His shirt was tore, and I had the slap in my hand. I wanted to see him with his hat on, for I knew him by the cock of his hat. When he had it on, said I, You are the person who sent me word, you would blow my Brains out, and I said, Now I have a mind to blow your Brains out, and I secured him. Next morning he was examined before two of the Justices, and who should come in but the young man that he robbed, ( Adam Price .) Said he, I know that man. Said I, Do you know Country Dick? Yes, said he, He robbed me of my hat, wig, and other things, and 10 s. in money, said I, I am glad I have got him. And as Price was giving an account of the 10 s. he had in his purse; says Country Dick, there was but 8 s. 6 d. in it. Then, said I, You have done for yourself now. I would advise you to turn Evidence and save your neck, for I was sensible he belonged to a great gang, and he gave me informations of several, whose names I have in my pocket; which he did in hopes of being made an Evidence. I went afterwards to him in Newgate, and told him I believed there was one or two he had given me information of, that I had got, and if he had a mind to make himself an Evidence he might. Then he said, I don't know any thing of the matter, you made me drunk among you, that I did not know what I said.
Prisoner. The Constable says I wanted to make myself an Evidence, and gave an information against some Persons. I told him of two or three that were concerned with me in selling * Rings, but as to robberies I never was concerned in any. Guilty . Death .
*The Prisoner has frequently made his Brags, that he could sell Rings as well as any Body.