John Simmons*, Miscellaneous > returning from transportation, 30th May 1745.

Reference Number: t17450530-14
Offence: Miscellaneous > returning from transportation
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

272. + John Simmons* , was indicted for that he at the general goal delivery holden at Abingdon in and for the county of Berks, on Monday the 26th day of July, in the 18th year of the reign of his present Majesty King George the second, before James Reynolds , Esq; one of the Barons of our said Lord the King, of the Court of Exchequer, and Sir Thomas Abney , Knt. then one other Baron of our said Lord the King, of the Court of Exchequer, and others their fellows Justices of our said Lord the King, assigned to deliver his goal of the same Country of the Prisoners therein being: John Simmons , late of the parish of St. Lawrence in Reading, in the County of Berks, labourer, according to due course of law, was indicted, tried, and convicted, before the same Justices, by a Jury of that County; for that he the said John Simmons on the 3d day of April, in the 15th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the second of Great Britain, &c. with force and arms, at the parish of Stratfield in the said County, one cock turkey of the price of 2 s. one hen turkey of the price of two 2 s. two live cocks of the price of 18 d. seven live hens of the price of 3 s. 6 d. and three chickens of the price of 2 s. the goods and chattels of Henry Lannoy Hunter , Esq; then and there being found, feloniously did steal, take, and carry away, against the peace of our said Lord the King, his crown and dignity; and thereupon the aforesaid John Simmons by the foresaid Justices of our said Lord the King, assigned to deliver his goal of the said County of Berks, of the Prisoners therein being, was then and there ordered to be transported as soon as conveniently might be, to some of his Majesty's Colonies and Plantations in America, for the term of seven years, according to the statute in such case made and provided, as by the record thereof doth more fully appear; and that he the said John Simmons afterwards, to wit, on the 18th day of March , in the 18th year of the reign of our said Lord the King, with force and arms, feloniously and without any lawful cause was at large within this kingdom of Great Britain, to wit, at London, in the parish of St. Botolph without Aldgate , in the Ward of Portsoken in London aforesaid, before the expiration of the said term of seven years, for which he was ordered to be transported as aforesaid, against the peace of our Lord the King, his crown and dignity, and against the form of the statute in such case made and provided.

* He was taken up for assaulting and wounding several of the watchmen of Portsoken Ward, and committed to the Poultry Compter by the name of Burgess.

Mr. Francis Higgs produced the certificate of his conviction and order for transportation, viz.

These are to certify, That at the general goal delivery for our Lord the King, holden at Abingdon in and for the County of Berks, on Monday the 26th day of July, in the 18th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the second, &c. before James Reynolds , Esq; one of the Barons of his Majesty's Court of Exchequer, and Sir Thomas Abney , Knt. then one other Baron of the said Court of Exchequer, and others their fellows Justices of our said Lord the King, assigned to deliver his goal of the same Country of the Prisoners therein being: John Simmons , late of the parish of St. Lawrence in Reading, in the County of Berks, was then and there tried and convicted by a Jury of the said County; for that he the said John Simmons on the 3d day of April, in the 15th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the second, &c. in the parish of Stratfield in the said County, one cock turkey of the price 2 s. one hen turkey price 2 s. seven live hens price 3 s. 6 d. and three chickens, price 2 s. the goods of Henry Lannoy Hunter , Esq; did feloniously steal, take and carry away, &c. and that he the said John Simmons then and there prayed the benefit of the statute to be allowed to him, and that the said Justices at the said goal delivery, ordered him to be transported as soon as conveniently might be to some of his Majesty's plantations in America, for the term of seven years, to be computed from the time of his conviction.

Signed

Thomas Multhoe ,

Clerk of Assise for the County of Berks.

April 21, 1745.

Joseph Barker sworn.

Q. Do you know the Prisoner?

Barker. I knew him in Reading goal, and he was carried to Abingdon the summer assizes in July 1742, it will be three years next July. I was one of the sheriffs officers, and assisted the keeper of Reading goal to carry the Prisoners to Abingdon.

Q. What was he tried for?

Barker. He was tried for robbing Henry Lannoy

Hunter , Esq; of some cocks and hens.

Q. How do you know him to be the person?

Barker. I am sure he is the man: I was carrying him and thirteen more who were to be transported, and he got away from me about two miles and an half from Reading, as I was told.

Q. Was he confined then?

Barker. He was in irons and handcuffed, but he had cut them off: he carried one of the bazzils along with him.

Q. Did any more of them get away?

Barker. No; I carried thirteen safe.

Q. Was it day-light?

Barker. It was not quite day-light.

Q. Where was you then?

Barker. I was on horseback on the right hand side of the waggon, there was another person on the other side of the waggon, and three or four persons with them in the waggon.

Q. When did you miss him?

Barker. I did not miss him till day-light, and found his irons in the waggon.

Q. Where did you find him again?

Barker. I found him in the Poultry Counter, and he threatened our lives then.

Q. Who told you of his being there?

Barker. The goal keeper was informed of it.

Q. Have you seen him at large since his conviction?

Barker. I never saw him at large since.

Prisoner. Did not you go to school along with me?

Barker. It is so long since that I cannot very well remember it, I know nothing more of the gentleman.

Francis Haslet . I know the Prisoner is the person who stole the hens from 'Squire Hunter: I gave evidence against him at Abingdon.

Q. Are you sure he is the person?

Haslet. I am certain and sure he is the man.

Edward Holloway . I am Mr. Wiseman's turnkey at Reading goal; I was at the bringing the Prisoner up to London with a design to have him on board merchant Forward's ship. He cut off his irons as the other Prisoners told me, and they said he jumped out of the waggon in Maidenhead Thicket between one and two in the morning.

Prisoner. I think it is a very hard thing for a man to swear to another person's voice, as he says he will swear to mine.

Holloway. Yes; I could swear to it your voice is so remarkable, for I have known you fifteen or sixteen years : you have threatened my life a great many times, John.

Lancelot Howlet. I am a watchman of Portsoken Ward. On the 18th of March the Prisoner abused our watchman; there was a warrant served on him the same day for assaulting and abusing them, and I was at the taking him. He wounded some of the watchmen in Gravel Lane, and they got a warrant for him that day as soon as they had an opportunity.

Q. Was there a riot in the night, and an abuse of the watch?

Howlet. Yes; and we went to assist the Constable.

Q. Did you know the Prisoner before?

Howlet. The Prisoner lived in Patrick's Court in Hounsditch with a common sort of a creature.

Q. What creature?

Howlet. Why, a whore or a harlot, or whatever you please to call it. There was a quarrel at an alehouse in Gravel Lane, and I heard that the Prisoner had got away, but the people said there was a watchman very much hurt, and that the Warder had been knocked down and very much abused; so as soon as possible Mr. Day the Beadle got a warrant and went to his lodging, and my partner and I went with him, and we went in with a design to knock him down for fear of his doing us a mischief: I catched the Prisoner by the collar, and he offered, as I thought, to put his hand in his pocket, and presently he gave a chop, and I was cut, but I do not know what he did it with.

Q. Was it the Prisoner that cut you?

Howlet. I saw nobody but the Prisoner and my partner, and I hope your Lordship don't think the watchmen would cut one another. The Prisoner got away from us, but going up the steps by Devonshire Squire we took him again.

Q. What is your partner's name?

Howlet. Jack Lee , or John Lee .

Q. Would you ask Howlet any questions?

Simmons. As to asking that man any questions, I believe he will say any thing, and I will not give the Court any trouble. I hope the honourable Court will take notice of what that man says without my exposing him; he says I cut him, and I had nothing to cut him with.

Howlet. I had hold of his left fist, and with his right hand he made a chop at me, and I received a cut at that time.

Q. Where was you cut?

Howlet. I was cut upon my wrist, and through the wristband of my shirt; I could shew you, but I have not the same shirt on now.

Simmons. What did I cut you with?

Howlet. I said before I could not tell what you cut me with.

Q. Had he any instrument about him?

Howlet. He got from us, and run away; and he might throw that away as he run along. There was none found upon him.

John Lee [a watchman.] I took the Prisoner in Patrick's court in Houndsditch the same day, [for this mischief was done between twelve and one in the morning] Mr. Day the beadle got a warrant to take the prisoner up. My partner and I went at night along with Mr. Day, in order to take him in his lodging; and with a design to knock him down if he made any resistance; and accordingly we told him, if he offered to put his hand into his pocket, we would knock him down: he put his hand in his pocket, and struck at me with a knife; I struck at him, but missed him; I struck at him again, and he fell a reeling [this was in the alley by the Prisoner's house] My Partner Howlet got hold of him, and they were both upon the ground: my partner said, don't strike, for am I uppermost; and there was another watchman [ Robert Robinson ] who was cut in the hat. I felt about his clothes, but he had nothing about him when he was taken.

*The Beadle, Constable, and Watchman, all went in the dark to take him upon a surprize; for they know he was such a desperate fellow, it would be very difficult to take him.

Prisoner. Pray ask this gentleman what they first charged me with?

Lee. Why, for cutting and abusing the watchmen; and cutting that watchman's [Bentley] hand almost off.

John Bentley . I was called out of the watch-house about twelve o'clock or between twelve and one.

Q. What day of the month was that?

Bentley. It was the 18th of March between twelve and one in the morning; I was informed there was a quarrel in the alehouse; I went there, and they charged me with the Prisoner at the bar. He gave me good words, and said, he would stay till the constable came; but all on a sudden he got from me, and cut me cross the head with a knife; then he gave me a cut cross my wrist, and cut the leaders of my arm, and I am afraid I shall never have the use of it again.

Q. Was he in any body's custody before?

Bentley. No, he was quite at liberty.

Prisoner. I don't know the man.

Bentley. I ought to know you; and I believe I shall as long as I live; you have made me remember you.

Richard Baddington. I am warder of the watch-house in Gravel-lane, for Covent-garden precint. There was a woman came to the watch-house, and she said Mr. Simmons had abused her husband at a public house.

Q. Did you know Simmons before?

Boddington. Only by his living some time in the neighbourhood. I went along with her, and going along I said to him, how could you be so unkind as to make such a disturbance and a noise at this time o'night? When I came to the publick house, he wanted to run away, but I took hold of his collar, and he knocked me down; this was at the alehouse. My watchmen hearing that I was in a fray came to my assistance; but the prisoner being a stout, lusty fellow (and, as I suppose, fearing something of danger if he was taken) knocked me down again, and run away.

Prisoner. I have nothing more to say. I submit my self to the honourable court. I know nothing of the matter. Guilty Death .


View as XML