Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
283, 284. + Margaret Greenaway and Ann Rush , of the Parish of St. Bridget otherwise Saint Brides in London, were indicted for assaulting George Thorn , on the King's highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him, a hat, value 3s. and 8s. in money , his property, April 25th .
George Thorne . On the 25th of April last, about a quarter before ten at night, I was going by the New Market, and enquired for Shoe Lane: I asked those two gentlewomen the way, and they said, they would shew me the way: they took me down a passage, which, as I have been informed since, was George Alley ; when they came about the middle of the place, one of them said, that is the way to Shoe Lane, and said, Sir, won't you give us something to buy a dram; I put my hand into my pocket, and I had but a penny, which I gave her; she said, D - n your blood, that is not enough to buy a dram; I said, I had no more half-pence; she said, D - n you, you have got money enough, and we will have it before you go. I laid hold of them, with a design to take them to the watch; I did not think they would rob me. Then a fellow in a white frock very dirty came up with a stick, knocked me up against the wall, and gave me several blows with the stick, I was very ill used by him, and in a very bloody condition. Then Rush came up with a penknife, and said, D - n your blood, if you don't deliver your money, I'll cut the ball of your eye out; then a fellow came up in a blue waistcoat, with a long knife in his hand.
Q. Had Greenaway any thing in her hand?
Thorne. No, I did not see any thing; then they robbed me of 8 s.
Q. Who took the money from you?
Thorne. Greenaway took the money, for her hand was in my pocket.
Q. Did you lose any thing else?
Thorne. Yes, they took my hat off my head, then Mr. Keys came up, and the man in blue followed him.
Q. When was it that the man in blue came up?
Thorne. I was robbed before he came up, but he came up immediately.
Q. What did he do?
Thorne. He only held up a knife, and said, D - n you, what are you doing here? and Greenaway said, it is but seven or eight shillings, and the man in blue said, D - n you, I wish it had been as many pounds.
Q. Was you robbed when Mr. Keys came up?
Thorne. Yes, and I told him, one of those women had robbed me; I had hardly spoke
Q. Had you hold of both the women?
Thorne. Yes, I had hold of them both.
Q. You say you was not robbed till the man in the dirty frock came up?
Thorne. No, I was not; and when he came up, he said, D - n you, what are you doing of? And Rush said, D - n this country cull, I'll cut the ball of his eye out, if he don't deliver his money.
Q. How long time was there between the fellow in the dirty frock coming up, and Mr. Keys coming?
Thorne. Mr. Keys came up presently.
Q. Was the man in blue come up, when Mr. Keys came?
Thorne. He was not; but there was not a moment's difference between their coming. When I told Mr. Keys I was robbed, he said, he was very sorry for it: he went away, and said, he would run to the watch, and acquaint them with it.
Q. Did Mr. Keys run away?
Thorne. I believe he was frightened, for there was a desperate fellow that came up to him?
Q. What happened after that?
Thorne. After the Prisoners had robbed me, they went away. I met Mr. Keys coming from the watch-house, and he said, the watchmen told him, they were vile wicked creatures, and I had better come and look after them in another manner. Mr. Keys told me where he lived, and advised me to come, when I was in a better condition, for I was very bloody.
Q. When did you take the Prisoners?
Thorne. I took them the 7th or 8th of May.
Q. How did you take them?
Thorne. I went into Black Boy Alley, and heard of them; I went to Mr. Berry, who lives in Chick Lane, and told him, I was robbed by two women, and described them, and he ordered me to go to the Pump ale-house in Chick Lane, and Mr. Berry came to me: he went and shewed me several women; I fixed upon the two Prisoners, and told him, those were the two women that robbed me: he said, don't say a word now, for there are a parcel of sad cattle live here, and if you do, there will be murder committed; but about two o'clock in the morning, the constable and the watch secured them, and Mr. Berry sent to me about eight, to let me know they were taken.
Q. How do you know the Prisoners are the women?
Thorne. I took particular notice of them by the lamps, I saw them very distinctly for a considerable time, and I know their voices, and I know them by their gowns.
Q. Did you know the Prisoners before that time?
Thorne. I never saw them before the 25th of April.
Matthias Keys . On the 25th of April, between nine and ten at night, I was going up the Fleet Market, and in George Alley I saw two women and a man, the man was very bloody, and told me, he had been robbed by those two women; one of the women had a penknife in her hand; they were telling some money over, and they took his hat off his head.
Q. Did you see them take it off?
Keys. Yes, they took it off his head just before I came up to them.
Q. How were they telling the money?
Keys. One of them was telling it out of her hand into the other's hand.
Q. How much money was there?
Keys. There were about seven or eight shillings. I went to lay hold of one of the women, and up came a fellow behind me in a blue waistcoat, and a tall fellow in a greasy frock, like a butcher.
Q. Was the fellow in the greasy frock there when you came up?
Keys. No, he was not there then; one of them (he in the blue waistcoat) had a knife in his hand, like a butcher's knife; he swore a great oath, that he would be the death of me, if I assisted the Prosecutor in taking the women. I went into Shoe lane, and called out watch, and said, there was a man robbed. I met the Prosecutor in Shoe Lane; and he told me
Q. Do you know the women?
Q. Look at the Prisoners, are you sure those are the women?
Q. Did you know them before that time?
Keys. I did not know them before that night.
Q. Did you hear the men that came up say any thing to the women?
Keys. The women said to the men, they had got but seven or eight shillings; and one of the men said, D - n you, I wish it had been as many pounds; and the women said so too; and one of the women threatened to stick me with a knife.
Q. Who took the hat off?
Q. What are you?
Berry. I deal in horses.
Berry. I have detected some of them in Black Boy Alley, because they were a pest to Gentlemen who go that way; but I am a great dealer in horses.
Q. Do you know who that is that says you are a thief-taker?
Berry. I believe that is Gentleman Harry, he is as great a rogue as any in the world. I have known him these twenty years; I knew him when he was postilion to Mr. Hide.
[Sims cried out again, he is a very great thief-taker, my Lord.]
Berry. He is a very great rogue, 'tis a pity he had not his deserts as some others have had. The Prosecutor came to me, and informed me, he was robbed such a time by two women; gave me a description of them, and told me they used Black Boy Alley and Chick Lane. There is a hill near that place, where twenty or thirty will fit together, may sometimes forty or fifty of them will fit together in the day time, smoaking their pipes and drinking. I took him to a place, where there were I believe four or five of them together; he fixed upon the Prisoners, and said, they were the two women that robbed him: I said, if we were to attempt to take them then it would be dangerous, and we might run the risque of our lives (for they are a pesterous sort of people, there is a great resort of them there, and they grow very troublesom; indeed there are more women than men now, because the men have been pestered very much lately) so I did not think it safe to take them then, and we took them about two o'clock in the morning in Chick Lane.
Philip Price . I am a watchman in Shoe Lane. On the 9th of May, between one and two in the morning, one Lloyd laid hold of the Prisoners in Chick Lane. I know these are the women that were taken then.
Greenaway. I know none of these persons but Mr. Price the watchman. I know nothing of it; I never do concern myself with any of the men kind whatsoever.
Rush. I was going that night into Field Lane, two men met me, and would have dragged me about; I called Mr. Price to come to my assistance, but he did not come; I am innocent of the robbery they charge me with. Guilty Death .