William Kelly, Thomas St. Legar, Patrick Cane, Sarah Cane, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Theft > receiving, 10th July 1745.

Reference Number: t17450710-27
Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Theft > receiving
Verdicts: Guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death; Transportation

327, 328, 329. William Kelly , Thomas St. Legar , and Patrick Cane , of St. Martins in the Fields , were indicted for assaulting Thomas Piggott , Esq ; on the King's highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him a silver watch, value 20 l. and forty guineas, his property , May 23 .

330. Sarah Cane for receiving the said watch, knowing it to be stolen , May 24 .

Thomas Piggott . On Thursday the 23d of May, I supped with some West India merchants at the King's Arms Tavern, in Lombard street. About eleven o'clock we paid the bill, and ordered the waiter to get a Coach. We waited the return of the porter, but no coach could be got. Between 11 and 12 it being a fine star-light night, I put my sword and cane under my arm and walked. When I had just got beyond Somerset house, I saw Kelly and St. Legar behind me; and there was a drunken soldier before me, who staggered so, that he hindered my passing; when I found I could not easily get by, I whipped into the street in order to pass by him; then Kelly and St. Legar followed me; when I came to one of the dark passages in the Strand, I stopped to let them pass me, for I thought they wanted to walk faster than I; and when I stopped, they stopped. I thought it was done out of complaisance. When I came to Buckingham street in the Strand , I turned down four or five yards, thinking it was Villars street where I live, but seeing the gate at the end of the street, I found my mistake, and returned; at the end of the street in the Strand, that poor man Cave looked me full in the face, Kelly seized me with his left hand by the throat, and put a pistol or something like it to my temples, and thrust it as hard as he could against them, and swore by his Maker if I spoke a word he would blow my brains out. I said don't use me ill, it is not in my power to resist you, gentlemen, I see what you are about, and I cannot hinder you.

Q. Who were then present?

Piggott. They were all three present, and Kelly said, D - n you, you son of a b - h, do you speak, by G - d if you do, I'll murder you; upon that I was quite silent, and made no reply. He still kept hold of me by the collar; then he took hold of my watch string, he could not easily get the watch out, so he tore open my breeches, and took the watch out and put it into his pocket. Then he put his hand into my right hand pocket, and took out all my silver and brass, I believe about 10 s. He searched with his hand on the side of my breeches, till he felt the purse; by his hurry I thought he would have torn the purse out. I said you may take it, he said, D - n you, you son of a b - h, you shall give it me, and I gave him the purse with 40 odd guineas; I think there were 44 guineas and a half in it. As soon as he had got that, he put his right hand upon my shoulder and turned my face down towards Buckingham street, and he swore by his Maker if I made a noise or offered to follow him, he would murder me, and bid me go down that street. Just as I turned the corner I received a stroke on the left side of my neck with some weapon, which I suppose was done with a design to knock me down.

Q. Had St. Legar any weapon ?

Piggott. While Kelly was robbing me, St. Legar stood just before me with a drawn sword, and held the pint of it close to my breast, and Cave stood on the left hand with a drawn hanger over my head. I did intend to purse them, and I should certainly have overtaken them before they came to the watch, but my breeches being unbuttoned hindered me. I called to the watch, and said I was robbed by three men, and the watchman said they were just run by him; he asked me if I thought I should know them again, I said, yes; he said go home and change your clothes and follow them, but I thought they would certainly be housed before I could do that. I acquainted Mr. Bowley, the watchmaker in Lombard street with the robbery, and concluded to advertise my watch, with ten guineas reward; he advised me not to advertise it as stole, but as lost, and then I might possibly have it again. I advertised it on Saturday the 25th of May. Mr. Hall seeing the advertisement that morning, went to Mr. Bowley, and told him that such a watch had been offered to him to be pawned to him for three guineas, and he refused to take it in. Mr. Hail's boy found out where the woman lived who pawned it, in Scroop's court against St. Andrew's church in Holborn . Mr. Hall's boy went with me to Cave's house, (for this woman was Cave's wife.) I told her if she did not let me have the watch I would send for a constable, and send her to Bridewell. Then she said she had it of one St. Legar. I found by examining her, that Kelly

and St. Legar lodged at Cave's house; I sent for a case of pistols, and waited a whole day over against the house, but none of them came. A woman gave intimation to Cave's wife, that Kelly was in trouble about a watch; I had information of a place of resort, and went with a woman to one Raddy's, in Catharine street in the Strand, in order to find out Kelly's wife, for Hall's boy followed the boy Wood *, who came for Kelly's wife. But when they found they were watched, Wood run away, and Kelly's wife was housed at Raddy's. As I was talking, I discovered Wood, and told him I believed he was an accomplice, and if he would not make a discovery, I would take him up.

* This Wood was in custody upon this account.

He said, did I rob you, what business have you to take me up? I sent Kelly's wife to the Counter that night, and went to Raddy's again to look after these fellows; and Raddy told me, if you get your watch again, and some part of the money, I believe you will be easy: I said I should be glad to have my watch again, but as to my money I did not expect. I told him by what he had said about the watch, I knew him to be an ill man, and I would take care to get him punished; and he said, master, if I am rightly informed, every part of the money is in Kelly's wife's drawers: I said I would not go about it at that time o'night for fear of being knocked on the head; and I said, if you don't assist me in taking these fellows, and shew some degree of honesty, you shall be punished. He afterwards informed me, that the boy I had taken up [Wood] had the watch. I went to the boy to the Counter, and he told me he had lain upon the ground all night, and I gave him two shillings for his lodging: then he told me the watch was at one Sarah Holland 's in Stewart's Rents in Dirty Lane, in a cushion, in a two armed chair, in a paper. I went there, there was a great mob, and with much persuasion and many promises they let me into the room; when I got into the room, I went directly to the two armed chair, and found the watch in a white paper in the inside of the cushion among the hair. Patrick Cave was apprehended, and desired to speak to me; he was going to say something to me, I said, I do not want you to say any thing, for I know all your faces very well; and he said he would give me information where the other people were, and I believe he did all that was in his power to find them out+.

+ Kelly and St. Legar were taken the 5th of June in the Minories for an assault, in knocking down a bricklayer's man for looking at them: they were carried to the watch-house without Aldgate, and safely conveyed to the Counter by Mr. Day the beadle of Portsaken Ward; there was a powder horn and a brass ball found in Kelly's pocket.

Cave. I would ask the Gentleman, whether I did not offer to come to him if he would not molest me, and went to Esquire Piggott, and told him all I knew.

Piggott. When I came to Raddy's house, Raddy said I am very glad you are here, for I have received a message from Cave, that he is under a vast concern, and cannot eat or drink, and that he would be glad to see you if you will promise not to take him that night; I told him I would not take him that night; he came and we had a great deal of talk. I did design to admit that man [Cave] an evidence, but I was told my recognizance would be estreated, and I must prosecute.

Edmund Hall. I am a pawnbroker in Gray's-Inn Lane. Sarah Cave brought this watch to me, and wanted three guineas upon it. I asked her whose it was; she said it was a gentleman's: I told her I did not chuse to lend any money upon it without seeing the gentleman: she came again, and said, what signifies seeing the gentleman; but I would not have any thing to do with it. I sent my boy to Dawson's at Furnival's-Inn Cellar, and there was a man in a livery [which I take to be Cave] and the woman gave the watch to him.

William Parrot . My master said he would not lend any money upon it without seeing the gentleman, and he bid me go with her; she was unwilling I should go; I went with her to Furnival's-Inn Cellar, and the prisoner Patrick Cave came and consabulated with me some time, and Mrs. Cave gave the watch I believe to Patrick Cave himself, and then she said the gentleman does not care you should see him, and so you may go back again. My master seeing the advertisement, said, the watch the woman brought, is stole. I went to Mr. Bowley's, and told him what had happened, and I found Mrs. Cave, out in Scroop's Court in Holborn. I said, Mrs. Cave, you must give a particular account how you came by this watch, or you will bring yourself into further trouble, and then she said she had it from St. Legar.

Patrick Cave . As I was coming home to my own house from my master's at Lambeth after

twelve o'clock, I saw Mr. Piggott pass by, he was dressed well: I had my master's hanger under my arm, and I saw Kelly and St. Legar in the Strand, and I came up with them. I was there to be sure. Mr. Piggott advertised the watch, and my wife owned she had it, I gave it to her. I lived with Mr. Ward about four years, and had a good character, and never was concerned in any such thing before; and when I met him, I told him I would do him all the service I could, and inform him of the haunts of the persons who were concerned with me, and so I did.

St. Legar. I never was concerned in any robbery with either of them.

Kelly. I have nothing to say, but I leave myself to God and your Honours.

Cave. St. Legar came into my house, took a watch out of his pocket, and laid it upon the table. I was surprised how he should have a watch, because I never saw one with him before: the next day I was desired by Mr. St. Legar to pawn this watch.

St. Legar. It is very hard she should say I gave her the watch, when Cave gave her the watch.

Q. Did your husband give you the watch, or did St. Legar give it you?

Cave. St. Legar gave me the watch.

William Kelly , Thomas St . Legar, Patrick Cave , guilty , Death .

Sarah Cave guilty as an accessary.

The Prosecutor recommended Patrick Cave to the Court for mercy.

[Cave: Transportation. See summary.]


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