Samuel Watson, Violent Theft > robbery, 15th May 1746.

Reference Number: t17460515-4
Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Punishment: Death

199. Samuel Watson stands indicted for robbing Jane, the Wife of George Morris , of a Scarlet Cloak; and also for robbing George Morris ,

of 8 s. and putting them in bodily Fear of their Lives , the 24th of January .

Q. (to Jane Morris . What have you to say against the Prisoner?

Morris. I am positive, Gentlemen, he was the Man that robb'd me the 24th of January.

Q. What Time of the Day or Night?

Morris. As near as I can guess, the 24th of January, a Quarter before Eight o'Clock.

Q. Was you alone?

Morris. No, Sir; there were two with me, my Husband and another.

Q. What is your Husband? Where do you live?

Morris. In Tottenham Court Road.

Q. What is the Name of the other Person that was with you?

Morris. Joseph Ashborn .

Q. What does he follow?

Morris. He follows no Business at all, but lives upon what he has.

Court. Now tell what was done to you.

Morris. He (the Prisoner) took my Cloak from me.

Q. Was he by himself?

Morris. No, my Lord, there were two more Men with him.

Q. How do you know this was the Man?

Morris. This was the Man that clapp'd the Pistol to my Husband's Breast, and I am sure this Man (the Prisoner) laid Hold of my Cloak.

Q. What is become of your Cloak?

Morris. I never had it.

Q. This Man (the Prisoner) laid hold of me, and said he would blow my Brains out, because I made a Noise, when my Husband throw'd me over the Bank to make my Escape; the Moon shone in the Prisoner's Face at the Time he robb'd us; he was in Soldier's Cloaths, and his Coat was turn'd the wrong Side outwards.

Q. Do you know any Thing of the other?

Morris. My Lord, if I was to see them I can't say I know them, because they run swiftly before me.

Prisoner. My Lord, please to ask her whether I had a plain Hat or a laced Hat.

Morris. I can't directly say, but I think a plain Hat.

Council for the Prisoner. Madam, you say this Robbery was about the 24th of January, and it was Moon-light, pray how many Persons were in Company?

Morris. My Husband and this Gentleman.

Q. How came you to be so particular to know this Person more than the other two.

Morris. The others run swiftly by us, this Man stopt us.

Q. Pray had he a Wig on, or his own Hair?

Morris. His own Hair, he had a Soldier's Coat turn'd blue.

Q. Are you sure it was blue?

Morris. Yes.

Q. (to George Morris . What do you say to this Samuel Watson ?

Morris. We were coming from the Halfway House, the Place call'd Mother Red Cap's, the Friday Night the 24th of January last; when we were coming over the Fields, I was talking that in all my Life I was never attack'd; to this Joseph Ashborn said, nor I. When we came over the Fields, we met three Soldiers with their Cloaths turn'd, one of them had something over his Face. Joseph Ashborn says, Cousin, stand still, let the honest Soldiers come by. Two came by, and this Samuel Watson moved away from the Place to let us by; when we came up to the Post, I said, Honest Friend, why don't you get out of the Way to let me come by; with that (I don't know but that I might swear at him to get out of the Way) he clapped his Pistol to my Breast, No Words, No Words, said he, if you do, I'll blow your Brains out; with that I took my Wife into my Arms, and lifted her over the Bank; she seeing the Pistol, cry'd out; he said, D - n you, you B - h, if you speak another Word, I'll blow your Brains out; when I lifted my Wife over the Bank, he catched my Wife by the Cloak, and the other took Hold of the other Side. With that she slipt her Head out, and away she run, so he stopt me, and sell a rifling of me; she lost the Cloak, and this Samuel Watson kept it in his Hand; then after that I believe he dropt it on the Ground. The other Man goes back to Joseph Ashborn , and knock'd him down with a Bayonet. I saw the Bayonet in the other Man's Hand. The Prisoner he took my Watch, and I am sure to 7 s. but to the best of my Remembrance he had Eight between the Post; he took my Money.

Q. What did he do more to your Wife?

Morris. He did no more to my Wife. When I came up to Tottenham Court, I found my Wife almost frighten'd to Death upon a Heap of Stones.

Q. Where did you live before?

Morris. In Earl-Street; there I paid Twenty Guineas a Year to one Thomas Parker in Westminster.

Q. What was your Business before?

Morris. I am a Baker by Trade, and I follow it now.

Q. (to Joseph Ashborn . I was an Innkeeper by Tottenham Court Road.

Q. What Inn did you keep there?

Ashborn. The Red Lyon.

Court. We understand Morris is some Relation to you.

Ashborn. Yes, Sir.

Court. Now give an Account of what you know of this Affair.

Ashborn. We had been at Mother Red Cap's to eat a fat Pig there, and this happen'd on coming back.

Q. How many in Company were there of you?

Ashborn. There were three of us, and there were three Men that we met.

Court. Give an Account of what passed.

Ashborn. One of the Men held a Pistol at George Morris ; I look'd at him, and said are you in Jest or in Fannest, and one of them whips out a Pistol against my Breast; I up't with my Stick, and took him a cross the Nose and Eyes, I hit him such a Blow as to beat him backward; I beat them both so a-cross the Nose, that they fell a Top of one another. When I found one had got Hold of my Foot to take my Buckles away, I gave a Plunge to drive them away. I made such a Defence, that I would neither let them have my Watch, Money, nor Buckles.

Q. What became of the Woman?

Ashborn. She run away up to Tottenham Court, and swooned away upon a Heap of Stones, with that the Soldiers rise up at Tottenham Court to take these Men.

Q. Did you know who apprehended him?

Ashborn. It was he that carries the Prisoners backwards and forwards.

Court to the Prisoner. Now is your Time to make your Defence.

Prisoner. Please you, my Lord, I never wrong'd any Body in the World.

Q. (to Isaac Williams . Do you know the Prisoner?

Williams. I knew him my Lord in Flanders.

Q. How has he behav'd?

Williams. He has behav'd very well while he was abroad; he throwed off his Pay the 17th or 18th of February.

Abraham Bradford . Do you know the Prisoner?

Bradford. Yes.

Q. How long have you known him?

Bradford. I have known him ever since he came from Ghent; he behaved very well abroad; I know little more about him.

John Huson . I know nothing of the Prisoner, my Lord; but since he came to us from Flanders I have known him to do his Duty very well as a Soldier ; I have known him for 18 Months.

Q. What Trade is he?

Huson. A Breeches-maker by Trade.

Q. (to Jonathan Williams ) How long have you known the Prisoner?

Williams. About 22 Years.

Q. What Trade are you?

Williams. A Glover by Trade; I have nothing to say; he carried nothing away from me; I never heard a bad Character of him.

Q. (to Matthew Hall) How long have you known the Prisoner?

Hall. I have known him 10 or 11 Years; he has work'd with me backwards and forwards; he always worked like other Men, and behaved very well.

Q. How long is it since you have employ'd him?

Hall. Not since he came from Flanders.

Q. (to Robert Bedwin ) What do you say about the Prisoner?

Bedwin. I have always known him to be a Man of a good Character; I have known him five or six Years, my Lord; he rented a House of me three or four Years ago, and his Father and Mother and all lived together, and I never heard an ill Character of him.

Q. (to John Brown) What is your Business?

Brown. I am a Carpenter; I have known the Prisoner for seven Years; I never heard the Man was guilty of Swearing, or the like; I have one Thing to ask, that is, what Day the Robbery was committed; for upon the 16th of April I can prove he was three or four Hours at my House, and brought home these Breeches.

Q. Where do you live?

Brown. At Cow Cross; the Prosecutor is a Man of a very bad Character, my Wife has known him for 14 Years.

Reply. It's bad if your Wife knows him better than you.

Q. (to Benjamin Thomas ) What do you know of the Prisoner?

Thomas. When he worked for me he behaved very well; but since he has been in the King's Service, I have not known him.

Death .


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