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

Reference Number: t17460515-5
Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Verdict: Guilty; Guilty
Punishment: Death

200. Samuel Watson and James Taylor were indicted for assaulting William Parran , and putting him in Corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, and for stealing from him one Pair of Silver Shoe Buckles, one Silk Handkerchief, Value 12 d. one Tobacco Box tipt with Silver, Value 18 d. 20 s. in Money, &c.

Q. (to William Parran ) Do you know the Prisoner? and how long have you known him?

Parran. The Prisoner (Watson) I know; this Soldier was along with me lighting of me.

Q. What do you say to the Fact the 3d of April .

Parran. I was robbed between Eight and Nine, as I was going home from Golden Lane to Tottenham Court, where I lodged.

Q. Where do you lodge?

Parran. I lodged at one Fuller's at the King's Head.

Q. What Time was that?

Parran. It was about Nine o'Clock at Night.

Q. Was it dark?

Parran. Yes, dark Night.

Q. Was any Body with you?

Parran. Yes, this Soldier.

Q. What is his Name?

Parran. Thomas Sheppard .

Q. What did he light you with?

Parran. With a Link, Sir. I went from Golden Lane to Clerkenwell; there I stopt at a Grocer's to buy some Sugar, and bought a Link in Mutton Lane to light me; I gave the Soldier a Dram at a Publick House; when we came into Pancras Field we met three Men.

Q. How were they dress'd?

Parran. I could not so perfectly see their Dress; but I believe Watson was in a blue Coat, to the best of my Knowledge.

Q. What was the other in?

Parran. The other was muffled, with a brown Coat about his Chin; but I can't be so positive.

Q. How came you to be more positive to Watson than Taylor?

Parran. Because Watson was the Man that took the Things out of my Pocket. I had not got thirty Yards in the Field but Watson said first, D - n your Eyes, Soldier, put out the Light, or we will blow your Brains out.

Q. Do you think the Prisoner, Watson, said these Words?

Parran. Yes.

Q. Why do you pitch upon him?

Parran. My Lord, he riffled me. There were three of them; one came on one Side, and the other on the other Side, and the Third held the Pistol to my Head.

Q. Who held the Pistol?

Parran. I take that to be Taylor.

Q. Now what was done after this?

Parran. My Lord, they took from me 20 and upwards: The Man that stood at a Distance d - nd them for being so long. Watson took 20 s. in Silver, or better.

Q. Where was it?

Parran. In my Breeches Pocket.

Court. In no Purse?

Parran. No, my Lord, loose in my Pocket: Also the Shoe-Buckles out of my Shoes, the Knee-Buckles out of my Knees, my Hat off my Head, a Tobacco-Stopper tipp'd with Silver, a Tobacco-Box, a Memorandum-Book, and all my Papers.

Q. Can you tell in particular what Watson took?

Parran. I believe he took the biggest Part of the Things. He tore the Lining of my Pocket out; he took the Hat off my Head, and put on an old one.

Q. What Business are you?

Parran. I am aboard a Man of War; I am Steward.

Q. Have you any thing further?

Parran. When I desir'd him not to take my Pocket-Book, he said, D - n your Eyes, I'll blow your Brains out.

Council for the Prisoner. Mr. Parran, How came you so particularly to distinguish Watson from the other Soldier? How can you pretend to say that he was the Person that spoke those Words, for you never saw him before?

Parran. I saw him, I think, the Monday afterwards.

Q. Where did you see him?

Parran. I saw him at Clerkenwell-Bridewell; I went there accidentally, and they stopp'd him.

Q. Do you think you should know the third Person?

Parran. I can't say particularly.

Q. (by the Prisoner to the Prosecutor) Parran, What had you on?

Parran. I believe a plain Hat; I believe you put your own upon me.

Q. (to Thomas Shepard .) Do you know Watson or Taylor?

Shepard. I can't say I did; I take him by his Voice.

Q. Do you remember the lighting the Gentleman over the Fields?

Shepard. Yes.

Q. Was there an Attack made?

Shepard. Yes; but what he lost I can't tell: I can't say any thing but his Voice: He said, D - n your Eyes; and I think 'twas Watson. When the Gentleman beg'd the Favour to have his Pocket-Book and Papers, then he swore, D - a your Eyes.

Court. (to the Prisoner) What have you to say in general?

Prisoner. I told Mr. Broom that I had a Pair of Breeches that I thought would do very well for him, if he would buy them; they indeed were too big for him, and I told him I could make them fit. I carried the Breeches to my Brother, and did them there; and I carried them to Mr. Broom's, and went back again, and stay'd 'till Ten o'Clock.

Q. (to Taylor the Prisoner.) Taylor, What is your Defence?

Taylor. I went to my Brother's House, and got a Steak, and it was near Four o'Clock before I went to bed.

Bryant Watson . I went to the Prosecutor's House, or that which he said was his Habitation, after they were committed to Bridewell; when I came there, he never laid there but one Night, and they could not tell the Place of his Habitation.

Court. You are Brother to the Prisoner.

Watson. Yes.

Court. You said before it was Thursday in Easter Week, the 16th of April.

Watson. I said no such Thing, my Lord. On Thursday, at Two o'Clock, in Easter Week (I live in Chiswell-Street) he came over to me, and said, Brother, I have got a Chap for this Pair of Breeches we made last Week; he is to give thirteen S hillings. They did not exactly fit, but I said, I can alter that. I said, go to the Clogster's, and buy the Buttons. Now he had got a Pair of Breeches, belonging to Mr. Broom's Boy, before; and he said to me, Brother, if you will go along with me, we shall have something to drink, &c. I said, Brother, I cannot go, I am to attend upon such a one, &c. I went to my Brother in Bridewell, and seeing his Irons I was sorry. I was half happy, as I am almost now. I said, Don't fear any thing, Brother, and left him. I then went to my Aunt to tell her the Story, and she cry'd sadly.

The Prisoner's Brother, Bryant Watson , had threaten'd the Witness highly to be the Death of him, &c. and he behav'd with so much Insolence in Court, that his Lordship said he would commit him.

Q. (to Rebecca Willis ) Do you know any thing of the Prisoner, Taylor; what is his Character?

Willis. I never heard any thing to the contrary of his having a very honest Character; he would not wrong a Wrm. He came to my House and desir'd something for supper. He went to Market, and bought some Steaks; and I never saw him out of the House that Night.

Q. (to Robert Willis .) What do you know of Taylor?

Willis. I was with him when he eat his Beef Steaks at Mrs. Willis's: I was with him from Seven to Ten.

Watson Guilty , Death .

Taylor Acquitted .


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