Felix Mathews, Anthony Mathews, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 3rd September 1746.

Reference Number: t17460903-31
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

314, 315. Felix Mathews and Anthony Mathews , were indicted for assaulting and wounding John Lewis upon the King's Highway, near the Parish of Hendon, and putting him in bodily Fear and Danger of his Life, and robbing him of his Hat, Perriwig, two Ounces of Green Tea, a Thirty-six Shilling Piece, one Guinea, and Half a Guinea in Gold, twenty Shillings in Silver , &c. the Goods of the aforesaid John Lewis , on the 22d of July .

Q. (to John Lewis .) Mr. Lewis, look at the Prisoners at the Bar; do you know either of them?

Lewis. There were five of them when they robb'd me; I believe them to be two of the Men.

Q. What have you to say against them?

Lewis. The 22d of July, as I was going home.

Q. From whence?

Lewis. From London to Hendon, In Hall-Lane , near Nine o'Clock, as I was going along, I heard a Man whistle in the Lane. 'Tis a little on this Side the eight Mile Stone.

Q. What then?

Lewis. I turn'd back, and said, what do you want; before I turn'd myself again, there were four of them that struck me; I believe they gave me four or five Strokes before they beat me off the Horse; they took hold of me, and tore my Shirt; one took hold of my Legs, another of my Head, two held my Arms, and carried me into the Field, and there they rifled me; they took from me a Thirty-six Shilling Piece, one Guinea, Half a Guinea, twenty-Shillings in Silver, an Handkerchief, five Pounds of Sugar, two Ounces of Green Tea, a Steel Breeches-Buckle, a Pair of Knee-Buckles of White Metal, and a Pair of Buttons out of my Sleeves. After they had done this, they lifted me about three Poles farther, and with that I begg'd of them my Hat and Wig; I begg'd of them my Wig to cover my Wounds: One of them clapt his Hands to my Throat, and almost strangled me.

Q. What did they mean by carrying you further in the Field?

Lewis. I believe they heard somebody coming along the Highway. When they had almost throttled me, I ask'd them of what Service it would be to them to kill me? and one of them tied my Hands, and the other my Legs, and bid me hush: They tied my Hands behind me.

Q. What then?

Lewis. After they had done that they said, Your Horse is in next Field, and away they went.

Q. When was this?

Lewis. The 22d of July.

Q. When did you see the Prisoners at the Bar?

Lewis. I was some Time before I could get myself from being bound, and then I had four Hedges

to go through; I made Leaps, I did not care to go the Road. I went home on Foot, and rais'd all my Neighbours.

Q. What Reason have you to say the Prisoners at the Bar committed this Robbery?

Lewis. Sir Thomas De Veil sent to me, to let me know he had got the Sugar and Tea that they had of me. [The Sugar and Tea was produced in Court.]

Q. I would ask you, Is that the Sugar and Tea you lost that Night?

Lewis. It was in a Handkerchief; I believe this to be the Sugar; it was all in one Piece, or there might be a Bit laid at the Top to make up Weight; also the Hat is in Court.

Q. Where did you see the Hat?

Lewis. Sir Thomas De Veil gave me this Hat, and I believe this Buckle is mine.

Q. Was the Prisoner at the Bar before Sir Thomas when these Things were shewn to you?

Lewis. Yes, I was a Month before I got to Town.

Q. Who was the Hat found upon ?

Lewis. The Hat was found upon him that is turn'd Evidence.

Q. What is the Man's Name?

Lewis. Patrick Short .

Q. (to the Prisoners) Would either of you ask Mr. Lewis any Questions ?

Prisoners. We don't know the Man at all.

Q. (to Patrick Short ) Do you know the Prisoners at the Bar?

Short. Yes; I knew them a Week before we met Mr. Lewis.

Q. What do you know of Mr. Lewis's being robb'd ?

Short. I was in Company along with them, my Lord.

Q. Was you concern'd in the Robbery?

Short. I was along with them, with Anthony Mathews and Felix Mathews .

Q. Who were the other?

Short. Patrick Donnily and Owen Scot .

Q. What did you Five do to Mr. Lewis?

Short. We struck and abus'd him, and tied him.

Q. Where did you meet Mr. Lewis?

Short. Half a Mile below Hendon: It was between Hendon and his own House.

Q. Who was it that attack'd him? who struck Mr. Lewis?

Short. Patrick Donnily struck him first.

Q. What were your Weapons?

Short. All Sticks.

Q. What did you do to him?

Short. Tied him, and carried him into the Fields and took all that he had.

Q. Was he knock'd off from his Horse?

Short. Yes, my Lord.

Q. What then?

Short. Then we took him into the Fieldwith in.

Q. What did you do then ?

Short. Tied him, my Lord, and got his Money of him.

Q. What did you take from him, and who was it?

Short. Patrick Donnily took it; I can't tell how much there was; it was not divided.

Q. Was there any thing else besides the Money?

Short. His Hat and Wig, my Lord.

Q. Who had the Hat?

Short. I had the Hat, my Lord, and Wig, and I gave it to a Woman in the Town; I don't know who, I was drunk.

Q. What else did you do to him, after you had taken his Hat and Wig.

Short. We tied him, and left him there. Patrick Donnily tied him.

Q. What did the two Prisoners do?

Short. They struck him.

Q. Did you see them both strike him?

Short. Yes, my Lord, we all struck him.

Q. When did you make a Discovery of this ?

Short. I made a Discovery of this when I was taken in Town here.

Q. Who had the Sugar and Tea?

Short. Felix Mathews had it, and sold it to this Gentlewoman here.

Q. Was you before Sir Thomas De Veil ?

Short. Yes, the first Day I was taken.

Q. How long after the Robbery was committed was you taken?

Short. The Robbery was committed on Tuesday, and I was taken on the Thursday.

Q. When were the Prisoners at the Bar taken ?

Short. They were taken on the Friday.

Q. Who discover'd where they were.

Short. I did, my Lord.

Q. Were you along with the Persons that took the Prisoners?

Short. No, my Lord, I was not; we were all of us at the Woman's House, but the other made of.

Mary Rose . I keep a Publick House in Bloomsbury-Market; on the 23d of July five Men came in and call'd for a Pot of Beer.

Q. Were the Prisoners at the Bar two of the five?

Rose. I can't be positive.

Q. When they had call'd for the Pot of Beer, what then?

Rose. They sat down, Sir, and drank six Pots of Beer and 5 Pint of Cyder; one of them (which I can't swear to) ask'd me if I wanted any Sugar; I said, No; the Man said that he had bought a Quantity of Sugar for a Shopkeeper in the Country, and said he had this over and above upon his Hands; he said it cost him 10 d. a Pound: I said I could buy it cheaper of my Neighbours, so I gave him 8 d. The Evidence (Short) was one of the five, he came again.

Court. Then Short is the Man you know?

Rose. I know him as I saw him a second Time. I then saw none but this Man, and the Man that apprehended them.

Q. Was he taken at your House?

Rose. Yes, when they came again to our House on Thursday Morning.

Q. (to the Prisoners) Will you ask this Witness any Questions?

Prisoners. No, my Lord.

Q. (to Short) What Time was the Robbery committed?

Short. About Nine o'Clock at Night.

Q. What did you do after you had robb'd that Gentleman?

Short. We came strait on for London; we slept in the Fields 'till Morning.

Sarah B urtle. Mrs. Rose desired me to take Care of her House, as she was ill. These Men came in and called for Beer; there were five of them that Morning that came in and call'd for Beer; they came two or three Times and asked for some Name.

Q. Do you know Patrick Short ?

Burtle. I shewed him into the Box when there was a Cry of Highwayman. A Man made a Cry of Highwaymen, and they run out; they had been in the House four or five Hours that Morning; they asked for two Farthings for a Half-penny to pay every one alike. This Gentlewoman bought the Sugar the Day before.

Q. Who discovered them to be Highwaymen?

Burtle. James Murphy .

Q. How many made their Escape?

Burtle. I believe three, my Lord.

Court. Then it was you that stopt Patrick Short ?

Burtle. Yes; I thought all Things were not right; I said you must not have People's Liquor and not pay for it. They might all have been taken were it not for James Murphy 's Cry of Highwaymen.

Stephen Mc Donald. One Sergeant came to me the 24th or 25th of July, and asked me to go and take two Highwaymen.

Q. Did you go along with him?

Mc Donald. Yes, my Lord, I went up into Red-Lyon-Square.

Q. Was there any Publick House?

Mc Donald. There was in the Square.

Q. What Time was thus?

Mc Donald. About Eleven o'Clock in the Morning; when I came into Red Lyon-Square, I saw both the Prisoners; when I laid hold of Felix Mathews he put his Hand in his Pocket to pull his Pistol out; he had a large Stick under his Arm, and I took it away and knocked him down; we took them both and searched them; there was this Sugar and Tea, and this is the Powder they had in their Pockets, this Rope, and these Balls.

Q. In whose Pocket were these found?

Mc Donald. In Felix Mathews 's; all the Things produced in Court, I took from Felix Mathews , 7 s. or thereabouts.

Q. (to the Prisoner) Will you ask him any Questions?

Prisoner. I demand my Money that he took from me.

Mc Donald. He would be carried in a Coach, &c. the Money was spent except a Shilling, which I gave him back in Bridewell.

Prisoner. My Lord, the Ball and Powder the Witness put into my Pocket himself.

Q. (to George Worthy ) Do you know the Prisoners at the Bar, Felix Mathews , &c. was you along with the last Witness?

Worthy. Yes.

Q. What was found upon Felix Mathews ?

Worthy. This Pistol and Ball he took out of his Pocket.

Court. Then he did not put it into his Pocket?

Worthy. No, my Lord.

Q. (to the Prisoners) What have you to say in your Defence?

Prisoners. What has been sworn against us is only to entitle them to the Reward.

Q. Have you any Witnesses to your Character, &c.

Prisoners. No, my Lord, we are Strangers.

Both Guilty . Death .


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