John Burk, Violent Theft > robbery, 22nd February 1749.

Reference Number: t17490222-21
Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

180. John Burk , late of St. Giles's in the Fields , was indicted for robbing Terence Walden of one waistcoat, value 2 s. and a linnen handkerchief , value 6 d. February 3 .

Terence Walden . He came to me in Lincoln's-Inn fields , near Justice Dennison's house, about half an hour after nine o'clock, took hold of my breast and knocked me down, and asked me to deliver my money; I got up again; says I, I have no money, with that he took my waistcoat and handkerchief; he stepped two or three paces back, and held a knife in one hand and a stick in the other; he held the stick over my head, and said damn you, if you do not deliver your money I will rip you open; I cried out and ran, then he ran; so I pursued him down Duke street; he came back again up the other side the square; there squire Oshurae's man met and laid hold of him till I came up; the prisoner said it was not him that robbed me, it was another; there was a watchman and Judge Dennison's man came to my assistance.

Q. Are you sure the prisoner at the bar is the person that robbed you?

Walden. He was never out of my sight , but as he passed the arch he ran through.

Q. How came he to run away?

Walden. My crying out was the cause of that.

John Potts . I am squire Osburne's servant; I was coming up Lincoln's Inn Fields, and believe I was within 20 yards, when I heard the cry, murder! seven or eight times, I pursued and heard somebody run and cry, Stop thief! then I stood still , thinking I could be of no service; presently I saw the prisoner come through the middle arch way; I ran to him and took hold of his collar, but I had strained my leg and could not hold him; but somebody came to my assistance before I had quite dismist him; then I was obliged to go home, and I never saw him since till now.

Peirce Frances. On February the 3d I was sitting in the kitchen that was backwards, I heard a great cry of murder! stop thief! &c. I listened and lost the found, then I heard it come back again; now thinks I, I shall be time enough; I took a pistol from off the shelf and ran out; as I came into the street, the last witness was carried home lame, and, I believe, I was the next person that laid hold of the prisoner; I told him I would blow his brains out if he stirred. Terence Walden was in the front of him, upbraiding him with what he had done; I think there was another person came much at the time I did; we took him to the Justice's house in the Fields; he was not at home; then we thought proper to search him; in his right hand pocket we found a clasp knife open, then we sent for a constable: the prosecutor had the bundle in his hand, saying to the prisoner, you villain! this is what you took from me; in doubling the prisoner had thrown away the stick and the parcel.

Q. What said the prisoner?

Frances. He put up his hand and said, I have had a blow; pretending he had been abused; but I saw no appearance of any blow.

Richard Mason . I am a watchman in Lincoln's-Inn Fields; the third of this month I heard murder cried; I ran directly out of my box towards the cry, as I turned the corner to go to Duke street, I clapped my hand upon the prisoner; the first person I saw was Judge Dennison's servant with a pistol in his hand, saying, if he stirred he would blow his brains out; there was the prosecutor, who said this is the man. We guarded him to Justice White's, about four doors below; he was not at home; then we searched him; there was a clasp knife open took out of his pocket

John Lacey . I am a chairman; the prisoner is the person we took; I attended him to prison, and saw the knife took out of his pocket; he was in the possession of three or four men before I came up.

John Shepherd . I am the constable; this is the stick Mr. Walden said the prisoner knocked him down with; here is the handkerchief and waistcoat; and this is the knife; it was open thus. [They were shewn in court.]

Q. to Walden. Is this the stick the prisoner knocked you down with?

Walden. It is the very stick; he held it over me long enough to give me an opportunity to see it.

William Renolds . I belong to the prison; the prisoner is the person delivered to us by the witnesses .

Prisoner's defence. I am a sea-faring man : I had been at Wapping; betwixt nine and ten coming home by Lincoln's-Inn Fields, by the New market, I was knock'd down, my hat took off of my head and six pence took out of my pocket; the thief said, you dog, if you don't run, I will cut you down with my hanger; while I was running these people met and stopped me, and asked me if I was the man that had robbed the prosecutor; I said I had been abused and robbed myself.

Guilty Death .


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