James M'Gennis, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 6th September 1749.

Reference Number: t17490906-83
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

581. James M'Gennis , was indicted for that he, together with Benjamin Lovley and Edward Lovley , on the king's highway, on Paul Gotobed , did make an assault, putting him in bodily fear and danger of his life, 1 hat, val. 1 s. 1 peruke, val. 1 s. 1 silk handkerchief, val. 2 s. from his person, did steal, take and carry away .

July 21 .

Paul Gotobed . The 21st of July I heard murder call'd, I was in an ale-house in Red Lion-street, Whitechapel ; I went out, and the prisoner at the bar and Benjamin Lovley knock'd me down, about 5 or 6 yards from the door; the prisoner struck me first, and the other afterwards with sticks; they stood over me some time, rifling my pockets; Lovley took my hat and wig; the prisoner stood over me, and said, d - n your blood, if you stir he'd cut me down. My landlord came out, and they gave back a little; I got up and came into the house with him, then he took a piece of wood, what belongs to a mantle-piece, and I took the iron poker, and we went out; they were come to the door, one of them made a chop at me; the prisoner at the bar whistled with his hand, and there came three more immediately: my landlord said, do not flinch from me; I said, I'll die first; then d - n you, the prisoner said, you shall die then. We ingaged them about 15 minutes, they had sticks, and one of them had a hanger; after we were quite spent, we call'd thieves, stop thief, &c. then they ran away; the watch came quick up to our assistance, we were bruised very much, but the cutlass had not touch'd any of us. We with the watchman made after them; the watchman knock'd Lovley down (some took towards Whitechapel, and some towards the city, we pursued the city way); Lovley rose again, and got from him, and a butcher met him, and knock'd him down again, and held him; this was within Whitechapel-bars: presently the other Lovley was taken. The two Lovleys were carry'd to Aldgate watch-house , and the prisoner to Whitechapel watch-house ; but when the fire was in the Poultry the two Lovleys got away.

Richard Cheney . I was shutting up the door about one o'clock, to go to bed; after I heard this cry, and Paul Gotobed was gone out, I went out and there I saw Paul on the ground, and the prisoner and a lesser man with him; they had sticks in their hands, and one of them was stooping down at him as he lay; upon my seeing them, they drew a little back, and Paul got up; he said, he was robb'd of his wig and handkerchief; I took 1 piece of a chimney-piece, and he an iron poker , and we went out again; one of them, which was Lovley, drew a hanger, and took a chop at me , I caught his blow with my bit of wood; then I took him a punch with the end of it, and set him on his backside; at our going out this second time, one of them whistled, and instantly there came three more to their assistance; said I to Gotobed, don't flinch; said he, I'll die first, and I think there were two or three of them said it shall not be long first. We fought them for several minutes, and when we were quite spent, we call'd out stop thief, stop them, &c. then they ran away, then we pursu'd them, and the watchmen came about; Lovley was knock'd down, and got up again, and ran thro' Whitechapel-bars , and there taken; there was a great long knife found where he fell first, and brought to the watch-house: presently somebody brought in the other Lovley with Paul Gotobed 's hat and wig, (but the persons who took these two brothers are not here, they thought there would be no occasion for them, since the two Lovley's are got out of the Poultry-counter, being let out when the fire was there), the prisoner was taken, and had to Whitechapel watch-house; he said there, they were going to rob somebody, it was not us in particular, to get some money to carry them to Ireland.

John Strutt . I am a watchman, I was at my stand in Whitechapel, about two hundred yards nearer the bar than Red-lyon-street; I heard the cry, stop thief, stop thief, about one o'clock in the morning. I ran and saw a man in a red waistcoat; I knock'd him down with my staff, that prov'd to be Edward Lovley ; we had a little struggle together on the ground, he was too strong for me, and got up, and got through the bar into the freedom; then a watchman or a butcher stop'd him. When I had knock'd him down, I call'd out brush 'em, brush 'em , which was the word we had, and my brother watchman came to my assistance; we carry'd him to Aldgate watch-house , by the hands and legs, he was very unruly : Gotobed came up to the watch-house, and gave charge of him, saying, he had been robb'd by him and others; then in about 15 minutes, there came the other watchman and a gentleman, and brought in Benjamin Lovley ; two of our watchmen had taken the prisoner, and brought him to Whitechapel watch-house .

Francis Moss . I am a watchman in Whitechapel,

on the 21st of July, I was call'd out by the word that was given by a brother watchman; I pursu'd the prisoner, till I came into the Butcher-row; there was one of them taken and carry'd into the Watch-house near Aldgate, and as I came back from that watch-house, I saw two men run, so I went through the bar; I said to a man that was by me, do you go one way and I'll go another; they ran up Gulston's-square, there I saw them sitting a-stride on a brick-wall; I went to them, the other got away; I took the prisoner a blow with my staff, and said, you must come down; he made little or no ressistance, and I took him to the watch-house; Mr. Gotobed and Mr. Cheney came and charg'd the constable with him, then we went to the place where we found the prisoner looking over the wall; it was deep on the other side, there lay this hanger, which I suppose he had drop'd down.

William Bell confirm'd what the last witness said.

Guilty , Death .

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