John Griffith, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 12th September 1750.

Reference Number: t17500912-28
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

533. John Griffith , was indicted, for that he, on the king's highway, on James Cockram , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, one linen handkerchief, val. 12 d. one scarlet cloth cloak, val. 1 l. 6 s. the property of Henry Cockram , from the person of the said James, did steal, take, and carry away , July 29 .

Nathaniel Jones . I was walking along on Sunday July 29. at night, between 10 and 11 o'clock in the New Market just below the houses on the pavement , I heard a sudden outcry of murder and stop thief. I perceived the prisoner with a handkerchief in his hand; it look'd like a bundle; I made to him; he ran round one of the shops with the handkerchief in his hand. I saw him drop it just before I seiz'd him. The boy who had been robb'd, James Cockram , took it up. There was another person took hold of him just as I did; he shook his head, and said, Ah! is it you? and left us. I don't know who it was. I kept him till the watch came to my assistance, and the lad went to his father. The bundle was delivered into the constable's hand by the boy's father.

James Cockram . I shall be fourteen years of age on the 28th of December next.

(He was asked if he knew the consequence of taking a false oath, and answered well to it.)

Q. Give the court an account of what happened to you on the 29th of July at night.

Cockram. I was going to my father who is a watchman at the corner of Fleet Lane, on this Sunday night for the key of the door, The prisoner came behind me, and laid hold of my bundle which I had under my arm; I did not let go but struggl'd with him. I saw his face some time. There was a lamp just behind the place where he knock'd me down, which he did with a stick; and the moon shined too.

Q. Was you sensible when you fell down?

Cockram. I was, my lord. He took the bundle and ran away; and I got up and run after him, and cried out murder and thieves. The other witness was coming by, and he clasp'd him round the middle, as he ran round one of the houses in the market place. Then he let the bundle fall as soon as he was taken. I took up the bundle and went to my father, who came and took him to the watch-house.

Q. Did you lie long on the ground?

Cockram. No, my lord, I lay but a little time. I had fight of the prisoner from the time I was knock'd down, till he was taken.

Jos. Cooper. I was constable of the night. This lad brought this bundle to the watch-house. His father is a watchman, his stand is at the corner of Fleet Lane, who came with his son and the other witness the 29th of July. There was

a stick taken from out of the prisoner's hand; also the bundle produced in court, which Jones, the boy, and the boy's father deposed to; the first two to the robbery, and the other to it, as his property.

Prisoner's defence.

I was coming down the market, I fell over the stick and took it up. I heard the lad cry out, I ran to see what was the matter. He said somebody had knock'd him down. The young fellow said he believed it was me, and took me, and carried me to the watch-house.

Guilty Death .


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