John Newcomb, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 5th December 1750.

Reference Number: t17501205-22
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

28. (M.) John Newcomb , was indicted for robbing James Clayton on the king's highway of one perriwig, value 1 s. one hat, value 2 s . October 19 . +

James Clayton . On the 19th of October I was coming home through Featherstone Buildings ; I stopped to make water; three persons came up to me, one on each side, and another behind me; they jostled me to get me from the place; I called out, watch; upon which I received several blows, but I continued calling out till they fired a pistol at me, it was close to my head; I received a cut with a hanger on my head, the ball grazed and wounded me near my left temple; (the scar appeared, and much powder in his face that will remain) at the same time they took my hat and wig, and ran away; the next morning I perceived two balls had gone through my hat; the watch came immediately to my assistance.

George Wood . I am a watchman in Featherstone Buildings, Holborn. On the 19th of October, about 11 at night, as I was in my watch-house box, I heard some person say, what are you doing? another voice said, he was making water; in an instant of time I heard somebody call, watch, watch; I was about 25 yards off, and when I was got about half way to them; the pistol went off; then I saw three men, which, by the flash of it, ran away from Mr. Clayton, who was leaning against the wall; I ran after them; the prisoner at the bar ran down Chancery lane, and I after him, so lost the other two; but I never lost sight of the prisoner from the pistol going off till he was taken, I still calling out, watch, thieves, murder, as I ran; he fell down near the White Hart Door in the lane; I was within about two yards of him when he fell ; the prisoner ran the last of the three.

Richard Barret . I am a watchman; my stand is at Great Turnstile, Holborn. He confirmed the testimony of the other, saying, he never lost fight of the prisoner till he turned at the corner to go down Chancery lane.

Randolph Richards , who was in Holborn feeding a coachman's horses, confirmed the same; adding, when the prisoner fell down, he heard him cry, take care of the pistol and hanger; and also he saw the hanger lying very near his hand, which he secured.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was going into Red Lion street with a shipmate of mine, he was much in liquor; he said to me, you have no occasion to go any farther, for I believe I can find my way home; I took my leave of him; coming by this place, called Featherstone Buildings, I heard a musket or a pistol go off; coming down Holborn, I presently heard the cry, stop thief; I used my best endeavour to take hold of these fellows; I followed them a pretty way; one of them made a blow at me and missed me; I followed him till he came almost to Chancery lane end; he threw the hanger at me and missed me; I went to stoop to pick it up, and these men fell upon me.

Guilty Death .


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