Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
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360. (L.) Joseph Peacock , was indicted for that he, in company with two others unknown, on the king's highway, on John Colston did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear, &c. one gold watch, value 10 l. one man's hat and crape hat-band, value 5 s. against his will from his person did steal, &c . May 1 ++.
John Colston . The night before the first of May, about twelve o'clock at night, as I was coming down Fleet-market going to the Bell in Holbourn alone, three men came to me the prisoner was one of them; I received a blow on my head from one of them before me, the other two were behind and my heels were trip'd up by them. I can't say which gave me the fall; they had before past by me backwards and forwards several times.
Q. What was you struck with?
Colston. I don't know that: As the person struck me, he said, D - n you, I'll teach you to go to the watch-house. I had been there and enquired what it was o'clock, and I was apprehensive of these people; at that time the watchmen were out calling the hour. I was down some minutes, and lost some money, but had none forcibly taken out of my pocket, they took my watch and hat. I went to a house where there was a light, it was a night-house, and described the prisoner; they said, they had seen such persons about; I staid there, the next morning about eight or nine o'clock the prisoner came, I took hold on him.
Q. Are you certain he was one of them?
Colslon. I am, my Lord?
Q. Was it light enough to discern him?
Colslon. There was no light but what the lamps afforded, which was enough to discern a person's face. The prisoner went with me and told me where my hat was sold, and I redeemed it, it was in Field lane at a brokers. The hat was produced in court and depos'd to. Then I came back with him, and made a sad piece of work about my watch; he said, he knew nothing of it, but he believed the other people did: I said, I would immediately send for a constable : a woman that seem'd to be a woman of the town came and send, sir, does this belong to you, which was my watch, I gave her a graturity for it; the prisoner said, he was very glad I had got it again, so I gave him a dram, and sixpence or a shilling, and let him go about his business; he has since been retaken.
Q. Where is the watch?
Colston. It is in the country, I left it at Epsora races: I was sent for to Justice Fielding's when he was there, and knew him to be the man.
Thomas Ind . When the prisoner was taken before Justice Fielding, about the 4th or 5th of May, he confessed that he, a chimney-sweeper, and an other person did this robbery. He wanted to be admitted an evidence. Mr. Fielding ask'd him in what manner it was done? He said he had the hat and hat-band, but did not know any thing of the watch; the others slung him of that; that it was done in Fleet-market; that he knock'd the gentleman down, being one of the three. The gentleman said there, he was the man that knock'd him down.
I know nothing of the matter.