Alexander Byrne, James Mallone, Terence M'Cane, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 16th October 1751.

Reference Number: t17511016-13
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

556, 557, 558. (M.) Alexander Byrne , James Mallone , and Terence M'Cane , were indicted for robbing Benjamin Smart on the King's highway, of a hat, value 5 s. one pair of silver shoe buckles, value 5 s. one mettle tobacco-box, value 2 d. and nine shillings in money number'd , July 30 .*.

Benjamin Smart . On the thirtieth of July, in the evening, I had been to receive some money. I came away about eleven o'clock, to come home to Catherine-wheel Alley in Whitechapel, and on the outside of Whitechapel-bars I was followed by four men, who came after me into the alley. I pushed on as hard as I could, but within a stone's throw of where I live two of them overtook me, they were Mallone and M'Cane. It was as fine a moon light night as ever I saw in my life, and I knew them all four. I am positive to them. When I came to the very door where I live, Byrne and the evidence Wayland laid hold on me, one on one side, the other on the other; they bid m e hold my tongue, and called to the other two to come up. Mallone and the Evidence led me beyond the passage behind the pump; there they bid me deliver my watch and money. I said I had never a watch about me, but my money I would give them; so the Evidence took my money, which was nine shillings and three pence. I had one shilling more, which they left. I believe M'Cane took my hat, for he stood on my left hand, Byrne stood facing me with a pistol, and the other two with cutlasses over my head. M'Cane had no weapon, as I saw, Byrne and M'Cane were both stooping when my shoe-buckles were taken, but which took them I cannot tell. They told me, if they found I had concealed any thing they would blow my brain out. I had a suspicion of them when they followed me, so I had put my watch down in my breeches, and by that means saved it. I described them all in the morning to several neighbours, and how they were armed. I believe they were about eight minutes with me. They were taken up, as far as I understand, within an hour after this, and I saw them about seven the next morning.

Charles Wayland . The prisoners and I had been acquainted together for about a month. We went out in July last, in order to get money by robbing, and we all four attacked the prosecutor in Catherine-wheel Alley, Whitechapel, where we turned him up under a gateway. Byrne had a pistol, Mallone and I each a sword. We took from him nine shillings and three pence, his silver buckles, his hat, and an old tobacco-box out of his pocket. Byrne and I first attacked him; Byrne ran the pistol to his chin, the other passed him before, and looked at him, but when they saw we had attacked him, they turned back to us.

Q. Were your weapons naked?

Wayland. They were. M'Cane took his hat, I took the money, and Mallone took the buckles out of his shoes. We were all taken in about an hour after. The prosecutor came the next morning, and said we were the four men. We had spent a shilling of the money. We went into Winifred-street, and in a private ground room of a house there Byrne and Mallone fought about the buckles; afterwards, the men that took us took the things from us.

[The two swords and pistol produced in court, which were deposed by him to be the instruments they had at that time.]

Q. from Byrne. Ask the prosecutor, my Lord, what the Evidence said to him after the robbery?

Smart. After they had robbed me, they bid me continue in that place where I was a considerable time, I promised them I would. They went away, but the Evidence turned back with the cutlass in

his hand, and asked me where I lived, saying he intended to turn Evidence tomorrow, adding, I do not like the company I am in. I told him where I lived; then he said, By the great God you shall hear of me. By the great God and sweet Jesus tell me the truth. I said, Indeed I am at my own door; to which he replied, You shall hear of me in the morning, for I stand in danger of my life.

Peter Robinson . I was at the taking the prisoners at Mrs. Bosworth's house; Thomas Stanley and Mark Chailes were with me. I was going by this house, and hearing a noise, I went and told them, so they came with me. I looked into the window, there I saw two swords and a pistol lie on the table; the woman went in with half a gallon of beer, I followed her, but they took no notice of me till they saw Stanley, then Mallone whipped up one of the hangers, and made a cut, saying here is a grab; Byrne took up the pistol, shot Mark Chailes in the shoulder, and made a cut at me. We stood a great while arguing and fighting with them. I took the buckles from Byrne.

[Produced in court, and deposed to by the prosecutor. The hat also produced, found on the floor by Stanley ]

Thomas Stanley . I was at the taking the prisoners in a sort of entry, betwixt Winifred-street and Catherine-wheel Alley. I looked through the window, and saw a pistol and some hangers lying, but the prisoners seemed in a dispute. A woman went in with some beer, Robinson followed her, and I him; Mallone whipped a hanger up, saying, D - n my eyes, if here is not a grab, then the candle was struck out. I called to Chailes to shut the door, off went a pistol close by my head, and Chailes called out he was shot; I said never mind that. I had then got hold of Byrne, and having a pistol in my hand, gave him three or four cuts before he would submit. I said to the woman, If you are an honest woman go for a candle, so she brought one. The last witness took the silver buckles out of Byrne's hand, and I found this hat in the room. Wayland first submitted. We carried them to the watch-house, and they blamed each other. The Evidence said, Mr. Stanley, if it is possible my life can be saved, I will make a discovery; to which I replied, Then the only thing is to tell of the robbery. Upon which he shewed us the place, as likewise the prosecutor, who told me he had been robbed, and that he knew the Evidence; when he saw the other three, he likewise knew them. They all confessed the fact before the Justice, and wanted to be admitted evidences. I had a warrant from Justice Clark to take up Byrne for robberies committed in George's Fields, and I had told Robinson of him. He saw them, and came and called me out of bed.

M'Cane. We were taken in Robinson's own house.

For Mallone.

Thomas Goods . I am a silk handkerchief printer, and live in Chiswel-street near Morefields ; I know Mallone, he lived servant with me from Easter Tuesday to the time he was taken; no man could behave better; I gave him eight or twelve shillings per week for a year; I took him three weeks upon liking, he was remarkably sober, all my men in their several classes agreed he was an honest man, not desirous of liquor, nor given to cursing and swearing.

John Perrin , Moses Rogers , William Price , William Wynn , Gyles Nottingham, John Yandal , Richard Lewin , Edward Rowland , David Thomas , fellow-servants with the prisoner, and George Harding the apprentice, all gave him the same character.

John Hemmings . He lodged at my house, he behaved very well, I never heard a bad word from him in my life, a careful saving fellow, he generally came home about seven or eight o'clock, and never lay out of my house but that unhappy night to my knowledge.

Benjamin Lagoe . I have known him eight years in Ireland, he was an honest sober lad; but could give no account of him since in England.

For M. Cane.

Richard Duplex . M. Cane is a carpenter , so am I; he was recommended to me, I made trial of him, he behaved very well; I recommended him to others.

Charles Morton . I employed him till Christmas last, and recommended him to Mr. Duplex; he was diligent, and behaved in a remarkable good manner; he was one of the last persons I should have suspected guilty of such an offence.

Joseph Morton . I am brother to Richard Morton , I worked with the prisoner about five months, he behaved extremely well.

All three guilty Death .

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