James Davis, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 19th February 1752.

Reference Number: t17520219-10
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

140. (M.) James Davis , was indicted, for that he, on the King's highway, on Elizabeth, wife of Francis Manning , did make an assault, one linnen handkerchief, one linnen apron, and thirteen pence in money, the property of the said Francis, from her person did steal, &c . July 29 . +

Elizabeth Manning . On the 29th of July, between nine and ten o'clock at night, going home through Drury Lane , the prisoner ran after me, and swore G - d d - n your eyes you b - h. stop, and struck me as I was going cross the kennel, I don't know with what, he took my apron and thirteen pence out of my pocket; I cried out murder ; he gave me a second blow, and again said, d - n your eyes you b - h; he cut my eyebrow, and it bled a great deal; he snatched my handkerchief off and ran away; I took great observation of him when he came up to me, so that I knew him by his cloaths and his voice; I knew him as soon as I saw him in the goal from the rest of the prisoners, and he knew me; I charged him with robbing me, and said, I remember your handkerchief was the colour of this, shewing me one he had on; (it was near the colour) and that he cut my apron off; and that afterwards, said he, you thought I went into the Harlequin, but I went into the Fox and spent your money. This was in the presence of the constable and Mary Jones .

Prisoner. I had been in goal two months before she came to me.

E. Manning. I did not hear he was in goal till about two months after he was taken up for another robbery.

Thomas James . I am constable in St. George, Bloomsbury : I was employed to search for some leather that was lost, which I found in the custody of the prisoner at the bar: In September last he was sent to prison, and detained as an evidence ; when the prosecutrix, I, and Mary Jones, went to see him in prison; she knew him and he likew ise knew her; she said she was sure he was the man that robbed her, and he owned she was the woman that was robbed in Drury-lane.

Q. How came the prosecutrix to go ?

James. She came and told me she heard there was a man taken that had committed many robberies in and near Drury-lane, and desired to go to see if she knew him. When she asked him how he did, he said, Dame, I don't know you: said I, don't you remember such a time you robbed me in Drury lane; he said, I know you are the woman, it was of an apron and silk handkerchief, and thirteen-pence in money, and that he cut her over the eye, and pointed up to her eye, saying, it was this eye, I believe. (The prosecutrix shewed a scar, which, she said, he made.) He said also, he went to the Fox and Goose, and spent her money, and shared the things, there being others concerned.

Mary Jones . I went with the prosecutrix and constable to the goal. She confirmed that of their conversation there.

Prisoner's defence.

I was not on the same side the way; there were about sixty people looking at the affair as well as I: I had been drinking in a house with one Peter Dun , they were to go to bed together, she went along with him arm in arm; she missed her apron in the Fox and Goose in the Play-house Passage, and had a man searched there; I did not act a part in it, or receive a farthing of value from it ; I was not in the same parish when it was done.

Hugh Hurst . I live in Church-lane by St. Martin's Church, and am a shoe-maker, so is the prisoner.

Q. from the prisoner. Ask that witness if he did not see the prosecutor drinking at the Fox and Goose in Drury-lane.

Hurst. I don't know the woman.

James Collings . I am a shoe-maker; I live in the parish of St. Martin's; I can't say the day

of the month, or the month, but I know it was of a Monday, early in the afternoon, about four or five o'clock, last summer, the prosecutrix was robbed by two men ; the woman was so drunk I did not know what became of her, nor she does not know what became of herself: I live up two pair of stairs, and saw it out of the window: there was a man with a greed waistcoat along with her, pretending to be her husband, who struck her and knocked her down: then, not that man, (pointing to the prisoner) a man far less than he, ran away with her apron: when the people asked her who she was, she opened her mouth and said nothing, she could give no account of herself, I believe it was a drunken robbery. Guilty , Death .

See No. 7, in this Mayoralty.


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