James Hayes, Richard Broughton, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 19th February 1752.

Reference Number: t17520219-2
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

131, 132. (M.) James Hayes and Richard Broughton otherwise Branham , were indicted for that they, on the King's highway, on Robert Bugg , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, one penknife, value 2 d. and 7 shillings in money, from his person did steal, &c . Dec. 18 . *

Robert Bugg. On the 18th of December, I went to a public house in Drury-Lane , near my own house; as I returned back, between 8 and 9 at night, the prisoner Hays came before me, and clapped a short sword, or hanger, to my belly, and said, Your watch and money, for I'll run you through the body, in as desperate a manner as he could express himself; he repeated the words again in a moment; Broughton clapped a horse pistol to my breast, with the muzzle under my chin, and said, Don't make a noise, or stir, for if you do, I'll blow your brains out, in as desperate manner as the other, Hays took out of my pocket 6 or 7 shillings, a penknife, some half-pence, and other little using things ; then he examined my pocket again, found no more; it was just before my own door, within 10 yards of it.

Q. Had you light enough to see them ?

Bugg. There was a light directly opposite to my shop; it was not very moonlight; there were lights in other shops, and a lamp at my door; I saw them both as perfect as I do now; I can particularly swear to them both; after they had done, Broughton said, Don't look after us, turn your head another way, for if you do, I'll blow your brains out, so I turned about towards Long-Acre till they were got about three or four rods; then I went into my shop and told my wife, and shut the shop up, and in about a quarter of an hour came the watchman; I said to him, I wished he had come sooner, I had just been robbed, and related the particulars, and how they were dressed, and their size, I could swear to them; they were both in blue-grey, one a tall fellow, the other a short think fellow, with a horseman's coat and boots on, and a whip in one hand, with the thong twisted round it. He said, let us go and search two or three houses here

abouts of ill same. We went, and, in Newtoner's-Lane, by Drury-lane, we saw the two prisoners standing, as though they were in conversation, against a wall; after we had passed them, I pulled the watchman by the coat, and said softly to him, they are the men; then the prisoners went into Drury-lane towards the Cole-yard; we followed them at a distance, thinking they might go into a house; at the upper-end they stopped again, and we went up after them ; they turned into the Cole-yard, and there we lost them; then I said to the watchman, let us get more help; I had told him before they were armed; then the watchman went and got a constable, while I staid in Drury-lane; then we went and searched a house or two; the watchman had me to the Crown and Scepter alehouse, to a man that knew some of these people; the landlord said, after we described them, that they had been at his house drinking ; he also told to their names, and said, he knew them well; he went and loaded a pistol; then there was a cry of stop thief, and in less than half an hour the prisoners were taken.

Q. How long was it after you was robbed that you went in pursuit of them?

Bugg. In about half an hour's time; I saw them before the Justice, and they appeared in the same cloaths they had on when they robbed me, only their hats and wigs were off; the arms and whip were dropped in the street, and produced there by some of the people; I did not see them searched.

Q. Did you see your penknife again?

Bugg. No, my Lord, I did not.

Q. from Broughton. What did he know my face by, had I any particular mark?

Bugg. When he was before the Justice, he had a mark of a flambeaux on his face, but when he robbed me, his face appeared as it does now.

Q. from Hayes. Were we in a place of shelter, or in the public street, when you say you passed us?

Bugg. They were in a public street.

Edward Maid . I am a watchman; my beat is in Long-Acre and part of Drury-Lane; about 9 o'clock at night, on the 18th of December, I was calling the hour in Drury-Lane by his house, he said to me, he had just been robbed, and that he should know the men could he see them, and described them and their dress, one a tall man, the other a thick man, both in blue-grey; the shortest had on a horseman's coat, buckskin breeches, and boots, with a whip in his hand; he was fearful to go after them at first, saying, they were armed; when I had called my round, then he put on his hat (he having none on when he was robbed) to disguise himself, and we went together, and, in Newtoner's-lane, there the two prisoners stood as if they were making water; he pulled me by the sleeve, and said, they are the two men, &c. they answered the description given before; I saw the boots and horsewhip; then they went into Drury-Lane, and pushed on apace; Mr. Bugg being fat, could not walk fast enough, so I went on before him, the two prisoners opened, and I passed between them ; when I was got some little way before them, I blew out my candle, and slung my lanthorn to a hook at my back, and watched them, but lost sight of them in the Cole yard; then I went and called Mr. King the constable, who came with a hanger.

Q. Are the prisoners the men you saw in Newtoner's-Lane ?

Maid. They are, my Lord; then we went to the house of Thomas Ind, at the Crown and Scepter in Drury-lane, and described the men; he said, he knew them both, and that they had been at his house that day; he charged a brace of pistols, and Mr. King, he, and I, went out, and in about half an hour, the two prisoners were stopped in Drury-Lane, and taken before the Justice. Those are the very men we saw against the wall and followed afterwards.

John King . I am constable; the prosecutor and watchman came for me at this time; they described the men; ( he mentions the cloaths as the others had done ) we went to the house of Hall and Brian, and searched there; then we went to Ind's house; Mr. Bugg described them there, Mr. Ind said, they had had three pots of beer there that afternoon; the prisoners were soon taken; I saw Hays just as he was stopped ; I did not see Broughton till he was brought to Justice Fielding's house; I saw also a pistol and hanger before the Justice, which were said to have been took up in the street, but I don't know by whom.

Thomas Ind . I keep the Crown and Scepter in Drury-Lane. On the 18th of December, Mr. Bugg, and the other evidences, came to my house; the two prisoners had been at my house about three o'clock that afternoon. I once fetched Hays from Salisbury goal, and, as I had ironed him, he said he'd come and pay me a visit; I was afraid he'd do me a mischief; they wanted to borrow a crown of me; Broughton wanted to leave the whip with me as a pledge; then Hays said, he'd not borrow, he'd go out and get some money; I said, James, don't go on the audacious lay, take care; he laugh'd and went out. After they had

described them, I knew they must be the prisoners, they being dressed as they described; I loaded my pistols, and just as we were going out at my door, there was a cry of, Stop thief! in the street ; we went after them; they were stopped just before we came to them; when they were taken and brought before the Justice, I took a hanger-belt from off Broughton, he was brought in by the mob, one of which had a scabbard, which he said he took from him.

Elias Linder . I heard the mob come down Drury-lane, on the 18th of December, near ten at night, calling, Stop thief! I ran to Parker's-lane, and there Hays was running down Drury-lane with this hanger in his hand drawn, two men had once hold on him, but he got clear of them; and near Mr. Bugg's door he fell; I took hold on him, he dropt the hanger as he fell ; I searched his pockets, and found six or seven shillings, and some halfpence, but no penknife. I heard Mr. Bugg say, as soon as he saw him before the Justice, he would swear they were the men that robbed him.

William Connaway . I saw Broughton throw the pistol out of his hand, and I took it up. (The pistol and sword produced in court.)

Q. Was the pistol loaded?

Connaway. It was, I drew it.

William Gilbert . On the 18th of December, between nine and ten at night, as I was lighting a lady home, I heard the cry, Stop thief! I made towards the middle of the street: I saw a man with a pistol cocked in one hand, and a horsewhip in the other, running: I struck him with my flambeaux over the face: I cannot say the prisoner is the man, having never seen him since, but he answered to the name of Broughton when taken. (He described his cloaths as the others had done before.)

It appeared the prisoners were pursued in attempting to commit another robbery.

Broughton's defence.

I was with one Mary White , in her room, that very night, from six o'clock till past nine, and Eleanor Hall was there a washing at the same time. (But neither of them appeared to prove it.)

Hays had nothing to say.

Both Guilty , Death .

For Hays, see No. 271, in Cokayne's Mayoralty.


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