John Fish, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 2nd May 1753.

Reference Number: t17530502-59
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

241. (L.) John Fish , was indicted, for that he on the king's highway, on Thomas Lomley did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, one clasp knife value 6 d. one 36 shilling piece, and 5 s. 9 d. in money, numbered, from his person did steal , April 3 . ++

Thomas Lomley . I am a serjeant at mace , on the 3d of April, William Gardiner and I called upon a plaintiff whom I had arrested a man for, and some cost to be decided between Gardiner and I; we went to the sign of the three tons in Darkhouse-lane , a little after twelve at night, but seeing an indifferent sort of people, I told him we would talk of it on the morrow. I had an occasion to go out into the street to make water, this was early in the morning, just as day-light appeared; I was about three or four yards from the door, I turn'd my face to the wall, when I received such violent blows on my breast and stomach, that I was knock'd down, and lay senseless for some time. As soon as I could recover myself, I crawl'd up, all over mud. I put my hand in my pocket, and had not a farthing left, and I can swear I had a 36 shilling piece, some silver and some halfpence in my pocket, when I went out of the house. I know nothing who it was that knock'd me down more than the child unborn, or whether it was with a hand or a stick.

Q. Was you sober?

Lomley. I was very sober, and as fit for business as I am now. We had drank but two pints of beer in that house.

George Cuttey . I am a weaver, and live in Petticoat-lane, on the 2d of April I left work at dark, and went to a society of young men, at the two brewers in White's Yard, it being my chair night. I had 6 d. when I went out, coming back, in an alley near Houndsditch, I met the prisoner about ten o'clock, there were two women with him, he asked me to go and drink, I refused it, and parted; then I went into the Angel at the corner of Devonshire square steps; soon after the prisoner came in, we had a pot of beer, then he asked me to take a walk with him to Whitechappel, to the Rose and Crown alehouse, facing the watchouse; there we had another pot of beer, there was another person with us at both those places, but I don't know the other person's name, he was his acquaintance. After we came out there, I was for going home, saying, I have got no more money; he said, no George, I have got a shilling, you shall be welcome to take

part of it. The other person left us there: the prisoner asked me to go to Darkhouse-lane, we went accordingly to a public house, after that we went to another public house, the sign of the three tons; we staid there about an hour and a half: there I saw Lomley and Gardiner, they had some talk together, Lomley went out of the house, and John Fish followed him, at the door, he said, George Cuttey , I followed him; and saw him knock the prosecutor down with his hand, as he was standing to make water; after he was down, I saw Fisher's hand in his pocket, he took it out, and said George Cuttey come here. I have got all his money, and held his hand out to me, and said, come along George Cuttey . Then we walk'd and ran, 'till we came to Bishopsgate street, we met a young man, and took him in at the sign of the Dragon there, it was then about five o'clock. We had a quartern of pattern gin, Fish paid two pence for it; from thence we went down Half-moon-alley, and into Frogg lane, we went into a public-house, and call'd for a pint of ale made hot, Fish paid three-pence half-penny for it; there the landlady chang'd the 36 shilling piece, which Fish took from the prosecutor. When we came out of the house, Fish gave me the guinea he had in change. I began to be very uneasy for what I had done; we went to Clay-hall, by Old-ford, there we dined; coming back down Ram-alley, we met with one Morten Palmer , I told him what I had done, he desired me to go and surrender, and directed me to one, an officer, I went at almost ten at night, and told him what I had done, and desired he'd take me into custody, and said the other man that was with me in it, was then at the door. Soon after Fish came up stairs, I said that is the young man that committed the robbery. So he took him.

Q. Did Fish hear the discourse between Palmer and you?

Cuttey. No, he did not, nor between Brebreak and me neither, till he came up stairs. Fish was committed to New-prison, and I to Clerkenwell Bridewell.

Q. What was taken from the prosecutor?

Cuttey. A 36 shilling piece, a half-crown, three shillings and three pence, and a knife; but the prisoner told me he had found that. A knife produced.

Cuttey. This is much like that he said he found: he threw it into a kennel between some iron bars.

Prosecutor. This is my knife, that was taken out of my pocket that night.

William Gardiner . I was with the prosecutor at the three in Dark house-lane, but was so fuddled (having been drinking punch at the Red Lion in Bishopsgate-street, before we went there) that I can recollect nothing of it. I saw nothing of the robbery, the prosecutor went out and came in again dirty, and said he had been robb'd, but I was so fuddled, I can hardly tell whether his coat was dirty or not.

James Brebrook confirmed the testimony of Cuttey in that of his surrendering himself and his taking the prisoner, with this addition, that Palmer was with the prisoner at the door while Cuttey was above; that the prisoner said, when he found how Cuttey had served him. George, I did not think you had been such a rogue ; if you had not chose to have been concerned, why did you take part of the money. Going to the justice Cuttey pointed to a house, and said, there we changed the thirty-six shilling piece; he told me also where the prisoner had thrown the knife away at Doger's bar, I went and knock'd down the iron grate and found it.

Mary Lear . I live at the Barley-mow in Frog-lane, Islington, the prisoner and evidence came to my house one morning, I don't justly remember the day, the prisoner changed a thirty-six shilling piece, and I gave him in exchange a guinea and the rest in silver, and took 3 d. 1/2 for a pint of hot.

The prisoner in his defence own'd, he had been with the evidence Cuttey the night mentioned, but that he was but at one ale-house in Dark-house-lane, and that not the three tons, and that he came away, and left Cuttey there, in the night.

He call'd William Purden , Hannah Stains , Robert Grigg , Edward Mooley , Samuel Britt , John Wilson , William Richardson , John Walker , and John Bade , who all gave him a good character.

Guilty Death .


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