George Miles, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 27th February 1754.

Reference Number: t17540227-47
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

206. (M.) George Miles was indicted for that he, in a certain field or open place, near the king's highway, on John Briscall did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one silver watch, value 3 l. one cornelian seal set in silver, value 10 s. one silver medal, and 7 s. 6 d. 1/2 in money , Feb. 21 .

John Briscall. On the 21st of this instant Feb. about half an hour after five at night, I was going from Southampton-row to Tottenham-Court ; as I entered the first field I saw the prisoner with soldiers cloaths and an apron on. I saw he belonged to the first regiment of guards, and he had a sword under his arm. I passed him, and he followed me apace towards Powis's wells. I was obliged to walk on the grass, and could hear his footsteps quick after me, so that I perceived he gained ground, and before I reached the stile in the second field he made a spring and got before me, and held the sword over my head in the scabbard, and asked me if I had any money. I said yes. He said give it me directly. I said I would, and desired he would not hurt me. Then he took his sword, and drew it about half out, and said, D - n you, no delay, your watch. Then I delivered that and my money, ( it was a silver watch with a cornelian seal to it) and three half crowns in silver, a queen Anne's silver medal, and a halfpenny.

Q. Did you deliver willingly?

Briscall. No, very unwillingly. When he went away, I pursued him, so as to get intelligence of him by one David Osgood , who went with me the next day to the parade at St. James's. I had described the prisoner, and told what regiment he belonged to. While we were drinking a pint of beer at the Axe-and-Gate in Downing-street, Westminster, the prisoner came in. I challenged him with the robbery, and sent for a constable, and took him before Justice Lediard.

Peter Thomb . I am a constable. [He produced a silver watch.]

Pros. This is my watch which was taken from me at that time.

Thomb. Last Friday in the forenoon I was sent for to the Axe-and-Gate in Downing-street. The prosecutor shewed me the prisoner, and said he

had robbed him the last night. I took him into custody; in searching his pocket I found this watch (here produced) in his fob; the seal was not on it. I asked him how he came to do such an action? he said, he owed money, and he did it on purpose to pay his debts. We took him before justice Lediard, there the Prosecutor said there was a seal to the watch when he lost it, then the Prisoner confessed he had pawned it for sixpence, to one Burch, in Charles-street, Westminster. I went, and found it accordingly. The pawnbroker said, he had it of a soldier, and described the Prisoner, and had lent him sixpence on it. The Prisoner was asked what he had done with the queen Anne's medal? he said, he had sold that at the Red-Lion, in Gray's-Inn-Lane.

Prosecutor. I went there, and found the person that had bought it, and paid him half a crown for it, and had it again.

Prisoner's Defence.

I never saw the Prosecutor till he came to take me up at the Axe-and-Gate : to be sure the watch was found upon me. I had light of a woman that sells hardware the night before, that uses the Parade in the Park, she told me she had a watch to sell, and desired I would go with her and either pawn or sell it for her; she said, she bought it for thirty-five shillings. I went to pawn it, and the pawnbroker said, he never lent above fifteen shillings on any watch: then I went to carry it back to the woman, and when I came into the house she was just gone; then this gentleman and a fellow-soldier came up to me, and said, he thought it was me that had robbed him of his watch.

Guilty , Death .


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