John Read, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 13th September 1758.

Reference Number: t17580913-58
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

315. (M.) John Read , otherwise Hoskins , was indicted for that he on the king's highway, on Ann, wife of Robert Odell , did make an assault, putting her in corporal fear and danger of her life, and taking from her person, one pound weight of mutton, value 3 d. one silk handkerchief, value 6 d. and 6 d. in money, the goods and money of Robert Odell , against the will of the said Ann August 25 .*

Ann Odell . On the 25th of August, I had been to buy some mutton to make some broth for my husband; I had got some turneps and some bread; I went into a chandler's shop and the prisoner at the bar was there.

Q. What time of the day was this?

Odell. It was about nine at night; I had these things in my lap; I sat down, the prisoner took my meat and ran out of the shop; the man of the shop said lay it down, it is the woman's, then the man said be so good as to go out of the house.

Q. What is that man's name?

Odell. It is Edward Southard .

Q. What did you go in there for?

Odell. Only for a halfpenny worth of bread; the prisoner said if he had me out at the door, he would kick me from d - l to d - l; he watch'd me out at the door, then when I was in the street he knock'd me down, and put his hand upon my body; he took away my meat, and my handkerchief, and 6 d. in money, and tore my cloaths all off my back, and left me there for dead; I calling out, he ran away; when I took him up he fell down on his knees, and asked my pardon, and said he would give me a crown.

Q. What was the handkerchief worth?

Odell. It was not worth much.

Q. from prisoner. What did I knock you down with?

Odell. With your hands to be sure.

Prisoner. She is a very drunken woman, all her neighbours know it.

Edward Southard . On the 25th of last month in the evening, the prisoner came into my shop and asked for some bread and cheese upon credit; I refused letting him have it; he asked for a pint of beer, I drew it, he drank it, and would not pay for it; I desired him to go out, this woman came in, she had got a bit of meat, which she laid down on the compter, and asked for a halfpenny worth of bread; after I had served her the prisoner took up the bread and meat, and ran out of the door with them; I called after him and said it belonged to me, then he brought it back and laid it down; he still kept calling her bitch and whore; she kept the things in her lap, he said if he had her out at the door he would kick her from d - l to d - l; when I thought he was quite gone, I went to the door; I said to the woman she might go very safe; she went away, after which I heard the cry of murder, I went to the door, she call'd stop thief; I went to her, there lay the woman, I saw her nakedness down below her navel, she said the man had stripp'd her of her victuals, and turneps, a handkerchief from off her neck, and some money; she came and staid in the shop till she came to herself, then I went to go home with her a second time.

Prisoner's defence.

This woman that swears against me, has hired two thief catchers, to take away my life; she met me in the street, and said brother craft will you give me a pint of beer, I said I would, we went into the king's arms in White-cross-street, she said my dear let's have a pot, then two or three of her acquaintance came in, the pot was soon out, come said she we will have another, she pat her hand in her pocket, and said I have got no snuff; she went out, and left me five pints to pay for. I did not see her for a week after. When I came into that chandler's shop, there she sat, said I you are a slut; she called me old rogue, and son of a bitch; I called her again; I drank my beer and went out about my business. By the time I got home and up stairs (I live behind Cripplegate church,) the clock struck ten. I went to work the next morning; at last came a man and said I had rob'd and stripp'd the woman; that afternoon she and two thief-catchers laid hold of me; there they made me spend my money, and then took me to New-prison please to enquire into the woman's character, she is drunk every day: I had many of the best of Cripplegate parish to give me 2 character, but it being late they are gone.

Guilty , Death .


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