Morris Delany, John Collins, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 14th January 1763.

Reference Number: t17630114-2
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

60, 61. (M.) Morris Delany , and John Collins , were indicted for that they on William Toulmin did make an assault on the King's highway, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and violently taken from his person one silver salve-box, value 27 s. one guinea, one 18 s. piece, one quarter guinea, and 3 s. in money numbered, his property, and against his will . December 31 . +

William Toulmin . On the 31st of Dec. I was in a coach, coming from Wapping, about the middle of the new road that leads from St. George's in the East to Whitechapel . I was sitting on the right hand side, I observed a fellow running on the left hand side with a pistol in his hand, I conceived it was a foot-pad, I prepared to give him my money. He came and opened the coach-door, and demanded my money; I gave it him directly. There were some halfpence which covered the gold and silver; he said, you gave me nothing but copper, and threatened to blow my brains out, if I did not give him gold; I said, I had given him all I had. He threatened me thus four or five minutes. Then the other door of the coach was opened, and Delany appeared and put a pistol to my wife's breast, and threatened her and me too.

Q. Are you sure it was Delany?

Toulmin. I am, I swore to him before Sir John Fielding. As to Collins, I have no doubt of his being the other, by his since confessing the fact to me, and he being of the size of the man that attacked me first. As Delanywas holding his pistol to my wife, I shifted my seat, and addressed myself to him, and assured him, I had given his all I had about me, and that I had a case and snuff-box, which he was welcome to, be refused them; then I shewed him my silver salve-box, which he took. I had no sooner delivered it, but I heard a coach coming; Delany that the coach-door, and the other d - d the coachman, and said, if he did not drive on, he would blow his brains out; then he drove on.

Q. How long were they with you?

Toulmin. They were with us about five or six minutes.

Q. Was it light or dark?

Toulmin. It was an exceeding moon-light night, at past 7 o'clock, the moon shone in Delany's face, I saw his features so perfectly, when I was called upon before Sir John the next morning, I was positive to him. Collins there confessed the fact, and desired I would transport him. I was robbed on Friday evening, and I saw him at Sir John's on Saturday about 2 in the afternoon. My salve-box was there produced by a constable, and I swore to it; there is my name engraved upon it (producing it). I asked Collins, what share he had of the money? he said, he had only a quarter of a guinea.

Charles Robertson . I am a constable. I searched the prisoner Delany's room, when he was taken, I found this pistol under his bed, (producing a horse pistol) it was loaded.

Q. Where was this?

Robertson. This was at a house in Church-lane, Whitechapel. Delany said, he found the pistol and salve-box in the fields, before Sir John Fielding .

George Muslow . I was at the finding this pistol in the room where Delany was in bed; and after he was in the watch-house, the man that lives in the house where he was taken, came and said, he had a silver salve-box about him; we searched him and found this box (here produced) in his breeches, under his ham.

Q. Had you asked him before you searched for it, whether he had such a thing?

Muslow. We had, but he denied it.

William Witworth . I was the coachman that drove the prosecutor. I was waiting with my coach at his house in old Gravel-lane, and a boy came to me and said, Where are you going? I said, to Hackney; he said, Are you going with ladies or gentlemen? after I had answered him he went away, and in about 10 minutes came back again, and said, I wish you a good night; he went about forty yards, and one of the prisoners called him back, he said, What do you want? the man said, Come hither, I want you; the bo y went back to them before they were got by the horses. Mr. Toulmin's door was opened, they got into the coach, and I drove on; I saw the boy and them go along before me up the road, I drove a good pace, bye and bye I overtook

them just by the crossing: Delany and the boy crossed over before the horses heads; something was said, I could not understand what, at last I heard Delany say stop, and pulled out a pistol, he came from the right hand side and made a snatch at my horse's head, he missed them, then he commanded me to stop; then Collins opened the door and demanded their money, they gave him some; I heard him say, here is nothing but a parcel of halfpence; Mr. Toulmin told him there was a guinea amongst it: then Delany goes and opened the other door, Mr. Toulmin told him he had given the other all he had, and that he had nothing more but a salve box, one of them took it, I do not know which, then they bid me go on; another coach was then coming down upon us: I walked my horses about 7 yards, they followed me with a pistol, and said, If I did not drive on they would shoot me; then I was obliged to drive on as fast as I could.

Q. Was it light or dark?

Witworth. It was light enough to see them both to know them; it was very moon-light, as light as ever I saw the moon shine in my life.

Q. What time was it?

Witworth. It was about 7 o'clock. The next morning I took another man with me, and went in pursuit of them: I went down Ratcliff-highway, and upon Salt-petre-bank, when I came near White chapel church, I saw a mob of people, I went to them, they said they had got a highwayman, and they had found a box upon him with Mr. Toulmin's name on it; said I, that is the man I want: I went into a room, there I saw Delany; I said, that was the man that robbed Mr. Toulmin last night.

Q. What time of the day was this?

Witworth. This was about 11 o'clock; this was at the man in the moon alehouse; he was asked where he was last night; all he said was, No matter where I was. After that I heard there were 2 more taken on new-year's-day at night. I went on the Monday morning to New-prison, and asked for the 2 prisoners that came in on the Saturday night; the keeper asked me which I wanted; I said, let me see them both, i'll tell you which I want; Collins was brought first, I said, that was the man I wanted, he robbed my coach.

Q. What did Collins say to that?

Witworth. He owned it. I said he was the man that took the money in his hat, he said he was the man.

George Lankford . Mr. Seward came to the watch-house and said, he had a suspicion there was a highwayman in his house. Mr. Robertson, I, and Mr. Mustow, went there and took Delany in bed, we also found a pistol under his bed. After we brought him to the watch-house he was searched, and we found this salve box in his breeches under his ham, he had been asked about the box before we searched him, and he denied having any.

John Seward. Delany came into my house about a quarter of an hour past twelve at night, the last day or the old year, he asked for lodgings.

Q. What sign do you keep?

Seward. No sign at all. He came by himself, he drop't a powder horn, and endeavoured to conceal it under a chair; as soon as he was gone to bed, which was about 2 o'clock, I took it up; I supposed him to be a foot-pad all the time he was sitting there, having seen a pistol under his arm. I went to the watch-house, and brought the constable of the night and 2 watchmen with me, and took him up on suspicion; the pistol was found under his bed, and was charged 3 fingers high.

Q. Did you know him before?

Seward. I never saw him before to my knowledge I had seen him have a silver salve box, he shewed it about the room, he said he was a doctor; we had some meat for supper, he was going to put some salve upon it, made me think he was no doctor. After he was carried from the man in the moon to the watch-house, I went there, and told them he had such a box about him, they searched and found this box, here produced, upon him.

Delany's defence.

I know nothing at all of it; I was at Stepney that day, I saw the powder horn, flask, and box scattered about, as if dropt by people that were in a hurry, they lay all together, and I picked them up.

Collins said nothing in his defence.

For Collins.

John Mading . I live at Tower-hill, and keep the cooper's arms, a public house; I have known Collins 3 years, he has been on board 2 vessels, he was a boatiwain's mate on board a frigate, he behaved very honest all the time I knew him, his father is one of the topingest men in Bristol, 2 silver-smith; I have trusted him at all times in

my house; I never heard any one thing to his discredit before this.

Q. Did you ever see Delany and he in company together?

Mading. I have twice.

Q. Did you see them together on the 31st of Dec?

Mading. I did; they were at my house together that day in the forenoon drinking very chearfully.

Q. Did they go away together?

Mading. They did.

Q. Did Collins lodge at your house?

Mading. He had done, but he did not at that time.

Both Guilty . Death .

There was another indictment against Collins, for assaulting Jeremiah Keeble on the highway with instant to rob him.

See Delany tried number 90 in the last mayoralty, for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Thomas Combe , and stealing goods to a considerable value.


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