Paul Lewis, Violent Theft > robbery, Breaking Peace > wounding, 13th April 1763.

Reference Number: t17630413-19
Offences: Violent Theft > robbery; Breaking Peace > wounding
Verdicts: Guilty > pleaded guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death

168. (M.) Paul Lewis was indicted for that he with a certain offensive weapon, called a pistol, which he had and held in his right hand, on John Cook wilfully and feloniously made an assault, with an intent the money of the said John to steal, against the form of the statute , &c. March 12 .

To which he pleaded guilty .

(M.) He was a 2d time indicted for being an ill-designed and disorderly person, of a wicked mind and disposition, not regarding the laws and statutes of this realm, nor pains or penalties that should fall thereon; that he, on the 12th of March, with a certain pistol, val. 5 s. loaded with gunpowder and a leaden bullet, which he had and held in his right hand, did wilfully, feloniously, unlawfully, and knowingly shoot at Joseph Brown , he being on the King's highway, against the peace of our sovereign lord the King , &c. *

Joseph Brown . I was going home on the 12th of March last to the parish of Wilsden ; within about a quarter of a mile of my own home, the prisoner at the bar came up, and clapped a pistol to my breast, and bid me stop; I said for what? I shall not stop, this is my way home; he cried stop again. I said, it is not my intent to stop to you, neither will I be stopt. I past him, and went on; he came up on the side of me, and then shot at me slap, and by my horse's starting, I fell, but fell upon my feet. I turned about, and saw Mr. Pope had got the prisoner in his custody. I went and took hold of him, and clapt my knee on his breast, and said, pursue the other, (there was another man in company with the prisoner that was rode off.) He pursued; while I was holding the prisoner on the ground, he begged for mercy, saying he was a gentleman bred, and if I would let him get up, he would go with me wherever I desired. I had not the presence of mind to search him; I let him get up, after which he clapped another pistol to my breast, and said, now d - n you, I'll shoot you dead. I knock'd the pistol from my body with my right-hand downwards, and as it pointed to my thigh, he snapt it, and it flash'd in the pan, but did not go off. I immediately kicked up his heels, and clapt my knee upon his breast, and with my garters tied his hands, and took his pistols; after which I delivered him into the custody of the constable; he took ten bullets and a bullet-mold from him; we found the pistol that he snapt at me was loaded with powder and one ball. (Two pocket pistols produced in court.) These are the pistols which he had.

Q. from prisoner. Whether I threatned to shoot you?

Brown. Not as I heard.

Q. from the prisoner. Did you not say, if I would give you some money, you would let me go?

Brown. No, I did not.

Francis Pope . As I was going from London on the 12th of March between 5 and 6 in the evening, I met a chariot near Mr. Godfrey's; a gentleman and lady were in it; the coachman said to me, take care; I turned my horse and said, did you speak to me? yes, we have just been robbed by two highwaymen, they are now waiting in the bottom, I would not have you go that way. I said, I must go that way, it is my way home. I went on pretty fast; when I came within a quarter of a mile of my own home, turning a short corner of the road, I saw two men sitting on their horses, with masks on their faces; it did not much surprize me, because I expected to see them. I kept riding on, thinking I might release the man they then attacked, which was Mr. Brown; the prisoner discharged a pistol; I immediately saw Mr. Brown off his horse, I imagined he might be shot.

Q. Could you see what aim the prisoner took?

Pope. I could not distinguish what aim he took, but I saw the smoak pretty near Mr. Brown's head; with that I clapt spurs to my horse, and rode up to the prisoner, took him by the collar, and pulled him down; his partner then made a retreat; Mr. Brown came and called me by my name, and said, I'll take care of this man, do you pursue the other. I was off my horse, I got up again, and pursued about three quarters of a mile; he found I gathered ground of him, so quitted his horse and got into the fields, and I lost him. I got his horse.

Q. to Brown. Did the prisoner demand any money of you?

Brown. No, he did not; let he bid me stop.

Prisoner. This man is an atheist; he gives it out in the neighbourhood that he believes there is neither God, or devil. I think such a man's oath should not go in such a case.

John Cook . I was going from town when it was about sun-set. Two men came after me and cried, stop, stop; I looked at them, and saw they were masked; they said, we must have your money. Said I, I am a poor man, and have no great matter of money: I pulled my money out, they both presented a pistol at me; they said, you have more: I said, I had no more: they said, they were sure I had. While we were in this discourse one of them said to the other, go stop that other; then Lewis went from me, the other staid; presently he said to me, don't you stir or go away, or to that purpose; he left me, and at that time Lewis fired; I turned about upon it, and saw three men on the ground, and the other riding away; I went to their assistance, they sent to the Green, and assistance came.

Q. to Brown. Was the prisoner masked when he wanted you to stop?

Brown. He was, and also when he fired his pistol.

George Stoaker . I am constable. I was sent for to take the prisoner in custody. I found 10 bullets and some powder in his pocket.

Prisoner's Defence.

Seeing the evidence is so plain, I can say little to it; to be sure when I saw farmer Cook turn round the corner I did fire at the horse, any one in my circumstances would have done the same, but I do declare I never had any intention to take the man's life. This thing has been so represented to my friends, that I have hone here to speak for me, so I leave it entirely to the court.

Guilty Death .

There was another indictment against him for stopping Mr. Brown with an intent to rob him.

See him tried before, for robbing Mary Brook in the Worcester stage near Shepherd's Bush, No 4 in this Mayoralty.


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