William Higgins, Dennis Buckley, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 14th September 1763.
440, 441. (M.) William Higgins and Dennis Buckley were indicted for robbing Edward Biffen on the King's highway of a silver watch, value 40 s. Sept. 4 . +
Edward Biffen , I am a master sawyer , and live at Redriffe. On Sunday the 4th of September, between 11 and 12 at night, I was going home, a woman stood against the wall near the turnpike at St. George's in the East , she said, so, will you give us a dram? I said, yes, I can; said she, will you? I said, I'll owe you one; upon
that Higgins stept over the way and said, D - n you, what do you do with my wife? I said, Sir, I ask your pardon. I did not know she was your wife, I said no harm to her; (it was dark, but we were just by a lamp, I had not seen him before; he said, D - n you, that is not what I give me what you have got; he had a knife open in his hand, and a stick, and swore, if I offered to speak he would kill me. Then Buckley, and one Smith, not taken, came over the way to us; Buckley took my watch from my pocket; they were trying to get their hands in my pocket, I cry'd out murder! Mr. Iverson, under whose window we were, called out at the window; I begged for God's sake he'd come and assist me; Buckley and Smith set off running; I had hold of Higgins, I kept my hold, Mr. Iverson came down, and we secured him; I had him on the ground, and a knife was found where he lay on the ground; the woman continued there; she took an oath she had never seen Higgins before. Higgins gave inforformation of the names of the others before the bench of Justice on the Monday, in consequence of this Buckley was taken on the Friday, and Buckley owned he was the man that took my watch out of my pocket, and said he had pawned it with Mr. King in Horsely-down, where I found it; he owned, he, Higgins, and Smith, robb'd me on that same spot.
Mr. Iverson. I heard the cry of murder on the 4th of September, at night, under my window; I went down with only my shirt on, the prosecutor had got the prisoner, and said he would never leave him, saying he had got his watch: As soon as he got up there lay this knife open, (producing a long clasp-knife) he was secured in the watch-house, the prosecutor told me, there were two more, but they were run away.
Thomas King , I live in Horselydown; Buckley pledged this watch with me for a guinea last Monday was a week, he said his name was John Brown. (produced and deposed to by prosecutor.)
I never saw the watch. I had been drinking with Buckley at Stepney, and was in liquor.
One John Brown, a shipmate, gave me that watch to pawn for him.
Both Guilty . Death .