William Lewis, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 25th April 1770.

Reference Number: t17700425-41
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

278. (M. 1st.) William Lewis was indicted for making an assault on Thomas Langfor on the king's highway, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person a silver watch, value 40 s. one half guinea, and a five and three-penny piece, his property , Feb. 16 . *

Thomas Langfor . I went out of the Half-moon tavern, Cheapside, about two in the morning, on the 16th of February. When in Red Lion street, Whitechapel, I heard several people behind me, making a great noise. I immediately stopped and let them pass me. They went down Colchester-street three or four doors, and stood under a lamp. I passed the corner of the street; they followed me. One of them made a blow at me, and struck me on the shoulder; being behind me, I did not see who struck me.

Q. How many were there of them?

Langfor. There were three of them. I turned about, and asked, what they meant by that? One of them immediately replied, D - n his blood, down with him. I thought it time to prepare myself. One of them advancing, I knocked him down with an oak stick which I had in my hand. The prisoner then immediately collared me.

Q. Did you know him before?

Langfor. I did not. In the struggle we both fell down. While I was down they got my money and watch from me; I cannot tell whether the prisoner or the other took them. Then they immediately made off, and I saw no more of them.

Q. Was you sober?

Langfor. I was sober; it was a light morning, and there were several lamps near me. The next morning I went to Sir John Fielding , and advertised the watch, and described the prisoner, in company with two others. In consequence of that, I received intelligence from justice Sherwood, to come, in order to see if I could know any of the prisoners there.

Q. What time was this?

Prosecutor. This might be a fortnight or three weeks after. I picked the prisoner out from several others; I am very sure he is the man.

I was wrestling with him three or four minutes, and there were lamps over our heads. I saw his face plain. I do not think I could know either of the others.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was in bed at home at Shadwell, at the time this robbery was done.

Prosecutor. He told the Justice he was on board a ship at the time.

Guilty . Death .


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