Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
13,14. William Simmonds , and Samuel Steele , otherwise Smoaky Jack , assaulting William Payton , in an open Field near the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Cloth-coat, a half Shirt, a Hat, a Wig, a Knife, a Fork, a Razor, a Silk-handkerchief, a Linen-handkerchief, and 20 d. in Money , July 15 .
Simmonds pray'd the Witnesses might be examin'd a-part, which the Court granted.
W. Peyton I have some Notion of the Prisoners, but can't swear to 'em positively. On Saturday Night I was going to Chelsea, in the first of the five Fields, from Buckingham-House, hard by the King's-Head , I saw an old Man lying under a Hay-rick, on that side next to the Horse-road, and as it was near the Houses, and I was benighted, I thought I might safely lie there too; so I went to the other side of the Rick, and laid my self down, and fell asleep. About 1 in the Morning, a little Man (like Simmonds) came and snatch'd my Pocket-book out of my Coat-pocket, I was then awake, for I had just had my Nap out. Aha! says I, What's that for? And catching up my Stick, I follow'd him. He turn'd back, and cut me into the Skull with some Weapon, I thought it was a Pistol by the Brightness, but Fidzar, their Accomplice, says it was a Cafe-Knife.
William Fidzar . I met with Simmonds at Buck's Brandy-shop, against St. Giles's-Church, on the 14th of July, in the Morning, I was in and out there all Day. Towards the Evening, Steel came in, and we drank together; says Simmonds to me, Will you go out with me and this Man to Night? Ay, says I Who is he? Why don't you know him? says Simmonds, it's smoaky Jack - That's a Nick-name that Steel goes by; so we turn'd out together about 11 at Night. They let me to Hide- Park, and so into the Field behind Buckingham-Wall : Now, says Simmond, let's cross to that Hay-cock ; we agreed, and he led the Way, and coming to the Hay-cock, the Prosecutor was lying under it, Damn says Simmonds, Who's here? And prese took a Pocket-book out of the Prosecutor's Pocket; the Prosecutor got up to follow him, but was stopp'd by Smoaky Jack, who took off his Hat and Wig, and beat him se- verely; when his Wig was off I saw he was bald headed, tho' he was but a middle Man. Simonds push'd a Knife at him would have kill'd him, but I begg'd his, and got the Knife away; I saw it was bent, and I toss'd it over the Rail into the P; but Smoaky Jack still kept beating, and kicking, and abusing him, and at last pull'd off his Coat. They shew'd me the Pocket-book, and a Sham-Shirt, and a little turn'd Stick that we knew not what to make of. The Hat and Wig were in my my Hands for I had them from Smoaky, when he took 'em from the Prosecutor; was any Mo- ney they sunk it, for I had no part of it. When we had got the Prosecutor's Coat we left him, but getting under the Rail I saw one of the Company turn back - I believe it was Simmonds - and I and the other coming to a high Bank, we waited for him, because two of us could not get over without the Assistance of a third, and so we help'd each other up, and went over Hedge and Ditch, 'till we came to a Ditch too wide for us, and then we return'd by the same Hay- cock, and came to Buck's at St. Giles's by 3 a Clock on Sunday Morning. I wash'd the Blood out of the Coat, and then Simmonds put it on, and Smoakey and he went away together. They to me at Buck's, about 9 the same Morning. They two toss'd up for their share in the
Court. Have you any Witnesses here, that saw the Prisoners in your Company at Buck's ?
Fidzar. No, those that were with us were misfortunate People like ourselves.
Simmonds. Was it a Moon light Night?
Fidzar. Yes, it was Full-Moon.
Smoaky. You have been an Evidence three Times already. You deal with the Thief-catchers, and make a Trade of taking Men's Lives away.
Simmonds. I have been in Jail, for Want of Sureties, ever since this Robbery; and why did not you inform against me before now ?
Edward Crafts , Constable. I keep a Cook's-shop, in St. Sepulchre's Parish. About a Fortnight ago, Fidzar and the Beadle, and two or three others, came to dine at my House; and after Dinner, the Beadle charged me with Fidzar, who had surrendered himself; and I went with him before Justice Robe, where he impeached the Prisoners and Will. Travers, otherwise Moco Jack, and George Cotterel , otherwise Beans ++ .
++ See the Trial of Travers and Cotterel below.
The Jury found the Prisoners guilty . Death .