Robert Keyes, Grace Grannet, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 5th December 1753.

Reference Number: t17531205-35
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

41, 42. (M.) Robert Keyes , and Grace Grannet , spinster , were indicted for that they, in a certain field or open place near the king's highway, on William Nash , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person two half-guineas and 7 s. 6 d. in money number'd , Nov. 10 . ||

William Nash . On the tenth of November last I went into Great Warner-street, Cold Bath Fields. I went in at the Red Lion and call'd for a pint of beer; the two prisoners were there, and ask'd me to give them some beer, which I did. I wanted to know my way to Mount Pleasant , and they said they'd shew me the way; this was about eleven at night.

Q. What time did you go into that house?

Nash. Between ten and eleven they went to shew me my way; but they took me just the contrary way, and went towards Sir John Oldcastle's. I said, Sure this is the wrong way, upon which Keyes tripp'd up my heels, and took my money out of my pocket, which was one guinea, two half guineas, a 4 s. 6 d. piece, and three half crowns. They both had their hands in my pockets. She said, his buckles are silver, take them; he pull'd off one of my shoes, and she the other. They took my hat and wig, which I begg'd for again; but Keyes said, I'll knock you on the head if you make a noise.

Q. Did you know them before?

Nash. I never saw them before that night to my knowledge.

Q. Was you sober?

Nash. Yes, I was. Then they ran away, and I after the woman as far as Black Mary's Hole, and took her; she never was out of my sight. I could see him also running when at some distance, and he was taken the next day by her directions. She confess'd before Justice Chamberlaine that he and she went out together while I was sitting in the alehouse, and she said to him, The man has got money in his pocket, let's rob him.

Richard Parrot . On the tenth of November I was constable of the night, one of our watchmen was coming from Sir John Oldcastle's; just after one o'clock he assisted the prosecutor in bringing Grace Grannet to the watch-house. The prosecutor had neither hat, wig, or shoes on; he said she and a man had robb'd him. I ask'd her what she had done with the man's things. She said he wanted to have been rude with her, and so she had robb'd him. She said, His hat is in the ditch; I sent the watchmen out to see for it, going along they found a shoe without a buckle. Produced in court and deposed to by the prosecutor. And on the bridge near the dead wall they found his hat. When these things were brought back I ask'd her what she had to say then? Then she said the man in company with her his name was Bob, but she did not know his other name, having been but a fortnight with him. We carried her to Bridewell, and the next day we found Keyes at St. Giles's, where she directed us; we carried them to Justice Chamberlaine, where they both confessed the fact, and sign'd it. He produced two half guineas and three half crowns sealed up by the justice, which were taken out of a tobacco box which Keyes confessed he took from the prosecutor.

John Buckingham . I am clerk to Justice Chamberlaine. He produced the examinations and voluntary confessions of the two prisoners, which were read in court; in which each of them own'd the robbery in the manner the prosecutor before deposed.

James Elmore . As we were coming back from the justice's Grannet said she unbuckled one of the prosecutor's shoes, but could not get it off, and said, Bob, do you pull off the shoes, and take the buckles, for they are silver.

Scarbrow confirmed the testimony of Elmore, being there at the time.

Keyes's Defence.

The prosecutor and Grace Grannet went in at the Red Lion together, I was there. He called for a pint of beer, and after that laid down a shilling on the table, which she took up and put in her bosom. He asked her what she did that for? She said, My dear, you know we must have fire and candle. They agreed to go home and lie together; then he laid down another shilling, which she took also, and made an excuse to go out to make water; he went out, and came in again, then he pull'd out more money. She said to me, Bob Keyes , he has two half guineas in his pocket, and we have none to buy us any victuals on Sunday, let us rob him. I said we had better let it alone; she then took him into Spaw Fields, and all the way we went she persuaded me to rob him. I never saw him before.

Grannet's Defence.

On the king's birth-day at night the prosecutor coming by the door, he and I made a bargain to go to the Red Lion to drink; he there made a bargain

to go home with a woman and lie with her all night; he laid down money, she took it up, this was done several times, and then she went out: then he offered Keyes half a crown to shew him the way to where he lived; he carried him up into the field, then he put his foot between his feet and tripped him up, and took his money out of his pocket and ran away, and left me behind; I do not know how much money he took.

Q. to Prosecutor. Did you and this woman go into that house together?

Prosecutor. No, my Lord, she was there when I went in.

To Keyes's character.

Elizabeth Brown . I have known Keyes a summer; he is a very honest hard working lad; I never heard any ill of him.

Thomas Humphrys . I have known him ever since he was a year old, and never knew any ill of him before.

Rober Vandermine. I lodge in Mrs. Browning's house, were Keyes did last June and July; I have sent him of errands, and trusted him with money and goods, and he never wronged me.

John Wells . I was at his christening; he worked had for his living; I never knew any harm of him.

Both guilty Death .


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