Giving an ACCOUNT Of the TRYALS of divers Traitors, Clippers, Coyners, Highway-men, and other Notorious Offenders.
The Number Condemned to Dye, to be Whipt, &c. With their respective Crimes.
THe first Tryed on Wednesday in the Forenoon were two Women , one for Stealing an old Farringden Gown and other Cloaths ; the other for a piece of Linnen-cloth: The Jury found them both Guilty, only under the value of 10 d. But against the latter of them there was another Indictment, for stealing a Silver Tankard out of an House where she took Lodgings, in Southampton-Buildings, coming thither in good Habit, pretending herself a substantial Gentleman's Wife, who (she said) would come to her within a day or two out of the Country; but desiring some Beer to be by her Bed side, got up early next Morning, and ran away with the Tankard. So that on this Indictment she was found Guilty of Felony.
On Wednesday in the Afternoon, a Person of Honour and another Gentleman of Quality being prosecuted as Popish Recusants , did declare themselves Protestants, and proved that they had fully Conform'd to the Church of England , by receiving the Sacrament, and constantly attending and joyning in the Publick Liturgy of the Church.
A substantial Housekeeper had two Indictments brought against him, for a small parcel of Bricks , and another time for Tiles ; but it appeared there had been Dealings between him and the Prosecutors , and that the Goods were publickly carried away (as bought) in the day-time; and that there had been Releases mutually Sealed, and these very things at that time mentioned. So that upon both he was brought in not Guilty , there appearing no reason to imagine it a Felony.
A little Boy , scarce high enough to peep over the Bar, was Convicted of petty Larceny , for stealing a Gentleman 's Handkerchief : And an honest Coal-heaver towards Ratcliffe, who also keeps a Victualing-house , was Indicted on a matter, which in it self appeared by the Evidence to be a very barbarous Robbery, and a great deal of Plate and other things of considerable Value stollen; amongst which was a Watch , which the now Prisoner bringing to a Watchmakers only to know its value, and there being Bills abroad describing it, the same was stopt, and thereupon the Prisoner questioned: who proved by sufficient Witnesses, that the manner of his coming by it was thus; A person owing him eighteen pence (as he kept a publick-house) comes and pays it, and afterwards in discourse tells him, that if he would lend him twenty Shillings, he would leave him a sufficient Pawn. The man at first refused, but was at last prevailed upon by his Importunity to do it, the other promising to return the Money in two or three Hours; but not hearing of him for a long time, goes as aforesaid to enquire the value of his Pawn: Nor had he been wanting in endeavours to finde out the Fellow that brought it to him; which as yet he had not been able to do, though he had been at great
A young Fellow was found guilty of a Felony and Burglary; he and Eleven more of the Gang, violently entring into a Countrey-house, and binding the people, took away Goods of a great value, and Nineteen pound in ready Money . The Mistress of the House Swore directly that the Prisoner was one of them, so did also another prisoner who was in the Robbery, and that he himself made Four pound of his share of the booty; nor did the Criminal at Bar deny the Fact. But a Broker Indicted as accessary, after having bought a Wedding Ring , which the Gentlewoman found in his shop, made shift to get off .
So likewise was a Servant-Maid who had robbed her Master, stealing first his Keys, and then twenty eight pounds odde Money out of his Trunks, and then absenting herself till she was taken.
Two Youngmen (the one a kinde of a Fruiterer, the other a Pewterer) were Tryed for Murdering a Watchman. The Case was thus; The Fruiterer carrying some Goods to Market very early in the Morning, and being accompanied with this Pewterer, two Watchmen stopt them near Pater-Noster-Row, and would have them go along before the Constable; which they seemed somewhat unwilling to do, but at last consented: And as they were going along, the Pewterer did, or offered to strike up one of the Watchmens Heels, as he testified, with an intent as it seems only to get from them; and thereupon a Fray began between them: And a person, that lives by the place, gave Evidence, that upon the first disturbance looking out of his Window, he heard one of them often say, Give me my Hat; but of which side he was, he could not tell, but said, that presently after he saw the Fruiterer engaged with the person kill'd, who having got the now Prisoner by the Hair of the Head, did divers times knock the same against the Wall, upon which the said Prisoner (the Fruiterer) turning short, got under the said Watchman, and flung him down, and struck him with his own Watch-staff, giving him severe Blows and Bruises, of which he languish'd above
Then a Carpenter's Servant, and a Coachman belonging to a Noble Person , were Tryed for Murdering a Gentleman at Hampton Court: The Carpenter's man upon his first Apprehension and now at the Bar did confess, that he himself did the Murder; having in a most barbarous manner clest his Head with an Ax, which was produced in Court. But he also added, That the Coachman Arraigned with him did put him upon, and bribe him to do that horrid Deed; because, he said, he had spoken ill words of somebody he belong'd to; promising to give him Fourty Shillings and a better thing [for so were his words] for the same, and that thereupon he did it; but had no body could prove any of all this. Only it was proved, that when it was told the Coachman, that such an one was Murdered, he said, It was no matter, for he used to speak ill of a Person of Quality, or words to that effect, on which he was taken upon Suspicion. But this did not seem a sufficient proof to convict several persons of Esteem testifying his honest Conversation, &c. so he was found Not Guilty. But the other, who confessed he did the Murder, and afterwards took the Gentlemans Money out of his Pockets and his Watch, which when he was taken he was found exposing to sale, was most justly Condemned.
A Gentleman was Indicted for Murder; the case to this purpose; The Prisoner sent in some Cloaths to be mended or altered, to an eminent Tailor, and one of the Workmen promised him they should be done by such a day; but coming for them, he found they had disappointed him, which put him in some passion, to add to which, one on the Shop-board told him, if he had left some Money to drink, the work had been finisht; whereupon he flung a pressing Iron, or Goose amongst them, but without doing mischief, and so went out of the Shop; upon which, the Journeymen (as he alleadged) set up an hallow by way of derision, then returning he caught up a pair of Sheers, and threw it towards the Board (whether
After this, Four persons were brought to the Bar, viz. one Mr. Markland and his Wife, and Maid-servant, and a Refiner that dwelt in Grub-street, all Indicted for High-Treason, for Clipping and Impairing the Kings Coin; Markland had formerly been a Brewer, and lived in good fashion, but failed, and was Imprisoned in the Kings-Bench, there Poverty, and an Ill Conscience, and bad Company, taught him this mischievous Clipping Trade; which he has since followed to great advantage, living like a Gentleman by the Ditch-side in Black-fryars. The Evidence against him, was, One that being informed he was a Clipper, got a Warrant, and in searching his House, found a shilling under a Chest of Drawers, just newly Clipt, and not so much as rounded; and also two low stools on which they were wont to rub the Money after they had Circumcised it. Another person a poor woman gathering Herbs in St. Georges fields, found two pair of shears, and being advised to carry them to some Workmen that made such Instruments, happoned to light on the very Man that made them, who being examined, swore that he sold them to Mr. Markland, and that what with new-steeling, and all, he had had of him four pair. Markland was askt what use he put those shears to, being a Brewer, which Trade has no need of such Tools; wherefore being able to assign no occasion, he utterly denyed that he had any shears at all of the Witness, which rendred all the rest of his defence little regardable. But besides, there was one swore, that he had bargained with him to give him twenty two shillings in Clipt Money, for Twenty shillings fair and large, and that he had actually allowed him that advantage, they having dealt so long on that score, as to have Exchanged five or six hundred pounds. But that which put all out of doubt, was the Testimony of one of the same Gang, that he had actually seen him Clipping, so that there was no colour of excuse, but he was found guilty.
The Refiner had been formerly questioned and got off, and so to he did now, there being no direct proof, but that he held a Correspondence with the other &c. so neither could it be fixt on his Wife or Maid, that they were actually concerned in, or privy to it, though some Evidence and Circumstances were offered to that purpose; so these three were Acquitted.
There was leave asked of the Court to bring in an Indictment of Misdemeanour against an eminent Officer of the City, touching some menacing Words and Miscarriages, said to be used by him towards the Grand Jury that served for London last Sessions, which (after a defensive explanatory Speech made by the Gentleman concerned, and other pertinent Discourses) was freely granted by the Court, declaring that equal Right should be done to all, and nothing denied that was allowed by Law, or to that effect; for the debate being long, we would not wrong the Court, or persons concerned, by pretending an exact Relation of that affair, farther than in Generals.
The business about Mr. Recorder coming again into debate, upon the Grand Juries finding the Bill against him, (after the petty Jury had been discharg'd by the Court some time before) a Dispute arose about trying it the very next Morning, and concerning returning a new Jury to that purpose, which after a tedious discussion terminated at last in this; That the said Indictment should not be Tryed till next Sessions. A more punctual Account whereof therefore must be expected hereafter.
A Tinker was brought on to a Tryal for a Robbery and Murder on the High-way, in the night time, near Stanes; there appeared some shrewd suspitions against him, encreased by the ill Conduct of his own Witnesses, but it being also found that some others might probably speak to some material Points that were now absent, the Jury was discharged of him, and his Tryal referred to next Sessions.
There were in all Eight Persons that received Sentence of Death; Ralph Markland to be drawn and Hanged, being convicted of High-Treason, for Clipping. Francis Nicholson , for Murdering the Gentleman at Hampton, to be Hanged till dead, and his body hung up in Chains on Hounslow-Heath. John Watkins and Edward Whitwick for killing the Watchman by Ivy-Lane, which the Law made Murder. John Neal for the said Burglary. Eliz. Hull , and Katherine Johnson , for several Felonies.
There was no person this Sessions Burnt in the Hand, one Gentleman had the Clergy, but the Burning was respited. And several to be Whipt for petty Larcenies.