Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 25 October 2014), April 1738, trial of John Toon Edward Blastock (t17380412-7).

John Toon, Edward Blastock, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 12th April 1738.

8, 9. John Toon and Edward Blastock , were indicted for assaulting Edward Seabrook on the King's Highway, putting him in Fear, &c. and taking from him a silver Watch, value 5l and 16s. in Money , Feb. 27 .

Edward Seabrook. On the 27th of Feb I was riding from Muzzel-Hill towards Highgate ; the 2 Prisoners came up one on each side of me; and clapping Pistols to my Breast, they demanded my Money. I begg'd of them not to use me ill, and told them they should have it; so I put my Hand in my Pocket, and pull'd out about 16 or 18s. Toon held his Hat for the Money, and as I threw it into his Hat, a half Crown and a Shilling stuck upon the Brims, and fell from thence to the Ground; he stoop'd down to look for the Money that was dropp'd, but found only the Shilling Toon then proposed to search me for more; and Blastock seeing the String of my Watch, he told Toon that I had got one, and Toon demanded it from me. As soon as I had delivered it, Blastock took off my Horse's Bridle, and flung it away, then he whipp'd my Horse out of the Road, and the Creature immediately fell to grazing. They had both dismounted to rob me, and when they had got my Money and Watch, they mounted again, and gallop'd away. Upon this, I went to catch my Horse: but he seeing their Horses galloping, he gallop'd after them, and they perceiving a Horse following them, were 'frighted (I suppose) and imagined I was pursuing them, so they quitted their Horses and made off on Foot. I went on to Highgate, and there I found all the 3 Horses. The People advised me to go before a Justice and make Oath of the Robbery; accordingly I went before Sir John Austin ; he order'd the Prisoner's Horses to be Pounded, and I advertised them that Evening. I got my Horse again, (after he had run away from me) in 10 Minutes; for I was not above a Quarter of a Mile from the Town, nor above half a Mile from Highgate Church when I was robb'd. I am very positive to both the Prisoners; tho' before Blastock was taken, I said, I believ'd I could not know much of him; but when he was in Newgate I pick'd him out from 5 or 6 People. I remember'd his Coat again perfectly well.

Toon. I know my self to be very guilty, and will not give the Court any Trouble at all

Blastock Mr. Seabrook came to Newgate and demanded the Prisoners to be brought down; six of us came down together; and he pick'd out one Stevens, and said he was the Man that robb'd him.

Mr Seabrook. I pick'd Blastock out, and no one else; tho' he was disguised with a Napkin round his Head, yet I knew him again, and he fell down upon his Knees, and begg'd Mercy.

Blastock. Did I take your Money and Watch?

Mr. Seabrook Toon took the Money and Watch, and Blastock held my Horse.

Blastock. Ask him how he comes to be so positive to me?

Mr. Seabrook. As soon as I saw his Face again I knew it; beside, he had the same Cloaths on, as he had when he robb'd me, his Coat had been torn, 'twas mended in this Part of it, and it had brass Buttons upon it. He begg'd Mercy upon his Knees, and I told him, I believed it was not in my Power to shew him any.

Edmund Grimston . On the 24th of Feb. Blastock hir'd two Horses of me, one he said was for himself, and the other for a Friend, to carry them to Edmonton. As he was a Stranger to me, I desir'd to know where he liv'd, he told me his Name was Jones, that he was a Barber, and had liv'd with one Mr. Brown a Hatter, in the Temple-Lane, about 7 Months. I was not willing to let my Horses without some Satisfaction; therefore I went and enquired after this Jones, and Mr. Brown told me Mr. Jones was an honest Man; upon this I let Blastock and his Companion have the Horses. The Prisoners are the Men; and the Horses that were Pounded at Highgate, were the same they had from me. They had them on Saturday the 25th, and I advertised them on the Monday following.

Blastock. Mr. Toon desired me to hire the two Horses for him, but what he did with them I cannot tell.

William Manton . I was the Constable that took Toon; I carry'd him before Justice Poulson, where he confessed the Fact. Blastock acknowledged it likewise at the Castle Tavern in Drury-Lane; and when he was before Justice Chamberlain, he sent for the Coat he had on when he robb'd Mr. Seabrook, and Mr. Seabrook knew it again.

- Moor. I went with the Constable to take Blastock, in Drury Lane. We found him hid in Guley, and carry'd him to the Castle Tavern; I went to Newgate for a Pair of Handcuffs; I did not hear him confess at the Tavern, but as we were bringing him down Holborn, I heard him own he committed this Robbery and that Toon had drawn him into this.

William Linton . I live at the Corner of the Sessions House Gate. I was sitting in the Lodge when Mr. Seabrook came in, and desir'd to see the Prisoners. He was shewn 5 or 6 Persons, among whom was the Prisoner. At first, he said he did not see the Man; but afterwards he said, the Coat the Prisoner had on, was like that which the Man wore when he robb'd him. Mr. Seabrook told the Prisoner, he was sorrier for him, than he was for himself, and that he would not swear to him.

Nathan Brown . I know nothing of the Matter; I was subpaena'd here, but I can't say any Thing to the Affair. Blastock was Apprentice to a Barber in the Temple, and 9 or 10 Years ago he lodged in my House, and afterward in the Neighbourhood: I know no ill of him.

Daniel-Hawkins I have known Blastock 11 or 12 Years: I went (with one Mr. Turner) to Mr. Seabrook, and asked him who robb'd him? He told me he could swear to Toon, but the other was a Barber , and he could not swear to him.

Mr. Seabrook. I don't know but I might say so before I had seen him.

Hawkins. I don't remember the particular Time when Mr. Seabrook said this. Blastock has had dealings with me, and I took him to be an honest Man.

John Blastock , Robert Goddard , John Young , Edward Blastock , and Elleanor Wildair , appeared to the Prisoner Blastock's Character.

The Prisoner Toon's Wife The Day after my Husband was taken, I saw Mr. Seabrook; he told me he was sorry Mr. Toon was taken; and as to Blastock, he said, he should not know him again. After Blastock was taken, I told Mr. Seabrook that I had been informed he had pick'd him out from among four or five Prisoners; yes, says he, I did; but 'twas by the Descriptions People gave me of him; I cannot swear to him.

Mr. Chamberlain. When Toon was brought before me, he inform'd me that Blastock was concern'd in this Robbery. Upon his, and his Wife's Information, Blastock was taken in Drury Lane: He had not been a Moment before me, but he own'd himself a dead Man, and said he never committed but this one Robbery in his Life. I asked him, how it was that he had Courage enough to rob on the Highway, and yet be frighted by a Horse, without a Rider? He said, it was even so; they did not look behind them, but quitted their Horses, and got to London on Foot. He told me farther, that they had each of them a Pistol, - but one had never a Flint, and the other had no Pan

Miss Jacky Stevens . (a Convict of last Sessions) I come here upon Mr. Blastock's Account; what I heard Mr. Seabrook say, - He said, that as how, - when we was called down below, - he walked about, and said, as how he could (not) swear to no Man that was there.

John Bugdon . I am now under Sentence of Death. -

John Barker . I am a Prisoner, upon a Charge of Perjury, and heard Mr. Blastock say, he could swear to no one but Toon.

The Jury found both the Prisoners Guilty . Death .