Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 23 September 2014), July 1768, trial of William Hawkins Joseph Wild (t17680706-61).

William Hawkins, Joseph Wild, Breaking Peace > riot, 6th July 1768.

491, 492. (L) William Hawkins and Joseph Wild were indicted, for that they, together with divers other persons to the number of an hundred or more, being malefactors and disturbers of the peace, on the 9th of May with force and arms near the Mansion-house of the Right Hon. Thomas Harley , Lord Mayor of the city of London , unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously did gather together, in order to disturb the peace of our Lord the King; that he the said Hawkins did threaten to knock down the said Lord Mayor acting in the execution of his office, and in and upon one Philip Pyle , being one of the servants of the Lord Mayor, assisting, and by his commands, and in his presence, him the said Pyle with a certain slambeau and a large stick over his head and divers other parts of his body, did beat and strike, so that his life was greatly despaired of, &c. &c. ++

Mr. Way. About eight o'clock in the evening of the 9th of May, going from Swithin's-alley to Batson's coffee-house, I saw a croud of people carrying a gibbet, on which hung a boot and petticoat, going down towards the Mansion-house; I stopped to observe whether they made any stand at the Mansion-house, I observed they halted there; there were great hissing and hallooing; I went to the Mansion-house, and had not been there above a minute or two before I saw my Lord Mayor come out of the gates of the Mansion-house, making his way towards the people that supported this gibbet; I believed when I saw them in Cornhill, there did not seem to be more than fifty or sixty; seeing my Lord go out by himself I made my way up to him; before I got to him, I saw the prisoner laying about him with a stick, which I afterwards observed had some nails in it; he had struck one or two people, which afterwards I found to be my Lord Mayor's servants; they had hold of him, endeavouring to bring him into the Mansion-house at the little gate by Charlotte-row; while the scuffle was between him and my Lord's servants, I heard several people cry, knock him down, knock him down; the prisoner had disengaged himself from them, and was making towards the corner of the Poultry by the linen-draper's; I stepped very briskly cross the kennel and laid hold of him by the collar; I drew him back; and with the assistance of the other servants he was lodged in the Mansion-house; the mob was by that time increased to I believe 150, making a noise, hollooing and hiffing.

Philip Pyle . I am servant to my Lord Mayor; I was attending my Lord Mayor on the 9th of May about eight o'clock in the evening, my Lord and Lady were going out in a coach; some persons brought in notice that there was a large mob coming down Cornhill; I was standing in Charlottle-row with a flambeau in my hand, I went to see who they were; my Lord Mayor in the mean time came down the steps, as the gibbet was brought to the Mansion-house; there might be 150 of the mob, the street was all full from Cornhill to the Poultry, they were hissing and crying Wilkes and liberty; I observed one in particular had a blue cockade in his hat, the same as Mr. Wilkes gave at the election; my Lord Mayor said, bring back that thing, throwing out his hand; I believe there might be a dozen or fourteen had hold of it, carrying it along; it was a pretty formidable thing when it was together; they turned their heads many of them, but made no halt; I followed the gibbet as far as the pastry-cook's; I got hold of it and gave it such a shake, they were obliged to quit it; I turned with it in my hand, and was pulling it back towards the Mansion-house; there was one man came to me, I believe not the prisoner, and catched the slambeau out of my hand (it had not been lighted) and laid it about my head, and broke my head in several places; I let drop the gibbet which I had in my left-hand, in order to defend myself against the mob; I twisted the flambeau out of the man's hand, and I believe I did return it, I believe I did not strike above once; I believe there were two or three about me striking of me; I thought I must make a retreat, fearing they should get me down, which if they had, they certainly would have murdered me; I made my way into Charlotte-row, I thought some of my fellow-servants might see me, and I might be relieved; just as I was turned the corner they fell upon me again; I received several violent blows on my head, I did not see from whom I received them; my coat was torn; I turned and saw the prisoner on my right-hand, the stick flew out of his hand, and my fellow-servant picked it up; he defended himself with his hands as well as he could, but I pulled him I dare say twenty yards through the mob; the mob had hold of him and me likewise; when I got within ten yards of the Mansion-house the mob rescued him from me; I catched at him again, but missed him, and I believe I was not three yards from him when Mr. Way took hold of him, then we brought him into the Mansion-house.

Q. Did you see any thing throwed?

Pyle. No, I did not; then after that the windows were broke; that was an hour and a half or two hours after this.

Q. Did not the croud disperse upon these people being apprehended?

Pyle. No, so far from that, they said they would have them out again; there was a single pane in one window, and another in another broke, when the prisoner was in the Mansion-house; he said he was coming by and had not touched any body, and that he did not think of any riot at all.

Thomas Woodward . I am servant to my Lord Mayor. On Monday the 9th of May about eight in the evening, my fellow servant and I were standing at the Mansion-house back door in Charlotte-row, waiting for my Lord and Lady who were going out; the people were coming down with a gibbet, with a boot and two petticoats; my fellow-servant said, here is something coming, we will go to the corner and see what it is; my Lord came out from the steps and called out, what is that, bring it back; they had halted, but were moving on; my Lord said something to my fellow servant; he went to the gibbet and pulled it down; I saw the people take his flambeau out of his hand, and give him one or two blows with it, I could not see who struck him; afterwards the prisoner Hawkins took a piece of wood from the gibbet and struck my fellow-servant, (produced in court a large piece of timber about four feet long with nails in it;) he struck him with it more than once, twice, or three times; I received one blow upon my head and shoulder with it; I received a blow or two from some other person, but do not know who: as we were conveying the prisoner Hawkins to the back door, the people came on so fast, if I had not had this stick the prisoner would have been rescued from Mr. Way and my fellow-servant; I struck at one or two, one I knocked down, I believe in the kennel; when we got the prisoners in, I was left in a room with them; all that I know of Wild, I did not see him before he entered the door, I can give no account of him; I asked him how he could do so; Hawkins said he was sorry for it, but said he did not know he had struck any body.

Q. Did any of you see where my Lord Mayor was in the time of the scuffle?

Woodward. I saw him on the steps, and afterwards I saw him out in the mob near the pastry-cook's; I think he had a scarlet coat on and green silk waistcoat.

Edward Stinton . I am also a servant to my Lord Mayor; my Lord Mayor stood upon the steps of the Mansion-house; he came down and desired the mob to disperse, and not breed any riot; he said he wondered what he had done that he could not rest in his house; he came out at the front gate, and came round upon the broad stones, the gibbet and boot were taken down then; I with the rest ran into the mob to see that nobody used my Lord ill; I saw a stick throwed at him, it came within two or three yards of him; I heard the prisoner Wild say, there he is, pointing to my Lord Mayor, knock him down, knock him down.

Q. What was my Lord doing?

Stinton. He had desired them to disperse.

Q. How far might Wild be from my Lord Mayor?

Stinton. About half a dozen yards or more from him.

Q. Was there a number of people round Wild at the time?

Stinton. There were a great many; I laid hold of him, and I think I said, d - m you, what do you mean by knock him down; he said, I did not know who to knock down.

Q. Did you know Wild again?

Stinton. Yes, very well; I took him in myself, and my Lord was at the door at the same time.

Pyle. When Hawkins was examined at Guildhall, he acknowledged he took the stick from the gibbet, though before he had denied having any stick at all.

Hawkins's defence.

Best part of what is charged against me is very wrong; I am a lighterman , and came from the water-side; about five o'clock I left the Custom-house and came to Bear-key, I live in Old street; coming home I saw a great mob going along Cornhill; I followed the mob, I saw my Lord's servant lay hold of the gibbet on a man's shoulder, and haul it down; I saw several people strike him with a flambeau; the mob hauled me in among them; the gallows was lying under foot, he had got hold of one part of it, hauling it away; he laid hold of me by the collar twice; I took hold of a piece of wood, but this is not the piece, it was a broomstick, and I throwed it out among the mob, who it hit I cannot tell; he got hold of me as I was making off from among the mob; then Mr. Way collared me, and brought me into the Mansion-house, there the footman ran his fist in my face three times, and said, I wish I had no more to do than to lick you and half a dozen such.

Wild's defence.

I saw a man in a white coat in the croud; I asked what he had done, I was told he was a pick-pocket; I heard others say, knock him down, and I believe I said so; they laid hold of my collar and asked me who I would have knocked down; I said, nobody, friend; he said he heard me say, knock him down; I said, I said no such word; he said he did insist upon my going into the Mansion-house; I made no resistance, but went; I am very wrongfully accused, I was not there three minutes; there was no gibbet, no boot, no nothing when I came there.

Hawkins Guilty . Imp.

[Fine. See summary.]

Wild Acquitted .