Thomas Tims, John Bye.
21st February 1733
Reference Numbert17330221-29
VerdictNot Guilty

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35, 36. Thomas Tims and John Bye , were indicted for assaulting Philip Honeywood , Esq ; on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Silver Watch, with a Steel Chain, a Gold Seal and a Bath-metal Seal, Value 3 l. and 2 Guineas in Money , in the Parish of Belfound, in Middlesex , Jan. 30 .

Randal Parry. On the 30th of January, as my Master General Honeywood was riding in his Chariot over Hounslow-Heath , about a quarter of a Mile on the other side of the Powder-Mills, and I and my Fellow Servants were attending him, two Men came riding towards us with their Faces muffled up in the Capes of their Great Coats, one of them turn'd short on my Fellow Servant Michael, catch'd hold of his Horse's Bridle with one Hand, and holding a Pistol (or a Blunderbuss) in the other, cry'd, Damn ye! dismount! Michael was then next the Chariot, and I was behind him. I put forward to get up with the Chariot, and endeavoured to draw my Pistol, but could not get it out of the Holster. I cross'd the Postilion Horses, and came to the Off-side of the Chariot, and took out my Pistol, with the Holster. The other Highway-man rode after me, Damn ye, says he, stop, or I'll shoot. Do then, says I, shoot. Damn ye, says he, I'll fire. Fire, says I, as soon as ye will.

Court. Look at the Prisoners; are those the Men?

Parry. I believe they are; I am pretty positive that Bye was he that rode after me, but am not so certain as to the other, who dismounted Michael, and stood over him. Now as Bye and I were presenting our Pistols at each other, and crying, Shoot, and Fire, my Master, thinking I had pick'd a Quarrel with somebody, step'd out of the Chariot to see what was the Matter. Bye withdrew a little, but advancing again, my Master asked him what he wanted. Why, says Bye, I want your Watch and Money; deliver this Minute, or I'll fire. My Master did not seem to mind him, but call'd to my Fellow-Servant, and said, Michael, Why don't ye take your Horse and come to me? But Michael answer'd, They will not let me. Says Bye, I have 12 Slugs in this Piece, and if you don't deliver this Minute I'll fire thro' your Body. Still my Master did not seem to regard him, but call'd to Michael again; Michael answer'd as before, and so did Bye. But when my Master call'd to Michael the third time, Bye was quite out of Patience, and swore my Master's Body should suffer for all that Moment, if he did not deliver directly; upon which my Master called to me, and said, come hither Parry; I went, and he gave me his Silver Watch and 2 Guineas, to deliver to Bye, who would not take them of me, but gave my Master a deal of illprobus Language, and swore at him, Damn you, Sir, you shall bring them your self, or I'll shoot you through the Body immediately; and so then my Master took them from me again, and deliver'd them to him.

Henry Shelar . I drove the Chariot, Bye rode after Parry with a Blunderbuss; one cry'd, Shoot; and t'other cry'd, Shoot; and the General thinking Parry had affronted somebody, he call'd out to him, Sirrah, what's the Matter? and so jump'd out of the Coach; Bye demanded his Watch and Money. The General gave it Parry, to deliver to Bye, but Bye would not take it of him, and so the General carry'd it himself.

Francis Stanton . I was behind the Coach, and saw Bye come up to my Fellow-Servant Parry ; and Tims stopt Michael Myers .

Court. Are you sure it was Tims?

Stanton. Yes, I am sure, for that Man was every way comportionable with Tims, tho' he had the Cape of his Coat up to his Mouth.

Court. Did you ever see him before?

Stanton. No.

Court. How far was he from you?

Stanton. As far as to the farther Wall in the Yard there.

Court. And can you swear to a Man at such a Distance, when his Face was muffled?

Stanton. I actually think he was the Man: Yes, I can swear it. He made Michael dismount, and stood over him with a long rusty Pistol, and Bye rode by the Chariot as hard as he could, after Parry, and cry 'd, G - d damn ye, stand, or I'll shoot. Parry turn'd by the Postilion-Horse, but rode beyond, and then turn'd round to the Off-side of the Coach. Parry drew his Pistol. The General jump'd out, and Bye robb'd him of his Watch and Money.

Tims. On what Part of Hounslow-Heath was it?

Stanton. About a quarter of a Mile beyond the Powder-Mills, in the Road that goes to Belfound.

Court. What Horses did the Prisoners ride?

Stanton. Bye was on a brown Mare with a bay Nose, and a cut Tail; and Tims had a bay Gelding with a swish Tail.

Tims. Did the Highwaymen follow the Coach, or meet it?

Stanton. They follow'd it, and then turn'd back the same way as they came.

Mr. Turner. On Monday Evening, the 29th of January, I was at the Angel in Egham, when the two Prisoners came in, I sat by the Fire, and they sat at the Table; in their Talk, Tims swore, that there was never a better Nag rid than his was, tho' he had got Corns; and, By G - d, says Bye, my little Mare is as good as he, and will match him at any time. I have lost 70 l. lately, but I know how to get 100 l. as soon as any Man in England; and after that, they went to their Horses. About 9 o'Clock, next Morning, I went from Egham, and walk'd to Hounslow, and about 12 I saw the General's Chariot, between the Powder-Mills and Hounslow, and about One, or between 1 and 2, I saw the Prisoners riding through Hounslow as hard as they could drive; my having heard them talk about their Horses, made me take the more Notice of them. Tims's was a bay Gelding, with a swish Tail, and Bye on a little Brown Mare , with a Bay or Meally Nose, and she seemed to have a cut Tail, but she run so fast that I cannot be sure of it.

William Hinge . Hinge is my Name, I don't know how you spell it, because I can't read; but it's the same as a Hinge of a Door. On the 30th of January, Tims came to my Shop, in Egham, to be shaved, between 9 and 10 in the Morning, and before I had done, Bye came in, and said, Tom! what are you doing? Why, don't you see I'm a Shaving? says Tims; Damn me, says Bye, I'll shave some Body by and by. Then the Ostler at the Crown led their Horses by the Door. One was a Bay Gelding with a swish-Tail, and t'other a brown Mare with a cut Tail.

Bye. I did not say I'd shave some Body; but that I would be shav'd some where else.

Justice De Veil. When Bye was first brought before me, I ask'd him, where the Bay Gelding was? He said, he knew nothing of it; but Tims could tell. When Tims was taken, I ask'd Tims the same Question, and he said, he had sold the Gelding, on which he rode, the Day the Robbery was committed, to a Shoemaker in Smithfield, about 8 o'Clock the same Night, and that Bye bought the Gelding again.

Court. Whatever Tims said, is no Evidence against Bye.

The Prisoners Defence.

Thomas Wilmot . I am a Publican, and live at Oakingham, in Berkshire, Bye is a Dealer in Brandy and Rum , and I have been a Customer to him. On the 29th of January last, he was at my House, and offer'd to sell his Horse there; but not meeting with a Chapman, he rode away. He deals largely in our Country, and I never heard but that he was a fair Dealer.

Court. What kind of Horse was it?

Wilmot. A brownish founder'd Gelding with a swishy Tail.

George Brown . The Prisoners lay at my House, the Crown at Egham ; I don't remember the Day, nor did I see their Horses, but they went away betwixt 8 and 9 next Morning.

- Gilbert. On the 30th of January, about 10 in the Morning, the Prisoners came

to the White Lion at Egham. They eat and drank, and went away a little after 11.

Court. How far is your House from the Powder Mills?

Gilbert. About four Miles.

Thomas Sylvester . On the 30th of January, near 12 at Noon, the Prisoners stopt at my House, the King's-Arms, on the other Side of Stains-Bridge, in Egham Parish; the People soon after came from Church. 'Tis 3 Miles and a half from my House to Belfound, and 4 Miles and a half to the Powder-Mills.

Mary Lane. I keep the Swan at Stains-Bridge. At half an hour past 11, or before 12, the Prisoners came to dine at my House, and they staid an Hour and a half, or better, for it was near half an Hour after One.

Court. Did you look on the Clock?

Lane. No; but I guess the Time of the Day by the Taunton Coach being at my Door.

Court. Did you know the Prisoners?

Lane. Mr. Bye has been 2 or 3 Times at my House before, to offer Brandy and Rum, but I never dealt with him.

Court. How far is your House from Gilbert's and Sylvester's?

Lane. 'Tis a Mile nearer the Powder-Mills than Gilbert's, and 2 or 3 Doors from Sylvester's, nearer to Hounslow. My Ostler saw the Prisoners stop at Sylvester's Door.

Tims. Did you see us have any Arms?

Lane. No.

Robert Knight , Ostler at the Swan. I saw the Prisoners stop and drink at Sylvester's Door, at about half an Hour after 11, and it was near 3 Quarters past 11, when they came to our House, where they stay'd about 2 Hours and a half.

Court. Your Mistress swears it was not near so long.

Knight. I can't say how long it was; but they stay'd till half an Hour past 1, for I look'd on the Clock.

Tims. Did you see any Arms that we had?

Knight. There was none to be seen. They pull'd off their Great Coats, and danced in the Kitchen.

Isaac Turner . I live at Mr. Weekly's, the Red Lion, at Hounslow. The Prisoners came in at 3 Quarters past 2. They sat down on a Bench in the Publick Gateway, and their Horses stood in the Gateway too. They call'd for half a Pint of Wine, and ask'd for my Master, but he was not at home. Then they sent for a Man in the Neighbourhood, but he was not at home neither; so they stay'd near a Quarter of an Hour and then went away. They din'd at our House the Sunday before, as they went into the Country. Our House is a Mile and a half from the Powder-Mills.

Mary Dibby . I waited on the Prisoners at Dinner, at Mrs. Lane's, they came in at half an hour after 11, and staid till half an hour past one, and while they were there the Taunton Coach came in. I don't remember what Horses they had. I knew Mr. Bye 9 or 10 Years ago, when he lived at Winchester, and he had a very good Character then.

Eusebins Williams. I saw General Honeywood , and a Lady with him, go through Stains, in his Berlin and four, towards his own House, as I was coming from Church, at half an hour past twelve. This was [after the Robbery, and] 4 Miles distant from where the Robbery was committed. Then I went to Dinner. I dined in about half an hour, and went to the Swan, and the Taunton Coach was then there.

Philip Stone . I saw the General, in a Berlin-Chariot, go thro' Stains, from London, he had past the Powder-Mills. Then I dined, and went with Mr. Williams to Egham, where I saw the Taunton Coach at the Swan Door.

Mary Sherburn . As I and my Cousin Rachel came from Brentford Market, the General's Coach past us, a little on the other Side the Powder-Mills, and being a little before us, about a Mile or less from Belfound, these two Highwaymen came from London, and never looking behind them they stopt the Coach, and robb'd it. We were on Horseback, but went a foot-pace, and when we came to Belfound, where we live, the Parish Clock struck 12.

Court. Do you think that Clock went right?

Sherburn. Yes; it went very right by the Neighbours Clocks. We past by the Coach while the Men were robbing it, and then they rode off towards London.

Tims. Are we the two Persons that robb'd the Coach?

Sherburn. I don't think these are the Men; for we had the View of them twice; the Capes of their Coats were up, and I saw but little of their Faces, and I think those Men were taller than the Prisoners.

Rachel Sherburn . The General's Coach went by us on t'other side the Powder-Mills, we past it twice; the two Men went by us, and brush'd my Hamper; they stop'd the Coach and robb'd it. When we came to Belfound I saw it was 12 o'Clock, and my Cousin said she heard it strike, and so said others, but I did not hear it myself. The Men came from London Road and return'd the same Way; they were taller than the Prisoners, or anexst the same Size.

John Newby , the Tannton Coachman. I was at the Swan at Stains-Bridge with my Coach when Bye and another Man came in; Bye treated me with a Pint of Wine, and ask'd it I could not put off some Brandy or Rum for him in the Country? I said I would if I could. I staid till past One, and then left 'em there.

John Garner , Exeter Coachman. I came to the Swan at Eleven; the Prisoners came in about a Quarter past Eleven; they drank with the Tannton Coachman, and stay'd till he was gone, which was at about Half an Hour past One.

Solomon Baker . I am an Importer of Brandy, I have known Bye 8 or 9 Years, and have traded with him; he deals in Brandy and Rum, I have sold him a Hogshead at a time; He lives in Wildstreet, and has a fair Character; he has no Occasion to rob, for his Business will maintain him handsomely, and I believe he is no more guilty of the Fact than I am.

Robert Walker . I Import Rum and Brandy; Bye has dealt with me 5 or 6 Years; I have sold him half a Hogshead at a time; I believe he was a fair Dealer, and in good Circumstances, for he commonly paid me ready Money.

Tho. Foxcroft . I have known him 3 Years; he lived in Wild-Court in my Neighbourhood; he bore a fair Character, and there was no Room for a Suspicion of his being concern'd in Robberies. His Horse was a little indifferent scrubbed Beast.

John Andrews . I dealt with him 3 Years for Rum, and I have sold him several Horses, but he would never buy one above 50 Shillings or 3 Pounds, or at most 4 Pounds Price. I believe he's no more guilty of this Fact than myself, and I have such an Opinion of his Honesty, that I would lend him 100 l. on his bare Word.

James Welch . I've known him 3 Years; he rents his House of my Father, for which he pays 22 l a Year. Mr. Foxcroft is the Ground Landlord. Bye's Mare is a poor scrubbed Mare not 13 Hands high, and by no Means fit for a Highwayman. He is the last Man I should take to be guilty of a Robbery.

William Watkinson . I live opposite to Bye; I have known him 3 Years; I have hired Horses of him, and he has as fair a Character as any Man in the Neighbourhood.

Matthew King . Mr. Bye is my Landlord; I rent a Warehouse of him; I undertake Funerals, if I had not thought him honest I would not have trusted my Goods in his House; for I believe he that would go to Hounslow on such an Errand would rob my Warehouse.

Joseph Staton . I have liv'd in the same Street as Bye lives in 5 Years; I have bought Brandy and Rum, and hired Horses of him; I never saw him keep a good Horse.

William Turner , Distiller. I have taken 300 l. of Bye in 3 Years; he has a fair Character.

James Ford . I sold the Mare to Bye 4 or 5 Months ago, she was 13 Hands and an Inch high, a dark Bay, with a brownish Muzzel, a bob Tail, and a Malander on the Off-Foot, but she would not jump over a Straw, and I believe is not able to carry him. I sold her for 3 Guineas and 2 Gallons of Brandy. I believe the poor Man has been out of his Senses. Here are a great many more Witnesses.

Court. There needs no more as to his Character.

Shelvokt. I have known Tims 3 or 4 Years; he lived a Servant at Governor Feak's in Bedford-Row,

and at other creditable Places, and bore a good Character.

Tho Bishop . I have known him 7 or 8 Years, and in 3 or 4 Services, and as a Butler has been trusted with Plate to a great Value. He lived in Devonshire-Square 3 or 4 Years ago.

Rich. Collins. I have known him 6 Months; he kept 2 Bay Geldings to let since he has been out of Place. My Horse stands at the same Stables.

Edward Bonham . I have known him ever since he came to Town, which is 16 or 17 Years; the last Gentleman he served was Governor Feak, who is now out of Town; he has been come from that Gentleman 4 Months, but when he was there I have seen a great Charge of Plate in his Custody. I keep a Grocer's Shop at the End of Bedford-Row, and have several times left him in my Shop when he was out of Service.

John Row. I've known Tims 9 or 10 Years; he lived with Mr. Ratcliff in Devonshire-Square, and had a good Character.

Charles Creed . When Tims was out of Place he took my Stables to let out Horses.

Tims. When Bye was taken he sent for me, and when I came to him I was taken into Custody myself. I see Governor Feak's Son in Court - if he pleases to speak to my Character - Mr. Feak. I desire to be excus'd.

Court. Call the Prosecutors Servants again.

Officer. Here they are, my Lord.

Court. Can you be certain as to the Time of Day when the Robbery was committed?

Parry. I guess it to be about 12, or rather past.

Shelar. It was about 12.

Stanton. It was 12 as nigh as I can guess.

Court. The Prisoners have called several Witnesses to prove where they were from half an Hour past 10 to half an Hour past One. The Jury acquitted them.

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