James Harrison.
25th February 1736
Reference Numbert17360225-8
VerdictNot Guilty

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11. James Harrison , was indicted for assaulting Thomas Cooper in the Parish of St. Catherine-Creedchurch , putting him in fear, and taking from him a Hat, value 10 s. the 13th of this Instant February .

Thomas Cooper . About 12 o'Clock at Night, the 13th Instant, I was coming thro' Aldgate alone: The Prisoner at the Bar came up and struck me twice on the Breast; another came behind me; and between them both, my Hat was whipt off; the Prisoner ran, and I ran after him, and called the Watch to assist me: He had on then a Great Coat, and a Check Shirt; I laid hold of his Great Coat as he ran, and he slipt out of it, and made up an Alley in Leaden-hall street. When the Watch came, he jumpt out of the Alley, and demanded his Coat: Give me my Hat, says I; he said he had not got it: I then charged him with assaulting me, and he was secured that Night: Next morning Sir Richard Brocas committed him: I did not see the Prisoner take my Hat; but he struck me, and immediately my Hat was gone.

John Willcox . I am a Watchman belonging to Aldgate, and hearing the Gentleman call, Watch, Watch, I snatch'd my Staff and Lanthorn from my Stand, and ran to the Place where I apprehended the Noise was: I found the Prosecutor with a Coat upon his Arm; he told me he had lost his Hat, but he had got the Man's Coat, and wanted me to take it, but I would not. My Partner came up to us, and while we were talking together, out comes the Prisoner and demanded his Coat: Aye, says the Prosecutor, if you'll give me my Hat; the Prisoner said, he knew nothing about the Hat; why, says the Gentleman, you struck me twice upon the Breast: and, my Lord, about an Hour or two afterwards, another Watchman going round, saw a Basket-man take up a Tuck about 9 Inches long, in the Place where Mr. Cooper and the Prisoner had this Tussle.

- Groom, another Watchman, deposed to the same Effect.

Prisoner's Defence. I had been drinking at the Three Kings in the Minories, and coming thro' Aldgate, I met Mr. Cooper; he ran his Elbow so violently into my Side, that he own'd before the Watch, and the Justice, that he thought he had ran against a Post: Upon that, I gave him a Stroke, which he resented very much, and in the Bustle and Tussle his Hat fell off, and a Man came by, snatch'd up the Hat, and ran away with it. He tore my Coat off my Back; it was against Angel-Alley, in Leadenhall-street; I knew there was a Watchman's Stand in that Alley, and I went up the Alley to look for him, and to call the Watch to see for Cooper, and to get my Coat; the Watchmen that were with him told me, if I would go to the Watch-house, I should have my Coat; so I went without Opposition.

Constable. The Prosecutor was very much surpriz'd when he came to the Watch-house, and after he had charged me with the Prisoner, he said, if he could get his Hat again, he should be acquitted: No, says I, 'tis out of your Power to acquit him now; you have charg'd him with a Robbery, and I must know for my own Security, where you live: He carry'd me to a Barber's in Mincing-Lane; but when we came there, he said, he must not disturb the Family: Then he said, he was Clerk to one Mr. Taylor in Goodman's-Fields. Upon his Promise to meet me next Day at Sir Richard Brocas's, I left him; but in the Morning I went to Mincing-Lane, but they had not seen Mr. Cooper they said. I went to the Bell, and enquired for him; the Landlord told me, he had been there just before, and the Woman said, he had not been there; I brush'd into the Fore-room, and saw him: Mr. Cooper

says I, you are very unhandsome; here is a Man committed on your account, and now you swerve from us, 'tis very unhandsome. Why, says he, 'tis very troublesome prosecuting, therefore I would keep out of the way: But I got him down, by telling him, that the Justice would only commit the Prisoner to Bridewell, or so. - I know the Prisoner, and never heard of his wronging any Body: He would, indeed, lye out o'Nights a little. Acquitted .


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