James Ryan, Hugh Macmahon, Eleanor Coleman.
14th January 1737
Reference Numbert17370114-14
VerdictsGuilty; Guilty
SentencesDeath; Transportation

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15, 16, James Ryan and Hugh Macmahon , of Pancrass , were indicted for assaulting Sarah Smith , in a certain open Field, near the King's Highway, putting her in fear, and taking from her two camblet Cloaks, value 2 s. a callamanco Gown, value 5 s. a pair of Shoes, value 6 d. a linnen Apron, value 6 d a linnen Handkerchief, value 3 d the Goods of Francis Smith , and a Camblet Cloak, value 6 d. the Goods of Eunace Newman . December 8 . And

17, Eleanor Coleman , for receiving a Gown, a Cloak and other Things, knowing them to be stole .

Sarah Smith I was in our Cart almost asleep; and I heard some body ask the Man that drove it, where his Master and Mistress was: They had no sooner spoke, but they pull'd the Tilt off the Cart, and said, Money they wanted, and Money they must have: My Husband said, Gentlemen, I am a poor Man; but they clapp'd a Pistol to his Head, and pull'd of my Pocket in the Cart; what Money I had, I hit down in the bottom of the Cart, but they pick'd it up; I can't swear how much it was. Then they pull'd me out of the Cart, and carry'd me into a Field, and stripped me of my Gown, three Cloaks, one of them was my Maid's ( Eunace Newman) a linnen Apron, a Handkerchief and they took my Shoes off my Feet. I cannot swear to any of the Prisoners, for they all the Time endeavoured to hide my Face, that I might not for them. I saw one of them abuse my Husband, but I cannot swear to him.

Francis Smith . We were going Home with our Cart, and four Men assaulted us; two of them got up into the Cart and robb'd us: I remember one of them, I believe, but I don't care to swear positively; one of them had a red Coat on.

Q. Was either of the Prisoners there?

Francis Smith. Yes, Ryan stood on the off Side of the Cart, and gave me several knocks as I was in it. One had a red Coat, but I can't swear to him. Ryan cry'd d - n you come down, and gave me several Blows. They took all the Money I had from me, I can't say how much that was.

Ryan. What is the meaning that you can swear to one, and not to another? - Hah! How many of us were in Company?

F. Smith. There were four of you in all.

Ryan. And pray which of the four do you know?

F. Smith. You in particular.

Ryan. With humble Submission my Lord, why should he know me in particular?

F. Smith. Because you gave me a great many ugly Knocks.

Ryan. With humble Submission my Lord, I can't tell why he should have any Notice of me.

F. Smith. Why you damn'd me, and bid me turn about, and it was you that pull'd my great Coat over my Back.

Ryan. And will you swear it?

F. Smith. Yes, I do.

Ryan. With humble Submission my Lord, inform your self about that Fellow.

F. Smith. They took nothing but our Money from us in the Cart, but they made us go into the Field, and they took my Great Coat, and my Wife's Cloaths from her in the Field, after they had plunder'd the Cart.

Ryan. Well, I suppose you know who they were.

F. Smith. I can't swear that the same Man that robb'd the Cart stripp'd us in the Field; but I can with a safe Conscience swear that Ryan was among them in the Field; they d - 'd us when they drove us up the Field and bid us go faster.

Ryan. I have no Business to ask him any Questions.

F. Smith. My great Coat was brought me from Justice De Veil's, and the Cloak which was brought from thence, my Maid will swear to.

Ryan. My Lord with humble Submission, what's the Reason he should know particular Marks of me, before three more? with humble Submission my Lord, why does he know me?

F. Smith. I know you by your Voice, your Nose, your black Hair, by your laying so violently upon me (for I was cover'd all over with Blood) I know you by your Boldness, and your strutting Manner.

Ryan. My Lord, with humble Submission, that Fellow will swear that a Cow is a Jack-ass. With humble Submission, you must understand the Evidence; I don't know what they are, not I, the Thief-takers instruct them for the sake of the Reward, - and that's every Thing.

F. Smith. He clapp'd a Pistol to my Head in the Field, and bid me lye down; then they bound us; they ty'd my Hands behind me with a strong penny Cord, and my Legs they fasten'd up to my Hands. Before they bound me, they pull'd off my Coat and Waistcoat and Shoes. I don't know the Day of the Month this was done, but my Wife does.

S. Smith. 'Twas the 8th of this last December.

Q Would you ask the Witnesses any Questions?

Ryan. With humble Submission, he swears so much, that I don't know what to ask him.

Joseph Nash . One of them jump'd out of a Ditch and stopp'd the Cart; they turn'd the Fore-horse, and swore if I stirr'd they would shoot me as I sat on the Copses of the Cart. 'Twas that Man (Ryan) that turn'd the Horse.

Ryan. With humble Submission, inform your self what this Fellow has sworn, - and these Evidences.

Nash. I swear you abus'd my Master, and pull'd his coat off, and he, hope (help'd) to pull it off. I lost 22 d. in Money, and my Hat and my Knife. There was four of them, and they all jump'd out of the Ditch upon me.

Ryan. You swore before Justice De Viel, that I was the first Man that knock'd you down.

Terence O'Bryan . James Ryan , Hugh Macmahon , John Macdonald , Francis Dun and I, met this same Man in the High Road, between Tottenham and the quarter House, in Hampstead Road : we stopp'd his Cart, and got the Man down, and took a Shilling and some Brass, about 16 d. in all from him, as far as I can understand, that same Hugh Macmahon, and John Macdonald went into the Cloth that cover'd the Cart, stripp'd it off, and took a Pocket from the Woman; then they made the Man and the Woman come out of the Cart, they took the Man's Coat, and the Woman's Pocket; I can't justly tell whether they took any Cloaths from the Woman 'till they came to the Field; but there they took her Handkerchief, her Cloak, her Gown, her Apron, and her Shoes. There was James Ryan , Hugh Macmahon , John Macdonald at present -

Ryan. At present, - Hah!

O'Bryan. I was there in Company at present my Lord, the Handkerchief was found on Ryan, and the Gown on Ellen Coleman , that goes under the Name of Ryan's Wife. That very same Night I came into Ryan's Room, and he delivered the Cloth Coat to her to pawn; and the Gown he gave to her, I cannot justly say whether I told her the Things were stole or not.

Q. Was you there when the Things were deliver'd to Coleman?

O'Bryan. Yes, my Lord, and the same Time we all went to one Lacey's House to drink. Coleman knew it was on the same subject it was, - when she receiv'd the Things, and she knew we could come by them no other Way but by robbing on the High-way.

Macmahon. Please your Lordship, ask how long he has known me in this Country?

O'Bryan. About Three Months before he was taken up.

Macmahon. Very well: where, (with Submission) did you know me first?

O'Bryan. Not in Ireland, but in France. I became acquainted with you in this Country at London: the first Time I saw you was at Ryan's Room.

Macmahon. Very well, please the Honourable Court, he lodged over against my Room in Newtoner's-Lane; and the first Time I ever saw him was at Gravesend. The whole Court and your Lordship will all know by and by, that I will prove this Man to be a Perjury [perjur'd] before the whole Court. On what Occasion did I become acquainted with you?

O'Bryan. I was at Ryan's Room, on the same Intention, to go a robbing on the Highway.

Macmahon. Did I ask you, or did you ask me?

Ryan. My Lord, with humble Submission, - he is very capable of swearing, - pray how long have you known me?

O'Bryan. I knew Ryan in the same Regiment that I was in, about four Years ago, and about three Quarters of a Year ago, he went to get Recruits for the same Regiment. He was in Garrison with me in the French King's Service at St. Omers.

Ryan. With humble Submission, my Lord, how came he to have Access to my Room, - out and in, above any other?

Eunace Newman . I can only swear this is my Cloak; my Mistress put it on when she went out.

Owen Griffith . I had a Warrant to apprehend Ryan and several others, for Robberies on the Highway, and Eleanor Coleman for receiving stolen Goods. Ryan was taken in Rag-Fair, in Company with others, upon him we found a Handkerchief, ('twas here produced) 'twas taken from him at Colonel Williamson's: I can't swear positively this is the very same which was then taken from him; because it was left in the Colonel's Custody all Night, but 'tis like it, and if it is the same there is the Colonel's Seal upon it.

S. Smith. This very Handkerchief they took off my Neck in the Field.

Griffith. It was left with Colonel Williamson, who is Governor of the Tower all Night, and I received it from him seal'd.

Col. Williamson. This Handkerchief was taken from Ryan in my Presence, and these Buckles were taken out of his Shoes; this Hat was took

from him too, in my Presence. I lock'd them up in my Scrutore all Night, then I seal'd them, and deliver'd them to the Constable.

Griffith. After the Governor had committed Ryan to Newgate, I took Coleman in Custody on a different Warrant for receiving Goods stolen; so we brought her to the Round House to be examin'd. Next Day when we came to Newgate, Colonel Deacon inform'd us, that the Cloak on Coleman's Back was the same that was taken from Smith; accordingly I went to the Round House and took it from her, and here it is.

Eunace Newman. This is my Cloak, the same I lent my Mistress.

Ryan's Defence. With humble Submission, my Lord, 'tis all false that they have sworn about the Handkerchief and the Hat, and the Governor of the Tower. Inform your self how she lost them, and who took them from her.

C. Why she says you took them from her.

Ryan. 'Tis a cursed Lie, with humble Submission; my Moan is, - shall this Woman here, (meaning Coleman) answer for this? I tell you, - I don't deny but I have been a Transgressor, but that's no Reason an innocent Person should lose her Life by the Liar and the Perjuror. I don't deny but I have been a Transgressor, and by the Grace of God I shall suffer.

Macmahon's Defence. When I came over from France, and got to Gravesend, I met this O'Bryan, he had Six Men with him, which he was carrying into the French Service. This was Two Days before Allhallontide, he went on toward France, and I came to London, with two young Fellows in my Company. There is one Garvey can justify that he lent half a Guinea in France or Flanders, about 14 or 15 Days after I parted with him, yet the Man swears I did these Things. Lord! see what difference there is in the Man's Talk. The Woman he lent the Money too, keeps the Horse-shoe and Magpye in Drury-Lane. I hope you'll look into his Manners, - why, and how he is striving to take my Life away, because I have no Friends to stand by me.

Ellen Coleman . Ask him how he came acquainted with me.

O'Bryan. I became acquainted with her in Flanders.

Coleman. Examine him over again, my Lord, pray examine him over again. I am a poor Woman, and have serv'd the Counsellors in Lincolns-Inn and Chancery-Lane, and several of the Council now in the Court with Flowers very honestly.

Ryan. What she has done was by my Order, I am her Husband: I don't know any Robbery she has committed.

Ryan and Macmahon Guilty . Death .

Coleman. Guilty . Felony.

[Transportation. See summary.]

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