John Richardson, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 6th July 1737.

Reference Number: t17370706-8
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
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9. John Richardson , was indicted (with John Lovell , not taken) for assaulting John Cuttings , on the King's Highway, in the Parish of St. Mary Whitechappel , putting him in Fear, &c. and taking from him a Hat, value 5 s. April 28 .

John Cuttings. On the 23d of April, between 3 or 4 o'Clock in the Morning, I was attack'd in Goodman's fields , by three Men. One of them took fast hold of my Collar, and clapp'd something to my Breast, and cry'd - d - mn your Blood, you're a dead Man. I immediately struck him a Blow under his left Jaw, which beat him from me; but I lost my Hat, and Wilson the Evidence says, that he (himself) was the Man that took it from me. I cry'd out, Fire, - Fire - Thieves - Thieves, and follow'd them down the back Street, but there was no body to stop them: so gave over the Pursuit. I know none of them: I cannot swear to the Prisoner; I only can say, I lost my Hat, and a small Stick I had in my Hand.

James Wilson . On the 23d of April in the Morning, the Prisoner and I, and Lovell committed this Robbery: We had been walking all Night, and could meet with nothing to the Purpose, but about 3 o'Clock we stopp'd Mr. Cuttings. I clapp'd my Pistol to his Breast, gave him a Blow and collar'd him. He resisted, but I twitched his Stick out of his Hand, and said, it was very hard to stop a Man and rob him of nothing but a Stick, so I took his Hat off, and left him my own. Then he cry'd out, Fire, - Thieves, and we were all obliged to run off. The Hat is here in Court, but I can't take upon me to swear 'tis the same I took from Cuttings, because the Lining and the Loops are gone. We got a Woman to sell the Hat for us, and she happen'd into a Shop were Cuttings was telling of the Robbery; so she came back again with it, and would have nothing to do in the Affair. Then I gave it to a Woman I live with sometimes, and she sold it for us to Irish Peg; we were all equally concerned, and the Money was divided among us. They all assisted in the Robbery, and were all up with him as well as I.

Prisoner. I never saw him in my Life, before Mr Harris the Thief-taker took me up.

Wilson. We have been several Times in Company together: Here's a Gentleman that saw the Prisoner and I together the Morning after Cuttings was robb'd.

John Kisby . The other Woman had the Hat in her Lap to sell, but she returned with it frighted, and deliver'd it again to Wilson, telling him she would have nothing to do with it, and that she had heard a Gentleman talk about his being robb'd of a Hat, therefore she would not be concerned: So Wilson took it from her, and deliver'd it to a Woman with a blind Eye. I have seen the Prisoner drinking with this very Man. (Wilson)

Q. Have you seen them together before or after the Robbery?

Kisby. I believe it was after.

Q. Have you seen them more than once together?

Kisby. I think I have; but how many Times I cannot tell.

Q. (To Cuttings.) Is that your Hat? Do you know it again?

Cuttings. 'Tis like my Hat, but I can't swear to it now: They have taken the Lining out, and cut the Loops off. I described it, all through Rosemary-lane and Rag-fair, and I understand the Woman that first had the Hat to Sell, came into one of the Shops where I was telling the People about it.

Harris, Constable. I took the Prisoner and carried him before Justice Poulson, there he own'd he saw Lovell and Wilson stop Mr. Cuttings; he said, he went up to them, and told them, 'twas a barbarous Thing to use a Gentleman in that Manner they used him.

Prisoner. That Harris swears my Life away for the Sake of the Reward. Guilty . Death .

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