John Albin, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 6th September 1739.
432. John Albin was indicted for assaulting Ann Price and Hannah Prior , in a certain Field, and open Place near the King's Highway, putting them in fear, and taking a Gold Ring, val. 18 s. and 17 s. in Money, the Property of John Price , from the Person of Ann his Wife ; and a brass Ring. val. an Halfpenny, and 2 s. 6 d. in Money , the Property of Thomas Prior , from the Person of Hannah his Wife, May 21 .
Ann Price. On the 21st of May last, Mrs. Prior and I were coming from Kilburn towards London, between Three and Four o'Clock in the Afternoon, and the Prisoner met us about two or three Fields from Mary-bone : He came in at one End of the Field, and we come in at the other. The Minute I saw him, I had a Dread upon me that he would rob us; for he came on with a sauntering Pace, and had a Stick in his Hand:
I said to Mrs. Prior, - we shall certainly be robb'd! No, said she, I hope not, - pray take Courage. When the Prisoner came up to us, I call'd out, - Tom Prior, Tom Prior (which is Mrs. Prior's Husband's Name) - you sha'n't go abroad with us any more, if you must stay behind to look Birds-nests. Mr Prior was not with us, but I said this, that the Prisoner might imagine he was not far off; and upon this he pass'd by us, and went about twenty or thirty Yards beyond us; then he turn'd about and follow'd us, and when he overtook us, he said, - Aye, God damn you, Madam, I'll give you something besides Birds-nests, and immediately he put his right Hand into his left Side-pocket, and pulled out a Pistol of a very uncommon Size, and clapp'd it to my left Breast, crying damn you, Madam, your Money and Rings. I had none but my Wedding ring, which I pull'd off, and told him, I had no other, except that, which was my Wedding-ring, and he should have it; when he had got it, he still kept his Pistol to my Breast, and stamping with his Foot on the Ground, he cry'd, - d-mn you, your Money; then I put my Hand into my Pocket, and pull'd out about seven Shillings, some Half-pence, and a Cork-screw, which he threw at me again. After this, he stamp'd again, and said to Mrs. Prior, - And D-mn you, Madam, your Money: I saw her give him some Money, but how much I cannot tell. All the while he was demanding Mrs. Prior's Money, and taking it from her, he kept the Pistol to my Breast; and when he had got what he could, he said, - Now, damn you, go on, and you'll meet two more presently; this struck such a Terror into us, than we ran out of the Path way, a-cross the Fields, and over two or three Ditches, to a Farm-house, kept by one Mr. Francis, and when we got there, we were ready to die. I never saw the Prisoner before that Time, but I am positive he is the Man. He was taken up for another Robbery, and I went to see him in Newgate, and knew him immediately: He has got a Wig on now, but he had none when he robb'd us; his Hat was flapp'd, and he had a Bough which he play'd about in his Mouth. When I saw him in Newgate, he abus'd me, and call'd me several Bitches, when he found I knew him.
Thomas Adams , a Constable of Pancras. I had a Warrant brought me from Mr. Deveil, against the Prisoner, by Mr. Griffin, on Suspicion of breaking open his Shop, and stealing a Parcel of Books. I took him (I think) on the 9th of August, in his Father's Hay-loft, at Tottenham-Court, pretty near the Turnpike, where I found him hid behind the Hay. I did not know any thing of this Robbery then, nor have I had any Discourse with him concerning it since. He made no Confession of any Kind to me; but he seem'd to be under a great Surprize when I took him, and made but little Resistance.
This Witness inform'd the Court, that Hannah Prior was taken with an Apoplectick Fit the Day before this Trial came on; and that he call'd at her House, as he came to the Court, and found her but just alive.
Prisoner. I have no Witnesses to call. I never did any such thing in my Life; and 'tis hard to take away my Life for nothing at all. I never was guilty of such a thing, as God's my Saviour, and you my Judge. Guilty , Death .