Elizabeth Fox, Priscilla Mahon, John Elvar, Violent Theft > robbery, 16th January 1741.

Reference Number: t17410116-17
Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
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18, 19, 20 Elizabeth Fox , Priscilla Mahon , alias Trilcourt , and John Elvar , of St. Martin in the Fields , were indicted for that they on the 23d of October last, in the dwelling-House of a Person unknown, on William Layton , in the Peace, &c. did make an Assault, and him in Fear, &c. did put, and 5 Portugal Pieces, val. 9 l and 1 Portugal Piece, val. 18 s. the Money of the said William Layton , from the Person, against the Will of the said William, did steal, &c .

William Layton . As I was going down the Hay-market, the 23d of October, between 7 and 8 o'Clock, the Prisoner Fox came up to me; I said Mistress it is a very cold Night, and she said a Dram wou'd do very well, and if I would go with her we might have a Dram of very good Rum just by; I told her I did not care, if I could get a Dram of that which was good, but I belived it would come to neither of our Shares. I went with her to this House , and Mabon followed us in, and when we had drank 3 Quarterns, I would have come out, and was got to the Door for that Purpose , but Fox and Mabon siezed me, and broke a little Stick which I had in my Hand ; they struck and punched me, and made my Cheeks bleed; - the Blood is now to be seen on my Coat: I asked the Man who went for Landlord, what was the Meaning of all this; for they had almost got the Money out of my Pocket, and I said I would send them to the Round-house; upon that the Landlord curs'd them and seemed to take my Part, and desired me to come in and set by the Fire. I went in and staid some Time and there was nobody there but the Landlord, and one that went for Mistress, and the Prisoner Elvar . While I was talking with the Landlord, Richardson the Accomplice came in and call'd for Punch, and they went into another Room and would give me some Liquor; the Landlord set his Back against the Wall and poured out a Glass of red Stuff; I said I had no Money, and would not drink it, and thought somebody would come in, that I might get away; but he swore I should drink it; I ask'd him what it was. O! (says he,) it is Bitters and very wholsome. We sat talking some Time, seemingly very good natur'd, and I said, is it not Time that the Watchman should come about? for I thought to get to the Door when the Watch came by; but he said, No, No, it is not so late as you think. I began to be very uneasy, and in a little Time after they gave me another Glass, and were vastly desirous that I should drink it, but I said I had rather have a Glass of plain Gin; however I drank a little, and they insisted that I should drink it up, but I swore I would not; and as I was getting up to go away, the 3 Prisoners, Richardson and a Man that I never saw before, all rushed into the Room upon me; Richardson held my two Arms and clapp'd his Knee on my Back; - It was done in a Moment; Elvar came before me and clapp'd his right Hand on my Throat, and his Left to my Mouth - his Hand was very cold; at the same Time the two Women came up to me, one on my right Side, and the other on my Left; they put aside my Cloaths and took out of my right Hand Pocket,

my Bag in which were 5 36 s. Pieces, and an 18 s. Piece. Some how or other in the Struggle I threw one of the Men against a Settle, and made a great Racket; so when they had rifled me they all ran out of Doors; I rolled myself round, and took up my Hat, and pursued them, crying, Stop Thief and Murder! I kept them in View, and got Ground of them every Minute. At the End of the Street Mabon separated from the rest, and I desired the Watchman to take hold of them; he did take Fox but let the other go, so I took Mabon myself to the Watch-House. In a little Time afterwards, the Watchmen found Elvar in the House, and brought him to the Watch-House to the others.

Mabon . Ask him whether the Men or the Women pick'd his Pocket?

Layton. Elvar was the first that laid hold of me, and I am sure the Women rifled me; I had five of them on me at a Time.

Elvar . Was it the Man who passed for Landlord that put his Hand to your Throat, or me?

Layton. Elvar put his Hand on me and very cold it was.

Elvar . Who put his Knee on your Back?

Layton . I take it to be Richardson .

Mabon . Ask him who broke his Stick?

Layton . The 2 Women did, as I was going away.

Tho Richardson . On the 23d of October about half an Hour past Ten at Night, as I was going down the Hay-Market, I met Elvar knocking at the Street Door, the corner of Coventry-Court , with a white Tea Cup in his Hand; he told me my Betty, (whom I believe is my Wife) Priscilla Mahon and John Mabon were within Doors.

Mabon . This is the Man that the Prosecutor says held him back.

Richardson . When I went in, Elvar told me they were in the Back Room; I went in to them, and they told me that while the old Man ( Layton ) was busie with the Women, one of them had pick'd his Pocket, and he catch'd them at it, and took the Money from them directly. They told me they had given him a Potion of Liquid Laudanum to make him quiet; the Women told me this first in the Back-Room, and when I went into the Fore-Room, Elvar told me the same, and that they were so much in a Hurry that the first Draught had no Effect, but that Cup which I met him with at the Door was a second Potion for him. I saw the old Man was in a Hurry to go away, and then John Mabon and Elvar told the Women in the Back-Room he would go, and said they (the Women) must pick a Quarrel with him, and they would come out to assist them: Accordingly the two Men ran out of the Back-Room first, the two Women followed and siezed the Countryman as he sat in his Chair. The Prisoner Elvar laid hold of him by the Throat, and stopp'd his Mouth with his Coat Sleeve, because he should not make a Noise in the House, and John Mabon bent him backwards; then Priscilla Mabon open'd his Buckskin Breeches and took Money in a Canvass Bag, out of his right Hand Pocket. When this was done, they made the best of their Way into the Court, and on Mr. Layton's crying out, Murder! Stop Thief! the two Women were taken by the Watch, and carried to the Round house.

Mabon . Ask him on his Oath, whether he was not the Man that put his Knee against Layton's Back?

Richardson. I was not in the Room then, but on the Threshold of the Door with the Door in my Hand.

Mabon . What Time of Night was it?

Richardson. I believe it was a little after Eleven when the Thing was done; - they made a Noise and sung the Countryman some Songs, that he might not hear the Watch pass by.

Elvar. Did I ever give him any Liquor?

Richardson. Elvar fill'd the second Glass, and it turn'd the Liquor brown.

Elvar. I desire the Prosecutor may be asked whether I was out of the Room?

Layton. Yes, I believe he was out once, if not twice.

Elvar . Did not we drink of the same Liquor as you?

Layton . No, they did not drink of the red Liquor; the Landlord touch'd it with his Lips, and fill'd the Glass up to me again. It swell'd me up very much, but it pleased God I cast it up in the Watch-House.

Tho . Williams. I was Watchman at that Time in St. Martin's Parish, and just after I had called the Hour of Eleven, this Layton cryed, Stop Thief! in the Hay Market , and was running after the two Women; I stopp'd Fox, but the other ran down the Street and Layton after her; I deliver'd Fox to my Partner who came to my Assistance, and then went after Mabon and brought her to the Watch-House. The Prosecutor said there were 3 Men concerned, one of them he described to be a short well set Man, another a little Man in a light Wig and a light Coat, and the other a tall Man in a brown Coat. By this Description we went to the House and took Elvar ; we knocked at the Back Door and it was open'd, and we found him in the House; - the House has no Landlord in it long, for the People are here to Day, and gone To-Morrow.

Salathiel Gardiner . I am a Watchman: On the 23d of October, about half an Hour after 11 at Night, I heard the Countryman cry, Stop Thief! and at the End of Oxendon-Street, he took hold of the little Woman; she was running away at the same Time, and Mabon was with her.


Mabon . I drank a Share of three Quarterns of Brandy with the Prosecutor; and then he left our Company, and went into the Fore Room, where he quarrell'd with the Landlord; I can't tell what was the Reason of the Quarrel, but he cry'd, Murder! and the Woman of the House said to us, Girls, run away, for the Watch will take you. No Watchman took me, but Mr. Layton himself.

Fox. The Men were quarrelling, and the Woman of the House bid us run away, for the Watch would charge us. Ask the Prosecutor, how he could see the Person that robb'd him, being held in that Manner?

Layton. I could, and did see them; Richardson pinion'd me back, and the little Woman, (Fox) came to my Right Hand Pocket, and took my Money.

Mahon . Two People could not pick his Pocket at once.

Layton. I believe the Little One took my Money; but they were both at my Pocket together.

Elvar. I was in the House, and saw them quarrelling; but as to Money, I never saw any, nor ever was near the Prosecutor to lay Hands on him, during the Time he was in the House. When the Quarrel began, I was at one Door, and the People ran out at the other, and Layton pursu'd them.

Elizabeth Holford . I have known Mahon from an Infant, and never knew but that she maintain'd clear Character.

Margaret Cooper . I have known Mahon a Dozen Years, and never knew No Ill by her; but she always did that which was handsome.

- Burnet . I have known her Three Years, and never heard a bad Character of her in my Life.

Susan Jones . I have known Elvar six Years, and he never wrong'd Man , Woman, or Child, in his Life. When the Accomplice was taken up, I went to see him in the Gatehouse, and he told me Elvar was Innocent , and he could, and would clear him. I keep a public Shop and a House of Lodgings, and always took him to bear a good Character.

Mary Philips . I have known him from an Infant, and never heard any Ill of him, till this happen'd.

Sarah Murray . I have known him from a Child, and he always behav'd well.

Mary Pill . I lodged over-against his Mother she kept a Shop for a great many Years, and brought her Children up in a very handsome Manner. The Prisoner had a Fit of Illness, and being Poor, was oblig'd to take up with this Place, till he could get another.

Elvar. Richardson has another Wife living now.

Richardson . I was married to this Woman, (Fox) at the Fleet: I was drunk, and paid the Parson 2 s. but I have another Wife living, and my Daughter is in Court.

All Guilty . Death .

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