Robert Ramsey.
14th October 1741
Reference Numbert17411014-4
VerdictsGuilty; Guilty
SentencesDeath; Death

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5. Robert Ramsey , of St. Andrew's Holborn , was indicted for stealing a pair of silver candlesticks, value 3 l. a pair of silver snuffers and stand, value 30 s. a silver coffee-pot, value 6 l. and a silver sugar-caster, value 30 s. the goods of Robert Glyn , in his dwelling-house ; Aug. 24 .

Mr. Robert Glyn . I live in Hatton-Garden . I went out of town in August last for about ten days, and left my house and the plate mentioned in the indictment in the custody of several servants. I returned to town on the 24th of August, and found that I had been robbed. I know nothing more.

Thomas Colby . On the 24th of August last, about seven o'clock in the morning, I saw the prisoner and the evidence at Mr. Glyn's door. The prisoner went into the house, and was in for the space of two or three minutes. I saw him come out again with something wrapped up in a red handkerchief: It was of a large bulk, but what it was I can't tell. I was opposite to the house, in Hatton-Garden.

Q. Did you know the prisoner before?

Colby. I have seen him go up the same street several mornings before.

Q. Look at him now: Is that the man you saw go into Mr. Glyn's house?

Colby. Yes, I am sure of it.

Q. Had he any thing in his hand when he went in?

Colby. No, nothing at all. The door appeared to me to be shut, but he took hold of the knocker of the door, and it opened, and he went in.

Prisoner. What time was this?

Colby. About seven in the morning.

Prisoner. You say you saw me go into the house; on your oath, had I a bundle in my hand or not?

Colby. No, you had not.

Prisoner. What was it tied up in?

Colby. It was in a red handkerchief.

Prisoner. How did I go in? - Repeat that again.

Colby. You went up one side of the street, and your brother on the other, and passed the door. You afterwards came back, and went both up to the door together; your brother stood on the step, and you went up to the door.

Prisoner. You say you was on the opposite side of the way; how then can you swear to me?

Colby. I have seen you several times before.

Prisoner. Did I never come to have my wig combed out at your shop?

Colby. Yes, before this, but never afterwards.

Mr. Glyn's maid. I went out to change a guinea, and left my master's door a-jar ; it was on the 24th of August about seven in the morning. I went to change a guinea at a grocer's in Holbourn, and I turned back and could see this man (the prisoner's brother) beckoning to my master's door. I said to the grocer, who can that gentleman be that is beckoning so to our door! he said I need not be surprised, and then I saw the prisoner come from the door with a bundle in a silk handkerchief. I was vastly concerned because I knew the door was left a jar. The prisoner came out and smil'd at his brother who stood at the step of the door, and they crossed Holbourn as fast as they could, and when I went in I found the door not as I left it, and the parlour and beauset doors both open. I called to my fellow servant and ask'd him if he had medd led with the plate, and he said he had not.

Q. How did you find the house at your return?

Mr. G.'s maid. I left the door as close as it could be without locking , and when I returned it was wider, and the parlour and beauset doors wide open: I had cleaned the rooms just before, and I am sure they were shut then.

Prisoner. You say you saw me come out with a handkerchief!

Mr. G.'s maid. I saw you yourself, and you are the man.

Q. What colour was the handkerchief?

Mr. G.'s maid. I believe it was a reddish colour and some white in it.

Prisoner. Did you see me go in?

Mr. G.'s maid. No, but I saw you come out.

Prisoner. You say you seemed to express some fear to your neighbour, why then did you not call some assistance to help you?

Mr. G.'s maid. Because I had an honest heart and you had not.

Prisoner. A very honest heart indeed to let a man escape with your master's plate.

William Mitchel . I am footman to Mr. Glynn , and was in the parlour about half an hour after 6 o'clock on the 24th of August, and I saw a coffee pot, a pair of silver candlesticks, snuffers and stand, and a sugar castor, and likewise a little candlestick for a wax candle which was not taken with the rest. I was at the kitchen door when my fellow servant went out, and I put my hand against the parlour door and found that it was fast.

Prisoner. You say you are positive this plate was there!

Mitchel. Yes, I am.

John Ramsey . My brother and I committed this robbery. On the 24th of August we went into Hatton-Garden : He on one side of the way and I on the other, and I saw Mr. Glynn's door a-jar. I acquainted him with it, and we turn'd back. He went in and brought out part of the plate in his handkerchief and part in his pocket: - It was an India handkerchief and some white in it, and the plate he brought out was the same that Mr. Glynn speaks of.

C. What employment are you?

Ramsey . I serv'd my time to a snuff box maker; and the prisoner is a chymist, but we went out upon these designs. When my brother had got these things, he cross'd the way, and gave me a coffee pot, and one candlestick. We then cross'd Holbourn and went down Shoe Lane: I went home with the things that he had given me, and he followed in a short time with the rest. When I got home I took the coat of arms out of the coffee pot, and I sold part of them to a silversmith: - There were not coats of arms on all of them.

Q. Who were they sold to?

Ramsey . I sold the candlestick, snuffers and stand to this man Mr. Lee, for 5 s. 4 d. an ounce, and I carried the money to my brother. The coffee pot was sold 2 or 3 days afterwards to another person, but I did not see it sold. The castor I broke to pieces and sold to divers silversmiths. He gave me five and twenty shillings for defacing the arms, and the castor I sold unknown to him and told him it was stopp'd.

Prisoner. Why did you make yourself an evidence?

Ramsey . I was persuaded to it.

Prisoner. Have you never declared that some of these matters which you have now spoken of were the whole truth? - your brother's life is at stake; for God's sake speak nothing but the truth.

Ramsey . I have declared the whole truth.

Prisoner. Did you never declare that part of what you have now said was false?

Ramsey . No, I never did.

Q. Did you give the Prisoner the money that these things were sold for?

Ramsey . He had the money at the rate of five shillings an ounce.

- Lee . This John Ramsey came into my shop on the 24th of August, and brought a pair of silver candlesticks, snuffers and stand: I put them into the scale and asked him what he must have an ounce? he said 5 s. 4 d. and told me he did not understand them, and desired me if they were worth more to give it him. I said, that was the full market price, but I had not cash enough in the house, so I ask'd him to change me a bank note of 20 l. he could not, and I left him in my shop half an hour while I was gone to get it changed.

Q. Had you ever seen him before?

Lee. I had seen him about the beginning of August, and he ask'd me if I bought old silver. He pulled out about half an ounce and asked me what I gave an ounce for old plate? I asked him what it was? and he told me an old lady was dead in the country and had left him some plate for a legacy, and he would dispose of it or change it: I told him I should be very proud to serve him in either way, and as he appeared like a gentleman I really thought the things had been his own.

Joseph Clifton. John Ramsey sold the bottom of a castor to me and I gave him 5 s. per ounce for it: I can't say exactly the time but it was after the 24th of August.


Prisoner. May it please your lordship: I shall call a few witnesses to prove my character and my manner of life, and to contradict part of what the evidence has said, and I hope you will observe how inconsistent one circumstance is with another. I call John Williams to prove that my brother express'd a sorrow for what he had done.

John Williams . I went last Friday to see John Ramsey in the Gate-house: I had him into a room, and we had a pot of beer, and he told me he was very sorry and was forced to do that which was not true.

Q. What conversation passed between you?

Williams . I ask'd him how this happen'd to come about, and he told me his brother and he were abroad together.

Prisoner. Did not he declare that what he had said was an untruth ?

Williams. He told me twice that he had said more than he should have said.

Q. How came you to go to talk with him?

Williams. I happen'd to see it in the news papers, and the prisoner desired me to talk to him about it, and he told me in general that what he had said was more than truth.

Robert Williams . There happened a quarrel between the prisoner and his brother about some money

which was at the head of the prisoner's bed: that money being lost in making the bed, the prisoner laid it to his brother's charge, upon which John Ramsey came to me, and desired me to make it up for him with his brother: upon which I bid John Ramsey desire his brother to come to me about an affair that had happened to me. This was on a Thursday, and the Monday following, John Ramsey came to me and told me he had desired his brother to come to me, and if he would not make it up he would be revenged on him if he was sure to damn his soul, or words to that effect. I was then at work in the garret and I went down in my shirt into my one pair of stairs room, and staid with him a matter of two or three hours. This was about a fortnight before the prisoner was charged with this fact. As to the prisoner's character, I never heard (any) harm, nor knew none (any) by him 'till now, but he always behaved like a gentleman, and followed his practice. I was told he had very pretty practice.

Richard Swift . The prisoner lodged in my house six weeks, about 5 months ago, and behaved very well: he had it in his power to wrong me and never did.

Mary Swift . I know nothing of the fact, but the prisoner lodged in our house 5 or 6 weeks. I keep a house in New-street and never lock'd up any thing at all from him, and never lost any thing .

Mary Williams . Robert Williams my husband is a looking glass polisher, and the prisoner was his school-fellow. I never saw or knew any harm by him. The prisoner's brother told my husband of the quarrel about the money, and that he had said a great many words in his passion that he was sorry for, and desired my husband to make it up between them, for they never had such a quarrel in their lives; and he swore bitterly if he did not make it up, he would he revenged on him, or it should be worse for him .

Sarah Immins . I have known the prisoner to lodge in Mr. Swift's house, and took him to be a very honest man.

Prisoner . I hope you will please to take into consideration the evidence upon the whole. As he has told these people he would be revenged on me, I hope (gentlemen) you will consider how far his words are to be credited. He is taken up over night, and next morning charges me with these things; you will please to observe , upon cool reflection, he is sorry for what he has done. I hope you will likewise consider that my business was sufficient to maintain me in an auent way , above the reach of the world. You will please to observe there is a small contradiction with respect to the 2d witness: she swears it was a red and white handkerchief , and another says it was a red one. The evidence likewise says he sold the plate : if I had had any hand in it I certainly should have sold it myself; and he also says he sunk the money for the castor : these improbabilities all considered together will (I hope) determine in my favour, and that you will be of the opinion that they have grounded their evidence entirely on what he has said. It is a very hard case to be sure, and when people lose their goods the persons that take them ought to suffer, but I hope you will take it in consideration that I had not these goods with which I stand charged.

John Ramsey . As to what these people have said, I never said any such thing: only that I was very sorry to be an evidence against my own brother, and that I was persuaded to it.

Prisoner. Was you not in private with the justice, and was you not threatned by him?

Ramsey . The justice had me into a room by himself, but what I have sworn is very true.

The jury found the prisoner guilty ; Death .

He was again indicted for stealing 2 silver spoons, a pair of silver tea tongs , a silver tea spoon, a silver strainer, a silver tea spoon double gilt, a silver tea pot, and a silver cream pot; the goods of Thomas Griffith in the house of John Harrison in the parish of St. George the Martyr , July 20 .

Mary Griffith . We lost the goods mentioned in the indictment out of Mr. Harrison's house, in little Orange-street , about the middle of July last. These now produced are part of them.

John Ramsey . I was present when my brother went into a house in little Orange-street and took these goods. I saw him go into the house and he brought out these things and carried them to his lodgings. I sold the cream pot myself to a silversmith in Fleet Street.

Prisoner. Ask Mrs. Griffith if those are her property.

Mrs. Griffith . Yes; this I bought of Mr. Godfrey that is dead and gone.

Prisoner. One thing may be like another , Madam.

Mrs. Griffith . It is remarkable enough, for here is the hall mark. All the things they took had no coats of arms on them.

Prisoner. I call this first witness to my character; I lodged at his house fifteen months.

- Havingdon . The Prisoner lodged in my house 15 months and upwards, and behaved himself in a very handsom, decent way. I gave him warning because he kept company with a woman, and I would not have any such lodgers in my house, but he never defrauded me of any thing. I have trusted him with the keys of every thing while I have been out of town a week together, and he never wrong'd me.

John Williams and Robert Williams deposed to the same effect as in the former trial.

- Cow . I happened to be in company with John Ramsey this week, and he said, if what had been done had not been done, he would have taken it on himself, and he seemed to intimate that he was forced to it, and was sorry for what he had done.

Prisoner . I shall submit it to your lordship and the gentlemen of the jury, from the character that has been given him, how far his oath is to be taken. Guilty Death .

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