John Brown, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 3rd September 1746.

Reference Number: t17460903-36
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Not Guilty
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321. John Brown was indicted for assaulting Mordecai Levy , and Mordecai Abraham , Jews , and taking from one a Knife, and the other Sixpence, on the King's Highway , near Brentford , on the 5th of August .

Q. (to Abraham) What have you to say against the Prisoner at the Bar?

Abraham. I was going from London to Brentford on the 5th of August; I met the Prisoner about a Quarter of a Mile from Brentford; he had two more in Company with him.

Q. Did any Body stop you?

Abraham. The Prisoner begins with me, what have you got there? I told him nothing.

Court. You say you had got nothing, and you had the Box under your Arm.

Abraham. I keep my Box fast, he strived to get my Box from me and he did break open the Cover under my Arm.

Q. What did he take out?

Abraham. A Clasp Knife.

Q. Of what Value ?

Abraham. About 6 d. or 7 d. after this he began to strike me, he pull'd me down to the Ground; my Partner bid me run to the Publick-House, which is the Green-Dragon.

Q. Was you so near to him that you could hear him tell you to go into the Publick-House ?

Abraham. Yes.

Court. Then the three Men did not meddle with him.

Abraham. No. So we got away from all the three Men and they follow'd us into the Green-Dragon, and began to strike me again, and quarrel'd also with the Person of the House; When the Landlady said she would not draw them any Beer, they said they would kill her and break all the Things to Pieces.

Q. Did you send for the Constable.

Abraham. No; you shall hear the Story out.

Court. We have heard it from you; and the strangest Story that ever was heard.

Abraham. So after this he says to me, let me have your Box; in the House he bid me give him what I had about me.

Q. And did you give it to him?

Abraham. I said I had none.

Court. This is a Robbery in the House; not upon the Highway.

Abraham. My Lord, on the Highway he robb'd me of a Knife, and in the House he wanted my whole Box.

Q. (to Mordecai Levy .) What Relation are you to the last Person?

Levy. I was going to Brentford with him on Tuesday the 5th; I went with him because he could not speak English: A Quarter of a Mile from Brentford three Fellows took hold of him, and ask'd what he had got there; he said nothing; you lye, you Son of a B - h, says one of them; then they knock'd him down, broke the Cover of his Box, and took out a Knife.

Q. Did they all three assist?

Levy. They knock'd him down.

Q. What did they knock him down with?

Levy. With their Hands.

Q. What did you do all that Time?

Levy. I was at a Distance; and I spoke in our Language to get to the House.

Q. Did the Person that robb'd you follow you to the House?

Levy. Yes; the Landlady ask'd what they wanted, and they bid her draw them some Beer; but she said she would not; then they gave him one Knock here and another there: They took Six-pence from me, and ask'd me if I had any more.

Q. (to James Grimson .) What do you know of this Affair?

Grimson. I am one of the Constables of Brentford; when I was inform'd of this Matter I went to the House, and said to these Jews, Pray which is the Man that robb'd you, not considering that they were all in Conjunction? and he shew'd me that the Prisoner was the Man.

Q. What did they pretend they were robb'd of?

Grimson. One of them was robb'd of a Knife and the other of Six-pence. I went up to the Man and collar'd him; and said, Friend, I am Constable and you are my Prisoner: He made some Resistance, and there was a good deal of Fighting and Quarrelling. The Prisoner acknowledg'd that he took the Knife and Six-pence; then we went to two or three Justices, but found none of them at home. The next Morning we brought him before Justice De Veil. We could not take the other two as we were not provided.

Q. (to John Harvey .) Have you any thing to say about this Affair?

Harvey. I saw these Jews crying about the Streets, they were enquiring for the Constable, and the People sending them about from one Place to another. They said they had been robb'd by three Men near the Green Dragon, one of a Knife and the other of Six-pence; I said, if you go to such a Place you will find the Constable making himself merry among some of his Friends: However I follow'd them to the Constable, who did not care for going; but I insisted upon it, and told him I would go with him; then he said he would go. We went down to the Red Lion, and says the young Jew, this is the Man; with that we seiz'd him. Then the other Fellows said, d - n you he shall not go with you; with that one of them knock'd Grimson down, and had like to have serv'd me in the same Manner; but by the Assistance of a third Person we did make shift to secure this Gentleman at the Bar.

Q. (to Abigail Partridge .) What House do you keep?

Partridge. The Green Dragon, where the two Jews came and the Prisoner at the Bar follow'd them, and swore here they be, I will lick them. They came in a riotous Manner and call'd for a Pot of Beer; I said I would not draw them any. They continued walking without Doors abusing these two Men.

Q. Do you know the Prisoner at the Bar?

Partridge. I live at Brentford and he lives at Hammersmith; he is a Brickmaker. I believe he was not a Highwayman.

Acquitted .

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