Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
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253. (M.) Robert Lake , was indicted for that he on the King's highway on William Noble , Clerk , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, one metal watch, val. 40 s. one half-guinea, and nine shillings, in money numbered, from his person did steal, take, &c . March 10 . ||
William Noble . On Friday the 10th of March, about eleven at night, on a hill called Mount Pleasant , I was attacked by three fellows armed with pistols, who threatened to murder me if I did not stand; one of them flash'd his pistol at me, another struck me on the head. I told them I was neither able nor willing to resist them, and hoped they would not use me ill: two of them held me by the arms, whilst the third rifled my pockets: they took from me my watch, and half a guinea, and about nine shillings. One of the robbers was in a white coat of the make and size of the prisoner at the bar; I saw his face very plainly more than once during the robbery, and verily believe the prisoner is the man, but I dare not positively sware to him; but this I do positively sware, that a man was coming up the hill and near us, while the robbery was committing, and the man in the white coat went to him and bid him retire, or he would beat or blow out his brains, or to that effect. I little thought to have heard any thing of the robbers; but the next day, my wife having occasion to buy something in the neighbourhood, heard that there had been a robbery committed in that place the night before: that one Perrin saw the robbery, and knew one of the robbers; he is servant to one Mr. Brumley: I sent for him; he came; I asked him, whether he had seen a robbery on the hill the night before; he said he had; I asked him, what part of the hill: he said, that part that is over against Hog-Island, which was the very place. I saw the prisoner in New prison the day after his apprehension, and I had a strong remembrance of his countenance but don't sware he is the man.
Q. Was it light or dark?
Noble. It was a moon light night and there was a lamp near the place.
John Perrin . On Friday night the 10th of March, about eleven o'clock, as I was going from Mr. Brumley's still-house to Gray's-Inn-Lane for a pint of beer, as near as I can remember, on Mount Pleasant I heard a gentleman say, take what I have got and welcome, but don't use me ill. I was got near, but drove back by the prisoner at the bar; he held a stick up to me, and said, d - n your eyes if you don't turn back again about your business, I'll knock your brains out; he was in a white duffil coat. I retired and went directly into the still-house, and there staid: I told two of our men, that had just come out of the tun from throwing off the grains of it; and that I knew one of them very well; and that the other men that was with him were rifling the gentleman they were robbing, while he came to me.
Q. How near was you to them?
Perrin. I was nearer to the prosecutor than I am now to my Lord.
Arthur Smith . I had a warrant brought to me by Mr. Noble. I went to the prisoner's house in the afternoon the 11th of March, but I did not take him till eleven at night; he was sitting on his bed undressing himself, his coat and waistcoat were off, lying on the bed; it was a white duffil coat; we found a pistol under his bolster.
Benjamin Cleyton . I was at the taking the prisoner. When we went to his house in Church-Lane, St. Giles's, his wife was crying; she said, she was going to be murdered by her husband; I push'd by the prisoner, and said, it is search night, and made up to the bed's head, there I found a pistol charged and prim'd, there was a white duffil coat lay on the bed.
The prisoner said it was all spight, and call'd Joseph Bradley , John Bennet , Walter Priest , Peter Worral , and Sarah Palmer , who lived near his Father in Chick-Lane, who spoke well of him, but could say but little of the prisoner.
Guilty , Death .