Richard Holmes, George Violent Theft > highway robbery, 24th October 1753.

Reference Number: t17531024-47
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishment: Death
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494, 495. (M.) Richard Holmes and George

French , were indicted for that they, in a certain field, or open place, near the King's highway, upon Henry Ripping did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and one hat, val. 2 s. the property of the said Henry, from his person did steal, take and carry away , October 4 .*

Henry Ripping. I am an officer of the Excise ; on the 4th of October, about eleven o'clock at night, as I was coming home from duty the two prisoners came behind me in Middle Moorfields , the prisoner French knock'd me down with an oak stick, the prisoner Holmes was a pretty way off; as soon as I received the blow, I call'd out, Murderers ! Thieves! Highwaymen! then they took my hat and ran away. After they as taken the prisoner Holmes said, I was beholden to him, for French had sharpen'd a knife to cut my throat, but only he begg'd him not to kill me; the knife is here in court, they said they had sold the hat for one shilling, and shared six-pence per piece: I am sure the prisoner French is the man that knock'd me down.

Peter Young . I saw the prisoner before the justice, and heard them both confess that this was the stick (producing one ) that the prisoner was knock'd down with, it was found near the place where the prisoner fell.

Mr. Warriner. I am the justice's clerk, I heard French confess he knock'd the man down, and own'd that to be the stick; he said, he took away the hat, and sold it to an old cloaths woman for a shilling, and shar'd the money, and that Holmes had six-pence ; Holmes said, he was in company with French, but was at a distance, and that French would have kill'd the prosecutor if he had not gone up, there is the knife in court, with which French was to have cut his throat.

The prisoners had nothing to say in their defence, but Holmes call'd the following persons to his character.

Susannah Goater . I have known him 18 or 19 years, he always bore a very honest character.

William Barton . I have known him ever since he came from sea; he has a very good character.

Joseph Winepress . I have known the prisoner about two months, since he came from sea, he always had the character of a very honest man.

James Williams . I have known him about 8 weeks, I never saw any thing but that he was a very sober well-behav'd man.

French guilty , Holmes Acquitted .

[Death. See summary.]

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