Joseph Gill, Walter Keen, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Theft > receiving, 16th January 1755.

Reference Number: t17550116-11
Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Theft > receiving
Verdicts: Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishments: Death
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58, 59. (M. 1.) Joseph Gill was indicted, for that he, together with William Bark , on the King's high-way on John Manby did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one topaz ring set with so brilliant diamonds, value 42 s. and 2 gold rings, one guinea, and 2 s. 6 d. in money, numbered , his property, Dec. 28 , and Walter Keen , otherwise Cane , for receiving the topaz ring, well knowing it to have been stolen . +

John Marly . About one o'clock in the morning on the 28th of December coming from Brook-street, by Grosvenor-square, with my wife, Mr. Baxter, a clergyman, and a youth about thirteen years, of age, to my house in St. Catharine's. When we were on Little tower-hill , about fifty yards, or rather more, from the place where we usually get out to go a nearer way home, the coach stopped; I said, you stop too quick, and looked out, there I saw the prisoner Gill holding a long horse-pistol to the coach, and said, d - n you, deliver. I saw him plain, and know it to be him; Mr. Boxter said, sir, take your pistol away, and I'll give you what I have; there was another man with the prisoner holding another pistol, which is Burk (the man that was wounded in taking of him.) I put my hand to my pocket and delivered half a crown, I can't say to which; upon which the prisoner made use of some very terrible oaths, and said he would search our pockets, and if he found any more we were dead immediately; upon which I gave him a guinea, and said, there is a guinea more, be content and go away.

Q. Was it light enough to distinguish the prisoner ?

J. Manby. It was very moon-light, and there was a lamp very near; they then made use of more oaths, and said they would search us, and opened the coach-door on that side; I then thought it was high time to make some resistance. I got out the pin and opened the door in order to get out to draw my sword, and I think the prisoner was the first man that came round, he said, d - n you, I know what you are about, I will blow your brains out, for I know I shall be hanged; he took my sword and looked at it, and threw it into the coach again, and held his pistol several minutes to my head.

Q. Had you drawn your sword ?

J. Manby. No, I had not, he swore several times d - n you, don't look at me, but I had such opportunities of seeing him, that as far as one man can swear to another, I can swear the prisoner is the man; I saw a mark under his left-eye, which he had when before the justice afterwards. He took from off my finger a topaz ring, with a brilliant on each side, and a mourning ring, and felt in my pocket, and said, d - n you, your watch, I said I had no watch; then I pulled out a stone, and said, it is nothing but a stone which I carry in my pocket for the cramp, and took it out and shewed it him, he said, d - n you, put it into your pocket again; he then took my buckles from my shoes, I am certain he was five minutes about me; he felt in my pocket where was a snuff-box, I said it was but a very ordinary one, he said, then d - n you, keep it, then he went and robbed my wife. I saw also a third man walking upon the hill looking about, and he walked after them when they went away.

Prisoner. When he saw me before justice Fielding, he said these were the cloaths I have on now which I robbed him in, but I bought them since he was robbed. I am just come from sea.

Prosecutor. I apprehend ( as much as the light could afford me assistance) that is the same coat he has on now.

Mrs. Manby. Coming home from upper Brook-street where we had spent the evening, we were stopped on Little tower-hill, a little after one o'clock; I sat forward, and saw the prisoner at the bar the length of the coach and horses distance standing with a pistol cross his arm; when the coach came opposite to where he stood; I gave a little scream, and he sprang cross the way and put his hand to the coach-window. Mr. Manby sat opposite to me, the prisoner made use of very bad oaths, that he'd blow our brains out if we did not give him our money.

Q. Are you sure it was the prisoner?

Mrs. Manby. I knew him immediately at justice Fielding's, he was the person that robbed me of a gold ring. I know him by a remarkable shake of his head.

Court. Speak only to what he took from your husband, he is now trying for that.

Mrs. Manby. When my husband was going to get out of the coach I was surprized very much, but I remember seeing the prisoner feeling in Mr. Manby's pockets, and take the buckles out of his shoes, and ring from his finger.

Mr. Baxter. Mr. Manby, his lady, and a little boy a nephew of mine, and myself, were returning from Brook-street in a coach on Saturday morning, between twelve and one. When we were on Little-tower-hill, by the ditch-side, Mrs. Manby screamed out all on a sudden. I thought the coach was going to overturn; but immediately I saw a man with a very long pistol at the coach-side. He made use of many oaths, and said he would blow our brains out, if we did not deliver immediately, and no woods, was his expression. He was immediately joined by a second; one of them put a pistol to me, and said, your money, watch, and ring, deliver them directly. I said, if he would be so good as to take the pistol on one side, he should have all I had. Then I gave him some silver, I believe no more than 2 s. He was very little satisfied, and made use of many bad expressions, and swore we must have more, and bid us come out, and said if he found any more, he would blow my brains out. He did not suffer me to get out of the coach; he put his hand into my sob and pockets, and demanded my buckles. I put my feet out of the coach one after the other, and he took them from my shoes. I had an opportunity to put my watch by, so saved that. I believe it was not the prisoner. Mr. Manby gave them money. I think, twice. I remember he said, here in a guinea for you; but don't know which he gave it to. And I think his lady gave them some. I have some reason to know the prisoner Gill by what follower afterwards. At the time Mrs. Manby and I were robbed, Mr. Manby was endeavouring to get out of the coach. I believe he had opened the door; upon which one of the men swore, and ran round, which way I know not, but I saw him on the other side, with a pistol at Mr. Manby's breast, and he pushed it forwards two or three times; I was afraid it would go off. The man kept feeling in his pockets, and took his ring from his finger, and a little stone from his pockets. After that, he took his sword from him, and looked at it, and throwed it into the coach again. As they were robbing us, they both said, don't look at us. When I was at Mr. Fielding's there was some other people examined on other accounts, and I knew nothing of the prisoner Gill's coming into the room, which was almost full of people. I had my eye towards the door, and saw him come in, and then did not know he was a prisoner. I immediately said to Mrs. Manby, that is the man that robbed us; and should I see him amongst a thousand, I should know him. The other man, that was wounded in Covent-Garden, is so much disfigured, I could know nothing of him. They had both much such sort of coats on as the prisoner has now.

Anthony Longate . I am a pawnbroker, I took this ring in pawn (producing a topaz ring) of Walter Keen, the prisoner, on the 2d of January; I lent him half a guinea on it. I asked him if it was his own? He (as I had known him six years) said, you know I don't wear such baubles. as these. He said, a gentleman of his acquaintance sent him with it. I said, when you know whose it is. Ay to be sure, that I do, said he.

Q. Did you ask him the person's name ?

A. Longate. No, I did not. I went to bed immediately, after which my wife brought up a watch, that she told me Keen and Gill had brought; I let her lend a guinea on it.

Q. What time was this?

A. Longate. It was between nine and ten o'clock.

Q. to Mr. Manby. Look at this ring.

Mr. Manby. This is the topaz ring I lost at the time mentioned.

Q. to Longate. How long after the ring was brought was it that the watch was brought?

A. Longate. It was not half a quarter of an hour.

Elizabeth Longate . I am wife to the last evidence; on the 2d of January, Walter Keen brought a man to my house, to pledge a watch; he said, it was an acquaintance of his, and his name was Johnson. I lent him a guinea and a half upon it.

Q. Who said his name was Johnson?

E. Longate. The man himself said so.

Q. Had you ever seen that man before?

E. Longate. No; I think the prisoner Gill looks very much like him; but I cannot be positive.

Q. How was that man dressed ?

E. Longate. He had on a sortout coat, with metal buttons, and a white wig.

Q. How long was that after your husband lent the half-guinea on the ring to Keen ?

E. Longate. It was about half a quarter of an hour. I was by when he lent the half-guinea upon the ring.

Q. Did you not tell your husband the man's name was Gill that came with Keen.

E. Longate. I did not mention such a name as Gill.

W. Keen. That gentleman was the prisoner Gill now at the bar.

Samuel Philipson . (produced a pair of shoe-buckles.) When the surgeons were dressing Burk's wounds, after he was taken, I took these buckles out of his pocket.

Q. to Manby. Look at these buckles.

Mr. Manby. I was robbed of just such a pair that night; but as there may be many of the same pattern, I will not swear to them. I believe them to be the same.

Gill's defence.

I was in a publick-house; Burk came to me with this ring; he said he got it of a fellow he had been drinking with; he said he would go and pawn it; he came to Mr. Keen, and said he was going to pawn it, so I desired him to go with it. Keen is quite innocent.

Keen's defence.

Mr. Gill owed me fourteen shillings, and said he wanted to pawn the ring, and he would pay me. He told me he was mate of a ship. I went down with him to Mr. Longate's; he staid at the door, and bid me go in, and get 9 s. upon it. I went in with it, and got half a guinea. I never put the money in my pocket.

Gill guilty , Death .

Keen acquitted .

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