Offence: Miscellaneous > perverting justice
Punishment: Imprisonment > newgate; Corporal > pillory; Miscellaneous > sureties; Miscellaneous > fine
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166, 167, 168, 169. (L.) Stephen Macdaniel , John Berry . James Eagan , otherwise Gahagan , and James Salmon , were indicted, for that they, being persons of wicked and corrupt minds and conversations, and not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil, not regarding the laws of this realm, or the pains and penalty that should befall thereon, did wickedly, unlawfully, and maliciously combine, conspire, and agree together, that one Thomas Blee should procure two persons, to wit, Peter Kelly and John Ellis , to go to Deptford in Ke and to take divers goods and money from the person of the said Salmon on the king's highway, who should he waiting there for that purpose; with intent that they should came the said two persons to be apprehended and convicted for robbing him the said Salmon on the king's highway, and so unjustly and wickedly procure to themselves the rewards mentioned in the act of parliament, proclamation,
Q. How long have you known Macdaniel ?
Blee. About two years; and I have known the others a great while.
Q. Was you present at any meeting when there was a consultation about doing this fact?
Blee. Yes, I was present at many meetings on that occasion.
Court. Begin with the first.
Blee. Berry said to me one morning the latter end of June, or the beginning of July was twelve-month: My Lord ( a nick name they gave me) money grows a little short, if you can't get two men, you must get one, to go upon the scamp. He sent me for Macdaniel, and he said the same.
Q. Where was this?
Blee. In Berry's stable.
Q. What did they mean by going on the scamp ?
Blee. That is, to go upon the highway, to hang them for the reward.
Q. What did you say to that?
Blee. I said I did not chuse to be concerned in this affair, because Kidden's affair was so bad.* Macdaniel made answer and said, G - d d - n you, if you don't, it shall be the worse for you; the next day Berry sent me down to Macdaniel's house, and order'd me to come to the stable. I was afraid of Mr. Price, he having a warrant against me on Kidden's affair. They sent me then into the Spa fields, and came to me there. We went into the fields several days, to look out for a lad of two, but could light of none fit to do the job, as they call'd it.
Q. Who went there with you?
Blee. Only Berry and Macdaniel. On the 15th of July, I remember it very well to be on a Monday, Berry sent me to Macdaniel's house to get him to come to him. Then he order'd me to go into the Spa fields, and sit upon a hill. I went, and believe I sat there two hours, to see for a man or two. Macdaniel came to me, and said Tom, there are Mr. Berry and Salmon the breeches-maker coming to Sir John Oldcastle's. I went down there along with him, to the farthest arbour on the left-hand, where sat Berry and Salmon; they bid me sit down, and drink some beer along with them. There we had some discourse about where the robbery should be committed; one said on this side New-Cross turnpike. Macdaniel said, d - n you, it had better be near Blackheath. Berry said that will be too far off; suppose it be near the four-mile stone (there the robbery was committed.)
Q. What reason did they give that it should be done in that particular spot?
Blee. For the reward given by the parish of Deptford; they did it for the reward, and nothing else.
Q. Did they all three agree to that ?
Blee. They did; at that time Berry said we must have one for the fence.
Q. What did he mean by the word fence ?
Blee. That is, for a person to buy the goods after Salmon was rob'd of them.
Q. Did they agree he should be the person to be rob'd?
Blee. They all did agree to that, and that Eagan should be the fence.
Q. Did Salmon agree to be rob'd?
Blee. He did. Then they talk'd about a handkerchief of Macdaniel's, for Salmon to be rob'd of. Macdaniel said it would do very well. Salmon said I have a better than that; I have one that is mark'd with four holes, a hole at each corner. This was to put the things into, that they could swear to; and he said he would make two pair of breeches, and mark them under the pocket with I S and a figure of 4, that he might swear to them again. Then they talk'd about having a halfpenny mark'd. Macdaniel said he had a pocket-piece ( that his wife bought for three-pence and a halfpenny worth of gin) which was agreed upon, and mark'd by Eagan afterwards, because they should swear to it.
Q. What was to be done with that pocket-piece ?
Blee. It was to be given to Salmon the breeches-maker to be rob'd of. Then Macdaniel said he had got a tobacco-box, a very particular one (I believe I have fetched fifty halfpenny-worths of tobacco in it for him.)
Blee. That was to be given to Salmon, that he might be rob'd of it.
Q. Was there any thing else agreed upon there?
Blee. There was a knife and fork, that he might be rob'd of also. This was all that pass'd at Sir John Oldcastle's. Then Berry told me to go about my business; and said he would let Eagan know.
Q. Where did you live then?
Blee. I lay in Berry's hay-loft then; because my money was gone that I had on the affair of Kidden (who was hang'd wrongfully) he turn'd me out of his house into his hay-loft. The next morning Berry call'd me in, and said he had been at Eagan's, and he had agreed to be the sence. Then he bid me meet him at the Bell in Holbourn. I went there, and found them all four together, Macdaniel, Berry, Eagan, and Salmon.
Q. When was this?
Blee. I believe it was about three or four days after he had told me Eagan would be the sence?
Q. Was this the only meeting they were all four together at?
Blee. It was. We agreed then to get two people to go upon the scamp, or highway; and if we could not get two, to get one. Berry said there would be twenty pounds a piece (he always paid the money.) Macdaniel never had any money but what his wife gave him at a shilling a day.
Q. Was the business talk'd over there?
Blee. It was, and that Salmon should be the person to be rob'd, and Eagan the fence; and that it should be committed between Newcross turnpike and the four-mile stone; because there was money given by the parish.
Q. Was this agreed upon by you all five?
Blee. It was.
Q. Was the pocket-piece mention'd?
Blee. It was; and that it should be mark'd by Eagan with a tool (I saw that bought.)
Q. What is the man at the Bell's name?
Blee. His name is Hunter.
Q. Did you in pursuance of this consultation procure any body?
Q. What did you mean by lullies ?
Blee. That is a word used for linen. I meant to steal some linen.
Q. When was the first time you told the prisoners you had met with these two young men?
Blee. I can't justly tell the day of the month; but it was mention'd several times.
Q. For what reason was you to tell them of getting a parcel of lullies?
Blee. I knew them to be lads of very bad life; but I mention'd it to get them to go along with me to commit this robbery on Salmon; they did not know any thing of that robbery being to be committed. I know, the first time I told Berry and Macdaniel I had got these two lads, was on a Monday; the next day was Tuesday the 23d, when the white regiment marched; they bid me go to the Artillery-Ground, and take the boys with me there; where Macdaniel and Berry saw them.
Q. Did they all four see the boys?
Blee. They did. Eagan went from Macdaniel's house to the Fleet-Market on purpose to see them, and he approved of them. When Berry and Macdaniel had seen them in the Artillery-Ground, I said to Berry, do you think they will do? He said yes, Newman and March were less than they. (See their trial in No. 496 and 497 in Mr. alderman Cockayne's mayoralty.)
Q. Who were March and Newman?
Blee. They were persons that they had hang'd. Macdaniel said I have done less than they over at Kingston.
Q. What did he mean by doing them over?
Blee. He meant hanging them.
Macdaniel. Now he knows he is telling a lye.
Q. Did they all approve of the two boys?
Blee. They did. Berry gave me money to treat the boys after they were approved of?
Q. What was the next thing?
Blee. I think on the 29th of July I met Berry at the Plumb-tree alehouse: he gave me 2 s. 6 d. in silver, and a half-crown piece.
Q. Were any of the others by at the time?
Blee. There were Macdaniel and Salmon.
Q. What did he give you that money for?
Blee. Berry said, d - n you, my lord, go and flash this to them, and tell them you got this last night by a brave parcel of lullies. I was to shew it all at once, and to tell them I was to go to the sence for more. I went with them to Little Britain, and gave them some bread and cheese. I then left them, and said I'd soon return. I went then to Berry, Macdaniel, and Salmon, who were all three together. I said you must meet me at such a place; Berry said where? I said at the Bell, in the Borough. Then I return'd to the boys, and took them round Tower-Hill, to delay the time, till Berry could get there. I went in at the Bell, and gave the boys a halfpenny worth of gin each;
Q. Was it agreed that Eagan should be the fence at all the places where you talk'd of it?
Blee. It was; and he had notice of it, and where to meet.
Q. How do you know that?
Blee. Because I met him in Hatton-Garden, and he told me of it; and gave me a halfpenny to buy me a dram at the White-Lion.
Q. Did you go to the house you had before pick'd out?
Blee. We did, and drank pretty heartily; then we went into the fields, because it was too soon to do the job. Berry had ordered me to go to the sign of the Ship at Deptford.
Q. Was it any part of the agreement where Salmon should be?
Blee. I was to meet Salmon at the sign of the Ship, he was to come in accidentlly; they all knew of it, and agreed upon it. When I and the boys went to the Ship, neither Berry nor Salmon were there; we drank part of a pint of beer, and then I said I had got a relation in the town that I must go and see. I went out and saw Berry, he call'd me, and he and I went to a publick house, I think it was the Duke William's Head; he gave me part of a pint of beer, and said, go over to the Ship, Salmon shall come to you presently. I went and said to Kelly and Ellis, we may as well go in; they were sitting at the door.
Q. What time of the day was this?
Blee. It was about the dusk of the evening, I can't justly say to the hour. After we had eat some bread and cheese, Salmon came in with a blue and white handkerchief and a bundle in it (I knew what was in it) he clap'd himself with his back against the dresser (I also then knew the tobacco-box was in his pocket, and the money in it.)
Q. Were there any other company in the house?
Blee. There were several other people there. Salmon called for a pint of beer, and talked as if he had been to Deptford Yard; (it had been before agreed upon, for him to say he had been there with some breeches) then he said he was going to London (he was to say so.)
Q. Was you to take any notice of him?
Blee. No, I was not. About 5 or 6 minutes after this, Berry came by and look'd in at the window, and nodded his head to me. I went out with a pretence to make water; he said, d - n you, when Salmon comes out do you follow him. I went in and asked what was to pay, and paid it, and gave the boys a quartern of gin; (Berry told me afterwards, he lay behind the four-milestone and saw Salmon rob'd.) We followed Salmon as Berry ordered me, and as Salmon was making water Kelly said, G - d d - n me, there is that old son of a bitch the old breeches maker; his son and I have been picking pockets together many a time, let's scamp the old son of a bitch. I walked up to him; he said here, take the handkerchief, and gave it me, and I gave it to Kelly, and Kelly gave it to Ellis; Salmon said, what I have is in my left-hand pocket, Kelly took it out, it was in a tobacco-box, and he took out a knife and fork also and put the tobacco-box in his pocket; then away we walked very coolly to the Turnpike, there were several people coming backwards and forwards; then we went to Kent-Street. Berry gave me sixpence before to pay for my lodging.
Q. Did you say you knew that tobacco-box before?
Blee. I have seen it I believe a thousand times; the unicorn has got never a horn upon it.
Q. Can you swear to the handkerchief?
Blee. I believe I can.
Q. Can you swear to the pocket-piece?
Blee. I believe I can; I have never seen them since I was here last.
Q. To what place was you to come that night?
Blee. I was to come to the Black Spread-Eagle, but we were to lie at a woman's house in the neighbourhood. They appointed me to come to the White Bear in the same street; I went there, and there sat Berry and Salmon; says Berry, G - d d - n that son of a bitch Mack, he is not come yet, you must turn back again, and Eagan shall go along with you. I went, and Eagan followed me; I said, I must buy something for breakfast, so I went and bought a lamb's liver, and said to him, do you go on (he knew where to go as well as I could tell him.)
Q. What was his business?
Blee. He went on purpose to buy the goods.
Q. Was it agreed amongst you all that you should take the boys there?
Blee. It was. I brought in the liver and began to cut it, and said to Kelly, may be that man will buy the breeches, for he deals at Rag-fair (but he is a cobler.) Then I said to him, my friend will you buy two pair of breeches? Eagan said, what do you ask for them? I said 6 s. said he I'll give
Q. What did he mean by ding it?
Blee. That is, fling it away. Then said Kelly I'll sell you a tobacco box, and shewed it to him; Eagan said what do you ask for it? Kelly said 6 d. said Egan, I'll give you a pot of twopenny; well said I, you shall have it. We then played at a game called the devil and taylors, and I went out under pretence to get shaved and left them at play, and went to the White Bear. Berry and Salmon were gone; then Eagan came and called me into the Elephant and Castle, and said where is your great coat? I said I left that in the house; he said Macdaniel is come, and bid me be quick and fetch it. I went and took my great coat, and said I'll go and get shaved, and away I went down from the Black Spread Eagle to the Elephant and Castle; there was Berry, who said, get away as fast as you can to the Bell in the Borough, but be sure you get shaved as you go along. Berry came in and said D - n you, the job is done Tom, now you'll get 20 l. by this. Then we went over London Bridge, and into Paul's Church yard; where I saw Mr. Rogers. Berry said go along, don't let us be seen together.
Q. What became of the boys?
Blee. They sent me out of the way, fearing they would squeak against me.
Q. Were they taken?
Blee. They were.
Q. Did you see them after this?
Blee. I never saw them after 'till I saw them at Maidstone. I know the prisoners intended to hang them for the reward, and nothing else.
Q. Look at this tobacco-box. (It is put into his hand.)
Blee. This is the same box that I fetched tobacco in for Macdaniel.
Q. Look at this medal. (He takes it in his hand.)
Blee. I believe this to be the same; this, Macdaniel's company-keeper bought at the Two Blue-Posts in Holbourn. After this, Berry lent me 1 s. 6 d. to go to Uxbridge fair, because I should not be taken: If I had been taken Salmon was to swear I was not the man, and that he never saw me in his life time (and I suppose he'll say now he never saw me.) When I came back from the fair, Berry told me there had been three or four men to look after me, I believe Mr. Cox was one, but Berry said d - n it Tom you need not be afraid.
Q. Was you apprehended ?
Blee. I was, in Newgate-Street.
Q. Who took you up?
Blee. Mr. Cox and Mr. Warrin, of Greenwich.
Q. Was that the first time of your discovering this affair?
Blee. It was. They met me and ask'd me if my name was Blee; I said no, my name is Lee; said they, you are the man we want: I said don't make many words, when we get to a proper place we'll talk about it; and I told them it of my own good will.
Q. From the time you met Berry in the Borough when the boys were taken, 'till such time you were to go down to the assizes; how often had you been in company with Berry and Macdaniel.
Blee. Several times; they told me I need not be afraid of any thing, for if I was taken Salmon would swear I was not the man.
Q. Look at this handkerchief. (He takes it in his hand.)
Blee. This is the same handkerchief.
Q. Look at these two pair of breeches.
Blee. These are the two pair of breeches that Salmon mark'd and took with him, on purpose to be robbed of.
Q. Look at this knife and fork. (They were clasp ones that book'd together in the hasts.)
Blee. These are the same. The fork was dropped in the house where they were taken, and the drummer found it afterwards.
Q. from Berry. He says he came to my house in June, to go into Cold-Bath-Fields; ask him whether he dared to come into the yard, when there had been two robberies committed in the yard; one by robbing two coaches of the brass, and another for running away with a man's money; and whether there was not a warrant against him.
Blee. Here are several people can prove I was there then. There was a warrant against me, Berry's son, and himself; one Mr. Price had got it for stealing some bullions out of a coach, but then they had one to take me upon Kidden's affair, and Berry concealed me in his own house.
Berry. He had robbed the Foundling-house, and there were three warrants against him.
Salmon. I never was in a house with Blee in my life, or ever drank with him; if any person can say I ever was in a house with him, or drank with him, I'll be hang'd up directly.
Q. Did you ever see them all four together?
Sams. I have seen three of them together.
Sams. At the George, on Saffron-Hill.
Q. How often have you seen them together?
Sams. More than twenty times.
Q. Which three?
Sams. Macdaniel, Berry and Eagan.
Q. Did you ever see Blee in company with them?
Sams. I have seen Blee come backwards and forwards to them.
Q. Did he appear to be acquainted with them?
Sams. He did, and was frequently with them at Berry's house; my stable was opposite to Berry's.
Q. Was it before the robbery at Deptford, that you have seen them together?
Sams. It was. I have drank with Macdaniel, Berry and Egan at the George on Saffron-Hill.
Q. from Berry. Did you see Blee come into the yard at the time he mentions?
Sams. Yes I have, and he used to run away.
Q. Have you seen Berry and Blee together at that time?
Sams. I have.
Berry. If your lordships pleases to look into the course of the other trial, he does not say any such thing there at all.
Council. It was the same in substance as he has said now.
Q. Do you know Blee?
Price. I do. I had a warrant against him, which made me know him; I had lost some bullions out of my coach, and had a warrant against him, Berry, and his son: Berry threatned me, that he and Blee would knock my head off, so I put him in the warrant.
Q. Were Blee and he acquainted, can you tell ?
Price. They were very well acquainted; Berry kept Blee out of my way, so that I could not serve the warrant.
Q. Where did he keep him?
Price. He kept him in his house; I sent one of my servants to fetch a constable, and while he was gone, Berry's son let him out at the door and ran away.
Q. Are all the prisoners and Blee acquainted?
Price. They are all very well acquainted.
Q. from Berry. Was Blee in my house?
Price. I saw him go into your house.
Berry. Why did you not take him ?
Price. Because I had no warrant.
Berry. Any body might take a thief.
Q. from Eagan. Did you ever see me speak to Blee?
Price. I saw you, Macdaniel, Berry, and Blee all together.
Price. In August last.
Q. What visible way of living have these people.
Price. I believe that with which they are accused.
Q. Do you know Blee?
Kirby. I do.
Q. Have you ever seen him and the others together ?
Kirby. I have divers times.
Q. Did you ever see them at any publick-house together.
Kirby. I think I saw Berry and Mackdaniel at the Two Brewers upon Saffron-Hill together.
Q. When did you see them, at any time when Blee was there?
Kirby. I think I saw Berry, Macdaniel and Blee together at the Union-Arms, in Union-Court, Holbourn.
Q. Did they seem to be acquainted together ?
Kirby. They did. I think I saw Macdaniel and Berry once at the Union-Arms door after that, they seemed to be acquainted then.
Q. Look at this tobacco box. (He takes it in his hand.)
Kirby. I think this is the same tobacco box that belonged to Macdaniel.
Q. Have you seen it before?
Kirby. Once I did.
Kirby. At the Union-Arms, Macdaniel shewed it me. Note, It had a rose in the middle, and the lion and unicorn as supporters to the king's arms, in hasle relvs, on the lid.
E. Pragnell. I saw Macdaniel and Salmon there.
Q. Did you ever see the evidence there ?
E. Pragnell (She looks at him.) I did.
E. Pragnell. On the 29th of July, 1754, in the evening, I can't justly tell the hour.
Q. Was he alone?
E. Pragnell. No, there were two young lads along with him.
Q. What were their names?
E. Pragnell. I did not know their names then, but after that I heard their names.
Q. Did you ever see them after that?
E. Pragnell. I saw them after that at Maidstone.
Q. What names did the two lads go by there?
E. Pragnell. They went by the names of Ellis and Kelly.
Q. Were they in company with Salmon at your house?
E. Pragnell. No, they were not; they were only in company with Blee while Salmon was there.
Q. Which went out of your house first, Salmon or they.
E. Pragnell. They all three followed Salmon out.
Q. Had Salmon any thing with him?
E. Pragnell. Salmon had a small bundle tied up in a handkerchief.
Q. Did you see the two boys soon after this?
E. Pragnell. The next morning they were in custody and Macdaniel with them; they called at my house.
Q. Look at this tobacco box; do you know it?
Sergant. This was Macdaniel's box; he came in for a penny worth of purl one morning and shewed me this box, and said is not this a very odd piece of curiosity? I said yes, but it is imperfect, for the Unicorn has lost its horn. Blee has often come with this box for tobacco for Macdaniel; Blee passed for Macdaniel's servant, and Macdaniel used to leave his key at my house for Blee.
Henry Sergant . I know all the prisoners. The robbery was committed on Salmon the 29th of July, 1754. Salmon, Eagan and Macdaniel came to Greenwich and enqured for a constable; they brought the two boys Ellis and Kelly; there were two pair of leather breeches mark'd I. S. and a figure of 4 under the right hand pocket. I was constable; they said Ellis and Kelly had robbed Salmon.
Q. Did they all agree in that story?
Sergant. They did all agree in it, and the things were produced before justice Bell; the justice gave them into my hand, and desired I would seal them up.
Q. Who produced them before the justice?
Sergant. One of the three did, but I can't say which.
Q. What things were there?
Sergant. There were two pair of breeches, a tobacco box, a clasp knife, but no fork (that was produced afterwards) and a piece of money as big as a shilling, and a handkerchief.
Q. Look at this box. (He takes it in his hand.)
Sergant. This is the box.
Q. Look at this piece of money.
Sergant. This is the same piece.
Q. Look at the breeches.
Sergant. They are the very same.
Q. Look at this knife.
Sergant. It is the same knife.
Q. Look at the handkerchief. (The handkerchief had four holes in it, two at each corner.) He looks at it.
Sergant. This is it.
Q. What became of the two boys?
Sergant. They were committed, and I carried them to Maidstone jail. Upon the road going along they told me there was one concerned in the robbery with them named Blee. Mackdaniel told me, as I was but a young constable he should take the money for their conviction and he'd pay me my money. Berry said at the assizes, if Ellis and Kelly were not convicted, he must beg his way home, and if they were convicted, we should have a goose for supper that night. He had no business there as I know of, only he was afraid his partners would cheat him.
There were several other witnesses ready in court to be called, but these having confirmed Blee in every thing, it was looked upon as needless to call any more.
This Blee never dared to come into my yard at any rate; had I been in Kent-street at the time the boys were there, why should we go so far back as
I have sent to the Bell at Holbourn to desire the man of the house to come, the people said they never saw us all three in their lives; I sent for all the servants to come into Newgate among the smuglers, they all declared they never saw any of us there in their lives. The maid at the Cherry-tree said, at the last trial, she never saw me there in her life. I happen'd to have the misfortune to bail a man for 200 l. who ran away to Dunkirk, they came and broke open my door, they fired, at me but missed me, one of them was so eager to get at me that he shot Thomas Sergant 's kinsman in the shoulder, I ran out naked, they laid hold of me and took me up again, they fractur'd my skull, kept me there and sent to all my creditors, who seeing me so cut gave me two years to pay it in; I gave his kinsman 8 guineas, then I was let out. I have since been an officer and have had an opportunity of coming a little round in the world. I took an execution out against his kinsman, his name was Shields, and arrested him at the suit of one Mr. Munk, he got his kinsman rescued from me, I was fixed for the money and broke in the Marshal's-court; then I was obliged to keep a little shy. This Shields entered into a gang of thieves, he cut a man in Bloomsbury-square and robb'd a gentlewoman, and was cast and hang'd for it. I was forced to move my goods and come down to Mr. Sergant's, and said I'd pay my landlord when it was in my power. Sergant said when it was in his power he'd be up with me.
On the first trial this Sergant could not take upon him to swear that tobacco box was Macdaniel's, and now he swears it is Macdaniel's box.
Macdaniel. The tobacco box I had was twice as big as that he has; as for that Sams that swears against me, I had a warrant against his wife for buying stolen goods, and now out of spight he swears against me; he once owed me 7 guineas, and I was troubled to get it out of his hands.
I never was in any house, field, or any where else with Blee in my life.
All four Guilty .