Samuel Ball, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 15th January 1767.

Reference Number: t17670115-9
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Not Guilty
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94. (M.) Samuel Ball was indicted for that he, on the king's highway, on Mary, wife of Peter Orris , did make an assault, putting her in corporal fear and danger of her life, and violently taking from her person one linen pocket, value 2 d. and 6 s. 3 d. in money numbered, the property of the said Peter , December 26 . ||

Mary Orris . The day after new Christmas-day, at night, I was out, between ten and eleven, at Old Brentford ; I went into the Castle, for a pint of beer; I met the prisoner; he asked me to drink.

Q. Was that the first time you ever saw him?

M. Orris. I had seen him go into his own house, opposite where I lodge, but I had never spoke to him before.

Q. How long have you lodged there?

M. Orris. From a fortnight after Michaelmas.

Q. How long has he lodged in his apartment?

M. Orris. I do not know; he asked me to drink, and I asked him to drink out of mine; after I went out to go home, one Thomas Onley asked me the question to lie with me; Ball was with him; I not being agreeable, they used me very ill, and beat me; the other fellow used me a great deal worse than the prisoner; they pulled me and dragged me about; the prisoner got my pocket; there was in it 6 s. 3 d.

Q. Did he get your pocket by pulling you about, or did he pull particularly at your pocket?

M. Orris. By pulling me about.

Q. Was it light or dark?

M. Orris. It was moon-lightish; the other fellow took away my cardinal, and they would have stripped me.

Q. How far was this from where you had been drinking?

M. Orris. About a couple of stones cast; they dragged me in all manner of nastiness.

Q. Did you consider this as using you thus to make you go with them, or to take your money from you on the highway?

M. Orris. I thought they wanted me to go with them; I went home and told my husband; he went to the prisoner the next morning, I was by; he asked him if he knew any thing of that woman (meaning me;) he said no, he did not.

Q. Did you ever see any thing of your pocket or money again?

M. Orris. No, I never did, nor cardinal neither; we took the prisoner before Justice Wegg; he asked the prisoner what he had done with my pocket and money; he said he had spent the money over night and in the morning; the Justice said to him, he could not have spent it all in that time; the prisoner said he had 7 1/2 d. left; I asked him what he had done with my pocket; he said they had thrown that away; when they heard the watch they ran away.

Peter Orris . I am husband to the woman: I went to the prisoner the next morning, about seven o'clock, and asked him whether he knew that woman or not; he said no; I said, Do you know who you used ill cross the road there? He said no, he used no body ill; I said, You have used my wife very ill, she has got several bruises about her body; I asked him whether he was willing to deliver the money and cardinal up; he said he knew nothing about them; my wife went and got a warrant and constable, and took him up.

Q. How long was this after the robbery, as she calls it?

Orris. This may be near three days after.

Q. How long has the prisoner lived near you?

Orris. He lived opposite the house I do all his life-time, I believe.

Q. Is he a married man?

Orris. No, he is not.

Q. What time did your wife come home that night?

Orris. I was very bad with a fever, and cannot tell.

Q. When did she first complain of this to you?

Orris. When I opened the door to let her in.

Q. What business does your wife follow?

Orris. Any thing that she can get to do.

Q. Was she sober that night?

Orris. I can't say she was quite sober; she went up stairs as well as ever she did in her life.

Q. What was your wife's stock in her pocket that day?

Orris. I can't tell; what I got I always gave her; I work at labouring work for a shilling or 14 d. a day.

Q. What business does your wife do?

Orris. She goes a haymaking , and has been obliged to ask charity since I have been ill.

Q. How long have you been married?

Orris. I have been married three years and about twelve or thirteen weeks.

Q. Where had she been that day?

Orris. She had been out to ask charity.

Q. Had you given her any money that day?

Orris. No, I had not been able.

Q. How long had you been ill?

Orris. Fifteen weeks; she had been over at Richmond, at gentlemens houses, and to see an acquaintance.

Q. to Mary Orris . What had you been at Richmond for that day?

M. Orris. I had been there to ask charity for a bit of victuals; I got some halfpence of a gardener, one Whitehouse that I knew there.

Q. What money had you got?

M. Orris. I had four silver six-pences, and 2 s. wrapped in a bit of rag.

Prisoner's defence.

I am not guilty; I know nothing of this.

For the prisoner.

Jonathan Nevett . The prisoner lived servant with me a year and a half or upwards; he behaved very sober and very honest; I never heard to the contrary of him in my life; I live in Old Brentford, just where this pretended robbery was; as to the woman I know little of her, but her general character in the neighbourhood is very bad, I never heard a worse; it is said she is not married to this man.

Stanhope Hillier. I have known the prisoner ever since he has been able to earn a shilling; I have employed him; he is an honest labouring man; I never heard a bad character of him.

Acquitted .


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