William Lewis, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 25th April 1770.

Reference Number: t17700425-41
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
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278. (M. 1st.) William Lewis was indicted for making an assault on Thomas Langfor on the king's highway, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person a silver watch, value 40 s. one half guinea, and a five and three-penny piece, his property , Feb. 16 . *

Thomas Langfor . I went out of the Half-moon tavern, Cheapside, about two in the morning, on the 16th of February. When in Red Lion street, Whitechapel, I heard several people behind me, making a great noise. I immediately stopped and let them pass me. They went down Colchester-street three or four doors, and stood under a lamp. I passed the corner of the street; they followed me. One of them made a blow at me, and struck me on the shoulder; being behind me, I did not see who struck me.

Q. How many were there of them?

Langfor. There were three of them. I turned about, and asked, what they meant by that? One of them immediately replied, D - n his blood, down with him. I thought it time to prepare myself. One of them advancing, I knocked him down with an oak stick which I had in my hand. The prisoner then immediately collared me.

Q. Did you know him before?

Langfor. I did not. In the struggle we both fell down. While I was down they got my money and watch from me; I cannot tell whether the prisoner or the other took them. Then they immediately made off, and I saw no more of them.

Q. Was you sober?

Langfor. I was sober; it was a light morning, and there were several lamps near me. The next morning I went to Sir John Fielding , and advertised the watch, and described the prisoner, in company with two others. In consequence of that, I received intelligence from justice Sherwood, to come, in order to see if I could know any of the prisoners there.

Q. What time was this?

Prosecutor. This might be a fortnight or three weeks after. I picked the prisoner out from several others; I am very sure he is the man.

I was wrestling with him three or four minutes, and there were lamps over our heads. I saw his face plain. I do not think I could know either of the others.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was in bed at home at Shadwell, at the time this robbery was done.

Prosecutor. He told the Justice he was on board a ship at the time.

Guilty . Death .

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