15th October 1777
Reference Numbert17771015-3
VerdictsNot Guilty; Not Guilty

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618, 619, 620. RICHARD SPENCER , THOMAS SMART , and GEORGE CROOK were indicted for that they in the king's highway in and upon John Moss did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a watch with a metal case, value 30 s. a wedgewood seal, value 10 s. a guinea and five shillings in money, the property of the said John , Sept. 15th .

Mr. JOHN MOSS sworn.

I was robbed on the evening of the 15th of last month, between Gray's-inn-lane and the turnpike in the King's new road , about half after ten o'clock; it was moon-light; I was robbed of a metal watch, a seal of wedgewood, and about four or five shillings in silver; I cannot say exactly how much.

Can you swear to the persons of the three prisoners? - I cannot take upon me to swear to any of them; I was robbed by four men; they threatened my life, and cut the reins of my horse; I recollect one man had a livery, I think with a red collar; I had a lady with me in the carriage; she was robbed of a guinea and some silver, I believe.


The three prisoners and I stopped Captain Moss in the King's new road; we took from him a metal watch and a gold seal; we had been walking about at Islington; the watch was sold to a Jew who lives somewhere in Coxe's-square; I don't know his name.


I am a constable: in consequence of an information I took Smart; the other prisoners came to see him, and I stopped one of them: I took Smart up on a warrant for leaving his wife and children; when I had taken him to the round-house, I went and acquainted Sir John Fielding that I had taken him: Spencer came backwards and forwards, that made me suspect him; Smart lodged with me; I suspected him because he lived loose; I took them the next morning in a coach to Sir John Fielding ; Crook walked there to see what would become of them, and he was stopped in the office by a pawnbroker that had taken a watch in pawn of him.


The last witness came to Sir John Fielding 's to acquaint us that he had taken Smart on a warrant against him by his wife; he came to enquire if we had any thing against him; we had charges against him for footpad robberies: I went with him and searched Smart; I found two guineas and two shillings on him; I searched him up stairs in the round-house; when I came down to search Spencer, he was let out; I desired if he came again he might be stopped; he came; they secured him; the next day the evidence and Crook were taken into custody; two or three days

after he was in custody, the evidence sent for me; I had a hand-bill in my hand of some robberies; I looked at it, and pointed out the watch Mr. Moss was robbed of, and should be glad to be taken to Sir John Fielding 's; I took him, and he made a discovery of the whole.

The prisoners were not put on their defence.


Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice ASHHURST.

THOMAS SMART and GEORGE CROOK were a second time indicted for that they in the king's highway in and upon Paul Parker did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a silver watch, value 40 s. a silk handkerchief value 6 d a piece of false money of no value, a guinea and two half guineas, the property of the said Paul , September 17th .


I was stopped near the fourth watch-box in Tottenham Court Road at about a quarter after ten at night of the 17th of September, coming from Kentish Town on horseback; I rode through a fog; when I was near the watch-box, I was riding pretty smart, having been informed that some gentlemen had been robbed; I pulled my horse in upon seeing them both in the road, in order to turn back and escape them; they came back, one on each side of me, and said, Your money; I gave one of them a guinea and two half guineas; the man on the other side took my silver watch out of my pocket, and a bad shilling; he then asked for my pocket-book; I told him I had no notes, nor any thing of value about me; then he felt in my pocket, and took out a memorandum-book and a silk handkerchief; he looked at the book, and put it in my pocket again. My lord, I omitted one observation; when they came up, they said, Your money, and put your hat before your eyes. When they had robbed me, they said, I might go on: I cannot swear to either of the prisoners; I think one of the men was like Smart.


I am an apprentice to Mr. Bither, a pawnbroker in Long-acre: I took the watch in pawn the next morning after Mr. Parker had been robbed; Crook pawned it in the name of Smith; I asked him where he lived; he said, at Lord Clermont's, in Berkeley-square; I went afterwards to enquire about him, and was told he did not live there, and they knew nothing of him.


I am a constable: when Smart was in custody I searched him, and found this handkerchief (producing it).

Mr. PARKER. I believe this handkerchief is mine, I have the fellow to it in my pocket; I have no doubt of its being mine, I had the whole piece: here is the fringe on this.

[The watch was produced in Court, and deposed to by the prosecutor.]


I searched about and found this shilling (producing it).

Mr. PARKER. I believe this is my shilling, there was such a mark of a tooth upon the shilling that I lost.


I am innocent of it; the handkerchief was given me by a man that came up into my room, and an acquaintance of the man that gave the handkerchief, sent Crook with the watch to pawn it.


The acquaintance of the man that gave Smart the handkerchief, gave me the watch to pawn.

Mr. PARKER. If I was obliged to swear that they were or were not the men, I should rather swear they were not, for they were so andacious at the justice's office, that I could not think if they had been the same men, they could have behaved so civil as they did to me.

JURY. If you think they are not the men, why did you prosecute them? - To get my property again.


Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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