13th January 1779
Reference Numbert17790113-35

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127, 128. WILLIAM BINNS and WILLIAM BIRD were indicted, for that they in the King's highway in and upon Anne the wife of John Hanams did make an assault, putting her in corporal fear and danger of her life, and stealing seven linen shirts, value 7 l. six linen sheets, value 40 s. and a linen table cloth, value 5 s. the property of the said John, from the person of the said Anne , December 8th .


I am the wife of John Hanams .

Was you robbed by any person? - Yes; in Houndsditch , I forget the day of the month; they were committed the day before Christmas-day. I was attacked by one of the prisoners, John Bird , who knocked me down.

Did he say any thing to you? - An ugly word as he knocked me down, but I cannot account for the word; as soon as I was down another person, before I could recover myself, took my bundle, and ran away.

You do not know who the other was? - No; I do not.

Did you at any time recover the bundle again, or any thing in the bundle? - Never; there were seven shirts, three pair of sheets, and one table cloth. The shirts did not cost less than twenty shillings a piece.

What was the value all together? - I cannot account.

Were they worth seven pounds? - Yes, all together they were. I cried out stop thief! one Levi Moses came to me, and asked me what was the matter; I told him one person had knocked me down, and another had run away with my bundle.

Are you positive as to the person of Bird? - Yes. When he turned to run after the man with the bundle I had so great a sight of him I am sure he is the person; all but swearing to his face, that I cannot, because it was dark.


As I was coming from Houndsditch to Woolpack-alley, I saw the two prisoners, and two others together. I turned the corner, and when I was got about seven houses up, I heard an out-cry of a woman, O Lord God I was robbed! I immediately went to her, and said, good woman what have they done to you? She said, I was knocked down and robbed of a bundle of clothes. I said come with me, I will go and see if I can find some of these chaps about this place; which way did they run? She showed me the way towards Gravel-lane. I took the woman with me, and told her I would take her to a house of safety while I went to see after the people. I met Isaac Sakey ; he said to me, if you had come a little sooner we should have had the people that robbed this woman; says I, how do you know? He said I saw the whole transaction, I know them all. I said, who are they? He mentioned two of their names to me; the next morning I took Binns, and another man took the other. I said to Binns you are my prisoner; he said for what? I said for a robbery done last night. Said he, robbery last night! I can prove I was at the Fourteen Stars in Rosemary-lane from nine in the morning till eight at night. I told him I must take him. He used to go by the name of Fisher.

To the prosecutrix. What time was you robbed? - About six o'clock, or half after, it might not be quite so much.


On the 8th of last month, about twenty minutes or half after six, I was going to the lottery-office; I saw the two prisoners and two others in company together; as I was coming back I met the prosecutrix going towards Bishopsgate-street with a bundle upon her head; they made up to the woman.

Did you see them make up to the woman? - Yes; Bird knocked the woman down. I cannot say whether he struck her over the head, or over the shoulder, or over the back, I was so terrified.

Was the other man with him? - They were in company together.

Had you known them before by sight? - Yes.

Are you sure the prisoners were the men? - Yes. I made up as quick as I could to an officer, Levi Moses , and told him the affair; and said, if you had been with me a little sooner we might have apprehended them all.

Did you tell him who the men were? - Yes.

You knew them by name as well as sight? - I did; and they were apprehended. Bird, when he had knocked her down, ran

across the way; the other three went to the bundle, and two of them ran away with it. Binns was not one of the two that ran away with it.


Moses came to me the next morning, and said, Binns, I take you on suspicion of your robbing a woman; he took me to the Compter. I have witnesses that I was with from eight in the morning till eight at night on that day.

For Binns.


I have known Fisher from an infant; I took him out of the street as an offspring; I made him an apprentice to Mr. Bunn, a chimney-sweeper; his master said he was a true and trusty servant, and that he could not do without him.

Was you in company with Binns on the 8th of December? - I cannot say with regard to the night; he was with me at dinner; I cannot speak as to the day, I am no scholar, I believe it was the day he was charged with that affair. I believe he might stay with me till about four or five or six o'clock at night; I cannot say as to an hour or two.

Where were you together? - In my own shop. I met him promiscuously at the door; I took him home and put him at the feet of my own bed.

Bird said nothing in his defence.


Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. Justice ASHHURST.

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