DANIEL DRIVER.
4th April 1779
Reference Numbert17790404-49
VerdictNot Guilty

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250. DANIEL DRIVER was indicted for that he on the king's highway, in and upon Thomas Field , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life; and stealing a silver watch, value 40 s. a steel watch chain, value 1 s. a steel seal, set in silver, value 1 s. a steel watch key, value 2 d. a watch hook, value 1 d. and 7 s. in monies, numbered, the property of the said Thomas, from his person , February 28th .

THOMAS FIELD sworn.

I live in King-street, Westminster. On the 28th of February in the morning about six o'clock, I was stopped by two footpads, near Shepherd's Bush in the Acton Road , as I was going to Oxford; one of them was the prisoner Driver; I knew him very well, I was riding gently down the road on horseback; the prisoner came on the near side; the other on the other side; the prisoner laid hold of the bridle and produced a pistol, and said farmer your money; the other swore some words and said if I did not give it him immediately, he would blow my brains out; I said I had nothing worth their acceptance, I had only a little silver; I put my hand in my pocket, took it out and gave it to him; there was about seven shillings and sixpence of it; the prisoner said to the other; d - n him Jack, hold fast; he has more money about him, search his fob; they both of them felt the outside of my breeches and my pockets; the prisoner pulled my watch out; it was a silver one with a steel chain and silver seal, with a stone in it, with the impression of a man's head; there was a silver key, and two keys of a dog's collar, and a hook; the Prisoner when he had got the watch swore some hearty oaths, and said; now go along you dog, or I will blow your brains out; then I

went on. I knew the prisoner about a year and half before; I don't know whether he knew me that night or no; he lived with one Gunning and Williamson, who keep a livery stable; I knew him immediately as he stopped, and was going to call him by his name, but did not for fear he should murther me; I returned to town on the Monday se'nnight; I was busy on Tuesday; the next day I applied to Sir John Fielding .

Cross Examination.

What sort of a morning was it when you was robbed ? - It was rather foggy.

Whether you did not say that it was a very foggy morning, and through the dust of some cattle you could not swear to his face? - No; I said it was a foggy morning; if it had not been foggy it would have been clear day-light.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

I have witnesses to prove I was in bed at the time of the robbery.

For the Prisoner.

THOMAS STANTON sworn.

I am ostler at the White-Bear inn, Piccadilly. On the evening of the 27th of February I was drinking with the prisoner from ten till almost one in the morning. I keep the key of both the gates: Nobody can go out without my knowing of it. I opened the gates a little before seven in the morning, and found them as I left them. He was very much in liquor. I saw him going up stairs to bed; he could not go without help; that was about a quarter after twelve. His wife and he lodge in the house.

Was there a possibility of his going out that night without your knowledge? - No person can go out without jumping over the house. He did not go out to my knowledge. I took the keys up with me.

What part of the gates had you the keys of? - The fore-gate, and the back-gate. I had not the key of the wicket; the woman of the tap, Jane Evans , had the key of the wicket.

How came you to say nobody could go in and out, without your knowledge, without going over, the houses? - Not with my key.

You forgot the wicket then? - I might forget it. I am sure no person went out at that time.

Any person might go out at the wicket without your knowledge? - Yes; if it was open; the woman keeps the key of that.

Had you no company? - Yes.

Horses? - Yes; we always have horses.

You sat drinking from ten to one; was not you wanted to take care of the horses? - I have men to do that.

You said he went to bed at twelve; did you drink with him after he was in bed? - No.

Then how could you drink with him till one? - I said till between twelve and one.

JANE EVANS sworn.

I keep the tap of the White-Bear inn, Piccadilly. I have the key of the wicket; the ostler has the key of the two gates. The gates are locked at eleven o'clock. If any person is in the place after that time, I let them out at the wicket. I never opened the wicket on the 27th of February at night. I saw the prisoner go up to bed that night; he had two men to help him up to bed; he fell down two or three times in the tap-room before he went out, he was so much in liquor. His wife and he have a room in the gallery. It was within a few minutes of one when he went to bed. I helped to get him up with his wife. He lived in the same gallery with me.

The ostler did not help to get him up? - - No; only me and his wife.

Who had he been drinking with that night? - Two or three friends, Stanton was one of them. I believe they all belonged to the yard.

To Stanton. You said he was so drunk that he was helped up stairs to bed by two of the postillions? - By two or three of the men in the yard.

Nobody else? - No; there was nobody else.

MARY WRIGHT sworn.

I am servant at the White-Bear inn, Piccadilly. I lie in the next room to the prisoner and his wife. On the 27th of February in the night, or 28th in the morning, about three o'clock, I heard his wife very distinctly tell him not to lie on the child. I

heard him answer something like that he would not. I go to bed about three o'clock; it was as I was going to bed.

Did you see him before that? - Yes; fshe was going to bed; his wife and another man were getting him up to bed.

Nobody else? - I believe not.

Not two men? - No.

Not two women? - No. I heard him called up about eight in the morning, and heard him answer.

SARAH WHISTON sworn.

I am mistress of the White-Bear. I did not see the prisoner on the 27th of February at night, but I heard from my servants that he was in the tap-room. He was my lodger. He was out of employ, and his wife worked to support him. When he took the lodging he asked to have a key to let himself in. He said he might be kept out late. I told him I would not suffer any body to have a key, but ostler, and the person who keeps the tap. I told him I was generally up till one, and would let him in; if he came after that time, had rung the bell, he should be let in. I did not see him that night; but, when they were getting him up to bed, I heard somebody say to his wife they did not think he would swear in. His wife said he would swear as well as others when he was a little in liquor.

What time was that? - It might be between eleven and twelve, or after twelve; cannot say.

The prisoner called eight other witnesses, who gave him a good character.

NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice BLACKSTONE.


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