10th January 1781
Reference Numbert17810110-28
VerdictNot Guilty

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103. EDWARD BROMLEY was indicted for that he in a certain field and open place near the king's highway, in and upon John Marsh , feloniously did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a pruning knife, value 2 d. the property of the said John , December 16th .

(The witnesses were examined apart at the request of the prisoner.)


Do you know the prisoner? - Yes. I was robbed on the 16th of last month, going from the Shepherd and Shepherdess to Islington .

What time was it? - Some time past six in the evening; I thought it was almost half after six. I went to the Britannia for a cutlass or something to assist me, and the woman said it was about a quarter after six.

Had you been drinking at the Shepherd and Shepherdess? - No; my brother and I went straight from where we were at work; as we were going through a lane near Islington, we passed by two men; then we met another, and he passed us; and then we met another and he passed us; they then turned back after us and laid hold of me; by the coat behind, and one of them made a job at me with a cutlass.

Which was that? - I cannot swear to that man, there was a man taken up two or three days after that, who I believe to be the person, but I could not swear to him. My brother put up his hand over my head and catched the cutlass; it cut his hand. I cried out murder! upon which three of them laid hold of me and one of my brother. I cried murder! whether they threw me down or I fell down I cannot say. They beat me with the butt end of a cutlass till my head ran down with blood every way. I was so bad I could not stand for two or three days after. They put a handkerchief in my mouth, that I should not cry out; I got the handkerchief out of my mouth and cried out murder! and then they put their hands before my mouth. I bit one of their fingers, in trying to get their hands from my mouth; then they began searching my pockets, and one of them said, d - n him, rip him up or cut him up. Then they took out a clasp knife and began ripping up my pockets. I said pray, gentlemen, forgive my life, I have no money you are welcome to search. We had but ninepence between us. I had nothing but a pruning knife, they took that from me, and then went to my brother.

Do you know any of the persons who committed this robbery? - The prisoner was one of the three who were beating me.

Are you sure of that? - Yes. I am.

Was it light at this time? - I had a small lantern and a candle in it.

How soon after this was the prisoner taken? - The man who took him, said they had him in custody a quarter before seven

that same night. I subscribed the man to Mr. Howes; he had seen four people talking in a publick-house, in Old-street-road. My brother and I went and had our wounds dressed, and then we came to the house; the prisoner was there without his hat. I bid him put his hat on and then I said, that is one of them.

At the time they were beating of you, was the light in your lantern? - No, it was gone out.

So that all your knowledge of this man is from your having first of all met him? - No, he was one of the three that came to lay hold of me.

Your lantern was out then? - No, it was put out by the second or third blow they made at me.

Cross Examination.

You did not know this young man before at all? - No, I never saw him before.

When he was taken up it was on account of his having spoken with four persons at a publick-house? - Yes.

You have described yourself as having been robbed by four; he was not one of the four who came into the publick-house? - No. He spoke to the four men.

Whether you did not say you thought this was the man who had the bite of the finger, and if you saw the finger you could swear to him? - No. I said one had a bite of the finger, if I saw him I could swear to him. I said I believed I could swear to two out of the four; one of the three that came to me I bit in the finger.

You said you thought if he had a bite in the finger you could swear to him? - That was another man.

The whole transaction lasted but a few minutes? - They had me down ten minutes I suppose.

At six o'clock at this time of the year I believe it is dark? - Yes; it was dark.


I was present with my brother the night he was robbed. We were going from the Shepherd and Shepherdess to Islington; in the lane this side the first field from Islington, about half way up, we met two men; they passed us; a little farther we met another and he passed us; we met a fourth, he passed us; we went on about our business. When we had gone about ten yards, as we were going between the stiles, they came back and catched my brother by the back part of the collar; I looked back and saw the cutlass over his head. I held up my left hand and catched the cutlass; I have the scar of it now. I held the cutlass in my hand and took the man by the collar and he and I struggled a good bit; then he got me up against a post and held the cutlass over my head and a pistol to my breast, and said if I offered to move or wag, or holloa, he would blow my brains out; then he asked me if I had any money? I told him no, I had not. Then he unbottoned my breeches to see if I had any watch and searched my pockets; he felt something in my breeches pocket and asked what it was? I said I had no money. He said I had and took nine pence out of my pocket. Then the other three left my brother and came to me; a young man came up to me with a cutlass and swore he would run me through; my right hand was pinned back against the post; seeing him coming up to me I gave him a smack on the face; I thought I should have been killed; I thought my brother was dead. One asked me if I was cut? I said, yes; my hand was almost cut off; they said I was very well off and bid me walk away and not run, for they should know me again.

Do you know either of these men? - No; I cannot swear to either of them; Howes is not here; he took the prisoner. He saw the prisoner and four more come from Moorfields, and the prisoner drank with them at the Round About House in Old-street.

Prisoner. I leave my defence to my counsel.

For the prisoner.


I am a coach master.

Where do you live? - In Old-street, just by the Round About House; the prisoner is my servant and son in-law. On Saturday the 16th of December he came home with his coach about five o'clock; he came into the yard and took the horses out; my man, and I, and his mother were in the yard; he

put his horses in the stable and helped the man that was going out for the night to put the harness on his horses; he rubbed his horses down and then we came into the house; then he asked if there was any meat in the house? His mother said she had some cold fish; he sat down and eat some; I suppose it was half after five o'clock before he began to eat his dinner.

How long did he stay at home? - Till near six o'clock; his mother and he had been insuring a number in the lottery; his mother said, Well Neddy, I would have you go down to Fore-street to see what luck we have had to night. He went out of the house a little before six; he was gone the best part of an hour; I was never out of the house; it was very near seven when he came back. He had not been in the house above five minutes before some people came and knocked at the door and took him.

How far is your house from Islington? - From the place where they say the robbery was committed, it is better than half a mile.


I drive the night coach for Mr. Branwell.

Do you recollect the prisoner's coming home with his carriage? - Yes; about ten minutes after five, about dusk; he unharnessed his horses; I put my harness on, he put on my bridle; I desired him to take his plates off his coach and put on mine, he did. I went out and left him there.

ANN JONES sworn.

I am servant to Mr. Branwell.

Do you remember the night this young man was taken up? - Yes.

Do you remember what time he came in to dinner? - About five o'clock.

What time did he go out? - About ten minutes before six; he said he was going to the lottery office in Fore-street.

Was Mrs. Milner in the house when he he went out? - Yes; and his mother.

Mrs. MILNER sworn.

You live in the neighbourhood of Mr. Branwell? - Yes.

Do you remember going to his house on the 16th of December? - Yes; about six o'clock, just before tea. The prisoner was at dinner when I went in.

- HOLLAND sworn.

I am a pastry-cook in the New Road. On the 16th of December I remember the prisoner's coming and speaking to my lad about the lottery; it was about six o'clock. My daughter had insured a ticket; they went to the lottery office and came back at seven o'clock; then I saw him. I have known him four years, I never heard that he had been guilty of any thing of the kind; or that he was given to keep bad company. In my opinion he knows no more of it than I do.


I am daughter to Mr. Holland. The prisoner came to our window about six o'clock on the 16th of December; I was at tea; I heard him speak to the young man; he asked me, how long I should be before I was ready to go to the lottery office? I told him in about five minutes, when I had finished my tea. Our young man desired him to go to the Round About House till we were ready.

That is a publick house? - Yes; when we were ready he went in and called him; our maid servant and man servant, and the prisoner and I went to the lottery office in Fore-street. We came back together at near seven o'clock, and parted at our door.


I am servant to Mr. Holland.

Do you recollect the prisoner coming to your house on Saturday the 16th of December? - Yes; about six o'clock; he went to the Round-About-House. I went and called him and we all went to the lottery office together; we returned and parted about seven o'clock.


I am servant to Mr. Holland.

Do you recollect going to the lottery office in Fore-street? - Yes.

Who was in company with you? - Our young mistress and the man; and the prisoner. We went a little after six and returned near seven.


I keep a publick house called the Round-About-House. On the 16th of December the prisoner came into our house; there were four men standing at the bar drinking some gin when he came in, who were followed

by somebody, I believe one of the Marshes; they went out and left the prisoner there.

Do you recollect Easthan coming for him? - Yes.


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

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