GEORGE WARD, THOMAS CONNOR, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 6th April 1785.

Reference Number: t17850406-61
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
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474. GEORGE WARD and THOMAS CONNOR were indicted for feloniously assaulting Alice, wife of Thomas Weldon , on the 4th of April , on the King's highway, and putting her in corporal fear and danger of her life, and feloniously taking from her person, and against her will, one pair of linen sheets, value 10 s. eleven linen napkins, value 11 s. one table cloth, value 3 s. a Marseilles petticoat, value 2 s. a dimity petticoat, value 2 s. a flannel petticoat, value 1 s. a dimity petticoat, value 1 s. two frocks, value 2 s. four shifts, value 6 s. six cambrick handkerchiefs, value 6 s. two pair of pockets, value 6 d. eighteen towels, value 9 s. one apron, value 6 d. and one pair of cotton stockings, value 6 d. the property of George Franklin , Esq.

ALICE WELDON sworn.

I was robbed between eight and nine, on last Monday night; I was standing with my basket of clothes waiting for a person, and the two prisoners came up to me, and Connor demanded my basket; I told him no; he put his hand upon my basket, and asked me to deliver it.

Court. Tell me exactly what he said? - He said to me, deliver the basket, that was all; I told him no, I would not part with my basket, it did not belong to me; with that the other prisoner, Ward, struck me down, and the other prisoner ran away with my basket; I screamed out murder! stop thief! I kept crying still the same, and I ran after Connor, and the prisoner Ward followed me, he swore a blasphemous oath, and said, you bitch, I will soon stop you from following him; he catched me by the throat, and attempted to throttle me; I got his hand from my throat, and then he gave me another knock, and knocked

me down under a coach wheel, and then he left me; the other man was caught with the linen, and brought to me in five minutes after.

Did you know these people before? - No.

What opportunity had you to observe them; - They stopped several minutes, and I looked very hard at them; they stood within a yard of me, they stood close by me; I said nothing more than what I have told you; they stood the space of three minutes.

What light had you to see them by? - The corner lamp.

Can you swear you had an opportunity of observing them, so as to know them again? - Yes, I can swear it.

Are you very sure of them both? - Yes, I am very sure of them both.

When was Ward taken? - Not till the other was at the watch-house.

How long after? - It might be the value of ten minutes.

In whose possession has the linen been since? - In the possession of Margaret Innis .

Who delivered them to her? - One Mr. Franklin.

Prisoner Ward. That woman has sworn very false in what she has said, therefore let them be examined one by one.

MARGARET INNIS sworn.

About eight in the evening, I went to the house of Mr. Franklin, where I received that linen in the indictment, from the housekeeper, I gave it to Mrs. Weldon; I had to call at a gentleman's house in Portman-square; and told her either to stop at a corner of a street, or to go home to my house; when I came back to the corner of the place she was gone, I went straight home, and before I got home, a gentleman came to me to come to Mary-le-bon watch-house, for the woman was knocked down and robbed, but she was taken there, and the linen and all was safe; I went there that night between nine and ten, and saw the linen; I saw no persons in custody that night; I was told to go there at ten in the morning; then I went to the office in Litchfield-street, there I swore to the property, and it was delivered to me at Litchfield-street; I took home the linen; it has been in my possession till I brought it here; this is the same that was delivered to me at the office; it is the property of Mr. Franklin.

(The linen produced and deposed to.)

RICHARD BARON sworn.

My brother lives at Lord Foley's, I had been to Seymour Mews, and I heard a woman crying out murder! stop thief! and I went up, and I saw the prisoner Ward in the light colour coat knock this woman down; and the other prisoner was running in the street with a basket of linen in his arms; I caught hold of the flap of his coat, and I fell down, and another young man that is here, came and caught him, and he flung down the basket of linen; and that young man, when he saw he was near being taken, he ran into Mary-le-bon lane, and another young man stopped him.

Was he never out of your sight after he dropped the basket? - No, he was not, I was within a yard of him all the way he went; the other prisoner, Ward, came up, and said to the man that caught him, what are you going to do to him? and he called him a rascal, and said, why do not you take him to the Justice's, and he struck him; and Ward came up to the watch-house, and he was very busy there, and said, they had no business to use him so, and damned his eyes, and said why did not they carry him there; he stood at the door, saying a good deal to several people, and a man was saying to him, what business have you to busy yourself with it? and I came up and said, this is the man that I saw knock the woman down; so then he was taken.

Mr. Peatt, Prisoner Ward's Counsel. At what time did the prisoner Ward come up? - As soon as ever we laid hold of him, it might be ten minutes.

What did Ward say when he came up? - He damned him, and said he had no business to strike him.

What did Ward say when he was taken? - I do not know.

Did he attempt to escape? - No, not in the least.

THOMAS SWENDELL sworn.

I was coming from Portman-square, towards Cavendish-square; I heard the cry of stop thief! and I saw a man running with a basket towards us, and Richard James that was with me catched at the basket, and he flung it down, and we gave it to the woman; I did not see him taken.

Should you know the person that you saw throw down the basket? - Yes.

Is he in court now? - That is the man, the shortest of the two.

Are you sure of it? - Yes, Richard James that was with me picked up the basket, this all that I know.

RICHARD JAMES sworn.

As I was coming from Portman-square to Cavendish-square, as I passed Mary-le-bon lane, in Wigmore-street, I heard the noise of halloo! and stop thief! I crossed the way, and met Connor with the basket of linen, I tried to catch him, and he made a shift, and he threw it down, I immediately gave it to Weldon, and when I had so done, she said, my cloak lays under the wheel; there was a carriage just by, I gave it to her; as soon as ever the man dropped the basket he ran off; I did not see him taken; the prisoner Connor is the man that dropped the basket; then a person said he was taken; then I went to see him, and it was the same man, they said they would take him to the watch-house; I said no, bring him to the woman.

HARRIOT SPENCER sworn.

I was out a little after eight, and coming along Wigmore-street, I heard a woman crying out murder! I looked on the other side of the way, and I saw a man running with a basket, and he crossed the way, I saw the man throw down the basket, I did not see him taken.

Should you know the man again, whom you saw with the basket? - Yes, I knew him when I saw him in the watch-house.

Is he here now? - Yes, the man in the brown coat, Connor.

THOMAS DAVIS sworn.

I was coming along Wigmore-street on this night, and crossing Welbeck-street, the two prisoners came down Welbeck-street, and the woman with the clothes was standing by the side of the rails, and as they came to the woman, they made a full stop, and let me come by; I passed them; when I came to Mary-le-bon-lane, I heard a cry, and there was a coach coming along which drowned the noise, I heard the cry again, I run across, and Connor came running down down on the other side of the way, I struck at him, he run as far as Marybone-lane, and struck against a butcher's shop, and I caught him in my arms, tumbling in the kennel; I saw him do nothing, I am positive he was one of the persons that I saw near the woman.

PRISONER WARD's DEFENCE.

There is a gentleman come to the bail-dock, and he said, he was there at the first beginning and there at the end of it, and it is a pity that innocence should suffer; he says, his name is William Lare .

Mr. Peatt. Do you wish to have him called? - Yes.

WILLIAM LARE sworn.

I am a journeyman plaisterer; between the hours of seven and eight on Monday night, I was coming from Well-street, with a pot of colour in one hand, and some oil in the other, I saw a woman sitting upon a basket of clothes, and I heard the cry of stop thief! and I went and saw a man kicking and struggling on the ground, I gave him two or three good kicks, I came up to a man in a darkish dress, and there was a man holding him, and he was looking at him, they took up the man and brought him to the women with the clothes, and they ordered the people to clear the way, and she said, she was knocked down

by a man in a white coat, and the woman said, that man was not there.

Who was that man in the darkish dress? - I cannot tell, she said, the man in the darkish dress was the man that took the bundle, and the man in the whitish coat, was the man that knocked her down; there were several people shewn her, she said the man was not there, but the prisoner Ward was there the latest of the two.

Court. Did she see the two prisoners? - No, she saw one of them.

Did she see either of the prisoners? - I do not know that she did.

But you say Ward was there, you said just now, that the tallest of the two was there? - Yes.

Court. Did she look at either of the prisoners? - Yes.

Prisoner Connor. I have nothing to say, I have no witnesses.

BOTH GUILTY Death .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.


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