26th October 1791
Reference Numbert17911026-31

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

411. WILLIAM PELFREYMAN and JAMES RANDALL were indicted for * assaulting John Mills on the king's highway, on the 5th of September last, and putting him in fear, and feloniously taking from his person and against his will one silver watch, value 40 s. a metal watch chain, value 2 s. two French half crowns, value 5 s. a counterfeit shilling, value 1 d. a silver counter, value 3 d. and two guineas and a half, his property .

* Not feloniously assaulting.

The witnesses examined separate.


I am a gold and silver wire-drawer , in Grub-street; on the 5th of September I had been to Haye's School, and was returning; between the eighth and ninth mile stone, facing Windmill-lane, in the Cross-way, I was stopped by the two prisoners at the bar, between five and six in the evening, it was perfectly light; I was in a single horse chaise, the prisoners were on horseback; I saw them no great while before they attacked me, they rode up one on each side, and Pelfreyman ordered me to stop my horse, which I did, and he demanded my watch and money. Randall was on my side, and I gave him the money in the indictment, and a three-penny or four-penny piece, some thing of that kind, and a silver watch in a double case, and a metal chain; then they rode off. They were with me not above a minute or two, I should suppose, but a very short time; I saw them again the Tuesday week after the robbery. Each of them had a pistol, they behaved exceedingly well, as a man could expect to be robbed, only threatning the horse. I have no doubt of the men, I saw them at Bow-street.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner Randall's Counsel. What dress did you see Randall in when he was at Bow-street? - A drab coloured kind of coat, the coat he has on now, apparently to me the coat he had on at the time he was stopped.

So you swore at that time? - I judged it so.

It is by that principally that you enable yourself to swear to him? - No, Sir; I have a strong recollection of his face.

You had never seen either of the persons who robbed you before? - Never to my knowledge.

Court. Was any body with you? - My brother and two little girls.

Your children are young children, I suppose? - Yes.

Are they here? - No, the one is about ten, the other six or seven.

Did you ever find any of your things? - No.


I was with my brother, in his one horse chaise, on Monday the 5th of September; as my brother and I were coming from Hayes, on the Uxbridge-road , between five and six, we were stopped by two men. I know Pelfreyman.

Can you swear to him? - Yes, I can.

Are you positive? - I am as to his person, because he was on the same side of the chaise where I sat, it was close by my side; they ordered the horse to be stopt; then they demanded the money, my brother asked them if they would take all his money? whether he would not allow him something for his expences on the road? he said, deliver all your money and your watch. I saw my brother deliver his money and his watch, they then rode off towards Harrow. I saw them at Bow-street the Tuesday se'nnight after. I cannot swear to Randall's person.

Jury. Who was the money given to? - To Randall.

Mr. Garrow. That is, more correctly speaking, to the other man who was with

Pelfreyman? - Yes; I believe him to be the man, but I cannot swear.


I am a patrol of Bow-street, I apprehended the two prisoners, one in Park-street, and the other in Park-lane. I saw them on the Harrow-road, coming towards home on horseback, the 5th of September, about a quarter before seven in the afternoon. Randall was servant to Colonel Moncrief; the other came backwards and forwards to see him; I saw him various times, I lived in the neighbourhood. I had many times seen James, with his master's horse on the road, but never William.


I am watchman where the men were taken. I knew Randall before, I assisted to take them.


I can bring witnesses where I was at the time of the robbery.


I leave it to my counsel.

The prisoner, Pelfreyman, being admonished by the Court of the danger of supporting an alibi by perjury, withdrew it.

The prisoner, Randall, called six witnesses to his character.


GUILTY , Death .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice HEATH.

Mr. Garrow. It is my duty, my Lord, to submit a motion in arrest of judgment; the indictment states that there was no sort of alarm made on his person, there is an assault but not a felonious assault. (The indictment read.) The jurors present that William Pelfreyman and James Randall , on the 5th of September, with force and arms, in and upon John Mills , in the peace of God, did make an assault, and him the said John in fear then and there feloniously did put, and one watch feloniously and violently did steal, and carry away.

Mr. Garrow. There is a felonious larceny and a felonious putting in fear, but not a felonious assault.

Court. Then there must be another indictment, we cannot suffer two men to go upon the highway again.

Mr. Garrow. To be sure they cannot be convicted of the same felony again, if they have the misfortune to stand there, I must exercise my judgment; I do not feel myself armed with powers to wave a good objection.

[The prosecutor and witnesses ordered to go to Hick's-Hall and prefer a new indictment, and tell the person who drew it that he has made a mistake.

Mr. Garrow. I will advise the prisoners, my Lord, to wave the objection.

Court. We cannot do it, we are bound to take notice of it.

Prosecutor. If any thing can be found for the benefit of the prisoners I shall be very happy.

Mr. Garrow. They are now convicted of a highway robbery on this indictment, of course their judgment may be saved; on the face of this record they will be entitled to judgment, because they are convicted of larceny.

Court. No, we must do justice to the public, we must have another indictment.

The two prisoners ordered to be taken away, and to remain in custody.

N. B. On Saturday Mr. Justice Heath informed Mr. Garrow that he had considered the objection, and thought the indictment good; therefore he should not try them again.

The prosecutor had obtained another indictment.

View as XML