JOHN TATE, JOHN CONNOWAY.
20th February 1799
Reference Numbert17990220-56
VerdictGuilty; Guilty > with recommendation
SentenceDeath; Death

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188. JOHN TATE and JOHN CONNOWAY , otherwise IRISH JACK , were indicted, for that they, on the 23d of January , in the King's highway, in and upon George Barry did make an assault, putting him in fear, and taking from his person a clasp knife, value 2d. and six shillings in money , the property of the said George.(The witnesses were examined apart at the request of the prisoners).

GEORGE BARRY sworn. - I am a sailor in the King's service; at the time this happened I belonged to the merchant's service: On Wednesday, the 23d of January last, I was at Mrs. Thomas's, a private house, in Black-horse-yard, East Smithfield .

Q. Who was in your company? - A. The mistress of the house and another woman.

Q. There was no other sailor with you? - A. No.

Q. About what time of night did this happen? - A.Between eleven and twelve at night; the door was shut, and some person knocked at the door; the woman asked, who is there; some person answered, it is me, do not you know me; and she opened the door, and called out to me, here comes a press-gang; then four men came in, dressed in sailor's clothes; one of them sat down, and said, he would be half-a-crown to half-a-crown of mine for something to drink; I said, I would be a shilling; I took out a shilling, and gave it to the woman; he put his hand in his pocket, but took out no money.

Q. Do you know either of the two prisoners? - A. The shortest of the two prisoners, Tate, is the man that sat down by me, and offered half-a-crown.

Q. Was the other prisoner one of the four men that came in? - A. Yes; the woman brought liquor in, and put it down; then I gave the woman another shilling; the liquor was brought in, and I got up to go to the door to go away.

Q. Before the liquor was drank? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you take them to be a press-gang? - A.

No, I did not, because there was no officer with them; I did not like the look of them; the two prisoners followed me to the door, and took hold of me, one of each side, before I could shut the door after me.

Q.How did they lay hold of you? - A.By the collar, and by the left arm; Irish Jack had hold of me on the right side by the collar; they told me they would take me on board a tender; the other two men followed me, and dragged me down the yard.

Q. Had the two prisoners still hold of you? - A. Yes, they brought me against a shed, a boarded place; Tate then put his hand in my waistcoat pocket, and took out six or seven shillings, I am sure I had six shillings.

Q.Was it from the pocket that you had taken the shilling to pay for the liquor? - A. No.

Q.Had you taken notice of either of the shillings from any thing remarkable? - A. Yes, two of them; there was one with an M on it, scratched with an awl; the other was a crooked shilling, with R W stamped upon it.

Q.Had you observed these marks upon them before you lost them? - A. Yes, particularly.

Q. So that from these marks you could have known these shillings again? - A. Yes; Tate then put his hand in my right hand side pocket, and took out a shut knife; Connoway had hold of me at the same time.

Q. Had the other two men that came out any thing to do with it? - A. No, they had not; Tate said, here is a knife, perhaps he may cut our throats with it; Connoway then put his hand to my head, and put me up against the boards, while Tate struck me several times; they went away together.

Q.What became of the other two men? - A. I did not see them.

Q. Did you know either of them before? - A.No.

Q. Did you observe enough of them to be sure the prisoners are the same persons? - A. I am sure they are the same persons.

Q. How soon after this happened did you see either of them? - A. I saw two of them the same night, about a quarter of an hour afterwards.

Q. Where did you go to after they left you? - A. I went back to the house, and from the house I went into the street, and told the watchman that one of them was a tall man, of the name of Irish Jack.

Q. How came you to know his name was Irish Jack? - A. I heard him called so in the house; I did not describe the person of the other; I saw the two prisoners again about ten minutes after they left me.

Q. Where were they when they left you? - A. They were close by the watch-house, the watchman had hold of them.

Q. Have you since seen any money that you thought you had lost? - A. Yes, I described to the watchman in the watch-house the mark on the two shillings.

Q. Did any body shew you any shillings afterwards? - A. Yes, before the Magistrate, the next day; the next day I saw another of the men, one of the other two close by the place.

Q. He is not here? - A. Yes, he is.

Q.What is his name? - A. John Macdonald ; I told the watchman he was one of the men, and he took him away to the Magistrate's office; Tate pulled off his jacket in the watch-house, and he offered to give in to me if I would let him go; I said, it did not lay in my power; he said, he had no money, he would give me the jacket.

Q. You say that other man did nothing to you, why was he taken up? - A.Because he was in company with them.

Cross-examined by Mr. Bevill. Q. What time of night did you go to the house? - A.Between nine and ten.

Q. Are you a married man? - A. No.

Q. Had you not been drinking? - A. I was quite sober.

Q. So a sober man sat down and drank with four or five people, and gave them drink, and you think that an act of sobriety? - A. I wanted to get rid of the men.

Q. So, because you wanted to get rid of the men, you treated them? - A. Yes.

Q. What sort of a house was this? - A. A private house.

Q.There were no ladies there, I dare say? - A. There were the landlady, and the wife of a shipmate of mine.

Q. And so you went to sit with them? - A. Yes.

Q.And staid from nine till eleven? - A. Yes.

Q. So you persist in saying you were perfectly sober? - A. Yes.

Q. How much did you drink of these two shillingsworths? - A. None of it.

Q.What had you been doing with this landlady and your mess-mate's wife? - A.Drinking.

Q.Nothing else? - A. No.

Q. How many men were there that beset you when you got out? - A. Only four.

Q. Have you always said there were no more? - A. Yes.

Q. You did not go out of the house from the time you went in, till you endeavoured to make your escape? - A. No.

Q.Had you no conversation with any body but Tate? - A. No.

Q.How long have you had these two marked shillings in your pocket? - A. One of them for a twelvemonth, and the other a long time.

Q. How came you to have kept them so long? - A. I had no occasion to make use of them.

Q. I suppose you thought it rather odd, that two men who had robbed you and ill-treated you, should remain near the spot? - A. No, I did not.

Q. Were both of the shillings produced the next day? - A. No, only one.

Court. Q. How came you to put into the indictment a man of the name of James Innes? - A. John Macdonald told the Magistrate that he was with them.

JOHN HODGKINSON sworn. - On the 23d of January last, between eleven and twelve o'clock, Woods, the watchman, came to me, and said, there were some robbers, and we went and brought these two men to the watch-house; we found them near Black-horse-yard; there were four of them together; we brought them to the watch-house.

Q. Did you know what they were charged with at that time? - A. No, only from the information of the watchman; there were three watchmen went with me and the prisoners to the watch-house; in a few minutes after we had been in the watch-house, Tate said, he had no money.

Q. Was Barry there at that time? - A. Yes; Tate pulled off his jacket, and desired Barry to let him go, and went down upon his knees to him; I locked them up, and searched them; I found five shillings upon Tate in his waistcoat pocket, but I found no knife, nor shilling marked M, as Barry had told me.

Q.Had Barry described to you any other shilling besides one marked with an M? - A. Yes, he said there was one marked R W, and it was a crooked one.

Q. You are sure of that? - A. Yes, and I found among these five shillings a crooked shilling marked R W. (Produces them).

Q.When did you see any thing of Macdonald?

- Q. When I was coming from the office, after delivering that man up, coming through East Smithfield, I learned that he had been taken up, I did not take him.

JOHN WOODS sworn. - Between eleven and twelve o'clock I met Barry; he told me he had been robbed; I said, I would see him righted; he said, he heard one of the people called by the name of Irish Jack; I went and called an officer, and Mr. Johnson, the house-man, and in the mean time, Barry came up, and said, Tate was the man that robbed him; they were all four together then; there were Irish Jack, Tate, James Innes , and Macdonald; Johnson laid hold of Tate, and they had a little bit of a skirmish together, and Johnson fell down; I immediately caught hold of John Tate , Connoway came along quietly, and the rest ran away. (Hodgkinson produced a marked shilling).

Barry. This is the same shilling; it is marked R W.

Court. (To Hodgkinson). Q. This is a narrow passage, is it not? - A. Yes, it goes through into Nightingale-lane.

Tate did not say any thing in his defence.

Connoway's defence. I never saw the man in my life before. Tate, GUILTY Death .

Connoway, GUILTY Death .

Irish Jack was recommended to mercy by the Jury, on account of their being but one witness against him.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron THOMPSON.


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