10th September 1829
Reference Numbert18290910-267

Related Material

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

1798. JOHN BOYCE was indicted for feloniously assaulting Thomas Gardner Niner , on the 24th of July , at St. Luke, putting him in fear, and taking from his person, and against his will, 1 watch, value 1l., his property .

THOMAS GARDNER NINER . I am clerk and warehouseman to Messrs. Wood and Co., of Wood-street Cheapside. On the 24th of July, at near twelve o'clock at night, I fell in with a woman - she was a stranger to me; she accosted me, and I eventually accompanied her home - she took me to Chequer-alley, Bunhill-row ; she appeared to be a girl of the town - I was not tipsy, but a little elevated; I had been supping with a friend - I had my senses about me; I went to bed with her - I could not go to sleep, for I fancied I heard a noise in the room; it was an up stairs room - I think it was two pairs of stairs; I am almost certain of that - at last a man made his appearance before me from a cupboard; it was rather a large room, fifteen or sixteen feet long, I should think - when the man made his appearance the woman was in bed with me.

Q. When you first went into the room with the woman, did she bolt the door? A. She locked it, and she did not get up to unlock it - I had not been asleep at all; the man made his appearance from the cupboard, suddenly - it was the prisoner; I had been in bed about an hour or an hour and a half, and am quite positive nobody had opened the room door - I was undressed, and in bed; as soon as the prisoner made his appearance, I jumped out of bed; before he spoke to me - he said, "D - n your b - y eyes (or something of that sort) what do you do here with my wife?" I desired him to do me no bodily harm -I am not certain that I used the word bodily; I said this in consequence of his using these threatening expressions, and from his manner - I was very much frightened at the time at his manner and his words - he then nailed the window with a hammer and nails; it was a sliding window - he had a hammer and nail there; he then said if I made any resistance he would call those to his assistance who would use me ten times worse than he would, and that he could have plenty to his assistance; he said he would call his brother to his assistance, who would use me worse than he would, or could - the woman at this time was sitting at the foot of the bed; he went to the cupboard which he had come out of, and wetted a knife - I did not see the knife, but it had the sound of a knife; this alarmed me very much - there was no light in the room; it was daylight at the time.

Q. When he was nailing the window down, or during the time all this was going on, did he threaten you at all? A. He threatened me very much, by saying several times that he would use me ill by calling his brothers to me - he said that several times; he asked me if I could give him money - I told him I dare say I could get a friend; in fact, he asked me, when he found I had very little about me, if I could get a friend to advance me some -I had a watch in my possession; during the time I was in bed, it was in my hat, which was close by the bedside; on the chair; I dressed myself before any thing was said about the watch - when I was dressed, he said,"Leave your watch."

Q. Did he say that in a threatening manner? A. He did; I told him I valued the watch very much, but it would not be of much value to him, that he had better take what money I had and let me go; he did not take my money - I took the money in my hand and offered him - it was only 3s.; he said it was only 3s., and refused it; he made another request for my watch, and said if I did not give it up he should take other means to make me, or he should call his brothers, who would soon set me to rights, or something to that effect; I gave the watch up to him through fear from those threatenings: I had taken it from my hat and put it into my pocket; I took it from my fob, and gave it to him with my hand, through fear.

Q. You gave it out of fear from this threatening language; his whetting the knife, nailing down the window, and saying he would call his brother, who would use you worse, is that true, on your oath? A. That is true - when he first appeared at the foot of the bed I do not think he asked if I had any money; he unlocked the door and let me out; the woman was a perfect stranger to me; I had made no bargain to give her any money, but I gave her, I think, 2s. in the room; I had no intention of stopping all night; I went and gave information directly; the prisoner is the man - he was taken up in about an hour, and my watch found on him; I parted with it in consequence of fear.

Prisoner. Q. Did you give the watch into my hand? A. I did; I did not first offer to send the watch to pledge, nor offer you 50l. not to expose me to the public.

Q. Did I not tell you to be cautions under what circumstances you gave me your watch, as you valued it? A. You told me, provided I would return at ten o'clock with a sovereign, you would return me the watch; I did not authorize him to pledge it.

Q. What was the terms you gave me the watch for? A. Through fear; I was not treated with hospitality in the room; I was treated most shamefully - you did produce to me a paper which you said was the certificate of your marriage; he took it from a box, and said it was the certificate of his marriage.

JOHN BROWN . I am an officer. The prosecutor came to my house a little after six o'clock on Friday morning, and informed me he had been robbed of his watch - I went to the house he pointed out in Chequer-alley, and went up two pairs of stairs - he gave the account he has now; he was in a very agitated state; I went up stairs to the room; the prosecutor was with me - the room was locked, and nobody in it; I obtained a key of the landlord, who lives but a few doors off - and while I was in the room searching for the property, I heard footsteps on the stairs, and the prisoner made his appearance; the prosecutor said,"That is the man who has robbed me;" I laid hold of him, and he immediately produced the watch from his pocket with a view to give it to the prosecutor; he presented it to the prosecutor as I caught hold of him, but I prevented his giving it to him.

Prisoner. Q. Did you not ask me when I entered the room where the man's watch was? A. You did not give me the opportunity - you pulled the watch out of your pocket before I could hardly get hold of you; the moment you showed your face on the top of the stairs, the prosecutor said "This is the man that robbed me;" the prisoner heard that, and it was after that he gave up the watch; I received it and took him to the office.

Prisoner's Defence. On the 24th of July, I came home about a quarter to one o'clock, and on my arrival, found the door open; the prosecutor swore it was locked and bolted at the office - I went in - this man started from the bed; I asked who he was, and what he did on my premises - he said he was seduced there by the woman; I said it was impossible, and that the woman was my wife - he said that could not be; I said it was so - he begged for mercy; and asked if I would permit him to put on his clothes - I said I would, provided he had no injurious implement about him - he asked if I would search him; I said No, I would take his word, and he dressed, placed himself in a chair, appeared very agitated, and crying out about his woman and child - he pulled from his pocket a small parcel containing a child's frock or pelisse, and said he would give me 50l. not to expose him, as he would lose his situation, and offend his wife; I staid in the room some time, then undrew the curtain - my wife placed herself near the window, and having occasion to go down stairs, I took a small brad and nail to fasten the window, which was a little open when I entered the room; I went to the cupboard to strike a light with a flint and steel, to light the fire, and the prosecutor represents that as a knife - I went down stairs, came up again in five minutes, and found him, and the woman both by the window, he blaming her for bringing him there; I then considered he had been seduced there - he begged of me to let him go; pulling a small sum of money from his pocket, asking if that and his watch would do - he asked me to pledge the watch, and asked if he could place confidence in me, and leave his watch with me till he returned; I asked what he was going away for - he said he wanted to speak to a friend; I said I was determined to look into this - he then pulled his watch from his pocket; I believe it had before been in his hat - he laid it on the table, and asked me again if he could place confidence in me, and leave it with me- seeing he had been led into an error, I said I had no objection to take care of it till he returned; he was going away - I told him to be cautious, as the neighbourhood was a bad one; I gave him a card, he wrote my address on it with pencil, and went away - he was to come to me at twelve o'clock; I went out, walked about for ten minutes, and on returning, the female was gone - I took the watch from the box, put it into my fob, and walked about looking for the female; I could not find her, and on coming back, found Brown in the room - as I entered, the prosecutor said, "This is the man;" Brown asked me"Where is the man's watch" - "Here she is" said I, pulling her out of my pocket; the prosecutor seemed inclined to take it, but Brown pulled it out of my hand. I hope you will take it into your serious consideration, and treat me with impartiality.

THOMAS GARDNER NINER re-examined. Q. Is it true that you gave him the watch to prevent his exposing you to your wife? A. I can only say I gave it him, through fear, and from no other account whatever; I did not say any thing to him about hoping he would not expose me or tell where I had been - how could I expect he would see my wife, when he did not know me; there is not a word of truth in what he has said.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 30.

View as XML