James Cole, William Corby, Christopher Busby, Margaret Warden, John Bromley.
17th January 1770
Reference Numbert17700117-3
VerdictsGuilty; Not Guilty; Not Guilty > no evidence; Not Guilty

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66, 67, 68, 69. (M.) James Cole , William Corby , and Christopher Busby were indicted for making an assault on Mary Ware , spinster , on the King's high-way, putting her in corporal fear and danger of her life, and taking from her person a sattin cardinal, value 40 s. her property . And Margaret Warden , for receiving the same, well knowing it to have been stolen , Dec. 8 . ||

Mary Ware. On the 8th of December, about nine o'clock in the evening, I, and my servant, Sarah Lawrence , were in Brumpton-road , near my own house; four men crossed over the road to us; one of them said, Lady, a little of your money, if you please. I had gone out in a hurry, and put no pockets on. I said I had no pockets on; you may feel, if you have a mind to it. Then one of them, untied my cloak, and took it off. It was white sattin. At their first coming to us, one of them said, Shoot her! another said, Don't hurt her! At their going away, I said, in my fright, pray give me my cloak again. One of them then said, Blow her brains out! and I heard a pistol snap. They had, all four, pistols in their hands. I cannot say I should know any of them; they appeared to be young fellows; but I did not look in their faces; they had all their own hair. (Such were the prisoners.)

Q. Was it light, or dark?

M. Ware. It was quite moon-light. It was the shortest that untied my cloak. I had it advertised at Sir John Fielding 's. The prisoners were taken within a week; then I was sent for to Sir John Fielding 's, where I saw my cloak again, and the three men prisoners there. (Produced in court and deposed to.)

Sarah Lawrence . I am servant to Miss Ware. I was with her when she was robbed. We were stopped by four young men; it was on a Friday evening, about nine o'clock, not an hundred yards from our own home, as we were coming from town. When they came up to us, they asked for a little of our money; mistress said she had no pockets on; they searched her, and found she had not. It was the short man that took her cloak. Then they came to me, and asked for my money; I gave them a shilling and some halfpence. As they came up to us, one of them said, Shoot her! and when they went away, one of them said they would blow her brains out, because she said, Pray don't take my cloak. I took notice of their faces. I know Corby and Busby; Busby is the short one. I gave my money into one of the tall one's hands, but whether it was Corby, or one of the others, I cannot tell. It was Busby that took my mistress's cloak. I saw them the Tuesday se'nnight after at Sir John Fielding 's: I knew them then.

Q. Where does your mistress live?

S. Lawrence. She lives in Brumpton-road. She is of no business. I have lived with her about seven years.

Q. Did you know either of the prisoners before?

S. Lawrence. I do not know that I ever saw any of them before.

Mr. Fryer. I am a pawnbroker, and live at the corner of Walker's-court, St. James's. On the 9th of December, at night, the woman at the bar brought this cloak, and said she brought it from a lady of her acquaintance, to pledge; I lent her 25 s. upon it. She said it had been fetched out of pawn some where else, where it had lain for 27 s. About a week after, Sir John Fielding 's men came and asked me, if I had such a cloak; then I produced it.

John Wheatly . I keep the crown ale-house, in Brumpton-road. On Friday the 8th of December, there were four young men came into my house, and staid and drank till about nine o'clock, then they went away; and the next morning I heard of this robbery. I am sure Corby and Busby were two of them, and I believe Butler, the evidence, was one with them; I thought so when I saw them again at Sir John's.

My house is about 140 or 150 yards from the place where the robbery was committed.

Busby. I was in that house with two other men; but I cannot say who they were.

W. Butler. I am near 18 years of age. I am a plaisterer. The three prisoners were with me in Bow-street; but only Corby and Busby were with me in the Brumpton-road. We saw the lady; we went to her, and asked for her money; she said she had none: then Corby took her cloak from her. Corby had a broken pistol that would not fire; Busby had one that would. I had no pistol.

Q. Who else was with you?

Butler. I do not remember any body else being with us. I was very much in liquor; so were they. She said she had no pockets on. I went to feel for her pockets, and found she had none. The other young woman was with the lady; we heard them squeak when we ran away.

Q. Who said, Blow her brains out?

Butler. I did not hear it. I was very drunk.

Q. How came you acquainted with them?

Butler. I met with them at the hole-in-the-wall, in Bow-street.

Q. Are you sure there were but two with you?

Butler. I believe there were but two besides myself: I know there were but two came home with me. I was sober then; we had been at some house on the road, and had had two or three pots of beer, about eight o'clock.

Q. Was you examined before Sir John Fielding ?

Butler. I was.

Q. Did you give the same account there, as now?

Butler. I did, as near as I can remember.

Q. How long have you known James Cole ?

Butler. He was apprentice to my grand-father.

Q. Was he with you in Brumpton-road, or not?

Butler. He was not with me in coming home, I am sure, but he was there when we came in, that is, at the hole-in-the-wall.

Q. What became of the cloak?

Butler. I carried that to Mary Warden , to her room, and desired her to go and pawn it for me. I told her it was the property of a young woman I was going to live with, a young woman of the town, that wanted some money. She went and pawned it on the Saturday night for half a guinea; she said that was all she had got for it. I had half a crown of it, and Busby and Corby had the rest. She said she gave it to them.

Q. Did she tell you where she pawned it?

Butler. No, I did not ask her; I had no intention to fetch it out again.

Cole's Defence.

I know nothing at all about it.

Corby's Defence.

I do not know any thing of that young man, (meaning Butler) he is no acquaintance of mine. I went with Busby a little way out town, to an acquaintance's house, and my acquaintance had left the house. And in coming home, we called in at a house and had some beer; it might be that gentleman's house, for ought I know. (meaning Mr. Wheatly) We came home. I know nothing of any robbery.

Busby's Defence.

I am a post-boy , and lodge in Church-court, in the Strand. I saw Corby where I lodged. I asked him to take a walk with me to the cow and calf. The man that did keep it, is named Salmadine; he had left the house. We had a pot of beer, and came away. I did live at the bull, at Kingston.

Warden's Defence.

He (meaning Butler) desired me to carry the rest of the money to Corby, which I did, and delivered it into his hands; he said it belonged to a woman he was going to live with.

To Cole's Character.

Thomas Holmes . I am a sawyer. I live in Martin-street, by Carnaby-market. I have known Cole seven years; he bears a good character.

To Warden's Character.

Lawrence Crow . I did keep a publick-house, This Warden lived servant with me; she then behaved sober and and honest.

Corby and Busby, Guilty . Death .

Cole and Warden acquitted .

(M) James Cole , William Corby , and Christopher Busby were a second time indicted, for robbing Sarah Lawrence , on the King's highway, of 1 s. 3 d.

No evidence was given on this indictment.

All three acquitted .

70. (M.) John Bromley , James Cole , and Margaret Warden a second time were indicted. The two first for stealing a cloth cloak, value 5 s. the property of Lucy Hicks , spinster. And Warden for receiving the same, well knowing it to have been stolen , Dec. 15 . *

Jane Finley . I live in Leicester-fields. On the 15th of December, about half an hour after nine o'clock at night, I put Lucy Hicks 's cloak on, (she was then our servant ) I went out, and was returning home from Crown-court, Princes-street , some men followed me; one of them put his arms round my neck, and asked for a kiss. I turned round, and said, Go about your business. Upon that, he took the cloak off my shoulders, and passed it to a second man. The evidence, Butler, looks like the man that took it. The person that received it, came and gave me a violent blow under my left ear. They went off with it. It cost 12 s. but a little before. I do not know any of the prisoners.

Henry Wright . I am servant to Henry Steel , a pawnbroker. Margaret Warden pawned this cloak to me for six shillings. (Produced in court.)

J. Finley. This is the cloak: it is the property of Lucy Hicks .

W. Butler. Cole, Bromley, and I, had been drinking together, and were going to Westminster, where I lodge. Going down Princes-street, we saw this gentlewoman; I ran after her, and laid hold round her neck; said she, What do you want? I said, I want to kiss you. She said, Go along. I took her cloak off and put it behind me. She went to catch at me, and I hit her once or twice. I seeing some people on the other side the way, I ran down Leicester-fields. The two prisoners were not with me then; they were in Princes-street. I carried the cloak to Westminster. After I got there, they came to me, and said, What did you do to the woman? I said, What is that to you? I hid the cloak in the house, and afterwards gave it to Peg Warden to pawn it for me. The two prisoners had none of the money; I had it all myself.

All three acquitted .

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