10th September 1783
Reference Numbert17830910-50
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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645. GEORGE LISK was indicted for feloniously assaulting John Jeffries on the King's highway, on the 18th day of August last, and putting him in fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person and against his will 9 s. in monies numbered, his property .


I live in Broad-street, Wapping, sometimes I deal in old clothes , any thing for a bit of honest bread, I am but a poor man, I have this to say, worthy gentlemen, I swear to nothing but what is the truth; as I was coming, very nigh eleven o'clock at night, along the New Cut , that goes from John's-hill to Wapping church, the way from the New Tavern, up jumps two sailor s, they came over to me directly, they were smothered with rubbish before I came, I never saw them till I came up, they threw me down at once, and I had nine shillings and I lost it all, that man that got my money he got off, and this is the gentleman that kept me down.

Had they any arms? - They had none.

What did the prisoner take from you? - I lost nine shillings, I felt a hand in my pocket, the other put his hand in my pocket, I am sure of it, I was striving to get up in a hurry, if it had not been for the root of a tree I should never have got up.

Court. Look at the prisoner, how do you know it was the prisoner that did it? - Oh! that is the prisoner.

Aye, that we know, but is that the man that robbed you? - That is the gentleman that

held me down, the sky was very light and bright, and when he was holding me down I took particular notice of his face, and he was taken directly to the watch-house.

Did you cry out at the time they had you down? - I cried, but I could not cry much, because he held my throat so.

Did they immediately pursue him? - It was up by Penetent-street that they took him.

How many yards was it? - Forty yards, I dare say, I got up as well as I could, and the way the gentleman run I run.

Jury to Prosecutor. How near was the ditch that you was tumbled into by these men that were covered in the dust, that attacked you? - It was just beside the very place where they were upon, I was striving to get up, and I could not save myself, I have not been able to do any thing hardly ever since.

What road is it? - Torrington-street, it goes from John's-hill down to Wapping church.


I am a victualler, about ten or eleven minutes before I had shut up my house and was going to bed, a friend came in and we were talking, and I heard the watchman's rattle, my house is the corner but one of John's-hill, the prisoner was running from Torrington-street up John's-hill, I said you are in a hurry, he said, what do you want with me, I said, I do not know, there is a cry of stop thief, he said, he had hurt nobody, I said, then why did you run, he said, to meet them as he had heard the cry of stop thief, I told him he run the wrong way, I took him and gave him to the watchman, when I came down the road I found the old gentleman almost senseless, he kept crying out for God's sake do not hurt me, do not hurt me, he did not know what he was about, he begged he might go home to his wife and family; then the old man went to the watch-house, and he said that was the man, he recollected the man.

Prosecutor. Yes, that is the man, but I would not have him hanged neither, because I have children of my own, and I do not know what they may come to; there is nothing to hard for God to do, he may make a good man of him yet.

Prisoner. The prosecutor said at first I was not the man, he was very much entangled in liquor.

Prosecutor. No, no, I said you was not the man that robbed me, but the man that held me down.

Williams. The prosecutor did say so.


For five weeks before this I had been laying sick, and recovering again I said to my landlord, I would go and look after a little work, I was returning and I fell in with some of the people that worked for him, and I staid drinking till between ten and eleven, and one of them came out with me, and bad me good night, and said I had better go by the New Cut, and there was a mob of people, the corner of Ratcliff highway, and this gentleman seized me by the breast; when the prosecutor came up he said I was not the man, it was a sailor-man and a shorter man, they asked him my dress, he said I had a blue jacket on, I had a nankeen jacket and a green shag waistcoat, I have had three people here all day, and they are gone home; this is laid falsely to me, if they swear my life away they swear it falsely, therefore I leave it to the mercy of the Jury and the Judge.

GUILTY Of the felony, but not of the robbery .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before DEPUTY RECORDER.

Court to prisoner. From the mercy of your prosecutor and the lenity of the Jury, you have escaped with your life, which the offence as stated certainly affects; considering the age and infirmity of the prosecutor and taking his all from him, your offence is very heinous; the Jury have not gone to the exent of the law, but the Court thinks proper to transport you to America for seven years , and if you return and are found at

large within that time, you suffer death without the benefit of clergy.

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