11th September 1799
Reference Numbert17990911-56
VerdictNot Guilty

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438. HENRY HARDING was indicted, for that he, in a certain field, and open place, near the King's-highway, upon William Broadfoot , did make an assault, on the 30th of June , putting him in fear, and taking from his person a silver watch, value 3l. a muslin handkerchief, value 12d. a pocket-handkerchief, value 12d. a pair of scissars, value 2d. two thimbles, value 2d. and 3s. the property of the said William Harding .

WILLIAM BROADFOOT sworn. - I am a journeyman tailor . On Sunday the 30th of June, I was robbed in a field, near Primerose-hill , about three o'clock in the morning; I was late going home to my lodging; I rapped at the door once, and found I was locked out, and being a fine morning, I thought I would take a walk in the fields, among the hay; I lodged at Mr. Hambler's, No. 7, Charlton-street, Fitzory-sqare; I came home between twelve and one, I did not leave the shop till eight o'clock, and then I went to receive my wages at the Black-horse, in Swallow-street; from there I went to the Robin-hood, in Windmill-street, and staid till twelve o'clock; I then went to my lodgings; I was not perfectly sober, but I knew what I did very well; I then went down Portland-road, by the Queen-and-Artichoke, till I got to the third field; I walked about for some time, I suppose about an hour, and then I laid down upon the hay, but did not sleep; when the prisoner at the bar came up to me, I was as sober as I am now; he and another man came up to me, I had never seen either of them before to my knowledge; they came up in a hurrying manner, and the prisoner speaking like an Irishman, asked me, what I belonged to? I said, I belonged to nothing, but I saw what he belonged to; then he began throwing hay over me; he asked me what countryman I was; I said, suppose I came from Newcastle; he kept throwing hay over me, and cried out to the other man, Tom, bring me some more hay.

Q. What countryman are you? - A. I was born at Limerick; he kept throwing the hay over my head, and was like to smother me; I got up and told him to be quiet, I was not disturbing them, and I did not know what right they had to disturb me; then the prisoner knocked me down with his fist; he struck me on the side of my head; I was a little stunned; he then took the handkerchief from my neck, and said, d-n you Tom, take that; I did not resist, because I was afraid they would kill me; the prisoner threw the handkerchief to the other

man; he then told me to take off my coat; he took hold of the cuff of the right sleeve, and tore it across; he got both my coat and waistcoat off; then he went a yard or two from me to the other man; he took the coat and waistcoat with him, and took every thing that was in the coat out of it, except a small button that was left in the corner of the pocket; there was a pocket-handkerchief, a pair of scissars, and a silver watch; I had put my watch in my coat pocket, because I thought it was safer there than any where else; he also took three shillings, two thimbles, and some half-pence out of my right hand waistcoat pocket; they took also a woman's huslif, that had the duplicate of a watch in it, which I had brought of a man of the name of Downer, who worked at the same place with me; it was pawned at Hill's in Brewer-street; one of them, I cannot say which, threw my coat and waistcoat back to me; the prisoner laughed at me, and said, that would learn me not to come out so soon in the morning again, and then they went away with the property. (Produces the coat torn across the sleve.)

Q. Do you mean to swear positively that it was the prisoner who tore that coat? - A. I do. On the 12th of August, I made an affidaved at Marlborough-street, and took out the watch, that the duplicate related to, which I lost. On the Wednesday morning after I had been robbed, I met with the prisoner upon the parade at St. James's, they were both soldiers, and were dressed in the uniform of the light company, the first regiment of Guards; I had been in the Park that same Sunday and Monday morning; on the Wednesday morning, the soldiers passed me once, and when they came up again, I saw the prisoner and knew him immediately; I had two officers with me, Treadway and Mumford; he was taken to Bow-street and searched, but nothing found upon him belonging to me; I first applied to Bow-street, on the Sunday morning, and from there I went to the Park; I am perfectly sure the prisoner is the man.

Q.Who was with you at the Robin-hood? - A. Mr. Johnson, he is here, and the foreman of the shop is here.

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. Who do you work for? - A.Messrs. Sitlers and Mathews, in Little Vine-street.

Q. Where is your pay-table? - A. The Blackhorse, in Swallow-street; I was there about an hour before I got paid.

Q. How came you to go to the other public-house, and leave your comrades? - A. I did not leave them, they went when I did; I drink at the other public-house every night; I left the Robinhood about twelve o'clock, and I did not leave the Black-horse till night eleven.

Q. Are there any other lodged in this house? - A. No.

Q. Were you ever locked out before? - A. No.

Q. How came you not to rap at the door a second time? - A. I had lodged there but a week, and it was a very fine morning.

Q. You were robbed of three shillings; what money did you receive at the pay-table? - A. One pound five shillings: I had a one pound note, but I cannot swear that I was robbed of it, because I did not see it; and I only speak to that I am certain they did take.

Q. Had you no stile, or ditch to get over, in the fields? - A. Yes.

Q. And you thought your watch safer in your coat-pocket than any where else? - A. Yes; I had often done so before.

Q. The watch you lost was a silver watch with two cases? - A. Yes.

Q. What sort of watch was it you got out of pawn? - A. A silver watch with two cases.

Q. Upon your oath, did you not swear before the Magistrate that watch was your own? - A. I swore that I had lost the duplicate.

Q. Is Downer here? - A. No; he was an apprentice at the shop I worked at, but he is gone away; he lives at No. 44, Cross-street.

Q. You did not think it necessary to bring him here to-day? - A. I did not know whether it was or not; and I could not afford to see Council to know what was right.

Q. These men came up to you when you were upon the ground, and began to throw hay over you? - A. Yes; and they felt all over me to see whether I had any thing in my breeches.

Q. Why did not you run away? - A. They could run after than me; and I had no thought that they meant to rob me.

Q. Not when they felt about your breeches? - A. No.

Q. Upon your oath, what did you think they meant? - A. I did not take much thought about it till they took my handkerchief.

Q. Was it day-light? - A. Yes; and they were both dressed in their uniforms.

Q. I take it, was only from the clothes that you knew the man again? - A. Yes, by his face and his speech.

Q.Then you did not know him till you heard him speak? - A. Yes, I did; but that made me the more certain; I went to the Orderly-room on the Sunday, and they told me to come on Wednesday, for the men would be all out that morning, and if I could see him I was to take him; I went on the Wednesday, and they were marching up to the Queen's guard, at Buckingham-house; he was apprehended in the ranks.

Q.How many shillings did you receive at the pay-table? - A.Five shillings and four-pence, and I paid my beer score for the week; I had about two shillings in my pocket before I received my pay.

Q.Court. Q.Perhaps you have heard of such a thing as a reward of forty pounds? - A. Yes.

Q.Had you heard of it before you were robbed? - A. Yes.

Q.When they took away your coat and waistcoat, did you see the things that they took out? A. No; I know I had the watch in my coat-pocket when I came past the Queen and Artichoke to go into the fields.

JOHN JOHNSON sworn - I am a tailor: I was at the Robin-hood on Saturday night, with Broad foot, he did not appear to me to be intoxicated; I went away between eleven and twelve, and saw no more of him that night.

ANDREW OLIVER sworn. - I am foreman at the shop where Broadfoot works: I was with him and the other men on the Saturday night when they received their wages; I paid him a one pound note, and some silver, and I think I left him there about eleven o'clock; I saw him on the on the Monday, and he told me he had been robbed by two men belonging to the first Regiment of Guards.

EDWARD TREADWAY sworn - I apprehended the prisoner on Wednesday the 3d of July, as he was going from the Horse-guards to Buckingham house, Broadfoot said, that is the man that robbed me; we went with them to St. James's, they were drawn up there, and captaine kelly said to Broad foot, young man, one soldier is very much like another, consider the situation that the man stands in; and he said he was the man; the prisoner told captain Kelly he was at work, as a tailor, all Saturday night, and till eleven o'clock on Sunday mornning, at Mrs. Nash's, a widow woman, No. 12, in Shepherd's-market; that he had made a pair of breeches and a waistcoat for Mr. Barrett, a tailor, in Shepherd's-market; the prosecutor said, he was positive to the prisoner; he said there was another man with him whose name was Tom; I took him to the office, and told the Magistrate that captain Kelly said he was a clean soldier, and that he had sent for the parties the prisoner had mentioned; but they did not come forward, and the Magistrate ordered it to stand over till the evening; I went to Mrs. Nash, but she was not at home; then I went to Mr. Barrett's, but he did not come to the office; Broadfoot first came to the office on the Sunday morning, he left me in order to go the Orderly-room, and I did not see him again till Wednesday morning.

(Thomas Mumford, the other officer, confirmed the evidence of treadway).

The prisoner stated in his defence, that he was as work for Mr. Barrett at the time of the robbery.

For the Prisoner.

JOHN BARRETT sworn. - Examined by Mr. Alley. I am a master tailor, No. 19, Shepherd's-market, May-fair: The prisoner worked for me; he was taken up on a Wednesday morning, I believe, in July; the last work that he brought home himself was on the Friday before that; there was a person in Ryder-street, St. James's that employed him at the same time, but I don't recollect his name; he had then a pair of small clothes to make for me, which were sent home on the Thursday morning after he was taken; I have always found him with considerable sums of money. On the day that he was taken up, an officer come to me, and I asked him if I was compelled to go; and he said there was no compulsion, it was only to speak in behalf of the man, and my business was such that I could not go.

JOHN NASH sworn - I have known the prisoner four years, he has always bore an excellent character.

Court. Q.Are you any relation to Mrs. Nash, No. 12, Shepherd's-market? - A.She is my wife.

Q. Is there any Mrs. Nash, a widow, there? - A. No.

Q. When did the prisoner last work for you? - A. I cannot call it to memory, I have been out of the country, I was obliged to go over to Ireland; and I left the prisoner in care of my busness.

Q. When did you go to Ireland? - A. The last 10th of June was twelve months, and I returned home five weeks ago last Thursday; I am in the army.

The prisoner also called his serjeant, and three other witness, who gave him a good character.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Lord ELDON.

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