Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 May 2022), December 1675 (16751208).

Old Bailey Proceedings, 8th December 1675.

A TRUE NARRATIVE Of the Proceedings At the Sessions-House IN THE OLD-BALY Begun on Wednesday the 8th of this Instant December, 1675 and there continuing till the Saturday Following.

Therein Seventen Men, Two Women, and a Boy about Fourteen Years of Age Received Judgement to Dye for their several Offences.

Besides, neer Twenty that Received the Mercy of the king for Transportation; Twelve had the Benefit of the Clergy, and were onely Burnt in the Hand, Six to be Whipt at the Carts Tayl, &c.

With all the Particular Circumstances of their Tryals, and the Nature of their Crimes.

With Allowance, Roger L'Estrange.

Printed for Benjamin Pierce . 1675.

An Account of the Proceedings at the Sessions-House in the Old-Bayly, &c.

AT the Sessions holden at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bayly, on Wednesday the eighth of this instant December, 1675. were tryed divers Malefactors, almost an hundred in number to answer for their several misdemeanours; such as Murder, Robbery, burglary, Theft, &c. of which one and twenty received sentence of condemnation, and are accordingly to suffer unless they find His Majesties gracious pardon for the same, the principal, and most remarkable for these were.

First of all a parcel of Bayliffs with their followers , being in all five in number: these haveing a Writ against a person living near Turn-stile in Holbourn , went to serve it upon him accordingly, but fiailing in their enterprize, and being incensed by the hissing and floutings of the Shop keepers and Apprentices thereabouts, one of them drew his Hanger, and making at one of the crowd cut clean through the brims of his Hat, but by his stepping back escaped without any further harm. The tumult no way terrified hereby began to revile them more than before; insomuch that the Bayliffs (a sort of Men not very apt to take affronts) began to be so highly enraged,that of them calling to his Companions, swore in the too vulgar Prase) Damme! Draw, and we will clear the way. Whereupon 'tis said that all of them (however, as many as had swords) drew, and cutting as it were a passage thorough the crowd, till they came to the end of Turn-stile-Alley , they met with one Richard Allen , by profession a Sea-Chirurgeon , who being inquisitive into the cause of that disturbance, and, as some say, concerned in it; they fell upon him so severely; hacking and hewing him without any mercy, that they left him dead upon the place; for besides the terrible wounds he received in his Legs, Thighs, and especially his arms, the only defence he had for his head, the most mortal and dangerous was that in his skull, a good part of which was taken clean off. Hereupon they were apprehended and committed to the Prison of Newgate, and the Coroner sitting on the body returned it murder , as it was likewise found in Court, and three of the principal of them convicted of the same, and received sentence of condemnation accordingly.

After these a Boy of about fourteen or fifteen years of age took his Tryal, it seems he was removed by Habeas Corpus from Northampton-Goal, where the fact was committed as followeth. The aforesaid Boy being the Son of an Yeoman in the said County of Northampton , was employed by his father to receive a summ of money, which accordingly he did; but upon I know not what occasion mispent, or lost the greatest part of the money, and being conscious to himself how ill a thing he had done, and how dearly he was like to suffer for it, resolved upon an Adventurefar more mischievous in it's nature, and dangerous in the consequences of it. For his money being so far spent that he was afraid to return home, he bought him three Pistols with the remainder; not doubting as young as he was, to make up his fortune upon the road, and return to his father with credit, and satisfaction; but when the most hardy and resolute gallant of our times do dayly miscarry in attempt of this kind, what success can so small a Gamester hope for, who nevertheless was more desperate in his first adventure then could be expected, or would have been wished. For the first Person he met with being a Cittizen of London travelling that Road, he passed him by, and turning his horses head about followed him, and shot him in the back, but not so as to make him fall, whereupon not having strength or courage enough to compleat his villany, he fled , and the Gentleman, though too much wounded to pursue him, had yet strength enough to ride to the next town, where he made a discovery of the fact, upon which the boy was pursued, apprended, and this sessions received sentence for the same .

In the next place was Try'd a Butcher , against whom it was alledged that he and his Companions rob'd one Thomas Barnard of about five or six pound in money, and afterwards desperately wounded him, with an intention, as was thought, to have kill'd him, to prevent Discovery , being, it seems, known to the said Barnard; But he by providence escaping with his life, declaring the manner of the fact, and naming one of the principal persons concern'd in it, upon a diligent serch it was not longe'r he was apprehended.This Fellony and Robbery was committed a little beyond Islington , between which place and Barnet divers others were robbed that Evening, and as was supposed, by the same gang, but no more of them were taken, neither did any of the persons so robed give Evidence against the Prisoner, but onely the said Thomas Barnard , who knowing him so well, and giving in so plain an Evidence against him, the Jury could do no less then find him Guilty , according to which evidence he now stands Condemned.

After him were Tryed other 3 Persons for Padding upon the High-way , and particularly they were charg'd with the Fellony and Robbery committed upon a person of Honour at Hide-Park-Corner . It was sworn that they discharged three Pistols at the Coach, one of which wounded the Noble-man that owned it, who besides Money, lost a Beaver-Hat, Silver-Hilted Sword, and other things of Value: a Gentleman who was present when the Robbery was committed, came in as Evidence, and swore possitively as to the matter of fact, but being asked whether or no he knew the Prisoners at the Barr, and would swear they were concerned in it, he made answer, he could not; so that it is probable they might have escaped, had not a Person formerly Convicted, but since pardoned, upon the Account of Discovering his Accomplices in this and several other Robberies come in against them. 'Tis true, they had several ways to evade the Accrimination, one of them pleaded that he had not for many weeks stir'd abroad for fear of an Arrest, and being proved that he was abroad the same day the Robbery was commited, he alledged he was forcedthereto upon the account of borrowing Fifty Shillings, which accordingly he did, of a person living behind St. Clements. A woman likewise witnessed that they were all three Drinking at her house the same day, till ten a clock at Night, even at the very time that the Robbery was done, but her Evidence stood then in little steed, for the person above mentioned swore quite blank that he himself was one of these that Robbed and wounded the Person of Quality as aforesaid, and that those three Men at the Barr, pointing to them, and calling them by their Names, were the persons that were with him, and some others (since Fled) as Confederates and Assistants.

There were likewise two others that had formerly been convicted of Fellony, and receiving the benefit of their Clergy had beenonly burnd in the hand that were again Apprehended with several bunches of Pick-locks of all sorts and sizes wherewith it seems they had done several offences; but their conviction came from a Woman that keeps a publique House , who possitively made oath that she was robb'd of a considerable sum of money and goods, to a great value, and that the prisoners at the bar were the very persons so the pick-locks being all battered and broke in Court, the Malefactors were found guilty and received sentence.

One other for breaking into the house of William King , and taking away goods to a considerable value .

Two persons for breaking open a Gentleman s House at Kentish-town , and takeing away several goods .

One for fellony and burglary , firing a Pistol, and drawing his Weapon at the constable .

Two others for fellony and burglary committed in White-Chappel .

One other for stealing a bay-Gelding which he sold at Bulwick in Northampton-shire, and another for stealing two Horses which he confessed .

There were as I have said several others condemned, to the number eighteen Men, and two Women, upon all which it will be too tedious to enlarge myself. In short thus.

Likewise two Women formerly convicted of fellony that might have had the mercy of the Court, and the Kings pardon for Transportion, but refused it, so they had sentence passed upon them.

These are the several crimes of such as are to suffer Death; besides near twenty that received the Mercy of the King for Transportation, twelve burnt in the hand, and six to be whipt at the Carts-tayl.