Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 29 May 2022), October 1678 (16781016).

Old Bailey Proceedings, 16th October 1678.

The true NARRATIVE Of the Proceedings at the Sessions-house IN The Old-Bayly, For London and Middlesex.

Began on Wednesday the 16th day of October, 1678.

GIVING A faithful Account of the several Tryals for Treasons, Murders, Robberies, Burglaries, and other Crimes there examined.

WITH The Number of persons Condemned to Dye, Burnt in the Hand, Transported or to be Whipt; and every persons particular and respective Offence, for which they are to suffer.

With Allowance.

LONDON: Printed for L. C. 1678.

The Proceedings at the Sessions, holden for London and Middlesex

FOr satisfaction to the Publick, and more immediately to those persons concern'd, but especially to expose Villany, and deter vitious persons from lewd practices by the fatal examples of those who have pursued such vile courses, is this true Narrative of these criminal proceedings published; which be pleased to take as follows.

The first Tryal regardable, was of a young Man for killing a Gunsmith in St. Martins in the fields , on the 7th of August last. The Prisoner waiting on a Gentleman that had sent several brace of Pistols thither to trim up, coming into the Shop to look after them, takes up one, not imagining it to be charged, and holding it forth that way where the youth deceased was at work, on a sudden it went off, and shot him in the left thigh, making a wound three inches deep, whereof, sometime after, he dyed. There appeared not the least malice, but on the contrary, a great deal of love and kindness between them, so that the Jury reciting the whole matter by a special Verdict, found that he did it involuntarily, casually, and by misfortune .

But the next Arraignment appear'd far more black and Tragical. A Man on the last day of August, at Kensington , picking a causeless quarrel with another, without any provocation that could be made appear, would needs fight with him; and often with horrid Oaths, swore he would have satisfaction, or else he would stick him. The party afterwards killed , was then in drink, and finding himself thereby incapacitated, gave good words, desiring him to stay till the Morning, and then he would give him what satisfaction he would have; and set another person to perswade him to that purpose: but nothing would prevail, needs he would fight, and so into the fields together they go. As they passed, a young man heard the person now dead, say, We were better go back and drink a pot of Ale, than fight now; whereupon, he observed them the more, and saw them go over a stile, the Prisoner helping over the other, he was so much in drink: then the Prisoner drew his Sword, and urged the other to do so too; but he refused, and stood still with his Arms folded; whereupon, the Prisoner swore, If he would not draw, he would kill him; and accordingly gave him a wound in the Breast. Then the evidence being on horseback, at a distance, call'd to him, desiring him to forbear his Sword, and rather bang him soundly, that might not prejudice his Life: but still he swore, he would kill him; and the other repeated, That at present he was not in a condition to answer him, but next morning he would answer him: with which nothing satisfied, the Prisoner made four thrusts more at him, and killed him on the place ; for which cruel and unmanly Action, having nothing material to alleadge in excuse, he was found guilty of Felony and Murder, and justly received sentence of Death .

Two Women and a Man were tryed for a Burghlary in the Parish of Paddington , on the 27th of September last: the Evidence swore positively, that between two and three of the clock in the night, the two Women at Bar, and four Men, came to his House, broke open his door, and the Men entring, knockt him down, grievously abused his Wife, that she still remains sick; and his Mother then lying ill, they so ill intreated, that she was immediately taken speechless, and soon after dyed; then they rifled the House, took two Gold-rings, several parcels of Linnen and Cloaths, and 6 s. 6. d. in Money, which they flung forth to the Women that staid without: and the Witness swore, that they were the now Prisoners, whom he well knew before, and it being then Moon-light could plainly discern; but as for the Men, he knew none of them. These Women were acquainted with the House, and one of them had been there the morning before, and seen most of the things afterwards taken, andwere persons of ill fame; one had haunted Newgate, the other formerly transported from Barkshire Goal, and came over again before the time limited, upon whom a blue Apron, part of the Goods lost, was taken; so that they were found guilty of the Felony and the Burghlary, and Condemned . As for the Man, little being proved against him, only that he brought one of them over from Virginia, he was brought in not guilty , but order'd not to be discharged without sureties for the good behaviour .

A Woman Indicted for stealing certain Cravats, and other Linnen , from a Gentleman whose House was burnt in the late Fire at Ratcliff ; it not appearing they were taken with any felonious intent, but rather snatcht up in a hurrey, being then helping away with Goods of greater moment, was discharged .

A Yorkshire Lass , having to gratifie a sweet tooth mistaken a sugar-loaf from a Grocer's , was found guilty to the value of ten pence , and ordered to be severely whipt .'Tis like she had not been discovered, but that when her hand was in, she went to another shop, and setting down her prize sugar-loaf on the Counter, was going to steal a suit of Flannel for Burial, as if she intended to carry some Trophies of her ingenuity into the next World with her: but the Gentlewoman of the shop spying her, prevented that exploit, and suspecting the sugar ill come by, charged a Constable with her; whereupon, the Grocer heard of the business, &c.

A Footman Indicted for stealing a great quantity of wearing Apparel, Perriwigs, &c. being instructed in the Newgate Doctrine, pleaded guilty to all others within Clergy, and was fairly burnt in the hand .

Two Men tryed on suspition of stealing 22 l. 15 s. out of an Inne at Branford , on the second of this instant October . The Prisoners and two others came in and shifted a back-room to to go up stairs, pretending they waited to see some friends come by; over against the Room they were in, was a lodging Chamber, lockt, but the key on the outside of the door: after spending two shillings, away they went; the other two unknown, it seems had Horses in the Town, but the Prisoners took into aStage-Coach. The Master of the House, immediately after they were gone, misses his Money, which he saw but that morning, and knows of no company there but them; overtaking the now Prisoners in the Coach, he charged them; who highly pleaded innocence, that neither of them knew one of the other men, and had so little acquaintance with the other, as not to know where to find him; that she said stranger only was out of the room, which the witness confirmed, acknowledging, he saw him down stairs: so that nothing being taken upon them, nor any more direct proof made against them, they were discharged .

A lusty fellow was Condemned for a Robbery on the Highway ; the case was thus: On the 10th of April last, a Gentleman of my Lord of Oxfords Troop riding alone between London and Branford, about nine a Clock at Night, near Turnham-Green , on a suddain, a person starting out of an hedge, lays hold of his Bridle; and before he could ask the reason, some others behind, knockt him off his Horse, which, with saddle, bridle, and holsters, they took away, and rifled his pocket; though by good fortune, being going home, he had at that time but twelve pence about him; his Horse being turned loose, he afterwards heard of in a Pound; and some time after, going to re accoutre himself, met with his own saddle at one shop, and Loliters at another: these two Sadlers he Indicted the last Sessions; but they were quitted proving the buying of the Goods; and one of them afterward Seiz'd the Prisoner, who sold the saddle to him, coming to sell him another saddle; so that now it lay on him wholly to make appear how he came by it: of which he could give no good account, nor of his course of livelihood or conversation; and besides, was trap'd in several different stories, so that the Jury thought fit to find him guilty of the Robbery, on which he was Condemned .

Another was Indict'd on presumption of having stoln a brown Mare from a person unknown ; he brought her to the Red Lion Inn at Mile-end-green and exposed her to sale; but after a Gentleman had given him earnest and insisted to have her vouch'd, or some account how he came by her, he could give none, butwould have voided the bargain, nor could yet make any proof that he had any propriety in her; however, it not appearing directly that the Beast was stoln, the Jury acquitted him of the Felony.

A young fellow on the 11th of July last, about nine at night, prying about a Gentlemans house in St. Andrews Holborn , observ'd a Lady lay by a Mantua-Gown, and other rich cloaths in a low room; and leaving his shooes at door, goes in and gets them up : but she hearing some noise, cry'd out, and he was forc'd to drop them in the street, and so was taken, found guilty , and burnt in the Hand .

A person Convicted on a full evidence for stealing of a considerable quantity, at several times, of green sealing wax , was burnt in the hand .

An Engraver Indicted a young man for taking away some Tools, and other small things , but could fix nothing but a pair of Buckles; and of them the Prisoner gave a very good account, so that the prosecution being groundless, he was acquitted . As were likewise a Man and his Wife charged with two Felonies by certain people that had been their Lodgers, which upon examination, appeared wholly frivolous, and the Indictments to have been brought in revenge of an action the now Prisoners had formerly brought against the Prosecutors, who received a severe check from the Court for such their practice.

An old fellow that acts sometimes the part of an Hocus, or shewer of Tricks , was Indicted of High Treason for Clipping : coming to an Ale-house for a pint of drink, he offered a clipt Shilling, which the Victualler misliking, Here, says he, is another, shewing one much worse, and both new Clipt; whereupon, an Officer searcht him, and found a parcel of new Clippings about him, and in his Lodging a melting pot, Sizzars that would do the feat, and a smoothing stone. All he had to alleadge was, that he took the two shillings at London-bridge, and had the Clippings unknown to him, amongst certain things he took in pawn for 5 s. which he lent a certain person that he named, but could not produce. The circumstances seemed veryclose and hard upon him, but not sufficient to prove him guilty; so he was acquitted .

Two other persons of good credit were questioned for the like Crime . Against one , nothing appeared in proof; as to the other , there happened to come to his hand a parcel of Money, wherein was a great quantity Clipt, but he gave a fair account whence he had it; nor was it possible by circumstances he could Clip it, or to discover who did, so that they were cleared , and the Money ordered to be melted down.

A woman keeping a Publick house in James-street, Westminster , indicted a lusty young Coach-man that had lodg'd there a twelvemonth, for ravishing her on Saturday the 27th of July , after her Husband and the rest of the Family were gone to bed. She swore the necessary Circumstances very home, but no body heard her Cry out. The fellow lay in their house several nights after, and (as was proved by divers) drank with her and her Husband on the Sunday and Monday following, and afterwards paid them a parcel of Money he owed them; and then they served him with a Warrant on this business: So that on the whole matter, the Jury did not think fit on the Evidence before them, to bring him in guilty of so vile and capital a Crime .

Nine persons , Officers of several Parishes in Surrey, were indicted concerning the Death of a poor man , that having gone down to work, and being taken Ill, was to be carried home to Westminster by a Pass. It was alleadged, that their unseasonable Conveying him contributed to his End, being in so weak a condition: But there did not appear any wilful Default in them; so that they were Accquitted . Yet not without a necessary Caution to such persons, to be more careful for the future, not to hurry poor people out of their Parishes to the hazard of their Lives; but to provide for them in such cases according to their Duty.

There were in all Nine persons Condemned to Dye, Six Men, and Three Women, viz. a Souldier for Murder, two Men for Horse-stealing, one for a Robbery on the High-way; two old Thieves, one of them having been burnt in the Hand, and the other had often had Mercy, and was so impudent to go into a Gentlemans House at noon-day, and steal Goods and Plate of great value, being taken in the manner; two Women for a Burglary, and another guilty of stealing Goods above the value of ten shillings, by her own Confession. There were likewise Six Burnt in the Hand, that is to say, one for stealing a Velvet Saddle, of twenty shillings price.

Another for stealing Cloaths from his Master, to the value of Forty two pounds, by his own Confession.

Two for stealing a silver Tankard of the value of Eleven pound, in S. Martins Parish.

Another for stealing Clothes and Thirty shillings in money out of York-buildings, on Octob. 20. 1677.

Another for stealing Goods of great value, by his own Confession.

And one set aside for Transportation.