Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 05 October 2022), September 1763, trial of David Crosby (t17630914-7).

David Crosby, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 14th September 1763.

360. (M.) David Crosby was indicted for robbing Jasper Child on the King's highway of a hat, val. 10 s. a cloth coat, val. 30 s. a brass tobacco-box, a silk handkerchief, a clasp knife, and a pair of buck-skin gloves his property , Aug. 7 . +

Jasper Child . Five weeks ago last Sunday night I was going from White-chapel to Sun-tavern-fields , I was met by three men between 9 and 10 o'clock, about eight or nine yards from a place called Tom-turd-man's-hole , the prisoner was one of them; one came on one side, the other, the other side, and the third, a little man, laid hold on my collar, and said, if I stirred I was a dead man; he held a knife open in his hand, two of them searched my pocket, (not the prisoner) I having no money the little man took my hat from my head, and put his on my head, and let me go; then I made my way as fast as I could for the turnpike, I got into the cross road and met them again, they bid me stand, or I should die directly, and put a knife to me as before; it was very star light; then they took my coat from my back, in the pockets were my handkerchief, tobacco-box, gloves, and knife; they had struck at me, and I at them, I broke my stick, and they took that away; then I went on towards the turnpike, and they towards White-chapel; I found another man at the turnpike that had just been robbed of his watch and buckles by three men, which he described like them. I gave the turnpike-man, the constable, and John Stedman the description of them, and on the Friday following I was fetched to Spring-gardens, at Stepney, there I saw the prisoner, there was a man with him much like one of the others, but I would not swear to him. I took him to White-chapel, there I charged him with the robbery; I found nothing upon him belonging to me; I never found any of my things again.

John Brown , and John Stedman deposed, the prisoner and two other men used, frequently to be about Stepney fields, that they watched the prisoner and another to Spring-garden, that they decoyed them down to Rosemary-lane, pretending to have a game at Skettles, and would have a supper, and they should partake if they would go with them; that there they secured them with the assistance of one Andrews, it being dangerous to attempt it at Spring-garden, there being many resolute people there at the time; that the other two were taken that same night, and carried to New-prison, by Brebrook and Murray. They could give no account how the prosecutor was sent for to come to the prisoner.

The prosecutor being asked, what he was? said he was a coal-beaver, and that a constable came for him.

As neither of them could give any reason why the other two were not indicted with the prisoner, nor the men that secured them appeared on the trial to be examined, the Court suspected it was conducted by those who had an eye to the reward, he was Acquitted .