Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 22 May 2019), September 1768, trial of Robert Paterson , otherwise James Wright James Mace (t17680907-30).

Robert Paterson, James Mace, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 7th September 1768.

527, 528. (M.) Robert Paterson , otherwise James Wright , and James Mace , were indicted for putting Richard Bushley in corporal fear and danger of his life, on the King's highway, and robbing him of a quarter guinea and six shillings in money numbered, his property , July 8 . ++

Richard Bushley . I am the master of Coleman-street ward school ; on Friday the 8th of July I was in company with some gentlemen at the Shepherd and Shepherdess in the City Road ; coming away near twelve at night I was attacked by the two prisoners, Elizabeth Green was with me, it was between that place and Peerless Pool ; Wright presented a pistol to me, and demanded my life or my money; I desired them to use no violence; the other took a quarter guinea out of my breeches pocket, and six shillings in silver, and some half-pence out of my waistcoat pocket, I cannot say how many: during that time he asked me where was my watch; I said, I had not got it about me; he said, if I had he would not have taken it away; after they had searched my pockets they felt at my fob, then they desired me to go off quietly, and think myself well off; there were no lamps lighted, it was very light; I went on till I came to a watchman, and told him of it, and described the men, one a tall thin-faced man, with brown coloured clothes, remarkably ragged under the arm, and that he had presented a pistol; the other a short man in darkish coloured clothes, but did not see any offensive weapon about him; I told the watchman where I lived; they came to me the next morning, and told me they had taken the men by the descriptions I had given; I went and saw them both about eleven o'clock before Sir John Fielding , at first sight I knew them again perfectly.

Colin Crocket . I am a watchman in St. Luke's parish, this gentleman came and acquainted me he had been robbed in the road at about half an hour past twelve that night; he described them as he has now, I believe the prisoners have now changed coats; he told me the tall one had a large pistol; I told him I would go and call two or three more watchmen, and we would put our coats and lanthorns down, and go after them; we went up in the road after we had locked our coats and lanthorns in our stands; we went towards Islington, we saw no body; we were crossing the road, coming back a watchman said, what is that a little farther, I thought it had been a hog; I took to my heels, and ran towards it cross the fields, the two prisoners were sitting on the ground, stooping very low that we should not see them, I knew them by the description given; I seized the man that had the pistol with one hand, and pulled the pistol out of his bosom with the other, and told him I would blow his brains out if he made any resistance; another watchman came, and we secured them, and people came out of the Shepherd and Shepherdess, and we took them to the watch-house; then the tall one had the brown coat on, and the other the dark one, now they are the reverse; there was a quarter guinea, and 4 or 5 s. found upon Wright, I cannot justly say how much; as we were carrying them to the watch-house, one of them was fumbling in his pocket, we bid him keep his hands from his pocket; when we came back to the place, we looked and found some gun-powder.

James Blindal and James Allwright , who were at the taking the prisoners, gave the same account.

Francis Lawler the officer, produced a horse pistol, a piece of iron about 14 inches long (which served as a ram-rad) a clasp knife, a handkerchief, a bag, a 5 s. 3 d. piece, four shillings, two six-pences, a pocket piece, and ten-pence farthing in copper; these were found upon the prisoners; the pistol was loaded with a piece of lead beat up together.

Elizabeth Green I was with Mr. Bushley when he was robbed, I know the tall prisoner Wright, he stood before me, he had a brown ragged coat on, corn-under the arm; they took nothing from me.

Paterson's defence.

My name is Wright, I have witnesses here to my character, I was at a house at the corner of Beech lane that night from nine till half an hour past twelve.

For Paterson.

John Cassady . I keep the Angel and Porter in Golden-lane, he lodged with me about twelve weeks, he paid me honestly.

John Carnard . I keep the George, St. Mary-axe, he was my servant about three weeks, during that time he behaved very well.

John Gawthorn . I am a weaver, the prisoner did following weaving, he did work at Blackfriars bridge at times, I know no ill of him.

William Cook . I am a shoe-maker, I have known him about a year and a half, I never heard a misbehaved word of him.

Mary Conner . I have known him upwards of two years, he worked with my husband at Blackfriars bridge upwards of twelve months, I never heard any harm of him.

Mary Allen . I have known him three months, I know no ill of him.

Margaret Cook . I have known him upwards of two years, when he worked at Black-friars bridge, he would live upon bread and water a day together.

Mary Brown . I have known him a year and a half, he is a sober man, willing to labour.

Thomas Hewett . I have know him twenty months, he is a very honest hard working man; Mace worked with me three years ago, he behaved very well.

Thomas Wright . I have known Wright eleven years, he is a very honest man.

Thomas Ellison . I have known him eleven years, he always behaved well.

Mace's defence.

I have some witnesses to call.

He called Anne Davis , with whom he had lodged, Thomas Hewetsell , who lodged in the same house, Anne Daggs , who had known him four years, Edward Mallet , who had known him eight years, and said he was a ribbon weaver, Elizabeth Newel six years, and Elizabeth Walker two years, they all said they knew no ill of him.

Both Guilty . Death .