Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 06 June 2023), September 1771, trial of William Penn William Payne (t17710911-66).

William Penn, William Payne, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Theft > receiving, 11th September 1771.

613, 614. (M.) William Penn and William Payne were indicted, the first, for that he, on the king's highway, on John Broadhurst , did make an assault, putting him in corporat fear and danger of his life: and stealing from his person one gold watch, value twenty five pounds, two gold seals, value 40 s. and ten pound in money, numbered ; and the other for receiving the same, well knowing them to have been stolen , July 26th . +

John Broadhurst , the prosecutor. On the 26th of July, about eleven at night, I was stopped in the Derby coach, at South Mims , and robbed of about ten pound in money, and a gold watch. I know Penn was one that robbed me. An information was left at sir John Fielding's of this robbery. I found out, on the 27th of July, where Payne lived. I went with two men into Payne's room, and found him and the evidence, Lee, in bed.

John Broadhurst . Upon searching their apartments, I found, Mr. Broadhurst's gold watch in Payne's tool chest and these pistols, three of them loaded.

Q. How do you know it was Payne's chest?

Broadhurst. He is a carpenter by trade; it was in his bedchamben.

Q. Was the chest locked?

Broadhurst. No.

Q. When did you search Payne?

Broadhurst. On the 27th of July.

John Ward . May not I be excused; I was in the coach, and was robbed at the same time; my evidence is on to the same purpose. I have another indictment against the prisoners.

Thomas Lee , the accomplice. Penn and I set off, to morrow will be eight weeks, at night a robbing; we went as far as Mother Red Cap's, and had two pints of cyder; and then we went to Enfield Chase; where we stopped till a coach went by; we followed the coach; but thinking there was a guard with it, we let it alone: coming back, we met the Derby Fly, and stopped it, and robbed it of a gold watch, and a pinchbeck watch, in a shagreen case. I was taken on Saturday morning, in Hartshorn court, Golden lane, in Payne's room; I put the watch in Payne's chest; that is all I know about it.

Penn. I never was in his company in my life. I never went to Enfield Chase.

Q. to the prosecutor. Where was you robbed?

Prosecutor. I asked the coachman; he said it was South Mims.

Q. You had not stopped coming from London?

Prosecutor. No.

(The watch produced.)

Prosecutor. This is my watch; I know it by the name; the maker's name is to the seal. The watch maker swore to the watch next morning.

Q. to Lee. Where was the robbery committed?

Lee. Very near South Mims, on this side.

Court. Is there any body here that knows whether that is in Middlesex?

James Lepingwell . The Cross Keys, in Mims, is in Middlesex.

Q. Is it all Middlesex to South Mims?

Lepingwell. I cannot say.

Prosecutor. When the bill was drawn we were in a doubt, and a map was produced, and it was found to be in Middlesex.

Thomas Lee . I live at Tottenham High Cross; I am a peruke maker. Penn hired horses of me several times.

Q. Do you remember letting any to them in July?

Lee. Yes; about six in the evening, Penn and Elmore had two horses of me, to go to Blackwall; Elmore came for them, and took them to the Bull; there Lee mounted one and Penn the other. I never saw Penn before; he was recommended to me by the person who keeps the Roe Buck.

Penn. I hired the horses to take my wife a nd children into the country to their mother.

Fanny White. Penn and Lee were at my house on the 26th of July, the same night they committed the robbery, at Mother Red Cap's at the foot of Highgate hill; they drank two pints of cyder; I am sure he is the man; he was not in the house, but at the door.

Q. to Thomas Lee . When were the horses brought home?

Lee. Next morning, about eight o'clock.

Q. Who brought them?

Lee. Elmore; he rode one and led the other, as he did before.

Q. How did he appear; was he hard rode?

Lee. No; he was in very good order.

Q. to Lee the evidence. What time was you taken?

Lee. About seven in the morning; Penn and I came to town together, to the Spread Eagle, in Gracechurch street, about four in the morning; there we put our horses up.

Q. Was any body else with you?

Lee. No; from thence we went to Payne's, and between six and seven Penn got up and went to desire Elmore to carry home the horses, as he hired them. I did not see Penn any more till he was taken up.

Q. to Broadhurst. Where did you take Payne?

Broadhurst. In Hartshorn court, Golden lane.

Q. Was any body with him?

Broadhurst. The evidence was in bed with him.

Q. Who took Penn?

Broadhurst. I do not know; I went with Penn to Payne's room.

Q. Was Payne in the house when you came in?

Broadhurst. Yes; he was in bed in the same room as we lay down in afterwards; there was only one, and we all three lay down on it.

Q. He did not know what you had been about?

Broadhurst. At first we knocked; he said who is there; I said Penn and I have been on the marble, and desired him to let us lie down a little.

Q. What did you mean by being on the ramble?

Broadhurst. Being out all night.

Q. He did not know what you had been upon.

Broadhurst. No; he said you have waked me out of my sleep; I have got the rheumatism; he soon went to sleep again, and we lay down.

Q. How came you to put the watch and pistols in the chest?

Broadburst. Because we had not room for them in our pocket; and as the chest was open, we put in the watch in a handkerchief.

Q. to the Prosecutor. Was you robbed by one man or two?

Prosecutor. One man; the other was on the other side of the coach; there were two in company; it was light enough to see them; I can be very certain to both their faces; it was light enough for that.

Robert Haswhitle . I cannot be positive to either of the prisoners. I believe Penn is one of the persons that attacked the coach; I was in it when it was robbed on the 26th of July, about eleven in the evening; it was between Barnet and St. Albans, I do not exactly know the place, it was beyond Kitt's end, about three quarters of a mile. I am a stranger to the country; it was at the corner of a lane that comes into the road.

Nicholas Bond . I apprehended the prisoners. Penn attempted to escape from me.

Penn's Defence.

I never saw the watch in my life.

Payne's Defence.

I never saw the watch in my life till it was took out of the chest.

For the Prisoner.

Thomas Rallum . I know Penn; he has been an honest man as long as I have known him; he is a hard working man; he drives a waggon. I have known him sixteen years or upwards; he did live at Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, I know, till about two years ago.

Ann Hendersby . I have known Penn twenty years; I live at Stevenage; I know no harm of him; he is an honest man as far as I know; it is two years since I have known any thing of him.

Anthony James . I have known him eighteen years; I did live at Stevenage when I knew him; it is three years ago since I have seen him; till now, I never knew any ill of him.

Q. to Lee, the evidence. Where was if you got on horse-back the 26th at night?

Lee. In Goswell-street.

Q. Who got the horses?

Lee. Elmore.

Q. There were only two horses got; what became of Elmore?

Lee. He did not go with us.

Q. Who brought the horses to the Bull?

Lee. Elmore.

Q. Did he go out of the Bull yard on them, or you?

Lee. He overtook us on horseback just beyond the Bull; there is no yard, it is only a public house.

Q. Where did Elmore get off?

Lee. At Goswell-street turnpike.

Q. What became of him.

Lee. He came to Old-street to drink with us; we could not get another horse for him, so he went back.

Penn, Guilty , Death .

Payne, Acquitted .