Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 06 December 2019), December 1772, trial of JAMES CURD (t17721209-100).

JAMES CURD, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 9th December 1772.

133. (2d. M.) JAMES CURD was indicted for that he, in a certain field and open place, near the king's highway, on John Zacherly did make an assault putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person two hind quarters of lamb, value 10 s. and 4 s. in money, numbered, the property of the said John , Dec. 2d . +

John Zacherly . I sell house lamb about the country; I was coming from Lee road on the 2d of December, about six at night, towards Hackney town, two men came from the hedge on the right; I was about fifty yards in the field called Hackney Down ; they ran up against me, and said, D - n you, have you got any money; I answered none for you; they presented each a pistol, one against my forehead, the other against my breast, and said, Do you see! can you see! and then, Don't make a noise; I stood still, and said nothing; one riffled my pocket of more than 4 s. then they said, you have got money in your basket; I said no, I had not; I took my basket down; one took out a quarter of lamb and ran away; then the other said, D - n me, I will have a joint too, and took another quarter; they were both hind quarters; then they ran towards the hedge again.

Q. Do you know any thing of their persons?

Zacherly. I cannot swear to them; it was dark: they appeared to be two young men. The prisoner was taken on the Friday night; I saw him at Justice Wilmot's on the Wednesday; they were both there; the other's name is James Fox .

- Lee. I took the prisoner and Fox at the Three Jolly Butchers at Newington, last Friday was se'ennight; I found this pistol in the prisoner's breeches (producing a small pocket pistol); it was loaded with a slug. I took from him a brass bell and key, which I am told belongs to a watch. There are four gentlemen bound over to prosecute him at Chelmssord.

James Fox . I am a weaver.

Q. How long have you been acquainted with the prisoner?

Fox. Some time.

Q. Who committed this robbery?

Fox. I did.

Q. Alone?

Fox. Curd was within a hundred yards of me.

Q. How far within it?

Fox. About that way?

Q. Was not he concerned in it?

Fox. No, I stopt that man in some fields.

Q. Do you know what day it was?

Fox. No, not rightly?

Q. You was along with Curd?

Fox. Yes; just before and just after, that day.

Q. Where did you meet that day?

Fox. At the Three Jolly Butchers.

Q. Was there any body besides he and you?

Fox. No.

Q. Where did you go?

Fox. We were together almost all day?

Q. Did you go any where towards Hackney?

Fox. Yes; we were going that way and I left him.

Q. Where?

Fox. At the end of a field I cannot say rightly; I was never that way before in my life. About ten minutes after I robbed the man, I met him again.

Q. You went forward did you?

Fox. Yes.

Q. About a hundred yards you say?

Fox. Yes.

Q. Who did you meet when you went forwards?

Fox. The butcher; I clapped two pistols to his breast and demanded his money.

Q. What did you take from him?

Fox. I took four shillings and a bad sixpence; then I pulled the basket down from his head, and asked whether there was any money in it; he said no; I took a quarter of lamb out; I went about five or six yards, then I came back and took another.

Q. What did you do with them?

Fox. I went away; I met with Curd a little after.

Q. Did you meet with him in the same place you left him?

Fox. A little forwarder.

Q. Was he nearer to the man you robbed or farther?

Fox. Farther.

Q. How far distant from the place where you robbed the man?

Fox. About fifty or sixty yards, or more.

Q. Did you shew him what you got?

Fox. Yes.

Q. What became of you then?

Fox. We both went together to the Three Jolly Butchers; then we went down to Curd's brother's at the Ferry, and had one quarter of lamb dressed for our suppers.

Q. What became of the money?

Fox. I had it all; but I lent Curd a shilling: I lent it him.

Q. So he had no share of the money?

Fox. Yes he had part of it, that that I lent him.

Q. How much did you lend him?

Fox. I lent him one shilling and a bad six-pence of it.

Q. You took four shillings and a bad six-pence, that was not quite a fair proportion; did you lend him no more, nor give him more?

Fox. No.

Q. You sunk part of it upon him then; did you tell him you had taken but three shillings from the man?

Fox. I told him I had robbed a man.

Q. Did you tell him how much you had taken?

Fox. No.

Q. He had nothing at all do with it then?

Fox. No.

Q. What, you made a great mistake I see in your information, for there you charged this poor man with being concerned in all these robberies; that was quite a mistake was it not?

Fox. If I said any thing wrong it was Mr. Wilmot's mens fault; I was very much in liquor when I gave the information.

Court. This is your information, (reads)

"That he with the said James Curd , a few

"days afterwards, between the hours of six and

"seven in the evening, feloniously stopped a

"man near Kingsland Turnpike, and took

"from his person four shillings and sixpence,

"and two hind quarters of lamb." Now you say the fact is you did it without him.

Fox. He was a little way from me, within 40 or 50 yards.

Jury. You said a 100 just now.

Court. Now the 100 yards are sunk to 50; try again.

Fox. It was night time, I could not tell within a few yards.

Q. Then perhaps you cannot tell whether he might happen to be close to you.

Fox. He was pretty near out of sight.

Q. It was dark, was it not?

Fox. Yes.

Q. Then people that are pretty near are soon out of sight?

Fox. Yes.

Q. Now these two pistols; do you usually rob with two pistols?

Fox. Yes.

Q. How came Curd by one?

Fox. I used to lend him one.

Q. So when business was to be done you used to take the pistol from him, and then give it him to hold for you.

Fox. Sometimes.

Acquitted .

The court committed the accomplice immediately to Newgate to take his trial for perjury.