Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 December 2023), June 1791, trial of JAMES KELLY (t17910608-9).

JAMES KELLY, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 8th June 1791.

234. JAMES KELLY was indicted for feloniously assaulting, on the King's highway, Richard Levermore , on the 22d of May , and putting him in fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person, and against his will, one metal watch, value 21 s. a metal watch-chain, value 6 d. a metal watch-key, value 2 d. his property .

(The witnesses examined separately at the request of the prisoner.)


I was robbed between ten and eleven on the 22d of May, near the upper end of Newtoner's-lane, Drury-lane ; the prisoner was the man that robbed me; I was returning from Chancery-lane, going home, and I met three men, and as I passed the end of Newtoner's-lane; two of them met me in front, and the prisoner behind me; the prisoner confined my arms, and the other persons, who was nearest to me, took a metal watch from my fob-pocket; they two then absconded down the lane; the prisoner staid behind, and leaned on a post a few paces off; I believe he was sober, I suppose he staid there in order to shew his innocence; I went to him, and told him I should know him when I saw him again; there was a lamp over his head, and a great light from a cook's shop opposite, and I believe the moon shone, I am not sure; I turned as quick as the prisoner, and another witness saw him also; I am sure the prisoner was one of the three; the watch I valued at one guinea, I never got my watch again, I never saw the other two persons; I found the prisoner the next morning at the Red Hart in Parker's-lane; I went to Bow-street and described the man, and brought the runners with me; I take upon myself now positively to swear to the man; he was searched, and there was three shillings and a knife found upon him.

Prisoner. What coat had I on? - It appeared to be a loose surtout coat, a round hat, and a red handkerchief, the same as those in which he was taken, as I think.


I was with the last witness when he was robbed; returning home, three men came up, one behind, and two in front; the one behind confined my brother's hands, while the two before robbed him; the prisoner was one of them, the two in front run away; he that was behind remained some time, and from the good light of an adjacent shop, we could know him again; I am sure the man that stood behind was the prisoner; he did not take him then, because I begged him not, for fear of ill-usage, I am perfectly sure the prisoner was one of the men; my brother never got any of his property again.


I have belonged to Bow-street sixteen or seventeen years. On Monday the 23d I received information from the prosecutor of his being robbed in Newtoner's-lane, I told him to come at eleven, and we went to the Red Hart, and the prosecutor picked out the prisoner, and said he was one that came behind him.

Court. Is that a house of rendezvous for these sort of men? - I cannot say, there are several such houses in that neighbourhood; the prosecutor said he had no doubt of the man, but he would fetch his sister, who had a better sight of him than he had; the sister came, and I took her in without speaking to her, and she picked the prisoner out again a second time. I found no property upon him.

Prisoner. I have nothing to say, only please to call Joseph Kaine .

Joseph Kaine called, but did not answer.

GUILTY , Death .

To prisoner. How old are you? - Between seventeen and sixteen.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron PERRYN.