Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 01 December 2021), April 1816, trial of MICHAEL MOVEN (t18160403-7).

MICHAEL MOVEN, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 3rd April 1816.

284. MICHAEL MOVEN was indicted for feloniously assaulting James Ward , in the King's highway, on the 8th of January , for putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, nineteen 10l. bank notes, one 5l. bank notes, two 2l. bank notes, and five 1l. bank notes , his property.

JAMES WARD. I am a seafaring-man . On the 8th of January, in the evening, I went into the Duke of Rutland public-house, in Old Gravel-lane; I was alone, and called for a pint of beer. There was a number of people in the house playing at cards; I was in the tap-room. I sat down, and played with them. The prisoner was there. I went out at about eleven o'clock to go to my lodgings; I went out in company with a man named Wilson; I was followed by four men; the prisoner at the bar was among the four that robbed me. I was knocked down in Keppel-street , about a quarter of a mile from the Duke of Rutland. I walked part of the way with Wilson that came out with me; I believe Wilson was the man who knocked me down. I had changed a one-pound note; I had been playing at cards, and had lost the whole of my silver, and I pulled out a bundle of notes to get a one-pound note to change it;I had two hundred and four pounds in bank notes; there were nineteen ten-pound notes; one five-pound note; two-pound notes; and five one-pound notes. I had received one hundred and ten pounds from the Bank, and the rest in wages and prize money. I had them rolled up, and tied with a piece of red tape. I took them from my jacket pocket; I was obliged to do so, to get the one-pound note, I had my reckoning to pay, which was four shillings, besides part of my losing out of this one-pound note. I could see the prisoner at the bar among those that knocked me down; the prisoner at the bar took my money; the three who did not take it remained a little longer than the prisoner; he took it out and ran a short distance; I saw him clearly at the time he was robbing me; then the other three got together, and ran towards him. I know the prisoner at the bar took the money out of my pocket; I ran after him, and was within three yards of him, I made for the man who I knew had robbed me. They all ran under the dark of the wall, which was shaded by a small light of the moon, and I could see no more of them. When the prisoner made a stop, he said, I have got it, come along; that was just after he had robbed me. They then ran towards him. I informed Mr. Hewitt I had been robbed.

WILLIAM HEWITT . Upon hearing of the robbery, which was on the 9th of January, the morning after it, I went to the lodging of the prosecutor, and took possession of the clothes that he was knocked down in.

DAVID BRIANT. (Accomplice.) Moven was the first man that knocked him down, and Wilson followed after; there were four of us; we had been at the Duke of Rutland. I mean by Wilson following after, that he struck him next. Moven took the money from him, I was present; Moven ran away, and said, I have got the swagg, come along; he then joined the rest. We all went down to Deptford the same night.

Q. What did you do with the money - A. It was all divided. I made a communication to Mr. Brown two days after the robbery was done. I was not suspected at all; but I thought it a pity that the man should be a loser of his money; it was Brown I told, he is a constable. There was Moven, Wilson, Fryers, and myself; they were all that were concerned. Edwards was not with us at that time. I had been playing at cards, and saw Ward playing; Wilson is a coal-heaver. When we came out of the Duke of Rutland, I was going home to my supper, when Wilson called me back, and told me that Ward had such a quantity of money, he did not mention how much he had. It was in Keppel-street, Old Gravel-lane, that we came up with the prosecutor; the prisoner knocked him down; Wilson followed him; Fryers put his knee on his throat, and I held one of his legs. When Moven ran off, he said, he had got the swagg, and then we all got up, and ran away; we crossed the River at Shadwell Dock-tiers; we got a boat there; we landed at the strairs opposite, in Rotherhithe; then we went to Deptford, and shared the money that night; we went to the Unicorn, the first house; Moven took out the money and divided it among us in a house next to the Unicorn, where we slept. We first went under a lamp, and he took out a ten-pound note, as he said, he could not stay. I got fifty-five pounds they told me; but I am not a scholar, and did not know what notes they were. I returned to London the night following; I stayed at Deptford the whole of the next day. The prisoner kept the same as I had, as they told me. I told Mr. Brown two days after. I had not been apprehended, I was cleared from it, and when Moven was taken, I came forward again. I had been taken before the magistrate.

JOHN BROWN. I belong to Shadwell police office. On the 10th of January last, Bryant sent for me down to the Duke of Rutland, saying, he was sorry for the men who were taken into custody; there were two young men taken on suspicion, though not concerned. He then said, he was one of them; he said this of his own accord. He said, that he, together with the prisoner at the bar, Wilson, and one Fryers, were the four who robbed the lagger, that means a sailor. I had not at that time seen the prosecutor, Ward. I went, and Bryant with me, to try to apprehend Wilson and Fryers; I did not apprehend them.

MICHAEL MORRIS. I apprehended the prisoner on the 20th of February; I and Hewitt had been looking after him for five weeks. When I took him, I told him I wanted him for a robbery; I knew his person. He said, he knew I did not want him for that, only for leaving his master's employ. I asked him where he had been, and I understood him to have been at Liverpool.

Prisoner's Defence. I am innocent of the robbery; that is all I know; I have got no witnesses, my lord.

GUILTY - DEATH , aged 17.

Second Middlesex Jury, before Lord Ellenborough.