1799 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey

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Date 1799
Topic Man robbed after drinking at the Robin Hood in Windmill Street
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Great Windmill Street, where the Robin Hood was located.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-20. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2022-05-17.


[11 Sep. 1799:]
WILLIAM BROADFOOT sworn. - I am a journeyman tailor. On Sunday the 30th of June, I was robbed in a field, near Primerose-hill, about three o'clock in the morning; I was late going home to my lodging; I rapped at the door once, and found I was locked out, and being a fine morning, I thought I would take a walk in the fields, among the hay; I lodged at Mr. Hambler's, No. 7, Charlton-street, Fitzory-sqare; I came home between twelve and one, I did not leave the shop till eight o'clock, and then I went to receive my wages at the Black-horse, in Swallow-street; from there I went to the Robin-hood, in Windmill-street, and staid till twelve o'clock; I then went to my lodgings; I was not perfectly sober, but I knew what I did very well; I then went down Portland-road, by the Queen-and-Artichoke, till I got to the third field; I walked about for some time, I suppose about an hour, and then I laid down upon the hay, but did not sleep; when the prisoner at the bar came up to me, I was as sober as I am now; he and another man came up to me, I had never seen either of them before to my knowledge; they came up in a hurrying manner, and the prisoner speaking like an Irishman, asked me, what I belonged to? I said, I belonged to nothing, but I saw what he belonged to; then he began throwing hay over me; he asked me what countryman I was; I said, suppose I came from Newcastle; he kept throwing hay over me, and cried out to the other man, Tom, bring me some more hay.

Q. What countryman are you? - A. I was born at Limerick; he kept throwing the hay over my head, and was like to smother me; I got up and told him to be quiet, I was not disturbing them, and I did not know what right they had to disturb me; then the prisoner knocked me down with his fist; he struck me on the side of my head; I was a little stunned; he then took the handkerchief from my neck, and said, d-n you Tom, take that; I did not resist, because I was afraid they would kill me; the prisoner threw the handkerchief to the other man; he then told me to take off my coat; he took hold of the cuff of the right sleeve, and tore it across; he got both my coat and waistcoat off; then he went a yard or two from me to the other man; he took the coat and waistcoat with him, and took every thing that was in the coat out of it, except a small button that was left in the corner of the pocket; there was a pocket-handkerchief, a pair of scissars, and a silver watch; I had put my watch in my coat pocket, because I thought it was safer there than any where else; he also took three shillings, two thimbles, and some half-pence out of my right hand waistcoat pocket; they took also a woman's huslif, that had the duplicate of a watch in it, which I had brought of a man of the name of Downer, who worked at the same place with me; it was pawned at Hill's in Brewer-street; one of them, I cannot say which, threw my coat and waistcoat back to me; the prisoner laughed at me, and said, that would learn me not to come out so soon in the morning again, and then they went away with the property. (Produces the coat torn across the sleve.)

Q. Do you mean to swear positively that it was the prisoner who tore that coat? - A. I do. On the 12th of August, I made an affidaved at Marlborough-street, and took out the watch, that the duplicate related to, which I lost. On the Wednesday morning after I had been robbed, I met with the prisoner upon the parade at St. James's, they were both soldiers, and were dressed in the uniform of the light company, the first regiment of Guards; I had been in the Park that same Sunday and Monday morning; on the Wednesday morning, the soldiers passed me once, and when they came up again, I saw the prisoner and knew him immediately; I had two officers with me, Treadway and Mumford; he was taken to Bow-street and searched, but nothing found upon him belonging to me; I first applied to Bow-street, on the Sunday morning, and from there I went to the Park; I am perfectly sure the prisoner is the man.

Q. Who was with you at the Robin-hood? - A. Mr. Johnson, he is here, and the foreman of the shop is here.

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. Who do you work for? - A. Messrs. Sitlers and Mathews, in Little Vine-street.

Q. Where is your pay-table? - A. The Blackhorse, in Swallow-street; I was there about an hour before I got paid.

Q. How came you to go to the other public-house, and leave your comrades? - A. I did not leave them, they went when I did; I drink at the other public-house every night; I left the Robinhood about twelve o'clock, and I did not leave the Black-horse till night eleven.

Q. Are there any other lodged in this house? - A. No.

Q. Were you ever locked out before? - A. No.

Q. How came you not to rap at the door a second time? - A. I had lodged there but a week, and it was a very fine morning.

Q. You were robbed of three shillings; what money did you receive at the pay-table? - A. One pound five shillings: I had a one pound note, but I cannot swear that I was robbed of it, because I did not see it; and I only speak to that I am certain they did take.

Q. Had you no stile, or ditch to get over, in the fields? - A. Yes.

Q. And you thought your watch safer in your coat-pocket than any where else? - A. Yes; I had often done so before.

Q. The watch you lost was a silver watch with two cases? - A. Yes.

Q. What sort of watch was it you got out of pawn? - A. A silver watch with two cases.

Q. Upon your oath, did you not swear before the Magistrate that watch was your own? - A. I swore that I had lost the duplicate.

Q. Is Downer here? - A. No; he was an apprentice at the shop I worked at, but he is gone away; he lives at No. 44, Cross-street.

Q. You did not think it necessary to bring him here to-day? - A. I did not know whether it was or not; and I could not afford to see Council to know what was right.

Q. These men came up to you when you were upon the ground, and began to throw hay over you? - A. Yes; and they felt all over me to see whether I had any thing in my breeches.

Q. Why did not you run away? - A. They could run after than me; and I had no thought that they meant to rob me.

Q. Not when they felt about your breeches? - A. No.

Q. Upon your oath, what did you think they meant? - A. I did not take much thought about it till they took my handkerchief.

Q. Was it day-light? - A. Yes; and they were both dressed in their uniforms.

Q. I take it, was only from the clothes that you knew the man again? - A. Yes, by his face and his speech.

Q. Then you did not know him till you heard him speak? - A. Yes, I did; but that made me the more certain; I went to the Orderly-room on the Sunday, and they told me to come on Wednesday, for the men would be all out that morning, and if I could see him I was to take him; I went on the Wednesday, and they were marching up to the Queen's guard, at Buckingham-house; he was apprehended in the ranks.

Q. How many shillings did you receive at the pay-table? - A. Five shillings and four-pence, and I paid my beer score for the week; I had about two shillings in my pocket before I received my pay.

Court. Q. Perhaps you have heard of such a thing as a reward of forty pounds? - A. Yes.

Q. Had you heard of it before you were robbed? - A. Yes.

Q. When they took away your coat and waistcoat, did you see the things that they took out? A. No; I know I had the watch in my coat-pocket when I came past the Queen and Artichoke to go into the fields.

JOHN JOHNSON sworn - I am a tailor: I was at the Robin-hood on Saturday night, with Broadfoot, he did not appear to me to be intoxicated; I went away between eleven and twelve, and saw no more of him that night.[1]

Source notes

IRHB has silently regularized the use of spaces before punctuation marks in the quotation and corrected the HTML text at Proceedings of the Old Bailey from the PDF of the original printed edition.



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