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1786 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

Date 1786
Topic The Robin Hood and Robin Hood Yard in Leather Lane, Holborn, figure in a case of perjury
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Site of the Robin Hood, Leather Lane, Holborn.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-18. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-28.


[22 Feb. 1786:]

 Do you remember being charged with robbing the prisoner? - Yes.
 What day did she charge you with robbing her? - On Saturday the 5th of November.
 I mean, on what day did she say you robbed her, when she gave her evidence in this Court? - I do not know the day of the month.
 Do you remember the day when this woman first came, and said in your hearing that she had been robbed? - She came in about nine o'clock in the evening; she said she had been robbed between the hours of two and four.
 Are you sure she fixed that time? - Yes, I am.
 Do you know where you were that day, between the hours of two and four, will you tell us upon your oath? - I was in at Mrs. Wolf's, when she came in to complain of this robbery; I had been there from seven till nine, I did not go out till eleven, when I went home to bed.
 Then from that were you in Robinhood-yard at any time between nine and eleven that evening? - No, I went home to-bed at eleven. I did not go out of Wolf's house from seven till eleven that evening; I live in Robinhood-yard with Mr. Russel, coach-master.
 Do you live over the stables belonging to Robert Beach? - No.
 Then in fact, any time between seven and eleven, were you in Robinhood-yard with any bundle of woman's clothes? - No, Sir, I never was out of Mr. Wolf's house.
 I need not ask you, if the prisoner called to you between that time in the yard? - No, Sir, she never saw me till she came to Mr. Wolf's.
Court. Did the prisoner know you before? - Yes; she was a lodger of my master's.
 Then, she knew your person before? - Yes.
 Was she a lodger at this time that she charged you with this offence? - Yes.
 Previous to this offence, had you had any quarrel with her? - No, Sir.
 Never have had a word with her? - Not a word.
Mr. Keys, Prisoner's Counsel. How long have you been employed in that yard? - Upwards of five years.
 Has Dorothy Handland lodged in that yard all the time? - No, Sir, she has not been a lodger to my master so long as that; she left my master's apartment about a year ago, and then she came back again.
 How long have you been acquainted with her? - Ever since I have been in the yard, and longer.
 That is five years and a half? - Yes.
 What business is she? - An old clothes woman.
 When she goes out about her business, her room is left locked up? - Certainly; there have been several people after her, and she has told me to take their names, and to deliver messages, and she should be at home at such a time; but I never shewed any goods for her in my life; when I have been in the yard doing my horses, she has come down in the yard, and said she should be at home soon.
 You knew her little stock was there? - I cannot tell.
 Is this alehouse, the Robinhood, close to the yard? - It joins the yard.
 What distance is it between the Robinhood and that stable-door, where she swore she saw you pass? - I suppose, a hundred yards.
 When you was in this public house, what time did you go there? - At seven in the evening.
 What time did you go there at dinner-time? - Before two.
 What time did you leave the house? - About five, my master came home.
 What is your master's name? - Beach.
 Then you went into the yard? - Yes; I was there about half after six.
 You swear, these four hours, from seven till eleven, you was not out of the public house? - I was not.
 What part of the house did you sit in? - I went to the chimney, to the box next to the jack-weight, where I always lay down.
 How long did you stay there? - Why, I suppose till about eight in that box.
 Was you alone in that box? - No, Sir.
 Who was with you? - Three or four people; there were two Mr. Goffs, and two Quakers, one of their names is Meredith.
 What is the other's name? - Charles Tippy, and one of Mr. Giles's men, his name is Thomas; and there was one Mr. Trott, a watchmaker.
 How was you employed at this time from seven till eight? - In drinking two pints of beer; I had one pint of beer alone.
 Who did you drink with afterwards? - with Mr. Trott and the other.
 How much had you with them? - One pint of beer.
 How much had you in all? - I was two pints, and they was a pint a piece.
 Had you any liquor besides beer? - No.
 And all that time you sat in that box? - At eight o'clock, I went next to the fire, and said there till eleven; Trott and I went away together; two of them that lodge in the house went to-bed at ten, Tipping and Trott were there the whole time.
Mr. Knowlys. Have you any doubt that you was there from seven till a considerable time past ten? - I have no doubt of it.
 Have you many more men in the yard? - Yes.
 Is there any man like you in the same yard? - There is one about my bulk, he is a gentleman's coachman.
 Does he wear his hair round as you do, without powder? - Yes.
 Mr. Keys. Pray, does this public house admit disorderly people, all sorts of company? - I never saw any in my life.
Court. Were there any lamps in the yard? - There was not, nor has been these two years.
 Is there any lamp near the loft-door? - No, nor any under the gate-way.
 Do you recollect, on that evening, whether there was any moon? - I brought the watchman's lanthorn to light my candle; there was no moon, it was very dark, I am positive of it.
 Do you think there was light enough that evening at half after eight, to discover the person of any body? - No, Sir.
 Do you think you could have discovered any body you had known? - No, Sir.

  MARY WOLF sworn.

 What house do you keep? - The Robinhood and Black Boy in Leather-lane.[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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