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1794 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

Record
Date 1794
Topic Theft at the Robin Hood, High Hill Ferry
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The Robin Hood, High Hill Ferry.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-02-08. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-28.

Record

[16 Jul. 1794:]
[...] CHARLES PRITCHARD and JOSEPH SMITH were indicted for stealing, on the 6th of July, eighteen guineas, a half guinea, two hundred shillings, three hundred and twelve copper halfpence, and ninety-six copper farthings; the goods and monies of Charles Turner, in his dwelling house.

The case opened by Mr. Knowlys.

THOMAS DAVIS sworn.

I was the waiter at the Robin Hood at the time of this happening; Mr. Charles Turner keeps that house; this happened on Sunday the 6th of July, to the best of my knowledge, between eight and nine o'clock; I have no perfect knowledge of the prisoners; I saw them that day, they came up stairs, and ordered a jug of ale, there were three in company, they came into the public tap room up stairs. The Robin Hood is at High Hill Ferry, Clapton, near Hackney.

Mr. Knapp objected to the indictment saying, St. John's, at Hackney.

Witness. They called for a jug of ale; I asked if they chose some biscuits? they said, yes, bring three. In consequence I brought three up. When they first came into the room, Pritchard came down stairs, there was a gentleman and three ladies in the room, but they quitted the room half an hour before Pritchard came down stairs.

Q. Do you know where the gentleman and three ladies went to? — No, I never saw them afterwards. Pritchard met me at the bottom of the stairs, and said, you are wanted up stairs, waiter; they want some more ale; with that I went up; they found fault with the ale, and desired to have some milder if there was any; and I brought them up a jug of milder.

Q. Who was the person who asked for the milder? — I believe it was Mr. Smith, but I don't know exactly recollect.

Q. Who were in the room when you went up in consequence of Pritchard's direction? — There were no others in the room then, then these two; the man who is absent, and Mr. Smith. When I brought up the milder ale, Mr. Smith he did not find it better than the last; but Pritchard he tasted it and thought it was very good. After that I went down stairs and walked about the garden, and I came up again about some things that were to be carried down, and I found that one of them was absent from the room

[...]

CHARLES TURNER sworn.

I am sole master of the Robin Hood. On Sunday the 6th of July, I lost thirty pounds sixteen shillings, in gold and silver, and halfpence; eighteen guineas and a half in a silk purse, in gold; the silver was in a canvas bag, and fifteen shillings of halfpence, tied up in five shilling parcels.

[...]

JOHN LOCKEWOOD sworn.

[...]

Q. How far was this from the Robin Hood? — I cannot say that, three or four fields, better than a quarter of a mile. Hearing the cry of stop thieves from several voices, when I got into the lane I see several people running up this lane, and still crying stop thief! I concluded they might be drinking or joking; I said, are you joking or in earnest in calling out stop thief? the answer was, sir, we are in earnest, they have robbed my master's house. Immediately these two prisoners jumped out of the ditch, went through the fence, and ran into the corn field; one of them, Pritchard, attempted to pass me, and I said, you cannot pass me, I must secure you till the people come up; sir, says he, I am no thief, don't touch me; says I, if you are no thief, why don't you stand? after some little altercation I endeavoured to lay hold of him, I secured him, and in the course of three or four minutes some of the pursuers came up, Davis came up and said, that is one of the men; and I said, there he is for you; and he was taken back to the Robin Hood.

[...]

WILLIAM PERRY sworn.

[...]

I am a labouring man; I found one key last Monday was a week, in the morning, the Monday after this robbery was committed; it is a double key; this is it; I found it in the horse road, pretty near the Robin Hood , about twenty-eight or twenty-nine yards; directly as I picked it up Mr. Turner's man was rolling a walk in the garden, I gave it him; Mr. Turner had it that morning; I see Mr. Turner have it afterwards.

Q. What is the name of the road? - It is a little bit of a lane that leads from the Robin Hood, into the fields, into Clapton.

Mr. Knapp. Whereabouts in the road did you find it? — Next the hedge by the side of the road.

Q. What is there on the other side of the hedge? — Gardens.

Court to Davis. What do you call this lane? — It is a coach road that leads up to Clapton.

Q. Is there a garden by the side of that road? — Yes, a garden belonging to my master.

Q. Which way did he throw the keys from him? — By the left hand side.

Q. Is there any garden on the left hand side going from the Robin Hood? — Yes, there is.

Q. How is that garden separated from the lane? — By an hedge and ditch.

Q. To Perry. Which side of the road was it you found the key? — The left hand side going from the Robin Hood.

Mr. Knapp to Davis. The pick lock keys were thrown by the man that escaped? — Yes.

Court to Turner. What do you call the parish? — St. John's, Hackney.

[...][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. IRHB's ellipses.

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