1823 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey
|Topic||Robin Hood and Little John (Hoxton)|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-17. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2019-04-27.
[3 Dec. 1823:]
HARRIET BROWN. I am nearly eleven years old, and live near Matthews's. I have known the prisoner two months; he lived by the Rosemary Branch; I knew him very well by sight. On a Friday night, two or three weeks before I went to Worship-street, which was two or three weeks ago, about seven o'clock, I saw him with a clock - he was going away from Matthews's; three more boys were with him; he was going towards the Robin Hood, which is near Matthews's; I am sure it was him. I did not speak to him - he had nothing over the clock - it was Matthews's, for I had seen it before a good many times. It was dark, but there is a gas-light by the Robin Hood. Jane Ruddle and I were playing by the Robin Hood - I used to play with Matthews's little girl often, and have often seen the clock. I nursed his child.
Q. Did you go and tell Matthews of it - A. Two boys, Findley and Gray, who were playing with us, went and told him directly. Matthews never told me what to say. I did not see where the prisoner came from.
WILLIAM MATTHEWS. It may be thirty or forty yards from my house to the Robin Hood. My house is in the centre, between two gas-lights. My palings are near five feet high.
JAMES FINDLEY. I am eleven years old. I was at play with Brown, on a Friday night, not long ago, (five or six weeks ago, I think.) I know it was on a Friday, because I carry pots about on Fridays. I know the prisoner by having seen him several times before. I saw him between six and seven o'clock, with three more boys - it was nearer seven than six. I saw him hang a clock on Matthews's gate, while he got over the gate out of the garden, and then ran away towards the Whitmore's Head, public-house, with it under his arm, and went by the Robin Hood. I know it was Matthews's clock, because I have often seen it before.
THOMAS GRAY. I am thirteen years old.* I have known the prisoner about twelve months. He lodged up at the Rosemary Branch. I saw him with a clock, on one Friday night, about seven o'clock. Three more young men were with him. I saw him inside Matthews's fence. I saw James Reynolds and John Tover jump over Matthews's railing. He hung the clock on the rails before he jumped over, then took it off, and ran by the Robin Hood. We hallooed Stop thief! I do not know whether anybody went to Matthews; I did not. I am sure he was the person. Matthews has not told me what to say. I saw Matthews that night, and went with him to the Rosemary Branch, about eight o'clock. He asked for the prisoner there. I did not see Reynolds afterwards till he was apprehended.
Prisoner. Q. Did you not see me by the Canal one rainy afternoon - A. That was the day Matthews took him. He was by Kingsland-road bridge. I told Matthews, and he went after him.
JANE RUDDLE. I am nearly eleven years old.* I have known the prisoner a good while. I went before the Justice last Thursday fortnight. I saw him on the Friday fortnight before that. I was by the Robin Hood, with Brown and saw him run by the Robin Hood with Matthews's clock under his arm. I did not see him get over the rails. I knew it to be Matthews's, because I had often seen it before. Three more young chaps were with him. They said. "Mind you do not drop it." We hallooed out, Stop thief! but could see nobody to take him. There was not time to go and tell Matthews. They got away. Findley and Grey went to tell him directly. I do not know the other boys. Matthews has not persuaded me what to say. He told us what to say, for I did not know.
* These witnesses, upon being questioned, appeared perfectly to understand the obligation of an oath.
Q. What did he tell you - A. He told me to say, that I saw James Reynolds run by with Mr. Matthews's clock. He did not tell me anything else. He only told me once or twice. He gave me nothing. All I have said is true.
Q. Be sure you tell nothing but the truth. Did you see him that night with the clock or not - A. Yes. I did not see him get over the rails.
Q. When did Matthews tell you this - A. As we went to Worship-street. He told me nothing else.
JAMES FINDLEY re-examined. Matthews never said a word to me. When I saw the prisoner go by with the clock, I hallooed Stop thief! and ran after him as far as the Robin Hood. I live behind the Robin Hood. I saw him down by Matthews's rails; he ran towards the Whitmore's Head. I then ran back, and told Matthews that some boys had been taking his clock away. He asked if I should know them. I said, Yes. I did not mention who it was; I only knew his name by what the other boys used to call him - Chummy. I told him what he was called. Gray went to him with me.
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.
- Not included in Sussex, Lucy, compil. 'References to Robin Hood up to 1600', in: Knight, Stephen. Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1994), pp. 262-88.
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- Robin Hood and Little John (Hoxton).