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Robin Hood Court (Holborn)

Coordinates 51.516111111111, -0.10694444444444
Adm. div. Middlesex, now Greater London
Vicinity West side of Shoe Lane
Type Thoroughfare
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1623
A.k.a. Robin Hood's Court; Robin-Hood's-Court; Robin-Wood's Court; Robinhood's-court
Loading map...
Site of Robin Hood Court (Holborn).
At Shoe Lane. Robin Hood Court ran left where Deloitte and Athene's Place are now found / Google Earth Street View.
'Robin-Wood's C[ourt]', John Rocque's Map of London (1746) / Locating London's Past.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-01-17. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-12.

A now lost Robin Hood Court led west out of Shoe Lane to Great New Street in Holborn (Farringdon Ward Without).[1] It is first recorded in 1623.

On 26 Oct. 1623 at the French ambassador's house in Blackfriars, London, the floor of an upper room collapsed under the weight of three hundred people attending a religious service. Nearly a hundred of them were killed in this disaster known as the Fatal Vespers. A pamphlet about this tragic event published shortly after includes a list of casualties, among whom were a family from Robin Hood Court, Shoe Lane. This is the first mention of the place-name. Strype reprints the list, without stating his source, in his Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster (1720) (see Allusions below for both). Harben in his entry on the locality refers to Ogilby and Morgan's 1677 map of London, but though the street appears to be indicated, it is not labelled on copies of the map available online.[2]

Among other early sources are a news broadside dated 1697, dealing with a tragic case of infanticide that had evidently just taken place at Robin Hood Court. In 1697 a contemporary purveyor of smut and gore published a broadside entitled The Unnatural mother: being a full and true account of one Elizabeth Kennet, a marry'd woman, living in Robin Hood's Court in Shoe-lane, who, on Tuesday the 6th April, 1697, privately deliver'd her self, and afterwards flung her infant in the fire, and burnt it all to ashes, but a few of the bones: likewise of her being had before a justice, and her confession there (see Background below). The next reference to Robin Hood Court concerns a pawnbroker who is listed as residing there at the sign of the Three Bowls on 12 Nov. 1720.[3] From 1722 we have the first of quite a few Old Bailey case summaries (see Records below). A register entitled A New Review of London (1728) lists both "Robin hood's court [...] in shoe lane" and "Robin hood's yard in shoe lane".[4] Maybe the compiler of this work knew something we do not, maybe he inadvertently listed two variants of the name of the court in Shoe Lane, or perhaps the yard he listed was in fact Robin Hood Yard in nearby Leather Lane. A similar double entry (if such it is) is found in the Company of Parish Clerks' New Remarks of London (1732).[5]

On John Rocque's 1746 Map of London the street is named 'Robin-Wood's C[ourt]' (see Maps section and illustration below). The court is included, as "Robin Hood Court, Shoe-Lane", in the list of London street and place-names in the Compleat Compting-House Companion (1763).[6] John Lockie in his Topography of London (1810) lists it as follows: "Robinhood Court, Shoe Lane, Fleet-Street,—at 67, the second on the R. from St. Andrew's church, Holborn-hill" (see Gazetteers below).

In all probability Robin Hood Court took its name from the Robin Hood inn which was located there at No. 5. Robin Hood Court is included on the 25" O.S. map of the area published in 1936 (see Maps section below) but is not shown on the 1968 edition of Bartholomew's Reference Atlas of Greater London.[7] Evidently it had disappeared by then.


1722 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[12 Jan. 1722:]
William Colthouse, was indicted for assaulting Robert Hale on the Highway (on Hounslow Health) putting him in fear, and taking from him 3 Guineas and a half, and 3 s. in Money, on the 20th of September, in the 5th Year of the King. He was a 2d time indicted for assaulting Benjamin Burrows on the Highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him a Silver Watch, val. 3 l. 2 Gold Rings, value 30 s. and 4 s. in Money, on the 20th of September, in the 5th Year of the King. Benjamin Burrows depos'd, that riding on Hounslow Heath, between 5 and 6 in the Evening, the prisoner and another came up to him, and bid him stand; the prisoner took his Watch, and the other took the 2 Rings off his Fingers, and 4 s. out of his Pocket. He then saw the prisoner and the other ride up to 3 other Gentlemen, and take away one of their Horses. That coming to London, he apply'd himself to Jonathan Wild, who told him that it was Colthouse and Sinnament that had rob'd him. Upon Wild's Information they soon took Sinnament, who was convicted of, and hang'd for the same Fact. Sometime afterwards he heard the prisoner was committed at Oxford, by the Name of Sanderson, for picking of Pockets; upon which he wrote to Mr. Plater, his Friend in Oxford, giving him a Description of the prisoner, and desiring him to examine and enquire if Sanderson was not the same Person: Of which being satisfied by Mr. Plater, the prisoner was brought to London. Mr. Harle depos'd, that he, Mr. Metcalf, and Mr. Squib, riding out together, he and Mr. Metcalf, on Hounslow Health, outrid Mr. Squib; that near Butchers Grove they saw a Chaise; and on each side a Man on Horseback; and thinking they belong'd to the Chaise, when they met, as he was turning his Horse aside to give 'em way, the prisoner catch'd hold of his Bridle and clapping a Pistol to his Breast, said, D---n ye, I'd rob ye altogether — be expeditious; then taking from him the Money mentioned in the Indictment, and his Bridle, he rob'd the Chaise and Mr. Metcalf. Mr. Squib depos'd, that being left behind Mr. Harle and Mr. Metcalf, the prisoner came up to him, and taking 17 s. from him, bid him dismount, lest he should follow him; Squib told him he would not; the prisoner reply'd,I wont trust ye, exchange is no robbery, and then cut his Bridle, and exchang'd Horses with him. Caeser (Servant to Mr. Metcalf) depos'd that he saw the prisoner follow his Master; that his Master was dismounted, and that he saw the prisoner change Horses with Mr. Squib. They were all positive that the prisoner was the Man. The prisoner in his Defence said, that there were but two Men committed the Robberies he was then indicted for, and two Men (Sinnament and the prisoner's Brother) had already been hang'd for the same: That his Brother and he were so much alike, that they could hardly be distinguish'd when they were seen together; that his Brother and Sinnament were seen together in a House the same Night; and at the time the Robbery was committed, he was lame of the Rheumatism, and could not go abroad. An Evidence for the prisoner depos'd, that she being at a House in Robin Hood's Court in Shoe lane, saw Sinnament and the prisoner's Brother come in together, and bring with 'em a Saddle and 2 Swords, John Coppen depos'd, that 3 Years ago, about the 13th or. 14th of August, the prisoner was taken so ill of the Rheumatism, that he was forc'd to have a Nurse, and kept his Chamber for about 3 Months, in his House. Being askt how he came to remember the Day of the Month so nearly. he said he remember'd it, in that the Day before the prisoner came to his House, Mr. Lewis sent him in ten Chaldron of Coals, for which he paid him 12 l. 17 s. To prove this, he produc'd a blind Receit, which he himself could not read; but it being view'd by the Court, they at last found it bore Date May 7. and he having sworn to about the 13th of August, the Court ordered him to be taken into Custody. He likewife called two other Wirnesses, who testified nothing material. The Jury found him guilty of both Indictments. Death.[8]

1740 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey

[3 Sep. 1740:]
George Holden, I know nothing of the matter; I keep a House in Robin-Hood's-Court, in Shoe-Lane, and take the Toll in Smithfield for that Gentleman, - Mr. Leigh. [9]

1768 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey

[18 May 1768:]
Elizabeth Perkins. I am wife to Thomas Perkins, and live in Robinhood's-court, Shoe-lane. On Saturday the 23d of April in the morning, my husband was gone out to work, he opened the window before he went out; I soon heard the cry, stop thief, it awaked me; the prisoners were brought up to the window to me as I was in bed, and my cloak was brought with them, it was in my room when I went to bed.[10]

1769 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey

[22 Feb. 1769:]
Thomas Hibert. I am a brush maker. I live in Boswell-court, Charterhouse-lane. I have known him twenty years. I took him apprentice. He has been out of his time about ten years. I can give no account how he has lived since. I have often seen him at work: it is not above three weeks ago since I saw him at work in Robinhood's-court, Shoe-lane, where he lives. I never heard any ill of him.[11]

1782 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey

[20 Feb. 1782:]

I had been all the afternoon in Robinhood's court, I was going along by this place, and saw this woman, Humphries, I asked her where she was going, she said, to Mrs. Topham's, I am sensible she is acquainted with her, I said, I had not seen her a good while, and I would go and treat her, she went with me; as I was going by this place, I said, I wanted to go and ease myself, we went to the necessary together; I never saw any person in the alley but Mary Stebbings , and no person ever met us in the alley but that woman.[12]

1785 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[14 Sep. 1785:]

On Sunday in the afternoon, I came home very near four o'clock, I live at No. 7, Robinhood-court, Shoe-lane, and they said there was a thief run in there, and that he was gone into the Eagle and Child; I went in for the paper, I went backwards, and the prisoner was sitting having part of a pint of beer, and according to the description this was the man, I said nothing to him, I went out of the door, I did not take notice whether any thing was besides him; I told the constable and the people that I thought he was within, and said I will stay at the door, I had the paper in my hand the mean time; I went in and said to the mistress of the house, these gentlemen are come in to see if that is the man; the prisoner came to the bar, and said what is the matter, he pushed by me, and ran as fast as he could, and I called to them that were backwards, and they came out directly after, and they followed him home to his own lodgings, where he run in, and I followed him up stairs, I never lost sight of him till he ran into the house, I heard somebody running before me up stairs, and I called to the constable to come up stairs, and he was taken there; the constable burst the door open, he had locked himself in, they knocked several times at the door, but he did not answer; when the constable began to burst open the door, he said what is the matter, I'll open the door, and he opened the door, and the constable said, you have a thief in the house, says he, I have no thief in the room; I looked at him, and said this is the person that was at Mrs. Brown's, take down the pistols from the mantle-piece, there were pistols over the mantle-piece.


I live in Blackhorse-alley, Fleet-market, I was standing at master's door, on Sunday in the afternoon, and two men came running up the court, there was a gentleman in a blue coat and red cape, running after them, that was Mr. Chitty; he said he saw the two men come out of the tallow chandlers, they ran up the court, and they had a bundle under each of their arms, and a stick in their hands, they ran up Fleet-street, we ran after them, there we lost one of them, we ran up King's-head-court, there we met one of them coming by the King's Printing Office, with a bundle under his arm, I am quite sure that is one of them; a man in half mourning cried that is the gentleman, then he ran back through Robinhood-court, and I saw him go into the Eagle and Child in Shoe-lane.[13]

1798 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey

[14 Feb. 1798:]
JOHN HICKSON sworn. - I keep a lodging house, No. 1, Robinhood-Court, Shoe-lane, in the parish of St. Andrew: My wife and I let the lodgings to the prisoner, about the 24th of November, I cannot be positive to the day; she came to me, and asked the rent of the room, I had a bill up; I told her it was three shillings a week, it was a furnished lodging; she went up to look at the room with my wife; she said she liked the room very well, she agreed to take it; she offered a tea-pot, which she pulled from under her long cloak, as earnest; I told her it was usual to have a character from the last place where she lodged; she paused for some time, and appealed to a woman close to her elbow, who came with her; she said, this is my aunt, she will answer for my character; I told her that would not do; I told her I preferred having a character from the last place where she lodged; after some hesitation, she gave me an address to a Mrs. Chevis, in Suffolk-street, behind the Mint, between that and the King's-Bench; it was a very dark night, I went over notwithstanding the darkness of the night, I found the house with much difficulty, Mrs. Chevis opened the door; in consequence of a conversation between Mrs. Chevis and me I let her the lodgings; she called, soon after I came home, to know if her character answered, and I said, yes, and she came in that same night; I let it to her as a married woman, she said, her husband worked on Snowhill, at a watch-maker's, that his name was Johnson; this was one Wednesday, and she told me she would pay me the half week on the Saturday night; she said, Mr. Johnson was out of town, she expected him home on Saturday.[14]

1800 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[2 Apr. 1800:]
JOHN POPE sworn. - I am a constable under the Marshal's direction: On the 11th of March, between seven and eight in the evening, I was coming from my own house, in Robinhood-court, Shoe-lane, through Eagle and Child-alley, and I was obliged to come back, by a person coming through the narrow part of the passage, into Shoe-lane, and then I observed four or five men coming with a box; they crossed the way, and turned to the right-hand, towards Holborn; I then went on towards Smithfield, and in Smithfield I met with a parcel of people round a dray; I was told that a box was lost; I asked what sort of a one, I was told it was a large black trunk; we went back into Shoe-lane, and got intelligence of it; we found it in Plumbtree-court, Shoe-lane, No. 20, up two pair of stairs; Mr. Thrale opened the door, and saw the box, and the three prisoners in the room; Mr. Thrale said, gentlemen, we are come for this box; they desired us to come in, they behaved very quietly, and made no resistance; we sent the box away by a porter to Mr. Thrale's house, and we took the prisoners to the Compter.[15]

1802 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[14 Sep. 1802:]
DAVID KINGSTON was indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Charles Gearing, no person being therein, about the hour of six, on the day of the 17th of July, and feloniously stealing, two shirts, value 10s. the property of John Little.

JOHN LITTLE sworn. - I am a sailor, and lodge at No. 15, Robinhood-court; I gave the shirts to my sister-in-law to wash, and she had liberty of Charles Gearing's wife to hang them up in her room: on Saturday, the 17th of July, about six o'clock in the evening, they were missed; I saw them again when they were taken from the prisoner's pocket; I heard an alarm given, and followed him to the counter, where I saw them taken out of his pocket; they are not finished at the arms; the landlord's name is Bennett, but he does not live in the house; it is let out in tenements; the prisoner appeared to be sober.

JAMES WADE sworn. - I left off work at six o'clock on the evening of the 17th of July, and had just turned into the house, No. 18, Robinhood-court, where I live, and heard the cry of stop thief; I saw the prisoner run into the workhouse passage, Shoe-lane, and another man took him; I followed them back to the house he had taken the shirts from, and he attempted to take one out of his right-hand pocket, and drop it, which I stopped him doing; he said he would give me back my property, and did not mean to hurt me, thinking I belonged to them; I took them, and shewed them to Mr. Little; he said he hoped I would shew him lenity, and admitted it was a very bad thing he had done; I had made him no promise of favour.

ALICE HOTHRAM sworn. - I am sister-in-law to John Little, and lodge at No. 15, Robinhood-court; the shirts were in Charles Gearing's room; I had the washing of them, and put them there to dry; I was in the two pair, and heard a noise in Gearing's room; I came down stairs, and saw a man come out of the room with the shirts in his pocket; he went down stairs; I followed him, and gave the alarm; my brother's shirts were brought back; Gearing's wife rented the room at the time; I don't know whether Gearing ever lived in it.

ELIZABETH HILSTON sworn. - I live at No. 11; I was helping to wash the shirts, which were hung up in Mrs. Gearing's room; he is on board ship, and has been these seven years; I was not present when they were stolen.

WILLIAM RATCLIFF sworn. - I took the prisoner, and found the two shirts on him; I delivered them to the keeper of the Compter.(The shirts produced and identified.)

Prisoner's defence. I was in a state of intoxication if I did do it; when I was a boy, I fell out of a three pair of stairs window, and have a plate in my head; if I drink any thing, I don't know what I do; therefore I leave myself to the mercy of the Court.

The prisoner called two witnesses, who gave him a good character.

GUILTY, aged 37.

Of stealing, but not of the breaking and entering the dwelling-house.

Six months in Newgate, and publicly whipped.

London Jury, before Mr. Recorder.[16]

1806 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey

[29 Oct. 1806:]
ROGER DEVEY sworn. I am a brass founder, I live at No. 8, Shoe-lane. This day week, the prisoner at the bar came into my shop between one and two o'clock in the day, he had two parcels of metal tied up in a handkerchief; he emptied one in the scale, I asked him who the metal belonged to, he said his sister, she kept an old rag shop at the further end of Shoe-lane; I knew there was no such shop there; I asked him to tell the truth, for I knew the metal must be stolen; he then said that she lived in Shoe-lane but her shop was in Holborn; he said he could not tell me but he could shew me the house; I told him he must tell me, because I was very certain it came from some founder's shop. I went with him along Shoe-lane, till he came to Robin Hood court, he went up the steps into Dean-street; and then made a push to run away, I then seized hold of him and brought him back and repeatedly requested him to tell me whose metal it was, and I would send for his master to take him away, and the metal together. I sent for a constable, he searched him, and then he said he worked for Mr. Warner; he then said after his master came, that he took one part on the night before, and the other part on Saturday night.[17]

1808 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[1 Jun. 1808:]
JEREMIAH SHRUBSOLE. - Mr. Knapp. You are a constable of the city of London. - A. Yes. On the 19th of April I went to Mrs. Harwood's house, No. 3, Fleur de Luce-court, Black Friers, about three o'clock; I had a search warrant against that house; Mrs. Harwood, the prisoner's sister; was not at home; I asked if Mrs. Harwood was at home; her husband said she was not. After I had been there some time there was a knock at the door; I desired Mrs. Jones to open the door; the prisoner at the bar came in; Mrs. Jones said the prisoner at the bar was the man that she had the warrant against; I told him him I wanted him; he asked me what it was for; I told him did not he know that Mrs. Jones had been robbed; he answered what of that, I know nothing of it; he set his fist and put himself in a position as if in a Posture of defence; I told him it was of no use; I took hold of him and tied his hands with a handkerchief; I found nothing on the premises that led to the robbery that I was in search of; I searched the prisoner when I had secured him; in his waistcoat pocket I found a canvas purse; in it there were four good shillings and four sixpences; there were some halfpence and some keys; I took him to where the robbery was committed, and I desired Mrs. Jones to fetch the little boy down; I took him from there to No. 15, Robin Hood-court, Shoe-lane, where I learned that he lodged; I went up two pair of stairs, the prisoner went up with me; I sat him down in the window; I looked at a large chest that was there; I asked him if it was his chest; he said, yes; I told him I meaned to open it; he told me there was a key in his pocket; I took it out and the key did open it; I could not open it immediately; he told me to weigh heavy down upon it, and it did then open it; the first thing I took up was a drab coloured great coat; in the side pocket I found a crape hat band; in shaking the coat out I perceived a paper drop; I took the paper up; there were nine sixpences in it, and I thought they were of the same sort that I saw in his purse; I asked him if they were his; he said they were his; I took up a waistcoat; I opened it and shook it, another small paper dropped out; I took it up; in it I found some sixpences with a kind of stamp on them; they answered to what I had seen before, but they were brassy, not coloured.[18]

1809 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[12 Apr. 1809:]
SIMON WELLINGTON. I keep two lodgings; I live at No. 16, New street square. My wife was put to bed lately, I took lodgings at No. 8, Robin Hood court, Shoe lane. On Saturday the 1st of April, in the morning, I left a bundle there, and on Saturday evening my landlord came to me and asked me if I had not left a bundle in the room; I told him yes; he informed me that a man had been in the house and took the bundle out; he took me to the White Swan in Shoe lane; when I came there the landlord asked me the contents of the bundle; I told him. We took the man to the Poultry compter.

Q. Who is that man - A. The prisoner.

PETER JONES. I am a cordwainer, I live at No. 15, Flower de Luce court, Fleet street. On the 1st of April, between six and seven o'clock in the evening, I was coming down Robin Hood court, I saw the prisoner come out of Wellington's house with a bag in his hand; instantaneously a woman ran out of the house and called stop thief; I run after the man, in company with two more, for about twenty yards, and there we took the man; he threw the bag away the moment he was laid hold of; I laid hold of the bag and my friend secured the prisoner.

JOSEPH LINGARD. On Saturday the 1st of April I heard my wife cry out stop thief, as I was at tea; I immediately ran out of doors, I saw the prisoner with the bag, I ran after him and laid hold of him, we both fell down together. The two constables came by at the same time; one got hold of the bag and the other got hold of the prisoner.

SARAH LINGARD. I am the wife of the last witness, my husband is a coppersmith; I live at No. 18, Robin Hood court. Wellington lodged there. On Saturday the 1st of April, between six and seven o'clock, I heard the prisoner go through the passage; he made towards the door, I ran after him and called out stop thief; my husband followed him; I never saw him before to my knowledge.[19]

1813 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[7 Apr. 1813:]
Q. Did you know at that time, that Newport-street was the lodging of the advertising clerk - A. No. We went to a public-house, and concluded that the business was done away with, and all failed. It entered into our minds that the money might still be obtained. I thought it was a neglect in the man that was sent, for this purpose, that they had kept good look out, and at the Robin Hood, Robin Hood-court, Shoe-lane, at a public-house, it was agreed that a letter should be written. The prisoner wrote that letter, I think, (I am not confident,) for the purpose of giving it to a porter to carry to Francis-street.

Q. Did you or Birdett write a letter which was sent by a porter to Francis-street - A. There was no other than one letter written or sent.

Q. Did you see Kennet writing a letter to be sent to Francis-street - A. I did. I delivered the letter to the porter.

Q. Could any other letter go out without your knowledge - A. It was possible. I might be out of the way.

Q. Were you out of the way - A. I was not. I can have no doubt but that is the letter; I believe it to be Kennet's writing firmly. (The letter read, marked B.) It is a disguised hand writing.

Q. When you dispatched the porter, you, Richardson, Birdett, and Kennet, were at the Robin Hood - A. Yes, when this porter was dispatched, and the prisoner and myself waited at the end of Chancery-lane, and I believe Richardson was likewise there He got out of the coach, and returned, and said, he saw the clerk coming down.

Q. How long had you been in the coach, before Richardson returned, saying, he saw the young man come - A. About a quarter of an hour; when Richardson came to us, and said, he saw the young man go into the tap.

Q. How long had he been absent from you - A. Not ten minutes. We went from the Robin Hood together. I beg pardon, I believe the dress was changed by Kennet.

Q. Where did he change his dress - A. At Birdett's house, not of despoiling the money, he changed his dress.

COURT. Was he at the end of Chancery-lane, disguised - A. Yes, disguised; he put on this disguise again at Birdett's. He went from the Robin Hood to Ship-yard, and put on this disguise again. We took a coach in Fleet-street, from there we waited at the top of Chancery-lane. Richardson went out of the coach; he saw this clerk coming down Holborn. He was at a loss to find out this tavern.

Q. How long had Richardson been absent when he returned, and said he had found the young man. - A. Not ten minutes.

Q. When he reported the young man was just gone into the tavern, what was done then - A. When Richardson came back he took the prisoner, Kennet, from the coach.

Q. Did you actually see Kennet go into the tavern - A. I did. I saw Kennet and the young man come out together, and go up Warwick-court.

Mr. Solicitor General. How far did he go into the tavern - A. I don't know; I did not see.

Q. Did you there see Mr. Kennet go into the tavern - A. No, I did not.

Q. Did you lose sight of Kennet when you saw him go from the coach - A. I saw him go into the tavern, and some little time after I saw him come out of the tavern and go up the court. I beg your pardon, that was Richardson. Richardson got out of the coach; he was absent I suppose half an hour.

Mr. Solicitor General. I suppose upon your account the disguised figure has been put on, then you go into Chancery-lane. I want you to take up the transaction there; now the coach is stopped in Chancery-lane, who gets out there - A. Richardson gets out there.

Q. How long is he absent - A. Half an hour; and when he came back, he said, he had found the clerk, and that he seemed at a loss to know where he was going to. Richardson accosted him, and shewed him over to the tavern. Then after the young man had got into the tavern, he came to the coach.

Q. Who then got out of the coach - A. Kennet got out of the coach. I saw him go into the tavern. A little time after, I saw him come out of the tavern and go up Warwick-court.

Q. Had it been settled between you, where you were to meet again - A. I expected to meet them at the Robin Hood. I went there first, and did not meet them, and went from there to Birdett's. I saw them at Birdett's an hour after. I there saw the money divided in four shares. Three of us had six hundred pounds each; and Birdett had two hundred and ninety pounds. [20]

1817 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[17 Sep. 1817:]
ABRAHAM COLEY. I am a watchman of Holborn, between twelve and one o'clock, I heard a bustle, near the top of Shoe-lane; the prosecutor came towards me, saying, he had been robbed of his watch, and the woman had escaped, leaving her cap and bonnet in his hand; I knew the bonnet to belong to the prisoner; I went in search of her but could not find her; I placed myself so as to see all over my beat, and about half-past one o'clock, I heard somebody coming down Robinhood-court, I concealed myself in a door-way, the prisoner advanced to the end of the court, she looked both right and left and went into Shoe-lane; I ran to lay hold of her and as I came up I saw her pull a watch from her pocket, and heard the seal and key rattle against the case; I seized her, and told her to give me what she had in her hand, she screamed out,"Murder," and made a great resistance - She broke my lanthorn - I caught at the watch, she shifted it from one hand to the other, put her two hands behind her, sat down on the ground and dropped it - I caught it as it fell, by the step of a door - She did not know that I had got it - I took her to the watchhouse, she had neither cap or bonnet on, I gave them to her at the watchhouse, she said they were her's - She put them on, and appeared before the alderman on the next day in them. The prosecutor was sober.[21]

1819 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[13 Jan. 1819:]
ELIZA FLETCHER. I keep a mangle, and live in Robin Hood-court, Shoe-lane. On the 24th of October, between three and four o'clock in the afternoon, I received this money from Mrs. Clarke, at the Star and Garter, public-house, Old Bailey, which I took home and locked up. About seven o'clock I called at the Star and Garter, and saw the prisoner there. Mrs. Clarke asked me, in her presence, if I had taken care of my money? I said I had locked it up in my box. I told the prisoner I had drawn a guinea in gold. I left, returned in about an hour, and found her still there. She asked me to let her go home, and sleep with me, as she was tired, and had a long way to go - she went home with me about half-past ten o'clock - I took 2 s. 6 d. out of my box, and gave it to her to fetch some supper; I showed her the guinea. She said, "The sight of gold was good for sore eyes," and returned it to me again. She got some beef, and I then gave her 1 s. to get three half pints of beer; she stopped a long time, and then returned; I told her that I thought she was lost: she said she had met a friend. I asked her for the change two or three times, and she said she would give it to me by-and-by - we went to bed. I locked the door myself, and asked her to put the candle out; she wanted it to be kept alight - I agreed to it. She only pulled off her gown, and took one bone out of her stays, nothing else. About half-past four o'clock I awoke, missed her, and found the candle gone. At daylight I found the key of my box in a different place to where I left it - the box was shut, but not locked, and the money all gone. I got an officer, but could not find her at her lodgings - she was taken on the 30th of December.[22]

1822 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (6)

[23 Oct. 1822:]
Q. When did he first tell you not to go to the India-House to make enquiries - A. In June, 1819; he told me so repeatedly, it never occurred to me that the letters were fabricated; but after the deception was discovered I compared one with the other, and find they are his writing. I took out a warrant to apprehend him, on the 27th of September, 1819, but could never find him. The letter dated the 21st of August obtained the 14 l. from me. I found the prisoner in Robinhood-court, Shoe-lane, on the 20th of September, 1822; I took an officer with me and he was apprehended. I am not to pay the expense of the prosecution. [23]

1824 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[3 Jun. 1824:]
Q. On recovering yourself, what did you do - A. I asked him for mercy - he told me to sit on the block, and if I moved, it would be worse for me. He ran away - I followed him, out, and sprung my rattle, and kept him in sight till he turned the corner of Stonecutter-street. Four or five more watchmen came to my assistance, and in four or five minutes he was brought to me - I knew him again - I caught sight of him as soon as I turned the corner of Stonecutter-street - nobody but him was running before me - he was stopped just by Robin-hood-court, Shoe-lane, by a watchman of St. Andrew's. I examined the fishmonger's shop, and found the crow-bar there. I felt the effects of my wound in about an hour, and went to the hospital about six o'clock that morning. I was ordered to bed, and my head dressed - I felt great inconvenience from it.

Cross-examined by Mr. ANDREWS. Q. At what time did it happen - A. At a quarter or twenty minutes before five o'clock - he shut the door upon me - they were both in the shop when the door was shut - I was alarmed very much, but did not lose my recollection - there was no light there - it was daylight; the back door was open, and I had plenty of light; I saw him take the crow-bar off the floor.

Q. Do you mean to state that you were possessed of your senses sufficiently to know the manner in which he struck you - A. Yes; he struck me with one hand, and the sharp end of the crow-bar turned towards my head - the dresser of the hospital saw me about five minutes after I got there; I attended before the Alderman the second day after it happened.

COURT. Q. We understood you to say that you saw two men, one ran away and the other stopped in - A. Yes, my Lord - he went away directly after the door was shut; I and the prisoner were then left alone; I saw no marks of violence on the door; the lock had been sprung; the crow-bar did not appear to me to have been used to get in with.

CHARLES SILVESTER. I am watchman of St. Bride's; I was on duty on Sunday morning, the 11th of April; about five o'clock I heard Fishburn's rattle spring; my box faces the centre of the market near Harp-alley - I can see this shop by moving a yard or two - I saw Fishburn pursuing the prisoner, who ran straightup the market towards me; I pursued him into Shoe-lane, where he was stopped by a watchman - I lost sight of him as he turned the corner of Stonecutter-street, and on turning the corner myself, I saw the watchman trying to stop him; he was still running, but the watchman struck at him, and he got away; but he struck him again and was taken - nobody but him and the prosecutor were running in a direction from the shop; I have no doubt of his person; there is a linendrapers shop next door to the fishmongers.

JOHN CLARK. I am a watchman of St. Andrew's. I was upon duty in Shoe-lane at five o'clock, and heard a rattle spring - I saw the prisoner running, and two or three watchmen after him, calling Stop him! - he came directly towards me, out of Stonecutter-street, nearly out of breath. I called out "Stop, or else down you go;" he used some bad language, and tried to brush by me - I struck him on the shoulder with my staff - he got about twenty yards further, when I gave him another blow and secured him, at the corner of Robin-hood-court - I did not lose sight of him from the time I first saw him - Fishburn's face was covered with blood - he said "That is the man who tried to take my life."[24]

1827 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[11 Jan. 1827:]
BENJAMIN CREW. I am nearly ten years old, and live in Robinhood-court, Shoe-lane - I am in the service of Mr. Smith, a cow-keeper, whose premises join Mr. Brooks' out-house. About a quarter to eight o'clock, on the night before the prisoners were apprehended, I saw them both come in at our gate with the horse and cart; they work for Mr. Dupree, whose horse and cart stood on our premises - they went to the shed, and unharnessed the horse; I heard Hoare say to Read, "If anybody comes, whistle;" he was then up the cow-house ladder, by the shed - Read stood by the ladder, watching him; my mistress came out, and then he whistled to Hoare, who was up in the loft - my mistress went in-doors, and fastened the door; Hoare then called Read up into the loft, and when he had been up there about five minutes, he came down, and then Hoare threw down some lead; he then came down, took the lead, and covered it with some straw, a little higher up the shed than where I was (they could not see me; I was laying in the cow's manger, and could see what they did) - they fetched a pail of water for the horse, then put out the light, and went away - before they went away they stopped up in the shed a little while: I got out of the manger, and went and told my master, who went for the officers; this was after they put out the light - they were gone when the officers came. I saw Hoare again about six o'clock in the morning, in the shed, and he went up into the loft, and I saw lead thrown down, but cannot say that he threw it down - he got a great stone and beat the lead, and then covered it up in the same place: he was taken on the premises, about nine o'clock that morning - Read was taken that day at his master's.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did they leave the premises that night? A. Yes; they could have carried the lead away then, if they chose; I cannot say that they carried any away - there was a penny candle lighted at the end of the shed; there were ten cows there; I looked under two cows' bellies, through their legs, and saw them - the manger is a trough on the ground; I knelt down - part of the shed and loft belongs to Dupree; he keeps his hay there; but they were on Mr. Brooks' premises: the shed is rather longer than this Court - I saw them throw the lead down, and after they were gone, I went and showed it to master. I said nothing to my mistress when she came out. I could see them plainly, but they did not see me - nobody but their master and his men have access to the shed.

COURT. Q. Who had the care of the cart and horse? A. Hoare; Read was not often employed about the horse. Dupree's other men are employed at plumbing; he is a plumber.

GEORGE SMITH. Crew is my servant; the prisoners were in Mr. Dupree's employ. On the evening of the 8th of December, as the wet came through the ceiling of a room in my house, I went on the roof, and I went on Brooks' premises to get to my roof; this was on the Wednesday before the Saturday on which the prisoners were examined - I saw the lead was cut from Brooks' gutters. Crew gave me information on Friday night, between six and seven o'clock; it was after dark - I had not seen the prisoners come in - I went with two constables that evening, and found a roll of lead in the horse-stall, covered with straw; it was in Mr. Dupree's part of the shed - it was fresh cut; the edges were bright - the officers stood outside the door with me that night, and we saw the prisoners come out of the cow-house door; they were suffered to go away, as I had not found the lead then: I was in the shed next morning when Hoare came; the officer took him; I was not near enough to hear what he said - he had the care of the horse.

Cross-examined. Q. On what day was Hoare taken? A. On the Saturday. The lead was not too heavy for one man to carry away - there is no division in the shed - both the prisoners had velveteen jackets on; there did not appear to be any thing about them; Hoare came to his business as usual the next morning; we had not spoken to him at night - I do not think that he saw the constable.

THOMAS WEAVELL. I am an officer, and live in Dean-street, Fetter-lane. On Friday evening, the 8th of December, I happened to be in Smith's dairy, which is near this cow-shed - Crew ran into the dairy, and informed me that something was going on wrong; I waited in Robinhood-court, and saw the prisoner come out of the premises; Read came out four or five minutes before Hoare - I afterwards went into the shed, and Crew, in my presence, discovered the lead in Mr. Dupree's horse-stall - my brother-officer put his mark on it, and put it in the same place: next morning I was waiting outside, and Crew came and said that another roll was thrown down - I went into the shed and took Hoare; he asked what I took him for - my brother-officer told him he knew what it was for; I found another roll added to the lead which was there the night before - I went on Mr. Brooks' premises, and about sixty feet of lead had been taken from there - I found a knife on Hoare with marks of lead on it; only 75 lbs. were found - the largest quantity was thrown down on the Saturday morning - I took Read in Mr. Dupree's shop; he said he was innocent.[25]

1831 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[30 Jun. 1831:]
HENRY JAMES CONWAY. I am a solicitor , and live at my father-in-law's, in Farringdon-street. About three weeks before the 25th of April, I was removing from my residence, and I delivered to the prisoner, who was a porter, a variety of articles - he was to keep them at his house in Robinhood-court for me, till I authorised him to remove them; I delivered to him a portrait in oil, a print of the death of Nelson, three pictures in frames, one of which is needle-work, two boxes of law papers, a caddy, a draft-board, a trunk, a china bowl, and a panagram to teach the blind music, which cost ten guineas; the things were found in Union-street, Middlesex-hospital - the prisoner was taken at Hoxton; I only charge him with stealing these things, because he had removed them from his residence; but whether he did it with the intention of stealing I am sure I do not know.[26]

1834 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[10 Apr. 1834:]
MARTHA TAYLOR. I live in Robin Hood-court, Shoe-lane. I was working at the Robin Hood public-house - the prisoner came and asked me to take care of this rabbit for him - I said, if he would sell it, I would buy it of him- he said, no, it was to be raffled for - I let it run about the public-house for two days, and then took it home.[27]

1835 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[2 Feb. 1835:]
THOMAS BATTON. On Friday morning, 30th of January, about twenty minutes to three o'clock, I was calling the time up Robin Hood-court, and observed the prisoner coming down the steps with something on his shoulder—I am a watchman—he saw my lantern, and shyed from me, and turned back—I followed, and took him—he had got a dead pig covered with a coat.[28]

1841 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[5 Apr. 1841:]
JOHANNAH MATTHEWS. I am the wife of Joel Matthews, and live in Robin Hood-court, Shoe-lane. On this Saturday, I went to Mr. Halbert's pawn-shop—I saw the prisoner talking to Ireland, and a little boy that she had with her—they went out, and shortly after I saw them in Harp-alley—I heard the prisoner say to Ireland, "Give me the money, and I will give the things to your aunt"—I saw the child reach her hand to the prisoner, who took some money, but what I cannot say—I heard nothing of the robbery till the Thursday after, when I met Mrs. Turner—I am sure the prisoner is the person—I never saw her before—I after-wards saw her in Plumtree-court—I pointed her out to Mrs. Turner, and she ran away into a house—I sent for the policeman) who got her out.[29]

1844 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[5 Feb. 1844:]
SAMUEL SPECK (City police-constable No. 119.) On the 5th of January I was on duty in plain clothes—I saw two boys in Milton-street—they went to a public-house in Old-street to the tap-room window, and put their hands up to the window—the prisoner came out, and they all three went together to Shoe-lane—the prisoner went into a public-house at the corner of Fetter-court, in Shoe-lane—he was in about an hour—the other boys were outside—they then went back to the same place in Old-street—they spoke to a man at the door, and returned to Shoe-lane and whistled—the prisoner came out—they all three went in company to Pontifex's in Shoe-lane—I followed them—the prisoner went up Robin Hood-court—I caught hold of him when he came down again, and I asked what he had got—he then began dropping money—he dropped a sixpence—I picked it up—I left it at the station, and he had his breakfast out of it—Ellis then came up and took a counterfeit half-crown from his hand—I took him to the station, and found four counterfeit shillings in his pocket, wrapped up in a piece of cotton stocking—the prisoner said he knew nothing about it.[30]

1845 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[12 May 1845:]
GEORGE SMITH. I am a cow-keeper, and live in Robin Hood-court, Shoe-lane. On the 9th of May, a little before eight o'clock in the morning, I saw Mr. Powell's van in New-street-square—I saw a man take a sack from the van, and place it in a cart, but I could not swear it was either of the prisoners—the cart went into Dean-street, and into Fetter-lane.[31]

1850 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[16 Sep. 1850:]
WILLIAM BISHOP. I am clerk at the Marylebone police-court. I was present when the charge was made against Mr. Tasburgh—the prisoners were examined in support of it, and also a person who gave his name White—the charge was then dismissed—I took down what they stated—(reads—"Joseph Braznell says, 'I am a lithographic printer, and live at 7, Robin Hood-court, Shoe-lane: last night, at a quarter to nine o'clock, I stopped with two young friends at the shop-window of a turner, in Hemming's-row, and looked in; the prisoner was standing there when I went up; I was there about a minute, when the defendant put his hand behind him as I was standing behind, and caught hold of me by my privates, at the same time saying, "What are they doing in the shop?"—I told him they were turning, and then told one of my friends what the defendant was doing, and to watch his proceedings; when the defendant asked me to go for a walk; I walked with him as far as the Haymarket, till I met a constable; then I gave him in charge, and my friend followed close behind us' ")—Some questions were put by Mr. Hardwick after Wren had been examined, and then Braznell was recalled, and further questions put.[32]

1850 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (3)

[16 Sep. 1850:]
JOSEPH BAKER. I am a potman and waiter, and live at Pickett's-place, Strand. Last Saturday night, about twenty minutes-past eleven o'clock, I was standing at a post in Victoria-street—I saw Moram go across the road towards a man and woman who were standing by the rails—he put his left arm round the prosecutor's waist, struck him with his right fist at the side of the head, and ran off—there was a cry of "Police"—I went after the pri-soner, and when I got to the corner of Field-lane I was tripped up by some males and females—I then ran back, and saw Williams in custody—when I first saw Moram I was walking towards him, and was about a yard and a half, or two yards from him, and I had a good look at him, and gave Fisher a description of him—we went to several places, and at last found him standing at the corner of a narrow dark court in Fox-court, Gray's-inn-lane—the in-stant I saw him I said he was the man—Fisher arrested him, and told him the charge—he said it was a d—d lie, he had not been in Victoria-street all that day—he resisted very much—Fisher was obliged to call two more police-men before he could secure him.

Cross-examined. Q. How long have you been out of employ? A. Three weeks—I was last at Mr. Edwards's, in Stanhope-street, Clare-market—I was there thirteen weeks—before that I was out of employ ten weeks, and before that I was in Clare-street—I do not know the meaning of the word trap—I never heard it in connection with policemen—I never heard what a police-man's trap is, and never acted the part of a trap—this is the second time I have appeared in a court, to give evidence—I gave evidence before on behalf of the police—I did not get any expenses—I have not been leading a strange life about the streets for two years—I was never potman in Bear-street—I live with my father and mother-in-law, at 7, Pickett's-place—I do not live at 7, Robin Hood-court—on this night I saw Moram for about a minute before the transaction happened—I had no reason for taking particular notice of him—when he was first brought to the station, I did not hear Roberts say, "That is not the man:" I do not know what he said, I was not near him—I was talking to one of the City-police, who took the charge; he is not here—I will not swear Roberts did not say so—I did not go up to him, and say, "That is the man I saw strike the blow"—I did not nudge Roberts—I did not speak to him at all when the charge was entered—I left my last place through illness—I was obliged to go into the country—I came back, and in a fort-night was again taken ill—I am not always dodging about Gray's-inn-lane—I go round Holborn, Fleet-street, and the Strand, looking for a situation.[33]

1851 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (5)

[27 Oct. 1851:]
THOMAS WILLIAM FAWKE (City-policeman, 836). On 18th Oct., about half-past 10 o'clock, I was on duty in Plumtree-court, and heard cries of "Murder!" coming from where No. 21 is—I went in that direction, and saw the two prisoners running towards Shoe-lane away from No. 21—Clark stopped Condon and I stopped Morley—he said it was not him that did it—I believe he was sober.

Cross-examined. Q. Does Morley live in Robinhood-court, Shoe-lane? A. Yes; he was running in that direction—Plumtree-court leads from Holborn into Shoe-lane—that would be his way home from Holborn.

DANIEL DRISCOLL. I live in Plumtree-court. On Sunday morning I was out early, and found a hammer in the trap of a cellar about a yard from the door of No. 21—I gave it to the police about an hour after.

ADOLPHUS CLARK re-examined. Driscoll gave me this hammer—the prosecutor gave me the stick, it had been picked up by a girl who followed us to the station—I have endeavoured to find her since.

FLORENCE M'COULIFFE re-examined. I saw a girl pick this stick up in Shoe-lane, at the end of Robinhood-court—I gave it to Clark (the stick was about two feet long, and loaded with lead).[34]

1855 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[7 May 1855:]
GEORGE TAYLOR SWAN (City policeman. 267). On Saturday, 7th April, I was in Robin Hood-court, and saw Caddick carrying this tea chest (produced)—I asked him what he had got in it; he said, "Tea"—I said, "Where are you going to take it?" he said, "To No. 16, Gray's Inn-lane"—I asked him what made him go that way to Gray's Inn-lane—he said, "To save Holborn-hill"—he was going in that direction, but it was the furthest way—I asked him if he had a bill; he said, "No"—I asked him to put it down, and then asked where he brought it from—he said that two men had given it to him at the corner of Shoe-lane—I took him to the station, the chest was opened, and found to contain envelopes, and not tea—the address had been torn off.

HENRY CREW. I am a coal porter, at the City Gas Works. On Saturday, 7th April, I saw the tallest of the prisoners carrying this tea chest; there were two others following him, about ten yards off—one was in a velvet coat—I spoke to a policeman—I then heard one of them say some-thing which I could not understand, to the little one, and then they went down the court.

JOHN WALKER. I am foreman to Charles Morgan and Co., of Cannon-street. I saw this box packed up on 7th April, with 20,000 of one kind of envelopes, and 1,000 of another kind—it was sent by the carman, Holt, to No. 69, Old Bailey—they are the property of my masters, Charles Morgan and F. B. Adams.

JOHN HOLT. I carried this box in my van, and delivered it at No. 69, Old Bailey—it had an address on it—I saw it next on 8th April, and the address was then off.

THOMAS WILKS. I am porter to Hugh Lavington, who keeps a booking office, at No. 69, Old Bailey—I saw a chest like this there, and think it is the same—it was safe at 10 minutes or a quarter past 7 o'clock in the evening, and I missed it five or ten minutes afterwards.

WILLIAM CLARK (City-policeman. 237). On the evening of 7th April, I was on duty in the Old Bailey, and saw Caddick about 7 o'clock, standing within a few yards of No. 69, and King on the opposite side of the way—I afterwards saw Caddick at the station at 10 o'clock.

Caddick. I was not there.

COURT. Q. Had you known him previously by sight? A. No; there was nothing to direct my attention to him more than to anybody else; and there was nothing in his conduct which made me observe him.

JOHN MOSS (policeman.) On 8th April, it was my duty to visit prisoners in the cell, at Smithfield police station—when I visited Caddick, he asked me where Smith was; I said, "I do not know"—he said that he had made a statement to Smith, and said, "I am locked up for stealing a chest; it was not me that stole it, I received it from Apples. Pickford, and Grimes—Esqulent goes by the name of Apples. King by the name of Pickford, and Grimes by the name of Singer.

WILLIAM SMITH (City policeman. 244). I had Caddick in charge—I saw him in the cell at the station, on Sunday the 8th; that was before Moss saw him—I recognised him and knew him; he said, "Smith, I am locked up innocently, I am not guilty of stealing this chest which I am locked up for, you know who the men are who stole it"—I said, "No; I do not, unless you choose to tell me"—he said, "It was Apples. and Pickford, and Singer"—I knew the other three prisoners by those nick names—he described how they were dressed, and said, that Apples was the one who took it, and he had nothing to do with it until he got into Shoe-lane, by the oyster shop, when he took it, and carried it to Robin Hood-court, where he was stopped by the constable; and when he was stopped Apples was just in front of him, and Pickford and Singer close behind him—he said that he told the constable at the time, that the other two men gave it to him, and pointed to them.[35]

1859 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[4 Jul. 1859:]
ALEXANDER BENNETT (City policeman, 248). On Saturday night, 4th June, I was in Robin Hood-court, which leads from New-street into Shoe-lane, about 100 yards from Holborn-hill—I saw the prisoners there about a quarter past 12 o'clock—I had known them by sight these 3 years, and have been in the habit of seeing them repeatedly—they were swearing and making use of most abusive language, and I said, "You had better move on; I cannot allow that swearing here at this time of the morning"—Dennis struck me a violent blow on the left ear, and David struck me on the back of the head at the same time, from the effects of which I fell to the ground, and my head came in contact with the kerb—I was rendered insensible, and recollect nothing further—the prisoners were dressed as they are now—David has a very hoarse voice—I was taken to the hospital the same night insensible, and remained there till 18th June—I am not able to attend to my duty yet.

Cross-examined by Mr. BARRY. Q. Was David drunk? A. No; they were both quite sober, and were swearing at each other—I did not see or hear a woman there—there were no people about; they had all gone; the prisoners were the only two there—I had been about the neighbourhood all the evening—I did not touch him before he struck me—Walthrop was with me—if you wish to know, I have seen Dennis at a police-court, accused of assaulting a civilian in Hatton-garden—he was not convicted; the prosecutor never appeared—that was on 18th December, 1858—I helped to take him in custody—I wished a woman good night as she passed me—I had been in no house since I left the station-house—I said nothing to the prisoners but "Move on"—it was dark, but there were plenty of lamps—I stated the prisoners' names at once as soon as I recovered, but did not describe them—I knew where they lived—they were taken on the Sunday morning—my brother officers also knew where they lived very well—when I was first asked about them, Dennis was in custody—David was taken on Tuesday, but I was not there.

Mr. POLAND. Q. What are they? A. Costermongers; they live at 3, Union-court—they are known to my brother officers—Union-court is on the right hand side going up Holborn, and Robin Hood-court is on the left.

ELLEN WIDMORE. I am the wife of Charles Widmore, of 12, Robin Hood-court, Long-lane—on 4th June the policeman passed me in the court, and I saw two men and women by the milk-shop, using bad language—I had never seen them before, but one had a white jacket, something similar to that (Dennis's)—the other one spoke coarsely—the policeman told them to move on—I saw the policeman struck to the ground by a blow from one of them, I cannot say which, and when he was on the ground they kicked him—I said, "Do you intend to do for the man; do you intend to murder him right Out"—they ran away, and said that I knew them.[36]

1864 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[24 Oct. 1864:]
Witnesses for the Defence, JANE CONELLY. I live at 8, Robin Hood-court, Shoe-lane—on Sunday, 18th September, I was with the prisoner—we went to a christening all together it Little Pearl-street, Shoreditch—me and her sister and a young man—we had some drink there—the prisoner was very drunk, and my sister took her home and put her to bed, at 28, Little Popham-street—I then went to look for her young man, and afterwards found him in Elder-walk, fighting with the prosecutrix's sweetheart, Bill Fieldy—her brother then came up, stripped himself to his trousers, and fought the prisoner's young man—I said to Margaret Dunn, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself for letting your brother fight like that"—she called me a frightful name and hit me, and I hit her in return, and she and I had a fight—after it was all over, we went back to the prisoner's house—that was about ten minutes to 12—she was then asleep in bed with her baby—I left her a little after 10, and got back about ten minutes to 12, and she was in bed all that time.[37]

1869 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

[1 Mar. 1869:]
THOMAS BARKER. (City Policeman 419). On the evening of 4th February, and a little before 7, the last witness spoke to me—I turned round and saw Wilbutt running from the corner of New Street Hill—I chased him, and caught him in Shoe Lane, opposite Robin Hood Court—I took him back to the corner of New Street Hill, and there I saw the two forms against the wall—I sent for Messrs. Spottiswoode's foreman, Mr. Paul, and showed him the forms, and he identified them as their property—Wilbutt said he knew nothing of the robbery—I asked him what he ran for, and he said, "Because you ran."[38]

1888 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

[30 Jan. 1888:]
EDWARD WOOLLETT. I am night watchman at Pontifex and Wood's in Shoe Lane—on 6th January I saw four men leave the Two Brewers about 11. 45, one by one door and three by another—I saw Clark, and from what he said I kept the men in view; I never lost sight of them—I apprehended Wise, he walked towards Ludgate Circus—the man who came out at one door went up Robin Hood Court—I spoke to a policeman—the prisoners are two of the men—I saw three of them taking money from papers and dropping the paper—I was about 50 yards off—I picked up the paper and handed it to the policeman I handed Wise to—the little one escaped.[39]

1893 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey

[9 Jan. 1893:]
ALLEN MORBEY (481 City). On the night of 16th December the prisoner was given into my custody—I took him to the station, where he said, "I did not know I was stealing them; I was called from Robin Hood Court, Shoe Lane, by a man who asked me if I would like to earn a few coppers to give him a shove with the barrow up to the Rose public-house, Hatton Garden"—I went to the Rose public-house, Hatton Garden—I did not see anyone there who expected a barrow—the barrow had been stolen—the weight of these formes was seven or eight cwt.—with a bit of trouble one man could have pushed the barrow.[40]


1623 - Goad, Thomas - Catalogue of Persons slain at Black-Friars

A Catalogue of the names of such persons as were slaine by the fall of the roome wherein they were in the Blacke-fryers, at Master Druries Sermon, the 16. of Octob. 1623. Taken by information of the Coroners Iurie.

MAster Drurie the Priest.

Mr. Redyate the Priest.

Lady Webbe.

Lady Blackstones daughter.

Thomas Webbe her man.

William Robinson Taylor.

Robert Smith, Master Hicks man the Apothecarie.

Mr. Dauisons daughter.

Anthonie Hall his man [sig. K1v:]

Anne Hobdin.lodging in Mr Dauisons
Marie Hobdin.house

Iohn Galloway Vintener.

Mr. Peirson,   ⎫
his wife,    in Robbinhood Court in
two sonnes  ⎬ Shooe lane


1720 - Strype, John - Survey of London and Westminster (06)

A Note of such Persons as were slain by the fall of the Room wherein they were, in the Black Friers, at Father Drury's Sermon, Octob. the 26th, 1623.

MAster Drurie the Priest.
Mr. Redyate the Priest.
Lady Webbe.
Lady Blackstone's Daughter.
Thomas Webbe, her Man.
William Robinson, Taylor.
Robert Smith, Master Hick's Man the Apothecary.
Mr. Davison's Daughter.
Anthony Hall his Man.
Ann Hobdin, }
Mary Hobdin, } Lodging in Mr. Davison's House.
John Galloway, Vintner.
Mr. Pierson, }
His Wife, } In Robin Hood Court, in Shooe lane.
Two Sons. }
Mrs. Vudall. }
Abigal her Maid. }
Two more in her House. }
John Netlan, a Taylor.
Nathaniel Coales.
John Halifaxe.
Mrs. Rugbie in Holborn.
John Worral's Son in Holborne.
Mr. Becket, a Cornish Man.
Thomas Mersit, his Wife, and his Son and Maid. In Mountague Close. Mrs. Summel, and Mary her Maid. In Black Friers.
Andrew White's Daughter, in Holborn.
Mr. Staker, Taylor, in Salisbury Court.
Elizab. Sommers, in Gray's Inn lane.
Mr. Westwood.
Judeth Bellowes.
A Man of Sir Lues Pemberton's.
Elizabeth Moore, Widdow.
John James.
Morris Beucresse, Apothecary.
Davie Vaughan.
Anne Field.
Mr. Ployden.
Robert Heisime.
One Medalfe.
Mr. Maufeild.
Mr. Simons.
Dorothy Simons.
Thomas Simons, a Boy.
Robert Pauerkes.
Anne Davison.
Anthony Hall.
Mrs. Morton and her Maid.
Francis Downes.
Edmond Shey.
Josua Perry.
John Tullye.
Robert Drury.
Thomas Draper.
John Staiggs.
Thomas Elis.
Michael Butler, in Woodstreet.
Edmund Rivals.
Edmund Welsh.
Bartholomew Bauin.
Davie, an Irish Man.
Richard Price.
Thomas Wood.
Christopher Hobbs.
Elizabeth Astime.
John Butler.
Clarentia, a Maid.
Jane Turner.
Mrs. Milbourne.
Frithwith Anne.
Mrs. Elton.
Mrs. Walsteed.
Margaret Barrom.
Henry Becket.
Sarah Watson.
John Bethoms.
Mr. Harris.
Mrs. Tompson.
Richard Fitguist.
George Ceaustour.
Mr. Grimes.
One Barbaret, }
One Huckle, }
Walter Ward, } inquired for.
Rigaret. }
John Brabant, a Painter in Little Britain.
A Man-servant of Mr. Bucket's, a Painter in Aldersgate street.[42]

1720 - Strype, John - Survey of London and Westminster (08)

The Parish of St. ANDREWS Holborn.

This Parish of St. Andrews is of a very large extent; good part of which lieth within the Freedom of London, and in the Ward of Faringdon without. To lay down the Bounds thereof, together with the names of the Streets, Lanes, Alleys, and Courts.

As to the Bound of this Parish, I shall begin at Holbourn Bridge, which Southwards runs down by the Ditch side, a little beyond Eagle and Child Alley; where it crosseth the Houses into Shoe lane. And from thence, betwixt Robin Hood Court and New street, into Fetter lane, by the South side of Dean street, where it crosseth into Churchyard Alley. Thence by the South side of Cursitors Alley, and so into Chancery lane. Which it also crosseth, and runs by the back Side of Lincolns Inn, by the St. John's Head Tavern, into the new Court lately built by Sir Thomas Cook, Kt. Alderman, and others; and made a part of the said Inn. Where, by the Pump set up by the Pallisado Pails, which severeth the Court from the Garden, it runs Northward cross the Gardens, and so into Holbourn, by Gridiron Alley, which is a little Eastward of great Turnstile Alley; and there it crosseth the Street, and runneth Westward, taking all the North side of High Holborn, as far as the House where the Stone Mark is set at the Door, which is about six Houses short of Kings Gate. And at this House, it crosseth the Buildings into Eagle street; and turning to the Corner of the said Steet, runneth along Kings Gate street, and so on the back Side of the Gardens of King street, into the Fields, taking in all the South side of the said Street. And so runs Eastward, by the North side of Lamb's Conduit; and from thence to the Hamstead Road; and leading from Gray's Inn lane, to that and other Towns. And crossing the said Road, runs to the Brook or Ditch, which after a turning passage by Hockney the hole, runneth down the East side of Saffron hill, and Field lane; and thence under Holbourn Bridge, falleth into the new Canal; and this Brook is the Eastern Bounds of this Parish, from that of Clerkenwel. Which said Bounds of the Parish doth appear by the prick'd Line incompassing the Map; and the Part within the City Liberty, is severed from the rest by a Chain Line.[43]

1720 - Strype, John - Survey of London and Westminster (09)

I shall begin at Holbourn Bridge, and so run Westward to the Bars. And then the first is Horn, or Horners Alley, the Bull head Tavern, Plumtree Court, St. Andrew's Church, St Andrew's Court, Thavies Inn, Bartlets Court and Buildings, Kings head Court, Bernards Inn, Castle Yard, and White's Alley. Then on the North side, beginning at the Bars, are these Places. Warton's Court, Ely Court, Scroop's Court, Sutton Court, Plough Yard, and Cock Yard, near the Bridge. The Courts and Allies in that part of Shoe lane which are in this Parish, are Well Alley, Plumbtree Court, Molin's Rents, Spectacle Rents, Cockpit Court, Eagle and Child Alley, Brewers Yard, and Robin Hood Court. In the part of Fetter lane, which is is in this Parish, are Dean street, Churchyard Alley, Plough Yard, Horseshoe Alley, Blewit's Court, Magpie Yard and Inn, Bernard's Inn, the Passage into Bartlet's Buildings, and Kings head Court. Then Castle Yard, with part of Cursitor's Alley, and Duck's Court.[44]

1720 - Strype, John - Survey of London and Westminster (10)

The next Lane in Fleetstreet is Shoe lane, very long, runneth North from Fleetstreet, over against Salisbury Court, into Holbourn, by St. Andrew's Church; a Lane of no great Note either for Buildings or Inhabitants. In it are a great many Alleys and Courts, though of little Account. I shall begin first on the East side next to Holbourn, and so towards Fleetstreet: And then the first is Plumbtree Court, the best of all; being large and well built, with Inhabitants according. It hath a passage into another Court, so called, which falls into Holbourn; that Part towards Shoe lane being pretty broad. Well Alley, very mean and ordinary. Molins Rents, indifferent good, but hath a narrow passage into it. Isaac's Rents, very ordinary. Near unto this is Spectacle's Rents, very small and mean. Eagle and Child Alley, narrow, but indifferent good; hath a passage into Fleet Ditch, down Steps. Brewers Yard, so called from a Brewhouse at the lower end there, and with some small Tenements; this hath a passage into Fleet Ditch. Queens Arms Alley, but narrow, with a Freestone Pavement which leads to the Ditch side, down Steps. George Alley, but narrow, hath also a passage down to the Ditch side. Rose and Crown Court, but indifferent, hath a passage into George Alley. Stonecutters street, pretty good and open, with indifferent Inhabitants. This leadeth down to the Ditch side. Curriers Alley, very ordinary, runs to the Ditch side. Harp Alley, but narrow, runs down to the Ditch side; a Place of great Trade for old Houshold Goods, for which it is of Note; but the Buildings very mean. Angel Court, small and ordinary. Fountain Court, but ordinary.

Places on the West side of this Lane: Robin Hood Court, pretty broad and large, but mean Houses and Inhabitants; hath a passage up Steps into Goldsmiths Rents. Cockpit Court, pretty handsome, with Brick Building at the upper end, and hath a Freestone Pavement. Brown's Court, but small and mean. Faulcon Court, but ordinary; near unto the Corner of Newstreet. Kings head Court, a narrow Place, which comes out of Wine Office Court, mentioned in Fleetstreet, and leads into this Lane. Globe Court, but small. And thus much for Fleetstreet.[45]





Also see


  1. Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), p. 300, s.n. Robin Hood Court [1], have "Farringdon Ward Within", but British History Online: A Dictionary of London: Robin Hood Court – Rolls' Yard has "Without".
  2. Harben, Henry A., compil.; [Greaves, I.I., ed.]. A Dictionary of London: Being Notes Topographical and Historical Relating to the Streets and Principal Buildings in the City of London (London, 1918), p. 505, s.n. Robin Hood Court [2]. See Maps section for links to web versions of the map.
  3. Price, F.G. Hilton. 'Some Notes upon the Signs of the Pawn-Brokers in London in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries', Archaeological Journal, vol. LIX (1902), pp. 160-200, see p. 191.
  4. Anonymous. A New Review of London: being an Exact Survey, lately taken, of every Street, Lane, Court, Alley, Square, Close, Green, Wharf, Row, Garden, Field, and aLl Places, by what Name soever call'd, within the Cities, Liberties, or Suburbs of London, Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark. 3rd ed. (London, 1728), p. 30 s.nn. 'Robin hood's court' and 'Robin hood's yard'. Italics as in source. IRHB's brackets
  5. Company of Parish-Clerks, The, compil. New Remarks of London: Or, A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, of Southwark, and Part of Middlesex and Surrey, within the Circumference of the Bills of Mortality (London, 1732), s.nn. Robin Hood's court, Robin hood's yard.
  6. Anonymous. The Compleat Compting-House Companion: or, Young Merchant, or Tradesman's Sure Guide (London, 1763), p. 417.
  7. John Bartholomew & Son Ltd. Bartholomew's Reference Atlas of Greater London 13th ed. (Edinburgh, 1968), map 8.
  8. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: William Colthouse, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 12th January 1722.
  9. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 3 Sep. 1740.
  10. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 18 May 1768.
  11. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 22 Feb. 1769.
  12. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 20 Feb. 1782.
  13. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 14 Sep. 1785.
  14. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 14 Feb. 1798.
  15. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 2 Apr. 1800.
  16. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 14 Sep. 1802.
  17. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 29 Oct. 1806.
  18. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 1 Jun. 1808.
  19. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 12 Apr. 1809.
  20. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 7 Apr. 1813.
  21. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 17 Sep. 1817.
  22. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 13 Jan. 1819.
  23. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 23 Oct. 1822.
  24. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 3 Jun. 1824.
  25. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 11 Jan. 1827.
  26. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 30 Jun. 1831.
  27. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 10 Apr. 1834.
  28. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 2 Feb. 1835.
  29. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 5 Apr. 1841.
  30. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 5 Feb. 1844.
  31. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 12 May 1845.
  32. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 16 Sep. 1850.
  33. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 16 Sep. 1850.
  34. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 27 Oct. 1851.
  35. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 7 May 1855.
  36. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 4 Jul. 1859.
  37. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 24 Oct. 1864.
  38. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 1 Mar. 1869.
  39. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 30 Jan. 1888.
  40. Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 9 Jan. 1893.
  41. [Goad, Thomas]. The dolefvll euen-song, or a true, particvlar and impartiall narration of that fearefull and sudden calamity, which befell the preacher Mr. Drvry a Iesuite, and the greater part of his auditory, by the downefall of the floore at an assembly in the Black-Friers on Sunday the 26. of Octob. last, in the after noone (London, 1623), sig. K1v.
  42. John Strype's A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Book 3, Ch. 8, p. 190 (hriOnline).
  43. John Strype's A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Book 3, Ch. 12, p. 251 (hriOnline).
  44. John Strype's A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Book 3, Ch. 12, p. 252 (hriOnline).
  45. John Strype's A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Book 3, Ch. 12, p. 282 (hriOnline). The web version has "intoGoldsmiths", which I have corrected to "into Goldsmiths".

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