1839 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)
|Topic||Stolen goods sold at the Robin Hood and Little John (Westminster)|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-02-15. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2019-04-27.
[8 Apr. 1839:]
[...] HODGES HYDER was indicted for stealing, on the 13th of March, 2 sixpences; and 1 knife, value 9d.; the goods of George Courtney, from his person.
GEORGE COURTNEY. I have enlisted in the 94th regiment of foot, and lodge at the Robin Hood public-house, in Duke-street, Westminster. On the 13th of March I fell asleep in the parlour of that house—when I awoke I saw the prisoner lying on a stool, pretending to be asleep—I felt in my pocket, and missed two sixpences and a knife, which had been there when I went to sleep—I told the prisoner, if he gave me what he had of mine I would not trouble him about it—he said he would give me a rap on the head if I asked him for it again—I got a policeman, who searched him, and found sixpence in his trowsers' pocket, and my knife—I had given him 9d. for that knife that very morning.
FRANCES WILLIAMS. I live in Gardener's-lane, Duke-street, and work at the Robin Hood. On the 13th of March I saw the prosecutor in the parlour, and the prisoner down on his knees, picking the prosecutor's pocket—I went up, took him by the neck, and asked what he was doing there—he said he would knock me down—I made an alarm, and the people came up stairs—he ran from the man, laid down on the settle, add pretended to be asleep—we forced him out of the house, and gave him in charge.
JOHN MASSEY TIERNEY. I am a policeman. The prosecutor came to the station-house, and I went with him to the Robin Hood—I afterwards found the prisoner in Charles-street—I searched him at the station-house, and found half a crown and sixpence concealed in the waistband of his trowsers, and in his pocket 6d., some coppers, and two knives, one of which the prosecutor claimed.
Prisoner. When I was first taken, the prosecutor said he had lost a shilling; but when no shilling was found on me, be said it was sixpences—he said nothing about the knife till it was found. Witness. He said nothing about the knife till it was found—the moment he saw it he said, "That is my knife, I bought it of him this morning for 9d."—he at first said he had lost shilling, but directly said, "No, it was two sixpences"—I cannot remember whether that was before I found them—he was sober, but appeared to have been drinking—the prisoner appeared tipsy, but whether that was affectation I cannot say.
Prisoner's Defence. I went with Courtney, and another young man, to the Robin Hood—he bought the knife of me for 9d. and a pot of beer—we tossed for four or five quarterns of rum, and, in stooping for a halfpenny I broke my thumb nail—I asked him to lend me the knife to cut it—he did, and I put it into my pocket—we tossed for more rum—he put his hand into his pocket, and said, "That is the last shilling I have," and paid for it—we laid down to get sober—I fell asleep, and pitched, head foremost, down—the witness came up, hearing me fall, and said, "Oh, you rogue, you want to pick Courtney's pocket"—I said I did not, but I had stumbled over the stool—she brought up two or three men, and charged me with robbing Courtney—I asked him if he had lost any thing—he felt, and said he had not lost any thing—the witness said, "Feel again, for this young man was trying to pick your pocket"—he felt again, and said, "Yes, I had a shilling, which is gone," and said, "Give me the shilling"—I said I had no shilling belonging to him—he said I had, and was going to strip to fight me for it—when I came down stairs, three or four of them pushed me out of the house—the officer said, I had better go, and sit down at the cook's shop, and get sober—I came out of there in a few mintues, and saw Courtney and two policemen at the corner—I went up to speak to them, and he gave me in charge.
JOHN MASSEY TIERNEY re-examined. I took the prisoner in Charles-street—he was apparently coming from the coffee-shop towards me—nothing was said about having lent the prisoner a knife.
GEORGE COURTNEY re-examined. He did not break his finger nail that I know of—I never lent him the knife, I am certain.
FRANCES WILLIAMS re-examined. I was in the tap-room, and heard a noise up stairs—it was not like a man tumbling off a stool—it was like a scuffle—I swear I saw the prisoner's hands in the prosecutor's pocket.
GUILTY. Aged 21.—Recommended to mercy.—Confined Three Months.
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.