Old Bailey Proceedings:
Old Bailey Proceedings: Accounts of Criminal Trials

12th September 1744

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Currently Held: Harvard University Library

LL ref: t17440912-51

407, 408. John Peirson proceedingsdefend , and Joseph Fitzwalter proceedingsdefend , of St. Sepulchres , were indicted for assaulting Henry Jones proceedingsvictim on the King's highway, putting him in fear, &c. and taking from him a hat, value 5 s. a perriwig, value 5 s. and 5 s. 6 d. in money , the property of the said Henry Jones < no role > , September 9 .

Henry Jones < no role > . I had business to do last Sunday in Whitechappel, and returning home in the evening with William Berry < no role > over Moorfields, it rained, and we went in and drank a pot of beer; going down Long-Lane between 9 and 10 o'clock, Berry stopped to do his occasions and I went on a little before. As soon as I came to the cross way to go into Hosier-Lane , I was stopped on the highway by three fellows; the Prisoners are two of them, and the other was a lusty fellow; he laid hold of my breast, and I said, what do you want? Another came up to me and said, he wanted my money - That genleman there in the blue, Peirson; and he bid Fitzwalter put his hand in my pocket, and see what money I had got, and said if I said any thing he would rip me open.

Q. Had he a knife in his hand?

Jones. I believe he had a knife in his hand: Berry was then coming along, and I cried, hollo, Mr. Berry! and then the lusty fellow jumped over the rails with my hat and wig.

Q. Did either of the Prisoners put his hand in your pocket?

Jones. Yes, Fitzwalter did, and took out 5 s. 6 d. then Mr. Berry came up; I laid hold of Fitzwalter, and Berry laid hold of Peirson; we endeavoured to get them to a publick house to secure them, and up came four or five lusty fellows and said, D - n your eyes let them go, or we will cut you as small as sausages - They had something in their hands, but I can't tell whether they were knives or swords, and we were obliged to let them go to preserve our lives, but they were taken again on Tuesday night.

Q. How came you to know them again as it was so late in the night?

Jones. The lamps were very light - I am sure the Prisoners are the persons; I took particular notice of them and of their cloaths.

William Berry < no role > . Mr. Jones and I went out together last Sunday, and returning home going down Long-Lane, I had occasion to ease myself and he kept on. In about two or three minutes I came up with him, and he was by the rounds near Hosier-Lane, I said, Hollo, Mr. Jones! said he, I am robbed. I took hold of this boy in the blue coat [Peirson] and Jones took hold of him in the green [ Fitzwalter ] one had an apron on hanging down, and the other had something about him tucked up. I saw Jones without his hat and wig; then four or five fellows came up to us and said, What are you going to do with those boys? One of them had a stick and jobbed it in my face, and they said they would cut us as small as sausages if we did not let them go, and indeed I was glad to let them go. - I saw something glisten, but whether it was a sword or a hanger I cannot tell - I know these are the persons, because we had them a minute or two under a lamp in Smithfield. The Tuesday following I saw the Prisoners in the fair in Southwark, and I said to one that was there, these chaps robbed a friend of mine last Sunday. I dogged them out of the fair to St. Margaret's-Hill, and then took them; and Peirson said in the coach as we were coming along, that we could not hurt them, for they did nothing but pick pockets of handkerchiefs - They said they lived in Black Boy-Alley.

Peirson. We have no witnesses, we have none but our own dear selves. Both Guilty Death .

Peirson. I am between fourteen and fifteen years old.

Fitzwalter . I was thirteen years old last July.

The Jury on account of their youth, recommended them to the Court as objects of his Majesty's mercy.

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