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

5th December 1744

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LL ref: t17441205-61

106. + Ann Collier proceedingsdefend This name instance is in set 3826. , of St. James, Clerkenwell , was indicted for assaulting Alexander Forfar proceedingsvictim This name instance is in set 3230. , on the King's highway, putting him in fear, &c. and taking from him a silk handkerchief, value 2 s. a powder horn, value 18 d. his property, and a pistol, value 21 s. the property of Robert Montgomer proceedingsvictim , Sept. 24 .

+ A reward offered by the ward of Portsoken for apprehending any of the persons concerned in this affray.

* Thomas Wells, Theophilus Watson < no role > This name instance is in set 3519. , Joshua Barnes < no role > , Thomas Kirby < no role > , and Ann Duck < no role > This name instance is in set 3827. , were tried last Sessions for this robbery, and acquitted. She was indicted then, but not taken. See Sessions paper, Part 1. Page 229.

Alexander Forfar < no role > . I am a Headborough proceedingsvictim : about ten at night (I had been in bed) Mr. Blewmire, my Constable, and Mr. Montgomery, called at my house and desired I would go with them to Blackboy-alley . Mr. Montgomery had a pair of pistols, and gave one to the Constable, and one to me; we went into Black boy alley, to a house which I suppose to be one Field's; the Constable knocked at the door, and called several times, and said if they did not let him in, he would break the door open, and some people held cutlasses out of the window to terrify us, and then threw brick-bats, or anything they could get, at us: Mr. Montgomery went under a house to shelter himself, and the mob began to rise very much; they began to shove me, and a fellow offered to fire at me, and I think I said, Fire away, if you miss me, I will not miss you. Every body was gone but Mr. Montgomery; he drew his sword, and defended himself, and I took to my heels, and ran to Cow-cross ; Wells cut me over the head; I struggled to keep my pistol as long as I could, but they cut my fingers, and got it out of my hand; then the women came up, and among them the prisoner, she had a poker in her hand, and beat me with it very severely on my back and sides, stamped upon me, and took my handkerchief off my neck, which was tied in two knots, and then she said, D - n the dog, kill him. I had a powder horn taken from me, the handkerchief off my neck, and the pistol was taken from me; I lost four shillings and six-pence, but I can't tell who took it; I would not say so for ever so much if it was not true. - Ann Collier < no role > This name instance is in set 3826. trod upon me, and took the handkerchief off my neck; I am positive of it, and Ann Duck < no role > This name instance is in set 3827. took the powder-horn out of my pocket.

Q. Did you receive any wounds in this affray?

Forfar. I had a matter of forty wounds and bruises in this fray: I was stabbed in the shoulder, and had three cuts in one leg.

Prisoner's Council. Who took the pistol from you?

Forfar. I can't tell.

Pris. Coun. You were asked on the last trial, whether ther you lost any thing but your powder-horn, and you said, No, nothing but my blood.

Forsar. I said I lost my powder-horn, a handkerchief, and a pistol.

Pris. Coun. You don't pretend to say that the prisoner took any thing from you?

Forfar. She took a handkerchief from me; I always said so: I said so when I was down upon the ground.

Pris. Coun. There's not one word of her name in the other trial.

Q. Did you mention this woman on the former trial?

Forfar. Yes.

Q. Did you name her upon that trial? [the prosecutor paused a little.]

Q. Did you, or did you not, name Ann Collier < no role > This name instance is in set 3826. at all upon that trial?

Forsar. I can't say that I mentioned her any otherwise than as a person that was there - to the best of my knowledge I did name her.

Pris. Coun. Did you say then, that she took your handkerchief?

Forsar. I believe I did not say so then; I had no occasion, for she was not taken.

Q. Was William Harper < no role > This name instance is in set 3509. by when you lost your handkerchief?

Forsar. Yes, he was one of the mob.

John Blakeman < no role > . At the time Mr. Forfar was cut, I saw Ann Collier < no role > This name instance is in set 3826. with a poker in her hand. - I knew her very well; I had seen her a great many times, and she is very remarkable to be known. - I did not see her do any thing; she was in the middle of the mob. - I can't say she was near enough to the prosecutor to do any thing to him. I saw him down upon the ground, and helped to take him up: he was cut very much; - he had no handkerchief on then.

Richard Pack < no role > . I live at Cow-cross; I was sitting by the fire-side, (I think it was the 24th of September) and heard a noise in the street; I went out, and the people said that Montgomery and the Constable were attacked by the people of Black-boy-alley, and cut with hangers, (they had done cutting then). I went among the mob, and saw Mr. Forfar was cut very much; I said, Don't kill the man, and the prisoner said, D - n him, you would serve him right if you cut his head off; and one of them swung his hanger over his head, and said, You dog, I will learn you to come here to press men, I have a good mind to cut your head off, and if it was your master Blewmire, I would cut his head off. - I did not see that the prisoner had any thing in her hand, for she was among the people. I went home with Forfar, and he did not name any person that had robbed him but Ann Duck < no role > This name instance is in set 3827. .

Sarah Abbot < no role > . I saw the prisoner with a pistol in her hand the next day, and she said, G - d d - n his blood, I have beat him with his own weapon. - She did not say whose it was, or who she had beat with it.

William Harper < no role > . I don't know any thing of this affair, I was not there; I was at the other end of the town, for if I had been there, I must have remembered it, because the damage done to the man is very remarkable; and if I had I should have put it into my information: I never saw Forfar before he came to swear me into this robbery, (he would have swore I robbed him of the pistol) and I had never seen him in my life.

Prosecutor's Coun. How came you to remember the particular time?

Harper. I don't remember it at all; for I can't remember a thing that I never knew.

John Brittain < no role > . As I was going home to my family, that night about ten o'clock, I was pressed, the officers used me very ill, and cut me with their cutlasses; they carried me up to Cow-cross, at the time of this disturbance; I did not see the Prisoner there, if she had been there I should have known her by her voice; I saw no woman there but Ann Duck < no role > This name instance is in set 3827. - there was no man cut and hacked, I did not see any one cut.

Q. Was you pressed for a soldier?

Brittain. They laid hold of me as I was coming along; I don't know what they took me for.

Coun. Not for a conjurer, I suppose.

Brittain. I am a buckle-maker, and keep a house of ten pounds a year.

John Blewmire < no role > . I went with Mr. Montgomery to Forfar's, to take him with me to Black-boy-alley. He was buttoning his collar. Said I, Don't stand buttoning your collar, come along. Montgomery had a naked sword, I had one pistol, and Forfar another. I went first into Field's, at the fighting cocks, and afterwards to one Harry Gray < no role > 's, and bid them open the door. I said, if they did not, I would break it open; but I could not get in. By and by there were brickbats, &c. thrown at us. I saw some of the fellows with cutlasses crying out for Blewmire, they said, they would cut my head off: and some, I suppose, who did not know me, took hold of Forfar instead of me. I pulled my wig off, and put it into my pocket, that they might not know me - I saw Forfar among them, but could not see what they did to him for the crowd.

Prisoner's Council. Was the Prisoner there, or was she not?

Blewmire. I can't say I saw her there all the time.

Q. Did you see any thing upon Forfar's neck?

Blewmire. I did not see any thing.

Q. When you took Forsar out with you, had he a handkerchief or a stock about his neck?

Blewmire He had neither stock nor handkerchief on, for he was going to bed, and when he could walk and come abroad he asked who Ann Collier < no role > This name instance is in set 3826. was, and what sort of a person she was.

Q. Did he put a handkerchief on afterwards?

Blewmire. I did not see that he put it on all the time.

Forsar. Blewmire wanted to make it up with me, with respect to Ann Collier < no role > This name instance is in set 3827. for 20 pieces; he said 20 pieces will do you no harm.

Blewmire. I wish I may be hanged if ever I said any such thing.

Richard Pack < no role > . (Again. ) I heard Blewmire say to Forfar, Alook be as easy as you can, 20 pieces won't hurt you.

Q. Did Blewmire mention Collier's name?

Pack. Yes, he did, and Forsar said he was used ill, and had lost his handkerchief, his powder horn, a pistol and some money.

Blewmire. Fofsar said now is the time, 'tis near Christmas, if you have a mind for a piece of beef, we may keep Christmas well if Nan Collier < no role > This name instance is in set 3826. was convicted, and a little matter will hang her.

Q. to Forfar. Did you ever say the reward would serve to keep Christmas, and a little matter would hang her?

Forfar. I never did say so.

Robert Marcrost < no role > . My name is Marcrost, though I am called Maycrost, I am a marshals court officer, I know Forfar to be a very wicked vile man in these things, for one William Harper < no role > was taken up on Lord Mayor's day last; and the day after Forsar came to the Castle in King-street by Guild-hall (before Harper came) and agreed to swear that Harper was at the riot, whether he was or was not, and that he had robbed him of the pistol. He says to me, Marcroft, do you know Harper? I said, I thought I did. He said, Do you believe he lives in the alleys? I said, I believe he does live in the alleys: but if you are not sure he is the man that robbed you, it would be hard to swear his life away. He said, No matter for that, 'tis a bad place, the very sanction of Black-boy-alley will hang an hundred of them with very little evidence, no matter who swears.

Forfar. Your character is so bad, that you may swear against an hundred persons, and not be believed in one thing.

Marcrost. Then he said, what must I do with Nan Collier < no role > This name instance is in set 3826. when I take her, for I am not positive to her, but by all accounts it must be her, for it was a lusty woman, and she is most likely to do such a thing, and afterwards he said he would swear it: he said it was worth while to prosecute her, and if he did not, some body else would, for there would be an hundred pieces for her by the late Proclamation. - I believe Forfar does this for the sake of the reward, and nothing else, for he is a very wicked man. He would have sworn this robbery against Lawes and Paine, if it had not been for me; I advised him against it, and he said he would think farther of it.

Prosecutor's Council. Do you know the prisoner?

Marcrost. I had not seen her for some months, but as I am an Officer I had business that way sometimes; the woman was pretty courteous to me: she did sell a dram, and I have spent three-pence in her house now and then, in return to her civility. Some years ago a person must have behaved very civilly to go through that place without some blows, even in the day-time.

Q. to Forfar. Did you ever talk with Marcrost about the reward for Ann Collier < no role > This name instance is in set 3826. ?

Forfar. I never did; the man was a stranger to me; but when they were about taking the City's money, I said, it is very hard you should take all the money for the reward, when I suffered so much, and I must have nothing. Marcroft and eleven more have entered into a combination to have all the rewards among themselves.

Q. Did you ever mention to Marcroft any thing at all of Ann Collier < no role > This name instance is in set 3826. ?

Forfar. Not till after she was taken, but I never spoke to him about the reward.

Mr. Boddy. Forfar had information of Collier's being at Lambeth, and desired we would go and help him to take her; I never saw her before that time - I never heard any thing amiss of Forsar in my life - he did not say any thing to me about the reward - there was some discourse among them at the castle in King-street about the reward the City gave.

Marcrost. At Mr. Foot's house at Clerkenwell-green, Forsar desired to be admitted among us to take part of the rewards, and we refused to admit him as being a wicked man. He said if we would not admit him, he could make better of it him self, - we have agreed to exclude him from all the rewards.

Q. Had you any money for any of the rewards?

Forsar. I have had (I think) five pounds, nine shillings [this was part of the Government's reward on the conviction of Ann Duck < no role > This name instance is in set 3827. and Ann Barefoot < no role > This name instance is in set 3829. .]

Mary Fisher < no role > . On the behalf of the prisoner said, she never knew any ill of her, and that she was publickly about her business, buying of old cloaths in Monmouth-street a little before last Lord Mayor's day.

Elizabeth Sampson < no role > . I keep a Sale-shop in Monmouth-street; I have known her a year and an half, and have dealt with her: I saw her in her business about two or three days before she was taken up.

Elizabeth Ball < no role > . I am a parish nurse; I live in Chick lane; I have known her between two and three years, and never saw any thing amiss of her.

Jane Ball < no role > . I live in Hockley-in-the-hole; my husband is a Journeyman butcher; the prisoner is an honest industrious body, she comes often to my house; her mother lives with me, and is a very honest woman.

Sarah Hinchliffe < no role > . I live in St. Martin's-court in St. Martin's-lane, and keep a Fishmonger's shop; I have known her four years, she is an honest painstaking woman; when she was taken up I went to see her at the Castle by Guild-hall, and Forsar took hold of me, and said, your name is Phillis, you are one of those that beat and abused me, and was going to take me into custody.

Dorothy Smith < no role > and Mary Whitehead < no role > , (dealers in old cloaths) gave her the character of an industrious woman.

Elizabeth Jones < no role > . I was servant to Mr. Forfar, and was there when Mr. Blewmire and Mr. Montgomery came in to call him out; he was in bed, and got up, - he had a handkerchief about his neck when he went out, for I held the candle to him while he tied it on.

William Buckland < no role > . I live in the prisoner's neighbourhood; I have known her fourteen or fifteen years, - she had the general character of keeping a very bad house, and harboured thieves; I have heard Murder cried out there.

Thomas Reynolds < no role > . (Carpenter) I have a piece of ground in Black-boy-alley: I always passed and repassed very quietly; the prisoner never interrupted me, - her character (to be sure) is very bad, but I have not heard Murder cried out in her house, as I have in some others, but there were always a great many bad people there.

William Dakins < no role > . - The Prisoner's character is very bad; she kept such a disorderly house, that Mr. Buckland went away upon her account.

Mr. Perkins being called upon by Mr. Forfar, said, he has known Mr. Forfar seven or eight years, and never heard any thing amiss of him; believes him to be a man of veracity and truth, and that he would not assert any thing upon oath that is false upon any account whatsoever.

- Jackson. Mr. Forfar impressed me in my own house the 16th day of June at noon - I believe he was drunk; he said he was a lieutenant, and I should go along with him.

Prisoner. I do allow I have been guilty of folly, and have been very bad, but I have not done any thing of that kind lately; and 'tis hard I should be punished now for what I did formerly. Mr. Forfar subpoena'd Mr. Pope to give me a bad character, I desire he may be called.

Richard Pope < no role > . I know both the Prisoner and the Prosecutor; I never heard any harm of either of them: I keep two houses, one in Black-boy-alley, and the Spaw by Black Mary's-hole.

Q. What house do you keep in Black-boy-alley?

Pope. An honest house - my wife lives there - I am a bricklayer, and repair the whole estate - I have heard noises and disturbances in the Prisoner's house formerly, but I have heard nothing of that kind these two years. Acquitted .

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