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

21st October 1772

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Currently Held: Harvard University Library

LL ref: t17721021-16

712. (M.) BENJAMIN MURPHY proceedingsdefend was indicted for that he on the king's highway, on Thomas Collier < no role > , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a silver watch, value 50 s. June 8 . +

Thomas Collier proceedingsvictim . I was coming from Sadler's Wells on the 8th of June, about a quarter after nine o'clock at night, with a young woman; about a quarter of a mile on this side Battle-bridge ; the prisoner and another man ( George Lovell < no role > This name instance is in set 1437. who has been executed) came up to us; Lovell to me; the prisoner to the young woman; they said not a word, but your money! if you don't give me your money I'll blow your brains out! I said don't be in a hurry, let me pull my gloves off; with that the prisoner took my watch out of my pocket; it was a silver one; I fumbled a good while; when I got my gloves off, I seized Lovell, tript up his heels, and threw him on the ground, and grappled with him; he was holding a pistol to my head when I threw him down; I kicked up his heels two or three times; as soon as Murphy had took my watch, he returned to the young woman, and held a pistol to her breast; I kept Lovell till an old man and woman came up the road; the prisoner ran away, and the young woman made her escape; I gave an account of the robbery at Sir John Fielding < no role > 's, and left a description of the person of the other man, and I left a direction there where they might send for me; but I was not desirous to have him, as the other was taken. I was sent for to Sir John Fielding < no role > 's; there I saw the prisoner, and immediately knew him to be one of the men that robbed me; he has the coat on now that he had then.

Q. Are you certain he is the person that took your watch?

Collier. Yes; I remarked him very much; I suppose it was three minutes or two minutes and a half that I kept them while I pulled my gloves off.

Q. Was it light?

Collier. It was just growing dark, it was light enough to discover a man's face; I took notice that his knees were not straight, and I examined his knees before the justice, and his knees are so: I am positive he is the man.

Elizabeth Bridges < no role > . I went to Sadler's Wells with Thomas Collier < no role > , on the 8th of June; as we were coming back Benjamin Murphy < no role > and George Lovell < no role > came up together; Murphy presented a pistol to my breast, and Lovell presented another pistol to Thomas Collier < no role > . Murphy stood by me all the time, excepting when he took the watch out of Collier's pocket; I saw him draw the watch out of his pocket; then he came back again to me, and demanded my life or my money.

Q. Are you positive to the prisoner?

Bridges. I am certain he is the man.

Prisoner. One of the prosecutor's fellow servants came to me in prison, and said the prosecutor had got the watch now that he pretended to be robbed of.

Collier. The watch I have now, I bought since I was robbed of a Jew.

Murphy. I don't know the man's name, he promised me he would be here, but he was obliged to go out of town.

Q. to Collier. What business are you?

Collier. I am a coachman . I drive jobs for Mr. Steward, in Swallow-street; I have 9 s. a week, besides, what the gentlemen give me.

Q. Upon your oath did you ever tell any person that you have the watch that you pretended to be robbed of.

Collier. No, never.

Q. from the prisoner. Did you not say you would swear against me for the reward.

Collier. No, I never did. I bought the watch I was robbed of, of a pawnbroker in Holborn.

Prisoner's Defence.

I am innocent. I wish this man was here.

Guilty . Death .

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