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Old Bailey Proceedings - Trial Accounts
London's Central Criminal Court

27th August 1729
George Wood, Joseph Pinhorn
Violent Theft - highway robbery divider

George Wood and Joseph Pinhorn, of Allhallow's the Great, were indicted, for that they, together with Charles Hoskins and William Weatherly, not yet taken, did assault in an open Place near the Highway, Call'd George-Alley, and feloniously take from the Person of Henry Thorp, deceased, 2 Gold Rings and a Hat, the 29th of May last.

William Thorp depos'd, That the Deceased, who was his Brother, himself, and his Mother, having been at a Friend's House, at an Entertainment, in Oldstreet, returning Home at Night about 8 or 9 a-Clock, left the Deceas'd at a Relation's House in Golden-Lane, expecting him to follow them Home to London-Bridge, where he dwelt; but he not coming Home as was expected, his Servant having been sent out, brought word the next Morning, that the Deceas'd was found dead, hang'd in St. George's Fields;

that thereupon he got the Coroner's Warrant to have the Body brought to St. Magnes Church, in order to be interr'd in the Family Vault; that while the Corpse was there, Mr. Strutton's Son, the Grave-digger, as he was inform'd, open'd the Coffin to look on it, and immediately said, This is the Person that was robb'd such a Night;

the Lad giving an Account of four Persons that were there; upon which the Prisoners were apprehended; that some time after Pinhorn's Wife came and told him, that if he would give them a Discharge, she would help him to the Hat and two Rings again;

that Pinhorn did pretend to make a Discovery of the Robbery, but afterwards declin'd it; that George Wood own'd the Rings had been pawn'd where they met together at an Alehouse, the Rose in Miles's Lane; and that they were the next Day taken out and sold to one Joynes a Goldsmith for 17 s. and 6 d.

The Rings were produced, and likewise the Deceased's Hat was brought by a Porter, as he said, from Pinhorn's Wife, having been procur'd from the Person to whom it had been sold for 4 s.

Mr. Strutton confirm'd the former Evidence of his Son's making the Discovery of the Deceas'd being the Person who he said had been robb'd, and of his giving some Account of the Prisoners; end added, That he dwelling at the Corner of George-Alley, did hear about 10 or 11 a-Clock at Night a Noise and Bustle in the Alley; went down to see what was the Matter, and did see Several Persons there, who ran away at his coming.

Stephen Anthony depos'd, That coming by Cole Harbour, he heard a Noise, and going and enquiring what was the Matter? George Wood said that two Men had been sodomiting;

that he observ'd the Deceas'd, who was one of them which they charg'd with it; that he appear'd to be an elderly Man; that his Wig was a light-colour'd Wig, and his Handkerchief was ty'd to the Button of his Coat; and that he was found hang'd in this Handkerchief;

that while the Prisoners and the rest were menacing of the Deceas'd to carry him before a Magistrate, the Deceas'd begg'd for God's sake that they would not expose him to the World, and he would give them any thing; that William Weatherly got 1 s. 6 d. of the Deceas'd, he saying that he had no more; that George Wood would have a Crown;

that they saying he had Rings, the Deceas'd ask'd them if they would be content with them, and let him go? That having given George Wood a Ring, or Rings, he said it was Brass, the Deceas'd reply'd, No, it is Gold; and that the Deceas'd did not insist upon denying the Fact; but said he had not been guilty of it for 5 Years;

that the Deceas'd said to the Prisoners, Throw me into the Thames; some of them reply'd, No they would not, then they should be hang'd for him; that upon the coming up of Mr. Strutton, they all ran away.

Mr. Strutton depos'd, that he did hear the Charge of Sodomy mention'd. This being the Prosecutor's own Evidence, it appearing that tho' the taking the Things and Money of the Deceas'd on the before-mention'd Consideration, was not justifiable, yet being given, did not amount to a Felony in the Receivers, the Jury acquitted them.

[Verdict : not guilty]



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