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

4th December 1730
John Lewis, John Jones
Theft - extortion divider

John Lewis and John Jones were indicted for a Conspiracy, with design to charge John Battle with the Crime of Sodomy, unless he would give them ten Guineas.

John Battle depos'd, That on the 6th of November he was at the Castle in Mark-Lane, and Jones came to his House, and ask'd for him, his Apprentice offering to go with him to show him where he was, but Jones said he would go himself; that he came to the Castle, and he was called out from his Company, that he ask'd him his Business, and he then ask'd him, if he knew one John Lewis, a Bridewell Boy? that he reply'd, He did not.

That he reply'd, he knows you, he is hard by, if you will have him call'd; that they going into a Room, in came Lewis, leaning upon a Broomstick; that Jones said he was very ill, he had got a Fistula, and he had carried him to a Friend of his, a Surgeon, and he said it came by Buggery, and he says you have been concern'd with him, and that the Surgeon would have 10 Guineas, and he must have 6 Guineas now;

that he reply'd, He had not so much Money, that Jones reply'd then, He must borrow it; that he put them off till the next Day, and thereupon Jones told him, he must give Lewis something to bear his Expences, for he himself should not come, being obliged to go to Woolwich, that he let him have half a Guinea;

that the next Morning he went to the Globe Tavern at Stocks-Market, (being in much Confusion of Mind to have such a Crime charg'd upon him, and not willing any such thing should come to the Ears of his Neighbours, to blast his Reputation, they threatening otherwise to expose him, and his Attorney being out of the way,) and there he found both the Prisoners, and he gave them five Guineas and a half more, having forgot that Jones said be must make it up 10 Guineas, and that would cure him, and he should hear no more of them;

that being unwilling to be expos'd, and to be further troubled with them, he went Home and fetch'd four Guineas more, and ask'd for a Receipt, and Jones wrote one, and Lewis signed it, and Jones witnessed it, that this was on Saturday the 7th of November; and on Monday the 9th, Jones came to him again, and said, he must needs drink a Glass of Wine with him, and they being at the Tavern, he told him, Lewis had been Gaming, and lost all the Money, and that his Mother was a turbulent Woman, and she would come to his House and make a Riot, unless he would give him 20 Guineas, and if he would, he would go away to Holland, and never trouble him more.

That then he appointed to meet them at the Sun Tavern by the Monument the next Day, and when he came, Jones was there, and he asking for Lewis, Jones said, he was such a shabby Dog, he was asham'd to bring him thither.

That then they went to the Bell Tavern in Nicholas-Lane, and Jones fetch'd Lewis, that then they propos'd to have 20 Guineas as before, and Lewis said he would go to Holland, and trouble him no more, and Jones said he would put him on Board of Ship, and see him part of the way; he making some Hesitation, Jones said, if he did not, his Mother would come and be very riotous, and Lewis could be a Witness for the King; that then he told them he had not so much Money, that they must stay while Thursday, and that Jones said he had a Friend that should write a general Release.

Upon this he promised to pay the Money on Saturday Morning, that he went and acquainted his Attorney, and got a Warrant for apprehending them of Sir Richard Brocas; that he went to the Tavern at the time appointed, and found both the Prisoners there, and Lewis ask'd him, If he had brought the Money? he said, No;

but he had a Friend below that would lend it him, and stepping down Stairs, call'd up the Constable and Attorney; and the Constable being charg'd with them, Jones said, Mr. Battle, Lord, what have you done, I did not think you would have serv'd me so, and they both fell a trembling, and begging, and praying not to be carried before a Justice, and that they might not be prosecuted, and said, they would do any thing, or give any thing, owned that they never knew any harm by him (Mr. Battle) begged the Attorney to intercede for them, and when in the Coach begg'd and pray'd for Mercy, and before Sir Richard Brocas own'd, that they had never seen him (Mr. Battle) before in their Lives, and that they did it to get Money.

This Confession was confirm'd by Mr. Harrison, and the Constable; and the Fact being plainly prov'd, the Jury found them Guilty of the Indictment.

[Punishments: pillory; imprisonment; sureties]



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