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Richard Norris, one of 200 convicts transported on the Guilford [Guildford], August 1811
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 61 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to Life
* Arrival date is estimated
||Middlesex Gaol Delivery
31st March, 1812
|Place of arrival
||New South Wales
Travelled with 195 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 50
||This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.
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Maureen Withey on 1st September, 2019 wrote:
Richard Norris was tried at the Old Bailey.
JAMES GILL, GEORGE COGDALE, RICHARD NORRIS, Violent Theft - highway robbery, 5th December 1810.
55. JAMES GILL , GEORGE COGDALE , and RICHARD NORRIS , were indicted for feloniously assaulting William Weston , in the king’s highway, on the 29th of November , putting him in fear, and taking from his person, and against his will, sixteen dollars, value 4 l. a crown piece, four half crowns, twenty-five shillings, and a one pound bank note, the property of George Pegg .
WILLIAM WESTON . I am carman to George Pegg , he lives at Hyde, in the parish of Hendon.
Q. On the 29th of November last were you coming home with a load of dung - A. Yes, from London. I was on the Edgware-road , near the five mile stone; it was about eight o’clock at night, the night had been very dark, it was getting lighter then; when I got near the five mile stone, I was riding on the forepart of the cart, three men came across the road, out of the foot-path, two men went before the horse’s head, and one behind the cart, the man of the name of Gill had got a short smock on, and a pair of trowsers.
Q. You did not know him at that time - A. No; he went by that name at Bow-street, he was one of those before the horses.
Q. How were the other dressed - A. He had a short smock on, or a jacket, I cannot say which, theman behind the cart had on a large darge dark coat, it appeared to me.
Q. When they came up to you what did they do - Gill came up to me and put something to my breast, which appeared to me to be a pistol.
Q. The man you think was Gill - A. Yes, he said, see this, see this, your money or your life; the man in the dark coat, who was behind, took the money out of my pocket, a letter, and a knife.
Q. How much money did he take from you - A. Seven pounds.
Q. How was the seven pounds made up - A. In the first place there were sixteen dollars, four half crowns, an old crown piece with some letters on the head of it, twenty-five shillings in silver, and a one pound bank note.
Q. How did you receive this money - A. As payment for a load of hay; I received it that same evening, about four o’clock, in London for a load of hay. When they took my money out of my pocket they took me behind the team about two hundred yards, as near as I can tell, back upon the road, the team was going on slowly, they let me go then, and I did not see any more of them, they walked towards town.
Q. While they were robbing you and taking you two hundred yards back on the road, did you take any notice of their persons - A. I looked at Gill, he was the man that was facing of me.
Q. Did you look at him enough to be able to recollect his countenance afterwards - A. Yes.
Q. Did you observe the other men - A. No, I did not; one stood behind me, and the other on the side of me, I did not observe them.
Q. When did you see these men, or either of them afterwards - A. I saw them the next day at Bow-street.
Q. That is you saw three men - A. Yes.
Q. Now these three men that you saw there, did you recollect any one of them - A. Yes, Gill, the right hand man; I told the officer before I went in I could swear to him, and when I went in I recollected Gill, I said that is the man that presented the pistol to my breast, in his presence, he was by, he could not hear me speak.
Q. Look at the prisoner, can you say that man put what you took to be a pistol to your breast - A. Yes, I can safely swear that.
Q. Now when these men left you what did you do - A. I went into a public house and told the people that I had been robbed, that was before I got up to my team, I went on then after my team; at the public house there were two or three people said they would go after them, I did not see them go.
Q. You went after your team - A. Yes; I went up to the stable’s with the horses; master’s house is not where the stables are, I did not go to my master’s house that night.
Q. What time did you arrive at the stables - A. About half after eight, as near as I could tell.
Q. How far are the stables from your master’s house - A. Above a mile as near as I can tell. I live in the parish of Hendon, about a mile from my master’s house.
Q. Are you a single or a married man - A. A married man.
Q. How came you not to go directly that night - A. I do not know; I did not go there till the next morning, I never go there of a night only once of twice a week to know what I am to do. My master came to me the next morning to the stable about nine o’clock, I told him I had been robbed on the over night.
Q. How came you not to go and tell your master before nine o’clock, you were up before that time, what time did you get up that morning - A. About six.
Q. Had your master heard of the robbery before he came to you - A. Yes; I told him I had been robbed, and while I told him there was a man came up and told me these men were taken.
Q. Then in consequence of that I suppose you went up to London did not you - A. Yes.
Q. You were shewn the three young men at the bar were not you - A. Yes.
Q. Now you have told us one of them you know, which was Gill, and respecting the other men did you take any notice of the height or size of them - A. No, I do not.
Q. How old are you yourself - A. I am about twenty-seven.
Q. You say you are married, how many children have you - A. One child.
Gill. I would wish to ask him who told him I was the man that put the pistol to his breast - A. No man told me so.
Q. I was told that you were in the public-house conversing with some of Mr. Franklin’s men, and you were told to say I was the man - A. I never had any conversation with Mr. Franklin’s men.
COURT. Did either Mr. Franklin’s men, or any men whatever tell you to swear to Gill - A. No, no man whatever.
Gill. I never had a pair of trowsers on, these are the clothes that I had on when the officer took me; I shewed him my things, they searched my room; I had no trowsers whatever.
JOSEPH WRIGHT . I am a horse patrol on the Edgware-road. On the 29th of September, about half past seven o’clock in the evening, I was riding between the three and four mile stone, the London way, I met two men first going down the road from London, and I met one a little way after, I bid them good night, they gave me the return of good night; I rode a little way farther, and met another man.
Q. That is the fourth - A. Yes. I rode a little past him, and had suspicion there was something the matter.
Q. Did you hear any thing that excited that suspicion - A. By hearing of a whistle; I still remained quiet until I heard a whistle twice more, I then turned round and proceeded to the whistle, there I fell in with a man of the name of James Fordham , I apprehended him and examined him, and got his address from him, where he lived, and what house he used, he told me at the sign of the Bell, Church End, Wilsdon, and during my examining of him I got alarmed of the robbery, a person came up the road from the public-house, saying that Mr. Pegg’s man, the farmer,had been robbed of seven pound. I there proceeded after these men and gave charge of Fordham, and went after the men that had just passed me; I went from thence to Wilsdon Green to the Bell, it is two or three miles out of the Edgware-road; I went by my own judgment, these men having been drinking at the Bell; when I came to the Bell I enquired if such a person as James Fordham had been at the house in the course of the afternoon, they told me yes; I then went in pursuit of James Gill ; I heard of the names of the other people that had been drinking there; I found James Gill at his lodging in Church-End, Wilsdon, he was in bed, I took him on suspicion of the robbery, I then went to Richard Norris ‘s lodging, I found him in bed and took him also.
Q. What time might this be - A. When I took Norris it was about eleven o’clock, and about ten o’clock when I took Gill; then I proceeded to George Cogdale ‘s lodging; they all live in the parish of Wilsdon. I took him; that was exactly at twelve o’clock.
Q. Your meeting of two, and then another man, and the fourth man, what time was that - A. That was about half after seven.
Q. How came you to be so late taking Gill - A. My detaining Fordham, that took up the time. When I took the three prisoners I took them to the Crown, about the three mile stone, where I had left Fordham, the Crowns is in the Edgware-road. My partner came up when I had taken the third man.
Q. Another man assisted you likewise - A. Yes, and he came with me to the Crown.
Q. You and your partner went with them I suppose - A. Yes; I rode before, my partner behind, and a lodger or two walked along side of them.
Q. They made no attempt to get away, did they - A. No.
Q. When you apprehended them did any conversation pass - A. No further. I searched them and found nothing but knives upon them, I searched them all, I found no money upon either of them at first; I kept them at the Crown untill my inspector came down, he told him if he would go with him he would shew him where the money lay; Richard Norris said to the inspector when he came, if he would go along with him, or send the officer, he would take him to where the money lay, he said he saw George Cogdale hide it in a bank of the garden of his lodging.
Q. Was Cogdale by - A. No. In the bank of the garden of Norris’s lodging, the inspector and me proceeded along with Norris, he took us into his garden, from thence he searched with his hands in the bank, and scratched the money out there and gave the money to me, I have kept it ever since, this is it.
Q. Now tell me what it is - A. A one pound note, sixteen dollars, an old crown piece, twenty-five shillings, and four half crowns, these are the knives, I found upon them, and a letter.
Q. to prosecutor. Do you remember having any thing of a letter - A. Yes, this is my letter, I will swear to it, it is a letter to my sister, I had it in my pocket at that time.
Wright. After this I took him to Bow-street, the next morning with the three prisoners, I sent a man off for Weston in the morning, he came to me at the office, he was shewn the three prisoners at the bar in my presence, he pointed out Gill, he said he pointed something like a pistol to him, but he could not tell whether it was a pistol or a knife; Gill made no answer to that, but said as to Norris telling of the money he had been the ringleader of the whole, Norris said they had been the ringleaders, and had brought him into all this trouble.
Q. You did not hear Cogdale say any thing - A. No, only what Gill said was perfectly right.
Mr. Barry. You were upon that road at half past seven o’clock, you found Norris in his bed, you did not see him on the road - A. I cannot say I did to my knowledge.
Q. How far is the place where the robbery was supposed to be committed to where Norris lodged - A. About three miles.
Q. What was the hour of the robbery - A. About eight o’clock in the evening.
Q. I believe you know that if these men are convicted there is a reward - A. Yes; I have had the the premium before, there is forty pound reward for each man.
Q. Now when this man told you where this money was, was any inducement held out to him - A. Not any; I never spoke to him, he wished to speak to the inspector, he said he saw it hid, he was sorry for it; he acknowledged that he was led into the error by the young men.
Q. He told you he saw another man conceal it - A. Yes.
Q. He did not tell you that he was guilty of the robbery - A. No; I found him in bed by eleven o’clock, his door was locked, and he was gone to bed.
WILLIAM LANCE . Q. What are you - A. I am inspector of the horse patrol; I was at the Crown at nine o’clock.
Q. When were the prisoners brought in there - A. Near two o’clock in the morning. When the prisoners were there, I went into another room to where the prisoners were, I had not been in more than ten minutes before Norris came in, he expressed a wish to speak to me, I asked him what he had to say, he told me he could tell me where the money was, and that the other prisoners were the men that robbed him.
COURT. We will not go into that, the other prisoners were not by - A. No, they were not; I saw the other prisoners before Norris came to me.
Q. And after that you had no conversation with the other prisoners, had you - A. No. I went with Norris and Wright the patrol, he took me to his own garden, he began making a search for the money in the bank of the garden, he did not find it for some time, I said you have not brought me for nothing; he said, no, and assured me it was there; there was a cottage to the garden, I sent Wright for a light, and when a light was brought he found it directly; it was wrapped up together and given to Wright.
Q. Before Norris had made this proffer of shewing you where this money was, you had not held out any promise had you - A. No, not to any one of them. I brought the prisoner back to the Crown. When he came there I went into the room where the two otherprisoners were, and I believe there were some little murmur with the others, what it was I do not know; then I left them, when I saw them with the two patrols, with directions to bring them up the next morning. Wright and Vickers, the other patrol, staid with the prisoners.
Mr. Barry. Norris told you where the money was put - A. He told me Cogdale hid the money, and he told me that there was the money.
JOHN VICKERS . I am one of the horse patrols.
Q. You were with Wright that night were you - A. Yes.
Q. Were you present when these men were taken - A. When I came to the Crown I was with Mr. Lance, he ordered me to go to Church End; I went accordingly there, I found Wright, he had got Norris and Gill, then I went with him to take up Cogdale; I and Wright and another man brought them all three to the Crown.
Q. Tell me what past in your presence at the Crown - A. Norris asked me if I would untie his hands and let him go out of doors, and when he was out of doors he asked me if I thought Mr. Lance would speak to him. I told him I would take him in doors and tell Mr. Lance that he wanted to speak to him; I took him in doors and shewed him into Mr. Lance’s room, and told Mr. Lance and in consequence of what he told Mr. Lance and Wright went to his house. I kept guard of the other prisoners at the Crown, Norris was brought back near three o’clock.
JOSEPH SENIOR . I keep a public house at Wilsdon, the Bells.
Q. Look at three young men at the bar do you know them - A. Yes. On the 29th of November last they were all three at my house, I was not at home when they came in, it was about nine or ten o’clock in the morning, it rained in the morning, and they left my house about five o’clock in the afternoon, as near as I can tell they all went out together.
Q. Do you know a person of the name of Fordham - A. Yes, he was there at the time, he was with them, they all four went out together, saying, they would go to Gill’s house.
Q. How far is your public house at Wilsdon from the Edgware-road - A. About three miles; Wilsdon lies between the Harrow-road, and the Edgware-road.
Q. How far is your house from London - A. Five miles.
Mr. Knapp. They came into your house being a public-house between nine and ten o’clock in the morning - A. Yes, and went out about five.
Q. At the time they went towards Gill’s house they might have gone any where else, or they might have separated - A. They might so.
Gill’s Defence. I am innocent of the crime that is laid to my charge, I was in company with these men at Mr. Senior’s, when we came out I bid them good night
Cogdale’s Defence. I am innocent; I never saw the robbery, I never saw the money, I was not nigh the place, I had no connection with it.
Norris left his defence to his counsel.
Gill called one witness, who gave him a good character.
Cogdale called eight witnesses, who gave him a good character.
Norris called one witness, who gave him a good character.
GILL, GUILTY - DEATH , aged 22.
COGDALE, GUILTY - DEATH , aged 18.
NORRIS, GUILTY - DEATH , aged 21.
[The prisoners were recommended to His Majesty’s mercy, on account of their former good character, and using no violence at the time.
Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Baron Graham.
Source: Old Bailey online.