British Executions

Humphry Angier

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: robbery

Date Of Execution: 9 Sep 1723

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


Executed at Tyburn, September 9, 1723, for Robbery.

   HUMPHRY ANGER was a native of Ireland, born near Dublin, but his parents removing to Cork, put him apprentice to a cooper in that city. He had not been long in this station before his master desired to get rid of him, on account of his untoward disposition. Thus discharged, he lived the life of a vagabond for two years, and his father apprehending that he would come to a fatal end, brought him to England in the eighteenth year of his age. Still, however, he continued his dissipated course of life, till having got considerably in debt, he enlisted for a soldier, to avoid being lodged in prison. As this happened in the year 1715, he was sent into Scotland to oppose the rebels; but robbing a farmer in that country, he was punished by receiving five hundred lashes, in consequence of the sentence of a court-martial. The rebellion ended, Angier came to London, and obtained his discharge. Here be became acquainted with William Duce, (see previous case) whose sister he married at an alehouse in the verge of the Fleet. After this he enlisted a second time, and the regiment being ordered to Vigo, he took his wife with him. The greater part of the Spaniards having abandoned the place, Angier obtained a considerable sum by plunder. On his return to England he, became acquainted with Butler's associates, and was concerned with them in several of their lawless depredations, but refused to have any share in acts of barbarity. Angier now kept a house of ill fame, which was resorted to by the other thieves; and one night after they had been out on one of their exploits, Meads told the following horrid tale: "We have been out; and the best fun of all was, an engagement with a smock-faced shoe-maker, whom we met on the Kentish road. We asked him how far he was going, and he said he was just married, and going home to see his relations. After a little more discourse, we persuaded him to turn rather out of the road to look for a bird's nest, which as soon as he had done, we bound and gagged him, after which we robbed him, and were going away; but I being in a merry humour, and, wanting to have a little diversion, turned about with my pistol, and shot him through the head." Bad as Angier was in other respects, he was shocked at this story, told his companions, there was no courage in cruelty, and from that time refused to drink with any of them. After this he kept a house, of ill fame near Charing-Cross letting lodgings to thieves, and receiving stolen goods. While in this way of life he went to see an execution at Tyburn, and did not return till four o'clock the next morning, when, during his absence, an affair happened, which was attended with troublesome consequences. A Dutch woman meeting with a gentleman in the streets, conducted him to Angier's house, where he drank so freely that he fell asleep, and the woman robbing him of his watch and money, made her escape. The gentleman awaking when Angier returned, charged him with the robbery, in consequence of which he was committed to prison, but was afterwards discharged, the. grand jury not finding the bill against him. Soon after his wife was indicted for robbing a gentleman of his watch and a guinea; but was fortunate enough to be acquitted for want of evidence. The following accident happened about the same time: A woman named Turner had drunk so much at Angier's house that he conducted her up to bed; but while he was in the room with her, his wife entered in a rage, and demanding of her how she could presume to keep company with her husband, attacked and beat the woman. William Duce being in the house, went up to interfere; but the disturbance was by this time so great, that it was necessary to send for a constable. The officer no sooner arrived, than Mrs. Turner charged Angier and his wife with robbing her, on which they were taken into custody and committed; but when they were brought to trial, they were acquitted, as there was no proof of any robbery, to the satisfaction of the jury. Dyer, who was evidence against Duce and Butler, lived at this time with Angier as a waiter; and the master and the man used occasionally to commit footpad robberies together; for which they were several times apprehended, and tried at the Old Bailey, but acquitted, as the prosecutors could not swear to their persons. Angier's character now grew so notorious, that no person of any reputation would be seen in the house; and the expenses attending his repeated prosecutions were so great, that he was compelled to decline business. After this, he kept a gin-shop in Short's gardens, Drury-lane; and this house was frequented by company of the same kind as those he had formerly entertained, particularly, parson Lindsey. Lindsey having prevailed on a gentleman to go to this house, made him drunk, and then robbed him of several valuable articles; but procuring himself to be admitted an evidence, charged Angier and his wife with the robbery. They had again the good fortune to escape, the character of Lindsey being at this time so infamous, that the court and jury paid no regard to any thing he said. Soon after, however, Mrs. Angier was transported for picking a gentleman's pocket, and her husband was convicted on two capital indictments; the one for robbing Mr. Lewin, the city marshal, near Hornsey, of ten guineas; and some silver; and the other for robbing a waggoner near Knightsbridge. On both these trials, Dyer, who was concerned in the robberies, was admitted an evidence against Angier. After conviction, he was visited by numbers of persons; whose pockets had been picked of valuable articles, in the hope of getting some intelligence of the property they had lost; but he said, "he was never guilty of such mean practices as picking of pockets, and all his associates were above it, except one Hugh Kelly, who was transported for robbing a woman of a shroud, which she was carrying home to cover her deceased husband."