9 September 1723 – Humphry Angier

Humphry Angier was executed at Tyburn in 1723, for robbery.

In a life rife with crime, his wife was packed off to Australia for pickpocketing, while Angier was had up for full-on robbery.

Thieving ways

A native to Ireland, Angier moved around the British Isles on a robbing fest. He was enlisted and posted to Scotland to combat rebel forces, but turned his hand to robbing a local farmer instead. For that he got 500 lashes.

After he’d finished his ‘stint’ in the army, he befriended a pair of small-time criminals, by the name of William Duce and his sister Elizabeth, who he went on to marry.

He then enlisted again, and went to Vigo with his wife in tow, where he began to rob whoever he could.

With the proceeds they returned to England and bought a house that became a safe haven for other robbers. But his new friends were far more brutal and one robbery ended with a victim being ‘shot him through the head’.

Going Dutch

Angier’s warped sense of morality kicked in and he refused to socialise with them and moved on to Charing Cross where he let rooms to a brand new set of thieves. Ironically, while he was out watching an execution at Tyburn, a Dutch woman took a bloke back to Angier’s doss house.

The man got drunk and fell asleep enabling the Dutch woman to relieve him of his watch and money before going AWOL.

Angiers came back at 4am to find the gentleman awake. Suspicion immediately fell on Angiers and he was promptly charged with the robbery, but was released after he was found not guilty.

Cat fight

Another dosser, a female by the name of Mrs Turner got completely off her face one night, so Angiers took her to her room to sleep it off. At least that’s the story he told his irate wife when she stormed in on them and accused him of adultery.

Not convinced, the jealous spouse then turned on Mrs Turner and attacked her. Of course, Elizabeth’s brother William Duce then waded into the fracas and the police were called.

In a cruel twist of fate, Mrs Turner charged Angier and his wife with robbing her, but they were let off due to lack of evidence. But all these brushes with the law meant that Angier was chalking up the notoriety notches, so no honourable person worth robbing would be seen dead in the vicinity of his house. And with all these court costs to fork out for, where was the money to pay for his defence?

Gin joint

With fees mounting the beleaguered man was forced to close his house and instead opened a gin-shop in Short’s Gardens, Drury Lane. Naturally, his house attracted the same kind of dodgy clientele and the crimes continued. It was here that the law finally caught up with the husband and wife team.

Mrs Angier was deported for pickpocketing, while he was convicted for robbing some silver and ten guineas from a city marshal, plus a waggoner near Knightsbridge, according to the ‘Newgate Calendar’. His sentence for these crimes was death and he was sent to the gallows, aged roughly 25.

Also on this day

9 September 1826 – John Wainwright

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One Response to “9 September 1723 – Humphry Angier”

  1. curious Says:

    What’s your source for Elizabeth Angier? She would be an old woman by the time the First Fleet sets for Australia.

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