14 October 1767 – John Spires and William Bryan
The gallows at Tyburn were busy on this day in 1767. Two highway robbers were also strung up. John Spires and William Bryan were done for a hold-up at Lisson Green, probably on what’s now known as the A41 into London.
Irishman Bryan had been in London just three months when he met up with drinking buddy Spires, which was ultimately to be the death of him.
The co-conspirators were found guilty of stealing from widower Elizabeth Bibby, plus two other female travellers en route to Islington on 13 August 1767.
Their defence was that pistols had been planted on them while they’d been sleeping and that they’d been fitted up by a fellow felon by the name of Patrick Handon, who’d broken out of jail countless times.
Even Bibby couldn’t identify her assailants. Nevertheless the two men were found guilty of robbing 25 shillings and 6 pence from the three ladies and the penalty was death by hanging.