14th February 1767
The following account is given of Mr. Higgins, who was lately committed to the castle of Gloucester. That he was born at Cradley near Bromsgrove in Worcestershire. He lived for some time at Knutsford, in Cheshire, where he married a woman of a very good family; that in October 1765, he had some business at Bristol, for which place he set out on foot; that he put up at an eating-house near the market, and there received of different people several considerable sums. He then returned to Gluocester on foot, and in passing on to Upton, he was benighted [overtaken by nightfall], and lay under a hedge; that when he came to Upton he took a post-chaise home, whither he was pursued by Mr. Bloxam, who lived with Mr. Wilson of this city, and apprehended on suspicion of breaking open Mr. Wilson’s house; that whilst he was in the constable’s hands at Knutsford, he made his escape, and having ordered his wife to dispose of the goods there, settled at French Hay. His escape from the constable, he says, induced him to change his name from Edward Higgins to George Hickson. He desired to be excused mentioning the names of the persons of whom he received the money at Bristol, or from giving any information whence he drew his resources for the maintenance of himself and family. His wife is a genteel woman , and he has five children, some of whom are grown up. A large party of gentlemen from Bristol were to have dined with him the day after he was taken up.
Two persons from Birmingham, one of whom is the gaoler, came on Friday last, and gave information on oath, before Nicholas Hyett, Esquire; that Edward Higgins, lately apprehended at Bristol, was transported in 1754 from Worcester, and that they saw him again in England in 1756.