This was a villain of the lowest and worst description of thieves. In order to carry on his depredations he vagabondised through the country, as drummer to a puppet show, and in this character he gained information where and whom to plunder.
In the night of the 7th of August, 1776, in company with another vagabond showman, who escaped justice, he broke open the house of Mrs. Watson, of Finchley, near London. That lady was suddenly awaked from her sleep, by the screams of her maidservant, who slept in the same room, and immediately by the light of one of the lamps used to dance the puppets with, which Pipkins had in his hand, perceived him entering at the chamber window, from which he descended and came to her bed-side, with horrid imprecations, demanding her money. Another ruffian followed, calling out, "Damn her, blow her brains out." She entreated them not to use her ill, and offered her money. They took from her sixteen guineas, and then examined every part of the chamber, taking what articles were most portable, and among them a gold watch, with which they went out the way they came in. Both Mrs. Watson and her maid having seen Pipkins drumming up the ignorant to attend the paltry show, immediately knew him, and giving information at the public office in Bow-Street, he was soon apprehended, with part of the property, brought to trial, condemned, and executed.
At the same time with Pipkins, there suffered William Wood, for breaking into the house of the late Solomon Fell, Esq. in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, in the absence of the family, who were then in the country, and robbing it of a quantity of silver plate, wearing apparel, &c, and Robert Walker, for coining.
Wood appeared full-dressed; Pipkins, in a beggarly suit: and Walker, as became his unhappy situation. Wood addressed the spectators, wherein he acknowledged his guilt, and warned them to avoid evil company, who had brought him to his ignominious death.