Benjamin Wileman, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 9th July 1729.

Reference Number: t17290709-63
Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdicts: Guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death

Benjamin Wileman , of Pancrass , was indicted for assaulting William Hucks , Esq ; on the Highway, and taking from him a Gold Watch, Chain, and Seals, value 24 l. and one Guinea , the 30th of December last. The Prosecutor depos'd, his Chariot was stopp'd at the Bottom of Highgate-Hill , about 5 a-Clock in the Evening, by 2 Persons on Horseback, one of which he did verily believe to be the Prisoner: that he did put a Pistol into the Coach, and demanded his Watch, Rings, and Money, which he gave him, telling him he had no more; to which the Prisoner reply'd, I'll take your Word for it.

John Doyle depos'd, that the Prisoner and himself committed the Robbery, and that they went up Figtree-Lane towards Hampstead; that meeting the Prosecutor, Wileman said, This is the Man that has the Money; and immediately rode up to him and stopp'd the Chariot, he keeping then at some Distance from it till he had the Watch in his Hand; that then he riding up, went on the contrary Side of the Chariot to that which Wileman was; that Wileman had then on a dark-colour'd Rug-Coat. Mr. Hucks being ask'd as to his Cloaths, agreed with Doyle's Description; and being ask'd if he could be sure that the Prisoner was the Person? he reply'd, he did verily believe him to be the Man; that indeed the lower Part of his Face was muffled up by his Cape being button'd about it; but he did take particular Notice of the upper Part of his Face, and that while he was taking his Watch and Money his Cape slipp'd down, and he seen'd something disorder'd, and let his Pistol drop while he put it up; mean while he observ'd him very earnestly, and the more he now look'd upon him, the more he was confirm'd in his Opinion that he was the Person. John Doyle added, That after they had committed the Robbery, they returned to London; and that as to the Watch, he offer'd to give Wileman 5 Guineas and a half for his Share, or to take 5 Guineas and a half of Wileman for his Share; that Wileman chose to take 5 Guineas and a half, and he gave it him. The Prisoner deny'd the Fact, and pleaded, that he could not do it, being at that time sick, and call'd some Evidences, one of which depos'd, that 4 or 5 Days before Christmass he saw the Prisoner sitting over the Fire, with a Blanket at the Back of the Chair. Edward Buckley depos'd, a Woman came to him, and complain'd the Prisoner was in Want, and he believ'd this was a Fortnight after Christmass; and that he went to see him about 4 or 5 Days before Christmass-Day, and he was ill, had a Looseness; and he having a Blanket behind him, and sitting before the Fire, he thought it likely that he might he clapp'd. Some Persons appear'd, who gave him the Character of an honest Man; but the Fact being so plainly prov'd, the Jury found him guilty of the Indictment. Death .

Benjamin Wileman , was also indicted a 2d time for assaulting William Bridges , Esq ; on the Highway, and taking from him a Sword, a Hat, a Pocket-Book, and a Bank-Note of 20 l. the 17th of December last. Esquire Bridges depos'd, he was robb'd of the Things before mention'd. John Doyle depos'd, that about a Week or 10 Days before Christmass the Prisoner and himself went to Highgate to rob, and meeting with the Prosecutor, did take from him the things before-mention'd, the one being on one side of the Coach, and the other on the other. Elizabeth Jones depos'd, that as she was going by Bedford-Row she met with the Prisoner Wileman and the Evidence Doyle together; that they were both Booted and Spurr'd, and both very dirty; and that the Prisoner had a large Hat in his Hand, and a Whip; that, as near as she can remember, this was the 16th of 17th of December, it was about a Week before Christmass; that Doyle enquiring of her concerning a young Woman of their Acquaintance, the Prisoner stood at a little Distance while they were talking together; that in the mean time he took out a Paper, and was reading it, and Doyle went up to him, and ask'd what it was? he said, a 20 l. Note; Doyle ask'd if it was Bank, and bid the Prisoner let him see it, and he shew'd it him; when Doyle had read it, he folded it up, and said, It is as good Money as any in England; that Doyle having also a Belt in his Hand, wip'd it with his Hat, and said he believ'd it was Gold; that the Prisoner put his Hand to his Coat-Pocket, and took out a Pistol, and seeing her, this Evidence, look at it, he slipt it by somewhere about his Side. Being ask'd if she knew the Note? she said, that hearing say it was a Bank Note, she desir'd to see it, never having seen one before, that she might know one when she saw it again; that it was shewn her, and she took Notice that there was the Picture of a Woman in the corner of it; and the Bank-Note being shewn her, she said, she did believe that to be it, when she read the Name Woollaston; that the Prisoner went and stood a little way off, seeming to be in haste, while Doyle was talking with her, and Wileman calling him, saying he could not stay, he, Doyle, answer'd immediately, and they went towards Holbourn.

Arabella Manning depos'd, That about a Week or 8 Days before Christmass, at about 8 or 9 a-Clock at Night, she met the Prisoner and Doyle in Drury-Lane; that Wileman had a Hat in his Hand, uncock'd and dirty. which Doyle said was not worth taking; that he went with her to a House to give her a Dram, and there happen'd to drop a Piece of Paper, which he took up again, and said, If he lost that, he should loss 20 l. That she desir'd him to let her look at it; that in the mean time one Gordon, a Butcher, a tall Man, came in, and said he had been looking for them, and Doyle said, he and Benjamin Wileman had been out of Town together; that they appointed to meet together the next Day at 10 a-Clock, whisper'd together, and went away. The Prisoner in his Defence, denied the Fact, and said, that Elizabeth Jones had never seen him till Doyle brought her to Newgate with a Straw-Hat on; and objected against the Credit of Arabella Manning , and call'd one Ann Andrews , who depos'd, that she had heard Doyle say, he would be reveng'd on Wileman for threatening to take his Wife up for returning from Transportation: He also call'd some Evidence to his Reputation, who depos'd, that they knew him, and had never heard any Ill of him, and they took him to be an honest Man. But the Fact being prov'd to the Satisfaction of the Jury, they found him guilty of this Indictment also.


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