Thomas Clarkson, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 14th July 1731.

Reference Number: t17310714-58
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

Thomas Clarkson , of Hayes , was indicted for assaulting Edward Philips on the Highway, putting him in Danger of his Life, and taking from him 3 Guineas, and 2 s. in Money , the 28th of June last.

The Prosecutor depos'd, That as he was Riding from London between that and Hayes , the Prisoner and another came Riding out of a Lane into the main Road, and Rde by him, and were sometimes before , and sometimes behind, that the Prisoner at last kept behind him, and when he came within three Stones cast of the Adam and Eve , the other Prisoner attack'd him with Pistol in Hand, and demanded his Money, which he gave him, and bid him dismount , and immediately the Prisoner came up, who he believed had stay'd behind at the Turnpike to watch, that when the Prisoner came up, the Man who Robbed him, bid the Prisoner cut his Horse's Bridle, which he did, and as he was cutting it, the other swore at him, saying, why don't you cut on; that he cut the Bridle , both the Reins and Head-stall, which having done, they both rode away a Gallop to the Town of Hayes; that then he rode up to the Adam and Eve, and giving the Man of the House an Account of his being Robbed, he immediately clapp'd one of his Bridles upon his Horse, and rode in Pursuit of the Prisoner. He added, That he was sure the Prisoner was the Man that cut his Bridle, it being then about Two o'Clock in the Afternoon.

John Greentree depos'd That he lives at the Sign of the Adam and Eve, and the Prosecutor giving him an Account of his being robbed, he clapt a Bridle on his Horse, and pursued them, he having seen them ride by his Door a Gallop but a few Minutes before, and acquainting Gilbert Summers that there were two Highway-men, he got a Horse and followed him, and coming to Botwel Common, he espy'd them, the Prisoner being a-doing his Occasions, that he mounted and they rode away , himself and Summers following them till they came to Hillingdon Pound, where they turn'd short down a long Lane, where very few People pass'd, and coming near a Wheel-wright's Shop, they cry'd out, Highway-men, upon which they fell a galloping as hard as they could drive, and got to Common , and went round the Common to Harvil , and took to Robindsworth , where he lost fight of them; but the Prisoner was taken hard by Pinner .

Summers depos'd the same as the former Evidence.

Richard Hill depos'd , That he hearing of the former Evidence being in pursuit of Highway Men, he being inform'd by a Girl, that two Persons on such Horses as had been describ'd to him, were gone down such a Lane, he pursued them from Batcher-Heath , and heard that they had not been gone half a Quarter of an Hour, and that they had given a Half-penny to show them the Way to Harrow on the Hill; he pursued them to Pinner , where he saw them riding, and they seemed to make a Motion to go up to Pinner, and then went into a Field of Wheat, and they stopp'd their great Coats, and threw them into a Ditch; that he thereupon went to a House to get some Help, and when he came back they had been taken in the Field.

Thomas Howard depos'd, That he ves at Woodhall in Pinner Parish, and that he going into his Field, and frequently carrying a Gun with him, coming into his Field of Wheat , espy'd the Prisoner gotten into a Hedge , among a Browze of Bushes near his Orchard Hedge, and also another Man , that he suspecting by their being concealed there, that they were upon no good Design, tho' he had not heard any thing of their being Highwaymen, made up towards them, that the other Person crept along the Ditch, and got off; and as he was making towards the Prisoner, he presented a Pistol at him, upon which he presented his Gun, telling him, if he did not surrender, he would fire at him, that thereupon the Prisoner dropp'd his Pistol in the

Hedge, at the Place where he stood, which was taken up loaded with Powder and Ball, and produc'd in Court; and he being disarmed, he apprehended him, and carried him, by the Assistance of his Man, to Pinner, whither the Prosecutor coming afterwards, and charging him with robbing him, the Justice committed him to Prison.

Esau West depos'd, That he going to the Assistance of his Master, Thomas Howard , did take up a Powder-Horn with Powder, in the very Place where the Prisoner stood.

The Prisoner in his Defence denied the Fact he was charged with, and pleaded, that Edward Bonner , a Butcher, in Newgate-Market, had invited him to go into the Country with him, offering to hire a Horse, and saying it should cost him nothing, and that he knew nothing of any Design he had of going to rob on the Highway.

He called several Evidences, who depos'd, he was a Carpenter by Trade, and bore an honest Character before that time; but the Prosecutor being positive that the Prisoner was the Person who cut his Horse's Bridle, and that he was the Companion of the Person (who, as he said, was Edward Bonner ) the Jury found him guilty of the Indictment. Death .


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