Edward Wentland, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 19th April 1732.

Reference Number: t17320419-9
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

9. Edward Wentland , alias Winkland , of Aldgate , was indicted for Assaulting John Saxon on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him 2 Half Guineas , July 23 .

John Saxon. On the 23d of July last, between 11 and 12 at Night, as I was going along Leaden-Hall-street , just by Creed-Church, a Woman steps up behind me, and whips her Arms round me; My Dear, says she, won't you be loving and kind? Ye Bitch you, says I, you're mistaken in your Man; I'm not for your Turn. I had hardly spoke, when another Woman took hold of me, and cry'd, Hip! when immediately the Prisoner came up, with a Stick in his Hand, and holding it over me, God damn your Blood, says he, if you offer to resist, or speak a Word, I'll knock you down. With that the 2d Woman began to rifle me, and took 2 Half-Guineas out of my Pocket.

Prisoner. O you wicked Man! how can you swear so falsly? I am above 60 Years of Age, and never did an ill Thing in my Life.

Saxon. I swear nothing but the Truth: He stood over me with a Stick all the while the Woman was searching my Pockets. At last I thought I might as well lose my Life as my Money, and seeing a little Light at a Distance, I called Watch! Watch! Upon which, the Prisoner and the 2 Women endeavour'd to make off, but the Watch coming up, they were all taken and carried to the Watch-house. I know not how it came about, but the Watchmen let him go. I happen'd to see him again next Day, by the Waterside: He presently took Boat, and I took another, but he got among the Ships, and so I lost Sight of him at that Time. About a Fortnight after, as I was drinking at an Alehouse, a Man came and told me that the Prisoner was at the Compter-Gate ; upon which I got a Constable, and seized him a second Time, and so he was committed to the Compter. But some how or other he found Means

to get out again; whether by precuring common Bail, or by what other Means I know not. But a Fortnight ago, I heard where his Lodging was, and took him a third Time.

Court. Will you ask this Witness any Questions?

Prisoner. I overtook my Wife and another Woman with the Prosecutor in Leadenball-street, and he ask'd her to do so and so - but I don't know what it was; they had been at the Pewter Pot together, but -

Court. You are not now to go upon your Defence, you shall have Opportunity for that when the other Witnesses against you have given their Evidence; but if you have any Questions to ask this Witness, you may now propose them.

Prisoner. Pray my Lord, ask him if I offer'd to strike him?

Saxon. Yes; you threatned to knock me down if I made any Resistance.

Prisoner. You are a wicked forsworn Wretch, I am 60 Years of Age.

Luke Foster , Beadle. A Fortnight ago, as I sat in the Warehouse, the Prosecutor and 2 Men came in between 10 and 11 at Night, and desir'd some Assistance to search for the Prisoner, who they had heard was some where in the Neighbourhood. I sent 2 Watchmen, and they went and brought him in. He staid in the Watch-house all Night, and next Morning he was carried before the Justice, and charged with the Robbery. He said, If Saxon swears this against me I shall be a dead Man; but I will make away with myself before I'll be hang'd.

Prisoner. I never said a Word clandestinely in the World; but I said, If he would be so wretched to swear my Life away, I could not help it; and they swear against me only for the Lucre of the Reward.

William Mills , Watchman. When I open'd his Door and took him, What, says he, you have transported my Wife for this, and now you want to bang me; for if you rap [swear] against me, I am a dead Man.

John Bishop . We took the Prisoner at his own House, behind the Bechive in Nightingale-lane. Mills knock'd at his Door, and told him a Gentleman wanted to speak with him at the Black-Horse in the Neighbourhood. When the Prisoner found what we came about, Now, says he, I am a dead Man, and God send that neither you nor your Families may ever prosper in the World.

Prisoner. O you vile Rogue! Sixty Years of Age!

Robert Corbet . I was one of the Watchmen that took him, but I was placed at the back Door to secure [prevent] his Retreat.

Thomas Dixon . I was call'd out of Bed between 11 and 12 to assist in taking the Prisoner. When we met with him, Now, says he, you have transported my Wife, you are come to take away my Life too; for my Life lies in your Hands.

Prisoner. O you vile Rogue! O good God! above Sixty Years of Age! the Lord forgive you, 'tis all for the Reward and Lucre. My Lord, I'll tell you the whole Truth as I hope to be saved ; I had been at Chelsea, and coming home between 9 and 10 at Night, in Leadenball street, I saw a Watchman with the Prosecutor and my Wife, and another Woman. I had got a great Cold, and was coughing as I came towards them. My Wife knew my Cough, and said, Here's my Husband. What's the Matter? says I, Why, says she, this Man charges me with picking his Pocket of 2 Half-Guineas. Upon that, as soon as ever the Prosecutor sees me, he catches hold of my Arm, and says, I charge you too. And so we all were taken to the Watch-house, and there the Constable ask'd him who it was that pick'd his Pocket? and he said, it was that other Woman. And then says the Constable, Why do you charge this Man and his Wife? I can't swear nothing against them, says he. Why then, says the Constable, they may go about their Business. With all my Heart, says he; and so we were discharged. The Prosecutor met me afterwards, as I was going on Board an India-man, and followed me a little Way, but then he turned back again. After that he met my Wife and the other Woman, and took them before Sir Edward Bellamy , who sent them both to the Compter. As I hope to be saved I did not know that my Wife was lewd. She was in the Compter six Weeks, and when I went to see her there, he heard of it, and had me taken up. I am sixty Years of Age and better, and if any Man will say that I have committed the least Crime in all my Life, I desire to dye; and if I have ever committed any Crime, may I never be received into the Kingdom of Heaven. As God is my Saviour, I am an innocent Man, but I don't know what I might say to the Watchman, for I was in a Fright when they took me; and I hope your Lordship won't let me be hang'd in my old Age, for the sake of my Relations.

John Siney . I have known the Prisoner 30 Years, he used to work hard on the Thames in heaving Coals and Balla st, till within these 5 or 6 Years. I have heard no Ill of him.

Prisoner. Ay, my Lord, a Man that works hard a-Days is not fit to go a robbing a-Nights, he has more need to go to Bed, and take his Rest.

William Southernwood , I have known the Prisoner 16 Years, he and I were fellow Soldiers, and he bore a good Character then.

Thomas Pardoe . I have known him 25 Years, and I have known him Work hard; but as for his Character, I beg to be excused from saying any thing about it.

The Jury found him guilty of the Indictment. Death .


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