John Bumpus, William Shelton, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 6th September 1732.

Reference Number: t17320906-36
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Not Guilty; Guilty
Punishment: Death

47, 48 John Bumpus , and William Shelton , of Stoke-Newington , were indicted for assaulting Edward Waldo Dorrington , on the Highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him a Drugget Coat, value 3 s. a Cane, value 5 s. and 6 s. 6 d. in Money , the 4th of May .

E. W. Dorrington. I am Journeyman to an Apothecary , at Stoke-Newington. On Thursday the 4th of May, about Midnight, I was called out of Bed, our Boy told me, that a tall Man at the Door wanted me, to go immediately to one Burcher, who was taken very ill at Mother Red-Caps, on Stanford-Hill . I told the Boy that I would not go, except the Man who came for me would stay, and go with me. When I came down Stairs, I found the tall Man waiting, and went with him; but we had not gone far before I was attack'd by 2 Men in Masks, one was a little Man, and the other middlesiz'd. I look'd for my tall Friend to assist me, but he join'd with the other Rogues; one of the two clapp'd a Pistol to my Breast, and demanded my Money; they robb'd me of 6 s. 6 d. my Cane, and my Coat, and then bid me go forward towards Mother Red-Caps. I believe the Prisoner Bumpus is the tall Man who came for me. He's like him, but I will not be positive.

Robert Ward . On the 4th of May last, the 2 Prisoners and I met at Mr. Blackwell's, the Cakeman, in Purple-Lane, by Hatton-Garden, and we agreed to go and rob upon Enfield Road. We went to Stoke-Newington, and sent Bumpus to Mr. Haycocks, the Apothecary's, to tell him that the Man at Mother Red-Caps was taken with an Apoplectick Fit, and wanted him presentl. Bumpus came and told us (for we wanted hard by) that the Man would not come except he staid to come with her. We bid him go back and wait, which he did, and brought the Prosecutor with him; Shelton demanded the Prosecutor's Coat and Money. I afterwards heard that Shelton was taken up at Maidstone, and so to ease my Conscience, and for fear of being hang'd, if he should swear against me, I made my self a voluntary Evidence, as soon as I had an opportunity of taking Bumpus, which was on the 29th of July last. I met him accidentally in Newgate-Street, and asking him to go and drink with me; I took him to the Sun Coffee-House, under Sir William Billers's Office. I left him there, and finding Mr. Taylor the Constable, at Sir William's Door, I surrender'd my self, and went with him before Sir William, and gave my Information, and then we went and took Bumpus in the Coffee-House.

Thomas Taylor . As I stood at Sir William's Door, Ward came, and said, that he had decoy'd one of his Accomplices into the Sun Coffee-House, and wanted to make himself an Evidence. I went with him before the Alderman, and he gave the same Account of the Robbery there, as he has done here.

Joseph Bird . Ward having made his Information before Sir William, which agrees with what he swears now, Mr. Taylor and I went directly and took Bumpus, who made a very shuffling Defence when he was examin'd.

Mr. Taylor again. Bob Ward saying that

Bumpus had the Prosecutor's Coat, and put it on, (his own being ragged) as soon as it was taken from the Prosecutor, says Bumpus, You're a lying Rogue, for we came as far as Hackney before I put it on.

Mr. Foreman. I know that Bumpus and Bob Ward are acquainted, they us'd to meet at Bob Ward 's Brother's, who lodg'd at a Chandlers Shop, in Purple-Lane.

Mr. - I was walking in Chatham, one Saturday in July, when I happen'd to meet Shelton. He said, he was very glad to see me I was shy of his Company, having heard an ill Character of him. I went to my Father and telling him who I had met, my Father told me Shelton was a Highway-man; upon this I went with some Friends to Rochester to apprehend him, and meeting with him just as he had got into the Stage-Coach, we seiz'd him.

Shelton. I am sorry to hear that Gentleman gave me such a Character, I did not expect it from him above all Men, for he knows nothing of me, but by common Fame.

Court. It's not for your Credit that common Fame reported you to be a Highway-man.

Shelton. Here's Mr. Ford, the Apothecary, knows my Character.

Mr. Ford. I have known but little of him within this 12 Month, he had a good Character formerly ; he kept an Apothecary's Shop in Cheshunt, and has been at my House in Leadenhall-Street ; but lately I have indeed heard it whisper'd that he was a Highway-man.

Shelton. I never was intimate with Ward, I had but a small Acquaintance with him.

Bumpus. I have indeed been 2 or 3 times in Ward's Company; but I know very little of him, tho' upon that small Knowledge he ask'd me to go and drink, when I met him by chance in Newgate-Street.

- Bumpus, the Prisoner's Brother. I am a Taylor by Trade. My Brother was originally a Barber , and sometimes he was a Drawer at a Coffee-House, and other times, when he was out of Business, he liv'd with me. Ward's Father said, he would swear my Brother's Life away for a Farthing.

Stephen Gaper , Brush-maker in Duck-Lane. I have known him from a Child; but I know little of his Behaviour within this 12 Month.

Mr. Taylor again. When Bumpus was before Sir William, he desir'd to be made an Evidence, and I think he said, he could swear against Ward's Brother.

The Jury acquitted Shelton, and found Bumpus Guilty of the Indictment. Death .


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