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

Reference Number: t17320906-37
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

49. William Shelton , of Enfield , was a second Time indicted for assaulting Tho How on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him 3 s. the Money of James Miller , the 10th of June .

Thomas How . On the 10th June, I was at Enfield-Market, and about 11 at Night, I was getting my Horse ready, at the Door of the King's-Head Inn, the Ostler stood with a Candle to light me while I put my Packs on, and while I was making them fast, the Prisoner, whom I knew very well, ( for he had been my Play-fellow) rode up to the Inn Door, upon a black Horse with a bald Face, and call'd for a Pint of Beer, he look'd full in my Face, and I in his. Before the Beer was brought, he said, he was going to Dr. Wilson's, and would return in a Moment; but he did not come back at all. Says I to some other Market Folks, there's Will Shelton come, and if we don't leave our Money, we shall all be robb'd. I had 6 l. of my Master's Money, which I left at the Inn, and took only 3 s. in my Pocket; and other People took my advice, and left their Money too; and so I and Ben Johnson set out together. Between Forty-Hill and Maiden's-Bridge , the Prisoner attack'd me, and bid me deliver, he call'd me by my Name Tom. Give's your Bag, Tom, says he, for you have taken Money to Day at Market. Indeed Master I have got but 3 s. says I; No, Tom, says he, Why then you have made but a bad Market. Why, to tell you the Truth, Master, says I, I have left the rest of my Money behind me. Well then, give's the 3 s. says he, and so I gave it him.

Prisoner. Did you see my Face when I attack'd you?

How. No, you had a Mask on, but I knew your Voice.

Benjamin Johnson . Tom How jump'd off his Horse at the King's-Head Gate, and came into the Inn, and swore a great Oath that Shelton was at the Door, and if we did not leave our Money, we should all be robb'd; so I left mine, and took only 3 s. 4 d. in my Pocket. As I was riding homewards with Tom How , a Man in a black Mask, and upon a black bald-fac'd Horse, came up and robb'd us; he demanded my Money, and I gave him only the odd 10 d. and so bit him of the half Crown.

Charles Holliday , Ostler. While I was assisting Tom How to put his Packs on, holding his Horse in one Hand, and a Candle in the other, the Prisoner in a dark grey Coat, came riding up to us upon a black bald-fac'd Horse, and call'd for a Pint of Beer; he did not stay to drink it, for he said, he was going to Dr. Wilson's, and would be back immediately, but we saw him no move; I knew the Prisoner when he liv'd at Dr. Halsey's in Enfield.

Henry Portman . As I was going along the Road with a Candle and Lanthern, about a Quarter of a Mile from where the Robbery was committed, I saw Johnson and How ride by, and presently after, as I was crossing the Road, I saw a Man come back on a bald-fac'd Horse; he came up the Hill a great pace.

Prisoner. I had been at Brocksburn; call'd upon Brigadier Franks, at Enfield, and then came to the King's-Head Inn, and call'd for a Pint of Beer; but recollecting that I had some Business at Dr. Wilson's, I went thither, and it being late I did not return to the Inn as I intended, but rode directly for London. The Place where they say they were robb'd is between Forty-Hill and Maiden's-Bridge, about 2 Miles and a Half from Enfield. The Road there is so narrow, that a Horse can't pass a Coach, and therefore is a very improper Place to commit a Robbery in. My Horse was Chesnut, not black, and had a small Blaze down his Face, but was not bald-fac'd. It's very unlikely that any of these Witnesses should see the Colour and Marks of my Horse so plainly in the dark, as to be able to know them.

Charles Holliday again. The Prisoner not coming again to drink the Beer that he call'd for at our Door, the Drawer went to enquire for him at Dr. Wilson's; but was told, that he had not been there.

Brigadier Franks. It was very unlikely that the Prisoner should call at my House, as he says he did, when he had robb'd me of a Watch not long before.

The Jury found him Guilty of the Indictment. Death .


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