Offence: Theft > extortion
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Benjamin Loveday , alias Lowder , was indicted for that he being an ill-dispos'd Person, and greedy of filthy Lucre, did (after the first Day of June, 1723, that is to say ) on the 13th of July last, send to Charles Fairchild a Letter without Name, being only sign'd T. M. bearing Date July 11, 1732, demanding 20 Guineas, and threatning to burn his House if the Money was not sent as directed .
Charles Fairchild . I received a Letter by the Penny-Post, dated June 7. 1732, with a Postscript dated June 8, demanding 20 Guineas to be left under a Tree behind Yeates's Booth in Moorfields, and threatening to fire my House if the Demand was not comply'd with. On the 13th of July, about 2 in the Afternoon, this Boy, Walter Cooper , brought another Letter to the same Purpose, dated July 11. 1732, and sign'd T. M. The Boy was stopt. He said, he had it from a Man in his own Hair, a brown Frock or Coat, with a speckled Handkerchief about his Neck, who met him in Queen-street, and promis'd to give him a Penny to carry it to my House. By this Description we found the Prisoner in less than half an Hour, at a Brandy-shop hard by. We took up 3 or 4 0other suspicious Fellows, but the Boy immediately fix'd upon the Prisoner.
Walter Cooper . On the 13th of July, about 2 in the Afternoon, as I was going along on one Side of Queen-street, the Prisoner was walking on the other. He cross'd the Way towards me, and said, C me hither my Lad; Carry this Letter over the Way, and I'll give you a Penny. I bid him give me the Money first. No, says he, I'll wait here for you, and you shall have it as soon as ever you come back. So I carried it; and as soon as I came from the Door I look'd for him, but he was gone from the Place where I left him. Mr. Fairchild call'd me back, and ask'd me from whom I had the Letter ? I describ'd the Prisoner to him, and they found him in less than half an Hour, and brought him to me at Mr. Fairchild's House, and I knew him again as soon as ever I saw him. This is the same Letter that he gave to me.
Mr. Fairchild. And it is the same Letter that the Boy brought. I have mark'd it.
William Clark , Constable. Mr. Fairchild told me, that he had receiv'd another threat ening Letter, and had stopt the Boy that brought it. The Boy described the Prisoner to wear his own Hair, a brown Coat, and a speckled Handkerchief. We found the Prisoner sitting between 2 Women at the Brandy-show; he had a white Wig on then. I took up 3 or 4 other loose Fellows, and carried 'em to the Boy; he said, none of those was the Man; but as soon as I shew'd him the Prisoner, he cry'd, This is he, this is the right. Are not you a cheating Rogue? You promised me a Penny for carrying the Letter, but you run away, and never paid me: You had your own dark Hair on then, tho' now you have got a Wig. I took off the Prisoner's Wig, and found that he had a shock dark Head of Hair. After the Prisoner was committed to Newgate, the Brandyman, whose House he had frequented, sent me Word, that the Prisoner wanted to speak with me. I went to him in the Prison, and he said, I own I gave the Boy the Letter, but I had it from one Tom Rowly , who set by me in the Brandy-shop when I was taken, and I was to have Six Pence for carrying it. You may find Rowly at Bailey's Brandy-shop in Shug-Lane in the Day time; or asleep upon the Steps in Covent-Garden about 11 at Night. We took up Rowly, and he was committed to Newgate.
Charles Fairchild . While the Prisoner was in Newgate I receiv'd another Letter by the Penny Post, dated July 20. 1732; all the Letters appear to be of the same Hand Writing. The second which the Boy brought refers to the first, and the last refers to the other two.
Court. Read the Letters.
To Mr. Fairchild In Great qune Street near Lincon In filds London.
Fryday June 7. 1732.
Sr Behind Mr. Yeates Booth in moorfeildes You will See 3 Trees under the furthermust I Desier that you Would put me Twenty Geivness or By God I Or my Comrades will Sett your House on fier If I or them that Goes to Look for the money & it is not their your Hons will be Sett on
a Saterday Night the 8 of June
Sr I advise you for your own Good for to Leave the money under the Tree for if you should But pubshldd it in the news or to till and Body that So that we bear on it again we will Sott your House on fier Directd, or if you Should take the person from us that Comes to fech the money we will Sett your House on fier Sr Put the money in a Bag & about a foot Depth in the Ground But take Grate Car that no Body sees You put the 20 Geunes ther for if we should not find them their your House will be Set on fier
If we Dont find the 20 Geunes Under the Tree may we all be everlastingly Damned if we dont Sett your House on fier from
For Mr fair Child In lin Conin feildes
Wednesday July the 11. 1732
Sr We worte to you Befoor and Desiered that you would put us 20 Geiunes under the Tree But our not finding it thair Gave us Occatision to write to you again Befor that we fiered your House for we Have all resolved God Dam us if we bant either to have the money or Sett your House on fier & may we all Be everlastingly Damned of we dont Sett your House on fier or Have the money By To morrow night 12 o Clock at furthest So you must put the money under the first Tree Behind mr Yeates Booth in moorfeildes you Will find marked on the Tree T. M. & at the Bottom You must Put the money about a foot Deep in the Ground Close to the Tree & over the place make a Crose whith Cholk & God Dam us all to Gether if we hant the 20 Geivnes By Thirsday Night we will Seet your House on fier from yours
For Mr. Fairchild at his House in Grate qune Street Lincon In feildes London
Thirsday July 20 1732
Sr we worte to you Twice befoor but fearing the Letter should have miscarred one thout sett to send to you again befoor that we Sett your House on fier thare soon Sr we Dezier that You would put us under the further mist tree from the Steps behind mr Yeates Booth in moorfeildes Twenty Geunes or have your house Sett on fier Sr if you are resold not to Lett us have the money write a Letter & put it in the place above mensitisoned & make a Cross whith Chaulk over the place whar you put the money or the Letter So by that meanes we shall know your mind Sr it must be that by to to morrow Being fryday by 12 o clock all night Sr I asure you if the money is not thare you will have your house sett on fier tho not by any of us But by one that you dont think on
from yours T. D & Company
Prisoner. My Lord, I can neither write nor read. I am a Plaisterer by Trade, but I lost the Use of one of my Hands, and since that I have got my Living by going of Errands.
The Jury found him Guilty . Death .