Edward Bonner, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 8th September 1736.

Reference Number: t17360908-33
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

39. Edward Bonner , was indicted (with William Wager , otherwise Cocky Wager, not yet taken) for assaulting Samuel Hasswel on the King's High-way, putting him in fear, and taking from him a silver Watch, value 3 l. a Gold-Ring, value 10 s. 3 Guineas, and 2 s. in Money , July 23 .

Samuel Hasswell. I was going out of Town in my Chariot, July 23. and a little on this side Tottenham-Cross , the Coachman turn'd out of the great Road to go down the green Lane : he had not drove above a Mile, before 2 Men came up to the Chariot, with their Faces cover'd, and Pistols in their Hands, and bid him stop: they demanded my Money, and I gave them the Money and Things mentioned in the Indictment: this was between 1 and 2 o'Clock at noon. I can't swear to the Prisoner, for both their Faces were cover'd with something brown, in which there were Holes for their Eyes and Nose. I saw only the lower Part of their Faces. My Watch was found on Wager, but he is not taken.

Philip Wilson . I drove Mr.Hasswell the 23d of July, and looked back 6 or 8 Times, as they follow'd the Chariot. I saw their Face as plain as I see the Prisoners now, and several Times, before they put their Masks on. I took them to be 2 Persons going home. and expected no Robbery. Several times I observed their Faces, and I swear that the Prisoner is one of them, for I took notice of his Voice, as well as his Face; he speaks thick and hastily. The Prisoner was the Man who came up and swore he would shoot me, if I did not stop; I up with my Whip, and was going to strike him, but I did not; and the third time of his swearing at me. I stop'd: then he turn'd about and demanded Mr. Hasswell's Money: the other Man was at this time putting on his Mask behind the Chariot, and the Prisoner cry'd d - n ye, d - n ye, come up to the other Side, shall we see what the Coachman has got, because he would not stop the first time we bid him Wager bid me look forward, and Bonner say'd, why don't you see what the Coachman has got; says Wager, the Coachman does look forward: I heard him (Wager) say, D - n you, where is your Watch, and I saw the Watch delivered into his Hand, and Bonner took the Money and the Ring, and Wager had the Watch. Then they left us and went 2 or 300 Yards towards the Turnpike in the green Lane. We told the People there and Bonner came after us, and called out, D - n his Blood where is the Coachman, Why don't he go about his Business. There was 2 or 3 Men in the back Yard, and I asked them for a Gun: I got one, and Bonner cry'd out to me, Why don't you go on? I clapp'd the Gun to my Shoulder, presented the Peice, and cry'd out, Now I have you. Bonner then fell from his Horse, but got up again, and made clear off; but was afterwards taken by some People who knew he had haunted these Lanes for some Days, and knew both him and Wager to be such sort of Men.

Bonner. I ask if he knows Wager?

Wilson. I believe I should.

Bonner. He said in his Affidavit before Sir Richard Brocas , that he never saw him, (Wager) in his Life.

Wilson. I made no Affidavit at all concerning Wager.

Bonner. How does he know his Name to be Wager?

Wilson. I don't know his Name but by intelligence: they call him Cocky.

The Constable. I serv'd the Warrant upon Bonner, I knew he was a desperate Fellow, so I got 2 or 3 to assist me. I took him at the Black-Spread-Eagle Alehouse in Pater noster-Row, on the Information of the Coachman, in a dark Room, and 2 or 3 Women were with him: we took him to Sir Richard Brocas's, but he not being ready, we had him to the Bull-head, till the Alderman could give us a hearing: he seem'd very uneasy, and I was uneasy too; while we were there, a lusty Carpenter one of his Associates, and 2 or 3 more came in, and Bonner said to them, " have you " brought Pistols and Hangers? If you have, " fall to, fire, and away:" however, I got Bonner to Sir Richard's first, and because we cou'd not get the People there, he was to be re-examin'd; and when we got the Coachman and him together, that they might see one another, the Coachman said, " out of a thousand that is the " Man, I remember his quick Speech." Bonner was in his Butcher's Livery, and he asked the Coachman if he knew him: Aye, says the Coachman, if I had never seen you, I should have had no Trouble with you then he described Wager; and Cocky is the most remarkable Man in the World.

Francis Waker . The Constable came to me, and told me he had an Information against Bonner, as he was a desperate Fellow, he desired me to assist him; we got 5 in all, and at the Blackspread-Eagle in Paternoster-Row we took him, and carry'd him to the Bull-Head; we had not been there a quarter of an Hour, but up comes 3 or 4 Men, one of them, a very lusty sturdy Fellow; he went up and spoke to Bonner, he ask'd if they had got Pistols and Hangers, if they had, they must fall to, fire and away; for fear of a Rescue, we got him down to the Alderman's, and he committed him to the Compter for a farther Hearing.

Bonner. I was drinking at the Black-spread-Eagle, with Cocky Wager's Sister; there were Warrants out to take him up, and I was contriving with her how to get him off; and as he and I were intimate. I thought I should be taken up as well as he: I advised Cocky's Sister to get him out of the Nation. Call Mr. Well's, Mrs. Well's, Mr. Story, and Mr. Lyon (who all appearing, were sworn)

- Wells. I live at Endfield wash, am a Butcher I came to Smithfield, - in June, - in July, aye in July it was; I am no Scholar and please you, my Lord, - but I came to buy a Bullock: I brought it, and up comes Mr. Bonner, how do you do says he? How do Mr. Bonner says I. What have you bought a Bullock says he; will you go in and drink says I? Yes says he. I bought the Bullock of a Customer I deal with; I paid him for it, and paid him 10 l. I ow'd him. Mr. Bonner was with me and saw me pay the Money; it was in July, and we were in Company together 5 or 6 Hours.

Q. And what then?

Wells. He was in my Company and saw me pay the Money that's all.

- Story. I am a Butcher; I was in Smithfield along with the Gentleman, - the Gentleman at the Barr, at the Sign of the Greyhound; I saw the Gentleman drinking there the 23d of July.

Q. How come you to remember the 23d of July.

- Story. Because it was Market Day, and Friday.

Q. But there are other Market Days, are there not?

- Story. I took notice of that Day.

Q. Why?

Story. Because I was that Day at Market, and I have not been there once, since that time. I saw Master Wells pay for the Bullock.

Q. So you happen'd to be in the Market, luckily at the Time that Man was paying for the Bullock? Bonner was there by accident, and you too?

Story. I knew nothing of Bonner, 'till I saw him drinking

Q. Then you was by, when the Bullock was paid for?

Story. Yes.

Q. Who was the Money paid to?

Story. Master Wells paid it to a Farmer, his Name is Foiler, and he lives in Essex. I have nothing more to say; it was the 23d of July, and I have been but once since in Smithfield, this was about 11 o'Clock, and we stay'd there 'till 4 or 5. I said there all the while, and this Woman was drinking there too. I want in and out 2 or 3 times. I know it was the 23d of July; and I can give no other Reason, but that I was there the 23d of July.

Susan Wells . I came to Market, along with my Husband on Friday July the 23d. I have Reason to remember the Day, because my Husband pay'd Money that Day: and going home, I fell off my Horse, and did not go out of Doors for a Fortnight.

Q. If your Husband pay'd Money, did not he take a Receipt?

Susan Well. Yes, my Lord.

Q. If Foiler is the Person he deals with did not you bring him here to prove that lock was bought at that time?

Susan Wells. We were not acquainted with the matter 'till Monday last, else we should have brought him.

- Wells I paid the Money at the Grey-hound in Smithfield, and said there from 11 o'Clock to 4 or 5. But I don't know the Man's Name that keeps the house.

Q. You know the House where you say he was, Why did not you do the good Office to bring the Man, or some of his Tapsters here? That is not so far as Essex. What Character does Bonner bear?

- Wells. A very good Character as far as I know: He keeps a Shop in Newgate Market, and I have sold him Pork and Veal in Carcasses; I know nothing but that he is very honest. (Here he produced Foiler's Receipt)

Q. Who is this John Lyon , that witness'd this Receipt.

John Lyon. I am the Person. I am a Clerk, and live in Aldersgate-street; the last Business, I was in, was that of Clerk to a Man of War; I was discharged from thence in February last.

Q. Is not this Receipt of your writing?

Lyon. Yes.

Q. What Business have you follow'd since you were discharged from the Man of War?

Lyon. I follow the same Business still; and have acted in the Station of a Clerk to Merchants. I happen'd to be accidentally in Smithfield when the Money was paid and I happen'd to see Mr. Bonner there. These People I know nothing of. Mr. Bonner asked me to drink, and thro' their Persuasions, I went with him to the Greyhound Mr. Bonner I have known those 20 Years. Wells can neither write nor read: it was at Bonner's Request that I wrote the Receipt.

Q. There's no doubt but you did; and 'tis dated the 23d of July: Pray did you ever see Foiler before?

Lyon. No, never. I came about a 11, and stay'd till after 3 in the Afternoon.

Q. So accidentally being Bonner's Acquaintance, you staid all the Afternoon; was you ever at that House before?

Lyon. No, never in my Life.

Q. Who serv'd the Liquor? Lyon. I don't know.

Q. Bring the Man of the House, and his Tapster here immediately, and keep these People in Court. Who are those People you serve now? (to Lyon)

Lyon. I have done Business for the South-Sea Company, and the India Company, and for several Spanish Merchants in Town: I have done Business for Mr. Richardson at the London Assurance Office. I have wrote for him in the Nature of a Clerk.

Q. Who else?

Lyon. I don't know, I can't say any one else, particularly.

Q. Mr. Richardson is all, of the several that you have serv'd, that you can mention: if you get your Livelihood by being a Clerk, can't you name some of your Employers?

Lyon. I don't know any one else, in London. I live next the Ship Alehouse in Aldersgate Street, at Mrs. Bowsle's.

Q. At what Place did you write for Mr. Richardson, and what was the Business you did for him?

Lyon. I wrote for him at my own Lodging; and what I did for him was his own private Business, in a Book of 60 Folio. Mr. Richardson is my Relation, and he premited to get me an Employment in the Office.

Q. Do you use to be at the London Assurance Office?

Lyon. I have been there.

Mr. Hasswell. I am a Director there: I never saw this Man there in my Life.

Lyon. I have been at Mr. Richardson's Office an hundred Times. ( Here the People at the Greyhound appear'd )

John Broughton . I live at the Greyhound in Smithfield.

Q. Do you know one Wells, a Butcher?

Broughton. No. If that is the Man, I don't know that I ever saw him in my Life before.

Q. Can you recollect that any such Persons as these, were at your House the 23d of July? Do you know one Foiler of Essex?

Broughton. No, but I can tell by my Books, whether such a one paid for a Bullock: I take the Money, and set it down in my Book, for the Grasiers: they don't take the Money themselves; I have my Book, at home, and the Man must tell me who he bought the Bullock of: I don't remember that ever I saw these 4 People in my Life.

Broughton's Servant. I know nothing of any of them. I cannot recollect that any Persons sat at our House that Day 4 or 5 Hours about selling a Bullock.

Q. Do any of you know Foiler?

Broughton. No.

Mr.Maynard. I have known the Prisoner 20 Years, he is a Butcher in Newgate Market, he has a bad Character, and is a reputed Highwayman. I know nothing of Foiler, if he is one that useth the Markets, I should have known him.

Q. (To Broughton) Do you remember you had any Company on the 23d of July, that staid in your House 4 or 5 Hours from 11 o'Clock?

Broughton. No.

Broughton's Man. Nor I. ( Here the Books from the Greyhound, and the Hostler were sent for.)

Mr. Maynard. The Way of paying Money in Smithfield is thus, the Money Taker receives the Debt the Master does not give the Receipt, but the Money Taker gives it; 'tis set down in his Book, and he gives the Receipt.

Q. (To Wells) Where does Foiler live?

Wells. In the Hundreds somewhere. ( The jokes are produced. )

Broughton. On the 23d of July, I have but 2 Beasts sold, in my Book; and here's none of Foiler's Name.

A Juryman. If the Money had been paid in your House, should you have enter'd it in your Book?

Broughton. I should, if it had been paid to me: but there is another who takes Money at my House, and he lives in the Burrough,

Hostler. I have liv'd at the Greyhound ever since Candlemas; I don't remember that ever I saw any of these People before.

Another Witness. Wells I am inform'd harbours these Sort of People, he keeps a Butcher's Shop, and publick House at the rising Sun, at Enfield Wash.

Wells and his Wife, Story and Lyon were committed to Newgate. Bonner Guilty . Death .


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