Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
13. Charles Rogers , of St. Mary, White-chapel , was indicted for assaulting William Bassendine on the King's Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Ring with a blue Stone, value 2 d. a Handkerchief, value 2 d a Guinea, and 14 d. in Money , April 20 .
Prisoner. My Lord, there's only that Gentleman is to swear against me; - don't let those other Men come in; - they know nothing at all of this Matter.Goodman's Fields , by the Prisoner and two more. They came up to me with Pistols, which they clapp'd to my right and left Breast, and cry'd, d - n you, - your Money, Sir, you appear like a Gentleman, and we'll use you as such. I told them I had but little Money, - what I had they were welcome to They bid me not make a Noise, for if I did they must shoot me; so one of them put his Hand into my Pocket where the Guinea was, and I told them I would give them the Money The Prisoner took my Handkerchief, and put it into his Pocket, but he took it out again and said, Sir, your Handkerchief is of little Worth, so he returned it me again. After this the Prisoner took out my Deputation (I belong to the Custom-House) and he said, I believe, Sir, these are Writings? I told them it would be of no Use to them, so they said they would not meddle with Notes or Writings. After this they felt in my Pockets again, and took the Ring with the Blue Stone: The Prisoner felt in my Fob, and took out two Notes, which he returned me.
Q. How came you to know the Prisoner again?
Bassendine. I was very near Johnson's Globe Lamps, about six Doors from the Bagnio, and tho' the Prisoner had a flapp'd Hat, yet the Brims were narrow, and as he stood fronting the Lamps, I saw his Face. They detained me five or six Minutes, and after they had rifled me, I said, Gentlemen, I beg the Favour of you to give me a Penny or Two-pence to cross the Water, and the Prisoner said to his Companions, - give the Gentleman a Couple of Pence, another of them said, - give the Gentleman Six-pence. I said, Gentleman, I am obliged to you, for it is late, and the Watermen generally insist one something extraordinary when it is late; but another of them asked, whether it would bear? I told them it would certainly bear Six-pence, for, says I, you have taken something very considerable from me, so they gave me Six-pence, and this is the very Piece of Money which they returned me. When we parted they charged me not to make any Noise, for if I did they would shoot me. Some Time after this I was sitting at a Barber's in Lemon street, to be shaved, and I saw them go by; I was so surpriz'd, that the Barber took Notice of it, and asked me what was the Matter? I told him those 3 Fellows were the Men who had robb'd me. Upon that he went out 2 or 3 Doors after them, but I bid him not trouble himself about them; then says he, if you won't trouble your self about them, you deserve to be robb'd again; so the Barber went after them to a Sheeps Head Shop, and when I heard they were there, I went to ask for some Dog's Meat, that I might have an Opportunity of seeing them. They were at Dinner there, and I saw them; so I went to Justice Farmer for a Warrant, and when I came back they were gone; but we found them in the Glass-house Yard, on a vacant Place, among fourteen or fifteen Fellows, who were all playing their Rogues Tricks. When I seiz'd the Prisoner, I could not be positive to the other two, so I charged a Constable with him only.
Prisoner. He says my Hat had narrow Brims, - let him go up to Newgate, my Hat is in pawn there for Three Half-pence; - there's not a broader brimm'd Hat in the whole Court than mine is.
Q. Have you any People of the House here, where they din'd?
Bassendine. No, they are People of ill Characters in the Neighbourhood.
The Constable. Mr. Bassendine came to my House and shewed me his Deputation, and ordered me in the King's Name to go with him and assist him. We went to Dallow's Glass-house, and there we found about a Dozen or Fourteen Slender Carcass'd Gentlemen, and he went up to the Prisoner, who was among them, and said, he was the Person who held a Pistol to his Breast; so we carried him before Justice Farmer, and he sent him to Prison. The Prisoner deny'd the Fact, but I have since heard that he has but a very Slender Character.
A Witness. I was at Mr. Winstone's, at Well-Close Square, and the Prosecutor came in, and asked Mr. Warrener, Justice Farmer's Clerk for a Warrant; he said he had seen three Men who had robb'd him; we asked him why he had not secured them; he said he could not secure them without Assistance; so Mr. Warriner sent for an Officer, but he not being at Home, he directed us to this Constable's House, and we went to the Dunghill or Glass-house, where the Prosecutor fixed upon the Prisoner directly out of 14 or 15 Men.
A Witness. I have known the Prosecutor many Years; he is a Person of a good Character.
Another. I have known him 16 Years; he's a Person of a good Character as far as I can hear.
Prisoner. I have worked with a great many Gentlemen of Credit, in the Summer-Time, among the rest, with Dr. Edgerton, and in the Winter, I follow Coal-heaving: I was coming
C. But a Letter would have gone by the Post without Money.
Prisoner. But I can't wait, nor have I any body to write for me; and being innocent of the Fact, I thought I should have no Occasion.
Prosecutor. Before we carry'd him to Mr. Farmer we waited two Hours, for some body to speak for him, but he could get no body; and when he came before Justice Farmer, the Justice cry'd, - What! are you come already!
The Court order'd a Messenger to take the Prisoner's Directions, and to find these People out, if possible, but the Messenger return'd and declares there were no such Persons to be found.
Prisoner. If you'll send to my Sister, she will sa I was a-bed when the Gentleman was robb'd.
C. Aye, that's another Sort of a Defence. Guilty . Death