Robert Gosswell, Robert Barrow, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 6th July 1737.

Reference Number: t17370706-5
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

5, 6. Robert Gosswell , otherwise Bob the Butcher , and Robert Barrow , otherwise Run well , of St. George's Bloomsbury , was indicted for assaulting James Christian in a certain open Place, near

the King's Highway, putting him in Fear, &c. and taking from him an iron Key, value 1 d. a silk Purse value 6 d. five brass Medals, value 1 d. one Guinea, and six Shillings and Two-pence in Money , April 9 .

James Christian. Last Easter-Eve, between 12 and 1 o'Clock at Night, I was coming thro' Bloomsbury square , and three Men came up to me; one of them clapp'd a Pistol to my Breast, and the others demanded my Money, or (they told me) I was a dead Man. I was surprized, and said, - Gentlemen, don't use me ill, - you shall have my Money, - don't use me ill. One of them said, - No, - God forbid we should use you ill, - 'tis Necessity makes us do this, and he immediately put his Hand into my Pocket, and took out a Guinea, some brass Medals, and about six or seven Shillings in Silver. I don't know any of the Prisoners; but I believe the Man that took the Money out of my Pocket, is this Man here, who has made himself an Evidence. He look'd in my Face after he had done, - but I can't swear to him.

One of the Prisoners. The Evidence, in his Information, said, there were three Queen Carolina's, and three King George's Medals; ask the Prosecutor what Sort of Medals he lost.

Christian. They were Queen Carolina's and King George's Medals; such Things as the Children play with.

James Wilson . 'Twas Easter-Eve, or rather Easter-Sunday Morning, between 12 and 1 o'Clock, when we committed this Fact. The Prisoner Runwell held the Pistol to the Gentleman, and Goswell came up and pull'd of his Hat to him, and told him, he must rifle him.

Q. What was taken from the Prosecutor?

Wilson. One Guinea, and six Shillings and Two-pence: The Two-pence we spent in Gin, and the Guinea we divided between Runwell and myself: Gosswell had only his Part of the six Shillings, and Part of the Two penn' worth of Gin, - we had a whole half Pint for the Two-pence. Runwell and I had 12 s. 6 d. a piece, that is, - two Shillings out of the six, and half a Guinea a piece out of the Guinea; for we sunk upon Gosswell, he did not know that we got the Guinea. When we took the Medals from the Gentleman, we thought they had been Guineas, and we went to an Alehouse, in Well-street, near Salt-Petre Bank, to see whether they were Guineas or not.

Q. Did you all go out on this Design together?

Wilson. Runwell and I agreed to go out upon this Affair together, and as we were going along, we met Gosswell, and he agreed to go with us: So we all three went together, and meeting the Prosecutor, - There's your Mark, says I, and immediately Runwell clapp'd his Pistol to his Breast, but there was neither Powder nor Ball in it.

Gosswell. This Man has been an Evidence before: he was three Days together at the Thief-taker's House. They took me several Times to an Alehouse, and would have persuaded me to have been an Evidence against Wilson, and as we had no Money, they lent me a Shilling, and Wilson a Shilling. I told them that I never saw the Evidence 'till I came from Hampstead Races, and that I knew nothing of him. William James and Brock, would have given me Money to have done it, but I knew no more of the Evidence than the Child unborn.

Runwell. The Evidence and I fell out at a House where we went to drink, and the young Man that was with him, asked me to go out with them, but I refused, and went Home, upon which the Evidence came to the Place where I live, in Well-Street, and fir'd off his Pistol before the Door.

Mr. Justice Poulson. He came before me, and made himself a voluntary Evidence, and the Account he now gives, is intirely consistent with that he gave before me. Both Guilty . Death .


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