John Wisdell, John Temple, Violent Theft > robbery, 18th May 1738.

Reference Number: t17380518-20
Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Verdict: Not Guilty; Guilty
Punishment: Death

23. John Wisdell , and John Temple , were indicted for assaulting James Little in a certain Field and open Place call'd Constitution-Hill, putting him in Fear, &c. and taking from him a Silver Watch, value 40 s. a Guinea, and 24 s. in Money , Jan. 2 .

* Wisdell was convicted for Transportation last Sessions, for stealing a great Parcel of Linnen from a Laundress at Kensington.

James Little . A little after 9 at Night, May the 7th, I was going up Constitution Hill , and a Man turn'd short upon me, and said he wanted some Money. What then, says I, D - mn your Blood says he, I must have your Money, O! says I, I understand you now; and immediately another Man came up and cry'd, - D - mn him, drag him into the Grass, - stab him, or shoot him. They then dragg'd me into the Grass, and took from me a Silver Watch, a Guinea, and about 22 or 23 s. and some Half-pence. I gave them good Words, and desired they would not use me ill; then they demanded my Watch, and the String being broke, they compell'd me to take it out my self. They took my Money themselves, one of them rifled my Pockets on one Side, and the other those on the other Side. When they had done with me, they ran down the Hill towards St. James's-Park, bidding me Good-night, and I return'd their Complement. It was very dark, so I could not observe their Faces, so as to be able to swear to them, but I have great Reason to believe that Wisdell was the Man who was for stabbing or shooting me, because he confessed it in Newgate, and I remember they were both tall Men in Soldier's Cloaths.

It being known that I had been robb'd by such Men, the Officers of the Guards sent for me next Morning, and when the Guard was reliev'd, they placed me where I might see the Men, and if I had known the Persons that robb'd me, they would have secur'd them; but I could not swear to any of their Faces. Some Time afterwards, I found the Watch in the Custody of one Burroughs, a Grenadier, and had it restored to me again. This is the Watch, and this is the Seal, but the Key has been mended while it has been out of my Possession.

I went to Newgate just before the Beginning of last Sessions with Justice Blackerby's Clerk, and saw the Prisoner Wisdell; he confessed that he and one Wheatley robbed me of such and such Things, mentioning every particular Thing that I lost. I know nothing of the other Prisoner, (Temple) only he was the Man that sold my Watch to Burroughs. Wisdell has confessed the Fact to almost twenty People, and upon this Arraignment (as I am informed) he pleaded Guilty, but immediately retracting his Plea, he put himself upon his Trial.

- Burroughs. The Prisoner Temple told me he had a Watch of a Countryman of his to dispose of, and it would be a cheap Bargain; and in about a Week after he came with Wisdell, and he (Temple) shewed me the Watch, and asked me 50 s. for it; I bid him two Guineas, and after some Consideration between him and Wisdell, Temple delivered me the Watch, and Wisdell took the Money; I paid 1 l. 13 s. in Part of the two Guineas; but some Time afterwards Temple came to me, and told me he would not have me pay any more Money upon it, for he believed it was not honestly come by. I desired they would return the Money and take the Watch again; they promised me they would, but they never did.

Elisha Turner , Serjeant. Temple offered to sell me this Seal, I refused to buy it of him, but I afterwards bought it for Half a Crown of Corporal Raymond; Temple had 18 d. of the Money: Temple when he first offered it me, told me he had found it in St. James's-Court; I kept it three or four Days, then thinking it was not honestly come by, I went to Raymond and demanded my Money again, upon which Temple threw me my Half Crown and took the Seal again.

Temple. I was at Home and a-bed when this Fact was committed.

James Moreton . The 2d of January, - I remember the Day, because I came off the Windsor Party on the last Day of the Old Year, and the 3d of January was my Birth-Day. I know he came Home the 2d of January between Six and Seven. He was with me at Home all the Evening,

and between Eight and Nine he went to Bed in the same Room with me. I cannot remember the Time of his coming Home any other Night, - only this, - because I was in the House at the same Time. I have known him two Years, and take him to be a civil well-behav'd young Fellow.

Saul Ashby , Christopher Poole , and Jane Lucken , had known Temple some Time, and never heard any Harm of him before.

Temple, Acquitted . Wisdell, Guilty Death .


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