James Caldclough, Joseph Morris, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 7th June 1739.

Reference Number: t17390607-5
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

331, 332. James Caldclough and Joseph Morris were indicted for assaulting Josiah Swafford and George Banks on the King's Highway, putting them in Fear, &c. and taking from the said Swafford a Hat, val. 2 s. two Guineas and 5 s. in Money; and from the said Banks five Guineas and 13 s. in Money , Apr. 9 .

Mr. Swafford . On the 9th of April, between Night and Nine in the Evening, I was going from Knightbridge to Kensington , and about 100 Yards beyond the Half-way House, three Men came up to me, dress'd in Soldiers Cloaths; (two of them I am certain had Soldiers Cloaths on) their Swords were drawn, and, without speaking a Word, they fell to cutting me, and never left cutting me, till they had brought me to the Ground; they gave me all these Wounds [in my Face] and there are many more upon my Head. [The Prosecutor shew'd the Places where he had been wounded] I had 24 Guineas in this Pocket, so I clapp'd my Hand into it, while one of the Men thrust his Hand into the other Pocket, out of which he took two Half-crowns, and some Half-pence, and then said, - I have got it! Then they went a little Way from me, and one of them came back immediately, and put his Hand into this Pocket where the Gold was, and took out two Guineas, leaving me 22 behind: I believe, when I put my bloody Hand into my Pocket, I might raise them up from the rest, and, perhaps, as I lay upon the Ground; they might see them. When they had done this, they left me, and I saw no more of them. At that Time, when they cut me down, I was alone, and lay upon the Ground, till the Hostler at the Crown at Kensington took me up and carry'd me to a House. How long I lay on the Ground I can't tell, but I believe it was not long before I was taken to the Dolphin, at the Gore in Kensington. After the Hostler had found me, several other Friends came up, and among them Mr. Banks, who was robbed the same Night. I told the People at the Gore that I had been robb'd by three Soldiers, and what I had lost; but I cannot take upon me to say the Prisoners are the Men, for they cut me so fast, and the Blood flew about me in such a Manner, that I could not take Notice of them, so as to remember their Faces; I saw three other Men before these Men were charged, but I could say nothing to them, nor can I swear to these.

Coldlough. Had the Soldiers who robb'd you their Accountrements on and their Spatterdashes?

Mr. Swafford. I can say nothing to that; they gave me no Time to observe any thing, but came upon me without saying a Word, and fell upon me with their drawn Swords, till I dropt to the Ground.

Geo. Banks. I live next Door to Mr. Swafford; he is a Carpenter at Hammersmith, and he was robb'd the 9th of April, between Knightsbridge and Kensington. I had been with him to London, and we were returning home between Eight and Nine that Night: When we came to the Half-way House, I stopp'd to make Water, and Mr. Swafford walk'd on, and was got some Distance before me. As I went after him, I saw three Men cutting another Man, but I did not know it was Mr. Swafford, so I endeavour'd to pass by them, and as I was striving to get past them, the

Prisoner Caldclough got hold of my Collar. I saw them actually cutting Mr. Swafford, and not knowing him, was endeavouring to get from them. There were three Men, and I think they had all Soldiers Cloaths on, but I can't say I saw any more than two Swords drawn, nor did I then observe that Mr. Swafford was bloody. I am positive to Caldclough, and that he had his Sword drawn, but I can say nothing to the other Prisoner.

Cald lugh. Was it light, or dark?

Banks. Very Moonlight: The Evening was just closing. I had got five or six Yards from them, when Caldclough came up to me: I asked him what he wanted? And immediately the two others who were robbing Mr. Swafford, left him, and came up to me. I endeavoured to get away from them, but Caldclough followed me, with his drawn Sword, and cut my Hat off my Head, which he himself took up directly. After Caldclough had seized me by the Collar, another of them came up, and they both thrust their Hands into my Pockets, and took out five Guineas and about 13 or 14 Shillings in Silver, and three Silver Pennies. When they had done with me, I made off towards Kensington, and they went back - towards Mr. Swafford, who was about five or six Yards distant from the Place where I was attack'd. As I went homewards, I met a Friend, and asked him if he had seen Mr Swafford? He told me, be came directly from Kensington, and had seen no body. I told him I had been robb'd, and if he had not met him, I fear'd he was murder'd; and upon going back to see for him, we found him wallowing in his Blood, and very much cut, and his Nose hanging into his Mouth: We got Help, and carry'd him to the Dolphin at the Gore, and I went for a Surgeon. After we had seen proper Care taken of him, I went up to the Court, and desired Madam Keen, (Mr. Loman's Daughter) to get the Roll called over, and upon calling over the Roll, three Soldiers were missing from the Guard, but the two Prisoners were then upon Duty. After the Roll had been called over, I went home; and in the Morning I was sent to, and was informed that the three Men who were missing over Night, were then returned, and I went to see them, but could not swear to any of them; however, they were carry'd before Justice Hinson, and not giving a satisfactory Account where they had been, he committed them to Newgate, but they have since been bailed out. Three Weeks after this, I met one James, a Bricklayer, in the Strand, and he told me he believed the right Men were taken; upon which I went with him to the Savoy, and saw Caldclough first: He was then in Custody, and I asked him if he knew me? He said, - No. I told him he had seen me once too often, for he was the Man that had robbed me: He then desired me to do him no Hurt; and I told him I would hurt him no farther than was consistent with Justice. Then I went to look at the Evidence, he lay on a Couch, but I could not swear to him; nor could I charge the other Prisoner when I saw him. I asked the Evidence (in the Savoy) if he knew me? He said, No, but I was very like the Man that he robb'd; and, if I was the same Person, I had then on a new Pair of Buck-skin Breeches, and that among the Money he took from me there were two Silver Pennies. There were three among the Money I was robb'd of, but one of them we found next Morning on the Ground, in Mr. Swafford's Blood. He told me farther, that he took two Guineas, and about nineteen Shillings in Silver from us both, beside the two Silver Pennies; but I lost five Guineas, which another Man took out of my Pocket; for there were two Men took Money out of my Pockets. He added, that Caldclough and Morris were the Men who were concerned with him in these Robberies; but Morris told some Persons who were present, that he was innocent.

Caldclough. Had we our Spatterdashes and Accoutrements on?

Banks. I think they all had Soldiers Cloaths on, and I believe they had Spatterdashes over their Stockings. I was 'frighted at the Time, - but I believe it was so.

Caldclough Was it I or the other, that put the Hand into your Pocket?

Banks. There were two Men who put their Hands into my Pockets, I had five Guineas in my Right-Hand Pocket, and I am sure the Prisoner Caldclough's Hand was in one of my Pockets, but who the other Man was, I can't tell.

William Robinson . There were only Morris, Caldclough, and I, concerned in this Robbery. I am a Soldier , and we all belonged to Colonel Foliard 's Company. I remember it was the 9th of April, about half an Hour after Eight o'Clock. We had been drinking that Night at the Suttling House at St. James's, and talked about going to the Gore, and robbing the first Person we should meet. Accordingly we went thro' the Middle-Park, and along Kensington-Road 'till we came past the Half-way House. Then we looked back, and saw

Mr. Swafford and Mr. Banks coming up. I did not know either of them then, - but the Persons we saw, prove to be these Gentlemen. When we first discovered them, they were Two or Three hundred Yards behind us; upon which, we turn'd back, and met them. Caldclough drew his Sword, and immediately fell to cutting Mr. Swafford.

Q. Did you meet Mr. Swafford and Mr. Banks together? Or, were they at any Distance asunder?

Robinson. We met them together, and Caldclough without saying any thing to Swafford, fell on him with his Sword. Morris's Sword was likewise drawn, and he held it to Mr. Banks's Breast. Mr. Swafford was about two or three Yards from Mr. Banks, when Caldclough fell upon him (Swafford) with his Sword, and gave him a great many Cuts. Morris held his Sword to Banks's Breast, while I took the Money out of his Pocket. I had not a Sword with me, and was dressed in this Frock that I have on now; but they both had their Soldiers Cloaths on. From Mr. Banks I took about 19 s. and two Silver Pennies; I can't tell whether They took any more from him or not. From Mr. Swafford I took two Guineas in Gold, but not any Silver at all.

Q. Did either of the other Persons take any Thing from Mr. Swafford?

Robinson. I don't know: I can't say I observ'd that. After this we went directly over the Hedges into the Fields, towards Chelsea, and when we got to Chelsea Horse-Ferry, we helped the Ferry Man to pull up the Drag. [the Ferry-Boat] and we crossed the Water to Lambeth, and under the Archbishop's Wall, we divided the Money, and I had a Guinea for my Share. This was what I had for my Part of what I had taken, for they did not tell me they had taken any more. From Lambeth we came to Stangate, and there we crossed the Water again; then we parted, and I went home. Some time after this Robbery, I was drinking in Dutchy-Lane, with one Richard Stephenson , and he disclosed that I had asked him to go with me on the Highway: This occasioned my being taken up, and then I discover'd this Robbery; but Caldclough was taken up before I was in Custody, though I cannot tell how he came to be taken.

Caldclough. Had we our Spatterdashes and Accoutrements on?

Robinson. No, they had not; nor their Accoutrements - [Their Leather Belts and Pouches.]

Caldclough. Then there is a Contradiction; Mr. Banks said he lost 13 or 14 Shillings, and the Evidence says he took nineteen; he said they all had Soldiers Cloaths and Spatterdashes.

William Harris . On the 7th of April at Night, within a Quarter of Nine, I was going from London towards Kensington, and about a hundred Yards on the other Side the Half-way-House, I was stopped by three Soldiers, and saw them cut Mr. Swafford in a very barbarous Manner; I was about a hundred Yards behind him, and to the best of my Knowledge, the three Men who attacked him, were all in Soldiers Cloaths. Two of them had Spatterdashes on, but I can't be positive whether the third had Spatterdashes on, or not. I saw two of them with drawn Swords cutting him down, and saw him fall with the Blows. I never saw Mr. Swafford before in my Life, and thought it had been a Quarrel, so I pushed up immediately, and saw two of them upon him, (Swafford) and the third Man ran directly to Banks, after which, one of them came up to me. Mr. Swafford was about ten or twelve Feet distant from Mr. Banks, at the Time when Banks was robbed. I can't swear to either of the Prisoners, but if either of the Prisoners were concern'd, then I take it, That James Caldclough was the Man who stopped me with his drawn Sword, and demanded my Money, which I had in my Hand to give him, but as I had an Opportunity to push off, I got from them and lost nothing. I did not go forwards, but went back to the Half-way House, where I got a Stick, and returned to the Place, thinking to take the Men, but they were gone, and Swafford was lying upon the Ground; I thought he had been dead. I can't swear to either of the Prisoners, but I believe Caldclough is the Man who stopped me.

Caldclough. I ask this Witness, whether he did not charge one Ringal before Mr. Deveil, as the Man who stopped him?

Harris. He is a Soldier; one of the three who were missing when the Roll was called over. I believed him to be the Man, and took him up on Suspicion. I cannot swear Point-blank to any Man.

Thomas Smith . I work at the Ferry at Chelsea. On the 9th of April, about a Quarter past Nine at Night, three Soldiers came down to the Ferry, and wanted to go over the Water. I desired them to lend a Hand, and help me to pull up the Drag; they did so, and got in. Then they bid me pull away, pull away, - make Haste over; this they said, all the Way they went. I landed them at Battersea-Ferry, and

they asked me the Way to the King's Arms. I don't know the Men again, for though it was Moon-light, it was dull Moon-light, and cloudy: Two of them were in Soldiers Cloaths, and the other was not, but whether he had a Coat or a Frock on I can't tell; for they hurry'd me, and said they would give me 3 d. Farthing, which was seven Farthings more than my Fare; and when we reach'd Shore, they left the Money upon a Bench, and went away before I could get a-shore.

Zephton Kitchen . I apprehended the Prisoners on the 10th of May, on this Occasion. A Soldier in the Company told me, the Prisoners had sold a Piece of melted Gold in Foster-Lane for 47 s. and the Person they offer'd it too, refus'd to let them have the Money for it, till one of the Serjeants in the Company came with them. This gave me some Suspicion of them, which was increas'd by Richard Stevenson's telling me, that Robinson had perswaded him to go out with him on the Highway; and that he did go with him as far as Whitechappel, where Robinson bid him slouch his Hat, and told him they would go into the Fields and stop the first Man they should meet. Stevenson said he did go with him into the Fields, but watching an Opportunity, he ran from him, and got away. On the 10th of May, when our Company was waiting to mount Guard, Stevenson told my Brother Serjeant this Story. I thought it was proper the Affair should be enquired into, so I went to Somerset house Guard, and apprehended Caldlough that Evening; for when Stevenson told me this concerning Robinson, he said, that Morris, Caldclough and Robinson, had all been concern'd together. When I had seiz'd Caldclough, and was carrying him to the Savoy, I talk'd to him about these Robberies; he deny'd them all, but desired he might speak with Robinson the Evidence, which I refus'd; and when I had confin'd him, I went to Robinson's Quarters, in Dutchy-Lane, and the Surgeon of the Regiment coming in, I desired him to search Robinson's Body, for he had not been able to perform Exercise, on Account of his Arms being bruised; he was view'd by the Surgeon, but the Bruises were almost worn out; however, I seiz'd him, in order to carry him to the Savoy, and advised him to confess and save himself. He said if I would carry him to Morris in Holborn, he would tell me all the Affair; I consented, and before we got half Way to Holborn, he said he wish'd he could save Morris, for he was an honest Fellow; I bid him save himself, and tax'd him with this Kensington Robbery, among others: He confess'd it, and told me, Morris and Caldclough were both concern'd with him in it. Upon this I turn'd back, and carry'd him directly to the Savoy: Then I went to Morris's Lodgings in Fuller's Rents in Holborn, and apprehended him. As I was going with him to the Savoy, I told him, Robinson had discover'd the Persons concern'd in the Robbery; upon which he told me, 'twas in my Power to do him some Service, and desired I would carry him before Mr. Deveil; but I told him it would be to no Purpose, for Robinson had made the Discovery first, and was to be admitted an Evidence.

Morris. Did I ask you to carry me to Mr. Deveil, or to Colonel Folliard ?

Kitchen. I believe he first ask'd me to carry him before Mr. Deveil, and afterwards said, - Let me go before my own Colonel; I believe his Intent before either of them was to have made a Discovery.

Richard Stevenson . On the Monday Night the Robbery was committed, I saw the two Prisoners, and the Evidence Robinson, drinking in St. James's Suttling-house about Seven o'Clock; I left them there, and had no Discourse with them about committing this, or any other Robbery. Robinson has talk'd to me about going to rob with him, and I told Serjeant Aspinal of it: He [ Robinson ] and I were drinking three or four Pots of Two-penny one Day with a Girl, and he asked me to take a Walk with him; I consented, and he asked me if I wanted Money, giving me at the same time two Half-crowns. As we went along, we drank another Pot of Two-penny, and he bid me either pay for it, or give him his Money again; so I threw him down his two Half-crowns, and then we walked to Whitechappel; where he asked me, if I was Man sufficient enough to rob, and to stand by him, if we should meet with any who might resist. I did go a little Way with him, and then gave him the Slip, and came home to my Quarters. Afterwards I told Serjeant Aspinal of it, and he was taken up.

Jonathan Pye . I was the Corporal that kept; the Roll. On the 9th of April the two Prisoners were upon Guard at St. James's, and I saw them with the Evidence in the Suttling-house at Eight o'Clock at Night. I was upon Guard all Night, and did not see them any more, till between Eleven and Twelve, at which Time they return'd to their Duty. The Royal Family went to the Play that Night, and the Guard turn'd out on that Occasion: Several Men were absent, among whom were the Prisoners, and I return'd them

both at Ten o'Clock. I threaten'd to return Caldclough at Four in the Afternoon; for he was then playing at Cards in the Suttling house.

Caldclough had no Witnesses in his Behalf. For Morris, one Ashforth appear'd, who keeps an Alehouse at the Rising Sun in Tottenham Court Road: He gave an Account that Morris had liv'd some Time with him, and he afterwards put him out Apprentice to Mr. Joseph Edmonston , a Sadler, in Holborn: That he serv'd out his Time, and work'd Journey-work for three Years since, and always behav'd well, till he was drawn away by some of these Soldiers: That he inlisted three Years ago on Account of a Woman, and at the Time he inlisted he was sent out to receive a Bill for his Master, and after he had inlisted, he brought him every Farthing of the Money.

Thomas Sherword , a Porter at Grays Inn Gate, and a Relation of Morris, said he had never heard any Harm of him, and that all the Neighbourhood gave him the best of Characters. Both Guilty , Death .


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