John Cooper, John Squire, John Jennings, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 9th September 1742.

Reference Number: t17420909-30
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

91, 92, 93. John Cooper . John Squire , and John Jennings , were indicted (together with James Stewart , and George Ewins , not yet taken) for that they in a certain Place near the King's Highway, called Grace's Alley, upon Joseph Daniel , did make an Assault, and put him in corporal Fear, taking from him a wooden Box, sixteen Metal Spurs, one Cock, and thirty Shillings in Money , the Property of the said Joseph Daniel .

Joseph Daniel . On the 27th of June last, I think it was between one and two in the Morning, I was going up Well-Street in Rosemary Lane, I turned into an Alley called Grace's Alley , and heard, as I thought, some Body come after me, presently a Man came up with me, as soon as I could I stopped to let him pass before me; then I saw several Persons, one of them came up to me, said he, what's here; (I had a Fowl in my Bag;) let go. I had another Bag under my Arm, in which were these Spurs, and some trifling Things; the Man that first stopped me, and took the Fowl, asked me what I had got in my Pockets, and put his Hand into my Breeches Pocket, on the right Side, and took my Money: To the best of my Knowledge, I lost 50 s. though I have laid it but for 30 s. I begged them not to use me ill, as I was a working Man, to hinder me from getting my Living; one of them held up a Thing like a Pistol, and said he would blow my Brains out if I spoke another Word, or to that purpose; another held up a Thing like a Hanger, but being very much frightened, I cannot be very particular, then one of them said come along; said I Gentlemen, here is in one of these Bags only a Fowl, which will be but of little Use to you, and upon my saying that, one of them flew towards me in a great Fury, and said, he would blow my Brains out if I said any more; then I went away. - I cannot take upon me to say I know any Thing of the Prisoners at the Bar: A Person came to me some time afterwards and asked me if I had lost any Cock Spurs; I said yes I had, the Man told me he would go with me on Sunday to look after them. - 'Twas Mr Unwin at the Ship, near Well Close-Square, the Spurs are in his Custody; this wooden Box I am positive I lost, the Spurs were in it. - It was darkish, I cannot be positive whether there were Lamps or not.

Q. What sized Men were they?

Daniel. I took them to be middle sized Men, but I cannot be positive. I am a Plaue-maker by Trade.

Q. So you divert yourself now and then with a little Cock-Match.

Daniel . I am a Man that does not use much Company, so I think I may as well spend a little Time that way, as spend two or three Shillings any where else.

William Hawkins . On the 27th of June the three Prisoners at the Bar, and I and two more, met Joseph Daniel at the End of an Alley near Well-Close-Square. - We all went out together to stop any Body that we met, and to take what we could from them - It was between one and two o'Clock in the Morning. - I knew Mr Daniel again as soon as ever I saw him. Ewins the Irishman asked him what he had in his Bag, and took it from him, and put his Hand in his Pocket, he took out what Money the Gentleman had in his Pocket, which he said was 22 s. and 6 d. which was shared among us; so he sunk the rest. - Squire was searching his Pockets too. I do not know what was taken out of the other Pocket.

Q. Did any Body hold up a Pistol?

Hawkins . Squire had a short Rolling-pin, which might be taken for a Pistol in a Surprize. That young Fellow John Cooper had a Hanger, Squire took the Bag with the Box and Spurs in it. - The

Gentleman desired to have his Fowl again, said he, there is nothing in that Bag but a Fowl, I hope you will give it me back again; and John Cooper said if he spoke another Word he would cut off his Nose; the Cock Spurs Squire and Cooper sold in Rag-Fair for 3 s. The Fowl was dressed at Mr Smith's, the Yorkshire Grey in Rag-Fair, on Monday Morning, Squire, Cooper and I were at the eating of it, Jennings was not; the 22 s. and 6 d. was divided between us, we had 3 s. and 6 d. a Piece, and the other 18 d. was spent in Bottled-Ale and Brandy.

Jennings . I am sure of it, I never was out with them before that Night.

Hawkins. We robb'd five People that Night, and every one of the Prisoners were with me then. - I believe this is the Box the Spurs were in; I took particular Notice of it.

Jennings . Please to ask him how long he has known me.

Hawkins. I never knew him before that Night; all five except Jennings were together, and we said we were going out together, and asked Jennings to go along with us, and he said he would; I had drank with the others several Times, but was never out with them before upon that Account.

Jury. Was Jennings in the hearing of them? Did he know of your Design, that you were to go out to rob? Because there's a Difference between taking a Walk, and going out a Robbing.

Hawkins. The Irishman said, in the Hearing of Jennings, they were going out to rob any Body we met, and to get what we could. - I am sure Jennings heard him say so, and knew our Design.

Samuel Unwin , who keeps the Ship Alehouse. I know of these Spurs, I have seven Pair and an odd one. After Mr Jones, the City-Marshal, had taken up these two Men, (that is Cooper and Squire ) I heard of the Robbery in Well-Close-Square , and went to Miller, and he said they were sold to his Wife for Silver. I made an Enquiry of one at the Red-Lion Cock-Pit, whether he knew any Body who had been robbed of any Cock-Spurs; upon that he made an Enquiry, and found them to be Mr Daniel's. All Three guilty , Death .


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