John Stephens, John Jennings, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 2nd July 1746.

Reference Number: t17460702-2
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Punishment: Death

242, 243. John Stephens and John Jennings , in the Parish of Pancras , in a certain Field and open Place, upon the King's Highway, did assault and rob Edmund Knapp , of one Cloth Coat, a Hat, &c. on the 4th Day of May .

Q. (to Edmund Knapp ) Was you assaulted and robb'd?

Knapp . Yes, my Lord.

Q. Where? and when?

Knapp. A coming from Hampstead the 4th of May, it was on this Side Mother Red Caps, just entering into the Field, in the Path Way, I was attack'd by two Men first.

Q. In what Manner did they attack you?

Knapp . They did not say any Thing at all to me, but I struggled with two of them, and thought I had made my Escape from them.

Court . So you struggled with them?

Knapp . Yes, Sir, and I got free from them too, and the third Person came up and knock'd me down, and took my Senses from me.

Q. Was it light enough for you to observe the two Persons that attack'd you?

Knapp. No, Sir, I struggled with them in Fear, so that I can't tell. As soon as ever I found myself upon my Legs again, for they litted me up, there was a Pistol put to my Breast, and one of them said , Blow his Brains out, the Pistol was at the same Time at my Breast.

Q. Well, what did they do at the same Time?

Knapp . They took from me a Coat and Hat, and put an old one upon my Head .

Q. Have you ever seen or heard any Thing of these Things ?

Knapp. No , my Lord, they took out of my Pocket a Book, a Handkerchief , and a Pair of Gloves .

Court. Then you know nothing further with Relation to this Fact, or who did it?

Knapp . I know no further .

Q. (to William Bray ) Was you present at the Robbery of Edmund Knapp ?

Bray. Yes, my Lord.

Q. What Time was it?

Bray. To the best of my Knowledge it might be the 4th of May.

Q. Where was it perform'd?

Bray. Between Mother Red Caps and Tottenham-Court.

Q. Was it in the High Road or Foot Path?

Bray. In the Foot Path, my Lord.

Q. Who was present there?

Bray. John Stephens and John Jennings , my Lord.

Q. What did they do?

Bray. Demanded his Money , and took from him his Hat.

Q. Was that the first Thing that passed between them?

Bray. Jennings went forward to see how many there were in Company; he gave a Signal, and we attack'd this Mr. Knapp.

Q. Who attack'd him?

Bray. I attack'd him, please you, my Lord; he passed me, and attempted to run away. John Stephens stopt him, and I came up to him and knock'd him down.

Q. Then John Stephens stopt him? Was there any Struggle between them?

Bray . Not much; when I came up I knock'd him down.

Court. Then he had not got loose from John Stephens when you struck him?

Bray . No, my Lord.

Q. Well, what passed after that?

Bray. After that John Jennings he came back; when we helped him up, John Jennings said, Blow his Brains out. I said, No, we wont be guilty of any Murder, so pushed the Pistol to one Side of his Breast; We took from him a Hat and a Coat .

Q. Who took the Hat and Coat from him ?

Bray. To the best of my Knowledge it might be John Stephens that took the Hat off his Head, and put another on.

Q. Who took his Coat off?

Bray. I ripp'd it open, and John Jennings pulled it off behind him; and in the Pockets of the Coat, please you my Lord, there was a Pair of Gloves and an Indenture.

Q. What else?

Bray. An Explanation of the Bass Relievo of the Mansion House.

Q. And what did you do with the Coat?

Bray. The Coat was sold to Mr. - in the Old Baily for 17 s. and John Stephens and I went along with Mr. - and his Man to Poplar with something he had to dispose of to a Customer that he was to receive Money for, out of which he was to pay us; we then receiv'd of him Half a Guinea.

Q. (to the Prisoner) Will you ask this Witness any Questions?

Stephens. My Lord, I don't know the Man, nor was I ever with him in my Life; I might have seen him doing my Duty, but no otherwise. ,

Death .


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