John Rogers, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 11th April 1749.

Reference Number: t17490411-43
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
[Note: this edition of the Proceedings was misdated on the original title page. The correct dates for this meeting of the court are MAY 11, 12 and 13, 1749.]

361. John Rogers , was indicted for robbing Joseph Oates and Mary Howard , in an open field near the King's highway, of six pair of linen sheets, val. 40 s. four linnen aprons, val. 2 s. and other things, the goods of Charles Carnan , November the 21st .

Joseph Oates . Mary Howard and I were going to Islington from out of Fenchurch street, on the 21st of November, between six and seven o'clock at night, but a very moon light night; this man, the prisoner at the bar, and two other men overtook us between two ditches coming into Frog field . One of the three, not the prisoner, had a pistol in his hand, and held it to Mrs. Howard's face , and commanded her to stop; threatening directly if she made any outcry, they would blow her brains out that moment; so we said nothing to them .

Q. Are you sure the prisoner at the bar is one of the men?

Oates . I am very certain he is. The next word after we stopp'd was, Damn your blood, what have you got there ? We told them foul linen. Then the next word was, Then damn your blood, I'll have it. I am the porter, I had the bundle of linen on my back ; it was taken off me behind, the man went away with the linen. One of them stood with a stick to me, and another with a pistol to the woman ; then he with the stick struck me a blow over my head and broke my head; then they run after the other with the linnen; we saw which way they went, then we went home to Islington as fast as we could.

Q. Which way did they go off?

Oates. Towards Brick lane.

Q. Whose linen was it?

Oates. It was Mr. Carnan's , a Hamburgh merchant's ; we were carrying it to Islington to be wash'd .

Mary Howard. I am a washer-woman; I live just by Islington church . I had been to Mr. Carnan's for this linnen; he lives in Philpot lane .

Q. When was this ?

Howard. November the 21st.

Q. What time of the day?

Howard. I believe it was about seven o'clock. This porter was always my man for such work; we were going to my house; he carried the linen; we met three men at a place between Chalk-hill and the Barn.

Q. Are you sure the prisoner was one of them?

Howard. I am quite positive he was: I would not be positive at first, but upon mature consideration I am quite sure. One came up to me, the other went the lower way. When they had past us , I said, I wish we get safe home; I do not like the looks of them men; then they returned again upon me; one of them put a pistol to my breast, the other two kept behind: He said, Damn your body, Stop. I made answer, for God's sake don't use us ill, for if you take my bread you take my life. He asked what was in the bundle? I told him, foul linen. He said, Damn you, go along, and one of the other two pull'd the bundle off the porter's back; they said nothing to him as I remember; it was the prisoner that had the bundle on his head; he said it is damn'd heavy; one of the other help'd him up with it, for they had taken it off the porter's back and set it on the ground.

Q. Have you seen the prisoner since?

Howard . Yes, I saw him in Bridewell two or three times since. I was informed of his being there by a neighbour.

Prisoner. When this witness first saw me, she said, she would not swear I was one of the men for all the world.

Howard. When I first went, I did say I would not be positive, till I had considered it more; but I now remember him very perfectly.

Q. Was it light enough to discern him?

Howard . It was a very moon light frosty night.

James Venteres . The prisoner Rogers , I, and John Thorp were the three men that did this robbery.

Q. to Mary Howard . Was this witness one of the three men?

Howard. Yes, my Lord, I am sure he was one of the three.

Oates answered the same.

Venteres . We went from the three pigeons in Golden lane down Chick lane; there we went into the sign of the ship to one John Kingston . Thorp borrowed his coat; so they two changed coats; then we went up Saffron Hill, and then to Clerkenwell Green; there we bought a pennyworth of lead . When we came to Cold Bath fields, we put a bit of lead to load the pistol with; then we went into the field that goes over to Marybone; Thorp loaded the pistol. There we met a man and robb'd him of his watch; then we went round by Clerkenwell Green. By the backside of Sadler's Wells gate we saw this man and woman coming the Chalk Hill way; we staid in the field a considerable while till they came along, and made as if we were going to London. Thorp went up to them and stopp'd them, then Rogers and I went up; Rogers pull'd the bundle off the man's back, it lay about three or four minutes on the ground; then he desired me to lift it up on his back, and after he had got it, he said it was damn'd heavy. Then Thorp said to the woman, he would blow her brains out if she offered to follow. I pulled him from her and said, if we lick the man with a switch which I had in my hand, he will then go home, and the woman will follow him. I took the porter a blow over his head; then we went over the fields, and in a ditch there we untied the bundle and made it into two, I carried one, and Rogers the other; then we went to Merrit's.

Q. What trade are you of?

Venteres. I am a painter.

Q. How long have you known the prisoner?

Venteres. I have known him ever since last August.

Q. What trade is he?

Venteres. He is no trade at all.

Q. Did you know the other witnesses again?

Venteres. Yes, I knew the woman at first sight. I was taken up on the other side of the water, and carried before a Justice and made my confession.

Q. Was it a moon light night when you committed this robbery?

Venteres. Yes, my Lord, it was.

Guilty Death .


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