James Arnold, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 6th September 1749.

Reference Number: t17490906-14
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

496. James Arnold , was indicted, for that he in a certain-field, near the king's highway, upon William Whitebread , did make an assault, putting him in bodily fear and danger of his life, 1 silver watch, val. 50 s. 3 iron keys, 3 s. and 2 d. in monies numbered, the goods of the said William, did steal, take and carry away , July 1 .

William Whitebread . I do not know the prisoner; on Saturday, the first of July, a little before 11 o'clock at night, I was coming from Islington , near the New River head , there met me 3 men, one of them came up to me first, and ask'd me what it was o'clock; I told him, I believed a little wanting of eleven; immediately he clap'd a pistol to my face, and swore he'd blow my brains out, if I spoke a word: two more came up, and one of them laid hold of my left arm, and held a stick over me, and the third put his hand in my pockets and pulled out my watch, keys and money; they immediately ran away, one of the men was much about the size of the prisoner, the other was taller than the prisoner or accomplice, who is now to be evidence, but it was so dark I can't swear to the prisoner's face.

John Chambers . The first of July, being Saturday, I and one Matthew Bedford were coming home to Chick lane from towards Rag-fair, coming by the end of New-market, we saw the prisoner at the bar about 10 o'clock at night: Arnold and Bedford seem'd to know one another; I never saw Arnold before; they two agreed, and then ask'd me if I would go with them, I said, I would; we went up into the first fields by Clarkenwell : the prisoner took a pistol out of his pocket, and said he would stop the first gentleman he came nigh, which happen'd to be the prosecutor; as we were all standing together, said the prisoner, (it being dark) I hear a step, he went and ask'd what it was o'clock, then he said, he wanted the gentleman's money; said the gentleman, I have got but a little, and said, he would give us a shilling to drink his health: with that Bedford said , a shilling! I'll have all the money you have about you; the prisoner having the pistol at the gentleman's breast, said, feel if he has got ere a lodge ; so he felt in his pocket; he took out the watch and three little keys, and in so doing he broke the swivel of the chain, and ran down into Chick-lane , as hard as he could, before the other and I: I cannot swear to the money, because I had none of it ; I stood at this time over him with a stick ; we were to meet at the end of the New-market, which we did , and Bedford carry'd us to St. Giles's to a night-house, the sign of the Crown, there we sat and drank till morning; then Matthew Bedford carry'd us to Duke's Place to two Jews that he knew, and sold it for a guinea and a half to them; the prisoner said, give me my share and I'll go home to my wife; Bedford gave him 10 s. and 6 d. he went away, I had half a guinea on the Sunday morning. About a fortnight after this, I heard that Matthew Bedford was taken up, then I surrendered myself to tell the the whole truth, which I did at justice Fielding's.

Q. to Whitebread. Did you say, I'll give you a shilling to drink your health?

Whitebread. I said I had got but a shilling or two to drink my health.

Q. Was the swivil of your watch broke in taking it out.

Whitebread. It was, my lord.

Guilty , Death .

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