Adam John Foster, Little Will, Ann Dunkerton, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Theft > receiving, 5th December 1750.

Reference Number: t17501205-59
Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery; Theft > receiving
Verdicts: Guilty; Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishments: Death; Death

71, 72. (M.) Adam, otherwise William Dawson and John Foster , were indicted for robbing David Humphries on the king's highway of one silver watch, value 40 s. one perriwig, value 5 s. one silk and cotton handkerchief, four guineas and half in gold and 5 d. in money, number'd , November 12 . ++

David Humphries . I had been in Wapping last Monday was three weeks, and, at a place called Sampson's Gardens there, between seven and eight o'clock at night, Hardwich, the evidence, came up to me and took me by the collar; he held a bayonet to my breast, and bid me stand, saying, if I cried out I was a dead man; the two prisoners at the bar were with him; they all fell upon me at once ; they got me upon the ground, and the two prisoners stamp'd upon my side; they bruised me very much, and also broke my head and cut my finger.

Q. Was it a light night?

Humphries. It was not a very dark night.

Q. Did they take any thing from you?

Humphries. They took my watch, four guineas and a half and 5 d. in money, a wig and handkerchief; the prisoner, Dawson, took these things, except the handkerchief, and that Hardwick took, they used me so ill, that they left me speechless; (he produced his breeches in court, the pocket and a large piece of the whole cloth cut off) I cried out, but nobody came to my assistance.

Q. How long were they with you?

Humphries. About five or six minutes; after they were gone, a saylor came by and helped me up; I went home and was not out of my bed for a fortnight.

Q. Are you sure the two prisoners were two of the men that robbed you?

Humphries. I am as sure as there is a just God in heaven.

John Morgan . On Saturday, the 17th of last month, I and another man went into the Shovel alehouse, East Smithfield ; in came Dawson dressed very well; I said to him, you look pretty tight, &c. he told me he had got four guineas and a half of a man, and he kept four guineas of it to himself, dividing the other half guinea among his apprentices. A young man of my acquaintance, who was with me, wanted a watch ; I asked him if he had ever a one; the prisoner said he had one in pawn for 30 s. and that I should have it for six more; he said he did not pawn it himself, but a young woman did, whom I will send to fetch it out ; I was to meet him at the Swan in Swan alley about four o'clock; I spoke to two or three more men, and we went together to the Swan thinking to apprehend him, but he was gone; the next day I heard he was taken.

Prosecutor. The things I lost were advertised in the news paper.

John Hardwick . Dawson, I, and Jack Foster were together the 12th of last month drinking at the Portland's prize in East Smithfield; my landlady where I lodge had an old bayonet, with which she used to stir the fire; they desired me to take that and go out with them; Dawson got a broomstick, and Jack Foster had a short one; we went out at the bottom of Virginia street.

Q. What were you going to do?

Hardwick. They said they were going upon the scamp, that is to stop men; we set out about seven o'clock.

Q. How far is the place from where you set out to Sampson's Gardens ?

Hardwick. It is about a quarter of a mile ; we saw a man that looked like a ship master ; we stopped him, and I laid hold of him; this was the prosecutor, I know him again, as he has but one eye; Dawson and Foster kicked up his heels and land him down; I stood over him with the Bayonet; they cut off his breeches pocket and took four guineas and a half, as I have heard since, and they took his watch, his wig and stick I took the handkerchief out of his pocket.

Q. What did you say to him?

Hardwick. I said, if he stir'd he was a dead man; Jack Foster found about three pennyworth of halfpence in his pocket; then we went to the Portland's Prize ; Dawson said there he took but half a guinea from him, so we shared that: I did not know of the watch then, but as we were lying in bed, [ Jack Foster and I lay together, in one bed: and Dawson and his wife in another, all in the same room,] said Dawson to Foster and I, do you hear something click? then he pull'd out the watch and shew'd it to us; then said I, that is a good mark; he got up that day and went out, and bought himself a new suit of cloaths; at night we went to the Portland's prize again; he sent his wife, a company keeper, to pawn it; she went with it and came again, and said, she could get no more than 15 s. offer'd upon it; said I, where I pawn'd mine, I believe I can pawn this ; I took it, and Dawson's wife went with me to a pawnbroker in East Smithfield, and pawn'd it for 25 s. then I came to the Portland's prize, and shared the money between us; Dawson said, he had not a farthing in the world; I saw him change a guinea, so he must take it from that man. I saw four guineas the next day in his hand; I claim'd a share of it, but he would not give it me. I should have run him through with the bayonet in his own room on that account, had it not been for Foster.

Elizabeth Longate . I am a pawn-broker; Hardwick pawn'd a silver watch with me for 25 s. about three weeks ago.

Q. Did you know him before?

E. Longate. Yes, my lord, I did.

Q. Had he any company with him at that time?

E. Longate. I don't know as he had.

Q. Where is that watch now?

E. Longate. His wife fetch'd it out again.

Hardwick. I sent her, she was a company keeper of mine; I have not seen her since.

Q. to Eliz. Longate. Can you remember what sort of a watch it was?

E Longate. The name was Humphries, I don't remember the number.

Q. to the Prosecutor. What was the name on your watch ?

Prosecutor. It was Humphries, number, one thousand, two hundred and odd, there was a bit of ribbon to it, a key, and a brass seal.

Q. What siz'd watch?

Prosecutor. A middle siz'd watch, in a double case.

E. Longate. It had a string, a middle siz'd watch, I don't remember a seal.

Dawson's Defence. What Hardwick says is false, as God is true; I had some money given me by a person faceing the Hampshire Hog; I was not in his company that day.

Foster's Defence. I was drinking with Hardwick at the Portland's prize, he ask'd me to take a walk out in the morning; I did not know where he was going; he took hold of that man by the collar when he got into these fields.

Both Guilty .

Death .

73, 74. (M.) William Dawson , a second time, and Little Will , were indicted for that they together on the king's highway on James O Farrel did make an assault, putting him in bodily fear and danger of his life, and stealing from him one hat, value 3 s. one handkerchief, val. 6 d. one cloath coat, value 7 s. 6d. one walking cane with a china head, value 5 s. one snuff-box, and 13 s. and 3 d. in money number'd , Nov. 11 . And Ann Dunkerton , spinster , for receiving, on the 12th of the said month, the hat and cloth coat, knowing them to be stolen . ++

James O Farrel . I was coming from Limehouse on the 11th of Nov. about 6 o'clock in the evening to Rosemary-Lane where I lodge; I met three men, one of them had on a white frock, I ask'd them the way thither, they told me, they'd shew me the nearest way; they brought me over the fields into a street, then they bid me stand; one of them took hold of me, and the other two were standing before me, they put something to my breast, and said, if I stir'd they'd blow my brains out; they took a cane from me with a china head, then they search'd my pockets, and put every thing out into their hats or caps; there were four half crowns, 3 s. 3 d. a snuff box, two keys, a seal and a penknife, a mettle ring, a medal of our Saviour and the blessed Virgin, some pocket pieces, a silver loop and button to a hat, some silver capt buttons, my hat from my head, handkerchief from my neck, and a surtout coat from off my back, then they went away: I cry'd out murder, it being near some houses; after this part of my goods were advertised on the 28th in the paper. I went to the New Goal Surry, to Mr. Johnson, to know if he had any such men in his custody; there I found Dawson; I ask'd him what he meant by advertising four men that robb'd me, when there were but three; he said, the mistake was made by the justice; he told me my cane was sold for a shilling.

Q. Did you know the men that robb'd you?

O Farrel. It was too dark, my lord, to know them.

Q. Have you seen any of your goods since?

O Farrel, I have seen my coat since, it is here.

Eliz. Longate. Last Sunday was se'nnight, Sir Clifford William Phillips sent to my house after it was dark, to ask me if I had a coat in pawn, in the name of Ann Dawson ; I went and found one, so I went with the messenger to Sir Clifford. The woman at the bar brought it to me, the 12th of Nov. I took it in myself; she told me it was her father's coat; I lent her 3 s. 6 d. upon it, &c.

Q. Do you know her father?

E. Longate. I don't know she has one alive.

John Hardwick . Dawson, I, and Little Will, committed this robbery; Dawson and I were drinking at the Portland's prize, about seven oclock on the 11th of November, we went to Little Will's lodgings, he ask'd us where we were going, we told him upon the Scamp; we went all three together, and met the prosecutor.

Q. Did Little Will know the meaning of that word?

Hardwick. Yes, he did better than I did; we went towards Stepney Fields, it was a very thick hazey night; at a rope-walk hard by Stepney, we saw a man dress'd well, we followed him, he ask'd us the way to Rag Fair; Dawson said to him, follow us, we are going there: we carried him a back way, and at a corner when we got out of the rope-walk, the gentleman said, it was too dirty for him; said Dawson, Why don't you stop him? then I laid hold of him, and said, stand: I was behind him, and the other two were before him: the two prisoners took hold of him directly ; after Dawson had taken away his cane with a china head, I search'd him, we took from him three or four half crowns; the cane was sold in Jews-court, it was a very large one; I took from him some pocket pieces, a bunch of keys, with a seal on them, and some buttons capt with silver; we took his hat, coat and handkerchief, it was a white coat lined with coarse Blew ; the same was

produced by the pawnbroker, which the prosecutor deposed to) I carried the coat and hat, Dawson had the money, and Little Will came running along side us ; he had hold of the prosecutor at the time. I said, I'd knock him down if he made any resistance: we came to the Portland's Prize, and shared what Dawson pleased to pull out for us; the coat and hat were given to that woman, ( the prisoner at the bar, Dawson's wife) and she said she would go and pawn it.

Q. How long has she been his wife?

Hardwick. I do not know that; the next day we were at the Portland's Prize, when she came in and said, she had pawned the coat for two shillings and the hat for one.

Q. What quantity of the money had Little Will?

Hardwick. He had half a crown, we had each the same.

Little Will's Defence.

These two men came to me to my lodgings; I asked them where they were going, but they did not tell me upon what account: as we were going through Stepney field they informed me of their design, and said that I must do the same as they did.

Dunkerton's Defence.

What I did was by my husband's direction:

Dawson and Will guilty Death .

Dunkerton Acquitted .


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