William Holmes, John Newton, Francis Mandeville, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 16th October 1751.

Reference Number: t17511016-18
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

563, 564, 565. (M.) William Holmes , otherwise Bunks , John Newton , and Francis Mandeville , were indicted for that they, together with Jonathan Stevens not yet taken, in the king's highway, on Joseph Chandler did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear &c. one linen stock, value 2 d. one silver stock buckle, value 3 s. one pair of metal shoe buckles, one pair of knee buckles, one guinea and 4 s. 6 d. in money numbered, did steal, take, &c. Sept, 29 . ||

Joseph Chandler . I live at Plastow in Essex. I was walking from Rag-Fair to come to the Green Dragon in Church-lane, Whitechapel , where my horse was; on the 29th of Sept. as near as I can guess, between eight and nine in the evening, a man met me, and asked me what o'clock it was; as soon as I had spoke he took me by the collar and pin'd me up against the side of the house, and put his hand to my throat; this was the evidence; and then came up I thought six or seven; they searched my side pockets; they took out my shoe and knee buckles, I happened not to have my watch about me; I had a guinea and 4 s, 6 d. in silver, and some halfpence, which they took; they took my stock and silver stock-buckle.

Q. Which of them took your money?

Chandler. Mandeville's hand was in my pocket, he is a very handy man, I am sure I know him again.

Q. Was it light ?

Chandler. Not very light, my lord, but light enough to know them; John Newton took my shoe buckles out; in taking them out he said, d - n them, I believe they are silver; them two I know and the evidence; I will not swear to Holmes, but I take it he was the person that took my stock off. Some of them snatched off my hat and wig; Symonds, the evidence, said to me, how much money have you in your pocket? I told him; no, d - n you, he said to them, you shall not strip him; there was a dispute betwixt them about it; said he, give him his hat and wig again, which they accordingly did; they went away towards Whitechapel church, it being my way I followed them. Presently I perceived some of them coming towards me; they said if I came any further they would blow my brains out; then I turned back, and went up Red Lion-street, and so to my inn; this was on the Sunday night, and on Tuesday two men came to my house (I had told the hostler and people of the house of the robbery) by whose direction they found me; I came to London with them, and saw the prisoners before Justice Richards; then I knew Newton and Mandeville. I had a hat before my face part of the time of the robbery, but then I had a good view of Newton, he standing by my side; but I saw them before and after that. A pair of buckles produced in court, he deposed they were taken out of the knees of his breeches, and that he saw them taken from out of the breeches knees of Holmes after he was taken ; the shoe buckles were shown and deposed to.

Q. Was you put in fear?

Chandler. I was; I would have given all I had in the world to have been clear of them.

John Symonds . I had been acquainted with the three prisoners about seven days before this fact; we met together at the Queen's-head, an alehouse in the Back lane; we used to set out in the dark between seven and eight o'clock. Sept. 29 at night, we consented to stop the first man we met that had any thing about him; there was one Jonathan Stevens with us, he is not apprehended yet. We had been in Stepney-fields ; about nine we stopped the prosecutor at the end of Church-lane; I asked him what it was o'clock; he said he could not tell. I stopped him and said, you must give me what you have about you. He made a little sort of a resistance ; I took him and shov'd him against a wall; the other four came up. I held him whilst they took what he had about him; I never saw the stock buckle; Holmes said nothing to us of that. Mandeville took from him a guinea and 4 s. 6 d. and some halfpence; we made the best of our way when we had done to the Blue Anchor in the Back lane; there we had some slip and changed a guinea, and divided every man a share; we were all four taken on Monday night at the Queen's Head, where we were before, and carried the next day before the Justice. The prosecutor came there; Holmes had the knee buckles in

his own breeches, which we took from the prosecutor ; he owned them. The prosecutor charged Mandeville, Newton. and me there; he said he thought Holmes was the man that took the stock and stock buckle; the shoe buckles were carried to the house of our rendezvous, they being only metal we left them there on a shelf; they were shewn to him, and he deposed they were the same &c.

Q. How were you armed?

Symonds. We had each of us a stick, and only one large knife.

Ralph Mitchel . We had intelligence of the house, the Queen's Head, where these prisoners were to be found; so one Valentine, Edward Millings , Collet Stanley, Harris, Macdaniel and I, went there; the prisoners made a very stout resistance. but we over-powered them, and took them all together. Bunks said, this is a grab, I may as well be hanged at first as at last. The knee buckles were taken out of his breeches at a publick house after his mittimus was made; there he was making game of the others, saying to them, what signifies it to send for your friends to speak for you? you had better send for them to save you from the surgeons.

George Bartington . I have seen the prisoners and evidence Symonds, together often, and another that is not here.

Mandeville produced his discharge from on board a ship to prove he could not have been acquainted with Symonds so long as he had said, but it appeared to be dated September 20.

All three guilty Death .


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