Thomas Twinbrow, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 18th July 1753.

Reference Number: t17530718-32
Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdicts: Guilty
Punishments: Death

347. (M.) Thomas Twinbrow , was indicted for that he on the king's-highway, on John Bowden , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person against his will, one canvas bag, value 1 d. 56 guineas, 20 s. in silver, 14 six pences, and Portugal gold in divers pieces; in the whole to the amount of 75 l . 9 s. his property, &c July 16 . +

John Bowden . On Monday last Mr. Thornton, and I, were going home from Smithfield Market, to Watford; riding side by side between the 5 and 6 mile stones in the Edgware-road, all on a sudden I saw a man ride up to Mr. Thornton, and say something to him, what I did not hear; Mr. Thornton said, what do you say? then the> man said, Sir, your money .

Q. What time of the day was this ?

Bowden. It was just turned of six in the afternoon.

Q. Do you know that man, that said, Sir, your money ?

Bowden. The prisoner at the bar is the man; upon this Mr. Thornton rode on into a gallop, and so did I, the prisoner pushed on, and got before, and turned upon us; and said, what do you mean by riding away from me, if you move, or stir a yard, I'll shoot you dead; and clapped a pistol to Mr. Thornton, and said to him, why don't you make haste and pull out your money; Mr. Thornton put his hand through his great coat side: the prisoner said what are you fumbling about; drop none, for if you do, i'll shoot you this minute; Mr. Thornton, pulled out his bag, and the prisoner took it and put it into his pocket; then he came to me, and said, where is your money; I said I had but little; he said, I know you have money, don't talk to me, and clapped his pistol to me, I was very unwilling to pull out mine, he swore he'd shoot me; I saw Mr. Thornton, look very pale and afrighted, and finding I must deliver it, I pulled out my bag, and delivered it to the prisoner, which he put into his pocket.

Q. What was in your bag?

Bowden. There was in it, in English and Portugal money, gold and silver, to the amount of 75 l. 9 s. in the whole. After this the prisoner said, Now make the best of your way, for if you pretend to turn back or follow me, I'll shoot you dead upon the spot. And away he rode as hard as he could for London.

Q. Was his face cover'd?

Bowden. No, my lord, it was not; then I said to Mr. Thornton, for God's sake let us pursue him: Mr. Thornton said, I must secure some money which I have dropp'd out of my bag loose into my breeches, so he got off his horse and found nine guineas which he had put there, and took and put them into his pocket; then we set out with speed. In riding about half a mile we met a man which I know'd. I ask'd him if he met a man on a cropp'd mare, he said he did not, but saw a man ride up for Hampstead heath a great pace, then we pursued as fast as we could go, out before we got to Hampstead heath, we met a woman of whom we asked as before; she informed us there was a man riding a great pace. We followed as she directed, then we came to a gate in the road, at which sat a girl to open it, we ask'd her if she saw a man ride a-pace that way, she said he was just gone across the common; we rode after him into Hampstead town, and enquired of a man that we know w told us that the man was at his door buying a whip pot a minute ago. We rode on and at Hampstead hill, by the Red-lyon, I saw the prisoner before us; there were some gentlemen riding to London well mounted, I told them we had been robb'd by that man, meaning the prisoner, and desir'd they'd ride on and call out highwayman, then they rode on, and we after them. There were some gentlemen sitting drinking at the George, one of them catch'd hold of the prisoner's bride. I soon came up and took hold on his collar, and said, Friend, I am gald to see you once more.

Q. How long do you think this might be after the time of the robbery?

Bowden. It might be better than half an hour. I told the people the prisoner had a pistol about him, then that was taken out of his pocket first The next thing was a powder horn, the next a bag, and as soon as I saw it I said I'll swear that is my bag. (The bag and money produc'd in court by the constable, and the money told over in court by the prosecutor, and depos'd to.) The people not finding Mr. Thornton's bag, we asked him where he had put that, he told us he had dropp'd that going to shift it out of one pocket into the other, as he was going to come on the common; (we never could find it). We took him before the justice, and the justice ask'd him what he had to say for himself, he said he had nothing to say for or against it.

James Sangoe . On Monday in the afternoon, as I was drinking at the George alehouse, at Pond-street, near Hampstead, in company with others; as I sat on my mare, I heard the call Stop thief! Stop highwayman!

I saw several people coming full gallop, the prisoner being first I turn'd my mare's bead round and catch'd hold on the prisoner's bridle, but my mare flew so that I was obliged to let go my hold, and another man catch'd hold on it, then I got off my horse, we seiz'd the prisoner, and took him into the house, and search'd him, the first thing we found was a pistol.

Q. Was it loaded ?

Sangoe. It was, my lord, the next was a small flask of powder, a clasp knife, two keys, and two shillings and sixpence in money. He said don't take that from me, that is my own money, that I did not rob the men off, so I gave it him again, then I began to search the other side and took out this bag here produc'd with the money in it. The prosecutor said, Dear sir, that's my bag, I'll swear to it. Then Mr. Thornton said, where it the yellow bag you took from me, he said he had dropp'd the endeavouring to shift it out of his coat pocket, into his breeches, in the lane coming up to Hampstead heath; then he was taken before Mr. Harrings he said little or nothing there. He was committed to Newgate, and going in the coach he told us it was the first fact he ever committed, but that he had made an attempt on the Saturday in the afternoon on Black heath, to stop a cause, but people coming he was oblig'd to sist. That on the Sunday he lay by, and on the Monday he went out in the morning, and stay'd between three and four hours on Finchley common, but neither with thing he return'd to Highgate, to Hampstead mad, and on to Edgware, that there he stay the t, till he met with these gentleman; was to meet with a gentleman that was to his father, post chaise. But he my with these two persons, me too their money, for which he was very sorry.

Abraham Strulton . I was drinking at the George alehouse with others, I hearing the cry Stop a high wayman! saw several come galloping; Mr. Sangoe stopp'd the prisoner, but he slip'd from his hand. I jump'd from my mare, and ran and laid hold on the prisoner's bridle; the prisoner said don't stop me, it is only a joak, I said stay a little longer let us see if it is a true joak. Mr. Sangoe jump'd from his horse, and we took the prisoner off his horse into the house, and search'd him. The rest as the former witness'd, with this addition, That another man was to have been with him when he made the attempt on Black-heath, but he was taken for debt, the thought ), and put into the Compter.

Jacob Sawered . I was at the George drinking a pint of beer, by myself; the other witnesses were there. I hearing the cry a highwayman, went out at the door, and there I saw the prisoner surrounded we carried him into the house, I took this pistol out of his pocket, and left him for others to search him.

Edward Haroway . I am constable, I was present when the prisoner was taken and search'd, he produc'd the pistol, powder horn, and a bullet, which seem'd to have been made of the knob at the bottom of the handle of a pewter pint pot, all found upon the prisoner. I went with him to justice Harrington, and to Newgate, he said going along he was very sorry for what he had done.

John Truclove . I was at the taking the prisoner, and took him by the collar when Mr. Strutton had hold of the bridle, and pull'd him off his horse. (The rest as the other witnesses.)

George Thornton . I and the prosecutor were going home from Smithfield Market, to Watford; between the 5 and 6 miles stones the prisoner came to me and said your money, I said what do you mean, he said your money, sir, then we try'd to ride away, but he got before us and headed us, and said what do you mean by riding away, and threaten'd to shoot us if we refus'd to give him our money. I said we have but very little, he said we had money both of us ; I put my hand to my pocket, and he said give me your money directly, or I'll shoot you. I fumbled out about nine guineas from my bag into my breeches, and deliver'd the rest in the bag, and id now you have got all my money I hope you'r return me some; he answer'd No. the D - l a farthing After that he demanded Mr. Bowden's money, which he gave him; then the prisoner said go along, I see you look back or offer to follow me I'll shoot you dead; and went off for London. I got down and took care of the little I had saved; then we followed the prisoner. (The rest as the prosecutor had depos'd ).

The prisoner had nothing to say in his defence, but denied he had made any confession of an attempt on Blacklenth, and that of saying he had been on Finchley common that morning.

George Carter , John Gyles , Richard Pen , Joseph Holmes , and Jonathan Lee , appeared for the prisoner, the contents of what they said was, That the prisoner's father was a worthy, honest tradesman in the city of London, a man of great credit and reputation; but said little about the prisoner. Guilty , Death .

There was another indictment against him for robbing Mr Thornton , but there being no occasion, he was not tried upon that.

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