Dennis Neal, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 5th December 1753.

Reference Number: t17531205-49
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

58. (M.) Dennis Neal otherwise John Clark was indicted, for that he, together with Job Horniblow, in a certain field or open place near the king's highway on Joseph Rixton did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one steal tobacco-box, value 6 d. one clasp knife, one iron key, and 4 s. 6 d. in money numbered , September 17 . +

Joseph Rixon . On the 17th of September I was coming from the sign of the boot, a public house on the farther side the Foundling-hospital .

Q. What time was it?

J. Rixton. Very near eight at night. Near the nether end of the Foundling-hospital I heard a voice say, what is it a clock; I answered I could not tell; immediately a man came up and clapped a pistol towards my belly.

Q. Was it light or dark?

J. Rixton. It was very dark. The man said d - n you your money; I said you are welcome to what I have; so gave it him, which was 4 s. 6 d. or 4 s. 9 d. then he said, d - n you your watch; I said I had no watch; he clapped his hands to my breeches, and hearing something jingle, said to his companions, which were on my left hand, here is more money, search that pocket; one of them put his hand in and took out some keys, a spectacle-case, and a penknife. Then I said pray give me my keys again, they will be of but little use to you; then he that stopped me said to the other, give him them again; they gave me them again as I thought, but when I came to look at them, there was one wanting; then they went away, but I do not know who they were.

Joseph Randolph . I was with the prisoner at the bar and Job Horniblow on the 17th of September; we went out with an intent to go upon the highway.

Q. When had you your first acquaintance with the prisoner?

J. Randolph. I had seen him before in the New-gaol, Surry, and there became acquainted with him; he was there to be an evidence at Croydon-assize.

Q. Where did you meet that night?

J. Randolph. I met him by accident in Chick-lane; Horniblow was with him, who was executed last Monday; we went together, and were going down Red-lion-street Holborn, about eight in the evening, the prisoner went first, Horniblow second, and I last; Horniblow put my hand to his pocket as we were going, where I felt a pistol; when we came to the Foundling-hospital, the prisoner said here is somebody coming, which was the prosecutor; the prisoner asked him what it was o'clock; the prosecutor said he could not tell; then he took hold on his collar, and said, d - n you deliver your money; the prosecutor delivered 4 s. 6 d. and some halfpence; then the prisoner said there is money in the other pocket. He also demanded his watch, but the prosecutor said he had never a one; then I put my hand into the pocket where he said something jingled, and took out some keys and a penknife, and delivered the keys into the prisoner's hand; then he searched his pockets

and found a tobacco-box, and after that bid him go about his business.

Q. Did you see a spectacle-case?

J. Randolph. I cannot tell whether there was one taken or no; the person executed and myself were taken up together for this very robbery.

Q. from prisoner. How came I acquainted with you?

J. Randolph. Horniblow was in custody in the New-gaol, Southwark; I went to see him there, and there came acquainted with the prisoner.

Prisoner. You went there to carry him some money.

J. Randolph. I at that time asked the prisoner to drink a glass of wine; but this was my very first robbery in company with the prisoner or Horniblow either.

William Norden . After Randolph was admitted an evidence, a magistrate, I think, named Woodrose, sent Mr. Fielding a letter, and an information of the prisoners; the name to the letter was Clark; Mr. Fielding asked me if I knew any person of that name. After having heard the description of him, I said it certainly must be Neal; the justice said he would have me go down to Winchester. I knew Neal when he was evidence on the other side the water; I went down in order to detain him for a murder. Horniblow had mentioned a robbery and murder he and Neal had done near Edger turnpike. I went to Winchester and found it to be the prisoner; I asked him to drink a glass of wine, and shewed him this steel tobacco-box; said he, that is the very tobacco-box that I took from a gentleman near the Foundling-hospital, and I have put it in my information.

Q. Where had you that box?

W. Norden. I took it from Randolph the evidence.

Q. Where was this confession made?

W. Norden. It was in the gaol; there was a justice of peace and several others heard it.

Q. to the prosecutor. Do you know that box?

Prosecutor. This is my tobacco-box, which I lost the night I was robbed.

Prisoner's Defence.

I have seen Randolph several times, but was never in his company, nor with him at that time when that man says he shew me the tobacco-box. There were two or three prisoners came together, he did not know me, he told me he came to bring me up to be an evidence, but they could not let me go with him.

Guilty Death .

See the trial of Horniblow, No. 519. in the last Sessions Paper.


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