Benjamin Search, John Green, Samuel Garrett, John Edwards, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 20th April 1757.

Reference Number: t17570420-44
Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdicts: Guilty; Not Guilty; Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishments: Death; Death

189, 190, 191. (M.) Benjamin Search , John Green , and Samuel Garrett , were indicted for that they in a certain field or open place, near the king's highway, on Thomas Scott did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one silver watch, value 5 l. one bloodstone seal set in silver, value 5 s. and 17 s. and 6 d. in money number'd, his property , March the 6th .

Thomas Scott . On the 6th of March last, between eight and nine in the evening, I went out of my house at Brumpton to shew a man the way into the high-road to Kensington. Returning home, about the middle of shoulder of mutton field (a three corner'd field, not above a hundred yards from the high way, there came three soldiers up to me; the first came up to my side, and gave me a blow on my shoulder, and turn'd me into the ditch; then they all three fell upon me, but as yet there was never a word spoke. I said it was not fair play, and desired them to help me up, and let me know what they wanted, and if I had any thing that they wanted they should have it; then he knock'd me down, clapped his hand to my mouth, and said d - n your soul if you speak a word I'll cut your throat, and at the same time cut me along the side of my face on my cheek with a hanger, which was visible to be seen for several days; one of them pulled my watch from my fob.

Q. What sort of a watch was it?

Scott. It was a silver watch. Another put his hand into my right side pocket, and took out 17 s. and sixpence and a single farthing; then they went away. As soon as they were out of sight I went to Kensington to a public-house, and took a man with me and went to the guard-room, and had the rolls called over; the first regiment were upon duty there. I knew it could not be any of them by their cloaths, for I had taken particular notice of the trimmings of their cloaths, and found they belonged to the second regiment. I went the next morning being Monday to justice Fielding, and made information of the thing, and also to Mr. Legrand in Spring Gardens; the next Saturday Mr. Legrand sent me word to be at his house on the Sunday morning. I went to the Savoy with capt. Devenant, and there I saw all the three prisoners; one of them, I think it was John Green, own'd they had stopped a man at that very time and in that very place but did not know it was me, and that he took a particular half-crown wrap'd up in a piece of paper, which he said he changed at a cook's shop, I think in St. Martin's Court, and that he said was all he had.

Q. Was it light or dark?

Scott. There was snow fell now and then, and it was moonlight.

Q. Could you by that dissinguish any of their faces?

Scott. Not so as I would have sworn to any of them, if they had not own'd it in the Savoy; I should have been very loth to have done it.

Q. Had they any accoutrements about them?

Scott. No, they had regimental cloaths on and but one hanger, and when I saw them in the Savoy they had the same regimentals on.

Q. Did you ever see that half crown again?

Scott. No, I did not; when they were before justice fielding my watch was taken out of Search's pocket.

Search. It was not taken out of my pocket, I delivered it up.

Q. Which do you think it was that knock'd you down ?

Scott. I believe it was Search, but I will not be positive.

Q. How do you distinguish the second regiment from the first ?

Scott. They differ in their pockets.

Nathaniel Hill Stretton. Search delivered this watch to me at justice Fielding's (producing one) and said that was the watch.

Scott. This is the watch I was robbed of that night, my property.

Q. to Stretton. How came you to be at justice Fieldings?

Stretton. I am servant to Mr. Akerman, and I went with the prisoners in order for them to be examined there.

James Benning . I am a serjeant in the Cold-stream regiment to which the three prisoners belonged; there was a letter dated March 9th, signed Fielding, brought to the office belonging to that regiment, setting forth several robberies committed about town by soldiers or persons in soldiers cloathing, and desiring the commanding officers would do their best endeavour to find them out; accordingly my commanding officer gave me orders to do what I could in observing who wore watches, or who had more money than usual; after that my comrade telling me he had a suspicion of William Randall , we went to him and told him he was suspected of several robberies, and if he would impeach it probably might save his life; accordingly he did, before capt. Devenant. I also heard John Green say before the capt. and the prosecutor, he had been importuned by Wm Randall to go upon the highway, and said he was in company with him, Search and Garrett, but he did not lay hands on the prosecutor, neither did he know their intent was to rob him, but that he had half a crown of the money.

Q. How did he describe the prosecutor?

Benning. He said it was a man that they had stopped in the fields between Kensington and Brumpton.

Q. Did he say when?

Benning. I think it was on the 14th or 15th of March that he told me this, but he did not tell me at what time it was done as I can recollect.

Q. Where was this confession made?

Benning. It was in a room in the Savoy; since I have known Green I never knew him brought before a court-martial, or guilty of any ill, but always took him to be an honest man.

Thomas Eaton . I am servant to Mr. Akerman the keeper of Newgate. I went along with the prisoners to justice Fielding, who ordered us to search them. Search pulled out a watch from his waistcoat pocket and delivered it to my fellow servant Stretton; the prosecuter own'd it, but said his seal was not on it. Search said he would deliver the seal to me, and a day or two after that I went up into the goal and he delivered it to me; produced in court and deposed to by the prosecutor to be the same that was on his watch when taken from him.

Search's Defence.

The watch was brought to me by a woman while I was at justice Fielding's and she is now gone into the country.

Green's Defence.

I know nothing at all of the affair, I never saw the watch till I saw it before justice Fielding.

Garrett's Defence.

I know nothing of the watch, till I saw it delivered by Search at the justice's.

For Green.

Charles Barrow , Esq; The prisoner Green's father has a considerable estate, to the amount of a hundred a year, in the neighbourhood where I liv'd in Gloucestershire; he was bred an attorney in the city of Gloucester, and behaved so well that recommended him to a gentleman in Doctor's Commons. After that I believe he got acquainted with some women of the town, and inlisted into the guards; during the time that I knew him, he was really very diligent.

Thomas Studd . I am a serjeant in the company which Green belongs to; he always behaved extremely well upon duty, from what ever I heard or knew.

Q. What is his general character in private life, when off of duty?

Studd. I never heard any thing amiss of him.

Q. What regiment do you belong to?

Studd. I am in the Coldstream regiment.

Q. Do you know the other prisoners?

Studd. I do; they were men that always behav'd extremely well, and did their duty regularly.

Q. How long have you been in the regiment?

Studd. I have been in the army almost nineteen years; I never knew men do their duty better, till this great misfortune.

Search and Green

Guilty , Death .

Garrett Acq .

( M.) Benjamin Search and John Green were a second time indicted for that they, in company

with (192.) John Edwards , in a certain field or open place, near the king's-highway, on Ann Drew , spinster , did make an assault, putting her in corporal fear and danger of her life, and taking from her person one pair of shoes, value 4 s. one linen apron, value 4 s. three handkerchiefs, value 3 s. three linen caps, value 2 s. one pair of silk gloves, value 2 s. and one pair of lawn sleeves, value 2 s. her property , March 8 .

Ann Drew . On the 8th of March, about five in the afternoon, I and Mr. Ingall set out from the George at Finchley, to come to Red-Lion-street, Holbourn, and when we came to the Long-field we were stop'd by four soldiers; one of them said hold on me and said, if I would not deliver my money they would blow my brains out; the other three went to Mr. Ingall I had a bundle in my hand, which I was unwilling to give them; but he saying he would blow my brains out if I did not, I delivered it. While I had my hand in my pocket to give them my money, Mr. Ingall came to me, and away they all four ran.

Q. What was in the bundle?

A. Drew. A pair of shoes, a pair of russles, a pair of sleeves, three handkerchiefs, three caps, a lawn apron, and a pair of gloves, all my property.

Q. What are you?

A. Drew. I am a mantua-maker.

Q. Do you know the prisoners at the bar?

A. Drew. I do not.

Q. Did you ever see your things again?

A. Drew. I have; the serjeant has got them.

Produced in court. all but the shoes.

Q. Look at these things, do you know them?

A. Drew. They are my property; the same I lost at that time.

John Ingall . I was coming along with the prosecutrix from Finchley; in the fields there came four soldiers up to us. I had my gun on my arm. They swore if I did not give it to them, they would knock me down. They laid hold on it. Then they bid me deliver my money. While I was shuffling with them, one of them got his hand into my pocket, and took out my watch and money.

Q. Did you see them take any thing from the prosecutrix?

Ingall. They took a bundle of cloaths from her.

Q. Can you take upon you to say any thing, with respect to any of the prisoners at the bar?

Ingall. I think I remember something of Green. He gave me a push, and I had like to have sell into a ditch; but it being dark I cannot be positive.

William Randall . I and the three prisoners at the bar met the prosecutrix and this last witness in Pancras-fields; on this side Pancras I attacked her, and the three prisoners attack'd the gentleman.

Q. Was there any agreement with you before this?

Randall. There was. I took her bundle from her

Q. What did you say to her?

Randall. I don't know whether I spoke to her or not, only asked her for her bundle.

Q. How far were you, at that time, from the three prisoners?

Randall. We were close together. After we had got his gun, watch and buckles, and her bundle, we all ran away over the fields homewards. We came into London from towards Marybone way, but I can't say the name of the street; I parted with them, and went to my quarters. The next day we all found one another. Green sold the shoes in Thieving lane for a shilling.

Q. How came he by them out of the bundle that you took?

Randall. I carried them to him the next morning, and kept the other things in my quarters, and when I was before Mr. Fielding I told them they were in my knap lack, hanging up against the wall.

Q. Where did you meet before you set out that night?

Randall. We met at the Plumb of Feathers in Charles's-Court, by Hungerford-Market, and from thence set out all together.

Q. from Green. Whether he did not tell me these were a pair of shoes he had of a maid he had lain with all night, and she gave them him to sell to get him money for a breakfast ?

Randall. I did not tell him any such thing; he knew I took them from the woman, and asked me what was in the handkerchief. I did not open it, but they felt about it, and found there was a pair of shoes.

Q. Was you ever in this court before?

Randall. No, never.

Q. Was not you once concerned in a robbery near Turnham Green. about four years ago, and admitted an evidence?

Randall. I impeached two men, but they never were taken.

James Benning . When I went to the house where Randall was quarter'd, his landlord and I search'd his knap sack, that hung against a wall in his room; we found in it the things produced here, which the prosecutrix has sworn to.

Search's Defence.

I know nothing at all of it.

Green's Defence.

I never was out of town with the evidence in my life; he told me he had the shoes of a girl.

Edward's Defence.

I never was out of town with Randall, except at Kensington upon guard, in my life.

All three guilty , Death .

(M.) Samuel Garrett and Benjamin Search were a third time indicted for that they, on the king's-highway, on Joseph Ellis , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person one silver watch, value 3 l. one half guinea, and 1 s. and 6 d. in money number'd, his property , Feb. 9 .

Joseph Ellis . On Wednesday evening, betwixt seven and eight o'clock, the 9th of February, I was in a lane call'd Robinson's-lane, Chelsea , near the King's private road, going to the duke of Marlborough's house; there came three men up to me and asked me what I had on my back. I said corn.

Q. Did you observe how they were dressed?

Ellis. They were in soldiers cloaths. I past them. One of them turn'd again, and said if I made any resistance they would run me through, and began to rifle my pockets. The others were close by, one behind and the other before me; but neither of them did any thing to me.

Q. What did that person take from you?

Ellis. He took a silver watch, a half guinea in gold, and one shilling and six-pence; after which they all made off as fast as possible.

Q. Do you know either of the prisoners?

Ellis. I can't swear to any of their faces.

Q. How came you to take them up?

Ellis. I heard of them by justice Fielding; I went there, and they were accused of it by the evidence.

Q. What did they say for themselves there?

Ellis. They neither own'd nor denied it.

William Randall . I don't know the day of the month, but the two prisoners and I were all together in Chelsea fields.

Q. What was your business there ?

Randall. We went there with an intent to rob.

Q. Where did you set out from?

Randall. From my own quarters in John Street, Golden Square. When the prosecutor told me he was rob'd in those fields, I remember'd we were the people that rob'd him.

Q. Which of you stop'd him?

Randall. It might be me that put my hand to his shoulder.

Q. Who took the things from him ?

Randall. Search took the watch and I his money.

Q. Which of you took hold of him first ?

Randall. I don't know.

Q. What is become of the watch ?

Randall. It is here now. Produced in court, and deposed to by the prosecutor.

Q. What money was taken from the prosecutor?

Randall. There was half a guinea in gold. and one shilling and six pence. We sold the watch to Mr. Studd the serjeant for 25 s. and a pair of breeches.

Q. Who sold it?

Randall. Search and I did.

Q. What had Garrett for his share?

Randall. I don't know, but he had either 6 d. or 9 d. out of the money.

Q. What pretence did you make to him of your having it?

Randall. I told him it was my own, and that it was in pawn. Search and I went to meet Garrett as he came off his guard from the Hampton-Court party, but we had made the money away which was to be his share, and he was very angry with us.

Thomas Studd . William Randall told me he had a watch in pawn, and it was a familiar friend's, and that Samuel Garrett had pawn'd it before he deserted; he wanted me to buy it, and I knowing he for the generality wore a watch in his pocket, when Garrett was taken up as a deserter, then I told Randall now he'll be brought to a court-martial, and you'll have your watch again that he has pawn'd; he said he'd not say any thing abo ut it, for he'd get it out of pawn as he could; about two months after that time he brought it to me.

Q. What day did he bring it to you?

Studd. He brought it to me on the 10th of Feb. I really took him to be a very honest man. I bought it of him for 25 s. and a pair of breeches, which I deliver'd, and was to deliver him also another pair.

Q. Did the prisoners own to any thing before the justice when they were accused ?

Studd. No, they did not, but Randall did.

Garrett's Defence.

I never saw the watch in my life, I neither pawn'd it or took it out.

Search's Defence.

I know nothing at all of it.

Q. to prosecutor. What value do you set upon the watch?

Prosecutor. It is worth two guineas.

Both Acquitted .


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