Henry Clark, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 26th October 1757.

Reference Number: t17571026-6
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

381. (M.) Henry Clark was indicted for that he, on the king's highway, on Thomas Parker did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one silver watch, value 3 l. one half guinea, and 5 s. in money, the property of the said Thomas , Sept. 19 . +

Thomas Parker . On the 19th of September last I was going in a post chaise from London, to a place call'd Thorp, about fifty yards on this side the Bohemia's-Head , going to Turnham-Green, I was stop'd by a single highwayman on horseback. I did not hear any body call to the boy that was driving me, but the boy told me afterwards that the man call'd to him twice to stop.

Q. What time was this ?

Parker. This was but a little before twelve at night.

Q. Was it light or dark?

Parker. It was very dark. I asked him what he wanted (I am one of his majesty's messengers, and I thought it was somebody come to counter-order me in the duty I was sent upon.) It was some time before he answer'd me. Then he said he was necessitated and must have my money. I told him my money that I had about me was very little, I was only going to Hounslow. I had half a guinea, five shillings, and some halfpence, which I gave him. After that I said to the boy go on, but he being surprised, did not stir with the chaise. Then the prisoner said to me, I believe you have given me only halfpence. Then I told him distinctly what money it was; I suppose he then had pocketed it. He came up again and said, I must have your watch. I said, my watch will be but of little service to you, it is an old silver one, and my name and the date of the year are engraved on it, and it may only deceive you; he swore then his necessity was such that he must have it.

Q. Have you seen the watch since?

Parker. It is here in court.

Q. Can you swear to the man that rob'd you?

Parker. It was so dark I cannot.

Thomas Bishop . On Tuesday the 20th of September last, between the hours of twelve and one at noon the prisoner came into my shop.

Q. Where do you live?

Bishop. In Holbourn; he offer'd me this watch to sell.

Q. What is your business?

Bishop. I keep a sale shop, and buy and sell watches, swords, &c. He asked me 4 guineas for it. He said he was going where he should have no occasion for it, therefore he would sell it. I ask'd him if it was his own. I saw a different name on the inside the outside case, but on the work of the watch there was, '' Jason Cox , Long-Acre.'' I asked him how

he came by it, and he said it was made for him by Mr. Grigg, in St. Giles's Street. I said if he could prove it to be his own property I would buy it, but to me it did not appear to be made by Mr. Grigg, for the reason before mention'd. I called one of my men down, and bid him go to Mr. Cox, in Long-Acre, to desire him to step to me directly; to which the prisoner complied very willingly, to outward appearance, but the man had not gone past 8 or 10 doors before he went out of the shop and walk'd off. Mr. Cox came, and I shew'd him the watch, desiring him to tell me who he made it for. He said he believed he could tell by his book at home. I waited on him thither, and found it was made for a person that lived with the duke of Newcastle. I went to the duke's house, and on inquiry found out the prosecutor, who had formerly lived servant there. When I asked him if he had been rob'd, he said he had been rob'd (he thought ) by a girl in breeches.

Q. What did he mean by that?

Bishop. He said because when he tap'd at the chaise door, he tap'd like a lady with a fan. I asked him if he had been rob'd of a watch; he said he had, that there was a green string tied to it, and his name on the inside case (but that had been rub'd out since) then I shew'd it to him, and he own'd it.

Q. When did you see the prisoner after that ?

Bishop. He was taken by means of the advertisement the Thursday after, and I saw him that afternoon at justice Fielding's.

Q. You say there was a different name on the inside case ?

Bishop. It was on a bill on the inside the case, Richard Grigg . (The watch produced in court.)

Prosecutor. This is my property, I carried it in my pocket 25 years.

George Cox sworn.

Parker. May I be admitted to speak a word or two before this man gives his evidence. When I found the bill at Hicks's-hall, this Cox now sworn came and hector'd, and swore in a bad manner that he would have his name put down as an evidence. I asked him if he knew either the horse or the man; he said he knew the horse by a cough that he had. It appears to me he only wants the reward, if the poor fellow is convicted.

George Cox . About eight at night, on the 19th of September, as I was driving a post-chaise with a gentleman and lady in it, opposite the four mile stone by Hammersmith (coming towards London) a gentleman met me, and order'd me to stop.

Q. Did you know him?

Cox. No; I can't say it was the prisoner.

Q. Did you drive Mr. Parker that night ?

Cox. No.

William Edwards . I am ostler to Mr. Beekford, who lets our horses and post-chaises. I deliver'd a horse which we call Black-Jack to the prisoner at the bar, who had hired him about three or four in the afternoon, to be ready at six, at which time he came and I deliver'd him to him.

Q. What day was this?

Edwards. It was on a Monday in September, but I don't know the day of the month.

Q. Whither did he hire the horse to go to ?

Edwards. To go to Croydon.

Q. to prosecutor. Did you observe any thing of the horse?

Prosecutor. All I can say of him is, I believe he had a swish tail.

Q. Was you put in fear ?

Prosecutor. I can't say I was much in fear.

Q. Did you observe any instrument he had?

Prosecutor. When he demanded my watch the second time, I perceived something like metal shine in his hand, which I thought might be a pistol.

Q. to Edwards. When did the prisoner return with the horse?

Edwards. I took the horse of him about 2 o'clock on the Tuesday morning.

Q. Can't you recollect what day of the month it was ?

Edwards. It was the same night that Mr. Parker was rob'd.

Q. Where is the horse now?

Edwards. He is in my master's stable now.

Q. to prosecutor. What day of the week was you rob'd ?

Prosecutor. On a Monday night.

Q. to Edwards. How came you to know Mr. Parker was rob'd that night your horse was out?

Edwards. I was told there had been a robbery that night, by a post boy that return'd at the same time.

Q. Then why did not you stop the prisoner?

Edwards. Because I was alone when he came back.

Prisoner's Defence.

I hired the horse he speaks of on a Tuesday evening, and when I came home about two the next morning there was a watchman by the gate, who took the horse of me, and I gave him three pence. Mr. Bishop says I told him I bought the watch of Grigg, it was not so; I bought it of a sailor on the

road, who wanted money, and told me he was going to Portsmouth. He said I should have it for a guinea and a half, or two guineas, he wanting money to bear his expenses. I was about buying a watch before, so bought that.

Guilty , Death .


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