Samuel Ong, John Davis, John Allen, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 13th January 1758.

Reference Number: t17580113-26
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

87, 88, 89. (M.) Samuel Ong , John Davis , and John Allen , were indicted for that they on the king's-highway, on Luke Rashbatch did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one 3 l. 12 s. piece of gold, three 36 s. pieces, one half guinea, and 14 s. in money, his property, and against his will , January 11 .*

Luke Rashbatch. I met with the three prisoners at the bar at a publick-house, on Tuesday last.

Q. Did you know them, or either of them before?

Rashbatch. I never saw either of them before.

Q. At what publick house did you meet with them?

Rashbatch. I don't know the house; I am a stranger.

Q. Don't you know the street not the sign?

Rashbatch. I think it was the Castle, and I think they call'd it Cabbage-Lane.

Q. About what time of the day?

Rashbatch. I can't tell; it might be about noon, or somewhere thereabouts.

Q. What was you doing?

Rashbatch. We were drinking together. One of them ask'd me what countryman. I said I was a Shropshire man.

Q. Which ask'd you that question?

Rashbatch. It was William Price that ask'd me that.

Q. Which is William Price ?

Rashbatch. He is turn'd witness. He said he was a Shropshire man too; then we seemed to be acquainted as if we had known one another before. Being countrymen we drank together all the evening.

Q. Were the three prisoners with you all the time?

Rashbatch. They were.

Q. How long do you mean you drank together ?

Rashbatch. 'Till about seven o'clock, but we did not stay all the time at one house.

Q. What house did you go to from the first house?

Rashbatch. We went to the Plough, I think it was, after that.

Q. What time was it that you went from the first publick house?

Rashbatch. I can't justly say.

Q. Did all the prisoners go along with you there ?

Rashbatch. They did; there were five of them in all.

Q What was the other?

Rashbatch. He is not taken, his name is William Smith . Before the hour of seven I had a mind to go towards my lodging. William Price asked me where I lodged, I said in Petty France, just by the Black Horse; he said he lodg'd in Petty France too, and he would go and shew me the way to the Black Horse, so he caused me to stay later than I would have done. William the drummer, that is not taken, was pretty near us. After we all came out of the house, Price said to me, follow me, we will drop these other men now, and we will have a pot of beer by ourselves at the Black Horse, but he took me the wrong way instead of the right way, which way he pleased. I saw the others following after the drummer. and as we were walking along I began to grumble at the way he took me, which was to very dirty places Then he said, it does not signify making words, you have money, and I must have some, and began to feel about my pockets. I said sure you will not use me so; he said don't make words, if you do you'll be drowned. The drummer came up very soon after, and began to feel in my pockets on the other side.

Q. Did Price take any thing from you before Smith came up?

Rashbatch. He did not, to the best of my knowledge. Smith ask'd Price if he had got any thing, and Price said he could not find the half guinea.

Q. Had they seen a half guinea of yours before?

Rashbatch. I had it in my hand. The drummer said, d - n him, he has more money, and we'll have it, and began searching the other side. One of them had a knife, and they began to cut my breeches open before, and put their hands in.

Q. Which of them had the knife?

Rashbatch. I can't say that. They cut the bottom of my pocket out, and took every half-penny of money that I had,

Q. What money did they take?

Rashbatch. They took a 3 l. 12 s. piece, three 36 s. pieces, half a guinea in gold, and a dozen or fourteen shillings, I can't swear to what silver I had, because I had been drinking, and did not know what I had spent. They also took my gloves, a handkerchief and a comb. I asked them if they would be so good as to let me have three half-pence or six pence again; they said no, never a farthing, without you have any that we have not found.

Q. Did any of the other prisoners appear?

Rashbatch. There were three persons at me, but I was so frighten'd that I cannot exactly tell.

Q. Did you see any body at a distance from you?

Rashbatch. There was one person that did not come up to me. I was put a little in a passion, because they said I should have none of my money. I said if I live, may be I shall see some of you hang'd. D - n your blood, said they, we will see you drown'd first.

Q. Who gave you that answer?

Rashbatch. I do not know, they began to push me, I was frighted very much, and they bid me go forward. I saw I was not far from the water. I was willing to get from them, and I got into the water.

Q. How deep?

Rashbatch. Up to my chin, my handkerchief was very wet about my neck, but my hat staid on.

Q. Was you sober?

Rashbatch. I was not sober, I might be half fuddled.

Q. Was you sober enough to recollect what was done?

Rashbatch. I have sworn the truth. I can recollect every thing as it was, I had like to have been drowned; to be sure God Almighty assisted me, and they left me. Then I got out and saw some lamps, and went on the backside of a house to a window, and call'd to the people to come and light me, for I had been rob'd and just drowned, and was in a very bad manner, and desired to lie in the stable, or any where, not being fit to go into any body's house; so they directed me to another house, and said very likely I might lodge there. When I came there, they ask'd me where I belong'd to, I said the Black Horse in Petty France; they said it was a mile or two from thence, and they would find a man along with me; accordingly they did, or I had never found it that night. On the morrow morning I got a constable, and found Price very soon.

Q. Where did you find him?

Rashbatch. He had been upon guard (they are all soluters ) I can't tell the name of the place, for every place is strange to me.

Q. Are you sure you was in company with the three prisoners that night?

Rashbatch. I am.

Q. from Ong. Did I speak to you?

Rashbatch. I can't tell who spoke to me when I was rob'd.

William Price . I am acquainted with all the prisoners.

Q. Have you heard what evidence the prosecutor has given?

Price. I have.

Q. Give an account what share the prisoners had in this affair?

Price. Last Tuesday, the prosecutor, I and the prisoners, and William Smith , a drummer, were all together.

Q. Where?

Price. At two publick-houses, and drank a good deal of liquor. I made an offer to shew the prosecutor his way to his lodgings.

Q. What time did you leave the last publickhouse?

Price. About 7 o'clock. I led him in order to go to his lodgings, which was my intent at first; but the drummer and all the prisoners got together and bid me take him out of his way, that we might take his money from him.

Q. Were you all together in this agreement are you sure?

Price. We were all together, and agreed to it.

Q. Where did you take him to?

Price. I took him just by Tothill-Fields. The prisoners followed us, and we were all together in the fields. I went to him, told him I must have some money of him, and took some silver from him; but I don't know how much.

Q. Did you take any gold?

Price. No gold as I saw, in what I took.

Q. Did any of the others come to you?

Price. Smith came up first, and took all his gold from him.

Q. Do you know how much that was?

Price. All I saw was two 36 s. pieces. John Allen came to us, and gave us his knife to cut the man's pocket off.

Q. Where were the two other prisoners?

Price. They were on the other side of the water that we came over.

Q. At what a distance from you?

Price. About twenty yards distance.

Q. Do you remember any thing about the prosecutor's desiring you to return him some money?

Price. No, I do not.

Q. Did you see him in the water?

Price. No, I did not. As soon as we took his money I ran away directly, and was the first that went from him. I don't know what they did to him, for I left them with him. They followed me, and soon after came up with me. Then we went all away together to Drury-Lane, to a house where the drummer had a wife.

Q. What became of the money?

Price. We divided it amongst us.

Q. What had you for your part?

Price. We had sixteen shillings each, and there was one shilling and six-pence over. The next morning I was taken up upon the St. James's guard, and the justice admitted me an evidence.

Q. Where did you see the prosecutor at first?

Price. The first place I saw him at was at the King's-Head; in St. James's-Street, where he was in company with some women. I had a pint of beer there, and got him to go along with me to another house where were the prisoners.

Q. from Ong. Whether we were not going home about our business when you and the drummer came running after us?

Price. We were all together in company.

John Cartwright . I am a constable. The prosecutor came to me last Wednesday morning, and told me had been rob'd of a 3 l. 12 s. piece, three 36 s. pieces, one half guinea, and some silver. I asked him where he had been, or if he had been in company with any women. He said no, he had been rob'd by men. I thought it a good deal of money for him to carry about him, so went with him to the Black-Horse, where, he said, he belong'd to, to inquire of the landlady of the house if she knew he had so much. She told me he had so much money the day before. Then I went with him to the justice and got a warrant, and we took the evidence Price upon the St. James's guard.

Q. Did the prosecutor know him?

Cartwright. He did, at first sight. We took him before justice Wright, in Palace-Yard. After he had given information of the fact the justice committed him.

Q. Did he give the same account as he has done here?

Cartwright. He did, as near as can be. He having told the justice they had only 16 s. each of the money, and the prosecutor giving an account that he was rob'd of more than the amount of that, we were in hopes of finding some of it on the ground, so I and three or four more went with Price to the place-where he said the robbery was committed. We found no money, but we found one glove there, and the piece of the pocket that was cut off.

Q. Did he say where the money was parted?

Cartwright. He said it was parted in Drury-Lane. (The glove produced in court.)

Q. to prosecutor. Look upon this glove, do you know it?

Prosecutor. This is my glove.

Cartwright. When we returned we took Price to Bridewell. About an hour after I heard that the prisoner Allen was taken in custody at the Savoy. I went there, and found him in custody. I shew'd the captain my warrant, and he told me he should be safe for me in the morning. I went in the morning, and took him to Drury-Lane, and he shew'd me where they parted the money. Then I took him to the justice, and just as I was going in at the door Davis was coming along the street, and they brought him in.

Q. Did you hear him confess any thing?

Cartwright. No, I did not.

Q. How came the prisoner Ong in custody?

Cartwright. He was brought from Chelsea by another constable.

John Noaks . I am a constable. Justice Wright sent for me on Wednesday night, and told me he had granted warrants to apprehend three soldiers, and desired to know whether I would go with Mr. Cartwright, in order to apprehend them. We went that night to try to take Smith, but could not meet with him. The next morning we went to the Savoy, took out Allen, and had him to Drury-Lane, to the house where he said they parted the money. Going along Allen said they had shared 16 s. each, and it was his knife that cut off the pocket. We took Smith's wife, and carried her before the justice, to see what we could get out of her. She denied the changing of the money there, but a woman that was at that house said the money was changed there.

Thomas Cartwright . I was along with the constable in taken up Price, and carrying him before the justice, and from thence to the place where the robbery was committed; I was also along with them when they searched Allen, and the next morning when they went and took him out of the black hole at the Savoy; we took him to Drury-Lane, and brought the drummer's wife and another woman before the justice; one confessed the money was changed there, and the other did not. When we came to the justice's door we met with Davis. Allen said that is one man that was concerned along with us, so we took him in custody, and he was committed to Bridewell.

Ong's Defence.

I had not a farthing of the money. I was at that house, they asked me to go along with them. When I understood they had rob'd the man I said they might as well treat me at my quarters; but Price said don't let us stay here, let us go to Drury-Lane, where we may have some victuals. We went thither, but I don't know what they did with the money; I saw neither silver, gold, nor brass. I was not in the fields at all. Price and Davis gave the girl some steaks, which were dressed, and we sup'd and had some beer.

Davis's Defence.

As to the robbery I know no more of it than the child that is unborn.

Allen's Defence.

I know nothing of it.

For the Prisoners.

John Poulter . I am a sergeant in the first regiment of guards, and belong to the same company that all the prisoners do.

Q. What do you say of the prisoner Ong?

Poulter. For what I know of him he is an honest inoffensive man.

Q. What do you say for Davis?

Poulter. I am a little suspicious of him, for he kept late hours. Allen is an inoffensive man for what I know of him. He always behaved very well.

Q. How long have you known them?

Poulter. I have paid the company but nine months; I never knew them before.

Henry Fennel . I have known Samuel Ong these three years.

Q. What is his general character?

Fennel. It has been very good ever since I knew him, which is as long as he has been in the company. I never heard any complaints of him. I know Allen; he has not been in the company so long, having only been a soldier from the 11th of August, 1756. We never had any suspicion of him.

Anthony Paden . I have known John Allen ever since December last was twelve months.

Q. What is his general character?

Paden. He has an extreme good character. I have employed him to carry out small beer in the firkin way; I have left him by himself, and have taken the particular accounts what the beer came to, and I never found a farthing deficient. Upon my honour I look upon him to be as honest a man as ever broke bread.

Court. You are upon your oath here.

Paden. Then upon my oath I believe him to be an honest man; he has used my house mornings and evenings. I believe his being in this affair was owing to his being violently in liquor, and being drawn away by the others.

Israel Wheiting. I live at Steffon, in Bedfordshire. I have known John Allen from a child, and his father and mother; they were very honest people; his father is dead.

Q. What is his general character?

Wheiting. I never heard any other of him than that of an honest man in my life.

John White . I have known Allen ever since he has been enlisted.

Q. What are you?

White. I am a soldier. He lodged with me when he first came to London, and behaved very honestly; he is a very regular man. I never saw him in liquor.

John Pricket . I have known Allen these twelve months.

Q. What is his general character?

Pricket. He has been a very sober honest man, all the time he was with me he came home at early hours.

Nathaniel Tinery . I have known Allen about a year and a half.

Q. What are you?

Tinery. I keep a sale shop, and he is a breeches maker .

Q. What is his general character?

Tinery. That of a very honest man.

Joseph Thawley . I have known Allen some time; he has been in my house a hundred times, and

never missed any thing afterwards. I should now trust him, was he clear.

All three guilty , Death .


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