James Innis, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 12th September 1759.

Reference Number: t17590912-25
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

272. James Innis was indicted, for that he on the king's high way, on Ive Whitbread , Esq ; 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 gold ring, value 10 s. one guinea, and two shillings in money, numbered, his property , Aug. 3 . ++

Ive Whitbread. On the 3 d of August last, I and Mr. Howard were in a chaise, going over Finchley-Common ; we had unluckily sent our servants before, as we were in a by-road, in order to escape the dust. A man on horseback came out of the road just upon us. I imagined I saw a pistol. I got up and said, Fellow, what is it you want? - Your watch and your money, or I'll blow your brains out. I put my hand to my pocket, and said, Really you put me in a fright, you must give me time.

Q. Had he a pistol in his hand?

Whitbread. He had, but he did not care to show it much. I had 23 s. in a paper by itself, a guinea, and 2 s. He said, If you secrete any, I'll blow your brains out, come give it me. I thought I would have some discourse with him first, that I might take some notice of his face. I said, I never deliver my money without telling it. He said, come give it me. No, said I, I'll tell it first. - Come give it me. - Here it is. He said, what is in the other paper. I said, that is a ring. - Come give it me. - No, you shall see it first, what should you do with the ring. - It is my trade, come give it me. Said I, it is a wretched one, I kept still looking him in the face.

Q. What sort of a ring was it?

Whitbread. It was a mourning ring; then he said, Let me see your watch. - Must you have my watch too. Then I took it out and looked at it, and said, Here it is if you must have it. He said, yes. I gave it him: it was a silver one. Then he went round the chaise to my friend Mr. Howard, and to him said, Your watch and money, or I'll blow your brains out, where is your money and watch. Mr Howard took his watch out, it was a tortoiseshell one, and said, Here it is in my hand, can't you see it is in my hand. He gave him his watch and three guineas.

Q. Had he his pistol in his hand when he talked to Mr Howard?

Mr Whitbread. To the best of my knowledge he had; he told Mr Howard, as he had me, if he secreted any he would blow his brains out; and added, Is this all, turn out your pocket; Mr Howard did, and said, see here is but six-pence; then he turn'd away and went towards London; then we turned into the road directly; there were half a dozen people coming towards London; I said, gentlemen, stop all of you this minute, we have both of us been robb'd, if I had but a horse I could take the fellow, he is just gone on upon a grey horse; he had on a red lappel waistcoat, a blue coat, remarkable dark eye-brows, a large black beard, pale complection, and I'll warrant him to be either a Blacksmith or an Hostler at an Inn.

Q. Had he any thing over his face?

Mr Whitbread. No: one of them said, Pray, what is your name; my name is Whitbread, you may remember I was formerly Sheriff of London; then said he, I know you; then they went on after him for Highgate.

Q. Look at the prisoner, is he the man?

Mr Whitbread. That is the very man.

Q. What time of the day was you robb'd?

Mr Whitbread. It was a little after five in the afternoon, about the eighth mile-stone; I rode on to Whetstone, and wrote a letter to Mr Fielding; but the prisoner was taken that night; I was robb'd on the Friday and did not return to London 'till Monday night following; then I had a letter from Mr. Fielding, that the man was taken and the things found.

Joseph Shepherd . There were five or six of us coming over Finchley-Common, we saw Mr

Whitbread in a chaise; he told us he had just been robb'd, and described the man; we pursued him to Highgate, and overtook him in the middle of the town, he was on foot, having tired his horse; there was a soldier pretty near him; we all of us desired him to secure him; telling him, he was a highwayman; the soldier, at once, went and took hold of him. He was taken to a Justice of Peace and committed.

James Churchill . I was one of the company that Mr Whitbread met with on Finchley-common; I pursued, with the rest, to Highgate, there we saw the prisoner, who answered the descriptions Mr Whitbread had given; we saw a soldier, and told him that man was a highwayman, and the soldier, and I seized him directly.

John Edwards . I am the Constable that had the prisoner in charge, at Highgate, at a public house 'till Justice Byron came home; I search'd the prisoner and found upon him a silver watch, a tortoiseshell watch, a large pair of silver buckles, a mourning ring, four guineas, and seven shillings and six-pence in silver, and four penny worth of halfpence. (The watches and ring produced in court.)

Mr Whitbread. This silver watch and this ring are mine, the tortoiseshell watch is Mr Howard's; I know it very well.

George Darwent . I was informed by the gentlemen on horse-back that the prisoner was a highwayman; I took him.

Q. Was you the first that laid hold on him?

Darwent. I was: we kept him in an Alehouse 'till the Justice came home; then he was committed.

Prisoner's defence.

The watch, pistol, and ring I found in this handkerchief by the road side. (Producing a handkerchief.) Mr Whitbread persuaded Mr Howard, right or wrong, to swear against me; he took that watch in his hand and would not swear to it; and he has since sent me half a guinea in goal.

Guilty , Death .


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