James Rockett, Timothy Steward, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 22nd February 1764.

Reference Number: t17640222-66
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

206, 207. (M.) James Rockett , otherwise Price , and Timothy Steward , were indicted, for that they (in company with Joseph Redmond , sick in goal) in a certain foot-way, near the king's highway, on John Pennington , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and violently taking from his person a metal watch, value 3 l. three metal seals, value 12 d. a brass watch-key, value 1 d. three guineas, and five shillings in money, numbered, his property , November 20 . +

The evidences were examined a-part, at the request of the prisoners.

John Pennington . I live at Battersea, and am a plaisterer, slater, and painter . On a Sunday night, about 5 weeks before Christmas, I had been at the Ship, in St. Catharine's: going home to Battersea, between seven and eight in the evening, I met with five men in company. I was a stranger in the place, and asked them the nearest way to Chelsea-collge? one of them said, he was going that way, and would show me: that man was just such a one as the prisoner Steward, but I cannot be positive, for I was a little in liquor; one of them walked along side me, and one or two of them walked on the other side of the way. After they got me to Helvet steps , I was struck over the head, and knocked down. I can't say by which of them: I strove to get up again; they then struck up my heels, and took from me about 3 guineas, some odd silver, and a pinchbeck watch, with a

green shagreen case: There were a great, many pins out of it: There were three seals to it. I know Price was in company at the time. I know him by the great coat he has now on; he had the same on then. I saw none of them after I was knocked down: I saw them all before. I am sure Steward was one of the five men.

Q. How many persons robbed you?

Pennington. That I cannot say.

Joseph Lowther . There were five of us: Richard Bevas , Timothy Steward , James Rockett , otherwise Price, and Joseph Redmond , (he is sick in Newgate) and I, went all out, with intention to rob a chandler's shop. We are all sea-faring people. We intended to send Redmond in for two-pennyworths of bread and cheese, and he was to take the till. The people were in the shop, and took care of the door. After that, we walked up Wapping, and peeped into several houses. We met with the prosecutor at the bottom of Nightingale-lane; he asked the way to Chelsea. Rockett stept before him, and said, he has got a watch. He said, I'll show you the way. He was going quite the contrary way, being much in liquor. Rockett ordered Redmond and I to keep off a little while, and go another way and meet them. Bevas and Steward followed behind. We went through Swan-alley, and met them all at the end of Nightingale-lane. The prosecutor said to them, I have no change, or else I would give you something to drink. I went down Swan-alley steps and hid myself, that he might not mistrust, seeing so many of us. They all walked up towards East-smithfield; then I came out, and followed behind. They went down Helvet stairs. As soon as they got him under the gateway, Bevas knocked him down with a poker, which he had from Mrs. Kennedy's house; the second blow knocked him down; then he took his watch. Rockett stood over him. All five of us were close by. I had the watch in my hand as I was going along the New Road. A woman said, next day, the gentleman lost three guineas, but I heard of no money. Bevas dropt the poker while he was riffling him.

George Clemenson . I live in Milk-court, St. Catharine's. I found this poker under my window, on the 20th of November, between 10 and 11 at night; it lay among the snow, and the prosecutor's hat by it. (An iron poker bent produced in court.) I heard no noise till the prosecutor called, Stop thief; he was there; he got up, and said he had lost his watch. I ran, but could not see any body. The next morning I saw blood upon the snow, when I came to open the shutter.

Q. to Lowther. Do you know what became of the watch?

Lowther. Steward sold it for a guinea to a Jew, named Jacobs, as he himself told me, and that Rockett was with him at the time. They did not give Redmond or me any of the money. We went with the constable to look for the watch afterwards, but could not find it; but we found one of the seals, which is now in the constable's hands.

Q. from Steward. How was I dressed?

Lowther. You had Redmond's long cloaths on, which he took from off his back, and I pawned them afterwards to buy victuals.

Q. from Rockett. How came you to know me?

Lowther. By keeping company with Steward on Salt-petre bank. You have been robbing several times with me. I have known you above three or four months.

Henry Jacobs . I live in Wapping, and am a silversmith. The two prisoners sold a watch to my father for a guinea. There were three seals upon it. We got it cleaned up, and delivered it to a person that goes about with a box, and he sold it. I believe we put the seals in the glass-case. There was one seal found, which the prosecutor has sworn to.

Thomas Galton . I found this seal at Jacobs's shop, (producing one.)

Q. to Jacobs. Do you know that seal?

Jacobs. This seal my father bought with the watch. It was a Pinchbeck-metal watch, with a green shagreen case: A great many of the brass pins were out. Steward took it out of his pocket, and Rockett was with him at the time that they sold it.

Prosecutor. This seal is my property; I have had it six years; it was upon my watch when I was robbed of it.

Steward's Defence.

It is a likely story that the prosecutor should lose his watch and his money, after he came out of a bawdy-house in St. Catherine's. The bullies at the bawdy-house might have taken them from him, if he had any. He was obliged to go a-trust for his reckoning, and borrow another shilling to go home with.

Rockett said nothing in his defence.

For the prisoners.

Mrs. Redmond. The prosecutor came to the place where the prisoners are kept, at the beginning

of the sessions, and fell a cursing, and said, he was come to swear three innocent mens lives away; and that he did not know any of them.

Q. Are you any relation to the prisoner Redmond that is ill?

Mrs. Redmond. I am his own mother.

Both Guilty . Death .


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