Thomas Bowers, James Newman, John Kellyhorn, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 25th April 1770.

Reference Number: t17700425-60
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty; Guilty > with recommendation
Punishment: Death

300, 301, 302. (M. 1st.) Thomas Bowers , James Newman , and John Kellyhorn , were indicted for making an assault on Benjamin Hall , on the King's highway, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person a pen-knife, value 12 d. three guineas, one half guinea, a five-and-three-penny piece, one hundred and sixty-eight copper half-pence, value 7 s. and 16 s. in money, numbered, the property of the said Benjamin , Jan. 26 . ++

Benjamin Hall . I am cheesemonger , and live in Broad-street, Ratcliff-cross. On the 26th of January I had been round among my customers as usual, to see what they wanted. I received the money, and was returning with my pans for butter under my arm. Coming along the back road, on the back of St. George's church , Bowers, one of the prisoners, came up to me, and asked me what it was o'clock: I said I did not know. He walked with me seven or eight yards, I believe, and then bid me stop, and put a pistol to my head, and said, If I spoke a word he would blow my brains out; then Milbank, the evidence, came up, and put another pistol to my head, and said the same; then up came Newman, and put a pistol to my head, and took hold of Milbank's pistol while Milbank placed me against the wall. (I had seen Newman before about the street). Then they began to take my money out of my pocket. Newman and Bowers held the pistols; Milbank unbuttoned my breeches to see for my watch. I had none. Then he took three guineas and a half out of my fob, a quarter guinea and sixteen shillings out of my breeches pocket; they felt in my other pockets, and found nothing else. They then bid me go about my business, and not speak a word, for if Idid, they would kill me on the spot. I went about seven or eight yards; they followed me, and bid me shop again, and placed me up against the wall, with the pistol at my head again. They cut off my waistcoat pocket, with seven shillings worth of halfpence in it, and a pen-knife: they then bid me go about my business, and not say a word. I went a little farther; there came a cart and three or four men; I hallooed to them for assistance; they did not hear me; the cart making such a noise, I imagine, prevented them. Then the prisoners called to me again. I ran as hard as I could till I got into the Crooked Billet alehouse. There was a fourth man, but he stood behind Milbank; I could not make any observation of him; he did not come near me. The prisoners were taken the same night, and the people came to me at the Crooked Billet for me to see them. I went to see them, and they had broke out of the Bail-dock in Whitechapel, and were not taken again till the last day of last sessions. I went upon the Sunday after to Tothill-fields Bridewell, there I saw Milbank, and knew him directly. I did not see the rest till they were brought before Sir John Fielding , which, I believe, was the Monday following: then I knew two of them as soon as I saw them; they were Milbank and Bowers. I now swear they are two of them.

Q. Was it light or dark when you was robbed?

Hall. It was not dark; it was about six at night: Bowers was dressed just as he is now, in a long coat: he had a short pistol. Milbank was in a short jacket; Newman had a long pistol; he was in a short jacket, his own hair, and a round cap. I kept looking at Bowers all the time he walked with me. I could not tell what to make of him.

Newman. He never swore to me before Sir John Fielding .

Hall. I did not swear to him then; I said I could not punctually swear to him; but I said I was pretty certain he was one of them, but his dress and his person so struck me, I am certain to him.

John Paggett . On the 26th of January I took Kellyhorn, about eleven at night, out of his lodgings in East Smithfield. I brought him about half way from Salt petre Bank; he said. Put a pair of hand-cuffs on me, and I'll go and shew you the others that were with me, that did a robbery this night: accordingly I did; he went where Bowers was in bed. I took him, and Newman came to see what was the matter; then Kellyhorn said, That is another that was with us in the robbery.

Q. Where was this?

Paggett. This was in Black-horse yard in East Smithfield. He said, Bowers, Newman, and Milbank, were with him; Milbank was in bed in Black-horse yard, at another house; he got off: we took them up to Whitechapel, and locked them up in the Bail-dock; Bowers and Newman broke out; we had Kellyhorn in another lock-up place, thinking he should be admitted an evidence; and he was admitted at the Rotation, and was out upon bail, on purpose to find Bowers and Newman again. I heard no more of them till after last sessions: then I heard Milbank was taken about a pair of breeches, by some of Sir John Fielding 's men; there he was admitted an evidence by Sir John.

Q. Do you know whether Sir John knew what had been done about Kellyhorn then?

Paggett. I do not know whether he did or not; he was told of it afterwards; and he said he could not then go from it.

Q. How came you to take Kellyhorn again when he was upon bail?

Paggett. He was taken up upon Milbank's evidence for this robbery, by Sir John's warrant, and carried before him. I told Sir John what had passed, and produced the information. I think Mr. Camper was one that took the information.

Q. to prosecutor. Did you swear to Milbank as one that robbed you?

Prosecutor. I swore before Sir John Fielding to Milbank and Bowers positively, as two that robbed me.

Milbank was in court, but the court thought proper not to examine him.

Bowers. Please to ask the prosecutor who cut his pocket off.

Prosecutor. I do not know; they were all together.

Bowers's Defence.

I am very innocent of what is laid to my charge; I get my bread at sea.

Newman's Defence.

I think it is very hard the prosecutor could not, swear to me at Sir John Fielding 's, and now to swear to me. I have not been on shore five weeks these five years.

Kellyhorn. I never meddled with the prosecutor.

For Kellyhorn.

John Turner . Kellyhorn come to my school some years ago: I have heard a very good character of him since. When he came to school, he was the first in bed, and the last up in a morning.

Mary M'Cray . Kellyhorn had a boat of his own, and worked upon the water. I always thought him a quiet lad.

Millicent Hutchinson . I knew him a little boy. I never knew any harm of him in my life.

Mary Fitzmorris . I have known Kellyhorn fifteen years; he bears the character of an honest lad.

All three guilty . Death .

Kellyhorn recommended , on the merit of his confession.

Milbank was committed. See him tried for a highway robbery, No. 85 in this Mayoralty.

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