JAMES DEMPSEY, JOHN DEVINE, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 15th July 1772.

Reference Number: t17720715-17
Offences: Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery; Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdicts: Guilty; Not Guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death; Death

528, 529. (M.) JAMES DEMPSEY and JOHN DEVINE were indicted for that they on the king's highway on Richard Glover , Esq ; did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a gold watch, value 14 l. a steel watch chain, value 2 s. two cornelian seals set in gold, value 50 s. a brass watch key, value 1 d. a paper machee snuff box, value 6 d. a silk handkerchief, value 6 d. and 9 s. in money, numbered, the property of the said Richard , June 26 . +

Mr. Richard Glover . On Friday the 26th of June, I was stopt about half after nine in a post-chaise, on the road between Kingsland Turnpike and Islington , by I thought four men; there were three or four, it was rather dusk; one thrust a pistol through the left side window of the chaise; he then opened the door; another man on the right opened that door likewise; then they both of them forced themselves into the chaise, bent over me, and rifled me; they took from me a gold watch, a chain, two seals set in gold, a paper snuff box, a handkerchief, and 9 s. in silver. I cannot take upon me to say who the persons were, it was late in the evening, and I am near sighted; I have seen my snuff-box since, when it was produced at Sir John Fielding 's.

Aaron Meyers . Last Saturday fortnight the two prisoners, and the accomplice Gore came to me, and asked me, if I would buy a gold watch, and a pinchbeck watch with a gold dial plate; I said, no. As I was going along. I met John Lyons ; he asked me what they wanted: I told him they had a gold watch, and a pinchbeck one with a gold dial plate, to sell; they had shewed me the watches. Lyons desired me to take them that had the watches into a public house; I took them into the Crown in Camomile Street. Devine had the gold watch, and Gore the other; they went into the house. Lyons desired me to keep the other out of doors, which I did, he asked me which had the gold watch about him; I shewed him. After he had looked over the gold watch, then Gore produced the pinchbeck watch; I sat in one box, they in another; Lyons offered six guineas for them both: they said no, they would have five guineas for the gold one, and a guinea and a half for the pinchbeck; he said, he would give them no more than six guineas; he put the watches in his pocket, and said, if they would go home with him, he would give them the money. He gave me sixpence to pay for two

pints of beer, and bid me stay till they came back; I staid a quarter of an hour, but they did not come back.

Q. Did you know them before?

Meyers. No.

Q. How long was you in company with them?

Meyers. About a quarter of an hour.

Q. Can you be as positive to the man out of doors as to the men in the room?

Meyers. Yes; I sat under the window and looked at him; he was opposite me.

Q. from Dempsey. Did I say any thing to you?

Meyers. Yes; he said, shew me to ever a one, and we will satisfy you?

Q. What did he mean by ever a one?

Meyers. Ever a man that can buy them.

Q. from Devine. Did you see a watch upon me?

Meyers. Yes.

Q. Where did I take it from?

Meyers. Out of his watch pocket.

Q. What sort of a watch was the gold one, white enamelled, or gold dial plate?

Meyers. I did not take notice of that, it was a plain case.

Q. to Mr. Glover. Was yours a plain watch?

Mr. Glover. Yes.

Francis Gore . The prisoners and I went out on Friday night the 26th of June.

Q. Was any body else with you.

Gore. No; we went the Back Road from Islington and Highgate; we stopt a chaise behind Islington, in the Black Road ; there was a gentleman in it.

Q. Should you know the gentleman again?

Gore. No; when we came up to the chaise. I thought I saw the gentleman stoop, and I burst into the chaise with a pistol.

Q. Where you all armed.

Gore. No; only John Devine and I; we had pistols each; Dempsey and Devine ran round the chaise, and Devine jumped in at the other window; I was on the left hand side of the chaise.

Q. Who opened the door?

Gore. John Devine ; I opened the other door. Devine took from the gentleman 15 s. a handkerchief, a gold watch and a paper painted snuff box; then we desired the post boy to drive off, and we came straight to town.

Q. Was the post chaise going into the country?

Gore. No, coming to town; we came straight to town through the fields. The next night we sold the watch to one Lyons, a Jew, in Sweet Apple Court I think; it is in Bishopsgate street. We spoke to this man; he was going through the street, and he met Lyons. We went to a street on the other side Bishopsgate street.

Q. Did any words pass between the gentleman and you, when you robbed him?

Gore. Yes; I asked the gentleman if he had any more money: he said, no, he had been paying money in the country, and had no more; then I said we would search him; he pulled down the flap of his breeches, and said, Search gentlemen where you please. We just put a hand on the flap, and said it was no matter; we supposed he had no more.

Q. What did you get for this watch?

Gore. Five guineas; Lyons gave us five guineas for it; we sold him a pinchbeck watch with a gold dial plate at the same time, for which he gave us a guinea.

Q. from Dempsey. Did you ever see me speak to that man.

Gore. Yes; Devine had the watch, Dempsey was in company, and stood at the door whilst Devine and I went into the house; he went afterwards with us to Lyons's lodging, and stood at the door; Lyons's whore went out to change a 20 l. note, as she said, and Dempster followed her.

Q. to Mr. Glover. You did not mention any conversation that passed at the time you was robbed?

Mr. Glover. No; I confined myself merely to the fact, that I might not lead the accomplice; I have never yet mentioned the conversation; it was nearly the same as the accomplice has related; one of them did ask for my pocket book, which I gave him; I told him it contained nothing but old letters; one opened it; said he, Sir, will you tell us where we may send it to you to-morrow morning; I said that was unnecessary, for it contained nothing but old letters, upon which he returned it to me.

Q. to Gore. Do you remember any thing about the pocket book?

Gore. No; I did not see it.

John Heley . On the 9th of this month, Gore came up to Sir John Fielding 's, and surrendered himself; he gave an account of a number of robberies, and among them, of this on Mr. Glover; he said he knew where to take two of the persons immediately; accordingly Mr. Bond, Mr. Taylor and I, went to the White or

Black Horse, (I don't know which it is) in Bell Yard, Temple Bar; as soon as Mr. Bond went into the house, he laid hold of Dempsey by both hands; I put my hands into his inside coat pocket, and took out this pistol, loaded with powder and a ball (producing a pocket pistol.) They were setting together at a box.

Q. What is Dempsey's business?

Heley. I heard he was a writer to a stationer ; the evidence told me that Devine's wife, or woman that he lived with, had pawned a paper snuff box, that they took from Mr. Glover.

Q. What is Devine?

Heley. A shoe or clog maker I believe. I went and took Devine's woman into custody, and she said she pawned a paper snuff box at Mrs. Rochford's; I went with her there, and there I found it.

Q. Had Devine any weapon about him?

Heyley. He had none that I heard of.

Mary Highland . I am a married woman, my husband is abroad *; I have lived with Devine almost a twelve-month. Francis Gore , James Dempsey and Devine, were altogether at a public house, in Drury Lane; I went there to ask Devine to come home to work; Dempsey took out a snuff box, emptied the snuff, and gave it me to pawn, and I pawned it for 6 d. at Mrs. Rochford's.

* Her husband was transported.

Q. What sort of a box was it?

Highland. I had it but a short time; I should not know it again if I saw it.

Q. What name did you pledge it in.

Highland. I am not sure whether I pledged it in my own name or Devine's.

Q. from Devine. Did you ever see a pistol of mine?

Highland. No; he never even carried a knife about him.

Q. What is Devine's trade?

Highland. A shoe and clog maker.

Q. What is Dempsey?

Highland. A clerk. Gore is a carpenter; he is a very late acquaintance of Devine's. I got this black eye on account of Gore, because I would not let Dempsey come up in my room; I did not like him.

William Dry . I took this snuff box in pawn, from Mary Highland , on the 27th June, upon which I lent her 6 d. (The snuff box produced and deposed to by the prosecutor.)

Dempsey's Defence.

I know nothing at all about it; Gore gave me the pistol a little before they took me.

Devine's Defence.

I am quite innocent; Gore wants to swear my life away, because I caught him lying with Highland, and struck him.

For Dempsey.

Benjamin Gough . I am an attorney; I live in Academy Court, Chancery Lane; Dempsey was a clerk to me; he always behaved very honest by me.

Q. How long is it since he has done any business for you?

Gough. About two months.

Q. Did you employ him constantly?

Gough. No.

Edward Perkins . I take in writing for gentlemen and stationers; Dempsey has wrote for me; he always did my business well; I know no more of him.

John Alcock . I live in Chancery Lane; he has wrote for me within this two months; I never heard any thing dishonest of him before.

Devine called William Mole and Ann Mole with whom he lodged, who gave him a good character.

Both Guilty . Death .

(M.) JOHN DEVINE was a second time indicted for that he on the king's highway, on George Gregory , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a silver watch, value 3 l. a steel chain, value 1 s. a cornelian seal set in silver, value 6 s. a silk handkerchief, value 1 s. and 10 s. in money, numbered, the property of the said George , June 6 . *

There being no evidence to bring the charge home to the prisoners, but the accomplice, he was

Acquitted .

(M.) JOHN DEVINE was a third time indicted, for that he in a certain field and open place, near the king's highway, on John Jenkins , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing

from his person, a base metal watch, value 20 s. a black watch string, value 1 d. a cornelian seal set in gold, value 20 s. and 3 s. 6 d. in money, numbered, the property of the said John , June 22d . *

John Jenkins deposed,

"that he was robbed

"on the 22d of June, near Islington , about

"nine at night. Two men came up to him,

"one held a pistol to him and collared him,

"and the other robbed him of a watch, with a

"gold cornelian seal, and 3 s. 6 d. in money;

"that the dial plate of the watch was either

"gold or metal gilt; that he desired to have

"his pocket book again, and they told him

"they would return it by the Penny Post, and

"that he accordingly received it a day or two

"after by that conveyance."

Aaron Meyers gave the same evidence as on the the first trial.

Francis Gore , the accomplice, deposed,


"the prisoner and himself robbed the prosecutor;

"that the watch they took from the

"prosecutor, they sold to Lyons, and that he

"sent the prosecutor his pocket book by the


The prisoner said nothing in his defence.

Guilty . Death .

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