Charles Cleaver, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 23rd February 1744.

Reference Number: t17440223-16
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
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155. + Charles Cleaver , was a second time indicted for assaulting Richard Pidgeon on the highway, in the parish of St. Botolph Aldgate , putting him in fear, and taking from him one guinea, and one shilling, and three pence , Dec. 30 .

Richard Pidgeon . On Friday the 30th of December, I was going home from St. Catharine's into Burr Street , where I live; and going cross the way from the King's brewhouse, I saw four men standing and laughing; as I passed them, one of them took hold of me, and asked me what ship I belonged to: I answered them, what was that to them. Then another came up to me, and told me, I must go before their officer: I walked about four or five steps, and their officer, as they called him, came up to me, and put a pistol to me, and told me, if I opened my mouth, he would blow my brains out, and demanded my money: I told him, I had very little: They rifled my pockets, and took a guinea, a shilling, and some half-pence.

Q. Did you see any of them so as to know them again?

Pidgeon. I thought I should know the first per son that came up to me again; which was Sherlock. The Wednesday following, Mr. Willoughby sent to acquaint me, that he was stopped the night before, and the person was taken, and desired me to go to the Tower prison, and see if I knew him. I went to the Tower prison, Sherlock was sitting by the fire-side, and I pitched upon him immediately, though I believe there were twenty people in the room.

Q. Was there any light when you were robbed?

Pidgeon. There was some light; and a little girl took me for her father; and she stamped, and cried, Oh lah, Oh lah, what do you do to my father? Then he that had his hand in my pocket, put his hand into his pocket; and I was afraid it was to take out a pistol to shoot the girl.

Francis Sherlock . On Friday night, the 30th of December, about seven o'clock at night, Neagle, Cleaver and Rocket were at my house in Jerusalem Court, and we went to a public house in St. John's Square, they asked me, if I would go out upon such an affair: I said, I did not care to do it; and they told me, I was a coward; I said I would go with all my heart, rather than they should charge me with that. Accordingly we went into Bishopsgate Street, drank some slip, and then went into Stepney Fields, and met a boy with a link; I saw some other peopl e, we followed them, and came up with them; and when we came up with them, we found they were not worth any thing, so we did not speak to them; we did not meet with any thing. Then we went to St. Catharine's, and met captain Pidgeon; I knew him a captain of a ship in Holland, when I was mate of a merchant-man.

Q. Could you see him so as to know him?

Sherlock. I had some knowledge of him, though I did not know him certainly; but I knew him when I saw him afterwards.

Q. Who went up to him first?

Sherlock. Neagle and Rocket run after him, and asked him, What ship? Cleaver and I were together, at a distance. - No body attacked him but them two, and they robbed him of a shilling, and some half-pence.

Q. Was not there a guinea?

Sherlock. I did not see any thing of the guinea.

Q. How far was you from him?

Sherlock. I was about seven or eight yards.

Q. Did Cleaver go up to him?

Sherlock. Cleaver did not go near him, nor I neither. - Neagle and Rocket run after him.

Q. When Neagle and Rocket run after him, you stopped, did not you?

Sherlock. When we first saw him, we were all four standing together; and then they two run after him, and stopped him.

Q. What became of the money?

Sherlock. We spent the money at a night-house in Newgate Market.

Q. How much money had you?

Sherlock. There was but seventeen-pence half-penny. - Rocket might keep the guinea for what I know.

Prisoner. Please to ask him, whether I had any part of the money?

Sherlock. Cleaver was not at the spending of the money; there were only three of us.

Q. Where was Cleaver then?

Sherlock. He was not well, and he said, he would go and buy some barley-sugar, or something for his cold; he said he would come to us, but he did not come.

Prisoner. I know nothing of this robbery; indeed I did go out with them, and I saw them speak to a gentleman, and they had something in their hands, but I was gone to knock at a gentleman's door a stone's-throw off: they asked me to go with them to Newgate Market, but I found they were for striking and abusing people as they went along, and I would not go with them; so I went to a pastry-cook's shop to buy some barleysugar, and then home. Guilty Death .

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