Benjamin Chamberlain, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 11th July 1750.

Reference Number: t17500711-10
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
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429. Benjamin Chamberlain , was indicted for that he on the king's highway , on George Powel did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life; one metal watch, value 40 s. one pair of silver-buckles, value 5 s. against the will of the said George, from his person did steal, take, and carry away , June 24 .

George Powell . On the 24th of June last, about one in the morning, I was going up Chancery-lane , in order to go in at Lincoln's Inn gate; just as I got opposite to the gate, I was surrounded by four men; one of them is here to give evidence; he put a pistol to my face, and bid me stop; they got me up with my back against the houses, and bid me deliver my money; the prisoner at the bar, as I believe him to be the man, stooped down and took my buckles out of my shoes.

Q. Was it a light night?

Powell. It was a darkish sort of a night.

Q. By what do you believe the prisoner to be one in company?

Powell. By his shape and size; not that I can tell him by his face; I believe him to be in the same coat he has on now; he then risled my breeches-pockets, and took out my watch, a pinchbeck metal one, and shagreen case, with an enamel'd dial-plate ; the other stood by; the man that held the pistol ask'd him what he had got; he made answer, his Lodge; then away they went together. I do not swear positively to the prisoner.

John Omit . On Saturday night, about eleven o'clock, we went out taking a walk.

Q. Who do you mean by we?

Omit. The prisoner, Thomas Blunt , James Clark , and myself; we made a bargain to go out a robbing about Chancery-lane; the prisoner (Chamberlain) agreed, and took a mop-stick at the same time, and cut it in two; he gave one half to Thomas Blunt , and the other he kept himself; this was at his lodging, a house that harbours all whores and thieves; first we went down to Fleetditch side, then to Chancery-lane. I went up to this gentleman, and put the pistol to his head; it was better than an hour and half from our first setting out to the time we stopp'd him; we had been drinking about from gin-shop to gin-shop.

Q. Whereabouts in Chancery-lane did you meet the prosecutor?

Omit. It was almost opposite the gate; the gentleman knew me, and I knew him again as soon as I saw him at Justice Fielding's.

Q. Give us an account of this Robbery.

Omit. I clapp'd him up against a house, and Chamberlain flung his stick down by the side of the gentleman. After I had clapp'd a pistol to his head, he took the buckles out of his shoes, and after that his watch from his pocket. I ask'd him what he had got; he said his Lodge, meaning his watch. The gentleman proffer'd me some halfpence, and I returned them to him again from out of my hand; then we went one way and he another; we went towards Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, then towards Fleet-market, then to Duke's-place; there we drank. The prisoner sold the watch the next morning to a Jew. The Jew's name is Alexander Minous ; we were all four together when it was sold.

Q. What was it sold for?

Omit. It was sold for 25 s.

Q. to Prosecutor. Did you see the person who took the buckles out of your shoes lay something down out of his hand at that time?

Prosecutor. He laid something down, I thought it was a hanger.

Q. Did you deliver this witness some halfpence which he returned again?

Prosecutor. He bid me deliver my money ; I delivered him some halfpence into his hand, and he returned them to me again.

Prisoner's Defence. I never was guilty of any such thing in my life. This Omit is a cruel man to say so much as he has done against me.

Guilty death .

See No. 371 in the last Sessions-book.

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