Samuel Clark, John Green, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 25th April 1770.

281, 282. (M. 1st.) Samuel Clark and John Green were indicted for making an assault on James Isnell , on the King's highway, puting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person a gold watch, with outside case metal, value 5 l. and four-pence halfpenny in money, numbered, the property of the said James , Feb. 15 . *

James Isnell . On the 15th of February, between six and seven in the evening, I was going from Stepney to my wife, at Mr. Gloucester's, in Goodman's-fields. I was betwixt Stepney and Whitechapel , in the foot path. I saw two men standing before me, at about thirty yards distance. I had heard them speak before I saw them.

Q. Was it light or dark?

Isnell. It was not very dark, and it was not day-light; it was dusk; between the two. As they came near me, I went to give them the way; one came upon my right shoulder, the other fronting me; just by the four cross roads, between two ditches, one of them said, I want your money; give me your money; stand: that I believe to be Green. I saw a pistol. He was fronting me: the other put his hand to my breeches pocket, and took out four-pence halfpenny; and took hold of the string of my watch and pulled it out. The inside case was gold; the outside was metal. The other asked me whether I had any more money; I told him, No, and desired they would not use me ill.

Q. What are you?

Isnell. I am carpenter of an Indiaman . They went away towards Stepney. I went to Mr. Gloucester's, a hatter, in Lemon-street, where my wife was. He directed me to go to Mr. Brebrook, who had people on purpose to go after such people to take them. Mr. Gloucester went with me there: we got two men to go with us; they had a pistol and a cutlass. We went to Stepney church, and saw nobody. The next day I went to Sir John Fielding , and had my watch advertised, and described the people. Then I went to Duke's-place among the Jews,

and told what reward I would give for my watch, five guineas: I inquired at silversmiths shops and pawnbrokers shops; and, on the 9th of March I found my watch at Mr. Gregg's shop, a pawnbroker, in Barnaby-street, with a chain and seal added to it, not mine. (The watch produced and deposed to). It had a green silk string to it when I lost it. We took Green up that same afternoon in Tooly-street. A Jew had told me he had seen the watch in the hands of Clark. He described it. He directed me to a waterman that carried the prisoner's box, who told me where to find the prisoners. We went to where they lodged. I took Green first; Clark tumbled out of bed at our going into the room. We secured him, and charged the constable with them both. After that Clark owned where the watch was; but said he bought it of a sailor; then I went to Mr. Gregg's where he said the watch was, and there I found it. The prisoners never acknowledged the taking it from me.

Thomas Gregg . I am a pawnbroker, and live in Barnaby-street. The prisoner, Clark, offered to pledge this watch with me on Tuesday, the 6th of March. I stopped it. He went back to fetch a sailor, to prove he bought it for three guineas and a half, but he came no more.

Q. to prosecutor. Do you know either of the prisoners?

Prosecutor. The only person I am clear in is Clark; and, to the best of my knowledge, the other prisoner is the other; but I do not swear to him. Clark is the man that took my watch. We found, in a chest, in their room, five loaded pistols, and nineteen balls, and some powder.

John Reynolds . I am the constable. I was told there was a man at the Spread Eagle who was suspected to have robbed a man in Stepney-fields. I went: there was Green: the prosecutor said that was one: we asked him where his companion was. He began to blast his eyes and limbs, and said, Would you have me go and search all Wapping, among all the thieves? I said, That is doing yourself no good. He asked us to go up stairs: we went up; there was Clark in bed. He got out of bed. The prosecutor said that was the other: then we laid hold of him. I found these pistols in Clark's room; they were loaded. (Producing five pistols, some balls, and a mould to cast balls in, some lead and some powder).

Clark's Defence.

I have witnesses to prove where I was at the time he was robbed, but they are not here. I bought the watch for three guineas and a half of a sailor, and I told them so when they asked me about it; and told them where I had pawned it.

Clark Guilty . Death .

Green acquitted .

(M. 1st.) They were a second time indicted, for making an assault on Thomas Metcalf , on the King's highway, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person a metal watch, with a tortoise-shell case, value 4 l. two half guineas, one five-and-three-penny piece, and two shillings i money, numbered, the property of the said Thomas , October 1 . *

Thomas Metcalf . On the 1st of October, in the evening, coming from Bethnell-green, I came by Mile-end turnpike , thinking it too late to go over the fields. I came as far as the New-road at the mount. I was thoughtful whether I should go down the road. I went down the New-road After I got about two or three hundred yards down, I heard the feet of two men before me. I made the more haste to come up with them, thinking I should have company. When I came near them, I thought they were old men going arm in arm, with their hats flapped. I did not much like it; I did not know whether it would be best to run back again; I was within two or three yards of them. I thought if I did they might run back after me; it was very dark. I went past them, with my cane in my hand. When I was two or three yards before them, I heard them whisper something: one of them came up to me, and took me by the collar with his right hand, and pitched me against the rails, and put a pistol to my breast, and bid me stop. I asked them what they wanted; they told me to put my hand into my pocket, and give them my money. I desired them not to use me ill, and they were welcome to my money: I pulled out two half guineas, a five and-three-penny piece, and two shillings, and gave him; then the other searched the lining of my coat: he that had hold of me said, Look for his watch; they took it: then they turned round towards White-chapel, and wished me a good night. (It was a metal watch, with a tortoise-shell case). On the Monday morning I went to Sir John Fielding , and had some hand-bills dispersed about. I heard no more of it till the 11th of March. One of the people that belonged to the prison in the Borough, came and asked me if I had been robbed. I said, Yes, of a watch. He

desired me to take a pen and ink and describe it. I did. He said he had seen it, and it was in the hands of Justice Spencer, and desired I would come over on the Monday, and I might see it and the people. I went on Tuesday, the 13th, and saw it and the prisoners at Margaret's-hill; I believe the prisoners to be the two men that robbed me, but I cannot swear to them, it was so dark. (The watch produced and deposed to). It was made for me; there was a very fine steel chain to it, and two gold seals; one of them my coat of arms.

John Reynolds . I was sent for, being constable, on the 9th, to take the prisoners in charge. When we were before Justice Spencer, I told him one of them had a very fine watch in his pocket (he had shewed me the watch and seals before); that was Green; who said he bought it of a Jew in Wapping, for two guineas and a half. I took the watch from him when before the Justice.

John Panton . I am servant to Mr. Strange, the keeper of the New-Gaol in the Borough. On the 9th of March, the prisoners were brought to our gaol; I locked them both up; one in one place, the other in another. One of them, upon unlocking in the morning, said, I have something to disclose to you. I said, What is that? Said he, I cannot tell you here, because I may get myself killed. He gave me an account of these five pistols being loaded, in the very room where they lived. I told Mr. Spencer of it: he said, Mr. Reynolds will be here presently; I will order him to see after them.

John Brown. I was the waterman that carried the prisoner's chest from New-crane to where they lodged.

Green's Defence.

I bought this watch of a Jew in East-Smithfield for two guineas and a half. There were several of my ship-mates by at the time, but they are gone to sea.

Clark's Defence.

I lent Green the money that he bought the watch with. I cannot say I saw him buy it; but he bought it of a Jew for two guineas and a half.

Green guilty . Death .

Clark acquitted .

(M. 1st.) They were a third time indicted for making an assault on Amos Avery , on the King's highway, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person a gold watch, value 3 l. one guinea, one shilling, and two sixpences, the property of the said Amos , Feb. 3 . *

Amos Avery . On the 3d of February, about eight in the evening, going from Whitechapel to St. George's Church , I was got about an hundred yards down the New Road, two men came to me out of the field; one laid hold of me with his left hand, and presented a pistol with his right; the other looked at me all the time he was rifling me of my watch and money. I went next morning, and had my watch advertised, but never heard of it since. I am as certain as to Green's being one of them, as if I had seen him a thousand times, he looked so much at me. I am not so certain as to Clark, for his face was down; but I believe him to be the man.

Clark's Defence.

I know no more of it than the child unborn.

Green guilty . Death .

Clark acquitted .

View as XML