John Kilbert, Thomas Jenkins.
3rd July 1771
Reference Numbert17710703-60
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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497, 498. (M.) John Kilbert and Thomas Jenkins were indicted, for that they on the king's highway, on Franco Tennant , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a silver watch, value 30 s. and two guineas in money, numbered, the property of the said Franco , July. 3 . ++

The prosecutor being a foreigner, an interpreter was sworn.

Franco Tennant . On the third of July, about six in the afternoon, I met the two prisoners in the fields near Tottenham-Court Road; I went with them to the Red Lion, a public house in Tottenham-Court Road , and called for a pot of beer, which we drank; then the prisoners called for a bottle of wine; I took a guinea out of my purse to pay my reckoning; one of the prisoners gave it to the master of the house, who said it was light; he threw it down, and would not take it; one of the prisoners took it up, and put it in his pocket; then I gave the landlord another guinea, which he changed, and took his reckoning; the two soldier s took the change, and put it into their pockets: I went out of the house; the two prisoners followed me; they threw me down; one took the watch, the other the two guineas out of my pocket, in the open road, about sixty feet from the Red Lion. I was not in liquor; the soldiers had no arms; they threw me down upon the ground; I did not understand what they said

to me; they took my watch, and money: it was broad day light. The house upon my complaining I had been robbed, sent the hostler to bring me back to the house.

Q. Did you say nothing to him when he took the guinea in he house?

Tennant. No; because nobody in the house understood French. I had seven guineas; I put two loose into my pocket, because I did not chuse to show my money; the rest was in my purse; I had all my money in my purse when I came into the house: it was in the public house I took out first the light guinea; then the other guinea, which was changed; I took out the other two guineas, that if I wanted money I might not be obliged to take out all the money at once; I put the purse into my right hand pocket, and my other money in my left pocket, which was the reason why the soldiers missed my purse, and took only the two guineas from me.

Q. How long had you been in England?

Tennant. I came to England last Monday; I had only laid one night in London. Kilbert was taken immediately after: they are both the men that robbed me, coming from a farm that was in the neighbourhood.

Q. Did they offer any other violence than throwing you down?

Tennant. No.

Q. What had you drank at the public house?

Tennant. I drank two or three small glasses of wine.

Q. Was you in liquor?

Tennant. No; I was a little merry, but not drunk; the soldier put my hands over his shoulders, and walked with me to the place where he throwed me down.

Kilbert. He only swears this for the reward.

Tennant. The justice told me I should get some money for my expences, if I convicted the offenders; but I know of no other reward.

Francis Dubois . The prosecutor is servant to an officer in the garrison at Calais; I came over along with him last week; our business was to buy dogs; we went to Mr. Burley, and there bought some dogs: in coming back we met these soldiers; they came up, and in time entered into some conversation; I was amazed to hear the soldiers talking English, and my friend knew no English, and my friend talking French to them that knew no thing of French: we came afterwards altogether to a public house; we called for a pot of beer; we drank some; I entered into a conversation with some people there about France, and about the prices of provisions in France, and did not attend to what went forward between the soldiers and my friend: Kilbert called for a bottle of wine; I drank none, I don't know what my friend drank; I did not drink any, nor consider it as my friend's wine, but what the soldiers called for: I called to my friend, and bid him pay for what we had had; he took his purse out, and took out a guinea to change; the master of the house complained it was small; he said, Give me another; he did: I did not see who took up the light guinea, whether the prosecutor, or the prisoners; nor did I see who took up the other guinea. I was in conversation with another man, asking him questions, and did not see it; nor did the prosecutor complain to me that he was robbed of a guinea and the change while in the house. I got up, and we all went out of the house; I sat down upon a bench before the house; I thought the prosecutor was coming back again, that he was only gone into the yard: be came back soon afterwards, and said he was robbed.

Joseph Salt . I keep the Red Lion. These four people, the two soldiers, and the two Frenchmen, came into my house on Wednesday last. They called for a pot of porter. The Frenchmen were between the soldiers. They drank a pot of beer. After the pot was out, one of the soldiers called for a bottle of wine. I thought they did not appear as if they drank wine. I hesitated; one of the soldiers said, D - n your eyes, what do you mean, bring a bottle of wine, I will pay for it. I brought it, and said, Gentlemen, pay for it, I don't chuse to chalk up wine. The soldier said. Blast you, don't scruple, bring another bottle, I will pay for both. The Frenchman took out his purse, and threw a guinea on the table, which I did not approve of. I found it light; I told them it was a bad guinea; the soldier said, D - n your eyes, bring another bottle upon the strength of it. They were very lavish with it, and gave it to

any body that would ask for it. The soldier took up the light guinea, and put it in his pocket. The Frenchman took out another guinea, and gave me; and Kilbert threw back two shillings for a fourth bottle of wine, which they had; then the other soldier put the money in his pocket. The soldier grew uneasy, and wanted more wine; I would not let them have it: then he said, D - n my eyes, let us go. This witness sat down at the door; the two soldiers took the prosecutor with them; they walked about thirty yards: whether he was tripped up, or fell by accident, I could not distinguish, but he fell, and the other two men fell upon him. What they did when they fell I cannot tell; I immediately suspected they were upon no good design: I sent the hostler to fetch the Frenchman back; Kilbert came back along with the Frenchman, the other made off. Kilbert would have persuaded him not to go back with the hostler, but go with him. The other Frenchman went up to the prosecutor. Kilbert left him, and went away. They began to jabber. The other man explained to me, that he had been robbed. We took the soldier before the justice, and found that identical light guinea in his pocket.

Q. Are you sure it was the same light guinea?

Salt. Yes; the prisoner pretended he had taken that guinea for hay-making. The prisoner Kilbert, when first examined, insisted he had never seen the other man before; that he did not know his name; but next morning, when committed, he acknowledged he knew the other man very well. The watch was afterwards found in the prosecutor's great coat pocket. I remember seeing the watch, when the Frenchman went out, in his sob, for I saw the chain dangling low upon his thigh. The soldier was sober, the Frenchman a little in liquor, but not so much but as to know what passed.

Kilbert's Defence.

The landlord seeing the Frenchman in company with us, he encouraged us to drink wine. The landlord brought two bottles when we called but for one, till he made us drunk: it was not my guinea; the Frenchman would make me take the guinea; I don't know whether he did not put it into my pocket; I cannot tell certainly. After we came out of the house, we were walking along; he fell by mere accident: I am entirely innocent; I took nothing from the Frenchman. I would have gone home, but I was so much in liquor I did not know the way.

Jenkins's Defence.

What Kilbert has said is very true. I went immediately home.

Both guilty , Death .


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