James Godbolt, Harden Handland.
11th September 1771
Reference Numbert17710911-7
VerdictsNot Guilty; Guilty; Not Guilty

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542, 543. (M.) James Godbolt and Harden Handland were indicted, for that they in a certain field and open place near the king's highway on Frederick Huhff did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a certain seal set in gold, and a two guinea piece, one guinea and two half guineas, the property of the said Frederick , July 1st . ++

Both acquitted .

( M.) James Godbolt , and Harden Handland , were a second time indicted, for that they on the king's highway on Henry Hunt did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person 21 pence in money, numbered, the property of the said Henry , July 1st . ++

Henry Hunt . I am a carpenter , and live in Hill-street, Oxford-market. On the 1st of July between 10 and 11 at night, I was coming from Kilborn , home; as I came a little on this side the Yorkshire Stingo two men met me, one tall the other short; the tall one presented a pistol and said he would have my money. I told him if he would be a little easy I would give him my money. Whilst I was getting out my money they swore they would have my watch. I took my money out of my pocket and gave it him, and at the same time took hold of his pistol and wrenched it out of his hand. They both ran away. I stept after the tall one. I thought he would run too fast for me, so I turned about and run after the short one. I called to him, and told him if he did not stop I would shoot at him or blow his brains out. I came up pretty near him, but not near enough to lay hold of him; I attempted to fire the pistol at him; it flashed in the pan but did not go off. I could run no further; so he made off over the fields to Portland Square. One thing I observed as he came round with the pistol, he hopp'd a little.

Q. Was it a dark night?

Hunt. A little darkish, not very dark; I saw the bottom of Godbolt's face; I think it is his face.

Q. Is Godbolt lame?

Hunt. Yes, he is lame. He said before the justice he could not run; the justice called in one of his servants and asked if he could run; the servant said yes, very fast.

Q. Do you recollect the dress of either of them?

Hunt. The tall one had light coloured clothes, the short one dark brown or black, brown I believe; they were in their own hair.

Q. Had they great coats or common coats?

Hunt. I believe furtout coats, but am not quite sure. They took 18 d. in silver, and a good many halfpence.

Q. Did you hear them speak?

Hunt. I heard only the tall one speak.

Q. When you heard him speak before the justice had you any recollection of his voice?

Hunt. I thought I had.

Q. Upon the whole what is your belief of the matter, that the prisoners are or are not the men?

Hunt. The tall one I verily believe is the man.

Q. What do you say to the other?

Hunt. He stood on my right hand; I did not observe much of him. This is the pistol, (producing a pistol about a foot long) it was charged half up with short pieces of tobacco-pipe and a piece of a spoon cut to pieces.

Prisoner. I never had a light coloured coat.

Prosecutor. At justice Welch's several people said he had a light coloured coat, as I described.

Sheredine. I was not in that robbery; only I heard Godbolt say, on Wednesday or Thursday morning, when I went up to his room that he had bad luck. I said what bad luck? He said he stopt a gentleman and a lady; that he asked them for their money; that the gentleman gave him 18 d. and some half-pence; he said he went to take his watch; the gentleman put his finger in the trigger of the pistol, and one pulled one way, and the other the other. That the gentleman being rather stronger, got it away; and he hearing somebody coming up on horseback or a foot, he was forced to let go the pistol, and ran away and hid himself.

Q. When did you hear this?

Sheredine. The morning after the robbery was committed.

Q. How long was that before you was taken up?

Sheredine. We were taken up on Sunday; it was the Thursday or Friday before.

Q. Did you see the other man?

Sheredine. No; Godbolt was the person that told this to me.

Q. Was this after the robbing of Mr. Hhuff?

Sheredine. Yes; it was on Monday night we robbed Mr. Hhuff; this was the Wednesday or Thursday night.

Q. Do you know that pistol?

Sheredine. Ours had such a hook, with which I us'd to hook it to the inside of my coat.

(Note, It has a hook 5 inches long to hang in to the inside of a coat.)

Q. What did you do with the pistol you robbed Mr. Hhuff with?

Sheredine. This is the pistol, I believe; it was given to Godbolt; what he did with it I do not know; it was his pistol; we always returned it to Godbolt.

Q. What sort of ammunition did you load it with?

Sheredine. I never saw the pistol loaded; whether it was loaded or not I cannot say; it was primed when I had it.

Q. How happened you not to be out that night?

Sheredine. I was out somewhere, I do not know.

Q. Do you live at the same house?

Sheredine. No; we live at separate places near each other.

Q. What clothes was Godbolt dressed in that morning when he talked of his ill luck?

Sheredine. I think in a brown coat; he had a light coloured coat on on Monday night when he robb'd that gentleman.

Q. Then what became of that coat?

Sheredine. I never saw it after that Monday night.

Q. from Godbolt. Did not you say you came up and drank gin with me that night?

Sheredine. No.

Q. to Mr. Hunt. Did you hear him say so?

Hunt. No; I did not.

Godbolt's Defence.

I know no more about it than the child unborn.

Godbolt Guilty , Death .

Handland Acquitted .

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