JOHN BUCKLEY, THOMAS SHENTON.
12th September 1781
Reference Numbert17810912-37
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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505, 506. JOHN BUCKLEY and THOMAS SHENTON were indicted for that they, in a certain field and open place, near the King's highway, in and upon John Mawson feloniously did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a pair of silver shoe-buckles, value 10 s. a silver stock-buckle, value 2 s. a linen stock, value 1 s. a silk handkerchief, value 1 s. a linen handkerchief, value 6 d. and a half-guinea and 120 copper halfpence, in monies numbered, the property of the said John , August the 17th .

JOHN MAWSON sworn.

I live in Newman-street, and deal in cheese . On the 17th of August, as I was going to Pancras with some butter, I was detained at Mother Redcap's by a shower of rain for about three quarters of an hour. I got there about seven o'clock: then I came back by the George, where I staid about ten minutes. As I was coming home, in company with Mr. Andrews, within two fields of the new road that is by the gate-house of Lord Baltimore, we were met by two men; they attacked us both: the man who attacked me I have never seen since. He clapped a bayonet to my breast, and said, with an oath, Your money, or your life! He had on a soldier's waistcoat and breeches. I put the bayonet aside, and gave him my silver, about three or four shillings. He then wished me a good night; but just as he went off, I thought I had an opportunity of seizing him, which accordingly I did, and immediately called out to my friend Mr. Andrews, that I had got my man, and would keep him. In less than a minute after that, while we were struggling, the prisoner Shenton, and two others, came up; they rushed to me immediately, and ran a drawn bayonet smartish against my breast, and swore, that if I did not loose the man immediately, he would run me through directly! I was alarmed at this; I loosed the man, and ran away; they followed me; they soon came up with me, and knocked me down. When I was down upon my back, one of them set his foot upon my breast, and held his bayonet to my belly, and swore a bitter oath, and said he would do for me: I believe that to be Shenton: it was the same man that came to me, and ran the bayonet up to my breast. I begged for mercy: I told them I had a wife and a large family. Buckley, at this time, stood at my feet. He said several times, D - n him, run him through! I saw three or four bayonets drawn; but I don't know whether Buckley had one in his hand. They asked me for more money: I said I had two pockets of halfpence: they then asked me what my buckles were? I said silver; they took them: then they asked what my stock-buckle was? I said that was silver too; upon which they took them. I begged for my stock-buckle, as it had been given me by a relation; but they took it away with the stock. Then one came up, I believe it was the person I had originally taken, and asked them if they had got all? They said, Yes, they believed they had: then, said he, let him go for a fool. At

this time my friend Mr. Andrews came up to beg also for my life; they then gave me a kick or two on my side, and went away. This was as near as could be about nine o'clock: it was duskish; but there was light enough to see them; and I lay upon my back while they were doing all this perhaps for about six or eight minutes, while they were rifling me, and had a full opportunity of seeing them. I did not see any body else in the fields, nor indeed till I came to Tottenham Court turnpike. I am positive the prisoners are two of the men who robbed me.

JOSEPH ANDREWS sworn.

When we came into the second field the prisoner, Buckley, came up to me from a high bank that goes along the field: he caught hold of my breast, and pointed a bayonet at my breast, and said D - n your eyes, your life or your money! Mr. Mawson and I were walking by the side of each other: I saw Mr. Mawson seized by another of the men, not one of the prisoners; the same expressions were used to him. While Buckley was holding his bayonet to me, I struck him with my stick on the head; I then caught hold of him; I threw my arm round his neck, and hugg'd him close to me, and there kept him: I got the point of his bayonet in the hook of my stick, and kept it off; but he continued pushing at me, and pricked me several times in the side. The moment almost that the struggling was over, three other men came up; one came to me with a cutlass, and said, D - n your eyes, I will cut your head from your shoulders, if you don't let him go! Mr. Mawson at this had gone off: one of those three men struck me on the shoulder, and then shook hands with me, and bid me good night; and, upon seeing Mr. Mawson go off, they left me, and ran after Mr. Mawson, upon quitting me. Then I met two more people that I took to be of the same gang, in about twenty yards after: they asked the men that robbed me, whether I had been robbed, or no. I begged of them for my friend's life; they said he should not be hurt; I then deliberated for a moment what I should do, and I resolved to go back; I thought in my mind that if he was killed in the field, I would be killed also: I went back to Mr. Mawson; I found him lying flat upon his back, with three or four people pointing their bayonets to his belly, and swearing they would run him through. Buckley, who was one of them, said, upon my coming up, D - n him, is he come back again? One of them said, Yes; then he said, Search for his buckles; I told them they were not silver, but plated; they said, They would do for them. I am positive Buckley was one of the persons that were there; I am also certain that I saw Shenton with his bayonet pointing to Mr. Mawson's breast. When I came up, it was about nine o'clock, and there was light enough to distinguish their persons. Shenton had on a black coat, with a white waistcoat and breeches; Buckley was dressed as he is now.

WILLIAM WESTON sworn.

I was sitting with some company at the Maidenhead at Battle-bridge. We were informed that a coach had been stopped: we all went out to look for a watch, which had been thrown into the field. While we were looking for the watch, we saw the two prisoners and another: they seemed as if they were looking for the watch; but upon discovering that one had a hanger under his coat, we seized them; we took them to the Maidenhead; there they were searched; and in Buckley's pocket I found this knife (producing it). We did not find any thing upon Shenton.

( John Weston , John Lovegrove , and Daniel Collins , who were with William Weston , confirmed his evidence.)

Andrews. This is my knife: I was robbed of it at the same time.

BUCKLEY's DEFENCE.

I had been that evening to Spitalfields, to take a deserter: I could not find him; I was going home, and these men stopped me on the road, and took me into custody. I found that knife in the Broad Way, Westminster.

SHENTON's DEFENCE.

I never had any correspondence with Buckley. I never saw these gentlemen before

I saw them in the office. I was on the Bank piquet that same night.

BOTH GUILTY . ( Death .)

Tried by the First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron HOTHAM .


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