9th December 1789
Reference Numbert17891209-1
VerdictNot Guilty

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1 D'ARCY WENTWORTH was indicted for feloniously assaulting John Pemberton Heywood , Esq . on the king's highway, on the 10th day of July last, in the parish of Finchley, and putting him in fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person, and against his will, a silk purse, value 1 s. a base metal

watch, value 40 s. a steel chain, value 1 s. four cornelian seals set in gold, value 8 l. a red morocco leather tweezer case, value 1 d. six guineas, a crown piece, and nine shillings, and a piece of foreign copper coin, value one farthing, his property .


I was robbed on the 5th of July last, on the highway; I left Lincoln's-inn a little before eleven o'clock; I was going into the north; there was another gentleman with me in a post chaise; it was a very rainy morning; nothing particular happened till we got to Finchley Common ; when the first thing I observed, was two men rode up past the chaise, one on one side, and the other on the other, and called out stop! stop! not having the least idea of a robbery at that time of day, I let down the window, and called out, what do these fellows want? the gentleman that was with me in the chaise, called out, want! d - n me, why we are stopped and robbed; the man who was less than the prisoner, was on a bay horse; the other man, whom I took to be the prisoner, was mounted on a black horse; and the other man rode up to the side of the chaise, and presented a pistol, and said, your purses, your purses; they both presented a pistol; then the taller man that was on my side of the chaise, who staid longer with the postilion than the other, came to my side of the chaise, and presented a pistol, and said, your purses, your purses; he first asked me for my purse. I said something to him, that I was surprised at such a thing happening at that time of day; he immediately said, no talk, your purse I immediately gave him my purse, in which there were six guineas in gold, and some silver; I cannot say exactly the quantity; but I remember there was six guineas in gold, and some silver; as soon as he had my purse, he said, your watches gentlemen, your watches; the other man had taken my companion's watch; I told him I had no watch; he said, no watch! and I said, no, I never travel with a watch? and he said, pho, pho, I know who you are very well; I know you do travel with a watch, give it me; I thought before I denied having a watch any more, that I would look down, to see if it was visible; and I looked down, and saw the seals hanging on my thigh; then I said, if you know so much about the matter, you must have the watch; and I gave him my watch; there were four seals, three cornelian, and one white chrystal set in gold; then he said, now Sir, your rings; and I said, rings, Sir, we have no rings; he seemed to be satisfied with that; he said, your pocket books; he said, you must have pocket books; and I pulled out a red morocco tweezer case, and said, you; surely will not take it? and he said, no; and I was going to put it back; and he said, yes, I will take it too, and there was an imperial farthing in the tweezer case, a pen knife, and a pair of scissars; I mentioned that in my examination at Bow-street.

Look at the prisoner, and tell the gentlemen of the jury whether you can swear positively that he was the person that committed this robbery? - I do verily believe the prisoner to be the man that committed the robbery; I had seen him before, and I was very much struck with the circumstance of his saying, that he knew me; and when he was gone I began to recollect what highwayman it was likely I should know; and seeing the prisoner at York, which I once or twice had the pleasure of doing; I said to the gentleman that was with me, if I was not sure that D'Arcy Wentworth was out of the kingdom, I should be sure it was him; I knew that considerable pains had been taken by myself, and others to get him out of the kingdom; I did at that time think he was abroad: I had some reason to think it; I have mentioned to you, that while he was arguing with me about my watch, he held the pistol to my head, and I said, Sir, we are totally unarmed, and can make no defence, therefore I should be obliged to you to point the pistol another way; upon which he turned his horse a little, and either by accident or the wind, the crape flew up, and I saw the lower part of his

face very distinctly, about as far as his nose; I saw across his face, and I saw the lower part of his face very distinctly.

Then you cannot positively say the prisoner was the person? - Whatever strong belief I might have in my own mind, as I did not see his face, I certainly would only chuse to say what I have said, that I do believe him to be the man, but I did not see his face; he has a pretty strong Irish brogue, as you will hear, if you hear him speak.

You had some knowledge of the prisoner before? - Yes, my lord, he was at York some time, and during one summer assize, I saw him repeatedly at Mr. Sinclair's house, that was four or five years ago; he lived at Mr. Sinclair's house then.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel. Mr. Heywood, I am very glad that in the latter part of your examination, a circumstance has come out, as it explains what you said of knowing the prisoner at York, because, when Barristers talk of knowing a prisoner at York, it makes impressions; I believe when you knew him, it was in the character of a gentleman visiting at a very respectable house in the country of York? - Certainly, it was, and very respectably he behaved; I thought him a very agreeable young gentleman; I know he was introduced by a very respectable gentleman; I believe he is of an excessive good family in Ireland.

You have given your evidence, as all of us, who know you, expected you would, with great candour and fairness; is not the appearance of the prisoner exceedingly altered from that which you remember to have seen of him at York? - Yes, he is grown much larger and stouter.

But the opinion you took up was from the circumstance of having known him before? - Yes, and which circumstance, I am told, made a much greater impression upon me than it should; for I am told it is a very common thing for them to say that they know people: I never saw him since the robbery, till I saw him at Bow-street.

Now, Mr. Heywood, I must ask you a question, which we frequently ask witnesses, to discredit their testimony; you will do me the justice to believe that I do not ask it you with that intention; soon after the robbery did you meet nobody on the common that you might have communicated this to? - I had the pleasure to meet you, Sir, on the common soon after.

And very kindly let me go on to be robbed, I believe? - I had no idea that you would be robbed.

I had the good fortune to escape your kind wishes? - I dare say you had; I do not think you was in any danger of being robbed.

Court. Would the prisoner say any thing.

Mr. Garrow. No, my lord, I would not advise him to say any thing on this occasion.

Have you any witnesses.

Mr. Garrow. No.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron PERRYN.

Prosecutor. My lord, Mr. Wentworth the prisoner at the bar, says, he has taken a passage to go in the fleet to Botany Bay; and has obtained an appointment in it, as assistant surgeon , and desires to be discharged immediately.

Court. Let him be discharged.

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