RICHARD WHITE.
15th February 1797
Reference Numbert17970215-24
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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141. RICHARD WHITE was indicted, for that he, in the King's highway, in and upon George Shilletto , on the 5th of February , did make an assault, putting him in fear, and taking from his person, a metal watch, value 40s. a steel chain, value 6d. two watch keys, value 6d. a metal seal, value 6d. and nine shillings, the goods and monies of the said George .

GEORGE SHILLETTO sworn. - I live in Osborn-street, St. George's in the East: On Sunday night, the 5th of February, as I was returning from Hertford, I was stopped between Enfield-wash and Edmonton ; I was in company with Mr. and Mrs. Wright, in a post-chaise.

Q. What time of the night or day was it? - A. As near as I can recollect, about a quarter after six, or half an hour past six; we were stopped by a single highwayman; he rode up to the horses, and stopped the chaise; he let down the window, and presented a pistol, and demanded our money; we all three gave him what money we had; he then demanded our watches; Mr. Wright told him he had not one, and Mrs. Wright told him the same; I told him. I had a watch, and gave it him; he then rode off; and on the Thursday following, an officer from Bow-street came to where I was employed in Bread-street.

Q. Had you given notice at Bow-street? - A. I had not.

Q. What are you? - A. Clerk to a wholesale grocer, Mrs. Naylor; an officer came there to me, and told me he had taken a man on suspicion, on Sunday night, and told me there was a watch and some other property found upon him, and Mr. Addington wished I would go to the office, to see if it was mine; I went up immediately, and saw the watch at the office; it was my watch; a metal watch, with two keys and a metal seal.

Q. What money did you give him? - A. To the best of my recollection, about nine or ten shillings.

Q. I would ask you whether you could distinguish the person of the man that robbed you? - A. I could not sufficiently to swear to him.

Q. Can you say what sized man he was? - A. I cannot.

Q. Nor the horse? - A. No.

JOHN IZOD sworn - I am a farrier, at Ponder's end: On Sunday, the 5th of this month, about half past six o'clock, I was going home, through Edmonton, when this gentleman stopped a chaise; I stopped, and saw him stop the chaise; I heard him ask for the watch and money, and shew the pistol; I was on the foot path.

Q. Do you know who it was that robbed him? - A. I cannot say further than partly his complex ion; I know what coat he had on; he was a dark man*.

*The prisoner was a Creole.

Q. Was it moon-light? - A. It was quite light.

Q. You could see the complexion of the man? - A. Yes; he was a dark complexioned man, and his hair was very rough, and a kind of a little tail behind; he had a rough blue coat on, a kind of a matted coat.

Q. What horse did he ride? - A. A while horse, with a blaze down the face, rather white nose; and then I saw a pistol, but I cannot say what sort of a pistol it was, rightly, I think it was a brass one; it was not a steel one, I am almost sure, nor yet an iron one; he turned back again, and went before the chaise.

Q. Did you hear what he said? - A. Yes; I heard him say, stop, and deliver your money and your watches.

Q. Did he see you? - A. I should think he must; he stood right over me, he could not miss seeing of me; if I had not seen the pistol, I would have went and took him if I could.

Q. Did you see which way he came towards the chaise? - A. He came from London, and then returned towards London again.

Q. Now look at the prisoner at the bar? - A. That is the gentleman.

Q. Do you mean to say positively he is the man? A. Yes; I am sure of it.

Q. What sort of a voice had he? - A. He had a very gruff voice.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. What kind of a hat had he on? - A. A round hat.

Q. A great coat on? - A. A great coat buttoned round.

Q. And this was half past six? - A. Yes.

Q. I do not know whether you were here in the morning, or not? - A. No; I was not.

Q. The last trial in the morning? - A. No; I was not.

Q. Do you mean to swear that the moon was up? - A. No; I do not.

Q. Then without a moon, and at half past six, on the 5th of February, you swear to a man's complexion, do you? - A. Yes; I could swear very safely that he was a dark man, I looked at him very much.

Q. How many yards might you be off of him? - A. I was only just across the road; he was on one side of the way, and I on the other.

Q. Twenty yards, perhaps? - A. No, not so much.

Q. How much of his complexion might you see? - A. The whole; his face, when he turned his horse's head, I saw more of it.

Q. From the eye to the lower lip? - A. Yes.

Q. Had you ever seen the man before? - A. Never to my knowledge.

Q. Now I should be glad to know whether it was not extermely dusk at this time? - A. No; it was not then, I know.

Q. Will you swear that? - A. Yes; I can swear it was not dark.

Q. It was dark in some degree? - A. Yes, to be sure it was.

Q. That is the best time for observing complexions I suppose? - A. No; I cannot say it is.

Q. I should think every man's complexion would look much the same at that time? - A. I should know a dark man from a light one.

Q. And you swear positively to him? - A. Yes.

Q. Is there any reward in this case? - A. No.

Q. There is not? - A. I do not come with any such view.

Q. You do not know of any reward in this case, if the man is convicted? - A. No.

Q. You have not heard it? - A. No.

Q. How long have you been attending this Court? - A. These four days.

Q. And never heard in your life, that there was a reward for apprehending a highwayman, upon his conviction? - A. Yes.

Q. Then why did you say you had not heard of it? - A. I did not say that.

Mr. Knowlys. Then I will not ask you another question. - I am sure the Jury must have heard his answer.

Court. Q. Have not you an expectation of a share in the reward, if this man is convicted? - A. No; I have not.

Q. Did you assist in taking him? - A. No, I did not.

THOMAS BARRET sworn. - I live at Crouchend, in the parish of Hornsey, I keep the King's-head: The prisoner called, on Sunday the 5th of February, about ten minutes after seven, at my house.

Q. How was he dressed? - A. He had a blue great coat on.

Q. What hat? - A. A round hat.

Q. Did he come on horseback? - A. Yes; upon a brown mare with a white heel behind, and some white upon her face.

Q. What white upon her face? - A. I cannot say particularly what white.

Q. How far is Ponder's end from your house? - A. I never was there, but it is represented to be about six or seven miles; the mare was very hot indeed.

Q. Are you certain it was the prisoner? - A. Yes; he came up to the door, and asked if I took in horses; I was very busy, my boy was out, and I went round and let him into the stable; I would have taken his horse and tied him up, but, says he, I understand the horse better than you, I will tie him up myself; says I, my lad will be in in a few minutes, and he shall come in and dress it; says he, I would be willing to give the lad sixpence to dress my horse well; says he, could I have tea; I told him it was an unseasonable time for tea, and I could not rightly tell; he asked me if I had any thing in the house to eat; I told him we had got some nice roast beef; he seemed to like tea better; I went in and asked Mrs. Barret if she could make tea for one; she said yes, and he came in and had tea; he cleaned the horse himself, and then he came in and washed his hands, he had some eggs with his tea; it seemed a very good horse; and having heard of Lancaster being so lately shot, I thought he might be somebody of that description; I went and looked at his horse in the stable, and found the marks that I have represented to you; after that, I went into the parlour and stirred the fire, and asked him if he was warm and comfortable; he said yes; I asked him if he had rode a great way, for his horse was very hot indeed; he said, the roads were very heavy; he asked me how far it was to Highgate, and I told him; and then he asked me how far it was to Hampstead; then he asked whether the road was lighted from Highgate to town; I told him, yes; and that it was watched and well patroled; in that time, the prisoner wanted another quartern of corn for his horse, and he took it in; and the officers belonging to Mr. Addington happened to come in, and I called out one of the officers, Mr. Bacon, and I told him my thoughts upon this man; and Bacon went and looked at the horse, and then he took him.

Cross-examined by Mr. Raine. Q. The roads at this time were very heavy? - A. I don't know, the prisoner told me so.

Q. You must know whether the roads were or not very heavy? - A. They might be.

Court. Q. They must be? - A. I believe they were.

Mr. Raine. Q. Have you had any conversation with the last witness on this subject? - A. Nothing particular.

Q. What in general? - A. Nothing.

Q. How came you to say nothing particular? - A. It is a common phrase in speaking.

Q. Then you meant that you had had no conversation with him at all? - A. I did.

Q. With respect to this, horse, he had a white

snip? - A. I cannot say, there was some little white in the face.

Q. You examined the horse very particularly? - A. Yes; I went to the stable with a candle.

Q. Had he a white heel? - A. Yes.

WILLIAM BACON sworn. - I am a patrol belonging to Bow-street: On Sunday the 5th of this month I was at Crouch-end, with my party; I was in at Mr. Barret's, I believe we drank a pot of porter; he called me on one side, and told me his suspicions, and I went into the parlour, but he was not there; I returned from the room, and told the landlord no person was there at all; he said, then he supposed he was in the stable, and said, he would be in a moment; I had some more men in the tap-room; I desired one of them to sit down in the parlour, and we had a pint of porter, and in about four or five minutes the prisoner came in; I told him I had a suspicion that he was a highwayman; the words were scarcely out of my mouth when he rose from his chair at the same time that I did, he whipped his hands into his close-bodied coat pocket, his great coat was off, and I immediately secured his hands in his pocket; I took his hands out of his pocket, and told him, if he had any thing in his hands to drop it; he was very quiet; I took his hands out of his pocket and put my own in, and took these pistols, one out of each coat-pocket,(producing them); I then began to search him; he had pantaloons on, and I took them off; out of his pocket I took this watch, I think it was his waistcoat-pocket, I am not quite clear, and several other articles.

Q. Were the pistols loaded? - A. They were loaded and primed, with powder and ball.

Q. Are they loaded now? - A. They are not; I unloaded them before the Magistrate.

Q. Did he say any thing? - A. Nothing particular; I then tied him to one of my own men, and sent him to town; I took the horse and rode her with him till we came to I slington, and there I put him in a coach; I took him to the Brown-bear in Bow-street, and when I took him there, he told me he wanted to speak to me in private; I told him, very well; after that, I took him over to Covent-Garden watch-house; I took him into the back room, and there he asked me if twenty pounds was an object to me, I think that was the word as near as I can speak it; and I left the room immediately.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. How much money was there found about him? - A. A half-guinea, two half-crowns, ten shillings, and two sixpences, and some halfpence.

Q. You know the roads were remarkably dirty and heavy? - A. I have seen them more so.

Q. Were they not very heavy and dirty? - A. They were.

DONALD M'GILLEVRAY sworn. - I held the prisoner when Mr. Bacon was taking the property from him.

Q. (To Bacon.) Have you traced the horse? - A. Yes, to a Mr. Calvert; it was his horse, but he is not here; he was at Bow-street.

Q. (To M'Gillevray.) What did Bacon find upon him? - A. A pair of pistols, and a watch.

Prisoner's defence. Bacon says I offered him twenty pounds, which I had not that money at the time; the man that swears to me says he was twenty yards from me; he swore so at Bow-street; it being dark I don't think he could swear to me at that distance.

Q. (To Bacon.) What time did you come out of London that Sunday? - A. Between five and six o'clock.

Q. Did you observe what kind of light there was at that time? - A. At that time it was certainly rather dusk.

Q. Did it get lighter after that when you got to Crouch-end? - A. I did not make any particular observations upon the light.

Q. Do you think, you being on one side of the road, and a man on the other, you could discover his complexion? - A. I should suppose if a man paid attention to a particular object be might.

Q. (To the Prosecutor.) Look at that watch? - A. This is the watch I gave to the highwayman that Sunday night; I know it by the seals and the keys, and the chain, and every part of the watch; I do not know the number, the maker's name is Plumer.

GUILTY . Death . (Aged 23.)

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice ROOKE.


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