Matth.ew Cheston.
7th September 1720
Reference Numbert17200907-41
VerdictNot Guilty

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Matth.ew Cheston , of Finchly , was indicted for a Misdemeanour in Assaulting Flexmore Dakins Esq , on the High Way, on the 12th of July last, with an Intent to rob him . Mr. Dakins deposed, that he coming from Barnet the Day aforesaid, met the Prisoner near Highgate , who by his riding seem'd intended to keep the Road, but did turn out of it Cursing and Swearing; that he turn'd and gallop'd after him (the Prosecutor) and cut him with his Whip; that he (the Prosecutor) whipt him again; whereupon the Prisoner clapt a Pistol to his Brest and said, G - d d - n you, Deliver; dismounted and took hold of the Reins of the Prosecutor's Horse, which gave him time to draw his Sword; that the Prisoner said if you do not put up your Sword and deliver, I will shoot you through the Head; but hearing the trampling of Horses coming up, the Prisoner said, if you will put up your Sword, I will put up my Pistol; which was done, and he threw himself off his Horse upon the Prisoner, and his Man came up and they secured him; that they found in his Pocket a Pistol, and a Stock to screw it on that would turn it into a Gun, (but the long Barrel that was to scrue on was not about him) Powder, Bullets, a Paper of Nails and two Moulds to cast Bullets in; that as he was dragging him along he ask him if he would carry him before Major Bealing ; he answered him, Yes. Then he replied, G - d d - n you, I am sorry I did not shoot you through the Head. The Prosecutor's Servant deposed, that when he came up his Master had the Prisoner by the Collar and he got off his Horse to his Master's Assistance; that his Master ask'd the Prisoner for the Pistol he charged against him, but he denied it; that they took it from him and the other Arms, and the Prisoner dropt a Bullet Mould; that they carried him to Mr. Horton's, sent for a Constable, and had him before Justice Bealing. The Pistol (or Gun) and other things before mentioned were produced in Court. Mr. Pitford deposed, that the Prisoner came to his Shop about 2 a Clock to borrow a Bullet Gun to go to a Shooting Match, that he left him the Gun produced in Court, and he promised to return it in two or

three. Days time; and that he had a long Barrel to screw on when he lent it him. Mr. Langborn deposed, that Mr. Dakins came to his House, and askt if he knew Matthew Cheston , told him there was a Robbery committed on Saturday last near Highgate, and also told him that he met the Prisoner there abouts, who not giving him the Road, he gave him a lick or two with his Whip; that he drew his Sword, and the Prisoner levelled his Guns at him; that they both put up, and he believed the Prisoner had no Design to rob him. Roger Hitchcock deposed, that he hearing that the Prisoner was committed, went to the Prosecutor's at Highgate to enquire how the matter was. That the Prosecutor told him they began with whipping for the Road: that they past one another and the Prisoner return'd and they whipt again, that he told the Prisoner if he was for that he would gave him enough of it; that the Prisoner told him put up his Sword, and he bid him put up his Gun; that after the Whipping the Prisoner bid him stand and deliver; and that the Prisoner was much in Drink on a Cart-Horse, and without Spurs Mr. Dawson deposed, that he going into Dr. Longborn's Shop, when Mr. Dakins was there and talking of this Matter; he heard him (the Prosecutor) say that the Prisoner was drunk, and not giving him the Road he whipt him, who askt what that was for, that the Prisoner drew his Gun, and he his Sword, and told him if he would put up his Gun he would put up his Sword; that he believed the Prisoner had no intent to rob him; but he would prosecute him for his Impudence. Mr. Hall deposed, that when he came up he thought they were whipping for the way; that the Prisoner was so fuddled that he fell against his Horse as he was going to get up; and that he had a heavy Horse. The Prisoner called a great many to his Reputation, several of whom have had Dealings with him, who gave him a good Character, and one of them deposed, that last Year he rented Forescore Pound a Year: The Jury considering the whole matter Acquitted him.


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