Robert Connor.
15th May 1771
Reference Numbert17710515-16

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340. (M.) Robert Connor was indicted for stealing a silk purse, value 6 d. and three guineas in money, numbered, the property of Elizabeth Chancellor , in the dwelling house of the said Elizabeth , April 8 . *

Mrs. Chancellor. I live in Duke-street, St. James's . I am a lace merchant : my warehouse is up one pair of stairs backwards. On the eighth of April I was sitting in my back parlour, with my little grand-daughter, who is about four years old, and Elizabeth Hampton , my journeywoman. I heard a single knock at the door about eight o'clock: I sent Elizabeth Hampton down; she opened the door, and was running to give me the message. Before she came in, the prisoner at the bar rushed in; he moved his hat, and a black crape fell from under it over his face; he took a sword and pistol in his hand, and said, This is the suit of lace; you bitch, your money; I said, My money! he said, Give me your purse, or else you are a dead woman. I put my hand in my pocket for my purse: he held the pistol near my face: he said, D - n your blood, don't trifle; I am a gentleman in disress; I want two hundred pounds. I told him I had no more money in the house: then he bid me pull off my coat, and turn my pockets out; and he put in his hands to rifle them: he found no more money.

Q. Now look upon the prisoner; recollect yourself well, and tell me if you can be sure as to his person?

Chancellor. Yes; I am sure that is the man that took my purse from me.

Cross Examination.

Q. This was eight at night, on the eighth of April: it was dark, I suppose?

Chancellor. I can't tell; I had a candle in my parlour.

Q. You was frighten'd, I suppose?

Chancellor. Not. till he took out the pistol and sword, and dropped the crape; but he walked some way into the room before he let down the crape.

Q. You saw him as he came from the door?

Chancellor. Yes.

Q. You say he rushed forwards?

Chancellor. Yes; he must be sometime a coming.

Q. Had you half a minute's time to look at him?

Chancellor. Yes; more than that, to be sure.

Q. Had you ever seen him before?

Chancellor. I cannot tell.

Q. How soon did you see him after the robbery?

Chancellor. Upon Wednesday, at Sir John Fieldings .

Q. Did you know him at first?

Chancellor. Yes; as soon as ever I saw his face.

Q. How was he dressed when he came to your house?

Chancellor. In a sort of surtout coat, like that Moran had at Sir John Fielding 's.

Q. Had he a laced hat on?

Chancellor. I can't tell; I was terrified when the child cried.

Q. You say you was frightened?

Chancellor. Not till I saw the black come over his face; and that must frighten a woman; very likely it would frighten a man.

Q. from the prisoner. Whether before Sir John Fielding you did not say you could swear to my eyes through the crape, and the stoop in my shoulders?

Chancellor. I swore to his face; that I knew it before he let fall the crape.

Q. Did you or not say before Sir John Fielding , you could swear to his eyes through the crape?

Chancellor. I do not remember them little things; I said I could swear to the man?

Q. Perhaps you said before Sir John Fielding you could swear to his eyes through the crape?

Chancellor. I might say I could see his eyes through the crape.

Q. Could you from seeing him with the crape on in your room, swear to his eyes?

Chancellor. No; I swear to nothing with the crape on; I swear to him before.

Court. You never pretended to say before Sir John Fielding that your knowledge of him was through the crape?

Chancellor. No.

Elizabeth Hampton . I lived with Mrs. Chancellor. I am her journeywoman. On the eighth of April, at about eight o'clock in the evening, Mrs. Chancellor and her little grand-daughter were sitting together in the parlour: there was a single knock at the door: I went: the prisoner was at the door. I opened it: the prisoner asked if Mrs. Chancellor was at home; I said, I did not know but I would go and see: he said he had got a suit of lace to shew Mrs. Chancellor, just come from abroad. I told him to stop a bit at the door, before I could get into the parlour to deliver the message, he got past me into the room: he went as far as the table where Mrs. Chancellor was sitting; then he lifted up his hat, and a black silk, or crape fell down over his face.

Q. He had not any silk or crape over his face when you let him in, or when he came into the parlour?

Hampton. No; he presented a pistol and sword to Mrs. Chancellor, and said, This is the suit of lace, you bitch; 'tis your money I want: he said he was a gentleman in distress, and wanted two hundred pounds, and would have it.

Q. Did your mistress give him any money?

Hampton. Yes; she gave him her purse: he d - d the purse, and said, That will not do for me; I am a gentleman in distress, and want two hundred pounds: the child cried; he held a pistol to her, and called her little squeaking bitch, and said if she did not hold her tongue he would blow her brains out. he ordered Mrs. Chancellor to go up stairs directly, and then he took up the purse.

Cross Examination.

Q. Your conversation at the door was very short, I believe.

Hampton. Yes.

Q. Was there no other conversation than what you mentioned?

Hampton. No.

Q. By what light did you see him?

Hampton. The lamp which is over the door: as soon as he got to the table, he let down the black over his face.

Q. About half a minute?

Hampton. Longer than half a minute, I think.

Q. Your expression was, he rushed?

Hampton. He came that minute into the parlour, and pushed the door to.

Q. You had no-opportunity of seeing his face I suppose, but what you saw at the door?

Hampton. Yes; in the parlour; I just got into the parlour first; I saw his face before he got up to the table.

Q. Can you describe any part of his dress?

Hampton. He had a lightish brown great coat on.

Q. A plain, or laced hat?

Hampton. Not laced that I know of; I am not sure.

Q. Have you any doubt of his being the person?

Hampton. No; I am certain he is the man.

Q. from the prisoner. Did you ever say you could swear to Sir Harry Harpur 's cook being the man?

Hampton. No.

Q. Was he first accused of being the man?

Hampton. Yes; he is vastly like him about the eyes; but when I went to Justice Fielding's, the minute I went in, the prisoner was there. I said, Sir Harry Harpur 's man is not the man, that is the man.

Q. Was there any reason to suspect Sir Harry Harpur 's man?

Hampton. There was a dog of Sir Harry Harpur 's came in with him.

For the Prisoner.

Sarah Vanderplank . I have know him almost two years; he is an extraordinary honest man.

Q. What business does he follow?

Vanderplank. A sea-faring man.

James Crosby . I am a dealer in tea. I have known him three years. I commenced an acquaintance with him at Sir William Stanhope 's, where he was butler. I had so good an opinion of him, that I used all my efforts to get him another place.

Edward Wainright . I am a peruke-maker. I have known him twenty-four years.

Q. During the time he lived with Sir William Stanhope ?

Wainright. I can't say, particularly.

Q. Have you known him this last twelve months.

Wainright. I recommended him to a gentleman that he travelled with, he was abroad with him three years, seventeen years ago; after that he went to sea.

Q. How often had you seen him within this last twelve months?

Wainright. Frequently.

Barnard Faulke , Esq; I am consul for the King of Denmark. I reside at Falmouth; I have known him about twenty months; he has done business for me. I always found him very honest.

Nicholas Clark . I am a victualler. I have known him five or six months; he used my house, he always behaved very civil and well.

John Rashley . I keep a house and let lodgings, the prisoner lodged with me this last five or six months; he has bore a good character.

John Randal . I am a taylor. I have known him twenty one months, he has a good character.

Robert Morrison . I am a victualler. I have known him four years; I never heard any thing of him but a good character.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was drawn in to commit the robbery by the accomplice.

Guilty , Death .

There was another indictment against him for robbing Mrs. Chancellor at the same time of to the value of upwards of 2000 l.

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