WILLIAM HERBERT, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 21st October 1772.

Reference Number: t17721021-50
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty > with recommendation
Punishment: Death
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759. (2d. M.) WILLIAM HERBERT was indicted for that he, on the king's highway, on William Yateman , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one watch, inside case base metal and gilt with gold, and the outside shagreen case, value 20 s. and 5 s. in money, numbered, the property of the said William , May 10 . ++

William Yateman . I am an upholder , and live in Castle-street, Oxford-market; on the 10th of May, between ten and eleven at night, going up Dean-street , into Oxford-road, within about a dozen yards of the end, I was attacked by three men; one came running after me first, and he stopped me, presented a pistol to my head, and demanded my money; seeing but one, I did not immediately comply; after him came up another, and then a little lad, about fourteen or fifteen I suppose: the first clapped a pistol to my head, when the others came up and swore, if I did not deliver my money immediately, they would blow my brains out; I gave him 5 s. and said that was all I had; upon that one, which I take to be the little one, came up to me, and took my watch out of my pocket, as I suppose, I did not feel it at the time, I only missed it afterwards; I was going forward; the biggest put his pistol to me again, and ordered me to go down Dean-street; I told him that was not my way home, but to oblige him I would go that way; he walked with me about ten or a dozen yards; then he ran away, and I saw no more of him. I went and lodged an information at Sir John Fielding 's. I took particular notice of one of them; I do not remember the prisoner; one of them stood off the curb, which I suppose to be the prisoner; I should know the other two if I saw them.

Q. Was you sober?

Yateman. Yes, very sober. There was a lamp pretty near me; my attention was mostly taken up by the man that presented the pistol.

Q. Had the others pistols?

Yateman. I think the little one had, he had something in his hand.

John Dinmore . The accomplice made an information at Sir John Fielding 's: I took the prisoner in Vinegar Yard, and carried him before Sir John. The prisoner's sister had made information that she had the watch of her brother; I went to Lambeth to her, and asked her where the watch was; she said she had sent it to pledge at Mr. Kitcherman's; I found it there. The sister was brought before Sir John, and acknowledged having the watch of her brother.

Margaret Green . I am a watch-maker, and live in St. Martin's-court; the prosecutor called at my house, and desired me to see if that watch, the name, and number, corresponded with the watch I repaired for him; I looked in my books, and saw a watch entered of the same name and number, with Mr. Yateman's name against it.

Jane Gardner . I am the prisoner's sister; my

brother and a young man came up to me, about six or seven months ago; my brother asked me to lend him 16 or 18 s. upon this watch; I gave it to Kitcherman to pawn it; this man came to me and asked me for it; I thought it had been my brother's watch, he used to wear one; I gave the money that I pawned it for to my brother; I lent it to one Mrs. Kitcherman.

Q. What trade is your brother?

Gardner. A watch-maker.

Q. How long had you had it before you gave it to Kitcherman to pawn?

Gardner. A week or fortnight.

Christiana Kitcherman . I live in King-street, Covent-garden; I received a watch from the prisoner's sister, about the 29th of May; I asked her to lend me a guinea; she could not, but lent me this watch to pledge, which I did for 16 s. at the corner of Bow-street. I took it out and returned it to the constable. (The watch produced by the constable.)

Prosecutor. This is my watch; it is in a studded case now; it was in an old plain outside case when I lost it.

Edward Craven . I served my time to a linen draper.

Q. How long have you been in this way?

Craven. About three-quarters of a year. About five months ago, John Waters , William Herbert and I, went out to see if we could find any body to rob; we went into the road; we did not meet with any body till we met with the prisoner in Dean-street, Soho; it was about eleven at night; I went up to him, stopt him, and demanded his money; then Herbert came up and took his watch, and Waters took his money; then we all three went home to our separate lodgings. I kept the watch that night.

Q. What money did you take from him?

Craven. Five shillings in silver. Herbert came up to me next morning, and asked me what we should do with the watch; I told him he might have it himself, and being a watch-maker, he would best know what to do with it; it was reckoned at 16 s. and he gave Waters and me our share of 16 s. and took the watch; it was in a sort of a fishskin case; it was an old case, the skin was wore in the rims. I saw Herbert next day; I asked him what he had done with the watch; he said he had got a new case, and had sold it to his sister for 18 s. John Waters was capitally convicted in June sessions.

Q. What size is he?

Craven. Much about my size *, and he is about twenty years old I believe.

* A middle size.

Q. Did you ever rob with any boy?

Craven. No, never.

Q. to Prosecutor. What did you say about the boy?

Prosecutor. One stood off the kirb stones and he appeared to be very little; I took him to be fourteen or fifteen years old.

Prisoner's Defence.

I saw Craven once or twice in the public house; one day going down King's-street, Seven Dials, I met him and another young fellow not quite so big as myself, rather lustier; Craven asked me to go and drink with him; whilst I was drinking, they said they wanted a little money; he asked me to lend them 16 s. upon his watch; I said I would if he would come to my father's for it in a fortnight, and I gave him a direction; he did not come; I went to my sister and got her to let me have 16 s. on it, the same money that I had given him; I had no concern in taking the watch from the gentleman. Craven lives with Elizabeth Siday who cast Waters; I met her once in Holborn; she told me Craven was taken up for picking of pockets, and asked me to go and see him, and give him some money; I would not; she said she would put him in a way to get some money, and make Waters and me see him; Waters was here yesterday to testify that I was not one of them.

For the Prisoner.

John Braithwait . The prisoner is a watch finisher , and works with his father I believe, who lives in Cold Bath Fields.

Q. You don't know much of him I fancy?

Braithwait. Not lately; I knew him five or six years ago; he bore a good character in his apprenticeship.

Charlotte Herbert . The prisoner is my brother; I never heard any harm of him till this time; his father is ill a bed. There were three more here to his character, but they are gone.

Guilty Death . Recommended .

See Waters tried for a highway robbery, No. 440, in the present mayoralty, when he was convicted, but afterwards obtained a pardon.


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