Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 28 May 2023), May 1737, trial of Richard Sampson John Nugent , otherwise Tipping (t17370526-2).

Richard Sampson, John Nugent, Violent Theft > robbery, 26th May 1737.

s 2, 3 Richard Sampson , and John Nugent , otherwise Tipping , of St. George the Martyr , were indict'd (together with John Williamson , otherwise Scotch Jack, Richard Wheatly , and William Hilliard , not taken) for assaulting the Rev. Mr. Strickland Gough , putting him in Fear, &c. and taking from him a Hat. value 6 s. May 14 .

Mr. Gough. On Friday Night, May 14, a little after 12 o'Clock, I was turning up the Corner of Gloucester-street (where I lodge) and while a Coach was passing by, I was attack'd by these Fellows, and receiv'd several Blows on my Head, which fell'd me to the Ground. I recover'd my self and snatch'd Sampson's Stick out of his Hand, this is the very Stick: They did not say any thing to me, but only beat me in a very violent Manner. I have now a Wound in my Head two Inches long, and as deep as it can be without breaking the Skull. My Hand was likewise hurt, but whether that was by a Blow or by the Fall I cannot tell; I lost my Hat in the Scuffle, or else they stole it. The Prisoner Sampson confess'd the Fact, and that there was more of them in Company, but I can swear only to Sampson. I have called to him in the Gatehouse, and when he heard my Name, he said he remember'd me, and he told me there were six of them in Company, and he had impeach'd them all to Colonel Deveil . When I came to Mr. Deveil's I found Sadler the Evidence, and the other Prisoner Nugent, impeach'd on Sampson's Confession.

Q. Did Sampson say any thing about the Hat? Mr. Gough. No, nothing at all.

Geo Sadler . There were six of us together, and we all went out with the same Intent, to rob who we could. Nugent and Sampson, and Scotch Jack, and Hilliard, and Wheatly, and my self. Going up Gloucester street, by little King-street, a Coach came by, Scotch Jack was first; he knock'd the Gentleman down with a Broomstick; Sampson came up immediately and beat him about the Head with his Stick, and struck him into the Kennel; as he lay in the Kennel he cry'd Wa'a, Wa'a, for he was so abused that he could not speak plain. As he lay padling in the Kennel, a Man came up and asked what was the Matter, so I ran off a little Way, but return'd as if I wanted to see what was the Matter too. The Gentleman said he had been knock'd down and had lost his Hat; we look'd for it but 'twas not to be found. So we went home with him, and when the Maid open'd the Door, he bid her not be frighted.

Sampson. Speak out George that I may hear you.

Sadler. After this I went away, and met the Prisoners the same Night in Holborn -

Q. Which of your Companions did you meet there?

Sadler. Scotch Jack, Sampson, Hilliard and Wheatly. I asked Sampson about the Hat, and he told me he had thrown it over some Rails in Gloucester-street to prevent Discovery, and its being taken upon him.

Q. Was you apprehended for this fact?

Sadler. Yes; Mr. Attley took me and Nugent out of Bed: We were both taken up the next Day, and Sampson was took up afterwards. Mr. Attley call'd me out, and asked me if I had a Mind to save my Life? I told him I could do a great deal (discover a great many) and thereupon I impeach'd this Sampson and all the rest of them. Sampson was the Man that took the Hat off, I saw him take it off, but I did not see him throw it over the Rails; may be he sold it, and only told us he threw it away to cheat us of our Shares.

Mr. Gough. The Evidence swore he should know Sampson's Stick if he saw it again.

Sadler. This is the very Stick that Sampson had. I cut it up as I came from Epsom.

Sampson. Sadler swore before Mr. Deveil, that Nugent went Home ten Minutes before the Thing was done; he perjur'd himself before him, and now he swears the Man was in Company.

Mr. Gough Sadler did say so before Mr. Deveil, but when he was put to his Oath, he swore Nugent was in Company when the Fact was done.

Q. (To Mr. Gough ) Have you any Memory of Nugent's being among them?

Mr. Gough. No; I have no Memory of any but Sampson.

Q. Was Nugent in Company when the Attack was made?

Sadler. He was one of the Company, but when the Attack was made he was about ten Doors off, and did not come up till 'twas over.

Q. Was he by when you agreed to attack Mr. Gough?

Sadler. No; but he was in Sight of us when we did it.

Samuel Berry . Last Monday I was going about my lawful Occasions, and in St. Paul's Church-Yard I met Sampson with a Pair of Boots which he was going to sell; these Boots I suspected he had stole out of a Cellar in St. Giles's, belonging to Mr. Wiltshire; I look'd at the Boots and knew them to be Wiltshire's; so I seiz'd him upon this Account. He told me his Life was in my Hands, and desir'd I would not hang him; I knew him to be a great Criminal, so I brought him by the Collar to Broad St. Giles's. He told me of several Robberies, and among the rest of this; he said he had robb'd a Clergyman on Friday Se'en night at Night, at the End of Gloucester-street, and says he (the Clergyman) is a very pretty Man; for after we had knock'd him down, he got my Stick and used it very well, and if the rest of my Companions had not been Rogues, we should have got a good Booty from him.

Q. Did he name the Gentleman?

Berry. No, he did not name Mr. Gough, only said it was a Clergyman, and that they knock'd him down at the End of Gloucester-street last Friday Se'en-night. I asked him if he knew the Clergyman: He said, No. I asked him if he knew what Parish he belonged to: He told me, No. Nor did he know where he liv'd: But upon his telling me 'twas done at the End of Gloucester-street, I went there, and found out Mr. Gough, who told me he had been robb'd by some Men, and that he had got one of their Sticks from them.

Q. What did you do with Sampson?

Berry. I deliver'd him to this Constable, on Account of the Boots he had stole.

Q. How came he to tell you of the Robberies he had committed?

Berry. Because he thought to make himself an Evidence, but Mr. Deveil found him a Liar, and that Sadler told more Truth than he did; so Sadler was admitted an Evidence. I can tell you a great deal more-about what he said; but may be you ha'n't Time to hear it.

Owen Griffith . I was charged with the Prisoner Sampson on Account of the Boots; he was desirous to be made an Evidence, so I carry'd him to Mr. Deveil, and he gave an Account of five more; upon this Mr. Deveil granted a Warrant for taking them up, and next Morning we took Nugent and the Evidence in Bed together. Sampson told me where I might find them, as I was carrying him to Prison.

Sampson. Did you hear me say I took the Hat?

Griffith. He told me the Gentleman had lost his Hat, but he did not know who had it, for sometimes (says he) we play sink'em upon one another.

Sampson. I desire my Examination before Mr. Deveil may be read.

Mr. Deveil's Clerk. I was present at Sampson's Examination, 'twas taken from his own Mouth, 'twas read over to him, and he own'd it to be true, and sign'd it in my Presence.

The Voluntary Confession of Richard Sampson, taken the 23d of May 1737. Sign'd T. Deveil

Who being examin'd says, '' Last Saturday '' Morning between 3 and 4 o'Clock, he with '' Richard Wheatly , William Hilliard , and John '' Williams, otherwise Scotch Jack, feloniously '' broke open the Shop of one Wiltshire, and stole '' 17 Pair of Boots and Pumps. That all the '' Pumps were sold to one Joanna Worthington in '' Wych street; that she knew them to be stolen '' and the Persons to be Thieves. And that last '' Friday Se'en-night, he, with the aforesaid 3 '' Persons, and Tipping, otherwise Nugent and '' Sadler, attacked a Clergyman near Gloucester-street, '' whom they knocked down, but he making '' Resistance and snatching a Stick out of '' this Examinant's Hand, his Hat was left in the '' Fray, and they had not Time to plunder him '' of any Thing else. That another Time they '' feloniously assaulted and plunder'd a Person unknown, '' and robbed him of 4 s.5 d, Half-Penny '' in Money, and a Glass Tobacco Stopper, '' which he has now produced: That the 4 s, '' were taken by Scotch Jack, and the Half pence '' by this Examinant, and that he had his Share '' of the said Money. That they likewise broke '' open the House of Joanna Worthington, behind '' St. Clement's Church, and took out a Pocket-Book '' and Parcel of Keys, which they returned '' again. That another Time they stole a Parcel '' of Wool from behind a Stage Coach, which '' they sold for 2 s. being about 8 or 10 lb. That '' about 3 Weeks ago they broke open a Taylor's '' Stall, near Dean street, Soho, and stole a '' Pair of Breeches and a Flannel Waistcoat, '' which they sold, and divided the Money among '' them.

Mr. Gough. It was meerly by Sampson's Means. that the other two were taken up.

Sampson. I am wrongfully swore against; I know nothing of his Hat.

Nugent. I know nothing of this (here) Thing. He said before the Justice that I was not in his Company when the Robbery was committed.

Q. (To Mr. Gough) Did Sadler tell you that Nugent was close by when this was done?

Mr. Deveil's Clerk. He said, that Nugent was at a small Distance.

Sampson Guilty . Death . Nugent acquitted .