Crime and Punishment, 1730

3 January 1730   On Saturday morning last, a little before seven o’clock, the St. Edmund’s-Bury and Norwich stage-coaches were stopt by two highwaymen, in South-Mill Bottom, almost a mile from Hockerill, in the way to London, and all the passengers robbed. The passengers in the Norwich coach lost 15l. 7s. 6d. those in the other coach, not above 24 or 30s.
     Whilst the highwaymen were busied in searching the coaches, three gentlemen on horseback were separately passing the road, who they also stopot, and took from one 7s. another about 4l. and a watch, and the third betwixt 3 and 4l.
     The rogues, when the two last Gentlemen came up, were getting the passengers out of the coach to strip them, suspecting they had concealed some of their effects, which design they departed from after they had got the last booty, and rode full speed off, driving the Gentlemens horses before them for about a mile, having first pulled off the bridles.
     They seemed to be fellows of great dexterity in their business: The one is a tall man, long-visaged, with a black beard, and sanguine complexion, and a light wig ramelly’d, rode an ordinary scrub bay horse.
     The other a short squat fellow, full faced, and of a pale sodden complexion, with a dark wig, and seemed to have a small blemish or hurt on one eye, rode a black horse, thought to be an hack, with a longish tail, and had a crupper to his saddle.
     They had horse and pocket pistols; by the brightness of the barrels they appeared new: One of them snapped a pistol at a Gentleman’s head, which did not go off. They had on drab-colour’d horsemens coats. It is supposed they went off the Hoddesdon road. . . .
     On Saturday evening, about nine o’clock, five highwaymen scour’d the roads between London and Tottenham, and between London and Hackney; on the first they robb’d three Gentlemens coaches beyond Stamford-Hill; and coming on, between Newington and Kingsland, they robb’d a poor man, who had been selling turnips at Newington, from whom they took about 20s. which, as he said, was all the money he had in the world; After they had left him, the poor man, provoked at the loss of his money, gave them some ill words, and among the rest, called them Yorkshire Rogues, for robbing a poor man; at which the fellows said one to another, D[am]n him, the dog knows us, go and shoot him; and two of them came back and both fired at him, and lodg’d three or four slugs in his body. Mr. Dansey, a surgeon, dressed the poor man’s wounds, and took out several of the shot, but the man is since dead. . . .
     Last Sunday . . . about four a-clock in the afternoon, a Gentleman was attack’d by two highwaymen on Hounslow-Heath, near the town, and robb’d of his horse worth twenty guineas, his watch and money. While they were rifling him, a countryman came by, whom they stopp’d, and after they had done with the Gentleman, they robb’d him also.
     The same highwaymen robb’d four or five persons more near the same place, before the Gentleman was got out of sight; one of whom he met, and advis’d him to go back, telling him, he had just before been robb’d; which good advice he would not take, but rode on; and he had not got 200 yards before the highwayman came up with him, and he shar’d the same fate.
     The highwaymen rode upon two scrubby cart-horses, one of which, (after they had got the Gentleman’s horse) they left on the Heath; which he took and rid to town upon, and has now in his possession. [Weekly Journal, or The British Gazetteer]

8 January 1730   The Prisoners in Chelmsford Gaol, have pased the holidays much to their satisfaction, in the company of a Merry Andrew, lately sent thither from Epping. Two itinerant sons of Æsculapius met there, and had a fierce contest who should have the calves of Essex. One was mounted on his stage in the usual pomp, the other on a tub near enough to disturb him. The facetious mortal now with us, presuming his words were to go for nothing,
threat[e]ned the tub-doctor to revenge this insult in another place; upon which he swore the peace against him. Upon spending the garnish money, Merry Andrew’s hearing came on, as is the custom, and he was acquitted, there being no proof that he had sold him a packet, and it being urged in his favour that his pills were the only weapons he carry’d about him to bring a man in danger of his life. [Grub-street Journal]

10 January 1730   On Sunday morning, Mrs. Bendish coming to town from her house at Chinkford, and seeing on Epping Forest a person whom she suspected to be a highwayman, she took off her rings and watch, which she concealed in the coach with her gold; soon after the fellow came up, ordered her to let down the glass, and then demanded her green purse, which by this time she had prepared for him, having put in it 3s. 6d. and some half-pence, and tied it in a hard knot; he then asked her for her watch and rings, but seeing she had neither, he told her she might go on, and if she met two persons at the bottom of the hill, she need only say Poor Robin, and they would not moleset her.
     On Monday last as three higglers were coming from Endfield to London, they were attacked by two highwaymen between Kingsland and Shoreditch, who robbed them all of what money they had; but one, who perceived them at a distance, wrap'd up his money in a piece of cloth, and dropt it on the ground, and thereby secured it.
     The same morning, a poulterer going to Leadenhall Market between 4 and 5 of the clock, was knock'd down and robbed by three street robbers of two guineas, one Moidore and 11s. at the end of Kingstreet, Cheapside.
     On Wednesday one Brown, formerly a bailiff's follower, was committed to the County Gaol in Surrey, on suspicion of robbing two gentlemen the night before on Kennington Common. (London Journal)

17 January 1730   Wednesday . . . morning early several people were robbed between Islington and Holloway, by 2 highwaymen; in particular Mr. Smith, a carcass butcher, whom they stript and took his horse; and Mr. White, a carrier, from whom they took his horse; after which they robbed a woman coming to town with fowls and butter, and used her in a barbarous manner. (London Journal)

17 January 1730   On Saturday last one Thomas Doler, Thomas Dolby, and one Rogers a bailiff’s follower, were secured in St. Martin’s Round-House up an information of one of their gang; and being examined on Sunday last before a Bench of Justices, were by them committed to the Gatehouse for street robbers, &c. and on Monday two others of the said gang that usually blacked shoes on the Parade in St. James’s Park, were also taken by the aforesaid information, and were by Justice Hughes, the Judge Advocate at the Horse Guards, committed to the said gaol. The aforesaid Thomas Doler is one of the evidences against Mr. Acton, who is to take his tryal the next Assizes for the County of Surrey, on an appeal for murder. (London Journal)

22 January 1730   Of late frequent robberies have been committed about Greenwich, Blackheath, and Lewisham, by rogues that have dropt on Blackheath several notes, signifying, that whoever they find travelling without 10s. shall not only be stript, but also cudgel’d very heartily. [Grub-street Journal]

7 February 1730   Last Saturday Francis Hackabout was committed to Newgate by Justice Robe, on the oath of Aaron Dutell and Geo. Gaily, for violently assaulting and robbing them on Wednesday night last of 3l. 19s. a silver watch, and other things, near Islington Turn Pike, in conjunction with another who was in company with the said Hackabout, at an alehouse over against the Common Hunt, at the time he was apprehended, but found means to make his escape. They are supposed to be the persons who robbed Mr. Wilford, a butcher, and his wife, of Islington, as they were returning in a hackney coach from the Tower. (London Journal)

14 February 1730   On Monday evening Mr. Mark Crosse was stopped by two foot-pads in the road leading from Kentish Town to Hampstead Road, who demanded his money; which he refusing to deliver, one of them knocked him down, and the other cut his throat with a razor; they then took from him his watch, a guinea and 15s. A gentleman coming by soon after on horseback, and hearing Mr. Crosse groad, got off to his assistance, and carried him to his house in Swallow-street, St. Giles's, where he died on Wednesday morning. (London Journal)



28 March 1730   On Saturday evening about 6, a young Gentlewoman, attended by one servant, coming towards London, was robbed of 5 guineas and her gold snuff-box, by a highwayman in Finchley-Lane. He had on a blue jocket habit, trimm'd with gold: After exchanging some words with the footman, he gave him a crown, and rode off. (London Journal)

9 April 1730   Tuesday, April 7. Yesterday . . . John Hinder stood in the pillory near St. George’s Church in Southwark; at first mounting the same, he refused to put his head into the holes thereof, but the Constables insisting on his standing in due form, he was severely treated by the populace; and one person who was for securing a person that threw some dirt at him, had his eye cut so dangerously, that it’s fear’d he will lose the sight thereof. [Grub-street Journal]

7 May 1730   Thursday, April 30. Yesterday Drumond and Shrimpton, lately hanged in chains on Stamford-hill, were removed with their gibbet to a remote part of the Common, near the place where Joseph Still was hanged in the like manner. [Grub-street Journal]

16 May 1730   On Tuesday the four following malefactors were executed at Tyburn, viz. Abraham Israel alias Jones, a Jew, for robbing his master Mr. da Costa, jun. of money and jewels; James Dalton, the noted street robber; Thomas Williams, for felony and burglary; and David Aubert, for robbing his master Charles Ecklin, Esq; of a considerable quantity of plate, &c. – Hugh Norton, condemned for robbing the Bristol Mail, who was to have suffer'd with the other prisoners, found an opportunity about six o'clock that morning to hang himself with a belt; and on Wednesday his body was hanged in chains on Hounslow Heath, pursuant to the Order in the Warrant for his execution. (London Journal)

21 May 1730   Thursday, May 14. Yesterday the body of Houghton, that hanged himself in the cell at Newgate the day before, was carried in a cart to Hounslow-Heath, and there hanged in chains.
     This person hanged himself in the following manner: He made his belt, which buckled up his irons, fast to the bars of the cell window; and to make it of a convenient length, he tied his handkerchief to it, putting the same about his neck; and without making a knot, kept hold of the end of it with his left hand, kneeling down till he was dead; in which posture he was found by his Keeper, who had not been from him 8 minutes. The said person had been purposely hired to watch him, to prevent his laying violent hands on himself, he having declared, when the poison he had taken was expelled, that they should not hang him. [Grub-street Journal]

21 May 1730   Monday, May 18. The body of Hugh Houghton, that was hanged in chains last Wednesday on Hounslow-heath, has been since stolen from off the gibbet. [Grub-street Journal]

4 June 1730   Monday, June 1. Frid. last John Doyle sent for an undertaker to Newgate, to agree with him about his burial, and writ with his own hand the following words to be chased in a plate, and put upon his coffin, John Doyle died June 1, 1730, in the 31st year of his age. And on Sat. the coffin was carried to his cell for his approbation.
     After died he should have added being hanged.
     Tuesday, June 2. Yesterday John Doyle and John Young, 2 highwaymen, were carried from Newgate and executed at Tyburn, the former in a mourning coach, and the latter in a cart: they both seemed to behave in a becoming manner, and care was taken by their friends that they may be decently interred. [Grub-street Journal]

13 June 1730   Last Saturday one John Sheffield was committed to Newgate by Justice Lambert, on the oath of John Waller, for robbing him on the highway in Essex of eleven guineas, seven shillings, and several India handkerchiefs. It is remarkable that James Dalton was lately executed, having been convicted upon the evidence of the said Waller, for robbing, him on the highway; and four other persons were committed to Newgate upon his oath for robbing him, in order to take their trials last Sessions; but the Bills of Indictment against two were return’d Ignoramus, the other two were try’d and acquitted. [Weekly Journal, or The British Gazetteer]

20 June 1730   Mr. Stoneleyton, a master-carpenter in Ratcliff-highway, attack’d, on Sunday Night last, about ten, by one foot-pad in a sailor’s jacket, who came up to him with a knife in his hand, swearing he would cut his throat if he cry’d, and then rifled him of his watch and 6s. in money. He had a ring upon one of his fingers, which the villain observ’d, and some people advancing, he cut his finger off at the upper joint, and then dropt his knife and made off. There is T.H. in a cypher, upon the handle of the knife. [Fog’s Weekly Journal]

27 June 1730   On Tuesday night two Bailiffs coming from Hampstead, where they had been to see the Races, were set upon by three foot-pads, who robbed them of two silver watches, a mourning ring, 11s. and 76d. and a parcel of Writs. They desired very much to have the ring and Writs again, but one of the rogues made answer (with a hearty oath) I have no remorse of conscience, when I play at Rob Thief. Some company coming up to them, they told their story; but could not tell what the villains meant by their words. They desired their assistance to pursue ’em, which they did as far as Hampstead, but to no purpose. [Fog’s Weekly Journal]

9 July 1730   Peter Bluck hath pleaded Not Guilty, and was yesterday tried and acquitted. An apothecary deposed, that he believed, that Mr. Bluck’s daughter died of convulsion fits: 2 searchers deposed the same. 2 Gentlemen swore, that Mr.Bluck was lunatic, before the death of the child. Upon which the jury brought him in Non compos mentis. Since his confinement, he gave a relation 50l. to save his body from being anatomized. This dread of the barbarity of surgeons after death, is very common to the lunatic in Newgate. [Grub-street Journal]

23 July 1730   Tuesday, July 21. The gang of thieves that have so much infested the roads between London and Islington, &c. is said to consist of 8 or 9 young fellows, having 1 old thief among them. On sat. 3 of them, (who having got a good booty were very free and flashy in some company, shewing their watches, rings, and guineas) hired horses to go to Windsor: but some persons having information thereof, pursued and took them all in bed at a publick house near Windsor. We hear, that one of them, 16 years old, is a tradesman’s son in Newgate market, and had a pistol about him, which he said was Blewet’s, which he valued above all things. [Grub-street Journal] [See the section on Burnworth and His Gang.]

6 August 1730.   Oxford, July 29. Yesterday William Fuller was executed, pursuant to his sentence at the last assizes, for the murder of his wife, by choaking and strangling her with his hands, on the 6th of last month at Caversham, which, however, he deny’d to the last. After he was cut down the scholars insisted to have the body, but the proctors were present, and order’d it to be deliver’d to his friends, who put it into a coffin, but the mob got the coffin from them, and threw it into the water; the gownsmen then jump’d in like spaniels, drew the body out of the coffin, dragg’d it through the water, and carry’d it to Lincoln College; thither the proctors went, and took it from thence to a house in Bullock’s-lane, but the gownsmen came soon after, broke open the door, and had carry’d it about half a mile, when the proctors came and got possession of it again, and secur’d it in the castle: Now the mob disperss’d, though the proclamation [i.e. against riots], which had been read by the Town-Clerk, was not regarded. About 11 o’clock at night the body was brought out of the castle, in order to be carry’d and convey’d away in a boat, but in the way to the water-side they were surpriz’d by a party of gownsmen, who lay in ambush, and seiz’d the corpse, which is now dissecting in Christ-Church College. [Grub-street Journal]

12 September 1730   On Thursday . . . a poor girl that was going home with a new suit of camlet cloaths to the Change, was trick’d of them by a woman that got acquainted with her by the way, pretending she knew her mother; and after much discourse persuaded her to go of an errand for her, and gave her two-pence, and she would take care of her cloaths, and stay on the Church steps in Bow-Church Yard, till she come back; but when the girl return’d, she found the woman and cloaths gone. (London Journal)

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Crime and Punishment, 1730", 22 November 2001, updated 28 November 2001, expanded 24 July 2002 <>

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