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1841: Highway robbery story

An AI impression of the highway robbery by Bing Image Creator.

Cuckfield Bench Wednesday

William White and Henry Oram were brought up charged with highway robbery. Henry Kenward, of Isfield, huckster, deposed that on Wednesday last he was at the Fox and Hounds, beer-house, Stonepound  Gate, and remained there until late at night and got drunk.


Several persons came in but he had no recollection that prisoners were there. He had with him a wicker basket, some celery plants, four half sovereigns, and four crown pieces, besides other money.


He started towards Friar's Oak down the hill; two people went from the beer house with him; the men took away his basket, and put their hands into his pocket; they then took him into a field and told him the way to Chailey; he found his way to a cart lodge and lay down; he heard someone say ‘give it him’; he crept out and concealed himself amongst some nettles; he got up about 5 or 6 o'clock the next morning: he could not say the prisoners were the men who had been with him; he afterwards gave information to a policeman; the basket and plants produced were those he had lost; the basket was not his own.


Isaac Foster the keeper of the beer shop, proved that the prisoners were at his house with Kenward at the time stated, and they left his house with others, by his desire, about ten o'clock at night. Kenward returned the next morning, and said he had lost his basket and money about £16 or £17.


William Spires, with whom the prisoners lodged, stated that White returned between ten and eleven, and Oram about twelve o'clock of the night in question.


George Nye, policeman, took prisoners into custody. He searched their lodgings, and found the baskets and plants he then produced, under White's bed.


The prisoner White admitted he took the basket from Oram at the top of the hill, and supposed Kenward would call for it again. Oram in his defence said he found the basket, and gave it to White to carry home because he was not going home.


The prisoners were both committed to the Assizes for trial.


Sussex Advertiser, 12 July 1841


Contributed by Malcolm Davison.


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