Audacious robbery in Cuckfield

Lewes December 27 Sussex Advertiser 1785

On Monday morning, about eleven o’clock, a most singular and audacious robbery was committed a few miles from Cuckfield in Sussex.

Three men, appearing as graziers, called at a respectable farmer’s, and enquired if he was at home. The girl told them that her master was only in the field, and that she would call him. When the farmer came he enquired their business. One of them immediately answered he was the person who wanted him, and that he would wish to ask a question in private.- The farmer desired him to walk into the parlour, and the other two seated themselves in the kitchen.

As soon as the door was shut the sharper told him his question was a very simple one, and he hoped he would not take a long time to answer it: it was either to choose to give him fifty pounds, or have a brace of bullets in his body; he was determined to be satisfied; and if he did not comply, he should first have the bullets, and his men were ready to plunder the house.

The farmer told him he had not so much money in the house, but would give him all he had, which was £20; but this would not satisfy the villain who told him he saw him receive £110 at Cliff Fayre on Saturday, and intended to have paid him a visit that night, but was prevented.

The farmer was at length obliged to comply; and though the villain saw more than he demanded in the desk, when the farmer was giving him the money, he did not require it; when he received his booty, he said “I am much obliged to you. I shall not trouble you again these three years; but if fortunate till that time, may again pay you a visit.". He then open the door, and told one of the men to fetch their horses; and when mounted, rode off at full speed.