The Trial of the Notorious Highwayman, Richard Turpin

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This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

 

THE

TRIAL

Of the notorious Highwayman

Richard Turpin,

At York Assizes, on the 22d Day of March, 1739, before the Hon. Sir William Chapple, Knt. Judge of Assize, and one of his His Majesty's Justices of the Court of King's Bench.

Taken down in Court by Mr. Thomas Kyll, Professor of Short-Hand.

To which is prefix'd,

An exact Account of the said Turpin, from his first coming into Yorkshire, to the Time of his being committed Prisoner to York Castle; communicated by Mr. Appleton of Beverly, Clerk of the Peace for the East-Riding of the said County.

With a Copy of a Letter which Turpin received form his Father, while under Sentence of Death.

To which is added,

His Behaviour at the Place of Execution on Saturday the 7th of April, 1739. Together with the whole Confession he made to the Hangman at the Gallows; wherein he acknowledg'd himself guilty of the Facts for which he suffer'd, own'd the Murder of Mr. Thompson's Servant of Epping-Forest, and gave a particular Account of several Robberies which he had committed.



The SECOND EDITION.


YORK:

Printed by Ward and Chandler Booksellers, at their Printing-Office in Coney-Street; and Sold at the Shop without Temple-Bar, London; 1739. (Price Sixpence.)

The following Account of Turpin was communicated to the Publishers by Mr. Robert Appleford, of Beverley, Clerk of the Peace for the East-Riding of the County of York; to whose indefatigable Care and Diligence the Publick are very much oblig'd, for this notorious Offender's being brought to Justice.

"ABOUT two Years ago, a Person came out of Lincolnshire to Brough, near Market-Cave in Yorkshire, and staid for some Time at the Ferry-House in Brough, and said his Name was John Palmer; and he went from thence sometimes to live at North-Cave, and Sometimes at Welton; and continued at these Places about fifteen or sixteen Months, except such Part of the Time as he went into Lincolnshire to see his Friends, as he pretended, which in that Time he very often did, and frequently brought three or four Horses back with him, which he used to sell or exchange in Yorkshire; and while he so lived at Brough, Cave, and Welton, he very often went out a Hunting and Shooting with several Gentlemen in the Neighbourhood; and in the Beginning of October last, as he was returning from Shooting, he saw one of his Landlord's Cocks in the Town-Street, which he shot at, and killed; and one Hall, his Neighbour, seeing him shoot the Cock, said to him Mr. Palmer, you have done wrong in shooting your Landlord's Cock: Whereupon Palmer said to him, If he would only stay whilst he had charged his Piece, he would shoot him too. Mr. Hall hearing him say so, went and told the Landlord what Palmer had done and said; thereupon the Landlord immediately went with the said Hall to, Mr. Crowle, and got his Warrant for apprehending the said Palmer, by Virtue of which Warrant he was next Day taken up and carried to the General Quarter Sessions, then holden at Beverley, where he was examined by George Crowle, Hugh Bethel, and Marmaduke Constable, Esqrs. three of his Majesty's justices of the Peace for the East-Riding of Yorkshire, and they demanding Sureties for his good Behaviour, and he refusing to find Surerties, was by them then commited to the House of Correction; which Commitment was in the words following, To the Master, or Keeper of the House of Correction in Beverley; Whereas it appears to us, upon the informations of divers credible Persons, That John Palmer of Welton, in the East-Riding of the County of York, is a very dangerous Person, and we having required Sureties for his-good Behaviour until the next General Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be held for the East-Riding of the County of York, which he the said John Palmer hath refused to find; These are therefore to command you, to receive into your Custody theBody of the said John Plamer, and him safely keep, until he shall be discharged by due Course of Law; and hereof fail not at your Peril, Given under our Hands and Seals the third Day of October, 1738. The Gentlemen having taken several Informations from Persons of Brough and Welton, about Palmer's frequently going into Lincolnshire, and usually returning with Plenty of Money, and several Horses, which he sold or exchanged in Yorkshire, had just Reason to suspect, that he was either a Highwayman or Horse-stealer; and being desirous to do their Country Justice, and fearful to oppress the Innocent, the next Day went to the said John Palmer, and examined him again, touching where he had lived, and to what Business he was brought up? Who then said, He had about two Years before lived at Long-Sutton in Lincolnshire, and was by Trade a Butcher: That his Father then lived at Long—Sutton, and his Sister kept his Father's House there; but he having contracted a great many Debts; for Sheep that proved rotten, so that he was not able to pay for them, he therefore was obliged to abscond, and come and live in Yorkshire. The Justices, upon this Confession, thought it the properest Way to send a Messenger into Lincolnshire, to enquire into the Truth of this Matter; and Mr. Robert Appleton, Clerk of the Peace for the said Riding, then wrote a Letter to Long-Sutton, signifying the whole Affair; which Letter was sent by a special Messenger, and given to one Mr. Delamere, a justice of the Peace, who lived there; and Mr. Appleton received a Letter from him; in Answer thereto, with this Accouet, That the said John Palmer had lived there about three quarters of a Year, and was accused before him of Sheep-stealing; whereupon he issued out his Warrant against Palmer; who was thereupon apprehended, but made his Escape from the Constable; and soon after such his Escape, Mr. Delamere had several Informations lodged before him against the said Palmer, for Suspicion of Horse-stealing: And that Palmer's Father did not live at Long Sutton, neither did he know where he lived; therefore desired Palmer might be secured, and he would make further Inquiry about the Horses stolen, and he would bind over some Persons to prosecute him at the next Assizes. Upon the Receipt of Mr. Delamere's Letter, Mr. Appleiton immediately sent; a Messenger to Mr. Crowle, who came to Beverley next Morning, and finding Palmer to be so great a Villain, did not think it safe for him to stay any longer in Beverley House of Correction, so Mr. Appleton required him again to find Sureties for his Appearance at the next Assizes; and for Want thereof he made his Commitment to York Castle, Handcuffed, and under the Guard of George Smith and Joshua Milner, who were directed by Mr. Appleton to conduct him safe to York Castle, and did it accordingly. About a month after Palmer was sent from Beverley House of Correction to York Castle, two Persons came out of Lincolnshire, and challenged a Mare and a Foal which Palmer had sold to Captain Dawson of Ferraby, and also the Horse which Palmer rode on when he came to Beverley, to be stolen from them off Hickington Fenn in Lincolnshire. And, about four Months after he was committed to York Castle, he was discovered to be TURPIN, the Notorious Highwayman, by a Letter being intercepted, which he had wrote to his Sister in Essex.


Since the printing of the Edition, a Gentleman of undoubted Veracity, communicated to us the following Particular. Having been at Newgate to see Gordon the famous Highwaynzan sometime since executed, he declared to him that he had disclosed a Scheme to Turpin for seizing the Government's Money ordered to he paid to the Ships at Portsmouth, which was to have been atchived in the following Manner: Gordon's Design was by him, his Brother, Turpin, and another, to have attacked the Guard in a very narrow Pass, with Sword and Pistol in Hand; but Turpin's Courage failing him, the Enterprize dropt, on which Gordon said he was sure Turpin would be guilty of many cowardly Actions, and Die like a Dog.

Caesar Ward and Richard Chandler publisher mark.jpg

COPYof a Letter from John Turpin to his son Richard Turpin, Prisoner in York Castle.

March 29, 1739.

Dear Child,

I received your letter this instant, with a great deal of grief; according to your Request, I have writ to your brother John, and Madame Peck, to make what intercession can be made to Col. Watson, in order to obtain transportation for your misfortune; which had I 100 l., I would freely part with it to do you good; in the meantime my prayers for you; and for God's sake, give your whole mind to beg of God to pardon your many transgressions, which the thief upon the cross received pardon for at the last hour, tho' a very great offender. The Lord be your comfort, and receive you into his eternal kingdom.

I am your distressed,

Yet loving father,

JOHN TURPIN

Hemstead.

All our loves to you, who are in much grief to subscribe ourselves your distressed brother and sister, with relations.


THE

TRIAL


OF


John Palmer, alias Paumer,
aliasRichard Turpin,


At the ASSIZES holden at the Castle of York, in and for the said county, the 22nd day of March, 1738-9, before the Hon. Sir William Chapple,Kt. Judge of Assize and one of his Majesty's Justices of the Court of King's Bench.

The JURY.

  William Calvert, Thomas Simpson,  
  Samuel Waddington, George Smeaton,  
  William Popplewell, Robert Thompson,  
  John Lambert, William Frank,  
  Robert Wiggin, James Boyes,  
  William Wade, Thomas Clarke.  


John Palmer, alias Paumer, alias Richard Turpin, was indicted for stealing a black mare and foal, at Welton, in the county of York, on or before the first day of this instant March, the property of Thomas Creasey.


The Counsel for the King, Thomas Place, Esq; Recorder of the City of York, and Richard Crowle, of the Inner-Temple, Esq having open’d the Nature of the Indictment, proceeded to the Examination of Witnesses, as follows, viz.

Thomas Cresey (the Owner of the Mare.)

Counsel. Where do you live?

Creasey. At Heckington, in the County of Lincoln

Coun. Pray, Sir, had you a Mare and a Foal?

Crea. Yes.

Coun. Where did they go or feed?

Crea. Upon Heckington Common.

Coun. When did you first miss them?

Crea. Upon a Thusday Morning I was enquiring for them, and they could not be found.

Coun. What Day of the Month do you think it might happen?

Crea. Upon the 18th or 19th Day of August.

Coun. What Month?

Crea. The Month of August last.

Coun. You say you missed them on Thursday the 18th or 19th of August last; pray then, Sir, when did you see them last?

Crea. The Day next before I lost them.

Coun. When you then missed your Mare and Foal, what did you do in order to get Intelligence about them?

Crea. I hired Men and Horses, and rode forty Miles round about us, to hear of them, and got them cry’d in all the Market-Towns about us.

Coun. How long was it before you knew of the Mare and Foal, or who told you of them?

Crea. One John Baxter, a Neighbour of mine,told me, he had been at Pocklington Fair in Yorkshire, and lying all Night at Brough, he happened to hear of a Man that was taken up and sent to the House of Correction at Beverley, for shooting a Game-Cock, who had such a Mate and Foal as mine: Upon which Information I came to Ferraby near Beverley, and put up my Horse at Richard Grasby's, who keeps a Publick House; and began to enquire of him about my Mare and Foal? Who told me, there was such a like Mare and Foal in their Neighbourhood; which I thought, by the Description he gave me, to be mine; to then I told him, I was come to enquire about such a Mare and Foal.

Coun. Did you know the Marks of the Mare and Foal, as he described them to you?

Crea. Yes, I did; and told him these Marks agreed with my Mare and Foal, before I did see them.

Coun. Was it when your Neighbour came home, you made this Inquiry?

Crea. Yes, it was, and by this Information of his, I went to Ferraby, and gave the Landlord and People an Account of their, Marks.

Court. Describe their Marks.

Crea. She was a Black Mare, blind of the near Eye, having a little White on the near Fore-Foot, and also the near Hind—Foot, a little above the Hoof, and scrath'd, (greased) on both the Hind-Feet, and the near Fore-Foot, with I's, or Marks resembling that Letter, burnt on the-near Shoulder, and a Star on the Forehead.

Coun. How long have you had her?

Crea. I did breed her myself, and kept her ’till she was ten Years old.

Court. Did you give this Account to Richard Grassby, before he shewed you her?

Crea. Yes, I did.

Court. Had the Foal any Marks?

Crea. Yes, it was a black Ball.

Court. Where did you see her?

Crea. At the Stable Door, they fetcht her out to me, and I knew her.

Court. From all these Marks are you very postive the Mare and Foal were yours?

Crea. Yes, I am sure they were mine.

Court. Did you receive them at that Time?

Crea. No, I did not get them then.

Court. Are you sure the Mare and Foal were yours?

Crea. Yes, indeed I am.

Court. When you came to Ferraby, did you tell these Marks, or the Description of them, and to whom?

Crea. Yes, indeed, I told them to Richard Grassby, the Landlord.

Court to the Prisoner. Have you any questions to ask this Witness? You have heard what he has said against you.

Prisoner. I cannot say any Thing, for I have not any Witnesses come this Day, as I expected, therefore beg your Lordship to put off my Trial ‘till another Day.

Court. We cannot now put off this Affair; if you had spoke and desired a reasonable Time before the Jury was sworn and charged, it might have been granted you —— Now you are too late, the Jury cannot be discharged —— You have Liberty allowed you to ask any Questions of the Witness.

Pris. This Witness is wrong, because on the 18th of August I was here in York Castle.

Coun. No, Sir, you was not here the 18th of August.

Mr. Griffith the Joaler being call'd, inform'd the Court, that it was October before Palmer was comitted Prisoner to the Castle.

Pris. I never did see this Man (Thomas Creasey) in my Life.

Prisoner to Creasy. Do you know one Whitehead?

Crea. Yes.

Pris. He’s the Man I bought the Mare and Foal of.


Captain Dawson call'd, ——— 2d Witness.

Court. Pray, Sir, inform us what you know of this Affair?

Daw. I was one Morning riding to Welton and met a Man leading a Mare and Foal; I ask'd him, if that was his Mare and Foal? He told me, No; but they belonged to one Palmer. I asked him, if he would dispose of the Foal? He said, Palmer was coming up the Street —— I turned about, and saw Palmer; who told me it was his Mare and Foal, and they were bred in Lincolnshire, I asked, if he would dispofe of the Foal? He said, he would rather sell the Mare with her. I reply’d, I had no Occasion for the Mare, only the Foal, and asked the Price of the Foal. He said, Three Guineas. I told him, it was to much ask for the Foal, and offer'd him two Guineas, and said I would not give him much more; upon which I went about my Business, and afterwards I observed the Prisoner coming up a Hill with the Mare and Foal; and, as I was going along, a countryman said, Sir, You have been about the bargaining, and bid two Guineas for the Foal , you'll see him come back again, and, if you please, I fancy you may have it. I said, Let him come to my House, and I will pay him the two Guineas: So about Three o'clock in the Afternoon, he came with the Mare and Foal, and I had them both put in a stable; I wen then to pay the Prisoner Palmer.

Coun. Pray who was it that brought the Mare and Foal to your house?

Daw. No-body brought the Mare and Foal to me but himself. I went, and paid him for the Foal two Guineas; and then he told me, I might buy the Mare, for she was worth Money, I told, him I had no Occsion for the Mare; but the Prisoner being a little pressing about it, I told him I had a Horse of no great Value, and if he would change, or let me have the Mare to nurse the Foal, I would rather do it. He did not like the first Proposal, but i told him, I would not take the Mare except he would have the Horse, so I have him four Guineas; but being obliged to go to my Regiment, I left the Place soon after.

Coun. When did you leave the Country?

Daw. Soon after, I think about October I went away, and gave Richard Grassby the Care of the Mare, and he had the Liberty to work her.

Court. Have you any Thing to say as to what the Captain hath said against you?

Pris. Nothing at all.


Richard Grassby,——— 3d Witness.

Court. What have you to say about the Mare?

Gras. I had Liberty to work her.

Court. How long have you known the Prisoner?

Gras. I have seen him several Times since; andI think, I have known him about two Years.

Coun. What Manner of visible Living had he?

Gras. He had no settled Way of Living that I know of at all; tho' a Dealer, yet he was a Stranger, and lived like a Gentleman.

Coun. Had you the Mare of Captain Dawson?

Gras. Yes, I had the Mare and Foal.

Coun. Did he give you Liberty to work her?

Gras. Yes.

Coun. About what Time did you work her?

Gars. About October the 12th, I think.

Coun. Did you work her?

Gras. Yes, I did, for I had a Close belonging to the Captain.

Coun. Was the Mare challenged when you had her?

Gras. Yes, she was; I had been drawing with her, and Thomas Creasey came to me, and gave me an Account very fully of all her Marks, before he saw her.

Court. Then when he saw her, was that the very Mare and Foal?

Gras. Yes, the very same.

Court. Do you remember this Man (the Prisoner?)

Gras. Yes, for he offered to sell me Horses.

Coun. What do you know further about Palmer?

Gas. He was about two Years at Welton.

Court. Did you know him there?

Gras, Yes, he was reckon'd a Stranger.

Coun. In what Manner of Way did he support himself; or, how he, live?

Gras. He lived like a Gentleman.

Coun. What Time was it you saw the Mare?

Gras. I saw the, Mare about August in his Possession.

Court to the Prisoner. Will you ask this Witness any Questions?

Pris. No, I have nothing to say.

Court. Can you be positive that Palmer offered this Mare to Sale?

Gras. Yes, indeed, I can, and I am positive this is the Man (looking to Palmer.)


George Goodyear call'd.———4th Witness.

Court. Do you know of a Mare and a Foal that was lost where you live?

Good. Yes, very well.

Coun. Do you know about what Time this Mare and Foal was lost?

Good. Yes, I know, and I remember the Time they were missing, it was towards the latter End of August.

Coun. When did you see the Mare?

Good. In August.

Coun. Have you seen the Mare again?

Good. Yes.

Coun. Was it the same you saw before?

Good. Yes.

Coun. Are you perfectly sure?

Good. Yes, I am perfectly sure.

Court to the Prisoner. Would you ask this Witness any Questions?

Pris None.


The Court orde'rd Richard Grassby to be call'd in again.

Court to Grasby. When did you see this Mare?

Gras. In August.


Then Mr. James Smith and Mr. Edward Saward, who came from Essex by Order of the Justices of that County, were called to prove this Palmer to be Richard Turpin, the noted Highwayman.


Court to Mr James Smith. Do you knew the Prisoner Palmer at the Bar? Look at him, and tell what you know about him.

Smith. Yes, I knew him at Hempstead in Essex, where he was born; I knew him ever since he was a Child.

Coun. What is his Name?

Smith. Richard Turpin; I knew his Father, and all his Relations, and he married one of my Father's Maids.

Coun. What! was you with him frequently?

Smith. Yes.

Coun. When did you see him last?

Smith. Tis about five Years since I saw him.

Coun. Have you any particular Marks to shew this is the Man?

Smith. This is the very Man.

Coun. Did you not teach him at School?

Smith. Yes, I did, but he was only learning to make Letters; and, I believe, he was three Qarters of a Year with me.

Coun. Do you think this is he?

Smith Yes, this is the Man.

Coun. As you lived there, why did you come down here to this Place?

Smith. Happening to be at the Post-Office where I saw a Letter directed to Turpin's Brother in law, who, as I was informed, would not loose the Letter pay Postage; upon that Account taking particular Notice thereof, I thought at first I remembered the Superscription, and concluded it to be the Hand-Writing of the Prisoner Turpin; whereupon I carried the Letter, before a Magistrate, who broke the same open (the letter was subscribed John Palme) and found it sent from York Castle: I had seen several of Dick Turpin's Bills, and. knew his Hand.

Coun. Are you sure this is his Letter? (A Letter produced in Court)

Smith. Yes, I am sure that is his Letter.

Coun. Was, that the Cause of your coming down?

Smith. Yes.

Coun. How happen'd you to take Notice of this Letter?

Smith. Seeing the York Stamp.

Coun. From these Circumstances did you come down here?

Smith. Yes, indeed, I did come upon this Account.

Coun. When you came to the Castle, did you challange him, or know him?

Smith. Yes, I did, upon the first View of him, and pointed him out from among all the rest of the Prisoners.

Coun. How long is is since you saw him last?

Smith. I think about five Years.

Coun. Do you know any Thing more of him?

Smith. I think he might be about eleven or twelve Years old, when I Went to the Excise and he worked with his Father, who was a Butcher.

Coun. Was he ever set up in the Butcher Trade?

Smith. Yes, I know he was.

Coun. How long might he live in that Way?

Smith. I, cannot, tell; he lived at ———[1] in Essex, and left it about six Years, and after he kept a Publick House.

Coun. Did you afterward see him?

Smith. Yes, I saw him afterwards six Miles from thence.

Coun. What became of him then?

Smith. I do not know more, only the last time I saw him, I sold him a Grey Mae about five years ago, before my Brother died.

Coun. Do you know no more of him?

Smith. This I know of him, and I have been many Times in his Company, and frequently with him.

Court. Palmer, you are allowed the Liberty to ask Mr. Smith ay Question.

Pris. I never knew him.


When Mr. Smith came first to York, in February last, he was examined at the Castle, by several of his Majesty's Justices of Peace for this County, and gave them the same Account as above.


Mr. Edward Sarwad, of Hempstead in Essex, call'd.

Coun. Do you know this Richard Turpin?

Saw. Yes—I do know him; he was born and brought up at the Bell; his Father kept a Publick House.

Coun. How long have you known him?

Saw. I have known him these twenty two Years; I cannot say I exceeding exact, but about twenty two Years, upon my Soul: [Here the council repov'd Saward, and said to him, Friend You have sworn once already, you need swear again.] Saward. I knew him ever since he was a Boy and lived at the Bell.

Coun. How long did he live there?

Saw. I cannot exactly tell; he lived with his Father, and I was very great with him.

Coun. Did you know him after he set up for himself?

Saw. Yes, I knew him perfectly well then, and I have bought a great many good Joints of Meat of him, upon my Soul!

Upon this the Judge reprimanded him, and advised him not to speak so rashly, but to consisder he was upon Oath, and that he should speak seriously.

Coun. Did you know him since he left Hempstead?

Saw. I was with him at his House at Hempstead.

Coun. Did you see him there?

Saw. I saw him frequently, I can't tell how often.

Coun. How many Years is it since he left Hempstead?

Saw. He came backwards and forwards.

Coun. How long is it since you saw him last?

Saw. About five or six Years ago.

Coun. And can you say this assuredly or firmly?

Saw. Yes, and I never saw him since.

Coun. He had any settled Dwelling?

Saw. Not that I know of.

Court. Now look to the Prisoner; is this Richard Turpin?

Saw. Yes, Yes, Dick Turpin, the son of John Turpin, who keeps the Bell at Hempstead.

Turpin deny'd he knew this Edward Saward, but seem'd at last to own Mr. Smith.

Counsel to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith, when you spoke to him in the Castle, did you know him?

Smith. Yes, I did, and he did confess he knew me; and said unto me two or three Times, Let us bung our Eyes in Drink; and I drank, with him, which is this Richard Turpin.

Court to Turpin. There was a Mare and Foal lost, what Account can you give, how you came by that Mare and Foal?

Pris. I was going up to Lincolnshire to John Whitehead; there was a Mare and Foal before his Door, and I was there drinking.

Coun. Does he keep a House, and sell Ale?

Pris. Yes.

Coun. What Place was it at?

Pris. Within a Mile of Heckington.—The Man had been at a Fair, and bought a Mare and Foal, and he wanted tosell them again.

Coun. What Time was it?

Pris. In August: I asked the Price, and gave him seven Guineas for Mare and Colt; he gave me back Half a Crown; I staid all Night, and came away next Morning. I went to all Markets, and whenever I went, I rode with them, without ever being challenged.

Court. Have you any Thing more to say?

Pris. I have sent a Subpœna for a Man and his Wife, they were present when I bought them.

Court. What is his Name?

Pris. I cannot tell, therefore I desire some longer Time that these Witnesses may be examined. I also sent a special Messenger with a Letter.

[Mr Griffith the Jaylor being call'd, said, The Messenger is come back.]

Court. What ssay you to that?

Prisoner was silent.

Court. If you have any Witnesses, you should have had them before this Time; have you any Witnesses here present?

Pris. I have none at present, but to Morrow I will have have them, I am sure no Man can say ill of me in Yorkshire.

Court. Have you any Witnesses here?

Pris. Yes, William Thompson, Esq; also one Whitehead, and one Mr. Gill.

All these were called in Court, but did not appear.

Court. The Jury cannot stay, and you see there is none appearing for you.

Pris. I thought I should be removed to Essex, for I did not expect to be Tried in this Country, therefore I could not prepare Witnesses to my Character.

After this the Hon. Sir. William Chapple gave his charge to the Jury.

Prisoner. The Reasons I had for changing my Name, were that I having been long out of Trade, and run my self into Debt, I changed my Name to my Mother's, which was Palmer.

Court. What was your Name before you came to Lincolnshire?

Prisoner. Turpin.

Court. Was it Richard Turpin?

Prisoner. Yes.

Prisoner. I thought I should have been removed, and got my Trail in Essex.

Court. You have deceived yourself in thinking so.

The JURY immediately, without going out of Court, brought in their Verdict, GUILTY.

John Palmer, alias Pawmer, alias Richard Turpin, was indicted a Second time, for stealing a Black Gelding, the Property of Thomas Creasey.


Court. CALL Thomas Creassey.] Sir, Was you in Posse{{ls}sion of a Gelding in August last.

Crea. Yes. I was.

Coun. About what time did you miss it?

Crea. The 18th Day of August I missed this Gelding.

Coun. Where did you find him, and what Colour was he?

Crea. I found him at the Blue Bell in Beverley.

Coun. How came you to hear he was there?

Crea. Richard Grasby was the person that told me it was my Gelding.

Coun. Did you describe his Gelding to him?

Crea. Yes, and then he told me it was the same.

Coun. Upon that what did you do?

Crea. I went to the Landlord of the House at Beverley, and described him to him.

Coun. Do you remember what Description you gave him of the Gelding.

Crea. Yes, the Description was a black Gelding, with a little Star on his Forehead.

Coun. What did he (the Landlord) do then?

Crea. I went with him, and he shewed me the Horse.

Coun. Are: you sure the Gelding he shewed you was yours?

Crea. Yes, I am.

Coun. But are you very sure that was your Gelding?

Crea. Yes, yes; indeed, I am.

Coun. Did you shew him to any Person?

Crea. Yes, I did; I shewed him to Carey Gill, the Constable at Welton.

Court to Carey Gill, the Constable. What do you know concerning the Prisoner?

Gill. He was taken up by me for shooting a Cock, upon which I carried him to Beverley Sessions.

Coun. Which Way did you carry him; or how did he go?

Gill. He rode upon his own Horse, and I along with him.

Coun. What month did this happen in?

Gill. At Michelmas Sessions, which was October the sixth.

Counc. Do you know what Horse he rode upon?

Gill. He rode upon a Horse which he called his own.

Coun. Did you see that Horse?

Gill. Yes, It was that same Horse he came from Welton upon.

Court to Thomas Creasey. How did you get your Horse again?

Crea. I got him from the Jusice, by his Order.

Coun. How many Miles was it from Home you got this Horse?

Crea. It was about fifty Miles from the Water-Side to Welton.

Coun. Was that the same Horse you heard described?

Crea. Yes, it was.

Coun. What Marks had he?

Crea. He was a black Gelding, with a little Star on his Forehead, and carried a good Tail.

Court to James Smith. How long is it since you have known the Prisoner at the Bar? Look at him again.

Smith. I have known him from his Infancy, these twenty-two Years, and he is the very Richard Turpin which I have known at Hempstead, and the very Son of John Turpin in that Town.

Court to the Prisoner. Have you any more to say?

Pris. I bought this Horse of Whitehead.

The JURY brought in their Verdict, and found him GUILTY.


When the Judge was going to pass Sentence, the Prisoner was ask'd what Reasons he had to give why Sentence of Death sould not be pronounc'd against him.

Prisoner. It is very hard upon me, my Lord, because I was not prepar'd for my Defrnce.

Court. Why was you not? You knew the Time of the Assizes as well as any Person here.

Pris. Several Persons who came to see me, assured me, that I should be removed to Essex, to be tried there, for which Reason I thought it, needless to prepare Witnesses for my Defence here.

Court. Whoever told you so were highly to blame; and as our Country have found you guilty of a Crime worthy of Death, it is Office to pronounce Sentence against you.


THE Morning before Turpin's Execution he gave 3 l 10s. amongst five Men, Who were to follow the Cart as Mourners, with Hatbands and Gloves, and gave Gloves and Hatbands to several Persons more. He also left a Gold Ring, and two Pair of Shoes and Clogs to a married Woman at Brough, that he was, acquainted with; though he at the same Time acknowledg’d he had a Wife and Child of his own.

He was carried in a Cart to the Place of Execution, on Saturday, April 7th, 1739, with John Stead, condemn’d also for Horse—Stealing; he behav'd himself with amazing Assurance, and bow’d to the Spectators as he pass'd: It was remarkable that as be mounted the Ladder, his Right Leg trembled, on which he stamp’d it down with an Air, and with undaunted Courage look'd round about him; and after speaking near Half an Hour to the Topsman, threw himself off the Ladder, and expired in about five Minutes.

His Corpse was brought back from the Gallows about Three in the Afternoon, and lodged at the Blue Boar in Castlegate, 'till Ten the next Morning, when it was buried in a neat Coffin in St. George's Church-Yard, without Fishergate Postern, with this Inscription, J. P. 1739; R. T. aged 28[2] The Grave was dug very deep, and the persons whom he appointed his mourners, as above-mention’d, took all possible Care to secure the Body; notwithstanding which, on Tuesday Morning about three o’C1ock, some Persons were discovered to be moving off the Body which they had taken up; and the Mob having got Scent where it was carried to, and suspecting it was to be anatomized, went to a Garden in which it was deposited, and brought away the Body thro' the Streets of the City, in a sort of Triumph, almost naked, being only laid on a Board, cover'd with some Straw, and carried on four Men’s Shoulders, and buried it in the same grave having first fill'd the Coffin with stack’d Lime.

  1. There was such Noise in the Court, that the Gentleman who took down the Trial, could not distinctly hear the Name of the Place but apprehended it to be Boxhill, or some such Name.
  2. He confess'd to the Hangman, that he was 33 Years of Age.

The following Account Turpin gave of himself to the Topsman, the week after his Condemnation, and repeated the same Particulars to him again at the Gallows; which being taken down from his own mouth, are as follows:

THAT he was bred a Butcher, and serv'd five years of his Time very faithfully in White chpael; but falling into idle Company, he began to take unlawful Measures to support his Extravagance, and went some times on the Highway on Foot, and met with several small Booties; his not being detected therein, gave him Encouragment to steal Horses, and pursue his new Trade in Epping Forest on Horseback; which he had continued about six years. Having been out one whole Day, without meeting any Booty, and being very much tired, he laid himself down in the Thicket, and turned his Horse loose, having first taken off the Saddle; when he wak'd, he went to search after his Horse, and meeting with Mr. Thompsons's Servant, he enquired, if he had seen his Horse? To which Thompson's Man answer'd, That he knew nothing of Turpin's, Horse, but that he had found Turpin; and accordingly presented his Blunderbuss at Turpin, who instantly jumping behind a broad Oak, avoided the Shot, and immediately fir'd a Carbine at Thompson's Servant, and shot him dead on the Spot; one Slug went through his Brest, another thro' his Right Thigh, and a third thro' his Groin. This done, he withdrew to a Yew Tree hard by, Where he conceal'd himself so closly, that though the Noise of Mr. Thompson's Man's Blunderbuss and his own Carbine had drawn together a great Number of People about the Body, yet he continued undiscover'd two whole Days and one Night in the Tree; when the Company was all dispers'd, he got out of the Forest, and took a Black Horse out of a Close near the Road, and there being People working in the Field at a Distance, he threw some loose Money amongst them, and made off; but afterwards the same Evening stole a Chesnut Mare, and turning his Black Horse loose made the best of his Way for London.

Some time after returned to the Forest again, and attempted to rob Captain Thompson again, and his Lady in an open Chaise, but the Captain firing a Carbine at him, which mifs’d, Turpin fir'd a Pistol after the Captain, which went through the Chaise between him and his Lady,without any further Damage, than tearing the left Sleeve of his Coat; the Captain driving hard; and Being just in Sight of a Town, Turpin thought it not proper to pursue him any farther.

Next he stop'd a Country Gentleman, who clapping Spurs to his Horse, Turpin followed him, and firing a Pistol after him, which lodg'd two Balls in his Horse's Buttocks, the Gentleman was oblig'd to surrender: He robb'd him of Fifty Shillings; and asking him if that was all, and the Gentleman saying he had no more, Turpin strip’d him, and found two Guineas more in his Pocket—Book, out of which he retrun'd him Five Shiilings but at the same Time told the Gentleman, it was more than he deserved, because of his intention to have cheated him.

After this he stop'd a Farmer in Epping-Foresst, who had been to London to sell Hay, and took from him fifty Shillings; and hearing of severa1 Coaches "coming" that Way, laid wait for them., but they being informed of thr frequent Robberies in these Parts; took another Road.

Another Time meeting a Gentleman and a Lady on Horseback in a Lane near the Forest, he stop'd them, and presnted a Pistol, at which the Lady fell into a Swoon; he took from the Gentleman seven Guineas and some Silver and from the Lady a Watch, a Diamond Ring, one Guinea, and fifteen Shillings in Silver.

He likewise owned, that he was a Confederate with one King, who was executed in London some Time since; and that, once being very near taken, he fir'd a Pistol among the Crowd, and by Mistake shot the said King into the Thigh, who was coming to rescue him.

He also confess'd the Facts of which he was convicted; but said, many Things had been laid to his Charge, of which he was innocent. Tho’ ’tis very probable he was guilty of several Robberies not here mentioned, yet: this was the whole Confession that the Topsman could get from him.


F I N I S.