CHARLES HEMMINGS AND GEORGE BEVAN
Bogus Bow Street Officers who robbed a Clergyman, and were executed, April, 1806
THESE two men were tried at the Old Bailey in April 1806, for robbery on the highway.
The Reverend Henry Craven Orde deposed that on the 24th of March, 1806, he was suddenly attacked by the prisoners in Southampton Street and robbed of his purse, containing a draft for eighteen pounds, a quantity of gold and silver, and several papers, in a dark lane opposite Southampton Street.
The ruffians stated themselves to be Bow Street officers, who were about to take charge of the clergyman for an offence if he did not instantly give a sum in order to conceal it. Agitated by so sudden an attack on his person, and fearing the threats that were vociferated, he drew out his purse and gave the ruffians a seven- shilling piece. He then attempted to get away, when his purse, containing a draft for eighteen pounds drawn by his brother, the Rev. John Norman Orde, was snatched from him, and the robbers made off.
The next morning two persons went to the shop of Mr Lingham, tailor, No. 280 Strand, and purchased two surtout coats, for which they gave the eighteen-pound draft in payment. Bevan was the man who gave the eighteen-pound draft for the surtout coats; and his person having been described by Mr Lingham, Lovatt and Foy apprehended him on the 31st of March, at the dead wall, in Savile Row. One of the coats was found on Bevan.
Two days after the robbery Hemmings went to Mr Orde's and returned the red leather purse to the Rev. John Norman Orde, whom he mistook for the gentleman they had robbed, telling him he was a Bow Street officer, that he could swear to him at any time, and that he had, according to his advice, given the draft to enjoin secrecy. He afterwards said that he was not a Bow Street officer now, but had been one two months ago. He was detained by the prosecutor's brother, who sent the servant for a constable.
The jury found them guilty; and they were executed pursuant to their sentence.