Executed at York, in the year 1742, on a charge of robbery, of which he was innocent.
THIS unfortunate man was the victim of his master, in order to screen himself from the vengeance of the law. He was a waiter at the Bell Inn, near Hull, in Yorkshire, kept by a villain of the name of James Brunel.
A robbery, had lately been committed on the highway, on an old man, a reputed miser; and who, for greater safety, generally carried a bag of gold about him. The old man, soon after being robbed, casually went into the Bell; and going up to the bar, saw Brunel, the landlord, with one of his guineas in his hand, and some shillings, which he was, paying away to a carrier, which were all marked, so that he could identify them. He consequently suspected that the landlord was the robber, and related the circumstance to some other persons in the house.
Brunel overheard the conversation, and to secure himself, instantly formed and executed a design to impute the robbery to his waiter, Jennings, who had gone early to sleep, in a state of intoxication. To this wicked end, he went to his bed, and put the purse, taken from the old man, with the greater part of its contents, in the unfortunate man's pocket, without waking him; and then coming down to the company, told them, that he believed he had found the thief. "I have," continued the villain, "long suspected Jennings, one of my waiters, and about five hours ago I gave him a guinea to get changed; he same back in liquor, and returned me a guinea, which I am sure is not the same which I gave him." He then produced the guinea, which being marked, was claimed by the old man. It was now proposed that Jennings should be searched, which was done, and the purse being found upon him, he was committed, tried, condemned, and executed.
Brunel, being convicted of another, robbery, confessed these facts.