308 (M) Robert Davis was indicted for not surrendering
himself according to the king's order in council . *
Charles Chaworth. "I am clerk to Mr. Symonds, sollicitor for
the customs ; I was at Mr. John Oxenford's, on the 22d of June, 1748, (he is
justice of peace for the liberty of the Tower) there was Samuel Collington
there, whom I saw give information before the justice, and saw the justice sign
and seal it."
Q. "Look at this information, do you know it?"
Chaworth. "I do, here is my hand-writing, (that is my name as
a witness ) I saw Samuel Collington write this his name, and the name Oxenford
I believe the justice wrote.
It is read, the purport as follows:
That it is the information of Samuel Collington , against
divers persons, among whom is Robert Davis of Oxenford Green, carpenter, taken
upon oath the 22d of June, 1748.
That Samuel Fox , Jacob Carter , Benjamin Watts otherwise
Rott, Robert Davis , and others to the number of forty persons and upwards on
the 8th of October, 1746, being armed with fire arms, and other offensive
weapons, were assembled at Benacre, in the county of Suff, in order to be aiding
and assisting in landing and running uncustomed goods, and goods liable to pay
duty, which had not been paid or secured, that they did run out of a cutter
wine brandy and tea, which they loaded upon their horses and in waggons, and
lodged them at the house of William Denne Fox"
Chaworth. "I took this information from the justice, and
delivered it the same day to Mr Richardson, office-keeper in one of the duke of
Bedford's offices, who was then one of his majesty's principal secretaries of
state. Mr. Oxenford subscribed this certificate also.
It is read to this purport:
Pursuant to an Act of Parliament, intitled, An Act for the
farther punishment of persons concerned in the landing and carrying away
uncustom'd goods, &c. I do hereby commend this Information under my hand
and seal, and return it to his grace the duke of Bedford, one of his majesty's
principal secretaries of state, which was taken upon Oath before me, June 22,
John Oxenford ."
Mr. Sharp. "I am clerk to his majesty's privy-council
(He is shewn an information and certificate.)
This information and certificate was laid before the then
lords justices, (the King being then absent) in the King's privy council by the
Duke of Bedford, who was at that time one of his majesty's principal
secretaries of state: And at that time I received the lords justices order to
give orders requiring all the persons named in this information to surrender
themselves in forty days after the publication thereof, which order I sent, I
believe, the very same day to the printer of the King's gazette, to have it
published in the two next succeeding gazettes. Pursuant also to the direction I
sent an order to Mr. Lamb Bury, the then high
See original sheriff of the county of Suffolk, that he might
cause the order to be proclaim'd, in the manner the law required.
The Order of Council read to this purport:
At the Council Chamber, Whitehall, June 23, 1748, Present
their Excellencies the Lords Justices, &c.
'' Whereas Samuel Fox , Jacob Carter , Benj. '' Watts
otherwise Ratton, Richard Richards , and '' Robert Davis, of Coleford Green,
were on the '' 22d of this instant June, charg'd by information '' of a
credible person upon oath before John '' Oxenford, Esq ; with having been
guilty on the '' 8th of October, 1746, of being assembled together '' with
divers other persons, being armed '' with fire-arms and other offensive
weapons, at '' Benacre, in the county of Suffolk, in order to be '' aiding and
assisting in the landing and running '' uncustom'd goods, &c. which was afterwards
'' certified before us in his majesty's absence, by '' John Oxenford , Esq; and
laid before their excellencies '' the lords justices. Pursuant to the Act '' of
Parliament the lords justices do, by the advice '' of his majesty's privy
council, require and '' command that each of them do surrender within '' the
space of forty days, after the date hereof, '' to the lord chief justice of his
majesty's '' court of King's Bench, or any other of his majesty's '' justices
of the peace, &c.''
Mr. Owen. "I am printer of the gazette.
He produced the Order be received from Mr. Sharp.
This I printed in the two next gazette's, which was from
Tuesday the 21st, to Saturday 25, and from Saturday the 25th to Tuesday the
The printed order read in court, and compared with the
Richard Crowfoot . "I was under sheriff for the county of
He is shewn a letter.
I believe this letter is the hand-writing of Mr. Bury, the
then high sheriff for the county of Suffolk
Sharp. This letter I received by the post, the 28th of June,
from Mr. Lamb Bury, high sheriff, giving me an account that he did lawfully
observe the order he received it in me.
John Mr . Crowfoot being absent at the time in the year
1748, June 29. I voluntarily his place as under sheriff; on the day mentioned
received a letter from Mr. Bury, with the order of council; he desired I would
order copies of it to be made, which I did two by Robert Swetman , and examin'd
them either the evening of that day, or the next morning."
Robert Swetman . "I receiv'd this order, which I proclaim'd,
(they are all originals under seal from the council) from Mr. Ingham, and made
two copies of it, which I examin'd on Thursday the 30th of June, 1748, and went
to Southwold in Suffolk that day, it being market-day, and read over the order
very loud, between the hours of twelve and one at the market-cross, after which
I fixed up a true copy of it on the market-place, the most notorious place in
the town; and on Saturday the 2d of July following, I went to Beccles,
another market-town in the county of Suffolk, being the market-day there, I
read over the same order again, betwixt the hours of twelve and one, at the
market-cross, and fix'd up a true copy there."
Q." Are these the two nearest market towns to Benacre, in
Swetman. "They are reputed so to be, and I believe they are
Q. "How far is Beccles from Benacre ?"
Swetman. "I believe it is about four or five miles."
Samuel Collington . !I am the person that made the
information before justice Oxenford, the prisoner is the person meant in that
information, his name is Robert Davis , and he did live at Coleford Green."
Q. "What is his trade?"
Collington. "I have heard say that he is a carpenter ?"
Q. "Did you ever hear any other name he went by besides
Robert Davis ?"
Collington. "No, I never did."
See original Prisoner's Defence.
"My name is not Davis"
For the prisoner.
Jacob Bonice . "I live at Aldbrough, in Suffolk, three miles
from Coleford Green. I have known the prisoner between twelve and fifteen
years, his name is Robert Davie , and I never heard him called by any other
name; he is a farmer, I never heard him call'd by that of a carpenter, nor
don't know that he was ever employ'd as a carpenter : he has a son about
eighteen years of age a carpenter. The prisoner liv'd in a place of his own."
Q. "How many acres of land ?"
Bonice. "I can't justly say."
Q. "Is there five acres of it?"
Bonice. "There are and above."
Q. "Is there ten acres?"
Bonice. "I don't know."
Q. "Did he keep any horses?"
Bonice. "I fancy he kept two."
Q. "How do you spell his name?"
Bonice. "I have not learning enough for that, I can't spell."
Q. to Collington. "Do you know any thing of the prisoner's
son a carpenter?"
Collington. "I know nothing of a son, I made information
against the prisoner."
William Gray . "I have known the prisoner ten years, his name
is Robert Davie , and I never heard him called by the name of Davis in my life."
Q. "Where did the prisoner live in the year 1748?"
Gray. "He liv'd at a place call'd Elbury, joining close to
Matthew Thorp . "I have known the prisoner at the bar about
ten or twelve years, his name is Robert Davie" .
- Osbourne. "I have known the prisoner about fourteen or
fifteen years, his name is Robert Davie , and I never heard him called by any
Q. "Upon your oath, if any in the neighbourhood had asked for
Robert Davis , should you not have taken the prisoner to be the person
Osbourne. "No, I should have said I knew no such man."
John Lilley. "I have known the prisoner about twenty-eight
years, and his name is Robert Davie".
Mr. Ingham again. "When the prisoner was a lad he lived
servant with me a year, I hired him by the name of Davie, his mother I knew
long before, I never heard any other name of him in the country, and if any
body had come to me, and asked for Robert Davis , I should not have thought of
Q. "When you proclaim'd it did you think the prisoner was the
Ingham. "I did imagine by the place of abode he was the
The jury found the issues for the king .