History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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and travelled with fish and other commodities to the villages around Brighton, and it was on one of these journeys westward that she obtained the capture of Rook and Howell, for robbing the mail on the night of the 30th of October, ] 792, the extent of the same being half-a-sovereign, transmitted in a letter from a soldier stationed in Steyning barracks to a friend residing in this town.
The spot on which the robbery took place is situated about a mile on the high road to Shoreham, and westward of Goldstone Bottom, already mentioned as the place of the military execution of Cooke and Parish for mutiny.
Their apprehension and capture was through Phoebe calling at the Red Lion public-house at Old Shoreham (kept at that time by a man of the name of Penton), as was her frequent custom, to take refreshment, and soon after Book came in and ordered some beer. In the course of conversation with the persons present, the subject of the mail robbery came up, and from some observations made by Book, Phoebe in her own mind, was convinced that he was one of the party in the affair. She, in conse­quence, went out and gave information of what had transpired to the parish constable, Bartholomew Roberts, who was well acquainted with Book, then living with his mother in a small cottage close by, on the spot now occupied by Adur Lodge. On being taken into custody, Book, whose age was about 24, a simple, inoffensive fellow, who had been the dupe of his companion in the crime, admitted the offence, and afforded such in­telligence as led to the apprehension of Howell, at Old Shoreham mill, where, at the time, he was reading a pamphlet to the miller. Howell was 40 years old, and by trade a tailor.
Some of the stolen property was found upon them; and their identification by the mail-boy being complete, they were committed from the Fountain Inn for trial at the Spring Assizes, at Horsham, when, being found guilty,
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