THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search



Share page  



Previous Contents Next


220                    HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
evening, and the Sunday mail, carrying two days' letters, was naturally a heavy one, a fact, no doubt, known to the robbers.
Meanwhile the Beatsons had gone to Westerham, thence to Deptford and London and finally on to Liverpool. They had been suspected, their descriptions circulated and, a hue and cry being raised throughout England, they were finally arrested at the port named. Property to the value of close on 3,000, chiefly in bank notes, was found on them. They were taken to Bow Street and thence to Horsham to await their trial at the Assizes.
Here young Beatson nearly succeeded in escaping from prison, but was re-captured in a sewer. The trial took place on March 29th, 1802, before Baron Hotham, and about 30 witnesses were examined. The father acknowledged his guilt and both he and his son denied that the latter had any hand in the robbery. The jury, however, found both guilty and sentence of death was passed. On April 17th they were brought from Horsham to East Giinstead, and, on a gallows specially erected in the field where they robbed the cart, were hung in the presence of 3,000 spectators. Both acknowledged their guilt and begged forgiveness of all whom they had injured. After death their bodies were taken back to Horsham for burial. It is said, and probably with truth, that the place of execution is clearly indicated to this day by two conspicuous holly trees, which stand out against the sky-line from the modern road running below.
THE LAW'S SEVERITY IN OLDEN TIME.
In 1710, at East Grinstead, William Longley and Samuel Kingston were convicted of burglaries and sentenced to be hanged by Baron Bury, but they were reprieved and assigned for transportation. Twenty-four years later three death sentences were passed at East Grinstead Assizes, one on a woman for robbery from the person, but all got off with imprisonment. Baron Perrett, in sentencing a real old offender named William
Previous Contents Next