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taining the property of the person assaulted; yet if property be obtained ^'"''^"'^^"®
by it, the offence will, under some circumstances at least, amount to rob- for the
bery; as where money was offered to a party endeavouring to commit aP^'Tose of
rape, and taken by him. Blackham assaulted a woman with intent to the pro-°
ravish her, and she, without any demand from him, offered him money, P<-'rty of tlie
which he took and put into his pocket, but continued to treat the woman g^^^ulfed •"
with violence, in order to effect his original purpose, until he was inter- yet if pro-
rupted; and this was holden to be a robbery by a considerable i^^^jonty J^^J^J^^j^,
of the judges ; on the ground that the woman, from the violence and it, tiie of-
tcrror occasioned by the prisoner's behaviour, and to redeem her chastity [eneo may

uG rouocrv*

offered the money, which it was clear she would not have given volunta-
rily ; and that the prisoner, by taking it, derived an advantage to him-
self *from his felonious conduct, though his original intent were to com- *879
mit a rape.(p)

With respect to " the putting in fear," or constructive violence, when Of tho
that is the means by which the taking is effected, it may be considered, f^^^^
with reference, first, to those cases in which the fear excited has been of
injury to the person; secondly, to those in which the fear excited has
been of injury to the proiw.rtij ; and, thirdly, to those in which the fear
excited has been of injury to the character. It should, however, be re-
membered, as generally applicable to cases of this description, that where
property is extorted by fear, it will constitute a robbery by putting in
fear, though it may be taken in the shape of a colourable gift. (7) So
that if a man, whether with or without a drawn sword, or other offen-
sive weapon, but with such circumstances of terror as indicate a feloni-
ous intention, ask alms from a person who gives to them through mis-

(0) Gascoi^rne's case, O. B. 178.3, cor, Narcs, J. 1 Leach, 280, considered of by the judges
in Mich. T. 17'J3. U East, P. C. c. Iti, s. 127, p. 800. And see the Scss. Pap. 295.
(/') Bkckham's case, 1787. 2 East, P. C. c. 10, s. 128, p. 711.
\q) Ante. p. 871, et scq.


trust and apprehension of violence, it will be robbery ; and so it will be
if the thief, after having first made an assault, cease to use force, and
ask money for alms, which is given him by the party attacked, while
there remained a reasonable ground for the continuance of the fear ex-
cited by the assault. (r) And if thieves come to rob A., and, finding
little about him, enforce him, by menace of death, to swear to bring
them a greater sum, which he does accordingly, this is robbery, if the fear of
that menace continued upon him at the time he delivered the money, (s)
Of the fear The fear of injury to the person is that which is commonly excited on
of injury to the commission of thisofience; and where property is obtained by this
e person, j^^gj^^^g^ j^^ ^jU amount to robbery, though there be no great degree of ter-
ror or affright in the party robbed. It is enough if the fact be attended
with such circumstances of terror, such threatening, by word or gesture,
as, in common experience, are likely to create an apprehension of
danger, and induce a man to part with his property for the safety of his
person. (<) Where, therefore, on an indictment for robbery, it appeared
that the prisoners and their companions hung around the prosecutor's
person in the streets of Manchester, so as to render all attempts at resist-
ance hazardous, if not vain, and rifled him of his watch and money, but
it did not appear that any force or menace was used, it was held that
this was a robbery ; for if several persons so surround another, as to take
away the power of resistance, that is force. (ti) And it is not necessary
that actual fear should be strictly and precisely proved ; as the law, in
odium spollatoris, will presume fear, where there appears to be a just
ground for \t.(v\
*880 *One Nordeu, having been informed that one of the early stage coaches

Such fear had been frequently robbed near the town by a single highwayman,
maybe resolved to use his endeavours to apprehend the robber. For this pur-


though the pose, he put a little money and a pistol into his pocket, and attended the
party go to coach in a post-chaise, till the highwayman came up to the company in
robber ^^^ coach, and to him, and presenting a weapon demanded their money,
and for theNorden gave him the little money he had about him, and then jumped
apprehend- '^^^ '^^ *^^ chaise with the pistol in his hand, and, with the assistance of
ing him. some others, took the highwayman. This was holdeu to be a robbery of

And this The fear necessary to constitute the crime of robbery may exist,
fear may though the property be taken under colour, and on the pretence of a
though the purchase. For if a person by force or threats compel another to give
property be IjJitq goods, and by way of colour oblige him to take, or if he offer less
colour and than the value, it is robbery ; as where the prisoner took a quantity of
on pre- wheat worth eight shillings, and forced the owner to take thirteen-pence
pu"chase'^ half-penny for it, threatening to kill her if she refused, the offence was

clearly holden to be robbery by all the judges upon a conference. (x)

(r) 2 East, P. C. c. 10, s. 128, p. 711. 4 Bla. Com. 244. Ante, p. 871, et seq.

(s) Ante, p. 871, Fitzh. Coron. pi. 464. 3 Inst. 68. 1 Hale, 532. 2 East, P. C. c. 16, s.
129, p. 714, in which last book the reason given by Hawkins (1 Hawk. P. C. c. 34, s. 1) for
this doctrine, and which would seem to lead to the conclusion that it would be robbery in
such case, though the party delivered the money solely under the mistaken conscientious
compulsion of his oath, is denied. And from note (a) in East, P. C. ibid., it seems that the
delivery of the money was an act more immediately consequent upon the menace and oath
than would appear from the statement of the case as given in the text from 3 Inst., and
1 Hale.

(0 Post. 128. 4 Bla. Com. 243, 244. Donally's case, 1 Leach, 197.

(ii) Hughes's case, 1 Lew. 301, Bayley, .J.

{V) Fost. 128. 2 East, P. C. c. 10, s.'l28, p. 711. (w) Fost. 129.

(i) Simon's case, CornAvall Lent Ass. 1773. 2 East, P. C. c. 16, s. 128, p. 712


But wlictber the forciug a diapman to sell liis wares, and giving liim
the full value for them, will amount to robbery, has been considered as
doubtful, (v/)

It seems that the fear of violence to the person of a child of the party xhe fear
from whom property is demanded, will fall within the same considera- may be of
tion as if the fear were of violence to the person of the party himself. |jj^. p^|]j ^f
Thus where a case was put in argument of a man walking with his child, the party,
and delivering his money to another person, upon a threat that, unless
he did so, the other would destroy his child, llotham, 11., said, that he
had no doubt that it would be a robbery, (.r) And in a subsequent case,
Eyre, C. J., said, that a man might be said to take by violence, who de-
prived the other of the power of resistance, by whatever means he did it;
and that he saw no sensible distinction between a personal violence to
the party himself, and the case put by one of the judges, of a man hold-
ing another's child over a river, and threatening to throw it in unless he
gave him money. (a)

But obtaining money from a wife, under a threat of accusing her bus- Threat to a
band of an unnatural crime, is not robbery. Upon an indictment for ''V'^^ °^ -

, , chnr'^e oi

robbing the wife of P, Abraham, it appeared that the money was obtained an infa-

from the wife by a threat to accuse her husband of an unnatural offence, '""Ji;^ crime
and the money so obtained was the property of her husband. Littledale, Jiusband.
J., said " the case was new and perplexing ; he thought it was rather a
misdemeanor. To make a case of this description a robbery, the intimi-
dation should be on the mind of the person threatened to be accused, and
the apprehension of the wife was of a different character. The 7 ct 8
Geo. 4, c. 7, is in terms confined to threats made to the party himself.
The principle is, that the person threatened is thrown off his guard and
has not firmness to resist the extortion j but he could not apply that
^principle to the wife of the party threatened. Even as a misdemeanor, *881
the case was new, though he thought that the only way to treat the
offence. He therefore directed an acquittal." (i)

The cases in which the offence of robbery has been committed by ■^1"'' ^^
means of a fear of injury to the property of the party are principally prupcrty.

(y) 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 34, s. 14. 4 Ela. Cora. 244, ante, p. 872.

(z) Donnally's case, 1779. 2 East, P. C. c. 16, s. 130, p. 718.

(o) Reane's case, 1704. 2 East, P. C. c. 16, s. 132, p. IZ'o, post, p. 890.

(6) Rex V. Edward, 1 M. & Rob. 257. S. C. 5 C. & P. 518.' The prisoner was afterward?
tried for the misdemeanor, but acquitted, the prosecutor not appearinp;. Sec Rex r. Kncw-
land, 2 Leach, 721, post, p. 884, which seems to support the view of the learned judge that
if this was not robbery, it was only a misilcmeanor. Rut it seems to deserve consideration
whether as " the law considers the fear of losing character by such an imputation as equal
to the fear of losing life itself, or of sustaining other personal injury;" [;)(?r Ashhurst, J.,
delivering the judgment in Ilex v. Kncwland,] it might not well be contended that the fear
of such a charge being made against a husband would operate as strongly on the mind of the
wife as anij threat of personal violence, or even of death to him could possibly do; and
especially as " the bare idea of being thought addicted to so odious and detestable a crime
is of itself sufficient to deprive the injured person of all the comforts and advantages of
society; a punishment more terrible, both in apprehension and reality, than even death
itself," \_per Ashhurst, J., ibid.,] and tlierefore, the threat of making such a charge must
operate in the strongest possible manner on the mind of the wife, indeed much more forcibly
than any threat of injury to any property could possilily do. It should l>e observed, that in
Kex V. Knewland it was contended on the trial that if tlie fear was not sufficient to constitute
the crime of robbery, the prisoners might be convicted of larceny, if they obtained the
money fraudulently, with a felonious design to convert it to their own use; but this point
was neither noticed by the court on the trial, nor by the twelve judges upon the case re-
served ; indeed the only question submitted to them seems to have been whether the circum-
stances were sufficient to constitute the crime of robbery. C. S. G.
' Eng. Com. Law Reps. xxiv. 435.

VOL. I 58



[book IV.

Threat to
tear the
mow of
corn, and
level the
house of
the prose-

those iu which the terror excited was of the probable outrages of a

The prisoner who was a ringleader in some riots amongst the tinners in
Cornwall, came with about seventy of his companions to the house of
the prosecutor, and said that they would have from him the same as they
had from his neighbours, namely, a guinea, or else they would tear his
mow of corn, and level his house. He gave them a crown to appease
them; when the prisoner swore that he would have five shillings more,
which the prosecutor, being terrified, gave him. They then opened a
cask of cider by force, drank part of it, and eat the prosecutor's bread
and cheese ; and the prisoner carried away a piece. The indictment con-
tained two counts, one for robbing the prosecutor of ten shillings in his
dwelling-house, by assault and j)utting him in fear, and the other for
putting the prosecutor in fear, and taking from him in his dwelling-house
a quantity of cider, pork and bread. It was holden robbery in the dwell-
ing-house, (c)

During the riots in London, in the year 1780, a boy with a cockade in
his hat knocked violently at the prosecutor's door, who thereupon opened
extorted by ^*'? "w^i^n the boy said to him, '< God bless your honoui', remember the
the priso- poor mob." The prosecutor told him to go along; on which he said,
" Then I will go and fetch my captain," and went away; but soon after-
wards the mob, to the number of a hundred, armed with sticks, and such
other things as they had been able to procure, came, headed by the pri-
soner, who was on horseback, and whose horse was led by the same boy.
On their coming up, the by-standers said, <' You must give them money,"
and the boy said, "Now, I have brought my captain;" and some of the




ner at the
head of a
mob with-
out any
being ex-

*882 niob said, " God bless this gentleman, he is always generous." The *pro-
secutor then said to the prisoner, '' How much ?" to which the prisoner
answered, "Half a crown, sir;" upon which the prosecutor, who had be-
fore only intended to give a shilling, gave the prisoner half-a-crown.
The mob then gave three cheers, and went to the nest house. This was
holden to be robbery. ((?)

If a mob go to a person's house, and civily ask and advise him to give
demands of ^^"2^ something, if this be not done hond fide, but as a mere mode of
robbing him, the ofience is robbery ; and evidence of demands of money,
made by the same mob on the same day, at other houses, is admissible,
to show that this was not done hond fide. On an indictment for robbery,
it appeared that the prisoners went with a mob to the prosecutor's house,
and that one of the mob very civily, and, as the prosecutor then thought,
with a good intention, advised him to give them something to get rid of
them, and to prevent mischief, and that in consequence of this, he gave
them the money stated in the indictment. To show that this was not
Itond fide advice, but in reality a mere mode of robbing the prosecutor,
it was proposed to give evidence of other demands of money made by
the same mob at other houses, at different times of the same day, when
some of the prisoners were present; it was objected that the fact, that
money had been demanded at other places would be no proof of any
demand made on the prosecutor; and that this was, in efi"cct, trying the
prisoners upon other charges, which they could not be prepared to meet.
But it was held, that what was done before and after the particular

(c) Simon's case, 1773. 2 East, P. C. c. 16, s. 131, p. 731. See another case against the
same prisoner, where the threat was of injury to the person, ante, p. 880.

(d) Taplin's case, 0. B. 1780. 2 East, P. C. c. 16, s. 128, p. 712.

of other

made by
the same
mob at
places on
the same
day is ad-


transaction at the prosecutor's house, but in the course of the same day,
and when the prisoners were present, might be given in evidence. (e)

In another case, which occurred also upon the trial of some of the rio- Brown's
ters in the year 1780, the prosecutor swore that the prisoner and another <"'^<'-
man entered into his dwelling-house; and, upon being asked by him cx^ori'^aby
what they wanted, the prisoner, having a drawn sword in his hand, said a threat of
with an oath, <' Put one shilling into my hat, or I have a jiarty tliat can fhf [i^usef
destroy your house presently;" upon which he gave him a shilling. It
was also sworn by another witness, that the prisoner also said, that if
the prosecutor "would keep the blood within his mouth, he must give
the shilling." This offence was also holden to be robbery. (/)

In a subsequent case, corn was taken from the prosecutor by the pri- Spcncer's
soncr, and a mob who accompanied him, compelling the prosecutor to pi'^e.

Tlireat of

sell it under its value, by a threat that if he would not. sell it at the sunij^^^^^'
offered, it should be taken away. The prosecutor had corn belonging to corn away,
other persons in his possession when the prisoner came to him, together H^ vih\ch
with a great mob marching in militaiy order. One of the mob, said, cutor was
that if he would not sell they were going to take it away ; and the pris- co»'re|led
oner said that they would give thirty shillings a load, and if he would le/s*" than ^"^
not take that, they would take the corn away; upon which the prose- is value.
cutor sold corn for thirty shillings which was worth thirty-eight shillings.
This was ruled to be robbery. (^)

*Some years subsequent to the cases which have been mentioned, and JkggQ
during the riots at Birmingham, a case occurred where money was ob-Astlcy's
taincd from the owner by a threat that if he did not give it, his house '^■•'^^''•
should be destroyed by a mob. The two prisoners were indicted for Ja°"e^Jhy a
robbing one Grundy. The prisoners, together with a man who was threat; that
unknown, went to the house of Mr. Grundy, near Birmingham : when, *^';/^''"^*^

'. •'' o7 7ot tiie pro-

upon Mr. Grundy commg out, they pulled off their hats, and shouted, sccutor

" Church and King;" upon which Mr. Grundy did the same, and ad-^''?"'f '"^

. , pulled

vanced towards the prisoners in much alarm, when the stranger accosted down by a
him, and said, " I am come out of friendship to you, Mr. Grundy, to let ^^°^ ^^ *
you know your house is marked to come down to-morrow morning at t"ui^.
two o'clock. I am the head of the mob ; they are two thousand strong
in Birmingham ; I must have something to make my men drink ; I can
bring two or three hundred in an hour's time, or keep them back." Mr.
Grundy said, <'As to something to drink, you shall have any thing you
have a mind for." The stranger then said, <'l must have money." Mr.
Grundy offered him half-a-crown, which he rejected with contempt; »

upon which Mr. Grundy asked what he wanted ? and he replied that he
must have twenty guineas ; and, upon Mr. Grundy telling him that he
had not so much in the house, said, that if Mr. Grundy did not give him
something handsome for his men to drink, his house should come down.
Mr. Grundy said, that he might have nine or ten guineas; which he
asked to see. While Mr. Grundy was taking his purse out of his pocket,
one of the prisoners told him he might depend upon it that the stranger
■was the head of the mob, with other discourse of a similar kind as to his

(e) Rex V. Winkworth,! 4 C. & P. 444, Parke and Alderson, Js., and Yaugban, B. Lord
Tenterden, upon bavinj; tliis ruling communicated to him, concurred in it.

(/) Brown's case, 0. B. 17S0. 2 East, P. C. c. IG, s. 131, p. 731.

(g) Spencer's case, cor. Bailor, J., York Sum. Ass. 1783. 2 East, P. C. c. 10, s. 128, p.
712, 713. The prisoner was executed. As to cases where the owner has been compelled to
part with his property under colour of a purchase, see ante, p. 872 and 880.
' Eug. Com. Law Reps. six. 4G5.


power; and pai'ticularly that he was the first man who had entered
every house that had been destroyed. This expression so struck Mr.
Grundy that he immediately took the money, which amounted to nine
guineas and a half, out of his purse, and gave it to the stranger; who
counted it, and demanded something to drink ; when they all went into
Mr. Grundy's house and had some liquor ; after which, in going away,
they assured Mr. Grundy that he should be protected. There was no
evidence that the prisoners had any of the money at the time ; but it
appeared that a small share of it was given to them afterwards. Mr.
Grundy, in giving his evidence, said, that he was greatly alarmed, but
not for his person; that no injury was threatened to his person ; but that,
when he delivered his money, his apprehension was, that if he had re-
fused to do so, the men would have gone to Birmingham, and have re-
turned with other persons, and pulled down his house and plundered it,
(before he could have removed his wife, who was in the house in great
agitation,) as they had threatened, and as different houses in Birmingham
had been before pulled down. Upon these facts it was objected, on be-
half of the prisoners, that there was no evidence of robbery, as the pro-
secutor did not deliver his money from any immediate fear of danger to
himself or his property, but from an apprehension of future injury to his
*88-4 bouse, by pulling it down. The truth of the evidence was, *however,
left to the jury; who found the prisoners guilty, saying, that they were
satisfied that Mr. Grundy did not deliver his money from any appre-
hension of danger to his life or person, but from an apprehension that,
if he refused, his house would at some future time be pulled down, as
the prisoners and the strangers threatened, in the same manner as other
houses in Birmingham had been before, and the facts of the case being
afterwards submitted to the judges, for their opinion, whether the evi-
dence amounted to robbery, a majority of them held that it did. (A)
Of the fear The cases of robbery in which the property has been obtained by

of injury to j^g^j^g of a fear being excited of iniury to the character of the party
tae cliarac- ° j j i. j

ter. robbed appear to be all of one description. Indeed it has been said,

that the terror which leads a party to apprehend an injury to his cha-
racter has never been deemed sufiicient to support an indictment for
robbery, except in the particular instance of its being excited by means
of insinuations against, or threats to destroy the character of the party
The fear of pillaged, by accusing him of sodomitical practices. In the case in which
■being sent ^j^jg Joctrine is laid down it appeared that the prisoners, assisted by

to prison IS . ^ . , ^ „ "^

not alone a other persons, got the prosecutrix into a house, under pretext or an auc-

sufficient tion being carried on there, forced her to bid for a lot of articles which

terror to '^^^ immediately knocked down to her, and then, upon her not producing

constitute the money to pay for it, threatened that she should be taken to Bow-

^^' street, and from thence to Newgate, and be imprisoned till she could

raise the money ; that, after these threats had been used, a pretended

constable was introduced, who said to the prosecutrix, " Unless you give

me a shilling you must go with me," upon which she was induced to

give the pretended constable a shilling ; and that the prosecutrix parted

with the shilling, being in bodily fear of going to prison, as a means of

obtaining her liberty, and to avoid being carried to Bow-street and to

Newgate, and not out of fear or apprehension of any other personal

force or violence. The judges, after argument, and a minute discussion

of the circumstances of the case, were of opinion that they were not

(h) Astley's case (James and Ezekiel,) 2 East, P. C. c. 16, s. 131, p. 729.


sufficient to constitute tlie crime of robbery. They thought that the
throat used of taking tlie prosecutrix to Bow-street, and from thence to
Newgate, was only a threat to put her into the hands of the law, which,
she might have known would have taken her under its protection and
set her free, as she had done no wrong ; that an innocent person need
not in such a situation bo apprehensive of danger; and, therefore, that
the terror arising from such a source was not sufficient to induce an in-
dividual to part with propert}'^, so as to amount to robbery. And they
said, it was a case of simple duress for which the party injured might
have a civil remedy by action, which could not be, if the fact amounted
to felony. (/■)

Ijut the fear of injury to character, which may be excited by accusing
a person of sodomitical practices, had been holden to *come under a *885
diffiireut consideration, long before the 7 & 8 Geo. 4, c. 29. As the im-
putation of being addicted to so odious and detestable a crime would be
sufficient to deprive the injured person of all the comforts and advan-
tages of society, and would inflict a punishment more terrible than death,
both in apprehension and reality, the law considered the fear of losing
character by such an imputation, as equal to the fear of sustaining per-
sonal injury, or even of losing life itself. («)

By the 1 Vict. c. 87, s. 4, " Whosoever shall accuse or threaten to runi.«h-
accuse any person of the abominable crime of buggery committed either ™^"t for

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