The attack on John Pearson

On 17th May 1840, John Pearson, a currier living at Pump Hill, Southowram, was travelling past Shibden Hall when he was assaulted and robbed by Joseph Sharp [aged 39] and John Sharp [29].

The newspapers reported the trial at Halifax Crown Court

Crown Court, Tuesday, July 13th 1841 / Highway Robbery at Southowram

Joseph Sharp (39) and John Sharp (29) were charged with having, on the 17th of May last at Southowram, violently assaulted John Pearson, and stolen from his person 1s 6d, a half penny, a farthing, and a basket.

Mr Hildyard was for the prosecution. The prisoners were undefended.

It appeared that the prosecutor is a currier residing at Pump Hill, near Southowram, and on the 17th May he was at Halifax. At about half past eleven o'clock at night, he was proceeding along the road towards his own house and when he arrived near to Shipton Hall (Shibden Hall), he met two persons one of whom he identified as John Sharp.

On coming up to him, John Sharp struck the prosecutor on the head, and knocked his hat off, and the other person who was recognised to be Joseph Sharp, seized him by the thighs and threw him on his back. Joseph Sharp took hold of the prosecutor's throat and forced the blood from his mouth, and his eyes were swollen in their sockets.

The prosecutor was robbed of an American coin, 1s 6d, a farthing and a half penny, and a basket. The prisoner John Sharp had a file in his hand and he struck the prosecutor with it several times.

A person named Joseph Hoyle saw the two prisoners on the road near Shipton Hall, about an hour before the robbery, and Joseph Sharp had a file in his hand. On the following morning the prosecutor found a file near the place. Sutcliffe, the constable, apprehended Joseph Sharp, showed him the file, and he said it was his. Joseph Sharp gave his mother a farthing which was identified by the prosecutor. The prisoners said in defence that they were in bed at the time of the robbery. Guilty


Note: On the 1841 census taken 7th June, Joseph & John Sharp were in prison at York Castle

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 12:32 / 17th May 2021 / 4230

Page Ref: X439

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