The Newgate Calendar - Supplement 3

The Newgate Calendar - COLONEL TURNER


Officer and Gentleman who Maintained his Position by Robbery

            THIS young man was born in Winchester, in 1604, of rich and respectable parents, who sent him to be a goldsmith, and, at the termination of his time, gave him a stock of three thousand pounds to commence business; and, by marriage he received two thousand more. With this ample fortune he was very successful in business, and was soon esteemed one of the wealthiest men in the place.

            But he was too much addicted to company, and greatly attached to the officers of the militia, amongst whom he was received as captain, and at last attained to the rank of colonel. He was generous and extravagant, and, in the different places where he resided, he gave such splendid entertainments as involved him in unnecessary expenses. He was also liberal with his money in other respects, and delighted in splendour. The usual effects of such conduct were experienced by the colonel. Nor had he wisdom to retrench his expenses with his diminished fortune. He had recourse to dishonourable means, and for some time remained unsuspected. Among other things, he purchased from a merchant three hundred and sixty pounds of train oil and rice, went to his house to pay him, and, while the whole of the money was lying upon the table, two of his accomplices came in, and one of them pretending some urgent business, occupied the attention of the master, while the other went off with the greater part of the money. At another time, the colonel resolved to rob a rich merchant, and, for that purpose, one of his associates conveyed himself into the gentleman's cellar, and, as soon as he was in bed and asleep, he admitted the colonel. They went to the gentleman's room, bound and used him in a most barbarous manner, went to his wareroom, and robbed it to the amount of more than five thousand pounds.

            Minute inquiry was made after the robbers, and the goods being described, some of them were seen in the colonel's house; so that, notwithstanding his high character, which had screened his villainies, his house was searched, many of the articles found, and the colonel, and his wife, and three sons were liberated; but he was executed on the 1st January, 1663. After his death there was another robbery of his discovered. A letter was sent to a dealer in the country, by a rich merchant in town, requesting him to come up quickly, as there was an advantageous purchase that might be made. He hastened with all the money be could collect, and was robbed upon his journey.

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