Robert Snooks

Robert Snooks

Robert Snooks, (abt. 1761-1802) was the last man to be executed in England for highway robbery, on March 11, 1802.

Born in Hungerford in Berkshire, he was christened as James Blackman Snook on August 16, 1761. The fact that his name is commonly quoted as Robert Snooks is perhaps due to a corruption of his identity as the “Robber” Snook.

The Crime:

Post Boy John Stevens was travelling from Tring to Hemel Hempstead late one Sunday evening in May 1801. On reaching an isolated part of Box Moor, he was threatened by a highwayman who subsequently stole £80 from the mail.

The Investigation & Trial:

A reward of £200 was offered by the Postmaster General in addition to the £100 offered by Parliament for the apprehending of highwaymen. The London Chronicle reported on the 11th March 1802 that the highwayman had left a broken saddle at the scene of the crime and this mistake later identified Snook as the culprit. Although the Post Boy couldn’t identify Snook due to the darkness at the time of the robbery, one of the stolen bank notes was traced back to Snook’s procession and a chain of circumstantial evidence led to a guilty verdict at his trial in March 1802.

The Punishment:

A small memorial stone in Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, England marks the approximate spot where he was hanged.

The Legacy:

A bar in the nearby Dacorum Pavilion (since closed) was named in Snooks' honour, and used the silhouette of a mounted highwayman as its sign.


last = Hands
first = Joan
last2 = Hands
first2 = Roger
title = ROYALTY TO COMMONERS – Four Hundred Years of the Box Moor Trust
place = Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
publisher = The Box Moor Trust
year = 2004
isbn = 0-9504532-2-6

External links

* [ Snook's Grave, Boxmoor Common, Hertforshire]

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