- Robert Snooks
Robert Snooks, (abt. 1761-1802) was the last man to be executed in
Englandfor highway robbery, on March 11, 1802.
Hungerfordin 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.
Post Boy John Stevens was travelling from
Tringto Hemel Hempsteadlate 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 Chroniclereported 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.
A small memorial stone in
Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, Englandmarks the approximate spot where he was hanged.
A bar in the nearby
DacorumPavilion (since closed) was named in Snooks' honour, and used the silhouette of a mounted highwaymanas 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.
* [http://www.grantham.karoo.net/paul/graves/snooks.htm Snook's Grave, Boxmoor Common, Hertforshire]
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