Reported 280 Years Ago (August 7 1739): Aristocrat fights off highwaymen in Hampshire

The Belfast News Letter of July 27 1739 (which is August 7 in the modern calendar)
The Belfast News Letter of July 27 1739 (which is August 7 in the modern calendar)
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From July 27 1739 News Letter (August 7 modern date):

LONDON, July 17.

Last Tuesday morning the right hon. the marquis of Graham, attended by a servant on horseback, was attack’d near Farnham in Hampshire by too [sic] highwaymen; his lordship engaged with them, shot the first that attack’d him thro’ the head, and pursued the other, and finding himself likely to be taken, he quited his horse and made to a wood, where he got off undiscovered.

Yesterday morning as the watch was breaking up, a porter in Bishopsgate-Street, near the Katharine-wheel, was observed to be set down a box and leave it; a watchman hereupon laid hold of him and forced him back, to see what were the contents thereof, and upon opening of it they found the body of an infant, about a month old, mangled in a surprising manner, whereupon he was taken into custody, and secured.

The Spanish ambassador still continues at his house in Soho square, and we do not hear that he has as yet received any orders (as reported) for his departure. On Sunday there was a vast number of Catholicks from all parts of the town at his excellency’s chapel in Soho, insomuch that the street was crowded. [War with Spain was on the verge of being declared]

They write from Naples, that they have a report in that city that his Sicilian majesty intends to invite several rich Jews to settle in his country, in order to promote the commerce of the kingdom: It is even said that the king will give them the farm of his domaines.

LONDON, July 19.

There have been several processions throughout this kingdom of Bohemia, to implore of God, that he would be pleased to put a stop to the great drought which has been in those parts; and the Jews there have also religiously observed a day of fasting and prayer. But tho’ rain has since fallen in several parts of the kingdom, the corn is entirely spoiled; and the storms have compleatly ruined what little crop they had hopes of gathering; so that a great scarcity is dreaded in that county.

Sir Robert Walpole is greatly indisposed in Norfolk. [Walpole was the first prime minister, Boris Johnson is the 55th]

They write from the Hague, that the marquis de St. Gilles, ambassador from Spain, who has all along talk’d moderately of the conduct of the court of Great Britain, now of late speaks a very different language, he having declared to the members of the government, that the king his master being no longer able to bear with the unfair proceedings of the court of Great Britain, was resolved to break all engagements he had contracted with it, since that court itself was the first that infringed them.

In order to render the discontent of the court of Spain as publick as possible, its ambassador caused the letter of a Spanish gentleman at London to be inserted in all the gazettes, with a view to shew thereby how much in the wrong the British court was; tho’ twas very far from having the effect designed, for every body who read that letter, and were in the least acquainted with what had passed between the two nations, could easily discern, that great pains had been taken to justify the conduct of Spain, and to condemn that of Great Britain, by trumping up false facts.

It’s to be remark’d by the bye, that the marquis de St. Gilles is exceedingly dissatisfied that the South-Sea company should suppress the payment of the 68,000l. demanded of it by the king of Spain, because it seems that sum was appropriated to pay some Spanish ministers in foreign countries their stipends, of the number of whom was this ambassador, who therefore does not talk against this prudent step of the company without his particular reasons, there being a great arrears of his appointments due to him.

DUBLIN, July 24.

Last Friday Mr. Edward Sewell, was degraded from being a clergyman of the Church of England for marrying two quakers without a licence. It is hoped this will be an example.

Last Sunday a weaver was killed in a quarrel in St. Francis street.

Last Sunday several officers embarked for England, to raise recruits for the regiments in this kingdom.