Highway Robbery foiled by Farmer Dean

There are two stones erected near to Chitterne that commemorate this incident. The first marks the spot where Farmer Dean, of Imber, was held up by four men on his way home from Devizes market on the Lavington Road between West Lavington and Gore's Cross on October 21st 1839. Courageously, he attacked them with his driving whip and pretended he had a friend nearby by calling out "George, George", the robbers were deceived and took off. He chased one of them for miles across the downs, the robber eventually dropping dead. The second stone marks this spot on Chapperton Down. The other robbers were caught and transported.

 

 

 

Transcription of stone on Lavington road

AT THIS SPOT
Mr. DEAN, of Imber. was
Attacked and Robbed by
Four Highwaymen, in the
evening of Octr. 21st. 1839.

After a spirited pursuit of
three hours one of the Felons
BENJAMIN COLCLOUGH
fell dead on Chitterne Down.
THOMAS SAUNDERS,
GEORGE WATERS, &
RICHARD HARRIS,
were eventually Captured,
and were convicted at the
ensuing Quarter Sessions at
Devizes, and Transported for
the term of Fifteen Years.

This Monument is erected
by Public Subscription
as a warning to those who
presumptuously think to
escape the punishment God
has threatened against
Theives and Robbers.

 

 

 

Transcription of Chitterne Down Stone

This Monument is erected
to record the awful endof
BENJAMIN COLCLOUGH
a Highway Robber who fell
Dead, on this Spot, in
attempting to escape his
Pursuers after Robbing
Mr Dean of Imber, in the
Evening of Oct 21st 1839,
and was buried at Chitterne
without Funeral Rights.
The robbery of the wicked
shall destroy them.
    Prov. 21. 7.
His three companions in
Iniquity
THOMAS SAUNDERS
GEORGE WATERS &
RICHARD HARRIS.
were captured & sentenced
at the ensuing Quarter
Sessions at Devizes to
Transportation for the
Term of Fifteen Years.
Though hand join in
hand the wicked shall
not be unpunished
    Prov 11. 21

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