John Smith, John Mackentosh, Mary Powell, Theft > burglary, Theft > housebreaking, Theft > housebreaking, 7th September 1715.

Reference Number: t17150907-22
Offences: Theft > burglary; Theft > housebreaking; Theft > housebreaking
Verdicts: Guilty; Guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death; Death > respited for pregnancy

John Smith , alias Mackentosh , of the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields , was indicted for breaking open the House of Randal Lee , in the Night time, on the 20th of May last; between 12 and 1, no body being in the House . The Prosecutor depos'd, That coming to Town late that Night, when he went home, he found two Watchmen at the Door, and his House broke open; and upon Search the Prisoner was found in the Cellar, with a Chissel, a Dark Lanthorn, and a Bundle of Matches. The Watchmen depos'd to the same Purpose. The Prisoner only saying he was very much in Drink, and coming by, fell into the Cellar, the Jury found him Guilty of Burglary.

He was a second Time indicted by the Name of John Mackentosh , alias Cowper , of the Parish of St. Anne Westminster , for breaking and entering the House of John Chetwind , Esq; on the 31st of August last, and taking thence a Silver Embroider'd Cloth Coat, value 15 l. a Gold embroider'd Wastcoat, value 20 l. and divers other Goods, to a very great Value, from the said John Chetwind Esq; no Person being in the House . The first Evidence swore, That he

with some Assistants were walking about the 7 Dials to scower the Gang (as they call'd it)' and met the Prisoner about 10 a Clock at Night with the Goods; who being ask'd how he came by 'em, answer'd he would not tell 'em; but watching him, the Prisoner stop'd at one Ireton's House, who coming down and opening the Door, the Prisoner threw in the Bundle, which the Woman of the House said belong'd to the Prisoner; he had about him a Pistol, a Chissel, and several other Things of that suspicious Sort. This Evidence was confirm'd by three others. Another Evidence was the Woman who kept the Key of the Door in the Family's Absence, who depos'd, that she left the Door fast, and about 10 a Clock was inform'd by a Neighbour; that he believ'd Esquire Chetwind was robb'd, and when the Watchman came she went up 2 pair of Stairs, found the Doors broke open, and the Goods gone. Another Evidence depos'd he heard Mr. Chetwind's Door shut, and saw two Men at it, one with a Bundle, and the other without; they bid one another good Night, and went away; but saying nothing to him he suspected them, and call'd his Neighbour. A Servant of Esquire Chetwind's saw the Goods at the Justice's which she knew to be her Master's. The Prisoner said, that coming up Holborn, he saw two Men very much in Drink sitting at a Door, with the Bundle on the Stall, and one of them desir'd him to carry this Bundle for them, which doing, one of them follow'd him at some distance, but ran away as soon as he saw him taken. The Jury found him Guilty of Felony and Burglary .

He was a third Time indicted by the Name of John Mackentosh , of the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields , Labourer, together with Mary Powell , of the same Parish, Spinster , for breaking the House of Sir Richard Reynolds , Bart. on the 2d of August last, and stealing thence an Iron Chest, value 4 l. 1 Diamond Necklace, value 200 l. the Goods of the said Sir Richard Reynolds. Sir Richard's Servant depos'd, That he came out of his Master's House about 4 a Clock in the Afternoon of the said Day and double lock'd the Door. Another Evidence depos'd, That about 1 a Clock at Night (being Moon-light) he saw 4 Persons carrying along an Iron Chest to a House in Newton's Lane, 2 of them were the Prisoners, and then inform'd a Constable of it, who coming with some Assistants to the House could not perswade the Prisoner (Mary Powell) whose Voice they heard to open the Door; but breaking it open found the Chest there. After which they had it cry'd. Mrs. Seymour (who kept the Key of the Door in the Family's Absence) swore, That a Neighbour told her, an Iron Chest was cry'd, which made her believe it was Sir Richard Reynolds's, and going into his House found the Chest gone; whereupon she went to the Place where the Chest was, and said it was Sir Richard's, who, coming to Town, open'd it with the Key which was in his Pocket. The Fact appearing very plain, and the Prisoners making a very trifling Defence, the Jury found them both Guilty of Felony and Burglary .

[Smith: Death. See summary.]

[Powell: Death -respited for pregnancy. See summary.]


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