John Stapleton, Edward Merrick, Gregory King, Theft > burglary, 12th October 1715.

Reference Number: t17151012-34
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Not Guilty; Guilty
Punishment: Death
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John Stapleton alias Stevenson , Edward Merrick alias Marriot , and Gregory King , of the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields , were indicted for breaking open the House of William Coldwell , on the 5th instant, about the Hour of 7 at Night, and taking thence 2 Damask Table clothes, 12 Diaper Table clothes, 12 Damask Napkins, 24 Diaper Napkins, and several other Goods from the said William Coldwell; no Person being therein . It appear'd , the Family being out of Town, the Key of the Street Door was left with a Neighbour; who having occasion to go into the House found the Door but single lock'd, and a Chip under it; and going up 2 Pair of Stairs found a Chest of Drawers broke open, and the Goods gone ; upon which he put 4 brave stout young Men into the House arm'd, and left the Door just as he found it, with the Chip under it. In a Quarter of an Hour after, the young Men, who divided themselves; two into the Garret, and two into the Kitchin, heard the Lock fly back as readily as if it were done by the right Key, and some Persons came into the House, who double Lock'd and bolted the Door, and then went up Stairs; and immediately after, those in the Kitchen heard two Pistols go off, who then struck a Light, and went up Stairs, and met Stapleton, and some others, and his two Friends who were above, coming down Stairs, but the Rogues being first, they got into the Dining Room, and shut the Door upon themselves, thrusting their Backs against it, to keep it close; but being threatened by an Evidence he would fire thro' the Door, it was open'd, and Stapleton taken, but the others got out of the Window, and escap'd. The 2 young Men who were above, when they heard the Door unlock'd, thought it might be their own Companions, but were soon better inform'd, by hearing a Man with a hoarse Voice (like Merrick's) say, If we find any Body in the House we'll shoot 'em, who coming up the

Garret-Stairs, perceiv'd the Evidence, whereupon they turn'd their Lanthorn dark, and said to them, Gentlemen , By G - d, if you won't fire now, we will: Upon which they fir'd, but missing the Prisoners, who immediately ran down Stairs, they pursued them, and met their Companions . There was no positive Evidence against Merrick, nor King, upon which they were acquitted ; but Stapleton was found Guilty .

[Death. See summary.]

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