Joseph Blake, Theft > burglary, 14th October 1724.

Reference Number: t17241014-43
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

Joseph Blake , alias Blueskin , of St. Mary le Savoy , was indicted for breaking the House of William Kneebone , in the Night-time, and stealing 108 Yards of Woollen Cloth, value 36 l. and divers other Goods , the 12th of July last. Mr. Kneebone depos'd, That he having heard that two of his Neighbours had not long before been robb'd, and receiving some Intimation that his House was mark'd down to be robb'd, he did the Night that his House was broken open, with special Care see all the Doors and Windows fast when he went to Bed: That early the next Morning he found two Bars of his Cellar Window cut, the Cellar Door, which was bolted, and lock'd with a Padlock, broken, and his Goods stolen. That thereupon he went and acquainted Jonathan Wild , telling him he suspected John Shepherd : That thereupon he procured both Shepherd and the Prisoner to be apprehended. That Shepherd declared to him, after his being apprehended, that the Prisoner was with him in breaking and robbing his House; and that afterwards William Field came in as a voluntary Evidence against John Shepherd and the Prisoner. William Field depos'd, That he was not well acquainted with John Shepherd, having only seen him two or three Times, as he came to the Prisoner, who lodg'd in Field's House: And that the Prisoner ask'd him to go out with them, to rob Mr. Kneebone. But he refusing to expose himself to any Danger, saying, he did not know the House; the Prisoner said neither would he; but that John Shepherd knew it, and would undertake the doing it himself. That thereupon they went from his House in the Mint, cross'd the Water at Lambeth, and went to Shepherd's Lodgings at Westminster, and having spent the Time together from three in the Afternoon, till about twelve a Clock at Night, they went to the Prosecutor's House, and John Shepherd broke open the House, taking out the Bars of the Cellar Window, which he said he had cut a Month or more before. That he had provided himself with a Tinder-Box, &c. and he gave the Prisoner Money to buy a Wax-Candle. That Shepherd opening the Back-Door, (they standing to look out) they went in, and each of them carried away his Burden of Goods. Part of the Broad Cloth was pawned, the Prisoner going and standing at some small Distance, while he himself pawned it. The Cloth was found where pawned, and produced in Court. Abraham Mendez depos'd, That he going with Mr. Wild to bring the Prisoner to Newgate, Mr. Wild coming by the Prosecutor's House, Show'd it to the Prisoner, who reply'd, Mr. Wild, say no more of it, I know I am a dead Man, but what I fear is, after I am dead I shall be carried to Surgeons Hall and anatomized: To which Mr. Wild reply'd, He would take Care he should not, he would give him a Coffin. Quilt Arnold depos'd, That he went with the former Evidence, and Mr. Wild, to apprehend the Prisoner, and he himself going to his Chamber, bid him open the Door; but he swearing he would not do it, he burst the Door open, and he having a Pen-knife drawn, swore he would kill any Body that came in. That he reply'd it was him, and Mr. Wild was not far off; saying, throw down your Pen-knife, or I will chop off your Arm: And upon this he threw down the Knife, and he apprehended him; and he did hear Mr. Wild say to the Prisoner, I will give you a Coffin. The Prisoner deny'd the Fact, or having any Acquaintance with William Field, the Evidence; but this was proved beyond Contradiction. He then proceeded to object against the Credibility of the Evidence; but had no legal Objection to offer. He then endeavoured to colour his resisting Quilt Arnold with his Penknife, he supposing him to be a Bailiff coming to arrest him. And having no further Defence to make, the Jury found him guilty of the Indictment. Death . He then proceeded to tell the Court, That on Wednesday Morning last, Jonathan Wild said to Simon Jacobs , I believe you will not bring 40 l. this Time, I with Joe was in your Case, I am

afraid he'sa dead Man. But I will do my endeavour to bring you off as a single Felon. But speaking to him (this Prisoner) said, I believe you must die, I'll send you a good book or two, and you shall not be anatomized; I'll provide you a Coffin. This is the Account he gave of the discourse between Mr. Wild and himself, but he proceed to tell the Court that he cut his Throat.


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