John Dunstan, Theft > burglary, 25th May 1732.

Reference Number: t17320525-11
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

16. John Dunstan was indicted for breaking and entering the House of William Simmonds in St. Sepulchres Parish, and stealing a Saw, a pair of Nippers, a pair of Players, a pair of Compasses, a pair of Scissars, a Brush, a black Lead Pencil, a piece of Mother of Pearl, a small Wooden Pully, 12 Sets of inside Ivory Fan Sticks , 12 Sets of outside Ivory Fan Sticks, 3 engraved Copper-Plates, and 2 pair of Shoes, the Goods of several Persons, the 19th of this Instant May , in the Night .

William Simmons. I live in Brown's-Court, in the Little-Old-Baily . There is an empty House next to mine: My Garret-Window was broke open about 2 in the Morning, and the Goods taken away. The Garret-Window of the empty House was found open too, and so was the Kitchen Window below. Thereupon we concluded that the Rogue must get in that way, and the Prisoner having been lurking in that empty House 2 or 3 Nights before, we suspected him to be the Thief, and upon search he was taken a selling a pair of Shoes in Field-Lane the same Day, and several of the Goods were found upon him.

Michael Wharton . The Prosecutor is a Fanstick Maker , and I mend Shoes, I am his Tenant, and lodge in the Room under the Garret that was broke open. About Two in the Morning I heard a Noise over my Head, and thought my Landlord was got up to work betimes (for he works in the Garret, and so do I too) I did not rise till Five, and then going into the Garret, the first thing that I miss'd was my Knife, and then these Shoes. I calls up my Landlord; Landlord, says I, I have lost my old Shoes, I am ruined! He looks about, And so am I too, says he. We presently thought the Fellow that had lain in the empty House was the Thief. And so away goes I to Field-Lane, for you must note, that when these Fellows steal Shoes, they sell them in or about Field-Lane or Rag-Fair, but Boats they carry to Charing-Cross. As good Luck would have it, I soon met with my Chap at one of those Shops, where they Vamp up old Shoes; he was offering one of these Pairs to Sale, but I suppose he would not offer the other Pair for fear of being suspected, for I had sky'd the Soles, ready for new soleing. I collar'd my Gentleman; he immediately said, if I would go to the Alehouse he would make every thing easy. I told him I would not compound Felony, I was going to search him, but he himself took these 2 pair of Fare-sticks, this pair of Nippers, this Pully, and Knife and Brush out of his own Pockets; and this Saw and 2 pair of Shoes we found in the empty House.

Thomas Barber , Constable. When I was charged with the Prisoner, he said, if we would but have Patience till his Sister came, he would impeach his Accomplices; but when he came before the Justice, he said, no Body was concern'd but himself. At another time he said, that he lay in the empty House all Night, and that 2 or 3 Fellows came and robbed the next House, and dropp'd the Goods in the Yard.

Prisoner. Did not you see 3 Men go up the Yard between 2 and 3 o'Clock in the Morning, and ask the Watchman if he had not seen a Calf run in there? Barber. No.

Prisoner. Did not the Watchman tell you that 3 Men came up to look for a Calf?

Barber. I heard some Talk about a Calf, but to the best of my Remembrance I understood it to be only an idle pretence of the Prisoner's, and that it was he that said it, and not the Watchman.

Mr. Shaw. Such a thing might happen, for Calves are driven to Smithfield at all Hours of the Night.

Prisoner. I was come from on Board the Dursley-Galley at Deptford, and then went to drink at the Horse-shoe in Fetter-Lane, and afterwards, having no Lodging, I went and laid down in that empty House to sleep. I was waked with a Noise, and looking out the Window, I saw 3 Men in the Yard, and when I call'd to them they ran away, and dropp'd the Goods, and I took them up. The Jury found him guilty . Death .


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