Thomas Banks, Elizabeth Banks, Theft > burglary, 12th January 1733.

Reference Number: t17330112-23
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishment: Death

29, 30. Thomas Banks and Elizabeth Banks of St. George in the East , were indicted for breaking and entring the House of Thomas Kemp , and stealing a Clock, 4 Sheets, 3 Blankets, a pewter Dish, 2 Plates, 3 Shirts, 2 Stocks, 2 Towels, 3 Napkins, a Box Iron, and a Sauce-pan, Jan. 5 . about 8 at Night .

Thomas Kemp . I live in Penitent-street in Ratcliffe Highway . The Prisoners lived almost opposite to me. About 6 on Friday Night, I made my Doors fast, and went to an Alehouse over the way to Supper; for I am a single Man. About 9 I was told that my House was broke, I went home and found both my back Door and fore Door open, and that I had been robb'd. I was a new Comer, my House was not quite fitted up, nor made so secure as it might be; my back Door was fastened with a wooden Pin that went into a Hole in the Wainscot; my fore Door had a Lock, but between the Lock and the Staple there was a hollow place through which the

Lock might be push'd back. Behind my House was a Yard, with a dead Wall 8 Foot high. The hole in the Wainscot where the Pin of the back Door went in was burst, so that I suppose the Entry was made that way.

Court. What Goods did you lose?

Kemp. A Clock, 4 Sheets, 3 Blankets, 3 Shirts, 10 Napkins, a box Iron, a Sauce-pan, and other Things.

Court. Did you recover them?

Kemp. Yes. Rebecca Ford informed me that she saw Thomas Banks in my House that Night, and he was taken up the Sunday following, and committed to Newgate. From thence he sent a Man with a Letter to Jane Gillam , desiring her to let no Body see the Goods he had left at her House but his Doughtear. Gillam sent this Letter to his Daughter, and she desiring the Bearer to read it to her, he was over-heard, and so I came to know where the Goods were lodged; upon which I got a Warrant and found them at Gillam's's.

Jacob Farmer . Last Sunday in the Afternoon the Prisoner Thomas Banks desired me to carry this Letter to Mrs. Gillam's.

Court. Do you know who wrote it?

Farmer. Yes; I saw him write it.

T. Banks. I own I wrote the Letter.

Court. Let it be read.

Clerk reads. For Mrs. Gillam in Swan-Alley, in the Minories - Mrs. Gillam, I was sadly betrayed by the Woman which came to me at your House; I am sincerely obliged to you for your good-will, and beg you to put every thing I left at your House out of any Body's sight but my Daughter's, who will come with the Bearer to you, and desire you to let him have the Petticoat I left at your House. This is all I can ask of you at present. I am your real Friend, when in my Power. Thomas Bankes - I do not think that they can hurt me if you are but my Friend.

T. Banks. I acknowledge I left the Goods at Mrs. Gillam's. You [to the Prosecutor] you fastened the Doors at 6 a-Clock, and went out; did not you leave the Joiner at work in the House?

Kemp. No; the Joiner was putting up his Tools without the Door when I went.

Rebecca Ford . I was standing at my own Door (which is over-against Mr. Kemp's) with a Candle in my hand, about 8 a-Clock o' Friday Night; I saw Elizabeth Banks at Mr. Kemp's Door, and she being a Person of no Credit, I was willing to observe what she was about. By and by Thomas Banks (her Husband) came out of the House with a Bundle, and threw it out at the Door, and then taking it up he went away with it. It was as much as he c ould well carry. I thought he was going with it to his own House, but he went beyond. I follow'd him a little way, but he went too fast for me, and his Wife went home.

Court. How far is your Door from the Prosecutor's?

Ford. Just cross the way, 7 or 8 Yards.

Court. Could you know the Prisoners at that distance by the Light of your Candle?

Ford. I knew them easily, for they lived but hard by; so I went and raised the Neighbours, and told them Banks had got a good Booty.

T. Banks. You said before Justice Philips, that when I brought the Things to the Door I fell down, and the Bundle burst open, and that then my Wife came to hold a Candle.

Ford. I said then as I say now.

T. Banks. How long did you stand at your own Door?

Ford. I can't tell exactly.

T. B. You said before that it was but 3 or 4 Minutes.

Court. When was the other Prisoner taken?

Kemp. The same Night at her own Door.

Martha Negus . The Night after the Robbery I was a charing at a House next to Jane Gillam's in Swan-Alley; she call'd me out, and said, a Gentleman wanted me to go of an Errand; I went to her House, and there I found Thomas Banks dressing himself in a strange Disguise. He had tied a piece of a white Shoes about him like an Apron, and put a Woman's Apron over his Shoulders; he slopt his Hat over his Nose, and over that he wrapt another piece of Linnen, one end of which he brought down to his Mouth. I could not guess the meaning of all this, but he told me he was in great Poverty, and afraid of being arrested, and that he wanted me to go and carry a Gown to his Daughter, that she might come out to speak with him, for she had never a Gown to put on. He took me thro' Rag-Fair, where he bought an old pair of Shoes, and coming into Penitent-street,

he pointed to a Door, and said, There my Daughter lives, carry this Gown and these Shoes, and bid her put them on, and come to me at the Corner of the Street, where I will wait for her. It was then about 10 at Night. I deliver'd my Message to her, and while she was striking a Light, he follow'd; Father! says she, my Mother's gone to Newgate! for God's sake make your Escape! get away Backwards, for the House is beset by Kemp and several more. Upon hearing that he ran down Stairs, and got away; but Mr. Kemp coming in seiz'd me with the Gown and Shoes, and carried me to the Justice's House; but the Justice not being at home, his Clerk order'd me to be confin'd. I begg'd it might be in my own Room then, because as I got my living by charing in several creditable Families, if it should be known that I was committed to Prison on any such Account, it would be the Ruin of me. Mr. Kemp consented, and went and set with me himself, in my own Room. About 12 that Night, some Body knock'd at my Door, Who's there? says I. A Man answer'd Thomas Banks . Now, says I, to Mr. Kemp, you may go down and take him; so I went down to Banks, and he ask'd me, if I had deliver'd the Goods as he order'd me? I told him, Yes; for being a naked Woman, I was afraid of some Mischief if I said otherwise, while he and I were alone in the Street. So then we went into a Brandy-Shop that was just by, and presently Mr. Kemp came in, and the Prisoner was taken.

Jane Gillam . About 12 a-Clock o' Friday Night, Thomas Banks knock'd at my Window ; I was a-bed, and told him, I could not get up. He begg'd me to go to his Wife, who was in the Watch-house; to get rid of him, I told him, I would; but I did not go. About 4 a-Clock o' Saturday Afternoon, I went out, and while I was gone, it seems, he brought the Goods to my House, for when I came home, says my Landlady, There's Mr. Banks in your Room, he has brought a Bundle of Goods, and seems to be in Trouble. He lay down, and slept till 9 a-Clock, and then I waked him; says he, I wish you'd carry this Gown to my Daughter, for she's stark naked. You're a devilish Dog, says I, to pawn all your Daughter's Things; I can't go, but I'll call Martha Negus , she's at next Door. So I called her, and they went together; it was not long before he came back, and told me he was foolish in going, for the Officers had like to have got him. As he was in Debt, I thought he meant the Bailiffs. I asked him where the Woman ( Martha Negus ) was? He said he believed she was got drunk, and he desired me to let him stay in my Room. I told him it was late, and I was a lone Woman , and therefore it would not be proper; he said his Heart was too full to have any Nonsense that way. So he lay down, and by and by a Neighbour called and said, that Black-Gown ( Martha Negus ) was taken up. I waked him, and he said he'd go and clear the Woman, and accordingly he went in the very Mouth of'em.

Samuel Alexander . I live next Door to Martha Negus ; about 12 a-Clock o'Saturday Night, Thomas Banks knock'd at her Door; says my Wife, What do you want? For God's sake, says he; call her down, for I am in much Trouble. I thought he was in fear of an Arrest, and so says I, you had better go into that Brandy-Shop, (which is but 3 or 4 Yards off) for you may be seen if you stand there. He told me, that he had already escaped over a Wall; he went into the Shop, and presently Kemp came and called me to assist in taking him, which I did just as he was coming out of the Brandy-Shop.

Court. Was he in the Brandy-Shop before Negus came down? for the says, she went in with him.

Alex Yes he was, but he was in and out 2 or 3 times before she came down, so that she might go in with him.

Negus. I went down and laid the first Hand on him after he went into the Shop; I told him he was a persidious Fellow to bring me into all that Trouble; but since I was a Prisoner he should be one too.

T. Banks. There was no Lock, nor Bolt, nor Pin, to the back Door, and it stands open Day and Night: And you say there was no Body in the House after you went out, was not one Mr. Daws there?

Kemp. Yes, but not till after I was told the House was broke open, and then several went in.

Banks. There were four Men, and Daws was one of them, he ow'd me a Spight, and

left the Bundle at my Door, as I shall prove. Rebecca Ford swore that the Bundle was wrapt up in a Sheet [or a Blanket] and thrown out at the Door on the Ground. The Street was very dirty then, but that Blanket that was found at Mrs. Gillam's on Monday, was not dirty.

Kemp. I lost three Blanket's and found but one of 'em again.

Mary Banks , (the Prisoner's Daughter.) About 5 a Clock o' Saturday Morning, Edward Daws and Mr. Kemp brought these Things in a Bundle, and laid them under our Window; but seeing me look out at the Window, they turned their Backs and went away.

Court. Are these the same Things in Court?

M. B. Yes.

Court. How do you know, did you see them opened?

M. B. No, but it was such a Bundle.

Court. What became of the Bundle?

M. B. They carried it away again in a Minute.

Court. But are you sure that it was Daws and the Prosecuter who laid this Bundle under the Window? M. B. Yes.

Court. Was not there a Disturbance in the Neighbourhood about Kemp's House being broke open before this Bundle was brought?

M. B. Yes, on the Thursday Night, but my Father was then sitting at home by the Fireside.

Court. This will not account for his carrying those Things to Gillam's.

T. Banks. Daws cannot deny the bringing those Goods to my Window.

Edward Daws . I never saw any of those Goods.

Court. Did you and Kemp on Saturday Morning, or at any other Time after the Fact, leave any Goods whatever under the Prisoner's Window?

Daws. No.

T. Banks. Was not you in Kemp's House the Night the Fact was committed?

Daws. I was a Bed then, and got up upon Rebecca Ford 's Outcry, that Kemp's House was broke, and then I went in and found the Door open.

T. Banks. Kemp told the Justice that his back Door was not forced open.

Kemp. No, I said no such Thing: I said I found them both open, but did not know how they came open.

T. Banks, to his Daughter.] Mary! Did you see any Body go into, or come out of Kemp's House, before Rebecca Ford gave the Alarm?

M. B. I saw Kemp go out and leave the Door open, and after that the Workmen came out.

Court. Was that before Mrs. Ford called out?

M. B. Yes.

Kemp. The Workmen was without the Door when I went away.

Court to M. B. Did the Workman come only from the House, or out of it?

M. B. He came out of it; for Kemp did not lock the Door.

Kemp. I did lock it.

The Jury found Thomas Banks guilty of the Indictment, Death ; but it appearing that Eliz. Banks was his Wife, and acted under his Direction, she was acquitted .


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