Richard Harper, Theft > burglary, 20th April 1737.

Reference Number: t17370420-43
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

53. Richard Harper , was indicted for breaking and entering the House of William Holyoke , in the Parish of St. Brides , about 3 in the Night, and stealing 250 Guineas, one five Moidore Piece, one five Guinea-Piece , April 18 .

William Holyoke . On Monday Morning April 18, I got up about 7 o'Clock; and my Servant going down into the Cellar for a penn'orth of Beer, came up again and said, Sir, I believe you're been robb'd to-night, for one of the Barrs of the Cellar Window was wrenched. I hope not, says I, and look'd about and saw the Brass and Pewter safe; then I went to the Smith's to get the Bar mended. When I came back again, my Wife was

just come down Stairs, and my Child cry'd out at the Top of the Stair, - Mammy! - Mammy, somebody has run away with the Money Box: I knew the Box was in the Room and stood where it always did; but hearing the Child call out, I ran up Stair. and the Box was gone indeed. Upon this I went immediately to Alderman Child's, and when I return'd Home, my Neighbours met me in the Court, and told me the Box was found. There were 250 Guineas, a five Guinea-Piece, and a five Moidore piece in it, and when 'twas found, there had nothing been taken out; all the Money was in it.

Q. How old is the Child that cry'd out - the Box was gone?

Holyoke. About 12 or 13 Years old.

Q. When the Bars of the Window were broke, was there Room for the Prisoner to get in?

Holyoke. There are four Bars in the Window; one was bent, and the other was push'd out of its Place, so that there was Room enough for him to get in.

Q. Are you sure the Window was whole and safe when you went to Bed?

Holyoke. It might be so; but indeed I can't speak to that, of my own Knowledge.

Thomas Bullock . Last Monday Morning about 8 o'Clock, I was going into the Prosecutor's House, and I saw his Daughter crying in the Entry; I asked what was the Matter, and Mrs. Holyoke told me, she was robb'd, and ruin'd, for somebody had stole all her Money, &c Mr. Holyoke was gone out somewhere - so while we were talking, the Man and the Maid call'd out from above Stairs, and said they had found the Box in the Club room, in a Closet: I saw the Lad bring it down Stairs, ty'd up in a Handkerchief. Then he and I, and another went up into the Garret, to see if we could perceive any way, by which the Thief might have escap'd; we look'd about and could perceive nothing. We look'd up the Garret Chimneys, but nobody was there. As we were coming down Stairs, the Maid cry'd out Thieves! Thieves! so we went into that Room, and took the Prisoner out of the Chimney. I saw him pull'd down, and I spake to him, and ask'd him how he got in, and what Time it was; he said he got in at the Cellar Window, about 3 o'Clock.

Q. Did he say any Thing to you about the Box?

Bullock. No, nothing to me; at that Time. When he was at the Bull-Head in Bread-Street, I asked him what Instruments he made Use of, to get out the Iron Bar; he said, he had nothing but his Hands, - he got it out with his Hands, and then went into the Cellar. He own'd before the Lord-Mayor that he took the Box, and ty'd it up in his Handkerchief; be own'd he took it out of the Chamber, and brought it down into the Club-Room. That's all I have to say

Richard Googe . I live in Water-Lane, Fleet-Street. Hearing Mr. Holyoke was robb'd, I went to his House to enquire into the Particulars. They told me they had been robb'd, so the Maid and I went up to see if the Thief was not in the House, she look'd up the Chimney, and cry'd out, - here he is in the Chimney. I saw the Soot fall, so I made her get a Candle, then I saw him too, so I got up upon the Grates, and pull'd him down by the Leg, in a Sooty Condition I am sure 'twas the Prisoner, for I have, known him these two Years.

Q. Did you hear him confess any Thing?

Googe. No, I know nothing of his Confession.

Prisoner. I came down my self, for they said, if I would not come down, they'd shoot me down.

John Hill. When I came down in the Morning, I found one of the Bars of the Cellar Window wrench'd out, and two more bent; I shut up the Cellar the Night before between 6 and 7 o' Clock, and I was sure the Bars were all fast then, so I told my Master (as how) he had been robb'd: No, says he, I hope not, and he looked round the Kitchen, and there was nothing missing there, - all was safe. Then he went to the Smith's to bid him come and mend the Window: While he was gone there, my Mistress came down Stairs, and my Master came back in a Minute; he was no sooner come in, but the Child above Stairs call'd out, Mammy! Mammy! some body has taken away the Money Box! With that, my Master run up Stairs, and saw the Box was gone; he came down again, and said, (as how) be was ruin'd, he was ruin'd, the Box was gone! Then he went out, and while he was gone, I found the Box in a Closet near the Chimney, in the Club-Room, ty'd up in a Handkerchief. I went down and shew'd it my Mistress, to make her easy, and then I carry'd it up to the Place it was taken from. I did not see the Prisoner 'till after he was pull'd out of the Chimney.

Tho. Humstone Holyoke's Servant telling me that Morning that his Master had been robb'd, I went there directly; Mr. Bullock and I went all over the House, and look'd out of the Garret Windows, but there was was no Track of Footsteps to be seen, not were any Tiles broke. I should

have told you before, that we went to the Cellar Window, and saw a Bar taken out, and another so bent, that there was Room for a middling Man to get thro'. Then we look'd up the Chimnies, and I call'd for a Link or a Candle that we might search them more narrowly; and in the Club-Room Chimney the Maid found him, and cry'd out Thieves; I said, pull him down, but the Prisoner was not very willing to come down, but at last, - down he came, and in a sad smutty Condition he was. Ah, Dick! says I, is it you! I examin'd him whether he had any Confederates, No, says he, 'twas my own Act and Deed. Why, what Time did you get in, says I, I got in, says he, thro' the Cellar Window, about 3 o'Clock this Morning, and wrenched one of the Bars out with my Hands.

Defence. I had been drinking from Friday to Monday, (being out of Place) and was almost dead for want of Sleep; so the Bar being loose, I put it by, and went into the House, and so up Stairs to sleep As to the Box I know nothing at all of it. Guilty . Death .


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