Michael Bewley, Theft > burglary, 8th December 1742.

Reference Number: t17421208-5
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

5. + Michael Bewley , of St Giles Cripplegate , was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling House of David Hodges , after the Hour of Seven at Night, and stealing four Pewter Plates, Value 2 s. the Goods of David Hodges , October 25th .

Elizabeth Hodges . - The Prisoner is a Handkerchief Weaver , I have known him ever since the 25th of October. I went out that Day to see my Sister, and left my Key with the next Door Neighbour. I returned a little before Seven: Seeing a a Light in my House, I went up to the Window, and hearing the Plates rattle, Lord, says I to Mrs Holding , I wish somebody has not broke into the House backwards: I turned myself round, and saw the Prisoner jump out at the Window; in running away he fell down, and I took him within thirty Yards of the Place: I catched him by the Collar, and with some Assistance, brought him back to my own House. - I am sure this is the Man; there were four Plates taken off the Shelf, the Prisoner did not move them any further than from the Shelf to the Table which stood by the Window the Prisoner jumped out at; - these are my Plates, I found them upon the Table: I am sure when I went out, all the Doors and Windows were fast.

Q. How do you know the Wind did not blow the Window open?

Hodges . No, I am sure it did not; it has been but lately mended; he cut the Lead, and took out two Panes of Glass: - I know it, because the Lead was cut, and the Glass gone: - he left nothing behind him but a dark Lanthorn: He had a Light when I came into the Square, and it was put out the Minute he heard us come up to the Window. - I found upon him a Couple of Knives, and an Iron Chissel. They, and the Lanthorn, were produced in Court.

Prisoner. Please to ask her what Answer I made when she laid hold of me?

Hodges. He said, Mistress, you are mistaken in the Person, for I have been at my Father's putting up a Loom, and am just come from work.

Prisoner. Ask her if she never lost Sight of me before she took me?

Hodges . No, I never did.

Prisoner. Please to ask her, why she did not cry out Stop Thief while I was in the House .

Hodges . I did not know you was there, till I saw you jump out.

Prisoner. Ask her what for a Place it is she lives in?

Hodges. I live in Haberdashers-Square in Grub-Street. - He tumbled down, or I believe I had not taken him.

Prisoner. Ask her whether there was any Light in the House?

Hodges . Yes, there was. -

Prisoner. Was there any Body with me?

Hodges . No, not that I saw; there was a Man stood with his Back against an empty House; but as soon as he saw us come to the Window he ran away.

Prisoner. Ask her whether I was fuddled or not?

Hodges , I cannot be a Judge of that, I was too much frightned to see whether he was in Liquor or not.

Prisoner. She swore before the Alderman, that I was very much in Liquor.

Elizabeth Holding . On the 25th of October, about a Quarter before seven, I came home with Mrs Hodges, who was frighten'd at seeing a Light in the House: I held my Face close against the Window, looked in, and saw that Man in the House: He jump'd out at the Window, she run after him, and brought him back by the Collar. - He could not get in at the Door, for the Door was double lock'd, and the Key left at the next Door for her Husband. The first Thing I saw when I went into the House, was a Dark-Lanthorn, the next was four Plates, which were moved from the Shelf to the Window, ready to be delivered out, as I supposed. - When he was brought back, he was told they did not suppose he had been long there, and the Prisoner said, No Body knows how long I have been there.

Charles Mason . I was at a Neighbour's House, and heard Mrs Hodges cry out Stop Thief! Stop Thief! and running down the Gateway, I saw her have hold of a Man; she asked me to lay hold of him too, which I did, and we brought him back to her House. I saw these two Knives and this Chissel taken out of his Pocket. - I saw a Dark-Lanthorn there.

Prisoner's Defence. I borrow'd this Chissel of my Father, to pull down a Loom with.

Q. What did you do with a Dark-Lanthorn?

Prisoner. I do not know any thing of a Dark-Lanthorn. As I was going along, a Person shov'd me down; I could not recover my self: Said that Gentlewoman, What, have I caught you? Why, what have I done? said I. I know what you have done, said she; so she charged another Man or two with me. I went with them very quietly: She said I broke into her House; but I am sure I never was in her House, as God is my Judge.

Elizabeth Andrews . I have known the Prisoner about a Year; he is a Weaver, I live in the House with him: He was going to move his Loom to his Father's. I know nothing of him but what is very honest, and if he had a Mind to have been a Thief, he might have stole a great many things out of that House.

Richard Baxter . I have known the young Man about a Year; he work'd with his Father. I do not know that he ever did any Damage.

Michael Bewley . I am the Father of the Prisoner; he has liv'd and work'd with me from his Infancy, till within these Twelve Months, when he married, and then he went to work at his own Home, which he did till this unhappy Affair; he was to come and work with me, and came to borrow a Hammer and Chissel to take down his Loom: He is an honest Creature, and never was stained with any ill Character before. When he was before the Alderman I was with him, and the Prosecutrix made an Affidavit, that this Dark-Lanthorn was found upon him, and afterwards she said it was found in the House. Said the Alderman, I thought you said the Dark-Lanthorn was found upon him. No, said she then, it was found in the House. When a Person is upon Oath, they ought to be very careful.

Elizabeth Hodges . The Alderman asked me, whether I found the Lanthorn upon him: I said, No, I found it in the House. I always stood to that, and never said otherwise. Guilty . Death .


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