William Billingsly, Henry Gadd, John Graves, Theft > burglary, 5th December 1744.

Reference Number: t17441205-35
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty > lesser offence
Punishment: Transportation

55. 56. 57. + William Billingsly , Henry Gadd , and John Graves , of St. George the Martyr , were indicted (together with Richard Morris not taken) for breaking and entering the dwelling house of James Gorman , about the hour of six in the night, and stealing three silver tea spoons, value 6 s. two silver salts, value 20 s. a silver punch ladle, value 15 s. 50 yards of linen cloth, value 2 l. 10 s. a cloth coat, value 4 l. and a cloth waist-coat, value 2 l. the goods of James Gorman , Oct. 22d.

James Gorman . On the 22d of Oct. my house was broke open, and I lost the goods mentioned in the indictment: I left them in my house about four o'clock, and went to Temple-bar to try on some stays, and about seven my apprentice came to me, and told me I was robbed; and my wife was in a swoon. I advertised the things the Wednesday following.

William Harper . - I have known Billingsly these four years. He is a lamp lighter , but he has not followed it these four years.

Q. What has he followed these four years?

Harper. Thieving, my lord.

Q. How long have you known Graves ?

Harper. About half a year - he used to carry a yoke and tubs for his mother at a brew-house.

Q. How old is Gadd?

Harper. About fourteen or fifteen - I have heard say so - I have known him these three years.

Gadd. I am but between ten and eleven.

Q. What business has he followed these three years?

Harper. Thieving, my Lord; one night John Graves , William Billingsly , Henry Gadd , Richard Morris , and myself, broke open Mr. Gorman's house; we had tried to break open several houses before we came to Mr. Gorman's, and could not do it; John Graves got up upon the rails (there's a golden ball there) but seeing some people coming along, he jumped down again; after they were gone he threw the sash up, and went into the house; the first thing he handed out was a bundle of linen, and gave it to Henry Gadd ; Billingsly took the next bundle of linen, there were 52 yards in all; then Graves handed out a coat and waist-coat,

and Morris took them from Graves, and went away with them over Red-lion square; Graves had got a silver salt-seller, three silver spoons, and a punch ladle in his pocket, in order to keep them himself; Billingsly said he designed to sink them; we overtook Morris in Red-lion square; some of them thought to go home, but they changed their minds, and Billingsly, Graves, Gadd and I took coach and went to Duke's-place, (Morris walked all the way) to one Samuel Levi , a Jew, and sold them for four pounds, sixteen shillings, and the money was divided between us five; we had eighteen shillings and six-pence a-piece, and the rest was spent. I took one of the things to be a child's boat at first. The plate, linen, and cloaths were sold all together for four pounds, sixteen shillings.

Q. What has been your business for some time past?

Harper. I am a shoemaker, but I have followed this wicked way, as well as they, these four years. - I have known Graves about half a year, I never was concerned with him in any other robbery, for he used to work very hard when I knew him first; I believe he was drawn in by Jack Potbury .

Coun. to Gorman. I ask you whether you did not tell Graves's mother, that you would take twenty pounds, though the goods were worth thirty five pounds, and would go into the country, and would not prosecute him?

Gorman. Who told you that?

Coun. I ask you whether you did, or did not, say that?

Gorman. I said I did not want his life, and that I did not want to hurt the boy, for I told her I did not know any thing of the fact.

Coun. I ask you whether you did not tell her, that though the goods were worth thirty-five pounds, if she would give you ten or twenty pounds, you would go into the country, and would not prosecute her son?

Gorman. I told her, I did not want the life of any person, but I never mentioned any sum of money.

The examination of William Harper , taken October 30, 1744, was produced and read, viz. that he, along with Graves, Morris, Billingsly, and Gadd, went to the sign of the Golden Head by Red-lion-square, and stole two pieces of linen cloth, a silver boat, a punch ladle, three silver spoons, a coat and waistcoat; that they were sold to a Jew in Duke's-place, whose name is Sam, for four pounds, sixteen shillings, and the money was equally divided between them.

Thomas Gorman . I am apprentice to James Gorman , his house was broke open between six and seven at night; I was in the room after the robbery was committed - I can't be sure, that the window was down then, for I had not been in the room for a great while before; it was between six and seven when my mistress sent me to acquaint my master with it, and she told me, the things were just taken out.

John King . I have known Graves these three years, his general character is that of an honest hard working lad, I never heard any thing amiss of him before this time.

Coun. Was you ever in company with the Prosecutor ?

King. He was in company with us yesterday.

Q. Did you hear him say, that if he had a sum of money, he would not prosecute?

King. I did not hear any talk of money, I heard him say, if he had known it sooner, he would have been out of town.

Ann Adams . I have known Graves five or six years, he lives with his mother, and was always reckoned a very honest hard working lad; his father worked at a brewhouse - The Prosecutor said, that if Mrs. Graves had come to his house, and had made things easy, he would have been out of town.

Q. Did he say any thing of money?

Adams. I can't say that he said any thing of any sum of money.

William Barker . I have known Graves between six and seven years, he is an honest hard working lad; I have seen him at four or five o'clock in a morning carrying a yoke and tubs for his father.

John Leeson . I have known Graves almost ever since he was born till this day, he was reckoned as hard working a lad as any in England, till this was found out: he used to bring me drink every day of his life, till he was taken up.

Richard Barker . I have known him six or seven years, he was always reckoned a hard working lad.

William Southernwood . I have lived in the neighbourhood by Graves near twenty years, I have known him from his birth, and since he could work he has carried tubs for his father; I never heard any ill of him, and don't think he would be guilty of a robbery.

William Mathews . I have known him seven or eight years, I have called at the shop for a dram in a morning, and he has taken money for coals, &c. and carried out beer, within two months before he was taken up.

Elizabeth Appleby . I have known Graves about

twelve years, he always bore an honest character; I don't believe he would be guilty of any such thing.

Elizabeth Emmery . I have known Graves from his birth, and he was always reckoned a very honest lad - I believe he is about seventeen years of age.

Margaret Mackinley called.

Coun. Are you with child?

Mackinley. Yes.

Coun. Are you pretty near your time?

Mackinley. Yes.

Coun. Then I hope you will tell the truth. I would ask you whether in October you saw the Prisoner, and whether he did any thing for you?

Mackinley. He measured me at five o'clock in the morning

Coun. Measured what?

Mackinley. A peck of coals - I can't tell the day of the month, it was on a Monday, and he carried them home for me. I asked him if he would read my husband's letter for me, which came from on board a ship, and he sat down and read it - I keep a house of lodgers in Cross-lane by Graves's - I don't sell any thing.

Q. What day of the month was it?

Mackinley. It was the 22d of October: this is the letter I received from my husband, which the Prisoner read to me that day.

Q. What ship is your husband in?

Mackinley. In the Surprize.

Q. What day did you receive the letter?

Mackinley. I received it on a Monday.

Q. How long do you think it may be coming by the post?

Mackinley. Three or four days.

N. B. The post mark was the 8th of October, and the date on the inside of the letter appeared to have been altered from the 10th or 13th, to the 18th day of October.

All acquitted of the Burglary, and found guilty of the Felony, to the value of 39s.

[Transportation. See summary.]


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