Richard Clay, John Mathews, Theft > burglary, 5th December 1746.

Reference Number: t17461205-2
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

2, 3. + Richard Clay and John Mathews indicted for a Burglary, breaking and entring feloniously the Dwelling-House of John Hillier of White-Chapel, about the Hour of One in the Night, and stealing from thence two Linnen Aprons, value 1 s. a Table Cloth, value 1 s. two Linnen Handkerchiefs, value 9 d. two Pewter Plates, value 3 s. 1 Brass Pepper-Box, 1 Gun, value 7 s. and several other Goods , the Property of the said John Hillier , the 6th of June .

Q. to John Hillier . What are you?

Hillier. I am a Cooper, I live in White Chapel .

Q. Do you know any Thing of either of the Prisoners that are here?

Hillier. I saw Clay the Day that he was taken, and Mathews I saw the 23d of November.

Q. What have you to say against them?

Hillier. My House was broke open the 6th of June, at Night. I went to Bed about Ten o'Clock, and about Two the Watchman called me up, and I found the House was robbed.

Q. What Part of the House was broke open?

Hillier. They opened the Shutter, and cut out a Square of Glass; then they put in their Hands, and opened the Casement. It was pulled to when I came down, but not fastened.

Q. When you went to Bed, did you see the Window fast?

Hillier. Yes, my Lord, I went last to Bed, as I always do.

Q. What is your Family?

Hillier. I have a Wife and three Children, the eldest about Thirteen

Q. What did you lose?

Hillier. I lost a Cotton Gown, three Shirts, two Shifts, one Table-Cloth, two Aprons.

Q. Where were all these Things?

Hillier. In the Kitchen, my Lord.

Q. What besides?

Hillier. A Pair of Worsted Stockings, two Handkerchiefs, four Brass Candlesticks, two Pewter Dishes, six Plates, one Pepper-Box, a Skimmer, and a Gun. I have the Gun in Court. I was told the Gun was in Chancery Lane; afterwards I heard it was at Mr Body's, at the Mulberry-Garden.

Q. How came the Gun at Bridewell?

Hillier. I cannot tell

Q. Who delivered it to you?

Hillier. Mr Body.

Q. Where does he live?

Hillier. At the Mulberry Garden.

Q. Where did you at first see the Gun?

Hillier. In Bridewell

Q. What became of it afterwards?

Hillier. Body had it, and has brought it into Court.

Q. What particular Marks has it?

Hillier there is a Name upon the Lock, but I never observed it; but as it is grafted, I know it is my own.

Q. What became of the other Things?

Hillier. I do not know of any Thing else, but what Collet told me, my Lord. When I saw Mathews on Sunday was Sev'night, he offered to make me Satisfaction for my Loss, if I would not appear against him.

To the Prisoners. Would you ask him any Questions?

Prisoner. I never saw him in my Life.

Q. to Joshua Collet . What do you say of this Matter?

Collet. My Lord, Clay and Mathews were with me to break the House open the 6th of June last, between Twelve and Two in the Night.

Q. Whose House open?

Collet. Mr Hillier's.

Q. How was it broke open?

Collet. Clay turned the Pn round, and the Key dropped out; then Clay opened the Shutter, and cut the Lead away to take a Pain of Glass out; then he opened the Casement, and then opened the Door, and let us all in, Mathews and I, and Mecum that was cast the last Sessions. Then we took a Parcel of Linnen, Shirts and Shifts, Pewter and Brass, and a Gun.

Court. One Man could not carry all these Things.

Collet. There were four of us, my Lord.

Q. Where did you carry the Things?

Collet. They were carried into the Minories, to the Place where I lived, and the next Day Mathews carried them to sell, all to the Gun, and went away with the Money, and did not return for three or four Days. I cannot say what he sold them for.

Court. So it was not shared?

Collet. He kept it all to himself.

Q. What did Mathews do in the House?

Collet. Mathews helped to take the Things away.

Q. What became of the Gun?

Collet. The Gun Mecum and I hustled in the Hat for, and he had it, and it was found in Mecum's House in White-Cross-Street, a Place called Foster's Buildings. Mathews spoke to me at Bridewell out of the New Prison, (it was so near we could speak to one another) he desired I would not swear against him, and he would give me ten Guineas, and that he would stand his Chance of any Thing else. He told me he had been transported two or three Times by the Name of John Hebar .

To the Prisoner Clay. Will you ask the Witness any Question?

Prisoner. I have known him a great while, he wears against me for the Sake of the Reward.

Q. to William Body . What have you to say against the Prisoners?

Body. My Lord, I have nothing to say against the Prisoners at the Bar, any farther, than that I had a Search-Warrant to search Mecum's House, and we found several Sorts of Goods, and the Gun was thrust into the little House. One Harris went with me, and first entered the House, and had a great Scuffle with Mecum till I got in, there we found this Gun, upon which he was convicted the last Sessions.

George Harmon . About Two o'Clock the Watchman awaked me out of my Sleep; he said the Door was open; so when I came down, the Door was open, and the Watchman at it. Says Mr Hillier, I am ruined and undone. I said I am sorry for it, as you are an honest Man; I saw the House open, but I cannot charge any Body with it: But I was along with Mr Hillier when Mathews was taken. I went last Sunday was Sen' night, at Night, to see Mathews. When I came to him, I asked him if he knew Mr Hillier; he said he knew nothing of him; I said you are charged by Collet with a Robbery. Mathews called me aside and said, as you are a Friend of Mr Hillier's, guilty or not guilty, it is laid to my Charge, if you will get Mr Hillier not to appear against me, I will make him Retaliation for his Loss. Mr Hillier said he would not take any Bribes on any Account, but would do as the Law directed.

Q to Sarah Ducker . What do you know of the Prisoners?

Ducker. Sir, I never knew Clay to wrong Man, Woman, or Child; I have dealt with his Father and Mother before him. I hawk the Country, and use to buy Goods of him.

Q. Where do you live?

Ducker. I live in Old Bethlehem, I never saw an unhandsome Action by the young Man in my Life.

Elizabeth Scott . I lived Servant with his Father and Mother many Years, and never knew him to wrong Man, Woman, or Child in the World.

Sarah Sealey . Mr. Collet's supposed Wife desired me to go to see the Prisoner, and I heard Collet say, he wished the Prisoner at the Bar (meaning Mathews) at Hell before he had been took, for he believed he was about to hang an innocent Man.

Q. Where was it that he told you this?

Sealey. As I was sitting in New Prison.

Q. Where do you live?

Sealey. I live in Half-moon Court.

Collet. My Lord, she went to lay with Mathews several Times in the Prison.

Q. to - Cordozo. How long have you known the Prisoner Mathews?

Cordozo. When I knew him first, it was about the 30th of June, the Prisoner lodged with me.

Q. Where do you live?

Cordozo. In Hounsditch.

Q. What is your House furnished with?

Cordozo. With Furniture, as other Houses are.

Q. How ca me you to let him Lodgings?

Cordozo. A Neighbour desired me.

Q. What Business did he follow then?

Cordozo. I never saw him in any Business, but in a Sea-faring Dress. He use to make trading Voyages as far as I know.

Q. Was you ever desired to set the Prisoner? Was you ever desired or directed to watch that Man upon any Occasion?

Cordozo. For the setting Part, I do not know any Thing of it; indeed I was to send a Man to him; but to say I knew of his returning from Transportation, I cannot say.

Q. I ask you whether any Person directed or advised you to assist them in taking Mathews? I will make you answer me yea or no.

Cordozo. I was sent in that Shape, it is true. I was to send a Man to him at an Inn.

Q. What was he to be taken for?

Cordozo. Nothing but for returning from Transportation. [This Witness had before very much prevaricated in his Evidence, and was sharply reproved by the Court.]

Elizabeth Buxton . I have known Mr Mathews, the Prisoner, two Years ago, and he behaved in a very good Manner.

Q. Where do you live?

Buxton. I kept a Glover's Shop the Backside of St Clement's. I now have let the House, and am a Lodger myself.

Q. Was he a Sea-faring Man then?

Buxton. He said he had been at Sea.

Q. What Business did he follow at that Time?

Buxton. I do not know that he followed any Business, but a Sea-faring Man.

Elizabeth Broadneck . About a Year and half ago I use to go to his Washer-woman's, where I have seen him, but never saw or heard any Harm by him.

Q. to Mary Williams . How long have you known the Prisoner?

Williams. Two or three Years.

Q. Did you ever live with him?

Williams. I washed his Linnen; I have seen him several Times in Sailor's Cloaths.

Court. Then you never lived with him?

Williams. No.

Q. Where did he lodge when you washed his Linnen?

Williams. He lived the other Side of the Water?

Q. to Collet. Do you know, in the first Place, Sarah Sealey ? What is her Business?

Collet. A common Whore about the Street every Night.

Q. What do you say of Cordozo?

Collet. I know nothing of him, but only that Mathews desired me to go to lick him, for going to set him, and he made his Escape, that we could not meet with him.

Q. Do ye know Elizabeth Buxton ?

Collet. No.

Q. Do you know Elizabeth Broadneck ?

Collet. Yes, she is a common Whore.

Q. Do you know Mary Williams ?

Collet. She is a Whore, I have seen the Prisoner ( Mathews ) and her a Bed together divers Times in Gravel-lane. She goes by the Name of Cockspur Moll.

Q. to Body. What do you say about Cordozo?

Body. This Cordozo was at my House, and eat some Bread and Cheese, and took Part of a Pot of Beer, and went with me and one William Hind to a House in Bishopsgate-street, where Mathews lodged. He told us, that Mathews, and the Girl that lay with him, did not get up very soon. He said, if you will sit here, you will see him come out by and by: Upon this, we sat down, and had a Pot of Beer. This Cordozo was with us at this Time. We had a Charge of Transportation against the Prisoner.

Both guilty , Death .


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