John Richardson, Theft > burglary, 5th December 1750.

Reference Number: t17501205-42
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

53. (L.) John Richardson , was indicted for that he on the 3 d of October , about the hour of 2 o'clock in the morning, the dwelling house of Joseph Woodward did break and enter, and stealing out of thence one copper tea-kettle, value 2 s. 6 d. five printed pictures in frames, value 2 s. one needle-work sampler, with a frame and glass, one velvet cap, value 6 d. the goods of the said Joseph. ++

Joseph Woodward . I live in Red-Lyon Court, Watling-street ; on the 3d of October in the morning I miss'd the things mention'd in the indictment; these things were taken out of the parlour, on a ground floor.

Q. When did you see them there last?

Woodward. I saw them there over night, at about 7 o'clock; I advertis'd them on the Wednesday after, and Thomas Groves , who bought the kettle and cap, brought them, who can give an account of the prisoner's selling them: I am a carpenter and joiner; the prisoner was my journeyman ; Mr. Groves came into our court, and saw the prisoner at work in my shop, so he not intending to surprize him, went to a neighbour's house, and sent for me; I was not at home, so he left word where to come to his house; I went to him, and the next morning we charged a constable with the prisoner, and took him before my lord mayor, but before we got there, we went into a house; then the prisoner said, if I would not prosecute him, he would tell me where my things were, saying, the prints were not demolish'd, and them I found with the sampler at his lodgings, according to his own written account; he lodg'd in Turnmill-street: my shop joyns to my parlour, and the door between them is not always lock'd; he was not at work the day after he took the things: my lord mayor committed him, and as I had lost several things, I beg'd he'd let me know where they were; at last he said, there is some honour among thieves, and then he told where the things were; then we desir'd he'd let us know how he got in ; he told us, and at what time; he said he knock'd down the watchman, by which I understood he meant, he saw him safe at his stand.

Q. Had you made him any promises?

Woodward. No, my lord, none at all, or threats either; he said, he knew it was no more than a swimming bout, so voluntarily told the whole; he said, he came into the court about 2 o'clock, and went to work, saying, I came to the shop door, and work'd the pin of the window about, and it came out; I took down one of the shutters, and got into the shop; then I went into the passage, and open'd the street door, which has only a single lock, and bolted; I then put the shutter up again, and shut the street door, and went into the parlour, and grabled about as well as I could, for it was dark, and I was drunk; I tumbled down once, and wonder'd none of you heard me; so I took these things away, and if there had been a thousand pounds I would have had it.

Thomas Groves . I live in Turnmill-street; the prisoner at the bar came to me, last Tuesday was a month, and ask'd me if I would buy some prints; I told him, I did not understand them ; he said, Will you buy a tea-kettle? I said, I would if I

liked it; he had this kettle; (the prosecutor deposed to it) we agreed for it, and as soon as I bought it, he gave me this velvet cap (deposed to by the prosecutor) into my hand, and said, I had this of the same person; I bought the other things of him; it is of no use to me, you may take it; the very next morning I saw this advertisement, upon which I went directly to the prosecutor's house with the tea kettle and cap; just as I came to the corner of the shop I saw the prisoner at work in it, so I did not go in, but went to a publick house and sent for the prosecutor: he was not at home, but an acquaintance of mine living near I sent for him, and told him the whole, and he acquainted Mr. Woodward of the affair, so he came to me on the 29th of October, about five o'clock in the evening.

Jane Williams . I am servant to Mr. Woodward. When the men had put up the shop windows, I heard them say, tell Jenny to key the window; I went down stairs and put the key in the pin, it was the very first time I ever did it, and don't know whether I pushed the key quite far enough for the spring to catch: there were a gentleman and gentlewoman drank tea in the parlour, who staid at my master's till almost eleven o'clock at night: I fastened the parlour window before I went to bed, but in the morning the window was a little open, and the blind and sash put up a small matter: the pictures were all in the room when I went to bed: as soon as I opened the window I saw a daub as though a man had been there: I missed the kettle at first, but did not look round to see whether any of the pictures were gone.

Thomas Woodward . I am brother to the prosecutor. On the second of November he told me he had got intelligence of the man that robbed him, so I went with him before my lord mayor: I heard him confess he opened the shop window: the same as the prosecutor depos'd before, with this addition, he was very sober when he made this voluntary confession.

Prisoner's Defence.

On the 29th of October I was at this shop in the morning, and went to breakfast at the Peacock in Bread street with the other men; then I parted with them, and in the evening I happened to go there again; I staid there till about eleven o'clock, then I went home to bed, and getting too much in liquor, I lay almost till nine next morning; when I went to the Roebuck to get some purl, in order to go to work; going along Turnmill street (properly called Cow Cross) I met a man with these things under his arm, he was a carpenter by trade; he said to me, my wife is dead, and I am afraid of having my goods seized, so I want to get somebody to dispose of them; I told him I never dealt in any thing that way; he told me he could get 12 or 14 shillings for them, so I agreed to give him eight shillings and sixpence; I had a shilling left; then I parted from him, and carried them home to my lodging ; I intended to have gone to work at noon, but stopping in Field lane at the Elephant and Castle, and failing into company, I spent great part of the day there ; then I went and found my master I work'd for, afterwards I went into a publick house; then I went home, and the next morning I went again to the Peacock in Trinity lane; there was my master; he said, John, I am glad you are come; I said it has been a drunken sort of a week; I designed to go to work, but met a man that sawed stone; he said, we have had a sad misfortune here, your master Woodward has been robbed; said I, in what manner? said he, on Tuesday about noon; so I went to work, and there was no more of it; then we went to breakfast, and dinner as usual; when I was apprehended I had time enough to have got away had I been guilty; when they mentioned it to me I put my coat on and went with them to Mr. Groves's, and there I told them I sold the kettle to him; said they to me, you might as well own it as not, you shall not be hurt ; then they called for a quartern of brandy, and gave me a glass full; then they gave me some purl, and I was so drunk that I could scarcely stand; I told them what money the things cost, and that they were not demolished; I gave them a note, directed them to my wife, and desired her to send the prints; as for the man I bought them of, I never saw him since.

Q. to Groves. Did you hear him make this confession? and was he sober?

Groves. I was not there when he confessed; I heard him say in the street he would confess, but I went home; I am sure he was not drunk when I left him.

Prosecutor. I did not apprehend any thing of his being drunk, I thought he was as sober then as he is now; he said, if I would give him a full pot of twopenny, he would tell.

Thomas Woodward , I verily believe he was then as sober as he is now, upon my word.

To his Character.

Thomas Kitchen . I have known the prisoner from his infancy; and, for whatever I have heard, he has always behaved honest and civil to every body.

Guilty Death .


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