Thomas Clements, Anthony Westley, Theft > burglary, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > burglary, 16th January 1751.

Reference Number: t17510116-20
Offences: Theft > burglary; Theft > grand larceny; Theft > burglary
Verdicts: Guilty > lesser offence; Guilty; Guilty > lesser offence
Punishments: Death

115, 116. (M.) Thomas Clements , and Anthony Westley , were indicted for breaking and entering in the night the dwelling house of John Willson , and stealing thirty-six pair of shoes, val. 5 l. the property of the parish of St. Luke; one child's stay and frock, one long lawn, one hatt, one silk handkerchief , the goods of the said John, July 24 . ++

James Bisben . On the 25th of July, about 3 o'clock in the morning, Thomas Clements and I went over a gate at the workhouse in Old-street road , there being no window shutter to a window, we hoisted up a sash, and he went in. Westley stood in the road, we bid him stay there till we opened a window. I staid in the yard till he unbolted the shutter that looked into the road, then I went round to Westley. Then Thomas Clements handed out the shoes, by three or four pair at a time, I took them; Westley spread a cloth, which we had, and we put them in it. There were about forty pair of them; he also handed out a

child's frock, a man's hat, two or three child's petticoats, and a woman's stomacher. We had been going along that road two or three days before, and saw those shoes in at the window; so we went by appointment, on purpose for, them. We were about half an hour about this; we carried them to our room in Blue Anchor Alley, near Whitecross-street; we staid till morning, then Clements went and got a man to buy them, his name was Samuel Cordosa . (See No. 511. in Blachford's mayoralty) Clements sold them to him; he paid us 33 s. for them all, at the Adam and Eve, in Jewin Street; the same day we all three met him there, I had eleven shillings of it.

Q. Was it dark, when you took them?

Bisben. It was.

Q. Had you any dark-lanthorn?

Bisben. No, we had not.

John Willson . I am master of St. Luke's workhouse ; the house was broke open the 24th of July, on a Sunday night; every thing was fast at 10 o'clock that night, that is the usual time I go over the house to see. The windows next the road have shutters to them, the other in the yard have not. On monday morning, as I was going out about 7 o'clock, I missed my hat, going into the hall, there I found the shoes, which the overseers and churchwardens had sent in, and the child's clothes were gone. We had five dozen of shoes, but I had disposed of some of them, so I can't be exact as to the number, but I believe there were forty pair left, which were taken away; I let the overseers know of it, and we did what we could to find them. One Ross, who was cast last sessions, gave us a slender account of them, but would not tell the person's names, &c. The next was Clements the prisoner, I went to him in Clerkenwell Bridewell, with the two overseers; there he confessed every thing voluntarily, and his confession agreed with this account by the evidence. Westley own'd to the fact, that he was on the outside, and took the things, &c. And before the Justice, they were all for being admitted evidences. There was neither threats or promises made them, to induce them to confess.

Thomas Ind . Bisben and Clements were taken up on suspicion, about a week or eight days before this confession; Bisben was committed to Tothill-fields Bridewell, and Westley was taken in the mean time; then the confession came out by Clements. We sent for the prosecutor with a view to have him admitted an evidence; they all confessed, expecting each to be an evidence against the others; one said he could tell more than the other, the other could tell more than he; so it came all out.

Clements. I beg mercy of the court.

Westley's defence. On the Sunday morning before this robery was done, Bisben and Clements asked me to go and drink a pot of beer, I went with them; we went home to Bisben's house, I was drunk; about 12 o'clock they wanted me to go out, I was so sick I could not; the next morning I saw the shoes lying, I did not ask where they had them, nor they never told one. They fetch'd a man who look'd like a gentleman, he took them away in a bag; I was with them at the Adam and Eve, in Jewin-street, he paid them some money; they treated me all the next day, and would have had me went to the play with them.

Both guilty of stealing, but not out of the dwelling-house .

Thomas Clements , was a second time indicted for stealing one glass sconce, one gilt frame, value 3 l. thirty towels, value 10 s. the goods of William Kemp , July 19 . ||

The prisoner confessed the fact voluntarily to the prosecutor, that he sold them to Samuel Cordosa ; and acknowledged the same in court, and beg'd for mercy.

Guilty .

Thomas Clements a third, and Anthony Westley a second time for breaking and entering the dwelling house of William Peck , Sep. 27 . about four o'clock in the night, and for stealing out thence one copper pottage-pot, one linen shift, two linen aprons, four pair of worked stockings , the goods of the said William. ++

James Bisben . About the latter end of September, Clements and I went over into Tindal's burying ground; Westley said without side, at a house where was no window shutter, we took out a pane of glass; Clements put in his hand and opened the window and went in, and handed out a copper pottage-pot, four pair of stockings, one shift, mark'd with S, and two checque aprons; we were there about a quarter of an hour, Westley staid till we came back; we three came from near Rag-fair to get what we could, but had not this house particularly in view, when we set out; our intent there, was to see for some linen in the back yards. We put the other things into the pot, and gave it Westley, and he went away with it; Clements and I went over the wall into the

Artillery ground, then we came out, and overtook Westley a little beyond Bishopsgate-street. We carried the things to our room, we sold the stockings and aprons in Rag-fair the same day to a stranger, for 4 s. and 6 d. we had 18 d. each; one John Cook took the pot to sell for us, and he brought us eight shillings for it, it was divided amongst us three.

William Peck . I live in Brownstreet, Bunhill-row. The back part of my house looks into Bunhill-fields burying ground. On Sept. 26 at night I fastened all my windows, in the morning when my servant got up, she found one of the lower windows open; these things mentioned in the indictment were missing. I never saw the things again.

Hannah West . I am servant to Mr. Peck, when I went to bed the windows were fast, and in the morning this was open, and the things gone.

Both guilty of stealing, but not in the dwelling house .

[Death. See summary.]


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