John Atkins, Theft > burglary, 27th February 1751.

Reference Number: t17510227-50
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

247. (M.) John Atkins was indicted, for that he, on the 24th of Jan . about the hour of one in the night, the dwelling house of George Ebenezer Pewterers did break and enter, and stealing out from thence one pound weight of copper, val. 1 s. and 8 leaden sash weights , the goods of the said George Ebenezer. +.

George Ebenezer Pewterers . I live in Cow-cross , I am a pewterer and brazier . On the 24th of Jan. my house was broke open, and some leaden sash weights taken out.

Q. Was your house made all fast over night?

Pewterers. It was, we put up the shutter to the back window, and bolted the back door, the fore door was locked and bolted. We got up about 7 o'clock, the window backwards was open, we missed two saucepans unfinished, and eight sash weights made of lead; that was all we missed out of the house. The other things we missed out of the workshop backwards are in another indictment. I advertised the things the 25th, and my men went about to tell the trade. The broker John Goodlesr had some of the goods. I went to Justice Fielding's and swore to my goods, and his worship committed John Hood , and the prisoner was committed upon Hood's information; and when I had the prisoner at the Brown Bear near the justice's house, he did own he sold the thing, but did not steal them; he likewise said the same before the justice, and signed it. (There was no confession returned.)

Charles Lambeth . I am servant to Mr. Pewterers, my master's house was broke open, I believe it was three weeks ago. I am the last that goes to bed every night; the door and window was fast backwards, I got up first in the morning, about half an hour after 6 o'clock; then the back door and window were open, and the window shutters down. There were three saucepans taken out of the house, half finished, and eight sash weights out of the fore shop.

Mary Dennet . I am servant to Mr. Goodier, he is a broker in Fleet-lane, the prisoner brought the goods into our house the 26th or 27th of last month. There was one Hood with him.

Q. What goods did they bring?

Dennet. They brought copper tea kettles and eight leaden sash weights.

Q. Was your master at home?

M. Dennet. He was at home. I weighed them and agreed for the price; they asked nine pence a pound, I gave eight-pence for the copper, and a penny a pound for the leaden sash weights.

Q. Did you know the prisoner before?

M. Dennet. I did, but did not know his name.

John Goodier . I am a broker, the prisoner and John Hood brought eight leaden sash weights to my shop, the girl agreed for them at a penny a pound, and I paid them.

Q. When was this?

Goodier. It was on Thursday the 24th of January, and the Saturday following they brought the copper kettles; there were twelve pounds and a half. The girl weighed them, and as she had lived with the people who had been here before, I asked her what they had used to give a pound, she told me eight-pence, so I gave it them. I took the porter

to sell these goods into Holborn, they stopp'd the man and me. I told them I bought them of two men, but I did not know their names. As I was had before justice Fielding, I got information they lived in Ratcliff highway.

Q. How did you get this intelligence?

Goodier. By some people who lived in Fleet-lane who had seen them. Mr. Pewterers and I went there; there came the prisoner and two or three more. I whispered to Mr. Pewterers and told him he was one of them; we took him up, and he told us he would bring us to the other. We brought him a good way on the rope-walk, then he got some persons to help us, and we took the other, and some goods. We took them and the goods before the justice, and Mr. Pewterers swore to them.

Q. to Pewterers. Were these goods that were shewn to you before the justice your property?

Pewterers. My Lord, they were my tea-kettles.

John Hood . The prisoner came to me betwixt one and two o'clock on Thursday morning. He said, you old rogue you are drunk; said I, I cannot get up, my head achs so. We had been drinking in Cow cross the night before. I got up and went with him to Mr. Pewterers's house; he said there was a very good job to be done, and he would put some money into my pocket.

Q. Did he tell you what this job was ?

Hood. It was to open Mr. Pewterers's door in Cow-cross, and see what was in the house to rob it. I went with him to the front door; he had got ten pick-lock keys, and he with one of them, by putting his knee against the door, opened it. I stood by him; then he went in and went backwards into the yard; there were some unfinished tea-kettles stood upon the forge and a shelf, about ten of them. The back door was open when we got in. He took a copper out of that place.

Q. Was that place separate from the house?

Hood. It was a separate place from the house. We went into the house and there took eight sash weights. We did not stay long. The prisoner got a sack and put the things into it, and we went out at the fore door and locked it after us. Then we carried the things to my-house, and we went again to Mr. Pewterers's house and carried more things away. We did not stay above a quarter of an hour each time.

Q. How did you get in the second time?

Hood. The same way we did the first.

Q. Did you lock the fore door after you the last time?

Hood. We did. The prisoner had got a dark lanthorn, but the wind blew the candle out. I do think he had been in the house before ever he came to me.

Q. Why do you think so?

Hood. Because he said when he came to me, you old rogue I will help you to a good job.

Q. What time of the night was this?

Hood. It was between one and two o'clock. After this, about five in the morning, he came to my house and fetched the things to his house, and bent them all to pieces. He went to two or three shops to sell them, and the people would not buy them, then he said he would go and carry them to Fleet lane, (to this other evidence's,) we did, the girl weighed them, and the man paid the money for them. I believe there were about eight or nine tea-kettles beat all together. The prisoner carried the copper on the other side the water.

Q. Who bought the sash weights?

Hood. Goodier bought them. We were twice at Goodier's house. When the prisoner was taken up I was in bed, and Mr. Pewterers came and took me up.

Q. from the prisoner. Did not that witness bring the goods to my house?

Hood. I have got Sarah Mitchel to prove he brought them to my house.

Sarah Mitchel . The prisoner came to our house between one and two o'clock in the night.

Q. Do you live with Hood?

S. Mitchel. He is my own father; the prisoner brought a bag of tea-kettles without handles, and he went again, and was not gone above a quarter of an hour, and came again with a copper and 8 sash weights made of lead. My father Hood was along with him; he lighted the candle to light him up stairs.

Q. What time was this?

S. Mitchel. I don't know the day of the month.

Robert Quinsey . I bought the brass boiler of the prisoner, at 10 d. per pound. I think Hood was along with him. Mr. Pewterers has seen it, and said it was his.

Prisoner's Defence.

As for what Hood and his daughter have sworn, it is as false as God is true. I declare I never was in Mr. Pewterers's house with him. I believe he and his daughter robbed him, and brought the things

to my house, they live near Mr. Pewterers, and I live as far off as Shadwell. I had got a warrant to take up Hood, his wife and daughter.

Hood. The prisoner and I were drinking together the day before he was taken up, and because I would not pay more than my shot, he fell a beating me.

For the Prisoner.

Thomas Ind . I was before Justice Chamberlain, there were four persons taken up and brought there, John Steel was one, who was admitted an evidence. Mr. Pewterers was there and swore to the things ; that person was admitted to give evidence in what manner they came by the things. Atkins and Hood were taken up the day before. Steel made himself an evidence against one Long Will, Country Jack and another person: Mr. Pewterers was bound over to prosecute them; the prisoner was in the roundhouse at that time the justice admitted Steel to give evidence against them three; and he also sent a detainer to detain this Hood, for receiving these goods knowing them to be stolen. I returned the recognisance to Hicks's-Hall, for the prosecution of those three persons. The evidence Steel is in Clerkenwell Bridewell now.

Prosecutor. I searched the prisoner's house and found 10 picklock keys with the wards broke out in the middle of them. (Steel was sent for.)

John Steel . About a month or five weeks before I was taken, Country Jack, Long Will and Hodges, wanted me to go with them; I told them I was going home, so I consented; we went with an intent to rob any body. We went down St. John's Street, then into Cow-Cross. The first attempt we made was at a shed, we could not get in at a window there, then we went to White's-alley, in Cow-Cross; there Country Jack got over into a back yard, and returned again with a bag and some tea-kettles in it; one of them fell out when we got the bag into the alley, I took it up, and put it in again, it was not finished: I made the best of my way to Chick-lane; about a week after, I met Country Jack going up Snow-hill, he said, he was not afraid of being taken. I asked him for my share of the money, I threatened him because he would not give me any.

Q. What were there in this bag?

Steel. There were several tea-kettles, but I cannot swear to any thing else.

Q. Where did he get them?

Steel. He went in at the back part of a house.

Q. Where does the front of this house stand ?

Steel. The front of it stands right into Cow Cross; we went down the alley that goes to the back yard.

Q. How did he get into the house?

Steel. I cannot tell which way he got in.

Q. What day of the month was this ?

Steel. I cannot tell that, my lord.

Q. Was it before or after Christmas?

Steel. It was after Christmas.

Q. How many were there of you in company?

Steel. There were four of us.

Q. Was the prisoner at the bar one?

Steel. No, he was not with us.

Q. Was Hood there?

Steel. No, my lord, he was not there.

Q. What time of the night did Country Jack get these goods?

Steel. Between two and three in the morning: we helped him over the pales.

Prosecutor. He knows nothing of the matter; my back yard is next yard but one to the alley, and out of the alley near the first pales there lies timber, so that a man may walk up to the top of the pales the same as going up steps.

Q. to prosecutor. Which were taken up first, the four persons or the prisoner and Hood?

Prosecutor. The four men were.

Q. to Steel. When did you make this confession?

Steel. When I was first taken up. I never saw the prisoner then, or did know he was taken up.

Guilty Death .


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