William Dickerson, Theft > theft from a specified place, 4th December 1751.

Reference Number: t17511204-52
Offence: Theft > theft from a specified place
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

65. (L) William Dickerson , was indicted for stealing 4 linen bags, value 4 d. 1 three pound twelve shilling piece, 5 thirty-six shilling piece, 1 moidore, 25 guineas, 2 half-guineas, and 9 l. 6 s. in money numbered; the money of John Knowles , in the dwelling-house of the said John , November the 13th . ++.

John Knowles . I live in the Little-Old-Bailey , and deal in coals . The prisoner was my servant . On the 13th of November, I got up about seven o'clock, going by the door where the prisoner lay, below stairs, I knock'd, he made me no answer: I went round into a court and got into the room, he was gone: I found my bureau broke open, the lock of it was wrench'd, and my money gone.

Q. What money was it?

Knowles. I remember particularly 5 thirty-six shilling pieces, a moidore, a 3 l. 12 s. piece, about 25 guineas, and 9 l. odd in silver; to the amount of 50 l. and upwards; it was in bags.

Q. How long had the prisoner been your servant ?

Knowles. He had been with me about three weeks. About noon that day I had a messenger from Barnet, that he was taken there. I went and found him at Mr Jones's house at the Ship and Dragon. We took him before the justice there. He confessed every thing. The justice had all the money in keeping, except 20 s. There was 49 l. 11 s. 6 d.

Q. Were the same particular pieces amongst it, that you spoke of?

Knowles. Yes, my Lord, there were.

Burgy Jones. I live at the Ship and Dragon in Barnet. The prisoner came to my house between 5 and 6 in the morning on the 13th of November. There being a light he knock'd at the door. I was up, he was on foot. He asked if he could have a pint of beer and a pennyworth of bread and cheese.

I brought him out some bread and meat; after he had drank 2 or 3 pints of beer, he would have a quartern of gin in each pint, the beer was not strong enough. Then he said, cannot I have a pint of brandy to chear me upon the road? I measured him some and put it into a bottle. Come, said he, drink, my boots are full of money, I have money enough. I said it's well for you. He fetch'd his Boots rom the other side the kitchen (they were hanging cross his shoulder when he came in) He pulled out a bag and told me an old aunt died and left it him, and he was going into the country to live upon it. He gave the bag to me to count, for he said he did not know what money was in it. There were 4 bags one within another. The first had 12 guineas and a half. I think the next had five 36 s. pieces, one 3 l. 12 s. the rest in guineas. Each had money in them. The other 2 had each silver in them. In the whole I believe there was about 50 l. I had a suspicion by his appearance he stole it. I said I had an old rich aunt in Lancashire, and I know'd where she laid her money. I robbed her and came up into this country and settled myself with it. Then he said he had done the same. (This I said to bring it out, I never was in Lancashire in my life.) Then I charged 2 men with him and carried him before justice Hasel. Then he confessed he stole the money from Mr. Knowles. He is show'd one of the bags, and said, that which was on the outside was singed; he picks it out. All the others I believe to be the same I then saw.

Q. to Mr. Knowles. Was the money you lost in these bags?

Knowles. It was one of them I made, and marked the word Silver upon it.

Q. Had you used to open this bureau in the prisoner's presence.

Knowles. I never did; but that night, I bid him come and warm himself by the fire, at which time I put up forty eight shillings into the bureau.

Prisoner's Defence.

I insist upon the money being counted in court, before I say any thing.

Prosecutor. I paid the money away a few days after.

Prisoner. I have nothing more to say.

Guilty , Death .


View as XML