John Powney, Theft > burglary, 19th February 1752.

Reference Number: t17520219-11
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

141. (M.) John Powney , was indicted, for that he, on the 12th of February , about the hour of two in the night, the dwelling-house of John Downes , did break and enter, and stealing out thence three table spoons, value 30 s. one silver half-pint mug, one silver milk-pot, five silver tea spoons, a pair of tea tongs, a pair of silver shoe buckles, a pair of silk garters, and two linnen waistcoats, the goods of the said John . +

Mrs. Downes. My husband was out of town on the 12th of February: my daughter lay with me: I am sure my house was made fast when we went to-bed: between two and three she awakened me and said, she heard the chain of the door move: we both got up, and stood at the window till the watchman came, then I heard no noise: I called to the watchman and bid him look at the windows, which he did, and said, they were fast, but the street door was wide open: he came and stood in the entry till I called the maids up: he called also another watchman, and we found the backdoor was also open, which had no mark of violence on it, so we thought that was opened after the person was in: we searched the house to see what was lost: we found a buroe broke open in the parlour: there were two waistcoats taken out of it, I missed five tea spoons, a pair of tea tongs, a silver milk pot, a silver half pint mug, three silver table spoons, a pair of silver shoe buckles, a pair of silk garters with silver buckles in them. This was on the Wednesday, and on the Friday a pawnbroker came, whose name is Ann Johnson , and said, a man had been there to pawn a spoon, which they had stopped: she said the man brought it in the name of Mr. Downes's cook, and that she could swear to him if she saw him: we took up the Prisoner, he confessed the whole, that he got in at a two-pair-of-stairs window, which he got to by getting up into a gutter; that he came down stairs, broke open the buroe, and took the things mentioned, and that he had buried all the plate under the pavement in a stable where he works in Adam's muse; we sent a servant there, one Edward Roberts ; he brought all the things. (Produced in court, and deposed to.)

Edward Roberts . I was out along with my master when the house was broke: I took the prisoner, we had him into the parlour, and charg'd him with stealing the things: he confessed breaking the house, and stealing the things, and where they were: I went by his direction and found them had in two places, one parcel under the manger, and the other parcel in another part of the stable, as he had laid under ground.

Ann Jackson . The prisoner brought a tablespoon to offer to pawn to me, about 9 o'clock on Saturday night ; I had seen him at my shop before; he told me he had the spoon of Mr. Downes's servant: I asked if it was her own? he said, he believed it was: I desired him to carry it to her again, he took it, and went away. I had not heard of Mr. Downes's house being broke open till my husband informed me afterwards: I sent to know if they had lost such a spoon; then they sent for me to swear to the prisoner: I went, and said the prisoner was the man that brought it to my house to pawn. (She produced the spoon, knowing it from the others by its being wore at the end of the bowl.)

Mr. Downes. When I came home on the Wednesday morning, my wife was much frighted, and told me the house had been broke open; I got a warrant and took up some of our own servants, thinking it must be somebody who was well acquainted with the house: Mr. Jackson came and asked me if I had lost such a spoon, telling me, a tall man, named Powney, had been to pawn a spoon with his wife, upon which I took up the prisoner, and had him before the Justice, who came to my house. The prisoner had lived with me about 5 or 6 months, and left me the beginning of January; he confessed before the Justice as has been deposed before, and has signed his confession.

John Lees . (He is shew'd the Confession.) The name is the prisoner's writing; I saw him sign, and I wrote mine, as a witness, before Samuel Thrasher , Esq; without any threatening or promises to my knowledge: I saw the Justice also sign his name to it. (It is read, to this purport ) '' That he got out of Marlow's stable, that join'd Mr. Downes's house, and in at a window down into the kitchen ;

there lighted a candle, went up stairs, and forced open a buroe, and took the things mentioned; opened the street door, and went away, and after that went to pawn one of the table spoons; that he buried the plate as before mentioned.''

The prisoner had nothing to say, and called no witnesses.

Guilty , Death .


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