Pere de Bree, Frenchman Theft > theft from a specified place, 25th June 1752.

Reference Number: t17520625-7
Offence: Theft > theft from a specified place
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

329. (M.) Pere de Bree, otherwise Peter de Bree, otherwise Pere de Bress, otherwise Peter de Bress, otherwise Pere de Permon, otherwise Peter de Permon , was indicted for stealing one wooden box bound with iron, val. 2 s. and 70 guineas in gold, the property of George Pitt , Esq; in the dwelling house of Howel Lewis , May 22 ++.

[The prisoner being a Frenchman and not able to speak English, an interpreter was sworn.]

George Pitt . I arrived the first of March at London from Paris; the prisoner came along with me. I lodged at the house of Mr. Lewis, a surgeon, in Jermyn-street St. James's . The prisoner desired leave to lodge in the same house that my servants might be of use to him, he not understanding English; so he lodged in the garret. I had 70 guineas, a picture of my wife, and other trifles in a strong box in the dining room. The money was put in between the 2d of March and the 22d of May. I went out of town the 21st of May for Dorsetshire ; when I returned on the 24th I was told my box was gone, and it was found in the Park in a pond, and two letters in it directed to me, by which means it was brought to my lodgings. The prisoner was gone out to dress a dinner on the prince of Wales's birth-day. When he returned I had him taken up; the constable found 66 guineas in a

purse in his pocket. He confessed in what manner he had taken the box out of my room; that on the Friday morning he carried it up into his own room, where he broke it open and took out the money, but nothing else; and in the evening he carried the box into the park and threw it into a pond.

Q. Did he tell you this without your making use of promises or threats ?

Pitt. He did, my lord, he had little or no money of his own.

Howel Lewis . Mr. Pitt lodged at my house, so did the prisoner. After the box was found the prisoner was searched in my house on Sunday the 24th of May in the afternoon; the constable found 66 guineas in his pocket. Mr. Pitt had been out of town about three or four days, and was returned that day. I heard the prisoner confess he went down from the garret to Mr. Pitt's room and took the box up into his own, then he went down for a hammer, with which he broke it open. I think he said he took the money out, but am not positive. Then he said he threw it into a pool in the Park.

Q. Did he confess in French or English?

Lewis. In French.

William Jones . I had the prisoner delivered into my custody a little while before the constable came; there were found in his fob 66 guineas when the constable searched him. I heard him confess he took the box up into the garret, broke the lock open, and took the money out.

Thomas Willis . I found this box ( produced in court, which the prosecutor deposed to) in a pond called the Cow-Pond in the Green-Park, on Saturday morning the 23d of May; it was about an inch and half open, full of water; there were some letters in it. I carried it home and advertised it. The prisoner had nothing to say.

Guilty Death .


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