Stephen Barnes, Theft > housebreaking, 5th December 1753.

Reference Number: t17531205-9
Offence: Theft > housebreaking
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

11. (M.) Stephen Barnes was indicted for that he on the 4th of November , about the hour of eleven in the forenoon, the dwelling-house of John Purford did break and enter, no person being therein, and stealing out thence one guinea, the property of the said John. ++

John Purford . I live at Sunbury ; the prisoner came to my house on Sunday the 4th of November, and asked for work; I told him I had none; I said you want victuals; he said I do, for I have no money; I let him have some; then my wife and I set out for church, and he went part of the way with us; then he dropped us, and went into a public house; when we came back we saw somebody had been in at our window; I missed a guinea, went to his father's house at Brentford, and asked him if he came back to my house after we left him; he said he did, and took a pane of glass out of my window, got in and broke the cupboard door open with his knife, and found two guineas and two half crowns, out of which he took only one guinea; I took him before justice Bever at Hammersmith, where he continued in the same story in my presence; he said he had changed it at a chandler's shop at Twickenham; he had seven shillings and odd about him, the rest he said he had laid out, except four shillings that he gave his mother.

Elizabeth Purford . When we came from church I saw some dust lying under the window, I mistrusted I had been robbed, looked for my money where it had lain in the cupboard, and missed one guinea.

Elizabeth Dean . I saw the prisoner under the window that day about eleven o'clock, and asked him what he did there; he said he was waiting till Mr. Purford came from church.

Sarah Bonnit . I saw a golden guinea in the prisoner's hand as I was passing by him at Hampton, this was on that same day between eleven and twelve o'clock; he wanted to get it changed.

Benjamin Barnfield . I went with the prosecutor to the prisoner's father's, and heard him confess as mentioned by the prosecutor.

Richard Oxland . On the 4th of November the prosecutor came into my house the king's arms at

Isleworth; he inquired where the prisoner was to be found; I went with him to Brentford, and heard the boy confess the breaking the window, going into the house and taking one guinea out of the cupboard.

Prisoner's Defence.

He said he would not hurt a hair of my head if I would confess. I am but 13 years of age.

Guilty Death . Recommended to mercy.


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