Francis Pryer, John West, Edward Wright, Winifred Farrel, Theft > theft from a specified place, Theft > receiving, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > receiving, 9th April 1755.

Reference Number: t17550409-25
Offences: Theft > theft from a specified place; Theft > receiving; Theft > grand larceny; Theft > receiving
Verdicts: Guilty; Not Guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death; Transportation

179, 180, 181. (M.) Francis Pryer and John West were indicted for stealing four cloth coats, value 4 l. one pair of cloth breeches, value 8 s. one cloth waistcoat, value 10 s. three Russia drab frocks, value 12 s. five fustian frocks, value 28 s. the goods of Leonard Lee ; and one cloth coat, the property of Thomas Jenkins , in the dwelling-house of the said Leonard, March 12 . And Edward Wright for receiving the said goods, well knowing them to have been stolen. *

Leonard Lee. On Wednesday the 12th of March the goods mentioned in the indictment ( naming them) were in my shop, and they were missing between six and seven in the evening; I was not at home when they were taken away.

Q. Have you seen any of them since?

Lee. Some of them were found by two constables, and have been in the hands of one of them ever since. I advertised them at Goldsmith's hall, from whence notice is given to all the pawnbrokers and such places in four hours time, by distributing bills; after which, Mr. Welch the chief constable came and told me he believed he had found some of them. The prisoners were taken before the justice; but confessed nothing in my hearing.

Q. from West. Did you ever see me in your shop?

Lee. No, never to my knowledge.

Q. from Pryer. Did you ever see me before in your life ?

Lee. I don't know any thing of him.

Thomas Jenkins . I live servant with Mr. Lee; on Wednesday the 12th of March, between six and seven in the evening, we lost these things mentioned out of the house; we advertised them directly, with two guineas reward upon the conviction of the person that stole them. On the Saturday morning Mr. Welch, with the other constables, and a file of musketers, came up Holborn where we live, and told me they thought they had found some of the goods we had advertised. I went with them to Mr. Welch's, there I saw these goods produced here. I made oath they were the property of Mr. Lee. My coat, and three other articles are not found; here are all the rest, (deposed to by the prosecutor).

Q. What are these here produced worth?

Jenkins. These stand Mr. Lee in upwards of seven pounds out of his pocket, and I would give any body fifteen shillings for my coat now, to sell again.

Q. Do you know either of the prisoners.

Jenkins. I know West; on the 13th of March, between six and seven o'clock in the evening, he came in at the Bull-and-gate, Holborn, which is next door to Mr. Lee's house; he staid a minute or two, and went out again; and in about three minutes returned in again; then he staid I believe about half a minute, and turned out again.

Q. In what room was this?

Jenkins. It was in the kitchen; I was there with a country customer.

Q. Was he a servant in that house?

Jenkins. No, he was not.

Q. How was he dressed?

Jenkins. He had a blue coat on, with a red collar; he looked bold in my face, which induced me to take notice of him.

Q. Had you ever seen him before?

Jenkins. No, I never did; neither did I the other till he was taken up, to my knowledge.

Charles Cain . John West , Francis Pryer , Randolph Banks , and I, were going by the prosecutor's shop; West went into it, and took out a parcel of frocks, and gave them to Pryer; and went in again and got another parcel, and we carried them to Banks's mother; he is not yet taken.

Q. What time of the night was this?

Cain. It was about seven at night.

Q. Was no body in the shop?

Cain. No, there was a young woman went in between our getting the two parcels, with a mug in her hand.

Q. Did you or Banks go in?

Cain. No, we stood without, to receive them.

Q. What did you do with them after you had carried them to Banks's mother's.

Cain. We went to sell them in Black-boy-alley, to a woman that Edward Wright lived with; her name is Peg, but I don't know her other name.

Q. Are these the goods produced here?

Cain. They are, and some we sold. We asked her if she would buy them? She said she did not rightly know how to get them out of the house to sell them again, if she bought them. After that, she asked us what we would have for them? We told her seven pounds. She said she would give us fifty shillings for them. We said we would not take it. Then she said, she would give fifty-five shillings, and no more; and as we did not

know where to carry them, we took her money. We had sold things to her before, when she lived in Brown's gardens, handkerchiefs, and what we could get; and she used to buy goods of other lads.

Q. Did she ask you how you came by these goods?

Cain. She did not; she knew how we came by them, we told her where we got them.

Q. Did you see Wright when you sold these goods?

Cain. He was by at the time, they were both in bed together.

Q. What time of the day was it?

Cain. It was about eight o'clock; they did not get up to make a bargain.

Q. Who opened the door to let you in?

Cain. A woman that lives in the house.

Q. Where was that woman when you sold the goods?

Cain. She was in the house, but not in the room at the time.

Q. Had you any conversation with Wright when you took the money?

Cain. He looked at them after Peg had bid us fifty-five shillings, and said, she gave more than the value of the things, but we asked him no questions, nor he us.

Q. Who was the money paid to?

Cain. It was paid to Francis Pryer .

Q. By whom was it paid?

Cain. By Edward Wright ; Peg gave him the money out of her pocket, and he paid it to us, and we went into Holborn and divided it betwixt us.

Q. What had you for your share?

Cain. I had twelve shillings; we had twelve shillings each after we had paid the reckoning; there were four of us.

Q. from Wright. Did I ever buy any thing of you in my life?

Cain. No.

Q. What business do Peg and Wright carry on?

Cain. None at all; only keep a lodging-house.

Q. from Wright. Did I not say to Margaret Waller . don't buy any thing at all?

Cain. I heard Wright say something to her, but I don't know what it was.

Q. from West. Was I at the taking of these goods?

Cain. He was; and he said, when he brought the frocks out, if he thought he should have had so good an opportunity he would not have brought them out, but would have had the best goods in the shop.

West. I was cross the street, and he came and brought me the things on his shoulder.

Henry Flanergen . I am a constable; I went along with Mr. Welch, the high constable, to Black-boy-alley, we had a file of musketeers with us. When we came to the house where Wright lives, part of these goods here we found in the yard, and part we found at the head of a bed, and a woman lying in the bed.

Q. What time was this?

Flanergen. It was between five and six in the morning.

Q. Did you know the woman you saw in bed?

Flanergen. I do not; she pretended to be very ill.

The Second Part of these Proceedings will be published in a few Days.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter, 9th April 1755.

Reference Number: t17550409-25

THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery FOR THE CITY of LONDON; And also the Gaol Delivery for the County of MIDDLESEX, HELD AT JUSTICE-HALL in the OLD-BAILEY, On Wednesday the 9th, Thursday the 10th, Friday the 11th, and Saturday the 12th of APRIL.

In the Twenty-eighth Year of His MAJESTY'S Reign. NUMBER IV. PART II. for the YEAR 1755. Being the Fourth SESSIONS in the MAYORALTY of THE RIGHT HONOURABLE STEPHEN THEODORE JANSSEN , Esq; LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.


Printed, and sold by M. COOPER at the Globe, in Pater-noster Row. 1755.

[Price Four-pence.]


King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery held for the City of LONDON, &c.

Q. DID you see Wright?

Flanergen. He was there; he said he had lent a shilling on the cloaths, or else he said his wife had, I am not certain which; that woman went for his wife we saw in bed. We did not go there upon the account of these goods, we had another information given us; we took the evidence Cain in the house, then he asked Mr. Welch if he could be admitted an evidence? and told Mr. Welch there was a bundle of cloaths thrown out at a window, and in such a room, near a bed, we should find the rest. We took Wright and West into custody, and brought them to Mr. Fielding. After that I took Pryer in St. Giles's, on the information of Cain; we knew, him to be frequently about St. Giles's; he would have made a discovery, if Mr. Fielding would have taken it; he told him if he could bring more to light than Cain, he would admit him; he examined him, and it came much to the same of what Cain had said.

William Gee . I am a constable; I was along with Mr. Welch and the last evidence at the taking Wright and West; it was a very disorderly house; Wright is a runner at Mr. Fielding's office to carry persons backwards and forwards.

Q. How long had he lived in that house?

Gee. I don't know; we had searched it once before.

Q. Who does the house belong to?

Gee. I can't say whether it belongs to the prisoner or no.

Q. How came the woman not to be taken up?

Gee. She said she was so ill, she was not able to be removed.

Q. What is become of her now?

Gee. I don't know.

Q. Had you never an order to take her up?

Gee. No; I heard Cain say she was by at the payment of the money, and that Wright paid it.

Q. from Wright. How long have you known me? and whether you know any harm of me?

Gee. I have known Wright three or four years; I never knew any harm of him.

Flanergen answered the same to the same question; with this proviso, except keeping that house, which he said had a very bad character.

Luke Martin . I am a watchman in the parish to which Black-boy-alley belongs; about nine o'clock one evening I was standing at a little distance, and saw a cheese carried into Wright's house; I think it was West that had it, and there were two or three more along with him. I followed them, and saw the cheese delivered into the house, but was glad to get away. It is a very bad house; I went and told Mr. Welch of it. I went with him to search this house; we found these things there that are here produced. Wright was in his chamber; we brought him, West, and the goods away. I heard Mr. Welch ask Wright how these goods came there? He said he was in bed when his wife took them in, and said he did not know how they came there.

Q. Who did he mean by the word wife?

Martin. He meant that woman that was there in bed; he had cohabited with her some time; I have often seen them together; she went by his name.

Q. How long have you known him?

Martin. I have known him, I believe about four months, ever since he came to that house.

Q. Where is the woman now?

Martin. She is gone from that house, but she is seen about.

Q. How came you not to take the woman?

Martin. I can't tell that; I dare not watch since that; these are not a tenth part of what use the house; I have seen eight or ten come into the house together several times in the night; the character of the house is nothing but a den of thieves. I have been at the taking twenty-four people out of that alley, there was one then taken out of Wright's house, and then it was said another was let out at his back-door.

Q. Is there any sort of business carried on in that house?

Martin. No other than things that are stolen, carried out and sold.

Q. from Wright. What makes you think it is my house?

Martin. Because I have heard Wright acknowledge he was master of it; when I took the woman out of the house he then had the impudence to tell me, he would beat my jolly head about the first time he met me in the streets.

West and Pryer said nothing in their defence.

Wright. I have been at the woman's house a great many times, but never to live with her.

Wright called Francis Farral who had known him four years, Anne Mooney eight, Sarah Shillinsford seven, Eliz. Bates betwixt seven and eight, Margaret Jones seven, who all said they never heard any ill of him before; and Robert Fletcher , the landlord of the house, who deposed he let the house to Margaret Waller , and produced a receipt he had given her, dated Jan. 22, 1755, for rent, to prove it.

West and Pryer guilty , Death .

Wright acquitted .

181. John West was a second time indicted for stealing fourteen pair of worsted stockings, value 15 s. the goods of John Harrison , March 13 , and Winifred Farrel , widow , for receiving the same, well knowing them to have been stolen . *

John Harrison. The prisoner West came into my shop on the 13th of March ; I then did not like him, and bid my servant take care of him, for I thought he was a thief. He came in the same day again, and after he was gone we missed five pair of men's stockings, and nine pair of women's from off the counter; I gave myself no farther trouble about it, but on the Saturday after in the afternoon, a constable came and asked me if I had not been robbed of some stockings on the Thursday night? I said, I had; he said they were in his custody at justice Fielding's; I went there and saw seven pair of my stockings, the woman was there; I asked her what she had done with the rest? she said she had sold them, (five pair of men's, and two of women's produced in court and deposed to.)

Charles Cain . The prisoner West and I were going by the prosecutor's shop. West said, I'll go in and try to buy a pair of stockings; he went in, and after a little time he brought out five pair, and gave them to me, and went in again and brought out the other, fourteen in all; we went and sold them to Winifred Farrel for twelve shillings.

Q. What day was this on?

Cain. It was on a Thursday; she lives in Monmouth-street in a cellar; I knew her before, and had sold her handkerchiefs.

Q. Did she ask you how you came by them?

Cain. No, she did not; she knew how we came by them; she buys handkerchiefs of pickpockets.

Q. What did you ask her for the stockings?

Cain. We asked her a shilling a pair for them.

Q. to prosecutor. What is the value of the stockings you lost?

Prosecutor. I gave three shillings and a peny a pair for five pair, and the other nine cost me after the rate of twenty-one shillings per dozen.

Henry Flanergen . These goods Mr. Welch, I, and others found in a cellar in Monmouth-street, in which was the prisoner and another woman; the day we came from Black-boy-alley Cain carried use there, some of the stockings were in the cellar, and some the prisoner sent the other woman out to fetch, which she did; the prisoner owned to the buying them, and said, the people of whom she bought them said they came from sea, and I think she mentioned giving twelve shillings for them, but she would not resolve Mr. Welch at first, till he told her the consequence of it.

West made no defence.

Farrel's defence.

I did not buy the stockings; it was a woman that was in my shop bought them of that young man for twenty-two shillings and a pot of beer.

Q. to Cain. What time did you sell the stockings?

Cain. At about half an hour after seven at night.

To Farrel's character.

Dennis Farrel . I have known the prisoner Farrel

some years; she kept a cellar in Monmouth-street near two years; I never heard any ill of her.

Q. Has she any servants?

D. Farrel. No, none, as I know of.

Richard Jones . I have known her four or five years; she lived with a gentleman in Berwick-street, and after that she lived in Monmouth-street.

Margaret Gready . I was going by Farrel's door to buy a pair of old shoes about a week before St. Patrick's day, there came two sailors there, one a little man, and the other a big one, with some stockings to sell; Mrs. Farrel would not buy them. She asked the boys how they came by them? they said they were sailors; another woman that was there bid them twenty-two shillings and three-pence for them.

Q. Was the prisoner West one of them?

M. Gready. I can't say whether he was or not?

Q. How many pair of stockings had they to sell?

M. Gready. They had fourteen pair, as I think, Mrs. Farrel did not pay the money, that I can declare upon oath, but I have no knowledge of Mrs. Farrel neither.

Q. Can you tell what day this was?

M. Gready. I know St. Patrick's day, because we keep that in my country; it was a little before that day.

Q. What time of the day?

M. Gready. It was before twelve o'clock.

Q. Noon or night?

M. Gready. It was in the day.

Q. Should you know the two boys if you was to see them?

M. Gready. I believe I could give a guess at the woman that paid the money.

Q. Look at the evidence Cain; was he one of the boys?

M. Gready. Indeed I can't tell; I think to the best of my knowledge he is one of them. Indeed Mrs. Farrel never bought or paid for them. I bought a pair of old shoes and paid for them.

Q. Where do you live?

M. Gready. I live in White-friars; my husband is a taylor, he works for Mr. Pearson in Fleet-street.

Q. to Cain. Was any body by when you sold the stockings?

Cain. There were two women in the cellar, but I never saw this evidence with my eyes.

Q. Was there a woman cheapening a pair of old shoes?

Cain. No, there was not. There was a woman cheapening some cloth to make up some old shirts; but she went out of the cellar before we opened the stockings. The other woman that was there lent Mrs. Farrel some money to pay for the stockings.

Q. Did the other woman cheapen or talk with you about the stockings?

Cain. No, she did not; it was the prisoner only that bought and paid for them.

Michael Bownand . I have known the prisoner between ten and eleven years, she has been servant to Mr. Riley, a master taylor, in St. James's parish seven years; I live there. I never heard any thing laid to her charge in my life.

Q. Have you known her since she left that service?

Bownand. I have known her to keep this cellar in Monmouth-street about two years.

Martha Riley . I am wife to Mr. Riley, where the prisoner lived servant; she was a faithful servant; she has left my service three or four years, she lived with me five or six years; I have known her twelve or fourteen years; I know nothing of her but what is honest.

James Riley . The prisoner lived with me five, six, or seven years; I have trusted her with things of value, she never wronged me. She has of late sold old cloaths; she used to come constantly to see my wife once a week I believe.

Elisabeth Bourne . I have known her twelve or fourteen years; she is a very honest industrious woman.

Both guilty .

See West, an evidence, No. 99. in last paper, against William Banks . Also see No. 476. in alderman Rawlinson's mayoralty.

[Transportation. See summary.]

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter, 9th April 1755.

Reference Number: t17550409-25

THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery FOR THE CITY of LONDON; And also the Gaol Delivery for the County of MIDDLESEX, HELD AT JUSTICE-HALL in the OLD-BAILEY, On Wednesday the 9th, Thursday the 10th, Friday the 11th, and Saturday the 12th of APRIL.

In the Twenty-eighth Year of His MAJESTY'S Reign. NUMBER IV. PART II. for the YEAR 1755. Being the Fourth SESSIONS in the MAYORALTY of THE RIGHT HONOURABLE STEPHEN THEODORE JANSSEN , Esq; LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.


Printed, and sold by M. COOPER at the Globe, in Pater-noster Row. 1755.

[Price Four-pence.]


King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery held for the City of LONDON, &c.

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