Samuel Dipple, Theft > burglary, 10th September 1755.

Reference Number: t17550910-34
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

337. (M.) Samuel Dipple , otherwise Dibble , was indicted , for that he on the 24th of July , about the hour of two o'clock in the morning, on the same day, the dwelling house of Robert Willes did break and enter, and for stealing out thence one silver half pint mug, value 40 s. one silver waiter, value 50 s. one pair of silver salts, five silver table-spoons, two silver tea-spoons, one silver marrow-spoon, two silver pepper-boxes , one silver saucepan, one gold-headed cane, two copper tea-kettles, three copper saucepans, one cloth coat, one cloth waistcoat, one silk waistcoat, one perriwig, and two hats, the goods of the said Robert; and one cloth coat, value 10 s. the property of Henry Whitehead , in the dwelling house of the said Robert. ++

Robert Willes . I am an apothecary in Brook-street, Holborn : on the 24th of July, I came home and went to bed, but a little after twelve o'clock, at night, my door in the area, directly under my shop door, was found broke open, at seven o'clock in the morning; there were two holes bored under two bolts to two doors, by which means the person got in, and the doors appeared to be forced open. I lost the plate mentioned in the indictment (mentioning the particulars, all or most marked with a lion, his crest;) a coat, two waistcoats, a perriwig, and two hats. The plate was taken from out of a parlour behind my shop, the coat and waistcoat I had pulled off when I went to bed, which I had wore the day before. My apprentice and another lad lay below in the shop. In my waistcoat pocket that I wore under my night-gown were some letters I had received directed to me at my house. The prisoner being taken that morning with all the things on him, and carried to Guildhall, the gentlemen , on examining the pockets, found the letters, by which means they found where to send for me. A messenger came, and I went to Guildhall, there was the prisoner and the goods mentioned, and a tap-borer, a file, and a dark lanthorn; but part of his examination was taken before I came there; he had a mind to regale himself at my expence, and had taken a ham, my property (produced in court.) I did not think it needful to put this in the indictment. (The goods mentioned in the indictment produced in court and deposed to.) They have been in the care of the constable ever since.

Q. Have you ever seen the prisoner before?

Willes . I have; lurking about the streets. He formerly kept a shop in Gray's-inn-lane; he was bred an apothecary; I don't know but I have seen him with my servant , who, very likely, is as deep in it as he.

Henry Whitehead . I am apprentice to Mr. Willes. On the 25th of July, Anne Segwick , our maid, awaked me about seven in the morning; the house was broke open; I got up, and went down stairs, and saw the door in the area open, and a large stool, which they made use of in the kitchen, was in the middle of the area; there were two doors open; the area door, and another which comes out of the kitchen into the passage that leads to the shop; and a hole under a bolt, on each door, seemed to be bored with an auger. Upon looking about I miss'd a blew surtout coat of my own; after that a messenger was sent to our house , from Guildhall, to know if we had lost any goods ; I went there along with the messenger; there I saw my coat, and the other things mentioned in the indictment.

Q. Did you hear the prisoner examined ?

Whitehead. No; I did not. I saw him there; I looked the plate over, and am sure they are my master's property.

Q. How do you think the doors were opened?

Whitehead . The bolts were forced back by the means of the holes that were bored.

Margaret Pagan . I saw the area door made fast over night.

Q. How was it fastened?

Pagan. It was bolted . The inward door also was bolted as fast as that. I was not the first up in the morning. I saw the holds in the doors , and the doors open. They appear'd to me to be both forc'd open.

Anne Segwick . I am servant to Mr. Willes; I got up about half an hour after seven, on the 25th of July, being the first person up in the house; I found the door that went into the shop, with a great staff put against it, to keep it shut .

Prosecutor. That is never fastened.

Anne Segwick . I found the other two doors opened; I fasten'd them myself over night.

Q. Do you know where the plate was over night?

Segwick . It was all in the parlour.

Matthew How . I am constable of the night; the prisoner was brought to me about three in the morning, on the 25th of July, with his face all black'd over, by two watchmen and a porter that plies in the Fleet-market. We search'd him; all those goods were found upon him, and these instruments (produced in court) a tap-borer, a file, a dark-lanthorn, and a pair of nail-nippers. I ask'd the prisoner how he came by the things? he told me he went to make water at the corner of Fox-court, Gray's-inn-lane, and there trod upon them. He had a great ham, and a currant tart; I took an inventory of them . and sent him to the Compter . We found in a waistcoat-pocket a letter directed to Mr. Willes , and I carried it to him.

Daniel Treadwell . I am a watchman in Bear-alley near Fleet-market; betwixt three and four o'clock in the morning, on the 25th of July I was about the middle of the alley; the prisoner was coming down; when he came over against me he stop'd to make water.

Q. How far is Bear-alley from the prosecutor's house in Brook-street?

Treadwell. It is about a mile from it. Then Charles Legraft came to me, and said he had a suspicion that man had something about him that was not his own, and it seem'd to be very heavy; he turn'd down an alley called Black-bear-alley; I knew it was no thorough-fare; we follow'd him; he was standing leaning against a post , with the things on his arm; I said, my friend what do you do here? he said, I am a man under misfortunes , and am moving my goods. I said, it is possible it may be so; but you must go before the constable; he said, with all my heart; so I took hold of his collar, and we went on; going up Break-neck-stairs, he let the bundle of cloaths and the tea-kettle fall, and desired one of us would carry them for him. When we got into the Little-old-bailey , he said, you need not hold me by my collar, I'll go with you . We let go his collar , and he ran from me; but was retaken . I was present before the alderman when he was examined; there he said he found these things at Fox-court , Gray's-inn-lane; there I saw the tap-borer , the file, the dark-lanthorn, and nail-nippers, taken out of his pocket.

Miles Beck . On the 25th of July, at a quarter after three o'clock, I was walking with my staff in my hand, I heard the cry, stop thief. I look'd up the Little-old-bailey, and saw the prisoner come running; I said, honest heart, stop ; he made a full blow at me with a cane ; I put my staff out , and he fell over it, and I fell with him; and my brother watchman came to my assistance, and we secur'd him; the porter, he staid by the things; we took the prisoner to the watch-house; he had got a great-coat on, and his face black'd all over; he wash'd his face, and delivered a tea-kettle, out

of his pocket. I search'd him, and found four large spoons, a marrow-spoon and two large teaspoons in his pocket, and the tap-borer, file, nail-nipper and dark-lanthorn, he had some of the things fix'd in the back part of his breeches which he deliver'd to us.

Charles Legraft . I was the first person that saw the pr isoner, I was at work in the New-Market, being a ticket-porter; I had followed the prisoner a good while before I let Treadwell know of him, he had been up one alley and down another , and seem'd to be heavy loaded, and as he went along I heard something rattle; seeing him, he made a stop in Bear-alley, as if he was making water. I passed him, and look'd at him, and went on to Treadwell, and said, there is a man that looks very suspicious to me to be a thief; he is very hard loaded. While I was talking to him the prisoner moved into another place; we went and took him, and I assisted in bringing him to the watch-house.

Prisoner's defence.

On the 25th of July in the morning , I was going down Gray's-inn-lane, being out late with a friend that was going to sea; I turn'd into Fox-court to make water, and saw two men standing there; they saw me, and went away; then I saw a large bundle lying behind a pawnbroker's door; I kick'd it, and call'd out to those men, and said they had left something behind them; but I saw them no more; then I took the bundle up, and carried it into Holborn, and carried it down there by several watchmen. I search'd it first, and found these things in the pockets of these coats; it is impossible for one man to take all these things out of a house; I found the file, auger, and dark-lanthorn in one pocket, and the spoons all separate in another. There was one bundle tied up in another, with a cord. I did not think proper to leave the things where I found them. I was going to carry them to Bear-alley, to the house of one Evans.

For the prisoner.

Thomas Smith . I have known the prisoner many years; he was recommended to our house by an apothecary from Ludlow. I have continued my acquaintance with him ever since he came to town; he was brought up an apothecary. I knew him when he lived with several of the business; he bore an extraordinary good character at each place.

Q. What are you?

Smith. I was brought up a druggist . I now am a merchant. At this time I owe him money for attending my family.

Q. What may you owe him?

Smith. I don't know his bill; it may be 20 or 30 shillings; so I think he could not do it for want of money.

Guilty , Death .


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