Charles Cane, Thomas Williams, Theft > theft from a specified place, Theft > shoplifting, 28th May 1756.

Reference Number: t17560528-22
Offences: Theft > theft from a specified place; Theft > shoplifting
Verdicts: Guilty > theft under 40s; Guilty
Punishments: Transportation; Death

200, 201. (M.) Charles Cane and Thomas Williams were indicted for that they, together with William Roberts, not taken, did steal 20 pair of worstead stockings, value 40 s. one worstead waistcoat piece, value 9 s. one silk capuchine, and two yards and half of lawn, the goods of Clare Reeve , in his dwelling house , Feb. 21 .*

Clare Reeve. I keep a haberdasher's shop ; on the 21st of February, a little after 6 in the evening, I was in my house, at which time the goods mentioned in the indictment were taken out of my shop.

Q. What part of the shop did they lie in?

Reeve. The lawn and 3 pair of stockings were at one of the windows; and the waistcoat piece, capuchine, and many stockings at the other window I lost all the stockings at that window, except one single stocking.

Q. What time did you miss them ?

Reeve. I missed them in about 3 minutes after. I had just come into the shop, shut the door, and gone backwards. I looked, and saw the shop door open. I went in, and missed the things. About an hour after I went to justice Fielding, and told him the affair, who had some suspicion of the prisoner Cane being at the head of it, and he desired me to seek for him, and bring him before him; directing me to enquire in Chick-Lane of people that bought stolen goods, to see if I could find mine. I went but found none of mine. I had a man with me who had some knowledge of Cane, so we went in search of him, and found him at the One-Tun in George Alley. Cane went out of the tap room into a little parlour, and made his escape over a wall. I went and told justice Fielding we had seen him, and how he got from us, who order'd his men to be diligent in searching for him; and they took him and Williams in a day or two afterwards. They were brought chither, and I was sent for; but they confessed nothing and they were set at liberty. Then Cole and Roberts were suspected to be the people that rob'd me. Some time after this a man belonging to New-Prison came into my shop, and ask'd me if I had been rob'd. I said yes, and told him in what manner. Then he told me he thought if Cole could be taken he would squeak. He was soon taken and discover'd the rest, and it here to give evidence. The 2 prisoners were

taken, and Cane was carried before justice St. Lawrence, who was about to admit him an evidence against Cole. The justice pointed to me, and ask'd him if he knew me. He said yes, and there he acknowledg'd he was concern'd with the other prisoner and Cole in robbing me.

Q. Did he say of what ?

Reeve. I had mention'd the goods. He said of the goods I had lost. Justice Welch wrote an order for Cane to be brought before him, after Cole was taken. I went with the messenger to Bridewell. Cane there discover'd the taking our stockings, the lawn, and other things which I had lost. He said there were 10 pair of stockings and an odd one.

Q. What might these goods be worth ?

Reeve. They lay me in 5 l. and upwards.

Q. Did Williams confess any thing ?

Reeve. Williams confessed at the Bear in Bow-Street, that he was concern'd in the robbery with Cane and Cole. I ask'd him the particulars, and he acknowledg'd every thing.

Q. Did he give you an account of the manner in which it was done?

Reeve. No, he did not.

William Cole . Charles Cane , Thomas Williams , William Roberts and I, were all coming along Theobalds-Row together, and saw the prosecutor's shop without a light in it. Cane went in, and took out a capuchine, and a parcel of stockings; then Roberts and Williams went in, and took out some lawn and other things. I stood by the step of the door, and took them of them. There were 19 pair of stockings and an odd one, a capuchin, a piece of lawn, and a black piece of stuff to make a waistcoat. We carried them into George Alley, and look'd them over; then we went to Alexander the Jew, and sold them to him.

Q. Where does he live?

Cole. In Hounsditch.

Q. What did he give you for them ?

Cole. We sold the stockings for 18 pence per pair, the capuchine for 9 shillings, the piece of lawn for half a crown, and the waistcoat piece for half a crown. I was taken up, and the justice made me evidence, because I was the first that confessed. Cane was taken before justice St. Lawrence.

The prisoners had nothing to say in their defence.

Both Guilty 39 s.

[Transportation. See summary.]

(M.) Charles Cane was a second time indicted, for that he, together with William Roberts , not taken did steal 24 pair of silk stockings, value 15 l. the goods of Thomas Tolley , in the shop of the said Thomas, Feb. 5 .

Thomas Tolley. On the 5th of February, about five in the evening, I had just been selling a pair of silk stockings, and not having time to tie the rest up, I put a string about them, and laid them at the end of the counter; this was on a Thursday. We did not miss them till the Saturday following, when I went round amongst the pawnbrokers, but could not find them. I went and told justice Fielding the case, who advised me to put it in the papers, with five guineas reward, which I did. When Cane and Williams were taken up, justice Fielding sent for me. I went, but they would not own any thing of taking the stockings. I proffer'd Cane, that if he was concern'd, and would own it, I would get him to be admitted an evidence if possible, and likewise give him two guineas. He would not own any thing of it, so they were discharged. After this, Cole was taken, who directly own'd the thing, and said Cane and Roberts were concerned with him in taking them, before justice Fielding and justice Welch. Then Cane and Williams were taken up again, and I went to Cane in Tothillfields bridewell, where he told me he put several pair into his breeches, and gave the rest to his companions, which were two dozen, and that he himself took them out of my shop.

Q. Did he say how many pair he put into his breeches ?

Tolley. No, he did not. He said he fill'd his breeches as full as he could. I missed 8 or 9 pair more than the 2 dozen.

Q. Did he say from what part of the counter he took them?

Tolley. He said he took them from the farther end of the counter.

Q. Did he say what was done with them?

Tolley. He said he sold them to Alexander Abrahams the Jew for 2 shillings and 3 pence per pair.

Q. What were they worth?

Tolley. Some cost me 15 shillings per pair out of my pocket. The cheapest cost me above 10 shillings.

Q. Did you ever find them again?

Tolley. No, I never did. I search'd the Jew's apartment and was told he was gone into the country, selling of goods.

Prisoner. He has swore to more goods by half than ever he lost.

Tolley. There were 3 other witnesses that heard his confession, but I did not think there would be any occasion for them here.

William Cole . Cane, Roberts and I were coming along the Strand the night before the fast, to see if we could get anything. Cane went into the prosecutor's

shop, and at the farthest end of the counter he took some stockings.

Q. How came he to go into the shop ?

Cole. Because there was nobody in it.

Q. Was the door open ?

Cole. It was.

Q. What time of the day was it?

Cole. It was between 6 and 7 in the evening.

Q. How many pair of stockings did he take ?

Cole. I know of no more than 24 pair.

Q. What sort of stockings were they?

Cole. Silk.

Q. What did you do with them?

Cole. We sold them to Alexander Abrahams the Jew. He gave us 2 shillings and 3 pence per pair for them.

The prisoner had nothing to say in his defence.

Guilty . Death .

[See him an evidence against West and Pryer, No. 179 and 180, in alderman Jansien's mayoralty, and also against Banks, No. 80, in this mayoralty.]


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