William Hadley, Stephen Harding, Theft > burglary, 13th July 1757.

Reference Number: t17570713-18
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

263, 264. William Hadley and Stephen Harding were indicted for that they, on the 12th of May, about the hour of four in the night of the same day, the dwelling house of Robert Loveless feloniously did break and enter, and steal from thence two harrateen window curtains, value 3 l. four harrateen bed curtains, value 40 s. one pier looking glass, value 5 l. two blankets, value 5 s. one pair of sheets, value 5 s. six yards of alapeen, value 10 s. six tablecloths, one dozen of napkins, and six towels, the goods of the said Robert, in his dwelling house .

Robert Loveless . I was out of town with my family, and on the 13th of May I had word brought me, in the morning, that my house in Dean-Street, Fetter-Lane , was broke open. I took the key and went there, and found the padlock had been forced open; the plate of iron that went from the post to the door was broke, so that the padlock fell down; I open'd the door, and some neighbours went in with me.

Q. Was there another lock to the door?

Loveless. There was, that I open'd with my key; the first room I enter'd was a parlour on the ground floor, where my buroe was broke open, and several things taken out of the drawers. In a one pair of stairs room I missed a large pier glass with a carv'd and gilt frame. I found a door forced in a two pair of stairs room, where I missed a set of bed curtains, and there I found another buroe broke open, with several drawers in it, and also a chest of drawers, from which were several things taken; but those my wife put up, so I can't give an account of the particulars thereof. I missed from that room two pair of window curtains. I only speak of the things we have since found, knowing them to be my property. I found them on the Thursday in Whitsun-week, part of them upon Mr. Boswell the evidence; and the day following I found a remnant of alapeen, about six yards of it, at Hadley's lodgings, and some days after I found at a pawnbroker's in Leather Lane, named William Coyd , the bed curtains.

Q. How came you to find out where these things were?

Loveless. I advertised a reward of twenty guineas, and one Smith, who said she was sister to a woman that lived with Boswell came I went with her to justice Fielding's, where she mention'd Boswell, Hadley, and Harding, as notorious house breakers, so I had warrants and took them up.

Elizabeth Loveless . I was with my husband in the country. Mr. Loveless sent a porter for me in the morning, after he found the house had been broke open. I came to town and missed a great number of things, which are not in the indictment. The goods mention'd in the indictment are all our property.

William Boswell . Hadley came down to my house the day before the house was broke open, and told me that there was a gentleman who liv'd in a little street near Fetter-lane, which he imagin'd was gone out of town, for the door had a padlock upon it.

Hadley. Let somebody look in that witness's hand, he has been branded already.

Boswell. He said it he could get the padlock off, he could unlock the other lock, and by so doing he thought he could get a great deal of money. I went to his house, and he and I went to Harding. We all went to this house in Dean-street about three o'clock. I pull'd off the padlock from the door with a piece of iron about eighteen inches long; it made some noise in doing it, so I went down lower in the street, and Harding went up with the key and unlock'd the door.

Q. Where had he the key?

Boswell. I believe Hadley gave it him; the watchman heard a noise, and came with a candle and lanthorn; then we all three walk'd into Fleet-street, and after the watch was gone off we turn'd back again, this was a little after four; we stood a little time in Fetter-lane, till the watchman was gone off, and then Harding and I went in, while Hadley stood at the door. We took a saucepan out

of the kitchen, then we went into the dining room, I don't remember we took any thing there; then we went up one pair of stairs, and in the two rooms we took a large pier glass in a gilt frame, a pair of scarlet window curtains, and some harrateen curtains belonging to a bed, and a piece of stuff roll'd up, about six or eight yards of it; then we went up the two pair of stairs, where we took a blanket, in which we put the glass, we also took a sheet and some linen, we put some of the things in a bag, and in a little bag we put some more odd things. Hadley carried off the little bag, Harding the biggest bag, and I the pier glass. We went different ways, but we all met at Harding's house, where we agreed to part the curtain, for which we drew cuts. I happened to have the longest cut, so I chose out of the six curtains the two scarlet ones. Some time after that Hadley sold his two curtains to Harding, and the rest of the things were divided among us; the pier glass was left at Harding's ho use in the blanket. After it was advertised Harding and I knock'd off the frame and burnt it. After that we carried the glass to the White Bear in Aldersgate-street one night, and he knowing the landlord we left it there, and Mr. Loveless fetch'd it away; the landlord did not know how we came by it. Hadley came there before we went away.

Hadley. I can't say but I did see the glass, but it was not left at my home.

Martha Smith . I went with Mr. Loveless to Hadley's lodgings in Cloth Fair, on the Thursday in Whitsun-week; I know they were his lodgings, because my sister that was kept by Boswell took me there, and there I saw Hadley's wife. There Mr. Loveless found the piece of alapeen.

William Ward . I am an apprentice to William Coyd , a pawnbroker. I remember there were some green harrateen bed curtains pawn'd to me on the 23d of May, by Harding the prisoner, for half a guinea, the same which Mr. Loveless had away. (The goods, except the glass, produced in court, and deposed to by prosecutrix.)

John Spenely . I am a constable, and had a warrant to serve on Boswell. After I had serv'd it, he and his wife told me this glass here produc'd, belong'd to Mr. Loveless, and that he and Harding broke the frame, and burnt it, that it might not be discovered, and that it was at the White Bear in Aldersgate-street. I went there, and ask'd if Boswell, in company with two other men, had not left a looking glass wrapt up in a blanket there, the landlord said he had. I desir'd him to deliver it to me, and told him I had an information it was stolen. He deliver'd it, I took it to Mr. Harding's. ( The glass produc'd in court.)

Prosecutor. By the size and appearance, the silvering being off at a place on the bottom. I think it is mine.

Mrs. Loveless. It is about the size of ours, but being out of the frame it is difficult to speak with certainty.

Hadley's Defence.

I never was in the house, nor saw the gentleman in my life. I know nothing of the matter.

Harding's Defence.

I never was in the house, neither do I know any thing of the prosecutor.

For Harding.

Elizabeth Woolley . I have known Harding between four and five years, I never heard any thing ill of him before this.

John Glasoow . I have known Harding near two years. I never heard any thing ill of him in my life before this.

John Gray . I have known him about a year and three quarters, I never heard any body speak disrespectfully of him in my life.

Sarah Squires \. I have known him about two years, I nursed his wife while she lay in, and was there seven weeks. I never knew any ill of him in my life.

Both Guilty , Death .

There were two other indictments against them for crimes of the same nature.


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