Thomas Head, Theft > theft from a specified place, 13th September 1758.

Reference Number: t17580913-21
Offence: Theft > theft from a specified place
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

278. (M). Thomas Head was indicted for stealing six Portugal pieces, one moidore, two quarters of a moidore, 21 guineas, 4 half guineas, and 13 s 6 d in money, numbered, the money of John and George Russel , in the dwelling-house of the said John , July 29 . +

John Russel . My son George and I are partners, I live in Cow-cross, beyond Porter's Block. I am a soap-maker , the prisoner was my servant about a fortnight or three weeks.

Q. Did he lodge in your house?

John Russel . No, he lodg'd over the way.

Q. In what did you employ him?

John Russel . He was employ'd in labouring business, in my way, where we make our soap. We miss'd the money laid in the indictment on Thursday morning, about 9 or 10 o'clock, the 20th of July.

Q. Give an account what pieces?

John Russel . There were 21 guineas, 4 half guineas, six 36 s. pieces, one moidore, and, I think, two 6 and 9 s. pieces, and a six-pence: in the whole 37 l. all in gold, but one six pence; the rest were halfpences.

Q. Where was this money missing from?

John Russel. It was missing from out of my desk in the compting-house, which is in my dwelling-house.

Q. Was the desk lock'd?

John Russel . I think it was.

Q. Was the compting-house-door lock'd?

John Russel . No, it was not.

Q. When did you see this money last?

John Russel . We put it in just a little before dark.

Q. Did you miss it first?

John Russel. No, son missed it first; his name is George. We apprehended it to be done by some body-belonging to us; we saw the appearance of a knife being put into the desk, to force it open: the prisoner being suspected, we borrowed his knife of him, and compared it to the marks on the desk, and they seem'd to agree; then we had his lodgings search'd, and the money was found, and brought to me; there were some halfpences missing. They brought it in the same bag that we put it in.

Q. Who searched the lodgings?

John Russel . James Russel and Peter Thorn . The prisoner was taken before justice Fielding, the money was produc'd; the justice asked him, whose money it was? he said, it was my property; he also owned the taking of it.

George Russel . I was present when this money was put into the desk; I told it out, and put it there. There was the same quantity that my father speaks of. On the Thursday morning I found the desk open, and missed the money; I observed the desk to be cut with a knife, I borrowed the prisoner's knife, and found it to fit the place; then I sent my brother and another person to search his lodging; they went, and soon returned with the money; after that, we sent for an officer and charged him. He said, he found the gates open that go into our work-house, and came in, and so to the counting-house, between 11 and 12 at night: he tried to cut a hole, but, in trying, found it loose; so he thought it was easier to break the lock, than cut a hole; so he broke it open, and took the money, and carried it to his lodgings, and went to bed, and the next morning he came to work.

Peter Thorn . I was along with James Russel , in searching the prisoner's lodging; we found the bag of gold on the tester of the bed, and a handkerchief of halfpence. (Produced in court.)

John Russel . This bag that the gold is in is the very bag that the gold was in when in our desk, our property.

Thorn. In this bag are the same pieces of money that Mr. Russel had mentioned to have been taken away, before we found it. I asked the prisoner, whether he did it, and how he could be guilty of such a thing to so good a master? He said, it is the first offence that ever I did; that he would have cut a hole through the desk, but finding the lock loose, he broke it open

James Russel . I was along with the last witness at the finding of this money in the prisoner's lodging, on the tester of his bed.

William Wyate . I heard the prisoner confess, that he went into the compting-house about 11 o'clock, but could not tell the time to half an hour, and took the money.

Thomas Husford . I examined the prisoner, and asked him, if that money was his master's property? He said, it was; he said, he came in at night through the great gates into the house.

Prisoner's defence.

I know nothing at all about the money; I went to bed about 10 o'clock, and did not get up till 6.

Guilty Death .


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