James Ford, William Miller, Thomas Crookhall, Peter Graham, Theft > burglary, Theft > burglary, Theft > burglary, Theft > receiving, Theft > burglary, Theft > receiving, 25th April 1770.

Reference Number: t17700425-5
Offences: Theft > burglary; Theft > burglary; Theft > burglary; Theft > receiving; Theft > burglary; Theft > receiving
Verdicts: Not Guilty; Not Guilty; Guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death; Transportation

221, 222, 223, 224. (M. 1st) James Ford, otherwise Dunn , William Miller , and Thomas Crookhall were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Bulley , Esq ; on the 3d of March, about the hour of one in the night, and stealing four silver table spoons, value 10 s. eleven silver tea spoons, value 20 s. seven copper candlesticks, plated with silver, value 40 s. a watch, with a gold box and metal case, value 40 s. and twenty-one guineas, the property of the said John, in his dwelling-house , and Peter Graham , for receiving the same, well knowing them to have been stolen , March 4 . *

The prosecutor's house is in Brewer's-street, Golden-square : the house being broke and goods taken away, was proved by the prosecutor and his servant, who made all fast over night. The only evidence to the fact, was John Colby , an accomplice, who deposed, he and Crookhall only broke the house, went in, and took the things mentioned: th at Ford and Miller were not to be found when he came out: that he flung the candlesticks into a pond behind Montague house, and sold the rest of the plate to Peter Graham's house-keeper, who lived then on Salt-petre Bank, and heard Crookhall divided the money between themselves; but there being no evidence of credit to corroborate his testimony, the prisoners were all four acquitted .

(M. 1st) They were all four a second time indicted; the first three for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Henry Tracy , Esq ; on the 10th of March , about the hour of one in the night, and stealing five silver table spoons, value 20 s. six silver tea spoons, value 5 s. a silver soup spoon, value 5 s. two copper candlesticks, plated with silver, value 20 s. the property of the said Henry, in his dwelling-house ; and Peter Graham for receiving the table spoons, tea-spoons, and soup spoon, well knowing them to have been stolen .

The Prosecutor's house is in Conduit-street ; his servant, Thomas Burch , proved all was safe over night, and found broke in the morning, and the goods mentioned taken away.

Colby deposed, he broke the house and went in, and took the things mentioned; and when he brought them out, the prisoners were not there; he belived the watchman had drove them away, and that he went and sold the things to a woman at Graham's, not his wife; but his evidence not being supported by any other witness of credit, they were all four acquitted .

(M. 2d) They were a third time indicted, the first three for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Martin Yorke , Esq; on the 12th of March , about the hour of one in the night, and stealing fourteen silver table spoons, ten silver tea-spoons, six silver desert spoons, a silver soup spoon, four silver sauce spoons, a silver tea-strainer, a pair of silver tea-tongs, four silver salt sellers, four silver salt spoons, two silver half-pint mugs, a silver cream pot, three pair of silver candlesticks, two pair of metal ditto, a silver coffee-pot, a silver sauce-pan, a silver fish trewel, a silver stove dish and cover, five silver waiters, four silver butter boats, a silver cup, a silver bread basket, a silver punch ladle, a silver punch strainer, two silver sugar basons and covers, two small silver candlesticks, a pair of silver snuffers, and two filligree essence boxes, the property of the said Martin, in his dwelling-house , and Peter Graham for receiving the same, well knowing the same to have been stolen, in the whole laid to the value of 147 l. 12 s. ++

Martin Yorke , Esq ; I was out of town at the time of this robbery. I had plate in the house to the amount of 400 l. a day or two before. I have carefully inspected the indictment, and knew I had such plate as mentioned there in my house. It was kept in a small room on the stair-case, in a large chest made on purpose to contain plate. I did not hear of it till the Tuesday in the afternoon: then I came to town. I found the house in great confusion; the shutter of the kitchen window broke, I believe with a chissel: there was the mark of a chissel on it. The bolt of the shutter had been cut through, or broke. It was parted in the middle. The door that shuts the kitchen from the back part of the house, one of the upper pannels had been cut to pieces, and taken out, in order to come at a bar on the inside. I found a cabinet, up one pair of stairs, had been broke. The cupboard, where the plate was kept, was broke, and every thing scattered about. A friend of mine had applied to Sir John Fielding before I came to town, and had sent two women, who, I was informed, had seen Miller near my house: on which the prisoners were apprehended. I was present at their examination before Justice Welch, but do not recollect any thing material.

Mary Simpson . I live servant with Major Yorke in Grosvenor-square , at the corner of Upper-Brooke-street. The house was broke six weeks ago last Tuesday morning. I fastened all the windows, and the door, and the area door, and gate, and the kitchen window. I went to bed a little after eleven on the Monday night; every thing was safe then. There were only me, the house-maid, and a little girl in the house. I heard no disturbance all night. The house-maid went down about seven; she and I went down almost together: I went into the butler's pantry, and saw all the plate was gone. I found a pannel of the kitchen door cut, and the bar taken down, and the sash of that window shoved up: the bolt of the window was cut in two; the shutters shut to on the outside, and bolt within. The area gate was broke open. I found they went out at the street door. The butler's drawer was broke: there was the mark of a chissel in several places, in all the places that were broke. I found two chissels on the dresser in the kitchen. They had taken down the tinder-box: I found that and some matches upon a chair in the kitchen: there was no tinder in the box, so they could not get a light there. The house-keeper's room was broke open, and three locks broke in that room. The top of the bureau was broke, and all the writings upon the floor; they took a gold ring and a breast-buckle from thence.

Peter Gobey . I am butler. I locked the pantry up before I went into the country, and put the plate in the plate chest. I am not able to say the chest was locked. I had been but a little while at that place, and had not seen the key. I locked the pantry door in which the chest stood, and took the key with me: there was in the chest most of the plate laid in the indictment ( mentioning them.)

Prosecutor. The filligree boxes I brought from the East-Indies.

John Colby . Ford, Crookall, and Miller, were with me in this robbery. On the Monday, before I went into Hyde-park, coming back by this house, I saw some plate in the window: Crookall said to me, There is a good deal of plate in that

house: then we fixed upon that house to come to in the night. At night we met all four of us, and set out from the Boot in Cross-lane about twelve o'clock; I there told the other two of it. I told them I was going to Grosvenor-square, to a house there, where was a good deal of plate: we found the iron gate locked. I had a chissel in my pocket, and one of them had another: I put in mine and wrenched the gate open. I then went down and got the farther window open, by putting the chissel under it; it gave way a little; then I put my fingers under it and got it open. I hoisted up the sash, and got in at the window. There was nobody with me: they were up at the top of the stairs. I went into the kitchen; there was a parrot cage. I called up to the window to give me a light. There was no fire in the grate. I found a tinder-box, but there was no tinder in it. I strove to strike on the brimstone matches, but could not get fire. Crookall brought me a light; he went to put it in under the shutters and the draught of air put the candle cut: he was about a quarter of an hour in bringing it. After that I waited a good while and nobody brought a light. I got out at the window, and found the bit of candle. I took it, and went and lighted it myself at a lamp, about fifty yards from the house. Then I went in, and up stairs with the candle, and opened the kitchen door; Crookhall went in with me. I had opened a little door out of the kitchen that came into the area: we could find nothing in the kitchen of any value. I tried the kitchen door and could not open it; then I took a knife from the dresser and cut a pannel out; there was a bar went cross the door that shot in with a spring; I put my hand in and felt something move. I shoved the spring on one side and the bar came out; then Crookhall and I went out of the kitchen into a room on the left hand, where was some china; then there was another bureau desk we broke open, out of which we took a breast-buckle and a ring: then we came back again. There was a little pantry like; I know not whether it was locked or not; Crookhall had got it open before I came to it; there was some silver, but I am not certain what. Then we went up stairs; going up we went into a parlour where were books: we could find nothing there, nor in the back parlour. Then we went up stairs, and found a place with empty drawers; there were some ivory things; we did not touch any thing there. Coming down, upon the kitchen stairs, there was a closet, and a window upon the top; Crookhall looked in and saw something shine; I put my back to it, and he shoved against me; and when the door opened I fell down: there was a small waiter upon the dresser, and another plate, I cannot say what: there was a small chest stood upon another chest: we took it off and put it on the ground, and opened the chest. I do not know whether we broke it open, or whether it was not locked. There was a great deal of plate in it; very large plate, butter-boats, sauce-boats, a large waiter, spoons, a punch ladle; the candlesticks stood in a little closet on the right hand: we broke open the cupboard and took all we found, and put them into a green cloth which Crookhall brought there: we carried them down and laid the parcel on the floor; the cloth would not hold it all; then I went and found a woman's gown hanging on a peg; I put the rest into that; then we came up stairs and opened the street door and went out; the other two prisoners were there; they asked what we had got; I said a good deal of plate; we were in the house about three quarters of an hour. We went to Piccadiily and got a coach, and told the man we were going to Tower-hill, and bid him make haste, fearing the waggons should be gone, as the things we had were to go out of town. We all four got into the coach, and got out on Tower-hill; then I went to Graham's at Salt-peter-bank, which is about half a mile from Tower-hill; I had had dealings with him before. Then Crookhall came after me and brought the plate; the others came; we all went in. The plate was carried up stairs. I went up; the other three staid below. There were a pair of scales brought and the plate was weighed; it weighed three hundred and thirty-three ounces. He gave us 3 s. 6 d. an ounce for it, it came to 60 l. he paid 54 l. and left 6 l. remaining. It was put upon a bed. I laid myself on a bed and fell asleep. I do not know how it was taken away. I staid there about an hour, or an hour and a half. The money was not paid till after I awaked: then I called them up and threw the money down upon the table; it came to 15 l. each: we have not received the other 6 l. yet. We all went away together.

Mary Jackson . I am a washer woman. I was going to wash at Lord Shastesbury's; it is six weeks ago last Tuesday morning; that is the fourth door cross from Major Yorke 's door to the other side of the way; Mary Lane was with me. I have known Miller ever since he was two years old. He came up to Mary Lane; he took out

a piece of candle; the snuff I saw was very low, He said, Good woman, will you be kind enough to let me light a candle? He was a pretty while in lighting it, which made me have the more time to look at him. I said to Lane, Lord bless me! I knew this young man from a child, his name is William Miller . He had a small hat and a red cloth coat on, and a neckcloth about his neck. He took his hat and put it over his face. Mary Lane said, if you are going a long way, you will have a difficulty to carry your candle. He said, I am going a good way. He came from the front door of Major Yorke 's house. I saw him come off the steps. As soon as he had parted we crossed the way. We met a couple of young men, and after that two more; they came towards Lord Shaftesbury's. One of them asked Mary Lane, what it was o'clock? She said, About half an hour after one. Then the other said, Come along: that was Ford, otherwise Dunn. The person that asked what o'clock it was, I did not know. Ford had been making water, and was putting up his breeches. Then we went to Lord Shaftesbury's, and was a pretty while before the butler let us in. Then Dunn came to Lord Shaftesbury's door, and made a stop and looked at me, so I saw him twice. Then he went back towards Major Yorke 's. He came singing all the way. Here are the two chissels; they were delivered to me at justice Welch's, to produce here. (Produced in court.)

Mary Lane. I met a young man that night; he asked me to light a candle at my lanthorn. I said, if he had far to go, he would not keep it alight. He said, he had a pretty way to go. Mary Jackson said, she knew him from a child, and that his name was Miller. I saw two men after that; one was doing his breeches up.

Mary Wilson . I am a washer-woman. It is six weeks ago last Tuesday, I was going to Lord Shaftesbury's to wash. I met Miller, (I knew him before) he came from Major Yorke 's door. I am not quite certain that he came from the steps of the door. He asked my partner to light his candle. I said, What do you want with a candle at this time of the morning? He said, to go to his lodging.

John Kenney . I know Miller, Crookhall, Dunn, and Graham.

Q. Do you know Colby the evidence?

Kenney. I do, he lives on Saltpeter-bank. Six or seven weeks ago, between four and five in the morning, I saw Colby and Crookhall come there, (I lodged there then) I was up in a one pair of stairs room; they called me up, and asked me to let them light a candle. There was a bundle on Graham's bed, it would not go into a peck measure. Colby and Crookhall went up stairs. I was called up stairs. Graham's wife asked me if I would carry a basket for her; I said, Yes. I carried it into the Minories some where; she went with me; it was a fish-basket; she used to sell fish. It was near half a hundred weight. What was in the basket was tyed up in a coarse cloth. When I came back again I saw Miller; in carrying it my head went through the bottom of the basket. I was obliged to bear it on my shoulder. I heard some jingling in it like plate. Before I got to the house in the Minories somebody called, Morea! (I served a Man of that name, and have gone by that name ever since.) I imagine that was Graham that called me.

Ford's Defence.

A young man asked me if I would spend four-pence halfpenny; I was going home, it was late. Colby and Crookhall met me. Miller said, if I was locked out, I should lie along with him. They brought me into Grosvenor-square. He stopped to ease himself; I staid and talked with him; Colby and Crookhall went away, and I saw them no more.

Miller's Defence.

When I was first taken up, I was brought before Mr. Welch; these washer-women were there. Mr. Welch seeing me have a golden guinea, he said, if I would back Colby's evidence, he would make that one guinea ten, and the washer-women should say nothing about me, and I should have my liberty if I would come and give evidence next sessions; and if I would not back his evidence, he would send me to Newgate, and bind these people to prosecute me. I am as innocent as the child unborn.

Crookhall's Defence.

I was evidence against this Colby and John Underwood last sessions. I went and surrendered myself up to justice Welch. One morning since, I met Colby; he asked me, what business I had to be an evidence against him? I said, I did not chuse to go on in that way any longer. He took me up to his room. Sir John Fielding 's men came and took us to the Brown Bear , opposite Sir John's house, from there to Covent-Garden Round -house. He was committed to Bridewell, and I to the Round-house. Colby has done this out of spite, in order to take my life away.

Miller's Defence.

Here is the foreman of the shop where I was at work the time of this robbery.

Graham's Defence.

I should be glad if Colby will say whether he sold me the plate or not. I never paid him a farthing of money in my life.

To Ford's Character.

Tho. Mills . Ford is a plaisterer . I have known him about a year and a half. He bore a good character till this affair.

Isaac Armstrong . I have known him seven or eight years; he served his time to my brother. He behaved very well then.

George Adley . I have known him four years and a half. He bore an honest character.

John Lemant . I have known him a year and a half; he was an honest good servant.

John Hillier . I have known him between two and three years; I never knew him in trouble before.

Peter Caswell . I never heard any thing amiss of him.

Geo. Wagstaff . I have known him two years and a half. I took him to be a sober honest lad.

Tho. Wild . I have known him a year. I never knew any thing of him but that of a harmless man.

Will. Greenhill . I have known him four years. He always bore a good character.

James Patterson . I have known him about a year. I never heard any thing bad of him before this.

For Miller.

Samuel Haxon . Miller was a turn-over to me; I am a carver. He behaved extremely well.

John Gibbons . I knew Miller ever since he came from his first master. I never heard any thing ill of him in my life.

Crookhall. I have no witnesses here.

Graham. Mine are all gone home.

Ford, Miller, and Crookhall; Guilty Death .

Graham, Guilty T. 14 .

See Crookhall an evidence against Murphy, No. 119 in this mayoralty. The person there by the name Colbeck, is the evidence Colby.

See Graham tried before, No. 143, 578, in Mr. Alderman Turner's, and No. 10, in this mayoralty. See him an evidence against Bagnall, No. 467. And see them both tried for a burglary, No. 477, in Mr. Alderman Harley's mayoralty:


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