PETER M'CLOUD, Theft > burglary, 29th April 1772.

Reference Number: t17720429-8
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

324. (2d M.) PETER M'CLOUD was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Joseph Hankey , Esq ; on the 10th of April, about the hour of one in the night, and stealing a sash-window screw made of iron and brass, value 1 s. the property of the said Joseph Hankey , Esq; in his dwelling-house .

A second count charges him with breaking and entering the said dwelling-house with intent to steal.

[The witnesses were examined apart, at the request of the prisoner.]

Mr. Hankey. I live at Poplar . On the night of Friday the 10th of April I was waked out of

my sleep by some noise. I lay some time; but, not hearing any thing, I concluded the wind had blown some rubbish from the scaffold, as my house was repairing. The nurse came into the room for something for the child; then I thought it was she that I had heard. Presently I heard more noise. I waked Mrs. Hankey, and told her my suspicion that the house was beset, and desired she would not be alarmed. I rested about five minutes; then I heard a pane of glass break with amazing force, enough to wake any person in the house. I ran from the bed, opened my door, and went softly down stairs in my shirt, I had no weapons. I stopped on the middle of the stair-case, to see if I could discover any thing; but I could not. I stopped there about twenty seconds, and then heard the skrew of the window unscrew and draw out of the nut. I thought it would be best to get to the street-door, and then I could alarm the neighbourhood, and might perhaps be able to secure one of them. I went immediately to the street-door. From the time of breaking the glass to my opening the door was but half a minute, or little more. Upon my opening the door, the prisoner and another jumped from the top of the rails where they stood immediately against the window that was broke open; and as they jumped from the rails, I jumped down the steps. They kept about a yard and a half asunder. I took the prisoner about fifteen yards from the house. He threw me down, and hurt me; but I never quitted my hold, but rolled over him. He called out for his comrade, Peter, come to my assistance; he called many times, but Peter never came back. I called out for help, after having had hold of him five minutes; I called out to my opposite neighbour Mr. Keeler, but he did not come down: at last one John West came to my assistance. The prisoner said he had not been attempting my house. I said, see what you have done, the window is broke open. The lowermost middle pane in the uppermost sash was broke, the window was down, I had not given him time to get the sash up. Mrs. Hankey and the servants came down; and we carried him into the house. I put my cloaths on, and then we carried him to the watch-house for that night; and the next morning we took him before Justice Sherwood.

Eleanor Wollaston . I am servant to Mr. Hankey. I fastened the window over-night, pushed the sash up, and skrewed the upper sash to the under.

John West . I live across the road from Mr. Hankey's. I heard Mr. Hankey call out, and came to his assistance. Mr. Hankey was struggling with the prisoner; he bid me hold him fast, which I did; he got a light, and came out and saw that the window-shutter and the glass had been broke.

Q. to Mr. Hankey. How soon after you apprehended the man, did you examine the window?

Mr. Hankey. I believe in about two minutes. I heard the prisoner call out Peter when I was in the room; I searched him in a few minutes after I had him in my house; he had this blunt, white-handled knife, and a small crow, upon him, (producing them).

Mrs. Ann Hankey . I went to bed about half an hour after ten the night before our house was broke; I saw the maid secure the windows, and I tried the screw of the shutters, and every thing was safe and fast; I always see to the fastening myself; I examined the window when I got up, and the pane above the skrew was broke, and the screw was gone.

Q. Was there room for a person to put his hand into the window, and take the screw out?

Mrs. Hankey. Yes.

Q. Was you by when the prisoner was searched?

Mrs. Hankey. I was not.

William Mason . I received this screw of Thomas Cole (producing it) on Saturday the 11th of April, between the hours of three and four in the afternoon, and have had it in my custody ever since.

Thomas Cole . I gave this screw to Mr. Mason; I found it between six and seven in the morning the house was broke open, in the street, about thirty yards from the window.

Mr. Hankey. This is the same sort of screw that was in my window, and I believe it to be the same. This is the nut, (producing it). I have taken it out of the window, and the screw fits it exactly.

Q. to Cole. Where did you find it?

Cole. About thirty yards from the window, towards the Smith's shop.

Mr. Hankey. That is the way I saw the prisoner's accomplice go.

Thomas Hurst . I am head-borough; I was called up about one o'clock, and the prisoner was in hold at the watch-house; I found this knife and small crow.

William Keeler . I found this chissel ( producing a large chissel) on Saturday morning, about eight or ten yards from Mr. Hankey's

house, about five o'clock. I saw Hunter pick up another.

- Hunter. I found this chissel (producing a large iron chissel) near Mr. Hankey's, about five o'clock in the morning, as I was going to work.

William Stamford . I was going to my labour. As I came by the watch house on the 11th of April, I looked through the bars; some man said to the prisoner you are a pretty sort of a lad to have a roll and tumble with Mr. Hankey; he smiled at it, and said, if I had known as much then as I do now, I would have had his life if I could.

Francis Sellon . I saw the prisoner at the watch house the morning he was taken, he pulled a great knife out of his pocket and said it was a pity he had not time to get it out of his pocket, or he would have snigasneed him.

Prisoner. Please too look at the knife and see if it is fit for such a thing, the edge is an inch thick.

Wm. Pemberton . I saw the prisoner in custody at the watch-house, he took out a knife with a broad blade and white handle, and said it was a pity he could not get it out, or he would have snigasneed him. (This is the knife.)

Q. to Mr. Hankey. Do you know the prisoner's age?

Mr. Hankey. His father said he was 17 or 18 years old.

Prisoner's Defence.

I went down to Gravesend on board the Marquis of Rockingham to see my cousin, I stopt at Blackwall, being a strong flood; just as I came by this gentleman's door, there was a parcel of men running along, the gentleman laid hold of me, and charged me with breaking his house open; Mr. Hankey said the lower pane of the upper sash was taken out: Mrs. Hankey said it was the upper.

Court. Mrs. Hankey corrected herself.

Q. to Mr. Hankey. Are you sure the prisoner is one that jumped from the window?

Mr. Hankey. I never lost sight of him.

Prisoner. That little crow belongs to Thomas Ives , he lent it me to look at.

For the Prisoner.

Thomas Ives . I am a ballast trimmer. I never gave this crow to the prisoner; I have seen it in his custody; I saw him have it three or four days before this affair.

Prisoner. That crow is not fit to break open a house, the pewterers use it in making pewter pots, I never had it for any such thing as that.

Guilty . Death .

See him tried for a Burglary, No. 200, in the present mayoralty.


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