JOHN ADSHEAD, BENJAMIN ALSWORTH, Theft > burglary, 3rd June 1772.

Reference Number: t17720603-5
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

420, 421. (1st. M.) JOHN ADSHEAD and BENJAMIN ALSWORTH were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Mary Bellamy , widow , on the 18th of May , about the hour of one in the night, and stealing a gauze sack and petticoat with silk and gold flowers, value 5 l. three silk sacks and petticoats, value 10 l. one silk night gown, value 40 s. one brocaded silk night gown, value 5 l. four yards of flowered muslin, value 10 s. one chased gold outside watch case, value 4 l. one base mettal etwee case, 2 s. a gilt base mettal spunge box, value 1 s. ten iron keys, value 2 s. and one silk houswif, value 1 s. the property of the said Mary Bellamy , four silk sacks and petticoats, value 10 l. and one silk night gown, value 20 s. the property of Ann Bellamy , spinster, in the dwelling house of Mary Bellamy , widow.

2 d. Count. for stealing the said goods in the dwelling house. +

Mrs. Mary Bellamy . I live in Newman Street, in the Parish of Marybone ; I was in the country; I was informed by my daughter and another lady that my house was broke open; on the Tuesday I came home, and on the Friday the house was locked up, and no one left in it whilst I was in the country; I came to town about two o'clock; I went up one pair of stairs into the back room; my bureau was broke open, but nothing was taken out of it; when I came down I found two great holes cut in the back parlour door; there were double doors, one was bolted, the other locked; the back kitchen door had one or two holes in it; the holes were made at the top and bottom, I suppose to enable them to undo the bolts; I went up to the two pair of stairs in the front room; I missed my wearing apparel out of a chest that was not locked; I lost eight sacks and five gowns; (repeats the things mentioned in the indictment) some were my daughter's; about half after four in the afternoon I came to town. I saw the clothes at Justice Cox's.

Q. How long had you been out of town?

Bellamy. A week; I intended to return in about a month.

Arabella Knight servant to Mrs. Bellamy produced the cloaths which she had delivered to her at the justice's, which she deposed were in the same condition now as when they were delivered to her.

Miss Ann Bellamy . I live with my mother in Newman Street; I was at a lady's house opposite my mamma's whilst my mother was out of town. I was informed on Tuesday the 19th of May, that my mother's house had been broke open; I went immediately to the house and missed a great quantity of clothes; the back kitchen door (which is the back door of the house) was open; there were two holes broke large enough to put a man's hand in; the holes were made just over the bolts, that was the back door of the house. There was in the back room a bureau and a clothes press broke open, but nothing was taken out; in the two pair of stairs front room all the things were taken out of the chest. These are the things that are produced; I lost four negligees and sacks and a night gown. I went directly to Mr. Cox's where I saw two bundles, one was opened, which I found contained several things of my mother's and mine; th e other bundle was not opened. I went down to my mother in the country; she was about four miles from home; she came up the Friday following.

Arabella Knight . I am servant to Mrs. Bellamy; my mistress went out of town on the 11th of May in the afternoon, I went with her; I fastened the fore part of the house from top to bottom, the windows and doors, and double locked the front door when I came out; I left the door of the two pair of stairs room forwards unlocked, but the windows were fast; there was a chest in that room unlocked. I came to town on Friday with my mistress, and found the house had been broke open; the back area door and the parlour had two holes in them. I know these clothes to be my mistress's; they were in a chest in the two pair of stairs room when we went into the country.

Robert Barnhill . I am servant to Mrs. Bellamy; I went out of town with my mistress on Monday the 11th of May, at four in the afternoon. I bolted both the bolts of the back area door, and double-bolted the back parlour door;

when we came to town again, I found the area door had been broke open; there were two holes made in the door, one at the top and the other at the bottom.

Q. Which side of the street is the house as you go from Oxford Road?

Barnhill. The right hand; it is next door to a gateway, so they must get over the wall into the garden, to come to the back of the house; the back parlour door was left shut, but two holes were cut in it.

William Bannister . I am a watchman in Pancras Parish; on Tuesday morning, the 19th of May, I saw the prisoners about a quarter after four come out of Windmill-street, Tottenham-court road, each of them had a bundle on his back; they crossed down on the left hand side towards Russel-street; Henry Green, a brother watchman, and I pursued them; we thought it was bedding, one was tied up in a blanket, the other in a coverlid; when we came to Russel-street corner, Emmington, a watchman of St. Giles's, was smoaking his pipe, I beckoned to him and he came up; I thought before we were not sufficient to seize them; Emmerton came up and we seized Alsworth at the corner of Russel-street; Adshead upon that threw down his bundle and ran up Russel-street, another watchman of St. Giles's pursued him, and he was stopt; we took Alsworth away to Giles's round-house; Adshead was brought in soon afterwards. Leadbetter searched Alsworth before Adshead came in; I don't know what he took out of his pocket, we opened the bundle in the public house; they were both secured then. The bundles contained all these cloaths and many more; we carried the clothes to Justice Cox's, and from thence we took them to the Justices Office in Litchfield-street. When we first stopt them and asked them what they had got there; Alsworth said, what is that to you? we asked them where they were going with them? they said they were their own property, and it was hard they should be stopt, that they were going to remove them to prevent their being seized.

Q. from Alsworth. Whether I did not say that if you would go along with me you should see where I lived?

Bannister. No; we insisted upon seeing what he had got before he went any further.

Henry Green . About a quarter after four o'clock, on the 19th of May, I saw two men coming up Windmill Street with a bundle upon each of their backs; I said to Bannister, here are two men moving their lodgings and carrying their beds away; he said we will see where they are going; they went down the road on the left hand side, till they came to the bottom of Russel-street; then Bannister went along side of them and hailed another watchman; they stopt them; I was behind; as soon as they had stopt Alsworth, Adshead run into St. Giles's buildings where he was stopt; I ran after him, and cried stop thief; I saw him go down Diot-street. Bannister and Emmington took Alsworth to the round house; I took the bundles to a public house, from whence we went with them to Mr. Cox's; we looked at them there, and then tied them up again; these are the things that were in the bundles.

Q. Did you hear either of them say any thing upon being stopt?

Green. I was not near enough to hear any thing. Benjamin Alsworth confessed that morning before the justice, that they came from the house in Newman-street, on the left hand of the gateway going through.

William Emmington . I am a watchman; about a quarter after four the 19th of May, I saw the two prisoners coming down Tottenham-court-road; I called my partner John Oldham to come to my assistance; I was standing near the Duke's-head, four or five doors this side of Russel-street, smoking my pipe; I told Oldham I thought it was some bedding coming down the road; he said step on and attack them, and I will be with you. Bannister made a sort of a signal to me to stop them; I had called to Oldham to stop them before he made that sign; I saw them at the distance of 200 yards before they came up. I stopt Adshead, and said, my friend, what have you got here? he immediately threw it down and ran away; I turned short round and caught Alsworth by the collar, and kept him fast till Bannister came to my assistance, and we took him to the round house; while we were examining his pockets, Adshead was brought in by Oldham and one Mitchell. Justice Cox heard of it, and he sent for us to his office; I saw the goods opened at the Duke's-head. These are some of the things.

Q. from Alsworth. Whether I did not ask you to go with me, and I would shew you where I was going with the things?

Emmington. I did not hear any such thing.

Alsworth. What did I say?

Emmington. He said he found them.

John Leadbetter . I searched both the prisoners a little after four o'clock in the round-house; I found these things upon Alsworth I think, I can't be sure in my hurry, I found them upon one or other of them (producing a gold watch case and an etwee case;) I found this center bit upon Alsworth; it is to bore holes with; that center bit directly fits the hole that is made in Mrs. Bellamy's doors.

Q. from Alsworth. Did you search us within side of the watch-house or without side?

Leadbetter. Within side.

Alsworth. Pray, my lord, ask some of the other witnesses that question.

Bannister again. He first insisted on searching him at the outside of the door; he pulled out some things before he went in and some more things afterwards.

Q. Did he search him in the inside or outside of the round-house?

Bannister. He began to search him on the outside, but searched him in the inside: Emmington held the hat inside the watch house, and Leadbetter put them into his hat as he took them out of his pocket.

Q. to Emmington. Was he within side or without side?

Bannister. I believe he attacked him outside the round-house, and it was put into my hat.

John Oldham . I am a watchman; I was off duty and was gone home in order to go to bed. I opened the window and I saw these men coming down the road; this man said John, here is some bedding coming down the road, I said if you will step to the corner (I live about two doors from the corner) and I will be with you in a minute; I came down as soon as I could; Adshead had thrown his bundle down; and was running; I pursued him into Diot-street, and called, stop thief! at last we came down opposite the Turk's-head, and in Charlotte-street the man secured him, and I went up and brought him back to where he threw the bundle down.

Q. Did you lose sight of him?

Oldham. Yes, turning the corner till the man stopt him. I am sure he is the same man; then he was searched inside the round-house, and the things taken from him by Leadbetter. I was not present when Alsworth was searched.

Alsworth's Defence.

I was a going up the street where the gentlewoman lives; I don't know the name of the street; two people came out of the fore door of the house, with a bundle; one stood on the other side of the way; I stopped, when they got the things they went through the passage that went up stairs and led me to a chapel; I and Adshead followed them; with that they put down their bundles, and stood some time; I said to Adshead, stand a little aside, for I believe they have stole these things; we did; they whispered one another; then they went away forty yards from these bundles; I believe we went up and looked at the bundles. I said where Mrs. Bellamy lived before Justice Cox, that the things might be found; I said we would carry them home; we took them on our backs; some things tumbled out of the bundles, Adshead put some of the things in his pocket, and I put some in mine; they are the things that have been produced in court. When we came down Tottenham-court-road that man laid hold of me; he asked me where I was going with the bundles; I said if he chose it he might go and see where I was going with them. Bannister watched me from the place till they stopt me.

Q. to Bannister. Did you see them pick the bundles up?

Bannister. No; I saw them upon their backs.

Adshead. I acknowledge myself guilty of the charge, and beg the mercy of the court; it is my first offence, and I am a young man.

Both Guilty . Death .

There were two other indictments against them for burglary.


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