Begun at the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday the 10th of December, 1679.
An Account of all the material Tryals there, &c.
With the Number and Names of the several persons condemn'd to die, and their particular Crimes. As also how many burnt in the hand, &c.
THe Sessions beginning at the Time and Place above-mentioned, where were present the Right Honourable the Lord Major, the Lord Chief-Justice of England, Sir Robert Atkins, Mr. Recorder, &c. After the Jury were Impannell'd and Sworn, they proceeded to the Tryal of several Malefactors; the most remarkable are these that follow.
A Fellow for stealing of a Silver-Tankard from the Adam & Eve , a Victualling-house in Jewen-street , on the Munday before the Lord Major's day, the manner thus: In the Evening he came in and called for Drink; but seeming to hide his Face, the Maid-servant of the house had some mistrust of him, and gave an Item thereof to her Master : but bringing the Drink in a Silver-Tankard, took more particular notice of him, which 'tis supposed he perceived, and therefore resolved to hasten his Exploits: For pulling a paper of Tobacco out of his Pocket, he bid her fetch Pipes, and as soon as she was gone, poured out the Drink, and with the Tankard got out of the Window; but made more haste than good speed: for he forgot and left his Tobacco on the Table, and the Paper it was in was a Petition to a Person of Quality, for some Pay due to him in such a Captains Troop, whereby his Name and those Circumstances being discovered, upon enquiry they found him out in the Strand. He stoutly denied that he was ever in the house, or so much as in Jewen-street these six years; and as to the Paper, that six weeks before this Theft he lost his Almanack, wherein was this Petition, and that some Rogue had found it, and stealing the Tankard, left it there to bring him into trouble. But the Maid swearing positively that he was the man, he was found guilty , and burnt in the hand .
Two women were indicted for stealing a Coat out of a shop, where she pretended to buy , and being pursued and taken, charged the next Woman she saw, that she had it from her, who thereupon had the trouble of a Tryal, as being supposed her Confederate; but appearing now to be a stranger, she was acquitted ; and the other found guilty not onely of this, but another Indictment likewise; for stealing a Gown .
woman was prosecuted by, one she had formerly lived with, for stealing a Gold-Ring set with a Ruby, value 14 l. a Silver Plate, and some other things . The Prosecutor and his Witnesses were Jew s, and so were sworn on the Pentateuch; the things were taken on the Prisoner, who to excuse her self from being a Thief, acknowledged her self to be a Whore, and told a scandalous story, that the things were privately given her upon a Debauch, &c. Which not being regardable, she was found Guilty .
A Man of a very suspicious conversation was tax'd for Clipping of Money , and there were not a few violent presumptions against him; a Vintners man swore, that he had often exchang'd clipt Money for broad, and that once he gave him 4 l. 4 s. for 4 l. for twelve pence in the pound he would allow at any time. And that he saw him rubbing the edges of a new-clipt Half-Crown: Others had received much Clipt-money of him, and he had desired them to let him have large pieces for small, &c. But all this not amounting to any positive Proof, he got off .
The matter of greatest value in question this Forenoon, was a late Servant to Squire Hooker , who by false Keys had at several times stollen many Hundred Pounds from his Master ; and not content therewith, descended to steal Napkins, and at last a Pocket-Handkerchief , which being found out by the marks, he was charged with all the rest, though before not suspected, and at last above 1000 l. found where he had hid it. He could not but in effect confess the Fact, and so without examining further circumstances was Convicted .
On Wednesday in the afternoon, there was onely one fellow tryed, but upon two Indictments, both for stealing Tankards out of several Victualling-houses about Convent-garden . The first he took away after the old method , calling for Drink, and whilst the peoples backs were turn'd, slip away with it. But as for the second he had a cunninger sham: For coming into Company where one at least knew him, their Tankard being almost out, he tasted, and seemed to be in a rage, because they had not drawn him all Ale, which he swore was his onely Drink; and so snatcht up the Tankard and went away with it down stairs, as pretending to give order for such Liquor as he lov'd, but went away with the Tankard; but it being by chance missed very soon after, the rest of the Company several ways pursued him, and took him. He was found guilty , and seemed to be in so weak and sickly a condition, that he was scarce able to go or stand.
A Servant-maid was found guilty for stealing a Diamond-Ring and a Locket, and other things of value , which she ran away with; but being afterwards apprehended, confest the Fact, and acquainted her Master where she had sold them.
A Watch-maker [John Parker] was convicted of High-Treason, for Counterfeiting of Guineys ; which was positively prov'd against him by one that had been of his Gang, and swore that he had divers times seen him do it. He had likewise drove a Trade in forging of Duckatoons, and other Forreign Money; but that being none of the Kings Coyn, he was not charged therewith at present, but onely for the false Guineys which he had made, offered, and put off, to the great abuse and defraudment of his Majesties Subjects. He made a very resolute and subtle defence for himself; but the matter was evident. Another person was indicted with him, but not much material proved against him, onely that he tendred to put off two naughty Guineys, which he alleadged he had of the other Prisoner (who did not disown the same;) So that he was acquitted .
Then followed a famous Tryal of a Country-man, living at Edgher in Middlesex, charged with the Murder of his Wife . There were many strong presumptions against him; as, that they lived untowardly together; that he had threatned her of late, in case she did not comply with his humour to part with some Estate which he could not dispose of without her. Nor was the manner of her death less suspitious: For he takes her with him on horse-back to Barnet, under some pretences,
The next day the same persons, by name John Dell and Richard Dean , were tryed for another Murther committed on Daniel Ball , his late Wives Father , a person of Eighty years of age.'Twas proved, that when the old man went thither to live, he expressed his fears that Dell would do him some mischief; that Dell had prevail'd with him to make over all his Estate to him; and frighting him with danger of Arrests, though he ow'd no man, perswaded him to go to lie at Dean's, where he dies (as they say) without any body being by, and so is put into a Coffin, bespoke by Dell before he was dead; who also hired a Coach for thirty shillings to come about midnight and bring him to London, where privately they interr'd him at the Savoy; and all this secrecy, to prevent the Corps being, forsooth, arrested: But when at the Inne, where the Coach put in at in the Strand, they were told they must have the Searchers, Dell was very unwilling, saying to the Coach-man, there was Blood settled in his face, &c. and perhaps they might make a great business; and therefore he had a good minde to carry it back again: but at last he admitted the Searchers, who slightly looking on him, return'd, That he died of an Impostume, with divers other odde things, and contradictions of the two Prisoners in their several Tales. Yet all being still but Circumstances, they were acquitted of this too, as they had also been about a year ago for the Murder of Mrs. Dell's own Brother, a Tanner, whose body was found in Red-lion-fields.
owner swore she was stoln such a time from him in Hartfordshire; a man and his wife swore, and prov'd by a Copy of the Toll-book, that soon after they bought the same Mare of Dean at such a Fair for twenty six shillings, and that afterwards Dean being questioned, his great friend Mr. Dell owned and declared that it was his Mare, and that he employed him to sell her: And therefore it appearing that they were such bad people, and Confederates, they were both on this found guilty ; God ordering it, that however they brazened out other Crimes, yet they should not at last escape Divine Vengeance.
One Benjamin Penry , a notorious High-way man, was found guilty of a Felony for stealing a Pistol and two Holland-shirts: the same being found in his Lodging, and it appearing that it was a Robbery on the High-way on Bagshot heath , (where four of them rifled a Coach, and endangered the Passengers Lives by shooting at them) he was likewise Condemned to die .
A wench living at Islington confessing herself with Child seven Months, being put out of her service for that reason, going to her Mothers at Chiswick for about ten or twelve days, returns and offers her service again: whereupon being questioned, owned she had had a Child, and that her Mother had buryed it, &c. For which she and her Mother were Indicted for Murder , but acquitted .
There were in all Eleven persons, six men and five women, that received Sentence of Death, whose Names and Crimes are as follow.
For several Felonies, being old Offenders.
There were also Thirteen burnt in the hand, amongst which was Wood, who robbed his Master of neer 1500 l. And Five ordered to be transported.