Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 16 April 2014), December 1780, trial of JOHN NIXON (t17801206-9).

Theft > burglary, 6th December 1780.

10. JOHN NIXON was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Thomas White , on the 22d of October , about the hour of eight in the night, with intent the goods of the said Thomas White to steal .

THOMAS WHITE sworn.

I am an housekeeper in Liquorpond-street ; my house was broke open on Sunday the 22nd of October, between seven and eight o'clock; I have a wife and two children, and a girl and boy servants; my brother at that time lodged with me. On Sunday evening as I was sitting in the room up stairs, I heard a rumbling noise down in the shop; I went down and found the partition that goes down into the cellar broke; I immediately saw that the boards were wrenched off that parted the cellar and the back part of this lumber place; I looked down where the boards were wrenched off and saw an hat lying; I sent one of my boys to bring one of my men, the neighbours were alarmed and they came. I have three cellars, we searched and found the prisoner in the coal cellar, he lay piled up together like a dog. We asked him if he had any accomplices? He said he would be buggered if he impeached any body. We took him to New Prison, and the next morning to the justice, and there he said, if I had let him alone two hours longer he would have done me.

Did you observe any part of the house that was broke open? - He said he got in by wrenching up the slap of the cellar window; there was no mark of violence to be seen on the outside, the slap was shut down again; there is a slap and two folding doors with a bar across, the dog of the slap was out of order, and I found it bent; I did not know before that it was very easy to get it up; when they had got into the cellar they wrenched down a board to get into the shop; the cellar where they got in was under the place where I live.

JONATHAN PORTER sworn.

I live about three doors from Mr. White; on Sunday the 22d of October, about nine o'clock I was going by Mr. White's, and I saw Robinson the soldier pull the prisoner out of the cellar; the partition where there is a sliding-door that has a communication with the shop was broke open.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

My father turned me out of doors, I had no where to lie, I saw this cellar open and went down there to sleep.

NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron PERRYN .