Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 31 October 2014), September 1801, trial of JOSEPH DAVIS THOMAS HEAD ESTHER HEAD (t18010916-41).

JOSEPH DAVIS, THOMAS HEAD, ESTHER HEAD, Theft > burglary, 16th September 1801.

668. JOSEPH DAVIS , THOMAS HEAD , and ESTHER HEAD , were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Crabb , about the hour of eight in the night of the 15th of August , with intent to steal, and feloniously stealing two coats, value 4l. three waistcoats, value 9s. a pair of breeches, value 10s. a silk gown and coat, value 20s. a bombasine gown and coat, value 16s. three muslin gowns, value 3l. 10s. a cotton gown, value 10s. a muslin petticoat, value 15s. two petticoats, value 10s. a shawl, value 2s. six neck-handkerchiefs, value 6s. two child's frocks, value 20s. three shirts, value 10s. a bedquilt, value 5s. a breakfast-cloth, value 6d. and a table-cloth, value 5s. the property of Samuel Chivers , in the said dwelling-house.

ANN CHIVERS sworn. - I live at Mr. Crabb's, No. 43, Old-street : The back-room door is in the passage, I locked it about eight o'clock in the evening, I was called into my shop and left the room safe; in five or six minutes after, a girl came in for change for a seven-shilling-piece, I gave it her, and after she was gone, I found it was a bad one; I was lamenting the loss, when Esther Head came in, and asked me what she owed me; I told her I could not tell, as I was in a flurry, having taken a bad seven-shilling piece; she asked me if I should know the girl, I said, I should; she asked me if I would go with her, and look for her; I went out of the door, when she took my hand, and hitched it upon her arm, and we went quite the contrary way to what the girl went; she said, there is a girl of your description, but it was not her; she led me down Bunhill row, and begged me to have something to drink; I said I could not, and must put up with the loss; upon which she seemed very much against my going back, but we went back, and I found my acquaintance I had left in the shop; Esther Head still pressed me to know whatwas owing; I said I could not recollect, but still she kept me in discourse for sometime; I wanted something out of the back room, and directly she saw I was going there, she bade me good night, and went away; directly, a man came in, and asked me to let him look at a bad shilling; he stopped two or three minutes, then turned round, and said, it is a bad one; I immediately went into the back room, and found the things gone; I found the drawers open, and the counterpane off the bed; I lost the things in the indictment, and a great many more; I had a letter from some unknown person to take up Davis, which I did; the night before, Head and his wife were round my shop taking notice of it.

- THIMBLEBY sworn. - I am a pawnbroker: I produce a shirt which the prisoner, Davis, pawned on the 18th of August for five shillings; I knew him before. (The shirt was identified by Mrs. Chivers).

JOHN FARRER sworn. - I am a pawnbroker, and took in this table-cloth on the 17th of August of Elizabeth Davis; I knew her before. (The table-cloth was deposed to by Mrs. Chivers).

JOHN ARMSTRONG sworn. - I, in company with Ray and others, apprehended the prisoner Head and his wife on the 18th of August, at a house in Price's-court, Old-street; and on Thursday, the 20th of August, in company with Vickery and Mason, and a woman of the name of Jenner, I went to No. 20, Hatfield Place, in the Surry road, and in the room of a woman of the name of Austin this box was produced to me from under the bed; in it was this piece of cloth, which Mrs. Chivers says is her's, and these bags full of picklock keys, a dark lantern, a phosphorus box, a candle, and a large ripping chisel. (Produces them).(The piece of cloth was identified by Mrs. Chivers.)

MARY AUSTIN sworn. - My sister, Mary Jenner, brought that box to my room, when I was out, on Tuesday night, and it was found on the Thursday following; she gave no reason for bringing it, nor did I know what was in it.

MARY JENNER sworn. - I took the box out of the room where I lived with Mr. Davis, in Liquor-pond-street; it was empty, and I carried it over to my sister's.

Q. What did you carry it there for? - A. For safety.

Q. Did you know what was in it? - A. No.

Q. Who desired you to take it over? - A. I took it over of my own head.

Q. You took this box out of your room to your sister's for safety? - A. Yes.

Q. Who desired you to carry it away? - A.Joseph Davis.

Q. Did he bring the box into the room? - A. No; it was in the room before; it had been there a good while.

Who brought it there first? - A. I don't know; there were two boxes in the room before I went to him.

Q. Did Davis put any thing into the box? - A. I did not see him.

Q. Was it Davis's room? - A. Yes; he paid for it.

Q. Did you ever see the box open? - A. No; I did not know what was in it till the officers came; I do not know Head, and never saw him with Davis.

Q.(To Armstrong). Did you find any thing upon Thomas Head ? - A. Nothing, or in his apartments.

JOHN RAY sworn. - I was in company with Vickery and Armstrong on the 18th and 20th, and apprehended Davis and this girl; they were in bed together; there was nothing found on Head.

Davis. (To Jenner). Q. Did you not say before the Magistrate that you received those things of Mrs. Head on the Wednesday after the robbery was committed? - A. Yes, I did, in Old-street, upon some logs.

Court. Q.How came you to say you received them of her? - A. I did receive them of her.

Davis. Wednesday was the day after the robbery; on the Tuesday this man and woman were for examination, therefore they could not give her those things on the Wednesday.

Court. Q. You said you received them of Mrs. Head on the Wednesday on some logs in Old-street- where did you get them? - A. In Old-street, on some logs.

Q. Who was with her? - A. Nobody, only me and herself.

Q. Was that on the Wednesday? - A. I don't know rightly what day it was she came to my place; I took them home.

Q. Did Davis ever see those things? - A. No; he was not at home.

Q. When he did come home, did you show him the box? - A. I took it over to my sister's; he was not at home.

Q. Did Davis never see the box? - A. It stood in the room empty, on the top of another box.

Head. Q. What things did my wife give you on the Wednesday? - A. The dark lantern and keys, and other things; they were not in the box, they were in my lap.

Court. Q.What were they given to you for? - A. To take home.

Q.For what purpose? - A. I was to take them home, and put them in the box; Joseph Davis did not see them; and I took them to my sister's.

Q. Who gave you the piece of cloth that was in the box? - A. It was in the room, and I put it in the box; I did not see who brought it into the room.

Davis's defence. On Thursday morning, Ray,and three others, came to my apartments; I was not up; they said they had a warrant; I got up, and so did Mary Jenner; they looked every where, and found nothing but a horse-cloth, which they took, and said, I must go with them to the office with Mary Jenner ; I went, and left Jenner in company with Ray, Ferris, and another, to follow, on account of secresy; they came to the office, and we were both put at the bar together, but Armstrong came and took out Mary Jenner , and I was ordered to be put back; I saw no more of her till the second hearing; they produced a box, and Ray said, search him for the key, they did, but found done; I knew nothing of the box, I never was at her sister's, nor did I know where she lived; the shirt is my own, and if you will measure the wrist-bands, they will fit me, as I am a small man.

Head's defence. I live very near the prosecutor's house, and as to passing it, I am obliged to do so, as I have my beer from a house at the corner; my wife says, she knows nothing of it.

Jury. (To Jenner). Q. Did you know what was in the box when you took it out of Davis's room? - A. I took it out of Davis's room; there were two empty boxes.

Q. Did you know what was in it? - A. No, I did not; Davis was not at home.

Q. Did you ever see the piece of cloth before?- A. No.

Q. When you opened the box to put in the keys and the lantern, was there any cloth in it then? - A. Yes, I believe the cloth was in it.

Joseph Davis , GUILTY, Death , aged 36.

Of stealing in the dwelling, but not of the burglary .

Thomas Head , NOT GUILTY .

Esther Head, NOT GUILTY .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Hotham .