Thomas Napton.
11th December 1678
Reference Numbert16781211e-12
VerdictNot Guilty

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6. Thomas Napton of Shoreditch Indicted, for that he, the 3d. Decemb. 1678. 40 yards of Broad-cloath, of the value of 16s. per yard, did steal from one Ralph Walford , and 20 yards more from one Anthrobus . To which he pleaded Not Guilty, and put himself upon the Countrey.

Thomas Napton was the next Prisoner who was indicted for stealing Cloth from Walford, and Anthrobus, against whom this was the proof.

Ralph Walford testified that the Prisoner was a Polisher of Looking Glasses , and wrought and lodged in a place adjoyning to the Room where their Cloth lay. One morning about five of the Clock he comes to Walfords house, and said that he had been Rob'd that they had bound his feet with a Neckcloth, and his hands behind him with a Linen Stockin, and that after they were gone, he unloosed himself, and unbound his feet, and rising, look'd what Cloth was gone, and went to the other man Anthrobus, and brought him to see what was lost; and there were found missing 2 Cloths of Walfords worth 8 s. odd Money, and a long Merchants Cloth of Anthrobus worth 9 s. odd Money; that he let the Thieves in upon their knocking, thinking they had been the Persons belonging to the Warehouse; that he was not intrusted with the Custody of the Cloth, but permitting him to have a Key to it, and passage through in, they thought their Cloth securer for his lying there. That he would take a thousand Oaths, the Cloth was there that night. That he confessed he made no Outcry when he was before Sir William Turner .

Anthrobus swore he made such a like story to him, and said it was his weakness that he did not cry out; that his Wife was gone out that morning by Three o'clock to washing, as she was indeed, and that the Thieves came about Four, and he came to them about Five; That he said, he himself had lost nothing unless 3 or 4 s. of his Wives, and his Kettle, which Kettle he had lent to his own Son in Law, 2 days before.

The Son in Law to Walford speaks to the same effect, that he said they nubled him about the Head, and bid him go to bed, you old Dog, and then bound him; that being told by Walfords wife, it was more like to be Evenings Work to take away the Cloth, than Mornings, he reply'd, for ought he knew it might be so, for he was out in the Evening, but when he came in, he did not miss any of the Cloth, because he knew not what was there. And afterwards said, he blest be God he got no hurt, but they did beat their Pistols about his head; and before had said, he was almost killed. And the same Evidence the Woman gave. And upon these Circumstances, they suspected the Prisoner.

He denied the Felony, and told the story in Court himself; and being asked whether they could not have found Rope, on any more likely thing to bind him with, than the Stockin and Neckcloth, he said there was Rope enough, but it was not in the Room he lay in, but in the Warehouse: he confessed he said it might be the Evenings work, because he had been forth; and did not see what the Thieves carried away. That it was his weakness he did not pursue them, and for fear he durst not (though he could have done it) unbind himself till they were gone. That he appealed to the very Prosecutors, he had behaved himself honestly, wrought hard for his living, and was never taxed with the wronging any man of the worth of a Farthing. Which was acknowledged by the Witnesses.

Hereupon the Court left it to the Jury, whether upon these Circumstances the Prisoner was guilty or not.

That Thomas Napton is not guilty of stealing the Cloth of Mackham and Anthrobus, nor did flie for it.

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