William Brown, Theft > shoplifting, 25th April 1726.

Reference Number: t17260425-7
Offence: Theft > shoplifting
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
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William Brown , alias Burn , late of the Parish of St. Botolphs without Bishopsgate , was indicted for feloniously and privately stealing, in the Shop of Robert Lovell, 4 Silver Stuff-Boxes value 10 l. 8 Silver Medals value 3 l. 1 Gold Toothpick Case, value 4 l. 6 pair of Gold Buttons, value 5 l. 8 Stone Studs set in Gold, value 4 l. 5 Diamond. Rings, value 14 l. 20 pair of Stone Ear-Rings, value 6 l. 8 Gold Lockets, value 4 l. 23 pair of Gold Ear-Rings, value 12 l. 64 Gold Rings, value 40 l. 2 Cornelian Seal Rings, value 5 l. 4 Strings of Pearl for Necklaces, value 3 l. 8 Smelling Bottles, value 3 l. 6 Gold Enamel'd Rings, value 3 l. 4 Stone Rings. value 10 s. a Picture of a Man's Head set in Gold, value 3 l. 5 Watch Chains, value 30 s. 5 Silver Seissar-Cases, 5 Silver Needle-Cases, a Silver Spunge-Boxes, and other Things, the Goods of Robert Lovell , on the 17th of May .

Robert Lovell thus depos'd. I keep a Goldsmith's Shop , next Door to the Magpye-Tavern, just without Bishopsgate . Between 10 and 11 in the Morning, I went out of my Shop into my Kitchen, to get a little Drink. I was gone but a few Minutes, and at my coming into the Shop again, I mist my Show-Glass in the Shop Window. I was very much surpriz'd to think how it could be carried off undiscover'd at that time of Day, and in such an open publick Place. I made Enquirys, but could get no Intelligence, till the next Night about 12 o'Clock, and then a Man came to me from the Mint, and told me that the Thief was taken, and several of the Goods found upon him. I went thither, and saw the Prisoner, and he confest to me that he had had the Goods, but said that he found them in Moorfields.

Abraham Smith thus depos'd. I happen'd to be a little in sor't, for I had been a drinking along with some of my Customers, and so I laid down upon the Bed to take a Nap, and about the Dusk of the Evening, just as I was going to get up, somebody knocks at the Door, - Who's there? says I, - Why its I, says the Prisoner, - What d'ye went, says I, - Can ye tell me, says he, what is become of Hannah. No, not I, what would you have with her. Why, says he, I gave her a great Parcel of Rings to pawn for me, and she is run away with them. - You must know that this Hannah was one of his Flows. - And besides I heard that he had been all Day at Bess Dammeree 's, and spent a matter of 8 l. - I went to Mrs. Clare, at whose House he lodged, and told her of it, and at Night we went with a Constable, and searched, and found some of the Goods in his Bed Room, and some upon him at Mother Dammeree's.

Brown the Constable thus depos'd. Last Wednesday late at Night, Mr. Clare (who lives at the Crooked-Billet and Sugar-Loaf in the Mint) told me that the Prisoner who pretended to be a Kinsman of his, was at Mother Dammeree's, and had got a great Parcel of Gold Rings, and Silver Snuff-Boxes, and desir'd me to assist him, and others to take him, - When we came there, we found him sitting upon a Bed Side, with nothing but a pair of Ticken Breeches on. I carry'd him to my own House, and found these 2 Rings in his Pocket, which are own'd by the Prosecutor.

- Bishop another Constable thus depos'd. - I sent Word to Mr. Lovell, that the Prisoner was taken in the Mint, - He came, and we search'd the Prisoner, and I found these 3 Rings upon him.

Eleanor Clare thus depos'd. The Prisoner was our Lodger, and pretended to be our Kinsman, for being lately come, over from Ireland, he told us that he had married my Husband's Brother's Daughter, and that he was a Hatter by Trade. - About Noon on the Day of the Robbery, he came in, and gave my Child, a Necklace, and told me that he was going again for Ireland. - From our House he went to Mother Dammeree's, who kept a Bawdy House at the Next Door, and there I suppose he spent the rest of the Day and Night, for next Day in the Evening Mr. Smith came, and told us of his having spent 8 l. there, and that he had got a great many Rings and Snuff-Boxes. Upon this I had a Suspicion of my new Kinsman, for on the Saturday before, he had not Money to pay for his Weeks Lodging. So we went up into his Room to search, and there was his Wastcoat and Breeches hid behind a Picture. We pull'd them out, and found the Pockets loaded with Rings, and Chains, and Snuff-Boxes, which were afterwards shewn to the Prosecutor, and he swore them to be his. - Whereupon we took the Prisoner.

Michael Clare thus depos'd, when I heard my Kinsman had got so many fine Things, and that he had spent 8 l. in a Day and a Night's Time,

Why then he never came honestly by these Things, nor she Mony, says I, for he had but ten Pence the Night before last, but however, lets go see if he has left any of his Riches in my Room where he lodges. So up we went, and behind an old Picture of King Charles, there was hid his Wastcoat and Breeches, in which we found a great many Snuff boxes, and other Things, in Gold and Silver. After this we went to Bess Dammeree 's, and I knockt at the Door, and ask'd if my Kinsman was there. She said there was a Man above, but she did not know whether he was my Kinsman or not. As we were going up Stairs, we heard a sort of a Hustling in the Room, which made me suppose that he, and one of his Mauxes were a Bed together, but when we came in, he had slipt on his Breeches, and was sitting upon the Bed Side, and in those Breeches we found more of Mr. Lovell's Goods.

Richard Johns thus depos'd. Between Ten and Eleven in the Morning, I was walking round Holywel-Mount (in the Field near Holywel-Lane, Shoreditch) and at some Distance, I saw a Man standing in an odd Posture, with his Back towards me, and his Head almost between his Legs. I could not imagine what he was about, and so I went towards him, upon which he laid himself all along upon something, as if he had been asleep; at that Time a Friend of mine coming by, we walk'd off a little Way, and stood upon the Watch. We saw the Man rise again, and perceived something like a Box under him; but seeing us, he lay down again. We went up to him, and asked him why he lay in that Manner: He said, he was not well. We proffered to give him a Dram, if he'd go with us; but he said, he could not drink any thing. I thought something more than ordinary was the Matter, and therefore was willing to find it out; but my Friend being in haste to go, I desired him only to watch two or three Minutes, while I called another Acquaintance of mine who was hard by. I went, and as I come back, I met the Prisoner empty-handed. When I came to my Friend, whom I had left waiting, he told me, that he was gone off with a Case in his Hand. Why, I met him just now says I, and he had nothing in his Hand. Then he has thrown it away, says he; and so we went to look, and found the Show-Glass turned upside down, but it was empty, and we could not afterwards get sight of the Prisoner.

Bridget - the Prosecutor's Maid deposed, That about Half an Hour before the Glass Case was lost, the Prisoner came into her Master's Shop, and Cheapned a Pair of silver Buckles.

The Jury found him guilty of the Indictment Death .

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