John Jeffs, Richard Horton, Joseph Lucas, Eleanor Young.
30th May 1745
Reference Numbert17450530-17
VerdictsGuilty; Not Guilty

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275, 276, 277. + John Jeffs , Richard Horton , otherwise Toss off Dick , and Joseph Lucas , otherwise Ninn* , of St. Andrew Holborn , were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Thomas Chitty , between the hours of nine and ten in the night, and stealing one gown, value 2 l. the goods of Agnes Phillips ; a silk gown, value 3 l. and a cotton gown, val. 2 l. the goods of Mary Herbert ; six pieces of silk called lustring, value 20 s. the goods of Rebecca Page ; 18 shirts, value 4 l. 10 s. 16 lawn stocks, value 5 s. a neckcloth, value 1 s. a damask cap, value 1 s. seven shirts, value 7 s. four frocks, value 8 s. a petticoat, value 1 s. a skirt of a coat, value 5 s. three gowns, value 2 l. a cambrick cap, value 2 s. and a cloth cloak, value 2 s. &c. the goods of Thomas Chitty , in his dwelling-house , April 12 .

* He is the same person who was convicted for transportation upon the preceding indictment. He refused to plead to the name Lucas, and said his name was Ninn.

278. And Eleanor Young for receiving the same knowing them to be stolen , April 15 .

[ At Lucas's desire the witnesses were examined apart.]

Thomas Chitty . I am a watchmaker , I live in Hand Court in High Holborn . On Good Friday the 12th of April my house was robbed by persons unknown, who entered the house, and took the goods mentioned in the indictment.

Q. What time was it?

Chitty. I was in the room out of which the goods were taken at considerably past nine o'clock at night, and I saw that every thing was fast.

Q. How do you know what time it was?

Chitty. I have a great deal of regard to time; I have a clock in the same room.

Q. How was the door fastened?

Chitty. I cannot tell.

Q. What time did you find the door open?

Chitty. It was about three quarters after nine.

Q. How did you discover it at first?

Chitty. My wife, and I, and the maid, were in the back parlour, behind the room where the goods were; the maid looked round her, and said, God bless me, there is something white: my wife and I went into the room, and they proved to be two shirts of mine.

Q. How long was that after you saw that every thing was fast?

Chitty. About half an hour. My wife is a mantua maker, and she remembered she had laid five gowns down in the room, she looked for them, and found they were gone, and that we were robbed of a great deal of linen besides: the gowns lay in a parcel behind the door.

Q. What did you lose?

Chitty. I lost five gowns; there were two gowns of one gentlewoman's, Mrs. Mary Herbert 's, that we are charged five guineas for; there is a gown which is called six pieces of silk, which I think my wife paid a guinea for; a tabby gown of her own she valued at two guineas, 18 shirts which I charge at 4 l. 10 s. though they cost 17 s. a shirt: (there are a great many more things than my wife or I could think of;) and at the lowest I could set them at they amounted to 19 l. 10s. or 11s. which is much less than the value of them.

Q. What did you see upon your coming into the room?

Chitty. I saw the shirts lying upon the ground; I found the parlour door open, and the street door open, but the windows were all fast.

Q. If you were in the next room while the things were took away, how came you not to hear them?

Chitty. It was a surprizing thing that we should not hear, but whether we were talking louder than ordinary, I cannot tell.

Q. What partition was there between the room you were in and the other?

Chitty. But a very thin wainscot, and the door was not shut, it was partly open, and I was the more surprized at the robbery upon that account.

Q. What sort of a night was it?

Chitty. It was a dark misty night.

Q. Do you know any thing of the Prisoners?

Chitty. I do not know any thing of them; as to Mrs. Young I never saw her till last Saturday was sev'night, when I took her in Long Lane by Smithfield. I had a warrant from Sir Thomas De Veil , and another from Sir Joseph Hankey , and by Bye's Direction [the accomplice] I found part of my things at a house which was said to be Mrs. Lucas's house, the wife of Lucas the Prisoner at the bar.

[Part of the goods were produced and showed to Mr. Chitty.]

Chitty. Here is a skirt of a coat which has been upon the backs of ten or eleven children, I can swear to it by that, my Lord; here is a waistcoat of mine, here is one of my stocks, I should know it if I was not to see it for seven years; there are several other things I know to be mine; these were taken in Mrs. Lucas's house. There was a heap of things there of other people's.

Q. What information had you from James Bye ?

Chitty. I advertised my goods twice, I think on the Easter Monday and the Thursday following. I offered three guineas reward and no questions asked, which I think ought not to be done, and if it was to do again, I believe I should not do it. About three weeks after that a young man came to my house, and asked if I had not been robbed; I said, I had; said he, I believe we have taken some of the persons that did it; and one James Bye is in Woodstreet Counter, and by this Bye I came by some of my goods.

Q. What is the person's name?

Chitty. I do not know his name [another person in Court said his name is Tawney.]

Prisoner Lucas. He is a common thieftaker, my Lord.

Thomas Tawney . I never took any body in my life.

Prisoner Lucas. Were there any marks of violence offered to the door?

Chitty. We found the parlour door and the street door both open.

Lucas. Was the lock or the hinges, or any thing broke?

Chitty. There was nothing at all broke.

Q. Was the family up or in bed?

Chitty. They were all up, there were none of them in bed.

Lucas. What particular things were the goods put in, or where did they lie?

Chitty. Some of the things lay in the room, and the other things were in the bureau; there are four drawers in the bureau.

Q. Where did the bureau stand?

Chitty. It stood just within the parlour door.

Jury. Which parlour door do you mean?

Chitty. I mean the door which goes into the passage; it stands between that door and the window that looks into the street.

James Bye . I have known Jeffs about five months.

Q. What is he?

Bye. He is a butcher by trade, but he does not follow the business now.

Q. What does he follow now?

Bye. I believe he has followed thieving these twelve months.

Q. What has he followed since you knew him?

Bye. He has followed nothing but thieving.

Q. Do you know Richard Horton ?

Bye. Yes - he goes by the name of Toss off Dick.

Q. What Business is he?

Bye. He used to follow driving of carts, but for two months he has followed nothing but thieving, though I never was concerned with him but in two robberies in my life, no other than picking of pockets.

Q. What is the other Prisoner's name?

Bye. His name is Lucas, though he came in here by the name of Ninn, because he was tried last assizes at Chelmsford, and he put himself down in that name, because the record should not be brought up against him.

Q. Do you know Eleanor Young .

Bye. Yes.

Q. How long have you known her?

Bye. Ever since Easter Monday.

Q. Where does she live?

Bye. She lived then in Moor Lane, but they say she lives now in Long Lane by Smithfield: they said she was Black Smith's wife [commonly called Black Sam.]

Q. Who were concerned in this affair of Chitty's?

Bye. I was concerned, John Jeffs , Richard Horton , otherwise Toss off Dick, and Lucas; we went from Lucas's house.

Q. What time did you go?

Bye. We went out about eight o'clock, when it was just dusk, and went to Gray's Inn, then we went into Hand Alley.

Q. What did you do there?

Bye. We all four went down to the watchmaker's.

Q. To what watchmaker's?

Bye. To Mr. Chitty's; I did not know he was a watchmaker then; when we came there Lucas opened the latch of the street door, and went into the entry, and then opened the parlour door.

Q. How did that stand? was it on the right hand or on the left hand?

Bye. As you go in it was on the right hand; when he had opened the parlour door I went into the house after him, and Toss off Dick and Jeffs stood at the street door waiting for what things we brought out; Lucas stood at the parlour door and bid me bring in a dark lanthorn, which we had for that purpose.

Q. Where was you then?

Bye. I was in the entry, Lucas ordered me to go and light the dark lanthorn.

Q. Was it dark?

Bye. It was dark, it was a misty night, and rained a little.

Q. What did you do?

Bye. I went to a chandler's shop and lighted a candle, and brought it out between my fingers, and when I came out I put it into the lanthorn, put the blind before it, and put it under my coat, then I came into the entry and left Jeffs and Toss off Dick at the door; I gave the lanthorn to Lucas, and he went into the parlour with it, and presently returned with some womens clothes. I went to Horton for the bag, and Lucas took it out of my hand and put it into Jeffs's hand through a mistake: when he gave these things to Jeffs he ordered him to go and stand at Gray's Inn Gate; Lucas went in again and brought out as many things as I could carry away in the slaps of my coat and under my arms, and Toss off Dick took as many as he could carry away in his arms, and Lucas came out and brought as many as he could carry in his coat and breast; then we went out to speak to Jeffs. I pulled off this coat [the coat he had on] and laid it upon the dunghill, and put as many of the goods into it as I could, and Lucas ordered Jeffs to pull off his coat and put the rest of the things into it; then Lucas ordered Toss off Dick and I to stay at the dunghill till he and Jeffs went to the house again, and they returned with as many things as they could well bring away; then we took the handkerchiefs off our necks to tie them up in.

Q. What sort of goods were they?

Bye. There were a great many shirts and stocks, and I remember this damask cap with a gold button to it in particular. We went a third time to the house, and brought a great many more things away; then we carried all the goods to Lucas's house, and we persuaded Toss off Dick to go home, and told him we should not look at the things that night.

Q. What did you do with them?

Bye. They were sold to Eleanor Young .

Q. Who sold them to Young?

Bye. Lucas did, but they kept some of them for their own use.

Q. When was this?

Bye. This was on Easter Monday; we went for one Ann Collier* to come and look at them, and she would give us no more than 40s. so we would not let her have them: Toss off Dick came next day, and said, that Eleanor Young would give no more than two guineas for them.

* She was tried last December Sessions for Assaulting Alexander Forfar , a Headborough of St. James's Clerkenwell, on the highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him a silk handkerchief, a powder born, and a pistol. See Sessions Paper, No. I. Part III. Page 54. Trial 106.

Q. What, for all these goods?

Bye. Yes.

Q. What money had you?

Bye. We had half a guinea a-piece?

Q. Who gave you the money?

Bye. Lucas did.

Q. Did you see any of these goods delivered to Young?

Bye. I saw her bring some of the goods away.

Q. Did she know how you came by them?

Bye. Yes; very well.

Q. Did you tell her how you came by them?

Bye. No; but she knew it very well. Jeffs, Lucas, and I, sold her as many things another time as were worth 15 l. for 40 s.

Q. Did you hear Lucas tell her how you came by these goods?

Bye. I did not hear him say any thing to her about that.

Q. How came you to go down this place to Chitty's house ?

Bye. We went down the court to see what we could get, and tried at several latches in the court, but none of them would open but that.

Q. How do you know this was Chitty's house ?

Bye. It was over against the tavern; for the next day we went down the court to hear what rumours there were about the robbery, and we found it was over against the Vine Tavern.

Chitty. It is within one door of being over against the Vine Tavern; they might easily know that, for my name is wrote in capital letters.

Prisoner Jeffs. Had I any of the goods or money?

Bye. You took one parcel of the goods away.

Prisoner Horton. Where did you ever see me?

Bye. I have seen you at the chimney sweeper's in Thatched Alley by Chick Lane, where you used to go.

Q. How long have you known Lucas?

Bye. To the best of my knowledge it was much about the beginning of April that I first knew him, just after he came from Chelmsford : he told me that you was his council there.

Q. Do you know that he was tried there?

Bye. He told me so.

Lucas. What did I open the street door with?

Bye. You opened the street door by a latch.

Lucas. What did I open the parlour door with?

Bye. I do not know; I apprehend it was by a brass knob, but I am not certain.

Lucas. Was there any marks of violence upon the door?

Bye. I believe there were none.

Q. You are sure it was after dark, an't you?

Bye. Yes, I am sure it was; it was between nine and ten o'clock.

Q. How did your acquaintance and Lucas's come in?

Bye. From one Susanna Clark , because she told us he was a very good fellow, and could do his business well.

Q. And that was the reason you engaged with him, was it?

Bye. Yes, it was; Lucas was transported from Greenwich.

Q. What do you mean by being transported from Greenwich?

Bye. That is for what he did at Greenwich, and he was sent over sea for it for seven years, and he staid ten years, and brought this wise over with him.

Q. What business is Susanna Clark ?

Bye. She goes out with nosegays.

Q. What sort of a woman is Lucas's wife?

Bye. She is a woman that when she speaks you may see all her teeth.

Q. Is she a brown or a fair woman?

Bye. She is a fair woman.

Q. What size is she?

Bye. She is much about your size.

Q. What business was you before you engaged in this?

Bye. I was a wheelwright. The first time I went out with them, we stole something.

Q. So you are an old thief, though you are a young man: How long have you followed this trade?

Bye. Ever since Christmas.

Q. Was you in the parlour at all?

Bye. No, I was not; I was in the entry all the time.

Ann Rose . I am servant to Mr. Chitty; I have lived with him about two years and an half.

Q. What time was this thing done ?

Rose. It was between nine and ten at night.

Q. When you are in the entry, do you turn on the right hand to go into the parlour?

Rose. Yes.

Q. Was the street door fastened then?

Rose. Yes; I was the last person that came in, and I am sure I latched it.

Q. What time was that?

Rose. About nine o'clock.

Q. Where was your master then?

Rose. He was below stairs in the back parlour with my mistress; he had been ill, and that was the first time he came down stairs after his illness.

Q. What fastening had the door?

Rose. There is a spring lock and a latch; the spring of the lock was fastened back, and it was latched, that we might let our selves in without always having the trouble of getting up to go to the door.

Q. Was it a wooden latch, or an iron latch?

Rose. It was an iron latch.

Q. Was there any body in company with your master and mistress?

Rose. There was nobody but my master, and mistress, and If we were at supper.

Q. Now give an account of what happened?

Rose. I heard nothing at all, nor saw nothing till I got up from supper; then I went into the fore parlour and saw a shirt, a mantle, and a blanket, upon the floor; then I saw the drawers of the bureau open, and cried out we were robbed, and run to the street door.

Q. What time was that?

Rose. I believe it was about twenty minutes after nine.

Q. Was the door between the sore parlour and the back parlour close?

Rose. It was not quite close.

Q. How could these people go backward and forward five or six times and you not hear them?

Rose. I cannot well tell how it could be, but we did not hear them.

[She proved several of the things which were produced to be the property of Mr. Chitty.]

Bye. There is some of the dirt of the dunghill upon this cloth now: [the cloth that some of the things were tied up in.]

Q. Where is Lucas's house?

Bye. In Blue Anchor Alley in Whitecross Street.

Chitty. I found the things in Blue Anchor Alley, or Blue Anchor Court, in Whitecross Street.

Joseph Lowe. I am a headborough of St. Luke's parish; these goods were found in a house in Blue Anchor Alley. I went with Mr. Chitty and some persons that were with him into the house, because they did not care to take the things away without a proper officer: there were two great bundles of goods, I carried them to my house, and they have been in my possession ever since.

Q. Were they found in Lucas's house ?

Lowe. The people said that Lucas lived there.

Q. Was there any body in the house then?

Lowe. Nobody at all; they had all left the house. I found a great many more goods there, which I have at my house, and I cannot tell who they belong to.

Thomas Tawney . I had been to drink a pot of beer, and was going home, and stopping to wait for a friend, Jeffs said, D - n your eyes, who do you stag at?

Bye. He is telling the story upon what account we were taken up at first.

Q. What happened after that?

Tawney. John Jeffs , one Martin, and this Bye, cut and mangled me in the street in a desperate manner. I took Jeffs up upon the account of mangling me, and that brought all this to light.

Q. Why did they cut you?

Tawney. There were two or three words passed between us, and Jeffs cut me upon the shoulder, and then stabbed me into the shoulder; so I took Jeffs up, Jack Martin , and John Bye .

Q. Where is Martin?

Tawney. He is in the Counter; he is an evidence, but not upon this robbery. When Bye was taken up he desired to go before a Magistrate, for he said he could do something that would be for the good of his country, and desired to be admitted an evidence; and he said I can take two as I go along. I was with the Prisoners at Lucas's house in a Court in Blue Anchor Alley.

Q. How did you know that this was Lucas's house?

Tawney. Bye gave me information of it, and I was there with Mr. Chitty: Mr. Chitty found several things there that were his; and all the things were packed up and carried to the Constable's house.

Prisoner Lucas. Do you know me?

Tawney. No, I do not: Bye said there was a hundred pounds worth of goods in the house; but the people were all gone, and the house was left open.

Bye. Lucas had the whole house, and I lodged in one of the rooms.

Ann Sparrow . I was going along with Mr. Tawney, and saw this Jeffs and one Martin together,

(for I never saw Lucas or Horton before) and Jeffs said to Mr. Tawney, D - n your eyes, what do you flag at? and then Jeffs said to Martin, D - n your eyes, kiddy slash away. Mr. Tawney was cut, and I borrowed a hanger to lend a person who went to take them, for they were afraid to go unguarded.

Q. to Bye. Do you know any thing of Tawney's bing cut?

Bye. Yes; he was cut.

Q. Did Jeffs cut him?

Bye. I cannot say that Jeffs cut him, but Martin did.

Q. Who were in company with you?

Bye. Jeffs, Martin, and I were in company. Tawney struck me, and knocked me down, and then I heard Jeffs say Flash.

Prisoner Lucas. I can't say but I have been in Mrs. Lucas's house sometimes, but I did not live there.

Q. Is not she your wife?

Lucas. No, indeed, she is not, my name is Ninn.

Q. Did you live together?

Lucas. I lived the door on this side Mrs. Belfour's in Spittlefield's Market.

Mary Maynard . I have known Fleanor Young a great many years, she has nursed several children for me, always behaved well while she was with me; and she had an opportunity of taking things of value out of my house, and she never wronged me of any thing that I know of.

Elizabeth Smith . Mrs. Young takes in washing.

Q. What is her character?

Smith. She has the character of a washerwoman, and one that takes a great deal of pains for her living.

Q. Has she a good character in the neighbourhood?

Smith. Yes, she has, for I cannot say she is a thief.

Bye. This woman desired me to be as favourable as I could to Eleanor Young .

Smith. I said to him, young man, how came you to put her into your information; did you ever see her before? and he said he never did; and I told him then he was a forsworn villain.

Prisoner Lucas. I desire your Lordship will give me leave to speak in my own defence. The evidence does not do this for the good of his country, only for the sake of the reward.

Prisoner Horton. Bye said he would put me into his information only for the sake of the reward, because I have nobody to appear for me. Jeffs, Horton, and Lucas, guilty , Death .

Eleanor Young acquitted .

John Jeffs , and Joseph Lucas , of the parish of, London, were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Daniel Dixey in the night time, and stealing two cloth coats, value 30 s. one stuff damask waistcoat, value 20 s. a pair of cloth breeches, value 3 s. six shirts, value 30 s. the goods of the said Daniel Dixey , April 5 .

As the Prisoners were capitally convicted upon the preceding indictment, they were not tried upon this.

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