Jeremiah Levi.
20th April 1748
Reference Numbert17480420-25

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207. Jeremiah Levi was indicted, for that he, on the 29th of February last, at St. James's Duke's Place, London , feloniously stole ten pieces of wrought silver plate, called Aaron's Bells, value 50 l. two pieces of velvet trimmed with gold lace, called the altar vails, value 4 l. a piece of embroidered brocade, called the mantle and covering of the law, value 10 l. and three pounds in money, all the property of persons unknown .

Adolphus Cohen , Clerk of the Synagogue.

Q. Do you know of any thing that was lost from the Synagogue?

Cohen. On the 29th of February, when I opened the Synagogue, I found the key of a closet in which we put several things, and when I opened the door, I found that the poor's box was broke open, and the money taken out; I sent for a smith to open the door of the altar, and there is a cupboard under the altar, and there were some particular things in that, which we only use on particular days, which were taken away; there was the covering of the law, the altar vails, and five pair of bells, which we put on to our laws at particular times.

Q. Explain yourself what you mean by the laws.

Cohen. The five books of Moses, which are wrote on parchment, and rolled up on two sticks. I went to Mr. Symons our elder, and he ordered me to call our vestry together between four and five in the afternoon. I had a suspicion of Jeremiah Levi , because the goods that were stole were carried out of a window which looks into his yard, and there was a cane found, which there is great reason to suspect was the Prisoner's. Our vestry sent for me, we got a search-warrant, and I went and searched his house, but found nothing; they sent me to fetch those things belonging to the Synagogue, and there was a board of the floor broke open, and when the board was taken up I saw all my things there, and I carried them to our elder of the Synagogue; they were in the Prisoner's house up one pair of stairs.

The five pair of bells, the altar vails, and the covering of the law, were produced in Court.

Q. What are these bells called?

Cohen. They are called Aaron's Bells.

Q. Do you use this covering upon all days?

Cohen. We use these things in holiday-time.

Q. Did you find all the things in the same place under the floor?

Cohen. Yes.

Q. And was, you told to break open the board of the floor?

Cohen. No, other people did it; but when it was broke, I found all my things.

Q. How came they to get this information where the things were?

Cohen. I don't know, but I do suppose the Prisoner had confessed at the vestry where the things were.

Q. You did not find your money, did you?

Cohen. No, my lord.

Q. Was the Prisoner sent for by the vestry?

Cohen. Yes, my Lord, and he went to them.

Ben. Levi, sexton of the synagogue.

Q. What do you know of this affair?

Levi. These things were found in the Prisoner's house.

Q. How long was it after you missed them, before they were found?

Levi. I went to my Lord Mayor about two or three o'clock in the afternoon for a search warrant, and I searched the Prisoner's house, and there were some ropes which we pull the windows of the synagogue to with, in the Prisoner's garret, but I could not find any thing else; I searched two or three other houses, and while I was gone to search them, a cane was found in the womens gallery in the synagogue, (this is the cane.) I went to the Prisoner's house again, and he told me, his son was writing at a desk above stairs. I staid in the house two or three hours, and some of the gentlemen who were sitting at the vestry, came and bid me go up and move the table, and they took up a board.

Q. Who took up a board?

Levi. Our carpenter did, or one of our men.

Q. By whose direction did you go there?

Levi. By the direction of our masters, the gentlemen of the vestry; they bid me go up stairs.

Q. Can't you explain yourself, why they bid you go up stairs?

Levi. They bid me go up stairs, and bid me stay there.

Q. What did they bid you go for?

Levi. They bid me go up and stay till they sent for me.

Q. Did you suspect any one person more than another?

Levi. Mr. Polock found some little sparks of gold in the window, as if these things had been drawn out at the window.

Laz. Symon. The clerk of our Synagogue came and told me, that it was broke open, and he said, for God's sake, Sir, let me have a warrant to go and search the house of a person that I have a suspicion of; we got a search warrant, and there were some ropes found in the Prisoner's garret, that did belong to the synagogue; I desired our clerk to call several of the members together, who belong to the vestry, to consult what was to be be done. We sent to the Prisoner's house, with a message for him to come to us, and when he came, we told him, we have a strong suspicion, that you are the person that has robbed the synagogue, and desired that he would make a confession, but he would not at first; we asked him when he went to the synagogue, and he said, at eight o'clock: and others said, they saw him at half an hour after seven; he desired the company to withdraw, and then he did confess the fact; that he lay concealed in the synagogue all night, and had taken the things and hid them under the floor: and that he did expect a reward would be offered for them, and then he did design to produce them; and we sent Levi the sexton to the Prisoner's house, and bid him not stir from the place till he had orders to go; Mr. Solomon was there, and he can give you a better account of this.

David Solomon . On Monday the 29th of Feb. I was informed that the synagogue was robbed, and was desired to attend the vestry, and they told me, there were some pieces of rope found in the Prisoner's house that belonged to the synagogue. I desired that the Prisoner might be sent for to the vestry, and he came, and stood out in it for about half an hour, that he knew nothing of it; we told him, we had evidence enough against him, without any thing else; he desired the company to withdraw, and then confessed the fact, and said, that poverty had brought him to it; that he had concealed himself in the synagogue all night, and had taken the things away, and carried them to his house, and that they were put under the boards of the floor where his son was writing; we ordered the floor to be broke open, and under this place where the table stood, these things were found.

Prisoner. I always had a good character, and can have one from dukes and noblemen, but I hope God will stand my friend; I was lately come from Germany, and was in great distress. I found these things in the yard, and carried them to my house, and concealed them there, thinking that a reward would be offered for them, and then I did design to produce them

Guilty .

[Transportation. See summary.]

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