Thomas Broadhurst.
4th December 1755
Reference Numbert17551204-33

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40. (L.) Thomas Broadhurst was indicted for that he, on the 1st of November , about the hour of 7 in the night, on the same day, the dwelling house of William Read , did break, and enter, and steal out thence 1 silk capuchin; value 17 s. 6 d. 5 yards of silk lace, value 7 s. 6 d. the goods of Elizabeth Read , spinster ; and 1 pewter tea pot, the property of William Read , in the dwelling-house of the said William. +

By the prisoner's desire the witnesses were examined apart.

Eliz. Read. I live in Jewin-Street , and am sister to William Read . On the first of November, our house was broke open. I lost a capuchin and some lace, as mentioned in the indictment, and a pewter tea pot. I was not at home at the time. I returned about 8 at night, and found the house full of people, and the prisoner was taken; but we never got the things again.

Q. Whose goods were they?

Read. There are 6 brothers and sisters of us; we live all together. I was obliged to pay for the capuchin, to the person of whom I had it to finish. The lace was mine, and the tea-pot my brother's.

Sarah Ray . I work at Mrs. Read's. On Saturday the 1st of November, about 7 at night, it was quite dark, I was standing upon the threshold of the door; I heard something crack: I looked on the outside, and saw the parlour window shoved about half way up. I cried out, Thieves. Eliz. Bedford said, she saw a man get out at the window. I looked and saw him too.

Q. Who was that man?

Ray. I am sure the prisoner is the man. He ran down the street, and I followed about 20 yards; but I did not see him stop'd. I do not know how he was taken. He was brought to the door about an hour afterwards, to ask me, If he was the man. I said it was.

Q. Was he searched?

Ray. I do not remember he was. There was a capuchin, somelace, and a tea-pot missing. The prisoner was carried to the watch-house.

Q. By what do you know him to be the prisoner? You say it was dark.

Ray. I saw him walk up and down the street several times that evening before, with another man. He was dressed in a sort of a claret colour'd coat, a red waistcoat, and white wig.

Q. Did you see another man with him, when he was getting out at the window?

Ray. I did; he stood at the window to receive the things.

Q. Are you certain this is the man?

Ray. I have no doubt about it; I am quite certain he is the man.

Cross examination.

Q. Was the window fastened down?

Ray. It used to be fastened; but I do not know that it was then

Q. Are you sure it was shut down?

Ray. I am sure it was; for we have things hung at the window to shew what we sell.

Q. Did you stand near the window the man got out at?

Ray. I stood on the outside, on the threshold: there were two sashes; he got out at that farthest off from me.

Q. You say, you heard something crack. What was that?

Ray. That was a looking-glass in the room; the cord was cut, and the top of the glass turned downwards. They had not time to take that away.

Q. from the prisoner. How far was you from the window, when you saw me, as you say, come out ?

Ray. I was at the end of the window, at the door. The window goes out with a sort of a bulk from the threshold of the door; and there is about the breadth of a large shutter, which parts the two sashes.

Q. How large is the room in which these two windows are?

Ray. It is not very large.

Q. Is there a lamp at the door.

Ray. No; but there is one opposite our house.

Q. Could you observe the prisoner's face ?

Ray. He got away so quick that I could not. I saw his cloaths as I ran after him, and as he got out.

Q. Then if you did not see his face, pray what do you know him by ?

Ray. By his cloaths, his height, his shape, his make, and his wig.

Q. At the time he walk'd by the door, did you see his face?

Ray. Yes, I did several times.

Q. Is the prisoner the same man, by his face, you saw that afternoon?

Ray. Yes, I am sure he is the man.

Prisoner. I would ask her another question.

Court. You seem to hurt yourself by your questions. You had better leave it to your council.

Prisoner. I would only ask her. At the same time she saw me come out at the window, whether there was any body with her?

Ray. There was nobody with me. I saw a man standing on the outside of the window, as I said before.

Q. Was that the same man you saw with the prisoner in the evening?

Ray. I think it was the same man.

Q. What became of that man?

Ray. He went away presently after I came to the door. He had a light coloured furtout coat on.

Elizabeth Bedford . I live next door to Mr. Read. Upon Alhallows day at night, about seven o'clock, I had done my business, and was sitting down, minding my mistress's shop. The last witness was standing at the bulk, at her mistress's door. She call'd to me and said, Pray Betty come out, for I believe there is a man in our parlour, robbing us. I told my mistress. What! she said, and ran out in a great surprise; and saw a man shuffle himself from off the seat of the window; but, it being dark, I cannot swear to him, nor to the colour of his cloaths. He jump'd from the window, and ran to the opposite side of the way, towards Cripplegate. I call'd stop thief.

Q. from Prisoner. Whether I had a white wig on or no?

Bedford. I did not examine his wig; he went off so quick, I did not know whether he had a hat or wig either.

Thomas Hughes . On the 1st of November, about 7 o'clock, as I was coming down Jewin-Street, I heard the cry of Stop thief. A man stood by me. I turned my head round, and saw a window open, and directly a man came running by me, as fast as he could. I ran after him, and took him at the first butcher's shop, near Cripplegate church.

Q. Was that man ever out of your sight till you took him.

Hughes. No, he was not.

Hughes. There came another man to my assistance. We told him there was an outcry of thieves, and he must go back with us. He said he would not, but he would go with us into a publick house. We brought him by the church, and when he came to the butcher's shop he pull'd out his watch, and look'd at it by the light there, and said I'll make you pay for detaining me, and that he'd go back with us; but when we got to Jewin-Street end he ran down Redcross-Street, and down the Bowling-Alley, and got over same pretty high pales. I ran to the door that belongs to the yard, and told the people there was a thief backwards [the prisoner in getting over the pales lost his hat.] The people let me in; then I saw the man run up a long narrow nook in the yard. I got hold of the stump of a birch broom, but was afraid he might have something about him to do me a mischief, if I followed him there in the dark. I went on, and a man followed me. Then he got over some other pales. I heard the pales break. I look'd over where the pales were broken; there I saw him lie close under the pales; it is an old ruinated house. I said I was afraid to get over, fearing a dog. There was a link gone for; we cut the link in pieces, and lighted them up, and hunted about, but could not find him; then we gave him over; and in about a quarter of an hour after I heard he was taken, and in Barbican watch-house.

Q. How was he dress'd?

Hughes. He was in a light wig, and a chocolate colour'd coat.

Q. Where is the other man that was with you?

Hughes. I don't know him.

Q. Did you see that man's face you took near the butcher's shop?

Hughes. I did, and to the best of my knowledge the prisoner is the man.

Q. Where did you first lose sight of that man ?

Hughes. When he was lying under the pales in the Bowling-Alley, when I said I was afraid of a dog; then the prisoner started up, and ran away.

Cross examination.

Q. What time was the prisoner taken?

Hughes. I believe it was very near seven o'clock when I took the man I suppose to be him; and I heard he was in the watch-house about a quarter of an hour after. When I heard a man was taken, I went to the watch-house; there was the prisoner without his hat, and a sort of a white cut wig, such I had seen on the man before. I took him to be the same man I had taken before in the street.

Stephen Radery . I live in Whitecross-Street. We had an alarm of a man coming over the pales into our yard. My mistress sent for me; I came. She told me to go and see if I could see any body; I went and look'd about, but saw no body. In about half an hour after a child said there is a man coming out of an empty house. The man ran as soon as he heard the child say so. I saw him. He ran up some part of Whitecross-Street, and down Beech-Lane, and into Redcross-Street; and either by knocking himself against a post, or by his foot slipping, I don't know which, he fell down; I went and took hold of him, and brought him to Mr. Read's house; and there the young woman said that was the man that she saw get out at the window. Then we carried him to the watch-house.

Q. How near the Bowling-Alley was it where you first saw him?

Radery. I first saw him within twenty yards of it.

Q. Had he a hat on then ?

Radery. No, he had not. He had on a red shag waistcoat and a chocolate colour'd coat. He said let me look at my watch, which I did, just before he went into the watch-house.

Q. What time did you take him to the watch-house?

Radery. About half an hour after seven.

Prisoner's defence.

I have witnesses here that I was in company with at that time the robbery was committed, in a place where I lodge.

For the prisoner.

Eleanor Braziel . On Allhallows-Eve at night, the prisoner was at my master's house.

Q. What day of the week was it?

Braziel. I believe it was the day before Allhallows day, on a Saturday. He came home betwixt day light and candle-light.

Q. Who is your master?

Braziel. My master's name is Joseph Biggs ; he lives adjoining to Bridges-Street, Coveat-Garden. He went up to his room, and had steaks for supper; I carried them up, and my master and he supped together that night.

Q. What time of the evening was it?

Braziel. To the best of my knowledge, I saw him there about eight o'clock, at supper.

Q. Where did he lie that night?

Braziel. He did not lay at home to my knowledge.

Q. Where did he go?

Braziel. I don't know; I'll tell nothing but what I know.

Q. What cloaths did your master wear that day?

Braziel. The cloaths he wears always; brown cloaths.

Q. Did your master walk out with him that night?

Braziel. I don't know that he did.

Q. Where did your master lay that night?

Braziel. He lay at home.

Q. Did you see the prisoner that night from candle-light to eight o'clock?

Braziel. I was not always in the room.

Joseph Biggs . I live in Russel-Street, Convent-Garden, in King's Court, backwards.

Q. Are you a housekeeper ?

Biggs. I am. The prisoner has lodg'd with me going on about four months.

Q. What do you come here for?

Biggs. To give him a character.

Q. Did he sup with you on Saturday evening the 1st of November?

Biggs. I can't say any thing about his supping at our house that evening.

Q. Did or did he not sup with you?

Biggs. No, he did not.

Q. to E. Braziel. Is this your master?

Braziel. Yes, Sir.

Q. Is this he the prisoner sup'd with?

Braziel. This is he.

Court. How can you call God to witness a thing your master contradicts you in?

Braziel. Does he say he did not?

Court. 'Tis impossible what you have said should be true, because he was taken up at a distance from that place before the time you mention. Was it on a Saturday, or any other day?

Braziel. I know it was Saturday.

Q. Who put Allhallows day in your mind?

Braziel. My master desired me to attend here.

Q. Did he desire you to say the prisoner sup'd with him that night?

Braziel. Upon my life and word my master bid me say so, he did I'll assure you.

Q. to Biggs. What do you say to this?

Biggs. I never said so to her in my life. I bid her take care and not get drunk to-day, and be sure to tell the truth.

Q. How long have you known the prisoner?

Biggs. I have known him about seven years; I knew him in Dublin.

Q. How long have you been out of Dublin ?

Biggs. Next Shrove-Tuesday I have been out of Dublin four years.

Q. How long has the prisoner been in England?

Biggs. I don't know.

Q. to Sarah Ray . Look at this man. Is this one of the men that walk'd by your house?

S. Ray. I can't say I know him.

Thomas Myers . I am a bricklayer. I have known the prisoner between two and three years.

Q. How long has he been in England?

Myers. I knew him in Ireland first. I have known him this half year in England.

Q. What is his general character ?

Myers. I never saw any harm by him.

Q. What business does he follow?

Myers. I used to see him buying old cloaths, with a bag under his arm.

Q. Where has he lived since he has been in England?

Myers. He lived at Biggs's house ever since he came here.

Q. Do you know where he was on the 1st of November ?

Myers. No, I do not.

Guilty . Death .

After the verdict was given, Braziel declared the prisoner was her husband; and Biggs declared they past for such at his house. She was committed to Newgate.

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