Thomas Thompson, Andrew Biass.
13th January 1764
Reference Numbert17640113-7
VerdictsGuilty; Guilty
SentencesDeath; Transportation

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74, 75. (M.) Thomas Thompson was indicted, for that he, on the 6th of December , about the hour of three in the night, the dwelling house of John Forbes did break and enter, and steal three woollen great coats, value 20 s. four stuff waistcoats, value 20 s. eight silk and cotton handkerchiefs, eight shirts, a sattin cap, four pair of stockings, a silk cardinal, six pair of leather gloves, four flannel waistcoats, nine yards of silk Persian, and three yards of Mantua silk, the property of the said John, in his dwelling-house , and Andrew Biass for receiving a woollen great coat, and stuff waistcoat, part of the said goods, well knowing them to have been stolen . *

Margaret Forbes . I am wife to the prosecutor. About five weeks ago, our house was broke below one of the shop windows, a whole partition was taken away; all was safe over night; the shop is part of the dwelling-house; we live near the Hermitage-bridge: two watchmen came and called me down about five o'clock in the morning, I found many things were missing; there was a blanket, one stocking, and a child's sattin cap left at the place where they got in; I was before Justice Scott, the Monday after Christmas; there James Grief produced some of my goods which were taken away; (produced in court) here is one of the great coats I can swear to, by the rats having knawed it under the cape, and one of the handkerchiefs I can swear to.

Samuel Branch . Thomas Thompson and I broke into the prosecutor's house, last Wednesday was five weeks, between 3 and 4 in the morning. Under the window, on one side the door, we took the whole pannel out: I got into the shop, and took out three great coats, four waistcoats, eight shirts, and eight silk and cotton handkerchiefs, five pieces of printed linnen, two remnants of silk, one about 8 yards long, a black cardinal, six pair of white gloves, four pair of worsted stockings and an odd one, we dropt the other; I hauled down a blanket from one side the shop, but did not take it away; I handed them out to the prisoner, then we put them into a bag, and went away with them, and the things that we broke the house with, to Thompson's house; there we distributed the things. He took three shirts, and I took three: we sent our wives to sell some of the things in Rosemary-lane. Andrew Biass came the next morning; there he had this great coat, with the hole in it under the cape, and a plaid waistcoat: he agreed to give us 5 s. for them; he tied them up in a handkerchief, and took them away, and I walked part of the way with him: as he was before me, I saw a man apprehend him, then I turned up the Mulberry-garden.

Q. Did Biass know which way you came by the things?

Branch. He heard us talk how we got them; we told him we had done such a thing, and these were part of the goods, and he might have a piece put in where the hole was, for a little expence.

Q. to M. Forbes. Did you miss these goods the evidence has given an account of?

M. Forbes. I did.

Sarah Sackfield . I do business for Mr. Forbes (she takes a plaid waistcoat in her hand); this I can swear to with certainty: I did not make it myself, but I gave it out to be made for Mr. Forbes.

Thomas Galton . I had a warrant against Branch from the bench of Justices, on Christmas-day in the morning: I went down to Saltpetre bank, and met with him there between 11 and 12 in the day. He made his information before the Justices, in Whitechapel, on the Monday: he impeached Thompson, as being concerned with him in breaking the house, and Biass for receiving a coat and waistcoat, and also he gave an account of other robberies. Then I went over the water, and took

Thompson; and, in the house where he lodged, we found a coat and waistcoat on his bed; we tied his hands. Said he, pray is Branch turned informer? I said he is not made an evidence yet, but he has made an information. Said he, I doubt you are going to deceive me? I said no, he is not admitted; the prisoner had a white coat on: he said, the man that owns this coat, shall die with me, if I die; and a dozen of them shall die, if they will admit me an evidence. After we had secured Thompson, in the watch-house, we went to seek for Biass; we found him at cards in his lodgings, and he was committed.

James Grief . I was sent for to know if I could see any thing of the people that did this robbery. I was coming out of the Gun and Holly-bush, in the Back-lane, and saw Biass, with a bundle under his arm; I followed him; there was the evidence with him; they turned back, and looked at me, and ran away; I shot after them, and overtook them in a little alley; I took hold of the bundle, and said, my lad, let us see what you have got? While I was untying the bundle, they both got away. There was in the handkerchief this plaid waistcoat, and great coat; this is the handkerchief in which they were tied (producing one.)

Biass. That is my handkerchief.

Grief. I advertised the coat and waistcoat in the news-paper, and on Christmas-day in the morning, I was sent for to the bench of justices; there Branch gave an account of the coat and waistcoat. I went and fetched them, and Mrs. Forbes swore to them there: then we went and took Thompson on the other side the water; he said to me, James, is any body sworn in as evidence? I said, no: he said, don't deceive me. He would have been evidence, if he could; we put him in the watch-house, and went and found Biass in his own lodging, at cards.

Thompson's Defence.

Branch stole all the things, and left them at the house on the other side the water.

Biass's Defence.

I bought the coat and waistcoat of them, not knowing they were stolen.

Thompson, Guilty . Death .

Biass, Guilty . T. 14 .

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