John Webber, Elizabeth Graham.
18th February 1767
Reference Numbert17670218-31
VerdictsGuilty; Not Guilty
SentencesTransportation

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164, 165. (M.) John Webber was indicted for stealing a piece of black callimanco containing 40 yards, value 3 l. 10 s. the property of Samuel Brett ; and Elizabeth Graham widow, for receiving the same well knowing it to have been stolen , January 31 . ||

Thomas Griffiths . I work for Mr. Brett, a dyer in Long-alley, Moorefields ; Webber the prisoner worked at the same place; he lodged at Graham's house in Long-alley up one pair of stairs; a little after four in the morning, on the 31st of January,

I went to work, I heard a man walking in the about a quarter or an hour after Webber came down with a piece of black callimanco under his arm, and went out into the alley, I went after him; this was between four and five. I kept in sight of him till he came into Angel-alley; I did not see him go into Graham's house, but I saw him go in other yard, when he got in there, I came back again to my work, and in about ten minutes he came after me; we worked together in between six and seven, then he went out for a drank as usual; he came back again and we worked together till breakfast time; then I went and told Mr. Brett, that I saw take a piece of black cloth under his arm, and carry it away to his lodging, then my master put two men to watch at the two doors of Graham's house, named Elks and Sams

Samuel P. I am a dyer, and live in g. alley; German and Webber worked with me, the latter on and off twelve years; on the 31st of January, a little after eight in the morning Graham inquiring me with the other; I went and got a search warrant after I had fetched men to watch the nothing should be carried out, then I went and searched Webber lodgings and Graham's apartment, I found nineteen remnants of callimanco, but did not find the piece we went to look for them: I went up into the two pair of stairs from are garret, which both belonged to one his wife and he were both at work in the garret; I found things to red clean and tight; by their decent behaviour I did not suspect them, neither did I at all inspect about their bed; I returned without finding the piece, this was betwixt nine and ten o'clock, after that, Mr. Bell came and told me he had found the piece; before it was found Webber denied it; but after that he owned he had taken that piece of black callimanco that morning, and before Justice Fielding he acknowledged the same.

Q. from Webber. I worked for you thirteen years, did I ever wrong you?

Brett. I have had some suspicion of him before this, but nothing certain.

Thomas Smith . I remember Webber being charged with stealing this callimanco the 31st of January; I heard him confess he did take it that same morning, in the way to Sir John Fielding 's; and he told me the same in my master's tenter-ground, and that he intended to either sell or pawn it, but could not tell which; I had the same piece under my arm when he made his confession.

Q. Had you made him any promise prior to this confession?

Smith. No, no in the least.

William Gill . On the 31st of January, in the morning, master Brett, whom I worked for many years, called me into the parlour, and said he had found a thief, which was Webber; he said, do you go to the Justice and get a search warrant, to search Webber's apartment. I went to the Justice; the Justice and my master must come himself, he went, and came with a warrant; I went with my master to search, but we could not find the callimanco; after that Mr. Bell came, and informed us of the piece; when the prisoner and piece was before the Justice, I heard him own he took it, and hoped he should receive mercy; (piece produced.)

Q. to Prisoner. What is the piece worth?

Prosecutor. It is worth 3 l. or better.

John Bell . My husband and I lodge at Graham's house; we have a two pair of stairs room and garret; the ground floor is a cook's shop: the one pair of stairs room she letts out in lodgings to single men; she lived in a little room; parted off from that on the one pair of stairs room; the prisoner lay in the sore room on the first floor. On the 31st of January my husband and I had just done breakfast, about nine o'clock; my husband was just got into his room; (he is a handkerchief-weaver) we heard a rustling; he ordered me to go and see who was there; I did not go; we soon heard it again; I called, who was there; no body answered; I went down, and saw Mrs. Graham at my chamber-down; I asked what she wanted; she made no answer, but made a motion with her hand for me to follow her down stairs; when I came about three or four stairs down, she asked me if I had seen Webber that day; I said, I have not seen him these two days; she had not been up my stairs for two years and upwards; I followed her down into the shop; she put something in a pan, and carried it to the oven, and came back: then I went up to my work; when I came up, I found my door was open, and the key on the inside; I locked it, and put the key in my pocket, and went up into the garret.

Q. Where had you put the key when you went up into the garret that morning?

J. Bell. I think I put it as usual in the garret; in about half an hour after, Mr. Brett and one of his journeymen came and knocked at my door; I asked what they wanted; the officer said, they wanted to see what goods I had in that room; I

said, they were very welcome; I desired them to go up into the garret first; they did, and then went down to our other room; I shewed them what we had there; Mr. Brett seemed contended, and went away. About one o'clock that day, I went down to out two pair of stairs room, and saw a piece of black hang out by the side of my bed; I called my husband down, and said, for God's take come down; here is the piece of black stuff in my room; he took it out and put it on the floor, and went down to Mrs. Graham, and desired her to come up; I went down after my husband, and said, Mrs. Graham, I desire you will come up directly; she was up almost as soon as I I said, how could you be so cruel as to put this into my room; she clapped her hands together and said, she had not been in our room: I said, it does not signify, it must be either you or Webber; my husband said, I'll go and fetch Mr. Brett; she catched hold of my husband, and said, do not go, Mr. Bell, for if you do, Webber will be hanged; my husband went away directly, and Mr. Brett's journeyman came and fetched it out of my room.

Q. Do you know how it came into your room?

J. Bell. I know no-more how it came there than the child unborn; the first that ever I knew of it was seeing it hanging out of the bed.

Graham. Mr. Bell has a wife; this woman is named Judith Manners ; they are indebted to me; I have gone up stairs a great many times, and told them I was necessitated, and desired them to let me have it.

J. Bell. We do owe her 33 s. She never came up, but whenever she asked me for it, it was in her public shop.

Q. How long after you saw her at your room door was the search made?

J. Bell. It was about half an hour after.

John Bell . I lodge in Graham's house. On the 31st of January I was in the garret at work; about nine o'clock I heard a rustling; I said to my wife, give a step down, there is somebody in the entry; she said, there is nothing at all; I said, yes, go and see; she went to the head of the stairs, and then, as she told me, she saw Mrs. Graham; I did not see her. About half an hour after, Mr. Brett, a journeyman, and the constable came to search: I never moved out of the garret: my wife desired them to come and search the garret; they came and searched, and were very well contented; then they went down to our other room, but found nothing. About one o'clock I had done dinner, and went to my labour again; my wife went down to make use of the pot, and she called me down, and said, here is something hangs black out of the bed; then I ran down; I laid hold of it, and drawed out a whole piece of black stuff. I went and said to Mrs. Graham, come and fetch that out of my room which you put in, for no body could put it in but you or Webber; she did not come up then: my wife went down and called her up a second time, then she came up; I said, you naughty woman, how could you put that piece into my room, take it out again; she made a great many vows, and said she did not put it there; I said, I'll go and tell the owner of it; she laid hold of my sleeve with one hand and my shirt with the other, and said, if you do go, Webber will be hanged; I went immediately to Mr. Brett, and told him of it; he and his foreman and the officer, came and took Mrs Graham and the piece away together.

Q. from Webber. Did you ever see me above three times in your room in your life?

Bell. No, I do not remember I ever did.

Webber's defence.

How the piece came into that room I cannot tell.

To his character.

Peter Lote . I am an opposite neighbour to Mr. Brett; I have known Webber 23 years; I always took him to be a very honest man; I never heard to the contrary.

Graham's defence.

I know nothing of the goods no more than any person in the world; I never saw the piece.

To her character.

Joseph Bird . I have known Graham seven years; I look upon her to be a very honest woman; one works very hard for her bread.

Q. Where do you live?

Bird. I live in Little St. Anne's, Seven Dials, Webber Guilty . T .

Graham Acquitted .


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