William Dixon.
7th September 1768
Reference Numbert17680907-29
VerdictNot Guilty

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526. (M.) William Dixon was indicted for stealing 50 guineas , the property of George Stubbs , Gent. May 31 . *

George Stubbs . I live at the end of Parliament-street, going into Palace-yard ; on the 31st of May in the morning, my maid came and told me my drawers were broke open in the parlour; upon examination I found there lay a bank note doubled up, but all my money that lay there was gone; there were a poker and a knife lying by, the knife appeared to have been battered; I cannot be certain to the exact sum, but I am sure there were 50 guineas gone, it may be 70 or 80; there were two Spanish dollars, an India bond, and some bank notes left behind; the closet-door was likewise broke open, that seemed to be wrenched open with a beef-fork, which exactly fitted the place; there lay a table or chair by the door, and 15 or 20 pieces of plate by the parlour-door, such as pepper-box, spoons, and the like. I believe they had been removed out of their place in the night, they lay in a heap together: upon this alarm I began to think where the robber could get in; I went down the kitchen stairs, all the parlour-windows seemed to be fast; I observed the back kitchen-window was open, the upper sash was down, there appeared on the inside and outside ledges the print of a foot very clear, from thence I conjectured a person might get in there; I then sent for a watchman, and told him I had been robbed, and should be glad if he could give any account of any thing he had seen that might lead to a discovery; he said to me, Lord bless me, Sir, between two and three o'clock this morning a man came out of your house to light a candle; he told him he might light two if he pleased, he is here, and will give the account himself; I had at that time no man servant; this unhappy prisoner had lived with me in the year 1761, I believe he then might be 16 or 17 years old, he left me in April 1762; I could make no discovery, till on the 2d of August, about nine at night, or rather before, all of a sudden our maid came screaming up out of the area, and said, there is a man in the small-beer vault; I immediately unbolted the street-door, there were two chairmen, I desired

them to come in and assist; one stood to see that he did not get over the rails, and the other went in at the area-door; I stood at the top of the stairs, the chairman brought the prisoner up to the head of the stairs; I did not then recollect him, I asked him what business he had there, who are you, and what are you; he looked down, and said, his hat was throwed or blowed off, and he got over the rails to get it; I said, it would have looked better had you knocked at the door for your hat; he said, he was afraid of disturbing of me; I asked him what his name was; he said his name was William Manners , and that he lived at the Antigallican coffee-house, Temple-bar; I asked him how long he had been in town; he said, about a fortnight; I asked him what business he was of, I think he said a tallow-chandler, come to town to get into bread; in the noise and hurry they said, we will search his pocket, and see if he has got any weapon about him; upon searching there were found upon him two letters and a knife; he immediately said, them letters do not belong to me, they do not concern me, these letters concern one Capt. Dixon, a friend of mine, my name is Manners; I told him every thing his property should be returned him, but I had been robbed lately, therefore I should expect a good account of him before I parted with him; upon searching the place where he lay this instrument was found (producing a new tap-borer;) he was asked if it belonged to him, he denied it then; a person happened to come in, and said, Lord bless me, this is the young man that lived with you at the time of the coronation; I said to him, did you never live with me, and if he did not come from Lincoln; he said, no; I said, I believe you are the person; he was then carried to the watch-house, and the next morning before Mr. Welch; when I came there, I said to him, Will, I am very sorry to find you here on this occasion, you have very ill rewarded my kindness to you; he then acknowledged he had lived with me, and that he came from Lincoln, and his name was William Dixon , I then very well knew him; one of the letters was addressed to him by the name of Capt. Dixon, at this Antigallican coffee-house, it was a letter from one Jones; Mr. Welch asked his name; he said it was Dixon, and allowed he had gone by the name of Capt. Dixon; he seemed to be much affected, and did not care to own any thing; Mr. Welch did observe to him, there had been several robberies about the town, and if he had any accomplices he might have an opportunity of saving himself; I made no promise to him, he did confess he was the person that robbed me.

Q. What were the words Mr. Welch made use of, as near as you can recollect?

Stubbs. I think Mr. Welch very mildly said, if he had any correspondents in any other robbery he would do well to save himself, as he was a young man.

Q What did you understand was meant by that?

Stubbs. To turn evidence; the prisoner said he had none, and cried a good deal; at last he said he had been guilty of no other robbery; he was asked if he had any accomplices, or any body advised him to this; he said no body knew of it but one person; he was asked who that person was; he answered, it was Miss Jones; I know nothing of her, she was before Mr. Welch, she is a woman of the town; he was asked how he got into my house; he said he got in at a window, which I found open; he said he found one of the shutters open.

Q. Whether you did not understand the prisoner would have told you any thing of it, if Mr. Welch had not told him it was as a means to save his life?

Stubbs. I did understand at that time he expected I would not indict him capitally (which I have not;) Mr. Welch said, if he had any thing to say, no body should hear it, but he should go out of the room; he made no answer to it, but cried and said this woman had been the ruin of him.

Thomas Griffiths . I was a watchman in May last, my stand was close up to Mr. Stubbs's house; on the 31st of May, between one and two in the morning, a man came out of his house, and said, watchman, please to let me light a bit of a candle; I said, yes, two, Sir, if you please; he light it, and went into the house again, and shut the door, it was but a youngish man, his clothes were loose, I cannot rightly tell how he was dressed, by his voice and his hair I think it was the prisoner at the bar; he spoke to me five or six times, I knew him again when I saw him before the Justice, I was sure he was the same.

Q. Was his hair particular from other peoples?

Griffiths. His hair stood up, it was frizzled by the sides of his face; after that he came out of Mr. Stubbs's house again, and said, watchman, can you tell me where I can get a bit of candle, my master is taken ill, and I do not know where to find a bit of candle in the house; I said, if you will take mine you are welcome to it; he had my

bit of candle, his coming without a hat I thought he was Mr. Stubbs's servant; he asked me if I would be so good as to go and light it, my candle was out then; there was a woman sold faloop just by, I went over to her, and light it; he took it, and carried it in, and shut the door after him; he said, watchman, when you come upon your stand at night I will make you drink; in the morning I heard that Mr. Stubbs had been robbed.

Prisoner's defence.

What they have swore is false.

Acquitted .


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