John Hill.
6th September 1769
Reference Numbert17690906-103

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544. (L.) John Hill was indicted for stealing forty-six guineas, and one thirty-six-shilling piece, the money of James Croxson , in the dwelling house of Sarah Tomlin , widow, May 26 . *

James Croxson . I was coming down Ludgate-hill, on the 26th of May, when the prisoner overtook me, and said, How do you do, countryman? I said, How do you do? Said he, I think I know something of you face. I said, I do not know you. You are a bargeman, are you not? said he. I said, Yes. He said, From where do you come? I said, From Newbury. He said he had a brother lived in that country, and he wanted to hear from him, and if I would go with him while he wrote a letter to carry into the country, he would give me a couple of shillings, and treat me with what I would drink. I went along with him to a public-house in Cloth-fair , and he called for a pot of beer. Presently came in another man: I have heard since his name is Hoxley; he challenged the prisoner to play with him for six-pennyworth of brandy and water, at hiding under a bowl. I said to the prisoner I was in a hurry, and should be glad if he would write the letter. They played: they hid twice. It was to be the best two in three. The prisoner won. They drank the liquor, and went out. Then he took me to the Glovers Arms, in Beech-lane, saying he would write the letter there. We went there through the kitchen, into a private room. He called to the woman to bring him six-pennyworth of punch. Presently in came this William Hoxley again. He said he would play with the prisoner at hiding under the bowl for six or twelve pennyworth of brandy and water, and half a guinea dry money. Then the prisoner asked me to give him two half guineas for a guinea. I took my bag out of my pocket, and put my money out upon the table. There were forty-six guineas, one thirty-six-shilling piece, and two half guineas. I never saw his guinea. He swept all my money off the table into his hat. I asked him what he was going to do with my money; he said to play with that sailor: he has got a bag of money of seventy pounds, and we can win it as easily as any thing. I told him I would not play, for the money was not my own. I saved my two half guineas, having just taken them up when he took the other. Hoxley had a bag in his hand, but what was in it I know not. I endeavoured to get my money again. The prisoner played with Hoxley. It was all in five minutes. Hoxley won, and the prisoner gave him my money directly. Hoxley put it in his pocket. I laid hold of his collar, and said, You shall not carry my money out of the house; I do not know but you two may be concerned together. Then the prisoner came between us, and said, What are you going at? It is I that lost the money. Do not go to use the man ill. I have got a fifty pound Bank note in my pocket, I will go and change that, and give you the money again. Then Hoxley went out. I strove all I could to prevent his going out with my money, but he got out.

Q. Why did you not take the Bank note?

Croxson. I cannot read, and I did not understand notes.

Q. Did he shew you any note?

Croxson. No, he shewed me no note. Then the prisoner took me from thence into Golden-lane. He went in at the Black Koren and

Crown; the man is named Lumlin; and bid me stand at the door, saying he would come to me in a little time, and give me my money. I staid at the door a very little while, and then went in, and called for a pint of beer, and asked the woman if there had been a man there to change a note. She said no; but that there had been a man that had had a dram at the bar, and went out at the other door directly. It was three months after that that I found the prisoner. I had left a description of him with Mr. Melvil. I was to give him two guineas if he found him.

Q. How came you to know the prisoner's name?

Croxson. I heard that at a public-house where I went. The people at the Black Raven told me, if I went to the Bell on Windmill-hill, Moorfields, very likely I might hear of him. I immediately went there. There was a man that came from Reading, and knew me. I told him how I had been served. He told me the two men had been there parting the money.

Q. Did you lend the prisoner your money?

Croxson. No, I did not.

Q. Did you not say you consented he should play with your money?

Croxson. No, I did not.

Cross Examination.

Q. Supposing Hill had won Hoxley's money, what then?

Croxson. He told me I should have half the money; but I said I would not play. I should have desired nothing but my own money?

Q. Did you not tell my Lord Mayor, that you had lent the prisoner the money?

Croxson. No, I did not.

Q. Did you not say you consented he should play with your money?

Croxson. No, I did not. I was frighted about my money.

Charles Truss . On the 26th of May I paid fifty pounds to the prosecutor. I was before my Lord Mayor when the prisoner was before him. I heard the prisoner there confess he had the prosecutor's money. My Lord said he wanted no better evidence against him, than his own story; but I cannot recollect the particulars of it.

Q. What did Croxson insist upon before my Lord Mayor?

Truss. He said he put his money on the table, to take out two half guineas, and the prisoner swept the money into his hat, and Croxson asked him what he was going to do with his money.

Croxson. My Lord asked the prisoner what business he was of; he answered he was a glass-blower. The prisoner acknowledged what I had told my Lord was true.

Prisoner's Defence.

I did borrow some money of him to be sure. I had a fifty pound note. I went into Mr. Lumlin's house to get change for it, but he was not at home. I was obliged to go away, because the young man made inch a noise.

For the Prisoner.

Alexander Melvil . I am the constable. The prosecutor applied to me to take up the prisoner. The prosecutor was very desirous to have his money again; so I said, If you are desirous, you may have it, I suppose. They came to proposals in the Mansion-house. I was there. The prisoner said he could raise ten guineas, and there were ten guineas more lodged in a person's hand, which made twenty-one pounds. When he was before my Lord Mayor, my Lord asked how the money was lost; and the prosecutor said he lent the prisoner the money, upon condition he would return him the money; and if he lost, he would change the note. It plainly appeared to my Lord, that the prosecutor and the others were acquainted; for my part, I cannot say whether they were or not. They were going to employ an attorney. I happening to be up at Sir John Fielding's, I said, If you have money to employ an attorney and counsel, you had better give it to the poor fellow that is a sufferer, who labours under the difficulty to pay the money to his master at a guinea a month (as I was told.) The prosecutor agreed to take the money, and a receipt was drawn for twenty-one pounds, and the expences. He asked me to witness it. He said he would take their word for the expences. I said to him, You shall not take the money, till I have asked advice. I went and asked three gentlemen's opinion. It was their opinion for him to take the money, and apply to the Grand Jury, and say he had received satisfaction. I had the money, and the receipt, but he not coming, I returned the money to the prisoner's brother.

Joseph Moody . I live in Brown-Bear Alley, East-Smithfield. I am a glass-maker, and

work for Quinton and Co. I saw the prosecutor last Monday in the forenoon, between nine and ten o'clock. I said, Pray, Mr. Croxson, what do you intend to do in this affair? Said he, It is a great deal of money to lose, and twenty guineas is but a trifle towards it. Said I, That is all we can raise. For my part, I should be very glad if the case was made up. Said he, Will not you pay my expences? Said I, What is that? Said he, Fifteen shillings. Said I, I will give you a note of hand to pay you half a guinea the next time you come to London with your barge. Said he, I will take your word for it.

Q. What had you to do with it?

Moody. The prisoner is my brother-in-law. We went to the Castle in King-street, and were there some time. He agreed to take ten guineas, and the ten guineas that was down before, and our word for the rest. (The receipt produced.)

Q. to Melvil. Who prepared this note?

Melvil. An acquaintance of the prisoner's. I witnessed it.

It was read to this purport.

"London, Sept. 4, 1769. Received of John

"Hill, by the hands of Thomas Hill , the sum

"of 50 l. 2 s. sterling money of Great-Britain,

"in full of all debts, dues, damages and demands,

"received by John Hill from hiding

"under the hat.

"Witness Alexander Melvil ."

Thomas Hill. I am brother to the prisoner. When this gentleman was agreeable to take the quantity of money, I laid down ten guineas. He took up ten guineas, and after he took one in his hand, he signed his hand to the note for the money received of me, and after that some women came about half an hour after, and he left the money behind, and Mr. Melvil took it up, to go before my Lord Mayor.

William Alexander . I am a shipwright, and live in Shadwell. I only speak to the making it up.

Court. Then you may stand down, we do not want to hear about compounding felony.

William Arcle . I live in a street near the Bank-side, Surry. I am a glass-blower. I have known the prisoner twenty years. He some time kept a cheesemonger's shop . I cannot say what other business he has followed. He always had an honest character.

Q. Did you never divert yourselves together at playing at hiding under a hat, or under a bowl?

Arcle. Never.

Guilty . Death .

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