George Crowder, William Clark, John Simmonds.
18th October 1769
Reference Numbert17691018-26
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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581, 582, 583. (M.) George Crowder , William Clark , and John Simmonds , were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Risbrough , on the 31st of August , about the hour of three in the night, and stealing four linen shifts, value 10 s. two muslin aprons, two pair of muslin ruffles, and one black silk handkerchief, the property of Elizabeth Risbrough , spinster , in the dwelling-house of the said John . *

John Risbrough . I am a victualler . I live at Hoxton . Between the 31st of August, and the first of September, my house was broke open. The window-shutter was forced on the outside, and the sash-window was open. We went to bed between nine and ten that night. That part that was broke open, I generally fasten as soon as it is dark. The goods taken away were the property of my daughter. We got a search-warrant from my lord mayor, and part of the things were found again in Chick-lane and Field-lane.

Elizabeth Risbrough . I am daughter to John Risbrough . On the first of September, in the morning, we went into the parlour about nine, and found the sash up. I mist some ruffles, four shifts, three or four aprons, and some sleeves, more than I have found again. The prisoners were taken in another robbery, about a fortnight after, and we found some of the things again in Chick-lane and Field-lane. I know nothing against the prisoner, any further than what the evidence, Ashbeshaw, has said.

Sarah Ashbeshaw . I keep a lodging-house in Rosemary-lane. The three prisoners came and knocked at my door on the first of September, about three in the morning. They said they had a parcel of things. At that time I did not know how they came by them. They sold them to me. I buy and sell old clothes; there were muslin aprons, handkerchiefs, caps, shifts, and shift sleeves. I sold some to Mrs. Carpenter in Field-lane. (A cap, a worked apron, a plain muslin apron, four shifts, a white sarcenet handkerchief, a gawse-handkerchief and ruffles, two pair of shift sleeves, a parcel of shift sleeves rough dried, and a worked handkerchief, produced in court, and deposed to by Elizabeth Risbrough :) I also sold some in Chick-lane, to a woman that keeps a clothes-shop. I heard Crowder and Simmonds afterward say they broke the house of Mr. Risbrough in the night, and took the things. I was taken into custody. Then I gave evidence before Sir John Fielding , on the things being found, upon searching.

Alice Conningham . I saw the last witness give the three prisoners 30 s. for the things, and they gave her a shilling back again. I lodge in her house.

Q. Did you hear them say how they came by them?

A. Conningham. No, I did not.

Richard Smith . I was coming by Whitechapel

when Crowder was in the watch-house. I asked him how he came there; he said he did not fear, for he should be made an evidence of. He desired me to take Clark: then he directed me to the other, and said I should find him upon Salt- Peter Bank , with a silver laced hat on. Going along, I found Ashbeshaw with a hat pinned under her apron. I asked her where she had it, she said she bought it of a sailor. When I took Clark, he said it was not him that took the things, it was Simmonds the sailor. There was a warrant granted to search the house of Carpenter, and another woman's, at the corner of Chick-lane. I found some of these things at one house, and some at the other.

Crowder's Defence.

I never saw the woman Ashbeshaw, nor the last evidence, in my life, till I saw them before Sir John Fielding . I have not been long come from Greenland.

Clark's Defence.

I never saw this woman before with my eyes. I have not been long from sea. I lodge in Bell-alley.

Simmond's Defence.

I have not been long from sea. I lodge at my father's in Peter-street.

George Brown , who had known Crowder from his birth, but had not heard of him from the time he went to sea, which was a year ago, till the day before he was tried.

Elizabeth Hottoway , who had known Clark twelve years, Ann Darby six or seven, Ann Harding twelve, and Samuel Woodward four years; all said they never heard any ill of him, and that he was about fourteen or fifteen years of age.

All three guilty . Death .

There were two other indictments against Crowder and Simmonds for a burglary.


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