JOHN BIRCH, RICHARD BOLTON, JOHN DUFFEY.
21st April 1773
Reference Numbert17730421-39
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty
SentenceDeath

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403, 404, 405. (2d M.) JOHN BIRCH , RICHARD BOLTON and JOHN DUFFEY were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Thomas Rauston , on the 30th of March , about the hour of one in the night, and stealing one silver watch, capped and jeweled, value 4 l. one silver pepper box, value 10 s. one silver pint mug, value 3 l. one silver salt, value 10 s. six silver table spoons, value 3 l. two silver tea spoons, value 3 s. two pair of silver shoe buckles, value 6 s. one pair of silver knee buckles, value 1 s. thirteen yards of linen cloth, value 30 s. four razors with horn handles tipped with silver, value 10 s. one shagreen razor case, value 2 s. four yards of long lawn, value 20 s. one canvas bag, value 1 d. forty copper tickets, value 2 s. and nine guineas, one half guinea, one sixpence and sixty copper halfpence, in money, numbered, the property of the said Thomas, in his dwelling house . +

Thomas Rauston . Early in the morning on the 31st of March, my servant came up to me, and informed me my house was robbed; I got up immediately and came down; that was between five and six o'clock; I found the window shutter of the compting house broke open, which is part of my dwelling house, an adjacent room to the parlour; they both join.

Q. Do you go out of the parlour into the compting house?

Rauston. Yes; the bolt of the shutter was broke and wrenched off; the window was pulled down, and the shutters put easily too; it was nearly shut; the sash was not fastened down.

Q. Do you know how this window was left over night?

Rauston. Yes, it was bolted; I examined the compting house just before I went to bed; they could get no farther; they broke open two locks in the compting house desk, and took out a bowl of halfpence, about 3 s. worth; then I presume they proceeded to the parlour; there were two locks there broke open, and 10 l. in cash taken out of the closet, a silver pint mug, a silver watch capped and jewelled; the maker's name Fish, at the Royal Exchange, a silver salt

six silver table spoons, two tea spoons, a pepper box, two pair of silver shoe buckles, one pair of silver knee buckles, between 13 and 14 yards of Irish linen, four razors and a case, with horn handles tipped with silver, four yards of long lawn, a canvas bag with a parcel of tickets; I swear to 60, I suppose there were 100; with regard to the copper tickets, the morning after the robbery I was sent to, and informed that Burch had thrown something into a poad in Mrs. Harrison's cow layer, Gray's-inn-lane; I imagined it might be the copper tickets; I got some people to drag the pond this day, and the drag brought out this bag (producing a canvas bag); this was in my desk; I kept them in it. I found seven yards of Irish linen at the house of Elizabeth Price ; Birch carried it there to make shirts. Heley found three of the razors and a piece of the lawn and these two instruments, one is a ripping, and the other a common chissel, were found in the parlour by my servants.

Q. Was Birch a servant of your's?

Rauston. He was some time ago, not now; he has left my service three months or better.

Q. Do you know any thing of Duffey and the other?

Rauston. No; I never saw them till I saw them at Bridewell. When I saw Duffey he would have impeached his accomplices, but Sir John Fielding did not chuse to permit him.

Elizabeth Price . John Birch brought me seven yards of cloth to make him shirts the Wednesday before the gentleman fetched it away on the Sunday; it was the first of April about 11 o'clock in the morning.

Q. Was any body with him?

Price. No. I live at No. 2, Magpye-alley, Fetter-lane. (The cloth produced by the prosecutor.)

Price. This is the cloth I had of Birch.

Prosecutor. I believe it to be my property; I have the other part of the cloth; it appears to be the same; I cannot swear positively to a piece of cloth; it was lost out of a cupboard in the closet; there was between 13 and 14 yards of it; the whole was taken away.

Q. to the Prosecutor. What is that remnant you compared it with?

Prosecutor. A piece cut off of it.

Q. What are you?

Prosecutor. An ironmonger.

John Fitzgerald . I am a pawnbroker: I live with Mr. Murthwaite, the corner of George-court, Prince's-street, Leicester-fields; the prisoner Birch came on the 31st of March, about one o'clock, or between one and two o'clock, to pledge a watch, maker's name William Fish , at the Royal Exchange; it was a silver watch, capped and jewelled.

Q. What do you mean by capped and jewel ed?

Fitzgerald. The wheels are jeweled and capped over with brass; he wanted 25 s. upon it; I refused to take it in because the watch was worth a deal more money; he said he bought it of a comrade whose name was Selvage.

Q. Was the man a soldier or what?

Fitzgerald. He was dressed in regimentals. I asked him what was the maker's name; he said it was Cox or Fox or something like it; I said when he brought it, to try him, that I had seen it advertised; he seemed confused, and said that could not be for he bought it of his comrade. The watch was advertised next day; I went to Sir John Fielding 's to give information.

Q. Did that advertisement agree with the watch you saw?

Fitzgerald. Yes; he said he could leave the watch with the serjeant for 25 s. but was not willing he should know any thing of his necessity.

William Clewin . I saw the prisoner Birch the day after the robbery; he came in as I was easing myself in Mrs. Harrison's cow layer, in Gray's-inn-lane, on Thursday the 1st of April, about five in the morning; there was another along with him; they walked along; I thought they were going to work; they went to the pond side and threw something in, I cannot say what it was; that is all I know.

George Sessell . I dragged a pond in Mrs. Harrison's cow layer this morning, and found the bag in it which has been produced; Duffey told me where he threw it in as near as he could; I was two hours dragging the pond before I found it.

John Heley . On the 3d of April I went to the lodgings of Duffey and Bolton; Bolton lodged in the two pair of stairs room, and Duffey in the back room of the ground floor; Bolton was in Duffey's lodgings. Duffey was in custody; Mr. Bond and I were together; Mr. Bond laid hold of Bolton and insisted on searching him. I saw a razor between his legs and took it up, whether he dropped it or no I cannot say; two days after, Mary Shields said there was a gold chain in the necessary, and dragging for that I

found the other two razors. (The three razors produced and deposed to by the prosecutor, and a piece of long lawn found in Duffey's lodgings produced.)

Henry Smallwood . On Saturday the 3d of April the prisoner came to me, and said he was pretty sure he could find Birch, and directed me to Lestall-street, Cold Bath-fields; I went and took him; I searched him and found a watch upon him, and some gold and silver; I showed the watch to the prosecutor, but it was not his; I gave it him again; the next day we heard of a girl that was an acquaintance of his; we went to her lodging and there I found this cloth that has been produced.

Birch's Defence.

I know nothing at all of the affair as to the the cloth; I have witness I bought it and paid for it, and my serjeant is here who will prove I was in the Broadway, Westminster, at the time the pawnbroker says I brought the watch.

Duffey's Defence.

I know nothing of it.

Bolton's Defence.

I am innocent; I know nothing of the robbery.

For Birch.

James Smith . About three weeks ago, or it may be a month, I was coming up by Hatton Wall, the bottom of Hatton Garden, and there I saw Birch and another man; they had bargained for some cloth; Birch had a piece of cloth under his arm; he had bought it of the other man, and was paying for it just as I was coming past; it was in the street the corner of Hatton Garden.

Q. Who was the other man?

Smith. I do not know; he had bundles of stockings over his shoulders; I saw him give half a guinea and 6 s. 6 d. in silver.

Q. Do you know what sort of cloth it was, did you look at it?

Smith. No, I cannot say.

Q. What colour was it?

Smith. I cannot say; I went away; I did not stop three minutes.

Q. Was the cloth wrapped in any thing?

Smith. No; he had it under his arm.

Q. Then cannot you tell what colour it was?

Smith. It was a whitish cloth; I did not take particular notice; I then went on. I am a carpenter.

Q. How long have you known Birch?

Smith. I knew his father and all the family of them.

Q. What time of day did you see Birch buy this?

Smith. Between eight and nine in the morning.

Q. You never saw the man before.

Smith. No, I never did, nor since that I know of.

John Read . I am a serjeant: Birch is a soldier in the first regiment of foot guards; he was on the drill fourteen days for missing guard: it is a light sort of punishment.

Q. What time of day was that?

Read. He was on the drill from ten in the morning till twelve, and then dismissed and sent home.

Q. When did these fourteen days begin?

Read. I do not know.

Q. Was he on the drill the 31st of March?

Read. I cannot be sure of that?

Q. He has no presence of being on the drill between one and two o'clock?

Read. No, a quarter after twelve is the outside of the time always. Birch and I was on the drill on Wednesday; I mounted guard on Friday and came away on Saturday.

Q. to the Prosecutor. Look at the linen once more what is the value of it?

Read. It cost about 2 s. 9 d. a yard.

BIRCH and BOLTON guilty Death .

DUFFEY acquitted .

See Duffey and Bolton tried No. 365 and 366, in the last Part.


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