20th October 1773
Reference Numbert17731020-76
VerdictsGuilty; Not Guilty; Guilty; Guilty
SentencesTransportation; Transportation; Transportation

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721, 722. (2d. M.) EDWARD WILSON and JAMES GIBSON were indicted, the first for stealing eleven yards and three quarters of a yard of Wilton carpet, value 50 s. and eight

yards of Scotch carpet, value 14 s. the property of Robert Williams , Sept. 27th , and the other for receiving the above goods, well knowing them to have been stolen , Oct 5th . *

Robert Williams . I am an upholder and cabinet-maker , and live in Bow-street, Covent-garden ; the prisoner, Wilson, was my porter ; I had missed a number of things; I went out of town on the 4th of October, and returned on the 7th; on the morning after my return, John Bruce a journeyman of mine came up to me between six and seven o'clock, before I was out of bed, and told me he suspected the prisoner; I got up and went to Sir John Fielding 's and got a warrant and took the prisoner Wilson; I charged him with taking the carpets; he confessed it; I asked him what he had done with them; he said he had sold them to one Brook-house, with a number of other things; I went with a constable from Sir John's to Brookhouse's house; he was not at home; we asked Mrs. Brookhouse what she had done with the things the porter had sold her; she said she had not bought any thing of him; going to search the house the prisoner went behind the compter, and took up a piece of Wilton carpet from behind it, there is seven yards of it; or said there was a piece there, I cannot say which; she said there was nothing else; we went up stairs to search the first floor, and the prisoner said the curtains of the bed and the curtains of the windows were mine; he said he took them out of my shop; that piece of carpet was in my house on the 25th of September. We asked Mrs. Brookhouse as we came down stairs, what she had done with the other; she said her husband had taken a parcel away, and sold it in Brook-street, Grosvenor-square; we searched after this house; it proved to be Gibson's, the other prisoner; we went to his house; he was not at home then; we found him at home at one o'clock; on being questioned about any thing he had had of Brookhouse, he readily produced some moreen, and said he had nothing else; at last he owned he had two rolls of carpeting above stairs which he fetched down out of a cupboard in the garret. (They were produced and deposed to by the prosecutor). Brook-house was the man that brought them to him, and was to call again for them, but that he had not bought them of Brookhouse; here are eleven yards of Wilton, and eight yards of Scorch carpet, charged in this indictment.

John Bruce . I am servant to Mr. Williams; after my master was gone out of town, on the 6th of October, about seven in the evening, I met the prisoner with a piece of carpeting; I stopped him and said, where are you going with that? he said, for God's sake, do not inform Mr. Williams, I shall be ruined! At his entreaty I let him go; I followed him in order to find out where he carried it, but missed him in Rose-street; I could not exactly see the house he went into; the next day he came and opened the shop as usual, but I did not see him there all the rest of the day; the same evening when I saw the carpeting upon his arm, after I missed the house he went into, that evening about eight o'clock, he sent for me to the Black Horse, and then repeated it that I would not let Mr. Williams know, for it would ruin him; I promised I would not; on Friday morning he came while I was there; we went first to a public house; then we took a walk together; as we were walking together he said he had been a foolish fellow in what he had done, for Mr. Williams had been a very good master to him; he said he could not get that piece of carpeting again, for he had sold it outright to Brookhouse for four shillings; but said he, you had better tell Mr. Williams, or I will tell him myself: for I am very uneasy he should be so wronged; Brookhouse has advised me to take every thing I could lay my hands on; I was present when the first things were taken at Brookhouse's shop.

Blanchville Clarke. I am a constable: I was at Gibson's house; I asked him first if he knew Brookhouse; he acknowledged readily that he did; I asked him first where were the moreens and things brought to him the other night by Brook-house; he readily said they were up stairs, he would bring them down, and went and brought them down; then I asked about some lace; that he acknowledged in the same manner; he opened his bureau and shewed it us; then I asked him about the carpeting; he at first said he had no more things from Brookhouse; on threatening to search the house, he said he would go up and fetch the carpeting; he went up, opened the cupboard and took out the two pieces, sworn to by the prosecutor, and delivered them up; he said he had not bought them; that he had lent Brookhouse 3 l. upon some of the other things; but as for the carpets, he had not bought them; Brookhouse had left them there, but he was to call for them.

Prosecutor. They are worth about 3 l.

Thomas Brookhouse . I live in Rose-street, Long-acre; about a fortnight ago, Wison

brought me a piece of Wilton carpet as a remnant which he had to dispose of; he asked half a guinea for it; which I gave him.

Q. to the prosecutor. What is that worth?

Prosecutor. About 40 s.

Brookhouse. In a day or two after, he brought the piece of Scotch carpet; I gave him 7 s. for that; he said he had this to dispose of for a person in the Compter that wanted money; a week after this, I carried them to Gibson; I said I had bought these two pieces of carpet, and had a mind to dispose of them again; Gibson asked if they were honestly come by; he did not put the question to me till after the money was paid; for he offered at once 9 s. for the Scotch carpet, and 2 s. a-yard, which was 22 s. for the Wilton: and therefore it struck into my mind, when Gibson gave me so much more than the man had sold them to me for, that these things might be stolen goods.

Prisoner's Defence.

I sold Brookhouse these things; he was the man that induced me to rob my master.

Gibson. I leave my defence to my counsel; Brookhouse brought them to me; they were left with me; I did not buy them; Brookhouse said they were the goods of a person in distress who wanted to dispose of them.

He called four upholdsterers and cabinet makers of reputation, who gave him a good character.

Q. to the prosecutor. Can you give any reason why Gibson was prosecuted rather than Brook-house? Brookhouse certainly deserves punishment?

Prosecutor. I wanted to prosecute Brookhouse; but Sir John made a witness of him.

Court. Do you know the reason why?

Prosecutor. No.

WILSON guilty . T .

GIBSON acquitted .

723. (M.) EDWARD WILSON was again indicted with GODDARD HOFFIEN ; Wilson for stealing one looking glass with a mahogany frame, value 6 s. three linen bed curtains, value 30 s. and one linen case for a window curtain, value 4 s. the property of Robert Williams , Aug. 30th . And the other for receiving the above goods knowing them to have been stolen .

Robert Williams . The prisoner acknowledged as to the bed curtains that he stole them, and said he had sold a number of things to Hoffien, who kept the shop before Brookhouse came there; besides these bed curtains I lost a looking glass. On hearing this account from the prisoner, on the 8th of October I enquired of Brookhouse where Hoffien lived; he directed me to Lime-house; I found him in Three Colt-street; I searched his house; at first I found nothing belonging to me; at last, in one of the rooms I saw this looking glass hang; it struck me; it was a looking glass I had lost; I lifted it up; I found my mark upon the back of it; I can be sure it was my property; I wondered to see it there, for it was packed up before Christmas last in a case with many other things in order to go to America, but the case had not been sent away; I went home to look at it, and found the top of the case had been opened, and six looking glasses taken out of the parcel, and six left behind; by the mark on the looking glass I am sure this is one I had so packed up; I asked Hoffien where he had it; he said he could not tell. As to the curtains, I found them at Brookhouse's shop; he said he bought them of Hoffien; one of them lay upon Brookhouse's bed; the other hung up at the window; I found the rest in some drawers at Brookhouse's; I am sure the curtains are mine; they are my work; I had not seen them for a twelve-month before.

John Bruce . When Wilson was taken up he acknowledged having stolen one looking glass, but said he had stole no more looking glasses, but had stole the curtains a long time ago, and sold them to Brookhouse.

Blanchville Clarke. I searched these two places; the looking glass was not in Hoffien's bed room; I heard Wilson say he had stolen and sold Hoffien three other looking glasses. Hoffien said as for the curtains he did not buy them, but Brookhouse's wife desired him to keep them for her, and she paid the money for them.

Elizabeth Brookhouse . I know nothing of the looking glass; we took this house of Hoffien, about the middle of the quarter after last Midsummer; Hoffien was to continue a month in the house, in order to shew us this business; it was during this month that Wilson brought in the curtains; Hoffien was there in the house when Wilson brought them; Wilson shewed the curtains to Hoffien; I did not stay to make any bargain; I left Hoffien and Wilson in the shop, whilst I went out to change a guinea; I was absent about ten minutes; when I returned

Wilson was in the shop with Hoffien; Hoffien took hold of my hand, and counted my fingers to the number eight; I did not know the meaning of that; the reason of doing that was because there were other people at that time in the shop; but as soon as these people were gone out of the shop, then he explained it, and bid me give eight shillings for the curtains, accordingly I did do it. The manner in which Wilson brought the curtains was, he laid them down in the shop, and then Hoffien took them up and measured them; Hoffien told me, after Wilson was gone, that he had bought a good bargain for me, and delivered me the curtains. The next day Hoffien carried my mother up to look at these curtains, which were carried up stairs, and Hoffien shewed the curtains to my mother, and said he had bought a good bargain for Mrs. Brookhouse; these are the curtains.

Wilson's Defence.

I stole both the looking glass and curtains. As to the curtains, I sold them to Mrs. Brook-house; as to the looking glass that I did sell to Hoffien, but he was in bed at the time I sold it to his wife.

Hoffien's Defence.

I fell ill of a fever in June, from that time I was never able to transact any business.

WILSON Guilty . T .

HOFFIEN Guilty . T. 14 Y .

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