7th September 1774
Reference Numbert17740907-1
VerdictsGuilty > theft under 40s; Not Guilty

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551, 552. (M.) WILLIAM NORBURY and JOHN VINER were indicted, the first for stealing two engraved plates of copper, value 30 s. and thirty-nine engraved plates of pewter, value 8 l. 10 s. the property of Thomas Harper , in the dwelling house of the said Thomas ; and the other for receiving the said plates well knowing them to have been stolen , May 27th . +

Thomas Harper . I am a copper-plate musick printer ; I live in Brownlow-street, Drury-lane ; on Friday the 26th or 27th of May I lost thirty-nine musick plates and two copper-plates belonging to this work (producing a book of musick). I have the two copper-plates here; one cost three guineas the other one guinea engraving; they were found by the intelligence of Graves; Viner had been apprentice to me; I know nothing more of it but what I heard from the evidence.

John Graves . I have known the prisoner two years; I was brought up to a glasier; I followed my business till within these two months; in Whitsun holidays the prisoners and I were playing at skittles at the Cheshire Cheese in Parker's-lane, and were talking of the robbery of one Check a carpenter in Drury-lane, for which a man had been hanged; I said I should like to read the sessions paper about it; Viner said if we would go to his master he would lend it us for nothing.

Q. Who did he mean by his master?

Graves. Mr. Harper; we all three went to this man's house for it; Viner and I staid at the top of Brownlow-street, and Norbury went in to borrow the paper; he staid about five minutes and then he brought out something in his apron very heavy; I did not know what it was at that time; he bid me lay hold of it; I did and took it across Drury-lane down King-street and through the Two Sugar Loaves a publick house, into Parker's-lane to my own lodgings; Norbury went with me; Viner left us when he saw Norbury come out of his master's house; he said he would have nothing to do with it, and ran away directly; when I came to my lodgings I opened them and found they were musical plates; there were forty-one or forty-two of them, and there were these two copper-plates on the top; I took notice of them and know them again by the figures; Norbury and I staid in my room all day and melted down the pewter plates, and then we took the pewter to one Edward Parker 's room and asked him to sell them for us; there Viner met us; Parker said he would, and took them to several shops, but could not get rid of them; I took them to my lodgings that night; we went to Parker's in the morning, and he said he would get a woman to sell them for us; we went with her to St. Andrew's steps; she took one parcel and sold it, and then came and took the other parcel; there was about seventy pound weight of it; she sold it for half a guinea; I gave Norbury half a crown; he gave the woman a shilling and I gave her sixpence; Parker cheated us out of a good deal of the money, so I would not give him any thing; Viner came the next day to my lodgings and I paid him half a crown, which was a debt I owed him, but not on account of the pewter; Norbury had the two copper plates in his room in Long acre; he came to me and said he was going from his room and wanted to get rid of these things; he asked me to go with him to throw them in a pond; I did not chuse it; he went up into Parker's room and got him to go with him; he left him and went about two fields from him and hid them; afterwards Norbury was taken up for a highway robbery, and he got these plates out of the ground himself; Parker was taken for a highway robbery, and was an evidence against me for bringing some things to him, but the things not being produced I was discharged.

Dennis Macdonald . I am a constable; I had Norbury in custody for something else; Parker was an evidence in the Borough; he mentioned these plates; I asked Norbury about them and he told me where they were; I went and found them according to his direction.

Norbury's Defence.

I know nothing of the robbery; I went with the evidence into the field and he gave me the slip, and went away from me; I afterwards found these things in the field; I know nothing at all of it.

NORBURY guilty of stealing to the value of 39 s. T .

VINER acquitted .

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