SAUNDERS ALEXANDER, LYON ABRAHAMS, CLARA BENJAMIN.
6th December 1775
Reference Numbert17751206-45
VerdictsNot Guilty; Guilty
SentencesDeath; Transportation

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75. SAUNDERS ALEXANDER , LYON ABRAHAMS, otherwise LYPE , and CLARA BENJAMIN were indicted; the two first for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Thomas Pratt , on the 8th of October , about the hour of nine in the night, and stealing one hundred and fifty-two pieces of linen cloth, containing three thousand seven hundred and ninety-six yards, value three hundred and fifty-five pounds, the property of Joseph Wakefield , Edward Wakefield , Thomas Pratt , and John Miers , in the dwelling-house of the said Thomas Pratt : and the other for feloniously receiving the said goods, well knowing them to have been stolen .

(The witnesses were examined apart at the request of the prisoners.)

JAMES TODD sworn.

I am servant to Mr. Pratt, a merchant in Lad-lane : at about seven o'clock on Monday morning, the 6th of October, I found the door of the warehouse, which adjoins to the dwelling-house, broke open: I shut the door myself on Saturday night, and did not see the warehouse again till Monday morning, when I missed one hundred and fifty-two pieces of Irish linen, each containing twenty-five yards. There were two cases broke open, and they had taken a whole box, except one piece, and twenty-two pieces out of the other. I know nothing of the prisoners.

On his Cross Examination he said, that there was no way from the dwelling-house to the warehouse, without going into the street, but that the warehouse and dwelling-house were under one roof; that Mr. Pratt lived in the house, and that he believed both the house and warehouse, were rented together of the Mercers company; that he did not know that the rent for the warehouse was paid out of the partnership stock.

THOMAS JACKSON sworn.

I am warehouse-man to Messrs. Wakefield, Pratt, and Miers.

Who does the warehouse belong to? - The warehouse and house belong to Mr. Pratt; the business is carried on at No 1, in Lad-lane; this is No 6. Upon Monday, the 9th of October, James Todd informed me that the warehouse was broke open, and a quantity of linen taken away; I went with him, and missed one hundred and fifty-two pieces of linen: we went immediately and gave information of it to Sir John Fielding , and distributed handbills, and had it advertised in the news-papers; in consequence of which, upon Tuesday the 14th of November, we had an information, upon which we searched the house of one Cohen a Jew, and found some of the things: Mr. Bond and some of Sir John Fielding 's men went to see where he bought the goods. I don't know any more of my own knowledge.

On his Cross Examination he said, that Mr. Pratt had the house and warehouse at No 6, Lad lane; that the rent of the house and warehouse, were paid out of his private stock, and not out of the partnership money; that Mr. Miers, who lives at No 1, Lad-lane, has also a warehouse, with his house; that the other two partners live, one in Clements Court, just by the warehouse, and the other in Ireland; that there was no way into the warehouse out of the dwelling-house.

RICHARD MARDALE sworn.

I am in Sir John Fielding 's service: I went to search the house of Moses Cohen ; I found Cohen sitting by the fire in the lower room; when I went in I past him, and went into the bedroom, there I found two pieces of linen; Cohen then told me he would shew me where other things were. I left two men there, and went with Cohen to the house of Saunders Alexander, in Sweet-apple-court, there we found a great number of pieces of linen (the linens were produced in court): Alexander was not in the house when we found the linen there; I don't know it was his house, only Cohen said it was; and when Alexander was taken up, he claimed some goods and money I found in the house.

- JACKSON sworn.

I cannot positively swear to these linens, the marks being cut out; it is like the linen we missed, and I think it is my master's property.

WILLIAM HALLIBURTON sworn.

I was at the finding of the linens in Cohen's house; I know no more.

MOSES COHEN sworn.

The linen that Mr. Mardale and Halliburton found in my house I bought of the prisoner Clara Benjamin ; I did not ask her name: she told me where she lived, and said she had a stall in Spital-fields, and any body would tell who she was: I bought some of the linen at my own house, and some at her house: when Mardale and Halliburton came to my house, I said I would shew them where I bought the linen, and I took them to the house.

You don't know the man that kept the house? - No; I never saw a man in the house.

How do you know where she lived? - When I bought the remnants of her, she gave me a direction to Sweet-apple-court, and bid me

enquire for the woman that kept a stall in Spitalfields market: on the Monday after prayers I went and found the house, she was up stairs; I don't know whose house it is.

GEORGE KING sworn.

Armstrong, the deceased, came to me on the Saturday night, and told me they were going to do such a place in Lad-lane; they went on Saturday night to try if they could open it; I was not present then.

Was any body present when Armstrong told you that? - Yes, Lyon Abrahams: Armstrong told me it would do; he came to me on Sunday night, and said they had got plenty of fine Irish out of the warehouse; and he would call on me upon Monday morning, which he did, and I and Lyon Abrahams and Armstrong went to the warehouse of Mr. Pratt in Lad-lane: I asked why Alexander was not come, he said he would not get up, he had enough already: I stood at the corner of Aldermanbury and watched for them, while Armstrong and Abrahams brought out two bags, and we took them to Abraham's lodgings.

Do you know nothing of Saunders Alexander being at the house but what Abrahams told you? - No.

Have you told all you know of this affair? - As far as possible I can about the affair; what I know of Lyon Abrahams, Armstrong and myself being in that affair: we carried the goods to Lyon Abraham's house, in Blue-hart-court, Little-bell-alley.

Do you know any thing of Clara Benjamin ? - I saw her once at Lyon Abrahams' house; she was not there when we carried the goods there.

Do you know where Clara Benjamin lives? - No more than what I have heard.

Was you at the breaking open of the warehouse door? - No.

Cross Examination.

You did not see the warehouse door broke open? - No.

They had paid two or three visits before this to the warehouse? - Yes, as I heard from Armstrong and Lyon Abrahams.

Did you hear it from Abrahams then? - Yes.

HANNAH KING sworn.

I saw Sarah Lazarus take three pieces of cloth out of a drawer: I know nothing of the prisoners.

Was you examined before? - Yes, I was examined before the aldermen; I said I saw three or four pieces of linen taken out of Lype Abrahams ' house: Sarah Lazarus took three pieces out of the drawers and two off the bed: this was the 6th of November, between nine and ten in the morning; I don't know where she carried them to.

ALEXANDER's DEFENCE.

I am very innocent; I know nothing at all about it.

ABRAHAMS' DEFENCE.

I know nothing about it; I am very innocent.

FOR THE PRISONERS.

HANNAH BENJAMIN sworn.

I have known Moses Cohen a good many years: I was going through Bow-street, I asked what was the matter, they said there were a great many Jews at Sir John Fielding 's; I went to the Brown Bear for a pint of beer, a person came to me and said Moses Cohen wanted me: I went and asked him what he wanted, he asked me to do a favour for him; I asked what it was, he said to swear against Clara Benjamin , and he would give me two guineas; I said I would not do such a thing for my own father, a woman in my condition, that looked every moment.

What was you to swear? - That I was in the room when she came to sell some linen at his house.

Q. to Cohen. Did you make such an offer to this woman? - No; I don't know any body.

Don't you know Hannah Benjamin ? - I never had any dealing with her in my life.

Did you see this woman at Bow-street? - I don't know the woman.

Did you make such an offer to any body? - I never spoke to any body in my life.

Q. to Benjamin. Are you sure Cohen made that offer to you? - Yes; I wish I may never be delivered of my child if he did not.

ISAAC BOCHERO sworn.

I know Cohen, and I apprehended Saunders Alexander ; I was at the examination at Sir John Fielding 's upon Wednesday: coming out at Sir John Fielding 's, two women were with Cohen that swore they were in the room when Cohen bought the linen: when they were in the Brown Bear, Cohen said he was afraid of going abroad; Hart said it was hard for him to go abroad, he had a great family; it was no great matter for her to go abroad, as she had no family; he was sitting in the box drinking with them, they were talking together in Hebrew; he cried very much: Hart said what was he crying for, if their witnesses would not do, they would bring two more witnesses to the Old Bailey.

ALEXANDER NOT GUILTY .

ABRAHAMS GUILTY . Death

BENJAMIN GUILTY. T. 14 years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.


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