4th April 1779
Reference Numbert17790404-32
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty

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224, 225, 226. WILLIAM WALKER , JOHN CANTON , and JOSEPH PENTICROSS were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of James Penticross , on the 3d of March , about the hour of three in the night, and stealing thirty-six pound weight of copper, called shruff copper, value 20 s. six pound weight of old brass, value 3 s. three brass weights, value 7 s. a quarter of an hundred of copper filings and turnings, value 9 s. six pewter patterns, value 20 s. twenty-four lead patterns, value 40 s. sixty copper patterns, value 7 l. and six brass patterns, value 20 s. the property of the said James Penticross and Job Cox , in the dwelling-house of the said James .


I live at No. 13, Eyre-street, Leather-Lane ; I am a founder and brasier , in partnership with Job Cox; the house is mine; the prisoner Joseph Penticross is my nephew ; I know nothing of the other two. On the 3d of March my house was broke open; a window at the corner of Summer-street was broke open; I saw all fast about eleven o'clock the night before. About three in the morning my wife waked me; I heard a noise; I thought it was rats or mice, or some vermin; I made a noise with a chair by the bed-side, and the noise ceased; I struck a light, and smoaked some tobacco, and then laid down again, and went to sleep. I was waked a second time by the same noise; it was a small trifling noise; I could not distinguish any thing in particular; I got up about seven o'clock in the morning; and when I went to open the window, at the corner of Summer-street, I found it broke open; the bolt was wrenched out of the main beam of solid timber;

the ground lies high, and the window almost close to it; it is the window of the cellar or shop. I missed all the things mentioned in the indictment (repeating them): I went to look at the situation of the window on the outside, and found the brickwork broke opposite the bolt, and there was wrote in chalk, Penty. I thought the writing was like what I had seen Joseph Penticross write; my wife told me, she heard somebody come up to that window the night before, while I was gone out, with a wooden-leg; Joseph Penticross having a wooden-leg, that, and the writing, gave me a suspicion of him; I went to his mother's to see for him; his father lay dead in the house at the time; he was out; she sent for him; he came in, and sat down, and asked what I wanted with him at that time; the undertaker came in with his father's coffin, and he burst out a crying, and said, uncle, have you got a warrant? I said, I had not; he said, then I will tell you where you may find your things; I can show you where the persons are who robbed you. I went with him to several places, but could not find them; at last, between seven and eight o'clock in the evening, we found Walker and Canton in Walker's lodging, at a house on Saffron-hill, in the same room were two girls; one was in bed, and the other getting into bed; we made them get up; I asked them if they knew any thing of breaking my house open; they said, no; I desired the constable to search, and see if he could find any thing; he found three of my patterns in Walker's pocket, and two in the closet; he found also in Walker's lodgings, a saw, and some tools; among which was an iron-crow; there was nothing found on Canton. We took them to the Punch-Bowl, with the two women; and the officer left me with them, and went and searched the lodging of Canton.

JOB COX sworn.

I am partner with Penticross; about five o'clock of the night in which the house was broke open, I made this window fast belonging to the cellar, and saw all the things safe which are mentioned in the indictment. The patterns that Dinmore, the constable found, I know to be my property.

[ Edward Jelley , who keeps the house where the prisoner Penticross's mother lived, went with him and his uncle, and the constable, to Walker's lodgings, and confirmed Penticross's evidence as to finding the things.]


I went with the prisoner Penticross and his uncle to Walker's lodgings, and took him and the other prisoner. I searched the lodging, and found two patterns in the closet, and three in Walker's pocket. I then went and searched the lodging of Canton, but found nothing there. The next day I took them before a magistrate, and Penticross wanted to be an evidence; but would not say any thing till the other two were brought up. Then the magistrate said, he understood he was come voluntarily to offer himself as an evidence, and asked him what he had to say; he said, nothing at all, and refused to say any thing. Then they were all three ordered to the bar, and began to accuse one another. Penticross charged Walker with softening the iron crow, and bending it up with a hammer to break the house open. I went and tried the crow, and it fitted the mark where they had wrenched the window open.


I went into this room in the morning; these things were lying on the table; Penticross said they were his father's; that he put on his father's coat, and found them in the pocket.


I know nothing of it.


I know nothing of it.


The other Two, NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury before Mr. JUSTICE BLACKSTONE.

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