30th April 1783
Reference Numbert17830430-26
VerdictNot Guilty

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273. EDWARD PLANE was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 31st of March last, three deal boards, value 1 s. one piece of fir wood, called quartering, value 6 d. five iron streaks, and one iron shaft bolt, value 1 s. and one pair of iron cross garnet hinges, value 1 s. the goods of James Bush .


I am a carpenter , I live at Kentish Town, I had a suspicion of the prisoner, and searched Mrs. Brown's premises, and I found several things of mine at the prisoner's, which I could not swear to; the property that I swear to, I found at Mrs. Shepherd's and Mrs. Brown's, he had the care of Mrs. Shepherd's house, while the family was in town the prisoner said, the streaks and shaft bolt belonged to Captain Croker ; I went over to Captain Croker , and he said he never had any such thing in his life: he was unfortunately killed the Monday as she was going home; he went to stop a cart at the bottom of Gray's Inn lane, and the cart ran over him.

How did you know he took them from your shop? - It could be nobody else.

Court. I do not know that, why not? - Because there is no other person about the shop that would take any thing away; the cross garnet hinges were found over a back office in a little cieling.

Court. How did you get in to search? - The place was open where the cieling was, the prisoner kept the house, and he gave us leave to go in.

Was it locked? - No, Sir, he had the key of the house.

Was the house locked? - No, Sir, I knocked at the door, and they opened the door, I believe it is his wife, he had the apartments there, but I suppose Mr. Shepherd gave him so much a week to look after the house.

His wife let you in? - Yes.

Had he any body else that lived in the house? - Yes.

Where was the board found? - Behind the street door.

Did some of your men lodge there? - No, Sir, they were some Bricklayers who were doing a job in the Grove.

As to these bolts and these garnet hinges, were they your property? - Yes, I marked the bolts and the hinges, I missed the bolt, and found it on Mr. Shepherd's premises, I missed a great many things.

Had you marked these bolts? - Yes, Sir, particularly, there was a notch cut in them, and a flaw in the egde; a particular sort of stuff; this iron was found in a field; the prisoner said they were Captain Croker 's property; I found the cart streaks, and the shaft bolt at the bottom of the field.

How came you to charge the prisoner with having any thing to do with them, what connection had he with them? -

He had a little bit of a garden in her field.

When Captain Croker came and denied that they were his, where was the prisoner? - He was in New Prison, he was never present when Captain Croker denied it, only my servant, Mrs. Croker, and my wife.

Prisoner's Council. This man has been a workman has not he? - Yes.

He might lately have set up business for himself? - Yes.

You did not like that I believe? - No, Sir.

Then you quarrelled; now it would have been just as well if you had told my Lord, that this house of Mr. Shepherd's you had been repairing, and your servants, and

while it was under repair, this man was in the house? - Yes.

Did you always go with your servants to Mr. Shepherd's, when they went with the stuff? - This stuff which I have sworn to has three cuts, my man knows it.

Court. Were the repairs finished at this time? - Oh! finished a long time.

How long? - I suppose it might he finished this five weeks.

Court. How long was it after you had finished the job that you found these boards? - In a little time.

Little jobs were doing there, was not there, upon your oath? - May be there might be an hour's work in a month; Mr. Shepherd has not come to his house yet.

What workmen are there about the house now? - None, that I know of.

And you will not be certain whether the whole repairs were done, before this man was taken up? - They were done long before.

No, that cannot be, part of the things were found three weeks ago.

Court. How do you know that thos iron bolts and streaks were your property? - Because I can match it, it was all old iron.


I was labourer to Mrs. Brown, digging in her garden, I found this property hid in her garden in the earth, I chopped my spade on this, says I, whose property is that, says the prisoner, Captain Croker 's; I put it there, he took it way, I never touched it.

What property are you speaking of now? - The ir on.


I know Captain Croker said, he never had any such things as these streaks.


I know nothing about this affair, that my master charges me with, I am very clear that Captain Croker was a man that was out of his mind, it was a load of stuff shot on the dunghill, and a horse standing in the stable heeling out the dung had covered them over; Captain Croker had set me to take these things into my house, and I could not conceal it at my own house, and Mrs. Brown was a relation of Captain Croker 's, and I put them there: As for the boards, they were left by the prosecutor's men, I had two or three of his men lodged there.

Jury to Prosecutor. Is that the mark you talk of, in the wood! a knot in the side of a common piece of board.


I took a load of Captain Croker 's from his house to Mrs. Brown's, I was employed by the prisoner, and I shot it down by the side of the door; there was a door or two, and a piece of an old coach wheel or two.

The prisoner called another witness to his character.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron EYRE .

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