10th September 1783
Reference Numbert17830910-54

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (front matter) | Next text (trial account) >

647. JOHN PILKINGTON was indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Richard Hubbard , on the 14th day of July, 1782 , about the hour of twelve o'clock in the night, and feloniously stealing therein, two silver salts, value 30 s. one silver cream jug, value 3 l. one silver pepper castor, value 40 s. four silver table spoons, value 40 s. seven silver tea spoons, value 12 s. one punch ladle, value 8 s. three silk gowns, value 5 l. one cotton gown, value 20 s. two silk cloaks, value 3 l. one linen table cloth, value 2 s. one napkin, value 6 d. one towel, value 6 d. one yard of lace, value 5 s. nine linen shirts, value 30 s. six muslin neckcloths, value 4 s. one silk waistcoat, value 10 s. one pair of mits, value 1 s. one pair of leather gloves, value 1 s. two gowns, value 20 s. and eight shillings in monies numbered, the property of the said Richard .


I live in Endfield parish , our house was broke open the 14th of July, 1782, we both went up stairs together about ten o'clock, and fastened the house before we went to bed; we locked and bolted all; we got up about three after we were robbed, and we found the back window open, and the bar taken out, and we had a back door that was unbolted, where they carried the things away.

Were that back window and that back door fastened by you before you went to bed? - Yes.

What did you loose? - The things mentioned in the indictment: I have not found any of the things, the prisoner stood over me all the while the others were rifling the house: Three man rushed into the room, they broke four doors open, one had a pistol, one a knife, and one a cutlass: but I cannot justly say, which had which; I was so terrified.

Was the prisoner one of the three? - He stood over me all the while the others were rifling, with a pistol in his hand waving over the bed, when they came up they brought two lights, a light in each room, there was a light in our room where we were in bed, and they were there till day-light appeared; they were there an hour or an hour and a half as nigh as I can guess; the things were taken out of the other rooms; they pressed me very much and got what money we had; the money was in my husband's breeches, he had shifted his breeches being Sunday morning: The prisoner staid with with us all the time to the very last; and asked me questions for the things.

Is yours an alone house? - No, not very lonely, there is another a little way off, but not adjoining.

Are there any houses immediately opposite to yours? - There is one little house directly opposite.

Could any body in those houses see a light in your room at that time of night? - I never heard them say that they did: We have window shutters, but they were not shut where we lay.

How was the prisoner dressed? - I really cannot say, I was so terrified.

Had he a wig on, or his own hair? - His own hair.

Had he a hat on? - I cannot say.

Had he any thing over his face? - No, quite open.

Had he one of the candles? - I did not see him have any candle at all, it was the others.

While he stood with you waving the pistol over the bed, he had no candle with him? - There was a candle all the while, till within a little while of their going to tifle, then they took it, and then it was brought back again some time after; they sat down and read the writings that we have, which they found in a chest of drawers in the next room, and they brought them into our room to read, and sat down and read them.

Are you positive that is the man? - That is the man that stood over me.

You was in such a fright, how can you tell? - I was in a fright, and a very great fright, to have three villains rush into one's room.

Prisoner's Council. Was not you frightened out of your wits? - Yes, I was frightened very much.

Rather afraid to look him in the face was you not? - I could not help looking him in the face because he asked me several questions.

What hour of the night was it that the robbery was committed? - Between the hour of one and two or thereabouts.

It was quite dark at that time? - In July the days are very long.

The person that stood over you had no lanthorn in his hand? - None that I saw, there was light enough to see the prisoner.

When did you see the person that you supposed stood over you first, after the robbery was committed? - It was a year after.

And you never had seen him in the course of that year? - No, I think it is him.

You only think it is him, that will not do here, are you positively sure that you can swear; remember that you were under dreadful apprehensions, and can you positively swear after not seeing that person for a twelvemonth to the identity of the person? - I really think it is the person.

If you are so perfectly uncertain about his dress, that you cannot say whether he had a hat on or not, how can you be so positive that he is the person? - I really think he is the person.


On the 14th of July was a twelvemonth, between the hours of twelve and three, my house was broke open by the prisoner and two others, they opened the casement and broke four doors, and came over my wife and I in bed, and the prisoner stood over us with a pistol in his hand, while the others plundered the house; he demanded my money, I told him I had none, he pressed very hard, I said, I had some in my pockets: I did not see him take any thing, but he stood over us with a pistol all the time: They carried off the things mentioned in the indictment.

Court. How long might they stay in the room? - I believe an hour or more; daylight came in at the window before they went away.

Had you any candle in the room? - There was a man with a candle in the room stood examining what was in a chest of drawers, and taking out things.

Was there light enough for you to see the countenance of the prisoner? - Yes, there was, the light was backwards and forwards, and taken out again, I was very much frightened at first more then afterwards; I took particular notice of the man, and we had some opinion of following the man, and we heard he was in the Poultry Compter, and then in the Savoy, and after he came out my wife laid information, when he was about again, and we saw him about July.

Was that the first time you had seen him from the time of the robbery? - To y knowledge it was, I saw him once since, he came out of the Savoy in our neighbourhood, my wife went to see him in the Savoy, but he was out.

How came you to know he was in the Savoy? - A friend in Barnet told us so.

Did you know his name? - Yes.

What, when he committed the robbery? - I cannot say as to that, we described him and found he was born at Kick's Inn, a little way from us, but I never knew the man, and when I saw the man again, I was very clear it was the man.

When did you get his name? - I cannot tell.

How did you get his name? - By the neighbourhood, he had lived in Barnet, and was gone from the neighbourhood, I am very positive he is the same man that stood over us with the pistol, he had a short bright pistol.

Prisoner's Council. When did you first see him after the robbery? - Not a great while after.

How long? - It might be six weeks ago.

You said nothing to him when you saw him? - I did not, I was struck with amazement, and stood looking at him when the person came to the house.

Why did not you lay hold of him? - How could I an old man.

Was not you very much frightened? - I was at first, but I cannot say I was afterwards.

Had the prisoner a hat on? - His hat was on.

You are sure of that? - Yes.

Who told you his name first? - I cannot tell that, it was something of a cocked hat, and there is a bit of the colour of the coat he had on; I cut it off on purpose.

What off his coat? - No, off my own coat to compare it; I never was in Court before in my life.


The prosecutor Mrs. Hubbard gave me information of the prisoner about June, she said, she had been to the Savoy to make some enquiry there, and found he had been discharged, but she desired me to take him if I could, I sent her word accordingly, for I happened to light of a man by chance, who told me where he lived, we took him about three weeks ago.

Court to Mrs. Hubbard. When you went to enquire after him at the Savoy, had you then learned his name? - I knew his name before.

How did you learn his name? - A person had told me his name.


I have drank along with Macmanus and Jealous at Bow-street, several times lately, and they never said any thing to me; now I leave it all to my council.

His witnesses called but none appeared.

GUILTY Death .

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

View as XML