10th December 1783
Reference Numbert17831210-46
VerdictNot Guilty

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43. SAMUEL MATTHEWS and DANIEL CHAMBERS were indicted for feloniously and burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of John Paterson , about the hour of seven in the night, on the 24th of November last, and feloniously stealing therein, one red leather pocket-book, value 2 s. one gold breast pin, value 2 s. one silver seal, value 2 s. and seven hundred and twenty copper halfpence value 30 s. the property of the said John Paterson .


I keep a publick-house , the Marquis of Granby, in the Almonry, Westminster ; on the 24th of November, about seven at night, I was in the house, and my house was broke into at a one pair of stairs window.

Mr. Reeve, Prisoner's Council. How do you know that? - There was no other way for any body to get in, there was company in the house, I did not hear any particular noise to suspect any thing of that sort, one of my servant girls, who is not here, went up into the room, it is a bed-chamber facing Duke's-court, and upon her informing me I went up stairs, there is a case of drawers in the room, and I saw one of the drawers taken out from the case, and laid empty on the bed, the sash was down, but not fastened, and the door shut; it did not appear how any body got in, I was at this drawer about fifteen minutes before, I cannot say whether it was locked or not, the things mentioned in the indictment were missing, the window is about nine feet high, the room door was locked, and I had the key.

Then how did the maid get in? - I gave her the key a minute before, I have two papers which were in the pocket-book, which were found in a publick-house in Downing-street, I have none of the rest of the things.

What leads you to suspect the prisoners? - I should not have suspected them for it, but when I came down stairs again, I went to the door, and there were four men standing in the court, who informed me of them.

Are any of them here? - No.

Mr. Reeves. Do not you know these two men the prisoners? - Yes.

They frequented your house? - Yes they do.

Do not they belong to a club at your house? - Yes they do.

Are they not very decent respectable men? - I know nothing ill of the men, I say nothing against them.


I am servant to a publick-house in Downing-street, the two prisoners came into our house about half after seven on a Monday night, and had a pint of beer.

Court to Prosecutor. Is that the night you mention? - Yes.

Peplow. They sat down in one of the left-hand boxes, and they pulled a parcel of papers out of their pocket.

Did you observe the papers? - No.

Were they in a pocket-book? - No they were loose.

How long did they stay there? - About a quarter of an hour.

Do you know the prisoners? - Yes.

They frequent your house? - Yes, after they went away I picked up these papers on the Tuesday morning.

But you had other company in your house? - Yes.

Who has the papers? - My master gave them to Mr. Paterson.

Is your master here? - No.

Can you read? - No.

What was on the papers? - There is on on one of them twenty pounds paid to the brewer, my master read them, and one of them is a bill of parcels, I saw my master give them to Mr. Paterson.

If you cannot read, how can you be sure that the papers you delivered to your master, he delivered to the prosecutor: Where is your master? - He is at home.

JOHN BEST sworn.

I apprehended the prisoners on the 24th between seven and eight.

Court. How came they to be apprehended on the 24th, when the papers were not found till the next morning? - That was when he had the information first, I found nothing on them.

Court. There does not s eem to me to be any evidence to affect the prisoners.

Prisoner's Council. My Lord, here are a great many respectable people to appear to their characters if it were necessary.



Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice WILLES.

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