6th April 1785
Reference Numbert17850406-14
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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431. JAMES JONES was indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of the Honourable William Harcourt , about the hour of

three in the night, on the 26th of March last, and burglariously stealing therein two livery cloth great coats, value 10 s. a cotton waistcoat, value 5 s. a pair of leather breeches, value 10 s. one pair of man's leather boots, value 10 s. his property; and two shirts, value 5 s. two neckcloths, value 2 s. one linen night-cap, value 6 d. two pair of worsted stockings, value 2 s. one pair of gloves, value 1 s. 6 d. a hat, value 3 s. one pair of shoes, value 2 s. one handkerchief, value 6 d. a pair of steel nutcrackers, value 3 d. a leather whip with a whalebone handle, value 12 d. one printed bound song book, entitled the Mask, value 12 d. the property of Jonathan Spence ; and three linen shirts, value 6 s. a pair of stockings, value 18 d. one neckcloth, value 6 d. and one handkerchief, value 3 d. the property of William Brach .


I am servant to General Harcourt , in Portland Place ; the hay-loft door was broke open, and the door where the clothes were had the pannel cut out; I discovered it about half past three; I went up into the room, and the watchman with me; the hay-loft door was fast with the bolts on the inside, I imagine it had been broke open with a fork which I found broke in the hay-loft; the bolt was broke off by force, the clothes were in the bed chamber; the laundry is over the stable, and the bedchamber nearer the house, but on the same floor with the hay-loft, over the stables; we chiefly sleep in doors, but when we are full of company we sleep there: there was no bed there, nothing but clothes and chests. I lost a family great coat, and new boots and buckskin breeches belonging to the General; they were livery clothes; there were two new shirts, and a pair of new gloves; I lost the things mentioned in the indictment; the hat is here: my fellow servant lost three new shirts, he is here; my things were lost out of my own chest, which was broke open, and is all to pieces; I secured the loft over night, as secure as I could.

How came the prisoner to be there? - He had helped me a few days before, it happened he slept where the hay was, there was no clothes where he was, nor any thing there, and he could not get out of that without breaking all open.

How did he get to the place where the hay was? - I went up and fastened him in about eleven at night; I fastened him in with the bolts that were within side, it was an inside door that he broke.


I am a watchman; I catched young Jones with the property upon him, between three and four in the morning, on the 26th of March, I found those things mentioned in the indictment; he had a bundle and this whip; he was going towards Cavendish-street, I found him in Chandos-street, Mary-le-bon, that was about one hundred yards from Portland Place, I stopped him and the bundle, this is the bundle that he had, and he had coats and boots besides this bundle; one coat he had on, the other under his arm, the boots were in the bundle, this is the coat he had on.

Spence. Here is my name on the coat, it is the General's family coat, given to me; I left it in my own room where all our linen and clothes lay; the other coat belongs to the postilion, William Brack ; the boots belong to the General, they are my boots, he gives them to me.

(The things in the bundle deposed to by Spence.)

And I know my fellow servants things as well as I know my own; we have been fellow servants these two years.


The coachman told me the night before he was going to Bath, and I did not know what to do, I was out of place; I thought to go down in the country, I have neither father nor mother.

Court. How came you by all these goods? - I was going to take them with me.

Court to Spence. How long had this fellow been about your stables? - He had been

about a fortnight in the Mews, he drew beer at a public house just by.

Prisoner. A gentleman in Gray's-Inn-lane, whom I lived with two years, promised to be here.

(Called, but nobody answered.)

Jury. We wish to know whether we can bring it under a capital crime.

Court. If you are of opinion the door was not bolted, it would only be larceny; if the door was bolted, it will be a burglary.

GUILTY , Death .

He was humbly recommended to mercy by the Jury.

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

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