11th May 1785
Reference Numbert17850511-13
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s

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534. FRANCIS METCALFE was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 5th of April last, sixty pair of leather gloves, value 3 l. the property of Edward Penny , in his dwelling house .


I live in the Old Change ; my father is a hair-dresser ; about a quarter past eight, I was shutting up shop, and a little boy came and said some people are robbing Mr. Penny, I went to the back door that comes into the Old Change, and found the prisoner coming

out he had his apron tied up, and a bundle in his apron, he pushed me right in the kennel, and run immediately into Cheapside, and he got out of my sight; this was a quarter past eight, on the 5th of April, it was not light, but I saw his face, I was close by the door when he came out, I knew him before, and knew his name, he went to St. Ann's school.

How long after this was it that he was taken? - It might be a fortnight, I told this person his name, and every thing; about twenty minutes past eight I went into Noble-street, and I told it to another witness that is here.

Mr. Peatt, Prisoner's Council. It was a quarter past eight? - Yes.

You saw his face? - Yes, and I will swear to it.

Was you at any time fetched to Wood-street Compter? - Yes.

And there Clarke and you stood at the two gates, and Clarke pointed out the prisoner to you? - No, he did not.

He did not point or look? - I went and looked through the gate, and picked him out.

He was not pointed out to you by any person? - No, he was not, I went and pointed to him.

I suppose you was very intimate formerly, did not you and the prisoner quarrel once about a girl? - No, never in my life.


I am a shopman to Mr. Penny; these gloves were in the shop, they were by the back door which was left open.


About twenty minutes after eight, on the 5th of April, I saw the prisoner coming by with a parcel under his left arm, that answered the description of what Mr. Penny had lost, the bundle was something white in the front; he was coming towards Cheapside way; he was dressed in a light drab coat, his coat was closed on the right side; he just turned his head and looked at me; I saw no apron at all, I saw his bundle, I knew him before, I have known him a good while, I knew him when he came into St. Ann's school, I am sure it was him.

Mr. Peatt. How far was you from the prisoner when he came out? - He just made way, and I made way for him, the bundle was under his left arm, I was not a yard from him, and his coat was closed on the right hand side.

Did you follow after the prisoner? - No.

Was you intimate with the prisoner, did you ever drink with him at any public house? - Never.

Nor never had any quarrel with him? - No, Sir, not that I know of.

Had the prisoner a green apron, or a red apron? - I did not see any apron.

Had he any thing in an apron that you recollect? - All that I saw was under his arm.


Do you know the nature of an oath? - Yes.

What is the punishment if you should tell a lie? - I shall go to a dark dungeon where there is fire and brimstone.

Do you know that you are liable to be punished by law? - Yes. I saw the prisoner stand with four more, and go into the house, and come out with a sack in his hand; he went in at the private door of the Old Change, he had something in a white apron, but I cannot swear what was in it; he went away across Cheapside, he came back, and he went in a second time, and staid in about a minute and a half, when he came out he had something in his apron, and I ran to Charles Shipley and told him, and he went after him a little way, but he got into Cheapside, and he could not pursue him; I have seen the prisoner before at St. Ann's School, I am sure it was him, there was a great light, I could see his face very well.

Mr. Peatt. Did you know any of the persons that were with him? - No.

Have you seen any of them since? - No.

Did they seem to be young or old? - Young fellows; he had nothing on his back or under his arm, he had a light coloured coat, a drab coloured coat, and a red shag waistcoat.


I had information that the prisoner had robbed this gentleman's shop of a quantity of gloves; me and my brother officer went in pursuit of him several times, at last we found him in Aldersgate-street, and took him into custody; he had nothing upon him; I told him what I took him up for, and he denied it, nothing was found.

Court to Edwards. How came you to take notice of this particular parcel of gloves? - Because they were to be called for the next day; they were in a paper, tied round with one string; they were a pretty large size, about twenty inches long, and six or seven inches deep: I heard of the alarm about half an hour after I put the things by, then I found that parcel was missing; I found Shipley at the door, when I came down he told me there had been somebody in the house, and he supposed they had taken something out.

Did he tell you this somebody was? - No, he did not know then, but this lad Askew told him afterwards that it was Metcalf who went to school with him.

Mr. Peatt, to Mr. Penny. Do you send your goods to the waggon by your own servants? - Yes, this parcel was looked out by a gentleman of Chichester.

Shipley. My Lord, I told him then that I did know, I will take my oath that I did.

Prisoner. My Lord, when Mr. Clarke and that gentleman took me up, they said they would tell me by and by what it was for, when I came to the Compter, they said I should know by and by, they went and fetched that gentleman in green, and I was called out seperately by myself.

Forsyth. It is no such thing, I was present when this man pointed to the prisoner, that is the man says he, I will be on my oath.


I am a taylor, I have know the prisoner about twelve years, I never knew ill of him nor ever heard any.

GUILTY. Of stealing to the value of 39 s.

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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