WILLIAM COLLARD, ROBERT ANDREWS, Theft > housebreaking, 22nd October 1788.

Reference Number: t17881022-13
Offence: Theft > housebreaking
Verdict: Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishment: Death
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619. WILLIAM COLLARD and ROBERT ANDREWS were indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of James Season , about the hour of twelve in the forenoon of the 26th day of September last; Hannah, his wife, and Frances Chapman , spinster, then being therein, and stealing a pair of base metal candlesticks, plated with silver, value 5 s. a silver cruet-stand, value 30 s. five glass cruets, with silver tops, value 12 s. four large silver table-spoons, value 30 s. a base metal cross stand, plated with silver, value 30 s. two base metal candlestick tops, plated with silver, value 12 d. four silver tea-spoons, value 6 s. a small silver salt ladle, value 1 s. two silver salt cellars, value 10 s. a pair of silver tea-tongs, value 5 s. and a cocoa nut cup, mounted with silver, value 10 s. his property .


I am of no trade or employment; I live in the lane leading from Newington-green to Kingsland turnpike, in the parish of Hornsey; I was in the house at the time it was broke open; and Frances Chapman , and Hannah Season ; the house was broke open on the 26th of September last, at twelve at noon; the street-door was fastened; we have two parlours; I was in the parlour on the left-hand, playing on a guittar, and singing, while they broke open the other parlour; I knew it was fast, by reason, I opened it to pursue the prisoner; my servant, Frances Chapman , went from the other parlour to the kitchen to fetch some rubbers to rub the furniture; she came up from the kitchen, and said, sir, there is a man getting out of the window; I directly sprung from the sofa, and opened the door.

How was the door then? - The street-door was fast; I opened it, and pursued, and called stop thief! twice; and I saw the two prisoners run towards Kingsland turnpike, and when I saw them run, I called, fire, fire, says I, with a bold voice; for in the room where they committed the robbery, there is a number of fire-arms; then they turned round back at me; when I called fire, they threw the property from them.

You said that to intimidate them? - Yes, Collard was the right-hand man; he threw the property away which he had; and Andrews was the left-hand man; he had property, and threw it away likewise; then they crossed each other; the property was taken up by the pursuers; they are here; I think we run near half a mile; I pursued them myself; I called stop thief till they were pursued; we lost Andrews, as we supposed, in a ditch; we over run him; Collard was taken, I suppose, in twenty minutes.

Was he out of your sight? - In the last field that we went over he was out of my sight, I suppose, for seven minutes, or hardly so long; I am certain of him; I knew the man before.

Did you know Andrews before? - I did not.

Was Andrews taken that day? - Not till the day following; I saw him then at the Magpie, Clerkenwell; he was in custody; they had taken him that morning; I knew him again well, by reason, when I called fire, I brought him round three times.

Have you so full a knowledge of him, as safely to swear to him? - Yes, I had a full sight of him; this is the implement, that we suppose, they opened the window with; this is the piece of the sash that was broke at the bottom; I suppose, I had been in the parlour ten minutes before; for it was a rainy day; I had been in the garden with the gardener; and I went into the parlour; and seeing the guittar, I played a tune; I observed the windows then, they were down.

Were they fastened? - Why there is a doubt, whether the window, that they came in at, was fastened or not.

Mr. Garrow objected that the indictment did not charge this witness to be in the room, where he said he was, but it was over-ruled.

Mr. Season. This screw-driver, which was made use of, as it appears by the sash, to wrench the side sash up; this we found on the road that they went.

Are you clear the window was down? - It was, but I cannot say for the screw.

Who took up the property? - The different people that are here; I took up some of them; this cruel was broke before; and when we took Collard, his hand was bloody.

Mr. Garrow. Andrews was not found till the next day? - No.

What distance had the persons got from the house before you came in sight of them? - I suppose ten yards; these are the shoes we picked up in the road; Andrews was without shoes; he runs lane.

You was present when Andrews was examined the next day? - I was.

Did you examine his stockings? - I did.

Was it you, or your brother, that had the prosecution here lately, for stealing a spoon out of his house; your brother is a thief-taker, that lives on Clerkenwell-green? - Exactly so; I saw Andrews and my brother the next day.

Do you remember your brother examining his stockings, to see if they were muddy? - I do not recollect his examining there, but at Justice Blackborrow's I do, and they were not dirty; that is what you wish to know; I see your object, he had a new pair of shoes on which I told him he was wrong in wearing.

I dare say you was as witty then as you are upon all occasions? - Upon my honor you are very polite.

I wish to know what you are; you say you are of no trade, business, or profession? - I supplied the army with marquee tents, shirts, shoes, stockings, and sundries, &c. during the war.

A contractor? - Yes.

Then your brother perhaps took Andrews? - He did.


I am servant to Mr. Season; I was cleaning the room where the property was taken from, and I went down stairs to get a duster and several things to run the furniture, but when I came up again there was a man going out of the window, I told Mr. Season, he was in the next room playing on the guittar; I saw two men running down the lane.

Look at the prisoners? - William Collard was one of them, he was running down the lane.

Was he the person you saw going out of the window? - It was a person with a light coloured coat, I cannot say it was he other prisoner, I did not see the other then; I cannot say where he was then, when I went out with Mr Season, that person in the light coloured coat was running down the lane with William Collard , that was about a minute afterwards; we run out directly.

Court to Prosecutor. What coloured coat had that man on? - Collard had a brown coloured coat on, the other had a light coloured coat on.

Before you went into the kitchen, did you observe whether the windows were shut or open? - The windows were all shut down.

Did you examine the windows after? - The window was then wide open, and the screw lay in the middle of the room.

Did you observe any of the property that was lost, in the room before you had left it? - The property was in the room before I went down stairs, upon the sideboard; this was the dining-parlour where the property was taken from.

When you saw this man in the light coloured coat going out of the window, did you observe whether he had any thing in his hand? - No.

Mr. Garrow. The man that was with Collard had a light coloured coat on, that you are sure of? - I am.


I am a constable; when the prisoner was brought to the gentleman's house, they sent for me to take him into custody, that was Collard; I searched him, and found none of the property, nor any thing upon him.


I am apprentice to the last witness; I saw William Collard throw away two candlesticks in the lane, and I do not know who picked them up.

Upon what occasion did he appear to throw them away? - He was running.

Did you see the occasion of his running? - Mr. Season halloo'd out, fire!

Did you see any body in company with him? - I saw Andrews.

Did you know him before? - No, I only saw him running.

Do you know him now? - Yes, this is him.

Are you sure that is the man? - No, I am not sure; I knew Collard before.

Mr. Knowlys. Did you go back to Mr. Season's house when Collard was taken? - Yes.


I am a day-labouring man; the prosecutor came through the fields where I was sitting eating my dinner, he was crying, stop thief! I jumped up, and the prisoner Collard came across the fields; I did not know him before, I know him now, he is the same man; I saw nothing found upon him after they look him; I saw nothing thrown away.

Prosecutor. When the hue and cry was, they were picked up by different people; I picked up one silver table spoon; I kept my eye upon the prisoner in the pursuit; I do not know the spoon among the rest, these different things were brought in by different people in the pursuit.

Chapman. While we were in pursuit of the prisoner several people picked up different things, and I picked up these candlesticks; they are two plated candlesticks, they were in some old buildings that was broke down by Mr. Season's, in the lane.

How far were these old buildings from the path that they took? - It was just by Mr. Season's house.

What distance? - I do not think above twenty yards.

What distance was the place where you found the things from the path where they ran? - Not above a yard; these are my master's candlesticks, I have known them above nine months, I have been used to clean them, there is no mark upon them; and this set of glass castors with silver tops and silver stand, and these two table spoons I found in this pocket handkerchief; in the next building adjoining it is some old stables which have been pulled down.

Did this empty building lay open, so that any thing could be thrown into it? - Yes, the front of the building was wide, and mostly down; it was near the path where the men went, close by; I saw such things as these on the side-board in the parlour; I missed them on giving the alarm.

Mr. Garrow to Prosecutor. About what time was this? - As near twelve as could be.

For the Prisoner Andrews.


I am a watchmaker.

Have you any employment besides that? - No, Sir, my father is clerk to St. Sepulchre's, and I am in business with him.

How long have you known the defendant Andrews? - For these seven, eight or nine years to the best of my knowledge; on the 26th of September and the 25th, I know where he was; Thursday was the 25th and Friday was the 26th; on Thursday, the 25th of September last, the prisoner Andrews and me went to Waltham statute, or fair; we had not an opportunity of coming back that night, we were obligated to lay there that night; on Friday morning the 26th, we had our breakfast there, and we set off for town from Waltham between eight and nine, I think, to the best of my knowledge, we walked all the way; we breakfasted on the road between Waltham Abbey Church and the Cross, at a private house, where they accommodated people going to the fair; the name of the place was Waltham Abbey.

What time did you leave that? - I believe it was about half past nine; we came on towards Enfield Wash; we stopped when we came to the other side of Enfield highway; I cannot recollect the sign.

When did you leave the prisoner Andrews? - After we came out of this house, we stopped and had a pot of beer, and bread and cheese, and smoked a pipe, it was about ten, I think it was just upon ten, and we staid there till near eleven; I came with him over Enfield highway, and about the middle of it I met a friend of mine, and returned, and the prisoner Andrews at the bar, walked on; I did not think of staying, when I returned with this acquaintance, but I did not return to him; I parted company with him about eleven.

Do you know the other prisoner Collard? - No.

He was not in company at that time? - No.

What coloured coat had Andrews on? - A blue coat during the time I was with him, from Thursday morning till Friday morning eleven o'clock, he had the same coat on he has now; I swear he had not a light coloured coat; I never heard any harm of the man; I never knew any blemish in his character.

Court. Where do you live? - No. 72, Snow-hill.

What was your errand to this fair? - For a bit of frolick.

Where about does Andrews live? - In Beech-lane.

What is he? - A printer.

Where did you set out from? - We went over Stamford Hill.

You had no business there? - No, only out of frolick; I never had been to see the fair.

Did you ever appear before the justice? - No, Sir.

When did you first know of his being taken up? - I heard of it on the Saturday, I believe, or Sunday morning, I will not be sure.

When was the first application made to you to come here, and by whom? - I believe it is four or five days since.

You never was applied to before about this business? - Not to my knowledge.


I keep the Roebuck public-house, at Tottenham or Lower Edmonton.

What distance is that place from Newington-green? - I believe it to be four miles, or four miles and a half.

Did you ever see the prisoner Andrews at your house? - Yes.

When was it? - The 26th of September.

What time did he come to your house? - Rather before twelve.

How long did he stay there - Till one.

Had he any refreshment at your house? - Yes, he had some calf's heart and liver; that was on Friday the 26th, I am sure of the day.

What makes you remember that it was that time of the day? - My children came from school at the time I was getting the victuals for the prisoner, and they came from school at twelve.

What makes you remember their coming from school? - Their coming after me for their dinner, supposing it was for them.

You are sure he is the young man that came? - Yes.

Who is Benjamin Pigot ? do you know him? - Yes.

What is he? - He assists the coachman in the stable; he is here.

Court. How do you know it was exactly the 26th of September? - It was Waltham Statute, a day very remarkable.

What coloured coat had he on? - A blue coat, such a coat as that, and that is the same gentleman; I am sure it was not a light coat.

Did you know him before? - Not till that day, I do not remember ever seeing him before.

When were you first applied to about this matter? - I do not know; about a fortnight ago.

You have a perfect recollection? - Yes.

And you never saw him before? - No.

What was there remarkable in this business? I suppose you have a great many come to your house? - They came in very wet and dirty, and had some refreshment.

Who do you mean by they? - The person that was with him.

Who was with him? - I do not know.

Was it that prisoner there (Collard)? - No, I do not remember him.


I have been coachman, I am out of place, I was assistant to Mrs. Nixon, the 26th of December last.

How long is that ago? - It was Waltham Statute day.

Do you remember seeing any body that is here now at the house, look round and see? - I saw the prisoner who is now in a blue coat (Andrews); I saw him at the house of Mrs. Nixon; there was him and another coming up the road, and they had a glass of gin, I believe, at the bar first, they were rather wet; then they sat down, and had some calf's heart and liver fried: they came in rather before twelve, they staid there till one or after.

How many were together? - There were three in company.

Do you know any body else that was with him? do you know that young man in black (the prisoner Collard)? - No, I cannot say I do; I do not think he was one of them; I am sure to the prisoner Andrews, and I am sure to the time of day, on account of the children coming from school.

Court. How came you to know the day of the month? - Because Waltham fair is the 25th, and the Statute day the 26th.

Do you know what day of the month it is now? - No, I do not keep it in my head.

Do you know what month it is now? - No, I do not.

Mr. Garrow. Are you sure it was Waltham Statute day? - I am very sure of it.

Court. Do you know Edmonton fair? - Yes, that was the week before.

What day of the month is that? - I do not know; I do not keep it in my head, I do not take any observation but from one day to another.

Do you know Epping fair? - I have heard talk of it.

Was you ever at Tottenham fair? - I have heard of it; I happened to be there at the time as my master that I look after some horses for, happened to be gone to Waltham Statute, with a cart and a little horse.

Are you sure it was the 26th of December? - It was the 26th of December, on the Friday.

How came you to know what month it was? it was not the 26th of August? - No.

Nor the 26th of October? - No.

Was not it the 26th of September? - No, it was the 26th of December.

It was not the 26th of September, but the 26th of December? - The 26th of December.

The fair and the statute day are the same? - No, the fair is one day, and the statute is the other.

Court to James Season . You were present when Andrews was apprehended? - Yes.

Was you present when he was taken before the Justice? - I saw him at the Magpie at Newington-green, for the first time, the day after the robbery.

Did he give any account of himself? - I do not know what he said, he said he was innocent; that was the whole account of both of them.

Court to Benj. Pigot . Has your mistress any children? - Four.

Were any of the children present at this time? - Yes, they just came from school, and came up to their mammy, as she was frying their victuals, and asked her,

"Mammy, is this our dinner?" and she said, No, keep away, have you brought your work home? or something of that kind.

Mr. Garrow. What age are the children? - I cannot say.

To Mrs. Nixon. How old is your eldest child? - Five years.

Mr. Garrow. They are not fit to be witnesses then.

The prisoner Andrews called five witnesses, who all gave him a very good character, and one of them offered to take him into his service again.

The prisoner Collard called four witnesses, who gave him a good character.



Court to Rob. Andrews . I hope now you are sensible of the value of a good character; it has been of use to you, and I hope you will do nothing to forfeit it.

The prisoner Collard was humbly recommended to mercy by the prosecutor.

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

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