25th February 1789
Reference Numbert17890225-14
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty

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195. GEORGE PORTER and WILLIAM COOK were indicted, for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Ann Goodall , about the hour of six in the night, on the 21st day of January last, and burglariously stealing therein, six silk handkerchiefs, value 12 s. and a leather slipper, value 2 s. her property .


I live at Islington with my mother, Ann Goodall ; she is a widow ; on Wednesday, the 21st of January, near the hour of six in the evening, my brother George came in, and said there were some suspicious persons about; I went out, and heard somebody hallooing on the other side of the way; I told my brother to stop at home, and mind that the windows was not cut, and I would get somebody to come to our assistance; I came back in about eight minutes, and my brother was out of doors, and said the windows had been robbed; I ran out, and went on the Terrace, there I saw one of the prisoners, (Cook) whom I knew very well; I laid hold of him; I told him he had robbed the window; immediately after, my brother came up, and said it was not him, it was the other prisoner, Porter; the other prisoner was on the other side of the way, and he ran from behind the watch-box, and my brother said there he goes, stop thief! I immediately let go the prisoner Cook, whom I had got hold of, and ran after the prisoner Porter, and he was stopped in the Church-yard, Islington; the handkerchief and slipper were found on Porter; I found them in his pockets; the constable happened to be at hand, and I called him, and took him to our house, and he was searched, and taken to the justice.


I am brother to the last witness; I am fifteen years of age; I went to the door to give the boy the pots, about ten minutes or a quarter past five; I saw the two prisoners come down the lane together; I see them go as far as the watch-box, and then they parted; Cook went on the other side of the way, and Porter walked backwards and forwards on our side of the way, near our house; and I went to get some assistance, for fear of their breaking the window, but I could not; and when I returned, I saw the prisoners meet again; they went through the Churchyard to Cross-street; I went into the shop, and looked through a shawl that hung in the window, to watch them; Porter went

past the window, and looked in at both the windows; then he passed again, and looked in at that window which he broke; then he stopt about a quarter of a minute, and I saw him pull something out of his pocket, and cut the putty of the window, and shove in a large piece of glass; then he pulled out the slipper and handkerchiefs; and just as he had got to the end of the handkerchiefs, a piece of glass fell; it was his hand he put in; he immediately put the things in his pocket, and went towards Cook; I see all this distinctly, for I looked at them all the while they were there: two shawls hung up, and I looked between these two shawls; there was a light in the shop, on the side he broke, but on the other side that I looked through, I had put the light away; it was a projecting window I looked through; there was no light on the outside but a lamp; the window was full of goods; the light on the counter was very strong: I am sure as to both of the prisoners; I knew Porter before; he lived in Islington; I heard Cook making a hallooing the same night, at the corner of Cross-street; they had been hallooing all the evening together, to one another: the shop is a about twenty yards from the corner of Cross-street; I did not see Cook at the time the window was broke; I saw him when he went through the churchyard, not afterwards; I ran out immediately, and Porter had got the property, but I could not see where he run to; I saw Cook on the Terrace, which is about forty yards distance from our house.

Court. Could you see him at forty yards distance when you run out? - Yes.

What time of night was it? - Six.

That is dark in January? - Yes, but there are a good many lamps on the Terrace which shew a great light; he was hallooing at the top of the Terrace, and the prisoner ran towards him.

When you first ran out at the door, did you see either of them? - No, Sir.

When you first saw Cook on the Terrace, what was he doing? - He was making a hallooing just before I got to the Terrace, the corner of Cross-street; I met my brother at the top of Cross-street, and told him they had got the property; my brother laid hold of Cook, and coming back I saw Porter run from behind the watch-box, or somewhere about there, as hard as ever he could; I told my brother that Cook was not the man that robbed the window, but that it was him who ran from behind the watch-box; he ran after him, and left Cook on the Terrace; he was not taken up till the next day, after we went to Mr. Blackborough's.


I am a constable; here is a piece of handkerchief, and a slipper; I received them from Mr. Daniel Goodall .

Daniel Goodall . I took the things out of Porter's coat-pocket myself; I know them perfectly, here is a mark on them; [deposes to the handkerchiefs by the mark 34, to the slipper by the mark J. B. H. and produces the fellow marked in the same manner.] The handkerchief had been in the window all day, I know that mark very well; we have had them a month, they were put in the window to shew, they were not wrapped up; I am sure they are my mother's handkerchiefs; I know Cook perfectly well, and little suspected him; I changed two or three different hats to see if it was him, and it was him.


I know nothing of this man; I am quite innocent of the affair; as I was walking along I saw this parcel lay, and I picked it up.

The Prisoner Porter called one Witness to his Character.



Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

Court to Cook. Your life is spared; I hope the fate of your unfortunate companion will be a warning to you.

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