25th February 1789
Reference Numbert17890225-4
VerdictNot Guilty

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185. WILLIAM HUNTER was indicted, for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Luke Johnson , about the hour of nine in the night on the 13th of February , and burglariously stealing therein, a woollen bed quilt, value 2 s. a linen sheet, value 2 s. a bolster case, value 6 d. a pair of cotton stockings, value 12 d. the property of Elizabeth Rumshaw .


I am a widow , I live in New Gravel-lane , in lodgings, in the house of Luke Johnson , in a single room, by myself, I have been there about two months, on Friday week last; I went out between the hours of seven and eight, I returned about eight; my room is a back room on the ground floor; on my return I saw two men in the yard, one run away over the pales, and the other bid himself behind the window shutter, in the yard; I saw my room window open, which before was nailed down with two nails, there was no fastening to the window shutter; there was a pane of glass had been broke before, and the remainder of the glass, and the nails were taken out; I had nailed it up about two hours before, I always nail it at night, and take the nails out in the morning: on my going into the house, I saw a bundle in the yard, and I called out thieves, some people came to my assistance; the prisoner was taken, and I went and fetched an officer, we secured the prisoner, who was hid behind the shutter; I am sure the prisoner is the man, the bed clothes were taken off the bed, which were, a sheet, a bolster case, a blanket, and a quilt; they were on the bed when I went out, the bed was made; and I missed

a pair of stockings; about two or three hours afterwards I examined the bundle which I picked up in the yard myself, and carried into my room, and in it were the things mentioned in the indictment; the officer took the things under his care, my door when I went out I locked, and I found it the same when I came home, I suppose they must have got over the garden pales; the landlord (Johnson) lives in the house, and I pay my rent to his wife.

( John Johnson called but did not answer.)


I am a constable, the prosecutrix came to me and informed me that she was robbed, it was about eight o'clock when I went with her; Johnson who is not here had the prisoner by the collar, there were some others who were there at the time, I searched the prisoner and found these pair of stockings in his bosom, next to his skin, there was a bundle in the room; it was not delivered to me till a week afterwards, Mrs. Johnson delivered it to me, I have had it ever since, Mrs. Johnson is not here; on his examination before the justice, he said he got over the pales to case himself, the pales are six foot high; he said he found the stockings in the yard, behind the window shutter.

(The property produced and deposed to, the quilt by a burn, and the sheet by a scorch.)

Prosecutrix. I quitted my lodgings the next day, and left the bundle tied up, I have not seen them since, before this time, but I took the bolster and the blanket from the bundle; there were no other lodgers in the house but myself.

Court. Is there any separate door by which you entered besides Johnson's door? - Nobody had any business to enter through my door, the door of my lodging opened into the yard.


I went over into the yard to ease myself, I knew there was a necessary, I saw a man in a long coat in the yard, I did not know what he was about; Mrs. Rumshaw came in and another man with her, and the man that was in the yard jumped over the pales, she asked me what I wanted, I said to ease myself, she saw a bundle, and she took it into the house; a deal of people came, and I was taken before the justice.

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


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

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