28th October 1789
Reference Numbert17891028-18

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758. WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM was indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of James Baker , about the hour of six in the forenoon, on the 9th of October , one Ann Quin and William Kendrick being therein, and feloniously stealing three callico gowns, value 30 s. three cotton gowns, value 30 s. two stuff petticoats, value 18 s. three shifts, value 6 s. six pair of cotton stockings, value 10 s. a callico shawl, value 5 s. a table cloth, value 12 s. five shirts, value 20 s. two pair of silk and cotton stockings, value 2 s. a cloth coat, value 30 s. a cloth furtout great coat, value 20 s. a dimity waistcoat, value 4 s. a pair of velveret breeches, value 10 s. a hat, value 3 s. two guineas, and four shillings in monies numbered, his property .


I am wife of James Baker ; our house was unlocked, but I cannot say the locks were broke; I keep a saloop stand the corner of Hatton Garden; I was out; I left my house at half past three in the morning; at half past seven I returned, on hearing my door was open; the next morning I took the prisoner, with the assistance of one Winter; I found a callico gown upon him, nothing else; I lost the things in the indictment; (describing them) I value all my things I lost, at eleven pounds; I saw the things the day before; I knew the prisoner before, by coming to my apartment for saloop, with a pint china bason; I took him to be a shopman in Holborn; I do not know his business; when I gave charge of him, I said, that is the man that has robbed me; I said so, because I apprehended him in the morning, in the passage, when I went out; and he had my gown in his bundle; the prisoner said it was a coat, but I opened the bundle, and it was my new gown; the things were kept in my drawer, in my husband's chest; I have but one room; I am but a lodger; a low apartment.

Does the person who lets out the lodgings, live in the house? - No, he keeps a shop at the end of the court; he lets out the house in tenements.

Is this house let out entirely to lodgers? - Yes.

Mr. Knowlys, Prisoner's Counsel. What time these things were taken, you do not not know? - No.

You never found any thing but this gown? - No; the prisoner had been at my apartments four times.

Any body might see he had a bundle? - Yes; I had undoubtedly a strong suspicion of him, seeing him lay in the passage; when I came out in the morning, at half past three o'clock.

Did you speak to him then? - No; sometimes people are locked out.

Did you tell any body that you saw this man there? - Yes, I told my husband, before I knew the things were gone; I said, that young man will not hurt us, he is some young man locked out of his apartment.

This was quite a new gown? - Yes.


I am in the optician way; I met Catherine Baker in Holborn, very much flurried; I spoke to her; she made no reply; her doors were all open; the next day I met her, and the prisoner was on the other side of the way; she desired me to apprehend him; we lost him, and found him ten minutes after; he had a bundle; I stopped him; he said it was a coat; I said, it was in too narrow a compass for that; and I took it out of his hand; and I had a pattern of the gown, at the same time in my pocket; I have had it ever since.

(The gown produced and deposed to by a remarkable mark.)

Catherine Baker. I tore it the second day of wearing, and I darned it myself.


I left my house at six in the morning; I locked my door, and pulled the fore door after me; I left nobody in my apartment; I saw something stir like a hat; I was going to kick at it, and a man said halloo! I said, what are you doing there? he said, taking a bit of a snooze; I did not see his face; I returned at half past seven, and my clothes were taken out of my chest, and my drawers were stripped of my wife's things; I lost the things in the indictment; there was more money in the chest, but it was not taken; I saw the money in the drawers that morning, which was taken afterwards.


I took charge of the prisoner, at Bow-street, with the property.

Mr. Garrow, another Counsel for the Prisoner. My lord, I have a person to prove that the prisoner could not be the person that was seen about the house in the

morning, when the woman says she saw him.


I live in Tash-street; the prisoner lodged with me; I remember the time of his being taken up for this offence; the morning before, and that whole week, my wife was very ill with a sore breast; I was up every night; I locked the door at eleven, and took the key into my room; and that morning or any other morning of that week, he did not go out of my place, till half after six; I am quite sure that that morning and every morning that week, he was at home at three and four o'clock; he lodged with me only a few nights.

The prisoner called one witness to his character.

Court to Catherine Baker . It was very dark when you went out of your lodging? - Yes.

Then how do you know it was the prisoner that was there? - I took my candle and lanthorn and looked at him; I saw him lay in the passage; I had a full view of him.

Are you sure of him? - Yes, I am sure it was the same.

Court to Jury. On the first part of the indictment, of the breaking, you must acquit the prisoner; for it is plain Ann Quin and William Kendrick did not live in the dwelling house of James Baker ; then it remains to consider another capital charge, namely, that of stealing property in the dwelling house of James Baker above the value of 40 s.

GUILTY, Of stealing in the dwelling house, to the value of upwards of forty shillings , Death .

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

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