12th September 1792
Reference Numbert17920912-12
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation; Guilty > with recommendation
SentenceDeath; Death

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371. ROBERT WALLIS and THOMAS KIRK were indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Henry Appleton , about the hour of six in the afternoon, on the 4th of Septenmber , one Isabella Bolton being therein, and feloniously stealing therein, four muslin cauls for caps, value 2 s. seventeen muslin handkerchiefs, value 30 s. six silk handkerchiefs, value 18 s. eight muslin handkerchiefs, value 16 s. two silk petticoats, value 3 l. and a quantity of thread and silk lace, value 10 s. his property .

(The witnesses examined separately by desire of the prisoners.)


I am cook to Mr. Appleton, I was in the house on Saturday the 1st of September Robert Wallis came to invite himself to drink tea on the Tuesday following, and he said he had a woman friend, who would come with him and his wife; he came a second time, rung the bell, and was let in; he lived in the family two years, he went away in February last, he came on Tuesday morning, his wife, and the acquaintance came about half past five; he did not come then, but he came in about half an hour; the street door bell rang, and I went up; Mary Eddington was at the door; she went up to change her apron, and came running down stairs, hallowing; and Thomas Kirk was in the hall when she went up, and he came running down stairs without his shoes; a constable was sent for, and he was searched, there was a pair of shoes, a ruffled shirt, and neckcloth, found upon him, the property of Mr. Appleton, they were in his pocket; I let Wallis in, I don't know how the other prisoner got in; when I stopped Kirk, Wallis came into the parlour; some gentlemen came in, and took him into custody; he was committed; the women were not in the kitchen; afterwards they stopped in the hall and parlour; the women came up stairs with Wallis, when the other man was taken; when Wallis was taken I missed the women.


I am a servant to Mr. Appleton, an house-maid; I went out about half an hour after five, and came back half past six; I gave the alarm; I went into the kitchen, and there I saw the cook-maid, James Bolton , Robert Wallis , and Isabella Bolton; in a minute or two I went up stairs into the front room, Mr. Appleton's bed-room, and there I saw Thomas Kirk standing at the window, with a bag in his hand, and the window open, and the shutter three-parts shut to; then he went, on seeing me, behind the door on the landing place; he passed me in the room; I asked him who he wanted, and he said nobody; and then I asked what he wanted, and he said nothing; then I asked him how he came there, and he pulled his hat over his face, and said nothing; I asked him again, and he said he wanted his shoes, and would have them out of the room, then he would go; then he put down the bag on the landing place, and he went in, as I supposed, to get his shoes, and I ran screeming down stairs, and ran out, locked the street door, and put the key in my pocket, and by that time Robert Wallis and Isabella Bolton, came into the hall, I said there was somebody

up stairs, and Wallis said, pho pho, there was nobody up stairs; by that time Thomas Kirk was in the parlour, and I went in, and put my right hand into his pocket, and took out six sticks of sealing-wax; I saw a ruffled shirt taken from him, a pair of men's leather shoes, and some black lace, that belongs to the young lady; when I went up stairs, I saw three of the drawers broke open; I went for a constable, and left him in the hands of James Edington , my father, who was in the house, and called in one Mr. Starkey; the articles were delivered to the constable; I was not down stairs above two or three minutes, before I went up; my father came into the house about eleven, to take down some bed curtains; he was in the kitchen with the other people, Robert Wallis , and the cook, and two women, and one Mr. Starkey, my father called him in; I went out at five; I am very certain I shut the door after me, I pushed it to, none of the windows below stairs were open; there is a person here will acquaint you how these people came into the house - I know the linen that was in the bag.


I am father of Mary Edington ; on Tuesday, Sept. 4, I went to Mr. Appleton's; we had some dinner below about five, my daughter went out and returned about half past six, came down into the kitchen, and went up stairs, and then we heard her shrieking; the cook and me went up, and she said she saw a thief in the house, with a scarlet waistcoat on; I tried to open the street door, but could not; at last I opened it, and found a gentleman, Mr. Starkey, he came in and took the poker, and I took the shovel, and we seized the prisoner, and found the things in the indictment; the shoes he had on were Mr. Appleton's; I got a constable, and went up stairs and found a great many articles of linen laying on the floor, and his shoes were found in Mr. Appleton's bed-chamber; three drawers and a book-case drawer were broke open; Wallis was in the kitchen the whole time I was down in the kitchen: when the cook let him in, he was up stairs two or three minutes before he came down; the women came before him, and Robert Wallis came about half an hour after them.


I live over against the house, I am a servant to one Mr. Gale; I sat at the counting-house window, and I saw Mr. Appleton's cook, Boulton, let in two women, between five and six, and afterwards I saw her come to the door and let a man in, in red hair, tied behind; a little after he came out of doors, and left the door wide open, that was Robert Wallis ; he let in Thomas Kirk ; Wallis came back in about five minutes; I do not think he went down stairs; he did not let in Kirk in the presence of the cook; the door was shut on Wallis, I do not know who shut it; Robert Wallis came down the steps and beckoned over against Church-court, and there came up a man, that was Kirk; I know both the men well, I saw them both go in together, I saw no more.


I am a bricklayer; I saw the two prisoners in the house, I was called in the 4th of September, about half past six, I saw Thomas Kirk there, and I saw James Edington take him, and strip him, and search him; the things in the indictment were taken from him; I saw Wallis there at the house.


I am the constable, I produce these these things, I received them from Mr. James Taddy ; he is not here as I know of, but the servants were all present when I received them; I have kept them ever since; I was sent for on Tuesday the 4th of September, about seven at night the prisoner Thomas Kirk was in the parlour; I did not see him searched, I went up stairs afterwards, and these things were emptied out of the bag by the cook, on the floor.

(The things produced, and deposed to.)

Court to Appleton. Was the bag the man had full? - Yes, quite full.

Court to Sarah Bendfield . At the time the man went into the house, was it light? - Yes, the candles were not lighted, nor the lamps.


This is my shirt, it has my initials and number; this pair of shoes has my name in them; I can not swear to a stick of sealing wax, I lost such sort from the bookcase in my counting-house; I left it there the 30th day of August.

Court to Edington. Were these the same things that were produced to the constable, by Taddy? - Yes.


I am a single woman, I have seen all the articles in this bag, I can speak to them all, they were in my bed room; the prisoner was found in my mother's bedroom, the rooms are the side of each other.


I was informed of the robbery, and I took up Kirk, and Wallis came in while I was there, and charge was given of him.


I never broke into the house, as it is put into the indictment.


I knew nothing of the matter till I saw the prisoner in the parlour, then I went out and came back again.

(The prisoners called two witnesses to their character.)

They were both recommended to mercy, particularly the young one on account of his youth.



Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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