30th October 1793
Reference Numbert17931030-31
VerdictNot Guilty

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703. THOMAS DEMPSEY was indicted for stealing, a linen bed quilt, value 2 s. a woollen blanket, value 1 s. 6 d. a linen sheet, value 1 s. 6 d. the goods of Francis Hunt , in a lodging room .


I am a shoe-maker ; I am a house-keeper; I let a lodgings to the prisoner, I think it was on the 2d of May, I let him a bed and bedding, and every thing necessary in the room for two shillings a week, it was in Horse Shoe-alley, Petticoat-lane ; they came the same evening to lodge there, it was on a Wednesday; we don't live in the same house, we live three houses from it. I let it out to make the rent of it; I let the lodgings to the prisoner and his wife; I missed the things last Saturday was a week. They lodged with me till the Friday, the day before, but they kept the key till Sunday afternoon.

Q. Did you go in by yourself? - Yes, I went myself, I and my wife together.

Q. What did you miss? - A blanket, sheet and quilt.

Q. What is the value all together? - Five shillings.

Q. How came they to go away on Friday? - The wife was taken up for pawning a sheet for another man, and sent to Clerkenwell on Friday night. I did not hear of it till Sunday; I never saw the husband after the Friday, not till last Friday.

Q. Did you find any of this property? - Yes, it was all found in a pawnbroker's shop, in Nightingale-lane, at Christopher Higham 's.

Mr. Gurney. I believe this man was not the only lodger in your house? - No.

Q. A person of the name of Dorothy Lynes lodged there? - No, she went away three weeks before this happened.

Q. I believe your suspicion did not fall on the prisoner at first? - No, not in the

least. The prisoner came to me and brought me the duplicate last Saturday morning, and he said, here, Mr. Hunt, here is your duplicate.

Q. Your suspicions fell on Dorothy Lynes ? - Yes, they did.

Q. Did the prisoner assist you at all to take her up? - He was very active, and went about two or three hours to seek for a constable to take her up.

Q. You did find her out I believe? - We did, and took her before a magistrate. After that the officer said, you had better take the prisoner up too, for Dorothy Lynes throws it all on the prisoner.

Q. Pray what sort of a fastening is on that door? - Very slight; I believe with a slight shove it might be opened.

Q. What time was the discovery made that the things were lost? - On Saturday morning.

Q. And the prisoner had not slept there since Thursday night? - Not that I know of.


I am a married woman, my husband is a shoe-maker, the last witness.

Q. When did you first know that any property was missing? - Last Saturday was a week.

Q. How came you to go to the room then? - Another lodger came and asked me if I knew any thing of Mrs. Dempsey? I said, no; she said her door was wide open, and the bed clothes were gone. This was on Saturday; and I went and saw the things gone off the bed.

Mr. Gurney. You found the door open? - Yes, I did.


I sell old clothes in Rosemary-lane; I lived at the lower part of this house till last Tuesday was three weeks.

Q. How long had you lived there? - I believe a month or five weeks to the best of my knowledge.

Q. Whereabout were the lodgings of Dempsey? - In the one pair of stairs above me.

Q. What do you know about stealing these articles? - The prisoner at the bar brought me this property, and told me he was very much distressed, this was on last Saturday was a week, he brought the sheet, blanket, and quilt, and I went and pawned them for him for two shillings, I brought him the duplicate and two shillings before witness, and delivered them to him.

Q. Where did you pawn them? - In Nightingale-lane, all at one place in one bundle together.

Q. Do you know any thing more about them? - No, I do not, I was taken up last Sunday and kept till the Monday, because Sunday I could not have a hearing; the prisoner at the bar he wanted to leave me in the lurch, because my name was on the duplicate; I was taken and discharged before the magistrate, he was taken up on Sunday afternoon; I was not cleared till one o'clock on Monday, I was cleared when he had a hearing before the justice.

Q. When did you first give an account of these things being delivered to you? - I gave it to the justice when I was committed.

Q. Did you ever give any account of that before you was committed? - No, I never did.

Mr. Gurney. You pawned these things as your own property? - Yes.

Q. You told the pawnbroker they were your own property? - I did.

Q. Then you was taken up for stealing the things? - I was.

Q. And in order to save yourself you accused the prisoner? - Certainly.

Q. And till you was taken up and carried before the justice you never told this story? - I never did.

Q. Then when he brought you these things you thought they were his own

property? - No, I knew they were not, but it is a usual thing to pawn these things and get them out again.

Q. I think you said you are a dealer in old clothes in Rosemary-lane? - Yes, I am.


I am a pawnbroker, I produce the things.

Q. Who pawned them with you? - Dorothy Lynes , on the 19th of October, in her own name.

Q. Did you give her a duplicate? - Yes.

Mr. Gurney. She told you they were her own property? - Yes, she said she was positive they were her own.

Two witnesses gave the prisoner a good character as to honesty.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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