WILLIAM HALSGROVE, ESTHER SIMONS.
3rd December 1806
Reference Numbert18061203-52
VerdictsNot Guilty; Not Guilty > no evidence

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52. WILLIAM HALSGROVE was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of sir William Dunkin , about the hour of eight at night, on the 28th of October , with intent to steal, and feloniously stealing therein three feather beds, value 20 l. three counterpanes, value 2 l. two four-post bed furnitures, value 2 l. 2 s. two looking glasses, value 8 l. one pier glass, value 3 l. two candlesticks, value 1 l. the property of sir William Dunkin ; a cap, value 2 s. a habit shirt, value 1 s. a handkerchief, value 1 s. a pair of sheets, value 5 s. the property of James Nicolls ; five handkerchiefs, value 1 l. a pair of pockets, value 1 s. twenty yards of ribbon, value 5 s. twelve yards of lace, value 1 l. and a cloth wrapper, value 1 s. the goods of Elizabeth Luke , spinster ; and ESTHER SIMONS for feloniously receiving on the same day, one feather bed, value 5 l. a sheet, value 2 s. five handkerchiefs, value 1 l. a pair of pockets, value 1 s. twenty yards of ribbon, value 5 s. twelve yards of lace, value 1 l. and a cloth wrapper, value 1 s. part of the same goods, she knowing them to be stolen .

The case was stated by Mr. Alley

SAMUEL BARRY ; examined by Mr. Alley. I am an upholsterer and house agent.

Q. You know sir William Dunkin ; where was his town house. - A. No. 4, Glocester place, Portman square, St. Mary-le-bone .

Q. Before the gentleman went out of town, did he instruct you to take an inventory of his goods. - A. Yes; in consequence of which I took an inventory.

ANN NICHOLLS ; examined by Mr. Alley. My husband's name is James Nicholls .

Q. You were in the house as servant to sir William, to take care of his house. - A. I was, he left town in the month of August.

Q. On the evening of the 28th of October, did you leave your master's house. - Yes, about seven o'clock in the evening, and I was out till about nine; when I went out I fastened the doors, windows, and every avenue to the house; when I returned I found the door as I left it, but I found footmarks to the door. When I returned, me and my son were sitting in the kitchen, he heard a noise about half after nine. I went up stairs to let my son out; going

by the parlour door I found it open; I had left it shut when I went out. I went into the parlour, I found a tobacco pipe by the sideboard, the pipe was rather warm; there was never a pipe in the house to my knowledge when I was there. I was alarmed, I went out and brought in a watchman, we proceeded to search the house.

Q. When you came down the stairs did you perceive any thing on the stairs. - A. We perceived the dirt of men's feet, we proceeded up the stairs, we picked up a match and a candle, the candle appeared to have been recently lit; the man then sprang the rattle, and there were three more watchmen called in; they proceeded to search the house. In the two pair of stairs back room a bed and counterpane was taken away, and a ladies' looking glass, I had seen them there at four o'clock in the afternoon; I found in that room that all the closets had been forced open, and the drawers were all open; they were not locked when I went out, they were close.

Q. When you went out at seven o'clock you left the house without any other person. - A. Yes, I went into the two pair of stairs front room, I found the door, the drawers, and the wardrobe open; I missed out of that room a featherbed and a counterpane; in the top drawer of the wardrobe there was my own wearing apparel, that was all gone, and the sheets on the bed were gone, they were mine. We went into the garret; there was taken from there one feather bed, a coloured quilt; there was a large trunk that belonged to Elizabeth Luke , she was a servant to sir William Dunkin 's daughter, she was in the country at the lady's house. The trunk had been forced open, and all the things were gone. There were in the drawers the furniture of two four-post beds, they were gone. In the front drawing-room the furniture was all safe, and all fastened when I went out.

Q. Was the drawing-room door locked when you went out. - A. Not locked but shut. I found it wide open; I missed from there one large looking-glass over the fire-place, that was a fixture; it had been taken down, and two candle branches that were on the mantle-piece. In the dining-parlour a large pier-glass that was fixed between the windows, that also was gone.

Q. All these things you left safe in the house when you went out, and the house completely fastened in every respect - A. Yes.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp.

I understood you to have said in the beginning part of your evidence that all was safe at four o'clock in the afternoon. - A. Yes.

Q. Had you seen these different rooms between the hours of four o'clock and your going out. - A. Yes, when I fastened up the windows between four and five.

Q. Now from the time that you fastened up the windows to the time that you returned, did you go into all these different rooms again. - A. Not before I went out.

Court. They could not have been carried out of the house while you was there. - A. No, I am clear of that.

Q. Then they must have been carried out after dark. - A. I am certain of it.

ELIZABETH LUKE ; examined by Mr. Alley. You are servant to one of these young ladies. - A. Yes.

Q. When you left town with the family did you leave your trunk behind you. - A. Yes, in the back garret.

Court. What did you leave in it. - A. Twenty yards of ribbon, a pair of pockets, twelve yards of black lace, and a cloth wrapper; I called at the house two days before the robbery, I saw all was safe then, and about an hour after the robbery was committed I saw it again; the lock was forced and every thing was gone.

MARY WILKINSON ; examined by Mr. Alley. You live in the same house as the woman prisoner. - A. Yes, in Mary-bone-lane.

Q. What part of the house does she occupy. - A. The one pair of stairs front room.

Q. What business is the woman prisoner. - A. She is a Jewess, I do not know any thing else.

Q. On the evening of the 28th of October did any thing particularly attract your attention. - A. I heard people talking, and things going up stairs, about eight in the evening; I was coming up from the washouse where I had been washing. I saw Mr. Simons standing at the door; he had been standing there a considerable time. I went up into my own room, and stopped some time, and afterwards I heard Mrs. Simons open the door and say hush.

Court. Do you know where the man Simons was then. - Q. He was helping up the men with the beds at that time.

Q. Did you see him helping the beds up stairs, - A. I did not see it, I suppose it must be them, it made such a hustling getting them up; they were helping something up very large, I did not see it. Then the door was shut to, and they were very silent.

Mr. Alley. Do you know of your own knowledge they are man and wife. - A. No.

Mr. Knapp. It is charged so in the indictment.

Court. How long did you hear this noise of carrying the things up. - A. I heard them upon the stairs about five minutes.

Q. Do you know where the man Simons is. - A. I have never seen him since.

Q. Did you see any of the persons who were carrying these things up with Simons. - A. No.

CHARLOTTE EDWARDS ; examined by Mr. Alley. I lived in the next room to Mrs. Simons, up one pair of stairs.

Q. Look at the bar, and tell me whether you have seen that man before. - A. Yes, I have seen him go into Mrs. Simons's room more than once. On the 29th of October I saw a bed taken out of Mrs. Simons's apartment, I heard other things go down.

JAMES KENNEDY ; examined by Mr. Alley. I am an officer of Marlborough street. On the 5th of November I went to search the prisoner's apartment with my brother officers; I found the property belonging to the two servants, and a bed belonging to sir William Dunkin .

JOHN WARREN ; examined by Mr. Alley. You are another officer. - Yes.

Q. Tell us what you found belonging to sir William Duncan . - A. Two feather beds and two sheets.

RICHARD BURTON ; examined by Mr. Alley. You

are another officer. Previous to your going to the office you had the woman prisoner in custody at the public house. - A. I had; and while we were there the man prisoner came in. He passed two or three times to Mrs. Simons, and then he went away.

Q. In consequence of something that she said after he left the house, did you pursue him and take him into custody. - A. I did.

Q. When you brought him back did you repeat in his hearing and hers what she said before you left the room. - A. I did; I told him that she accused him, saying, that he was one of the party concerned in bringing the beds, and the other property to her. He denied it, and said it was false. She replied, you know you did, and at the same time you was in my room, you pulled an handkerchief or something out of your pocket, and you dropped a skeleton key. I asked you what it was, you said, it was your own; to this he made no reply.

(The property produced and identified.)

Halsgrove's Defence. I can only state to the court and the gentlemen of the jury, that I know nothing of the transaction. I never had any dealings with the woman at the bar, I know her no further than seeing her in Marybone lane, and as to my ever being in the house that woman resides in, I cannot charge my memory that ever I was, nor was I in the room in the public house where the woman was till I was called there.

Simons left her defence to her counsel, and called no witnesses to character.

Halsgrove called four witnesses, who gave him a good character.

BOTH - NOT GUILTY .

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

53. WILLIAM HALSGROVE and ESTHER SIMONS stood indicted again of a similar charge .

Mr. Alley, counsel for the prosecution, declining to offer any evidence, they were both

ACQUITTED .

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.


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