18th February 1807
Reference Numbert18070218-7
VerdictNot Guilty

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177. WILLIAM HARDING was indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Edward East , about the hour of two, on the night of the 23d of January , with intent the goods and chattels then and there being burglariously to steal .

EDWARD EAST. I keep the Red lion public house, Holywell lane, Shoreditch . On the night of the 23d of January I was called up by the watchman, I found my doors open, they apparently had been wrenched open by an instrument. I had fastened my doors up myself when I went to bed.

COLLIN FORBES . I am a baker. The back door of Mr. East's is right opposite of my house, about fifteen feet distance. About a quarter after two I was in my bakehouse alone, I heard a foot coming over the passage, which is boarded over, and then I heard a good deal of whispering, I heard one man say to the other, is there a light, which caused me to be curious to see what was going forward; I could not see well out of my own bakehouse, I had occasion to go up into my flour loft, on purpose to shoot down a sack of flour; I heard a crashing and wrenching, like a bursting something open, I looked through the hole of the door, there I perceived the prisoner at the bar and another man with him, with something of an instrument, forcing the outer door open; presently the outer door opened.

Q. Did this door open while you were looking through the hole. - A. Yes, I never took my eyes off; the inner door has a leaden casement on the top; I saw the prisoner's hands go through to the inside when that door opened; I then returned, as the wind was blowing from the hole at the door, to cough; I had a very bad cold, and with that they all run off.

Q. What sort of a night was it. - A. The moon shone very bright.

Q. Could you see the face of the other man. - A. No, the other man stood in the shade, out of the light of the moon, his hat was over his face; the prisoner stood in the light of the moon, halfway, I could see all his head, shoulder, and back; his face was sideways to me.

Q. Can you positively swear that the prisoner is the man. - A. Yes, I have seen him before, he frequented this public house. I came down and called the watchman, he and I called Mr. East up.

Q. Did you describe the prisoner to East or the watchman. - A. I did, the next day, as well as my knowledge would let me. I knew the prisoner by sight, I never knew his name.

JOSEPH HARRIS . Q. You are a watchman. - A. Yes. I was coming down Holywell lane upon the 23d of January, crying the hour of two o'clock; when I got within a few yards of the passage, Mr. Forbes called out Watch; I went up the passage, he told me Mr. East's house had been broken open. I found the outside and the inner door open.

JOHN RAY . I am an officer of Worship street office. On Saturday the 24th of January I had information of this robbery; in company with Armstrong, Vickery, and Bishop, I went and apprehended

the prisoner at the bar, at the Red lion in Holywell lane, he was sitting in Mr. East's tap room; we afterwards apprehended another man of the name of Nowland; we took them to the office. Forbes and the publican attended, Forbes identified the prisoner at the bar to be one of them, he said he could not be positive to Nowland, he believed him to be the man; the prisoner and Nowland were locked up in different lock up rooms. I heard the prisoner say how he would serve the Scotch b - r; the other said, stow.

Prisoner's Defence. I am in the habit of using the public house, I was in the house at nine o'clock that it happened; I went home to my wife and child, I got up in the morning and went to my work, I came in that same house at seven o'clock, and had a pint of beer. I know nothing at all of it, nor ever thought of such a thing.


First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Baron Sutton .

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