5th December 1810
Reference Numbert18101205-34

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34. WILLIAM BRITTON was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 17th of November , a trunk, value 10 s. a rasor, value 5 s. a dressing case, value 5 s. a smelling-bottle, value 1 s. and four guineas, the property of Charles Maitland ; thirty-five guineas, and four pieces of foreign gold coin, value 4 l. the property of Andrew M'Intyne , in the dwelling-house of Henry Hudson .

CHARLES MAITLAND . Q. I believe you are an officer of the navy , are not you - A. Yes.

Q. You were in town on the 17th of November last. - A. Yes; I lodged at the Cannon Coffee-house, Charing-cross . I came there that morning; that was the first day I came there.

Q. What did you bring with you. - A. I brought my trunk, it was locked. I had the key in my pocket. I put my trunk in a bed-room, where I was shewed to, up two pair of stairs. I left it in that room. I had my dinner; and after I had my dinner, I was going to the theatre. A gentleman was with me, his name is Andrew M'Intyne. I went up stairs. I had some money in my pocket.

Q. You had some money, and he had likewise. - A. Yes; I told him it would not be necessary to take it all out, we had better put it away. We went up stairs, both together.

Q. What time in the evening was this. - A. About six o'clock. He counted out thirty-five guineas in gold, or more, and four foreign pieces: they are worth a guinea a piece. I had four guineas in gold. I put them into a secret drawer of a small dressing case; the thirty-five guineas and four moidores were put in a piece of brown paper, and put in the dressing-case, in another drawer. I locked the dressing-case and put it in the trunk, and locked the trunk likewise; then we went both to the theatre, and we returned the next morning about nine o'clock.

Q. Did Mr. M'Intyne come with you. - A. No; I went to the coffee-house, and Mr. M'Intyne was there at the time I went up the two pair of stairs bed-room. I found that my trunk was broken open. I spoke to nobody of the house. Before I went up, the man of the house came up and told me, that my trunk had been broken open, and the man was taken, and that they had got all the money safe. I did not look into my trunk then.

Q. In point of fact, besides the money that you put in, you had a great variety of articles of wearing apparel. - A. Yes, all my clothes and linen, no property of Mr. M'Intyne, except the guineas and money.

ANDREW M'INTYNE . Q. You have heard the account that young man has given. - A. I have.

Q. The account of your having deposited this money in this trunk is correct and true, is it. - A. Perfectly, I lodge in the same house, he a room higher than me.

HENRY HUDSON . Q. You keep the Cannon Coffee House, do you. - A. Yes.

Q. You remember these two gentlemen coming to lodge in your house. - A. I do, it was on the 17th of November, the prisoner came to my house and ordered a dinner.

Q. Look at the prisoner, are you sure he is the man. - A. Yes, I am, he was then dressed like a gentleman, not as he is now, he had his dinner, he observed to the waiter after he had his dinner he was going to the play, and would be very glad of a bed on his return, he observed also to the waiter, had we any naval officers in the house, he was a naval officer himself. The waiter told him he could have a bed, the waiter said there were two or three naval officers in the house, but they were not within. He asked leave to go and wash his hands prior to his going to the theatre, he was shewn into the same room in which he slept, I think it was then six o'clock, it was before the gentleman were gone.

Q. You say he was shewn into a room, was that near Mr. Maitland's room. - A. The adjoining room to Mr. Maitland's room, the same side of the passage; when he went up stairs he staid up a very little time, he came down and said he was going to the play, he should be home when the play was over, and he went out; he returned about half past nine, observing to the waiter that he did not stay to see the after-piece, it was not worth seeing, or some such expression. He ordered a supper, and after taking the supper he retired to bed, I think about half past ten, the chamber-maid shewed him up to his room, I saw her go up with him; some time after that, the chamber-maid came down and said she thought he had taken Mr. Maitland's trunk out of his room, in consequence of that I went up stairs, I found that Mr. Maitland's trunk was taken out of the room, I heard the prisoner in his room making a great noise.

Q. Was it such a noise as could be heard down stairs. - A. Oh no, it seemed like the knocking of a hammer, but not very loud.

Q. In what manner had you gone up stairs. - A. I went gently up stairs, I listened at the door, I then asked him whether he was in bed, he said no, I asked him whether he was in the dark, he said yes, I asked him to open the door, I thought there was some of the luggage belonging to another gentleman in that room, he unlocked the door, I went in with one of the waiters, he was then lying in bed with his clothes on, he got up and opened the door, and went and laid himself in bed before I went in the room.

Q. At the time you got in, he was lying in bed with his clothes on. - A. Yes, I saw some things scattered about the room, I thought it was adviseable to have an officer, I took the key from the inside of the door and locked him in until the officer came, I sent for the officer, he came about ten minutes after this happened, I took the officer up stairs, and gave him in charge, he was then lying in bed as before.

Q. Did he exhibit to you the appearance of a man in liquor at all. - A. Not the smallest, then on searching the room we found a great many guineas in a drawer, I found the trunk broken open and put under the bed, the lock was forced; we opened a drawer in a chest of drawer in the room, we found some guineas and some linen also, I think there were eighteen. There were two foreign pieces of gold coin under the mattrass, and there were two guineas in a piece of brown paper, and a chissel, nothing else, I took the trunk into the gentleman's room.

Q. Did you lock it. - A. No I could not lock it, I put the things in the trunk, and put them in the gentleman's room. The officer took the eighteen guineas and the two pieces of foreign gold coin.

Q. Upon the apprehending of the prisoner, did he say any think. - A. He denied every thing.

Prisoner. I would wish to ask him whether my coat and waistcoat were on when I was in bed. - A. The coat was not on, I believe he had his waistcoat and pantaloons on, and his braces.

MARY OWEN . Q. You were chamber-maid at the Cannon Coffee House on the 17th of November last. - A. Yes.

Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar. - A. I do, I remember shewing him up to a room, the first time that I shewed him up to the room was about six o'clock, to wash his hands, and about half past ten when I shewed him to bed, and then I came out and left him, I went into a gentleman's room exactly underneath his, I heard a great noise over my head, I heard a kind of a lumbering, I went up to prepare the room for Mr. Maitland, and missed the trunk, I came down and told my master and mistress, they sent for a constable.

WILLIAM PIKE . I am a constable, I was sent for to apprehend the prisoner.

Q. When you went there you went with Mr. Hudson into that room did not you. - A. Yes.

Q. We need not hear the particulars of your conversation with him, you found the money in the drawer, and the trunk under the bed, as Mr. Hudson has described. - A. Just the very same, I pulled the trunk out myself, It was seventeen guineas in the drawer, it is a mistake of eighteen, and a smelling bottle was found then I looked about the room, I saw the room all littered with different articles about the floor, I desired the prisoner to get up, I looked about the bed clothes.

Q. He laid between the sheets as described, did not he. - A. Yes.

Q. The prisoner did not appear to you to be drunk at all. - A. Not in the least; when he got up, I searched the bed, I found a shirt behind where he laid, a pair of breeches and a waistcoat; in searching further under the mattrass, I found a guinea, two half guineas, and this chissel, I examined the trunk, I found it had been broken open by this chissel, and the dressing case in the trunk appeared to be forced open by this chissel. This was on the Saturday night, on the Sunday I called to have an understanding, what was missed out of the trunk I could not hear; on Monday morning at ten o'clock, I attended to take the prisoner before the magistrate, the seventeen guineas, the guinea, and the two half guineas I have kept ever since, I found two gold moidores, they were along with the seventeen guineas.

EDWARD GREEN . I am an officer, on Monday, the 19th, the prisoner was brought to our office, several of

the officers searched him, afterwards I searched him, and found in one of his boots seventeen guineas, two gold moidores, and two half guineas.

Q. To Pike. Produce the money that was first found. - A. Pilgrim has got the two gold moidores I found, here are the guineas.

Q. To Green. Shew those two you found.

Mr. M'Intyne. They are of the same description that I had, I cannot speak to any one of the guineas, there were half guineas in my money, and seven shilling pieces.

Pike. This is the smelling bottle.

Mr. Maitland. I had a smelling bottle like that, I had such a one in my dressing case.

Prisoner's defence. I have nothing to say, I never occupied the room before

GUILTY , DEATH , aged 22.

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Baron Graham.

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