CHARLES WRIGHT.
21st April 1819
Reference Numbert18190421-70
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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570. CHARLES WRIGHT was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Christopher Wilkinson , about four o'clock in the night of the 17th of March , at Allhallows on London-wall , with intent to steal, and burglariously stealing therein, 80 lbs. of tea, value 40 l. , his property.

CHRISTOPHER WILKINSON . I am a wholesale tea-dealer , and live at No. 5, Wormwood-street , London-wall. On the 17th of March my house was broken open - I was out of town at the time.

ANN WILKINSON . I am the wife of the last witness. On the 17th of March I was at home; I was the last person that went to bed - the house was made fast. About half-past five o'clock on Thursday morning I was awoke by the servant telling me some persons were ringing the street-door bell; I desired her to put her head out of window to see what it was. She then told me the watchman said there were thieves in the house. I dressed myself, went down stairs with her, and took the keys of the warehouse in my hand. I found a bag of tea in the passage, another in the warehouse, and an empty bag in the warehouse.

Q. How did they get access to the warehouse - A. A hole was made in the cellar, which was not there a week before - the wine-cellar, warehouse, and counting-house doors were forced open, also the counting-house desk. The street-door had been opened wide - it was not forced; the bars were taken down. My husband keeps the house, it is in the parish of Allhallows - the warehouse is part of the dwelling-house.

Cross-examined by MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. It was not dark at half-past five o'clock - A. We struck a light, but it was light enough to see a man's countenance - I did not see the house closed the night before.

ROBERT GADBURY . I am a watchman. On the 17th of March, I was on duty, and examined Mr. Wilkinson's door - I found it completely fast. In the morning, about five o'clock, I was going my rounds again - I tried the prosecutor's door again, and found it on the latch. I pushed it open, and found three men inside the door - the prisoner was one. I endeavoured to hold the door to until I could get assistance - two men rushed out upon me, but I collared the prisoner inside the door, and never quitted him till I got him to the watch-house - he is the man. The name of the parish is Allhallows, London-wall.

Cross-examined. It was just getting light. I can swear to one of the others if I saw him again.

JOHN BRADY . I am an officer of Broad-street Ward. On the 18th of March, between five and six o'clock in the morning, the prisoner was brought to the watch-house by one of the watchmen, who charged him with housebreaking. I searched him, and in his possession found six skeleton keys, two other regular keys, a phosphorus bottle, a gimlet, and a large knife.

JOSEPH TURNER . I am a watchman. I went to Gadbury's assistance, and saw him struggling with the prisoner; I went up, laid hold of him, and took him to the watch-house.

JOHN CROKER . I am an officer. On the 18th of March, between five and six o'clock in the morning, the prisoner was brought to the watch-house - I was there. Harrington and I went immeditately to search the house, leaving the prisoner at the watch-house. We met Mrs. Wilkinson coming out of the cellar; we went into the cellar, and found a hole in the wall, between the prosecutor's house and the next, which is uninhabited; it is a very thick wall, and would certainly take some time to break through it - it must have taken half or three parts of the night. We went into the warehouse, and found the tea scattered about, and some in bags; we weighed them separately, tied them up, and sealed them. One bag weighed 38 lbs. and the other 42 lbs. - we searched all over the house but found nothing. I ascended the wall of the adjoining empty house with a little assistance, and got in at the first-floor back window; I went down into the cellar, and saw the bricks where they had broken through the wall into the prosecutor's house - the empty house is at the corner of Union-court.

Cross-examined. Q, Was the next house under repair, or untenanted - A. Untenanted; it might have been broken in the day for what I know. It is a party-wall, and very thick - the hole was large enough for the prisoner to get through; I found no bolts there.

JOHN HARRINGTON . I am an officer. On the 18th of March, a little after five o'clock in the morning, I left the watch-house, and was going round the ward, and met Gadbury and Turner in Broad-street with the prisoner. I returned to the watch-house with them, and after leaving him in custody I and Croker went to the prosecutor's house, and met Mrs. Wilkinson coming out of the cellar. We found a breach made in the wall that divided the house from the empty house - it was a brick wall about eighteen inches thick; it was more than one brick thick. We then went up into the warehouse, found two bags with tea in them, and one empty bag. One bag contained 38 lbs. and the other 42 lbs., and tied up. We found nobody up stairs.

Cross-examined. I think the prisoner could get through the hole.

PETER LEE . I am a watchman of Bishopsgate Ward. I heard a call for assistance, and found the prisoner in custody of two watchmen - they had been struggling. Gadbury sent me into the prosecutor's house; a bag of tea stood by the door, and a hat laid by the side of it. There was an empty bag there, and another bag full, not tied up. Three or four chests of tea appeared to be broken open.

MR. WILKINSON. The bags are not mine - tea is not kept in bags.

Prisoner's Defence. I saw a parcel lay on the step of the door, picked it up, and the watchman instantly seized me. The parcel contained implements for housebreaking.

GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 32.

London Jury; before Mr. Recorder.


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