27th October 1819
Reference Numbert18191027-58
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence; Guilty
SentenceImprisonment; Corporal > whipping; Imprisonment

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1435. ROBERT COLLIS , JAMES MARGETT , and CHARLES WATKINS was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Manning , about eleven o'clock in the forenoon of the 16th of September ( James Cheesewright and others being therein), and stealing therein six handkerchiefs, value 40 s. , his property.

JOHN MANNING . I live in High Holborn . On the 16th of September, between eleven and one o'clock in the morning, I lost these handkerchiefs - I was not at home at the time. I went with Furzeman and found the prisoner, Watkins, in custody at the watch-house; he said he did not do it, but he knew who did. In consequence of what he said, I went in search of the boys, but did not then find them. I went to Mrs. Wasman's, in Vine-street, Chandos-street. I went up to the first floor, saw a woman there, and asked leave to search the house? She refused at first, because I had no warrant. I went to Bow-street for one, but the magistrate was gone; I returned and told the officer so. He applied to her a second time, and she said he might search, but we found nothing. About eight o'clock in the evening, the officer and I went to the one shilling gallery of the Cobourg Theatre, and there secured the other two prisoners.

SUSAN PYKE . One Wednesday in September I was crossing from Drury-lane to Museum-street, about half-past eleven o'clock in the morning, opposite Mr. Manning's, and saw a little boy, standing with his back against a post, opposite his house - it rained very hard; he had no hat on. I walked a little further, and saw the prisoner, Watkins; he gave a whistle, and the little boy ran up to him - they both stood before me. Watkins said something to him, which I did not hear; the child said to him,

"They have not been out." Watkins told the child to keep his post, and then the child went back to the post. Watkins kept a few paces before me, and whistled again, two boys, apparently of a height, came up to him. I left them talking together, went back to see what it all meant, and saw them round Mr. Manning's shop; I went in and told the shopman of it. The boys' backs were towards me - I do not know the other prisoners.

BENJAMIN STROUD . I am shopman to Mr. Manning. On Thursday morning, about half-past eleven o'clock, the last witness came to the shop, and gave me information. She went to the door, and pointed to Watkins, who was smoking a pipe and leaning on a post. She said our house was beset by that man, and some boys. I went into the shop, and asked Cheesewright, the shopman, if we had lost any thing? He immediately went to the window, and found a pane of glass cut out, and lying in the window as if it had been pushed in, and six silk handkerchiefs gone. The glass was safe when I opened the shop at seven o'clock in the morning - the handkerchiefs were of a chocolate colour.

JAMES CHEESEWRIGHT. I am shopman to the prosecutor. On the 16th of September I was in the adjoining shop when the information was given that the window was cut. I was called in, and found a piece of silk handkerchiefs gone, which I had put there that morning, exactly opposite the pane which was cut and pushed in - the glass had been newly put in; the handkerchiefs were not put two inches from the glass. I then went out, and observed Watkins at the opposite corner. His noticing us made me suspect him.

SAMUEL FURZEMAN . I am a constable. On the 16th of September, I took Watkins about one o'clock, at Seven Dials, and asked him where he was at half-past eleven? he made no reply. I then asked him what he was doing at the corner of Museum-street? he said he was there - I took him to the watch-house. I fetched Mr. Manning to the watch-house, and in consequence of information which I had received from Watkins, I went in search of Collis and Margett. About a quarter after four o'clock in the afternoon Cook came up to me, and in consequence of his information, Manning, myself, and him went to an iron-shop kept by Mrs. Wasman, and asked her if she had bought any handkerchiefs that morning? she said, No. I said,

"Have the goodness to let me search, I have no warrant." - she refused. I sent Mr. Manning for a warrant, he returned in a quarter of an hour, she then let me search. I found nothing, nor did I expect it, for I had left her husband down stairs all the while. I then went to the Cobourg Theatre, and took the two other prisoners.

JOHN COOK . I live at No. 3, Rose-court, Crown-street, Soho - I know Collis and Margett. On Thursday morning, the 16th of September, about ten o'clock, or a little after, I was in Seven Dials with others; Collis and Margett came up with some things in a blue apron - they called two or three more lads away. Margett had something in a blue apron under his arm. He spoke to one of the young lads who stood there, and said he had seen Long Jerry (there is a constable whom they call by that name) - that Jerry was coming by them, looked very hard at them, and that he (Margett) said,

"I must go and put this on, or my father will blow me up." They then went off to get breakfast, as they said.

Q. Did you see what was in the apron - A. Not then. I met them in Compton-street about twenty minutes after eleven o'clock, they asked me where I was going? I said I was going home. They asked me to go with them to

Chandos-street. They went up Long-acre into Angel-alley, and there shewed me the handkerchiefs - they took me into a necessary to shew them to me; there were five in one piece, and one by itself - they were chocolate-colour, and about a yard and a quarter square. They then began to run, and told me to run too, as they were in a hurry. They then went to Vine-street - Margett took them into an old iron-shop, kept by Mrs. Wasman. He staid there near a quarter of an hour, then came down, and said the lady only offered him 16 s. for the six. Collis said,

"D - n it! we must not take that - we can get more by pledging them." Margett said,

"We had better take it, or we shall get caught with them." He went up, and remained there about five minutes; he then came down and said she had given him 17 s. for the handkerchiefs, and one for himself to do what he liked with.

Q. What was done with the money - A. Margett gave 8 s. 6 d. to Collis, who gave me 2 d.. I suspected they had stolen the handkerchiefs, and asked them if they had done so? they would not tell me for a long while, at last they said they had taken them out of a linen-draper's window, but did not say where - Margett then gave me 2 d. also. He went to a shop and got dinner, and Collis went and bought a hat in Broad-street, St. Giles's; they then left him, and Margett bought a pair of boots in Monmouth-street; he then went and bought two laces for his boots. A woman came up to Collis, and told him not to come near Seven Dials, for Watkins was taken - they then went away. Collis said,

"D - n it, that is right! - Watkins is taken up for us, and we shall get through it." One William Riley then came up, and said Watkins was taken. They asked him to go to the Theatre, and said they would pay half-price for him - they asked me to come, and said they would save me a seat. I left them, met Furzeman, and told him, as I thought I might be suspected, having been with them. Collis, Margett, and Riley went to the Cobourg Theatre that evening, and were taken.

GEORGE HART . I am servant to Mr. Pickford. On the 16th of September Collis, Margett, and another person came into our shop in Broad-street, St. Giles's, and said they wanted a hat - they bought one for 6 s. I believe Collis had it fitted on.

SARAH SIMPSON . I live in Monmouth-street. On the 16th of September three boys came to me between eleven and two o'clock, and bought a pair of boots for 1 s. 2 d. - I did not notice them.

MARGETT'S Defence. I was at home at the time.

WATKINS'S Defence. I had no hand in it.

RICHARD MARGETT . I am the prisoner Margett's father, and live in George-street, Bloomsbury.

Q. Where was he on the 16th of September - A. At home to breakfast on the day of the robbery; he went out at ten o'clock in the morning, I do not know what became of him afterwards.

MARY MARGETT . I am his mother. He went out at ten o'clock, and did not return all day.



Of stealing only , Confined Six Months , and Whipped .


Confined Six Months .

Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Wood .

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