Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty > lesser offence; Guilty > lesser offence; Not Guilty > unknown
Navigation: < Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >
761. JOHN OLIVER, GEORGE CLARKSON, JAMES STEVENS, JOHN MORGAN, WILLIAM TAYLOR, GEORGIANA STEVENS , and FRANCES TAYLOR , were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Rowland Swann, about the hour of one in the night of the 24th of January, at St. Luke, Middlesex, with intent to steal, and stealing therein, 1 bed, value 10s.; 1 blanket, value 7s.; 3 coats, value 2l. 10s.; 5 pairs of trowsers, value 3l.; 2 waistcoats, value 8s.; 1 hat, value 7s.; 1 hat-box, value 6d.; 3 brushes, value 2s.; 3 pairs of boots, value 13s.; 2 towels, value 2s.; 2 pairs of spectacles, value 3s.; 1 flannel-shirt, value 2s.; 1 handkerchief, value 1s. 6d.; 1 tea-kettle, value 1s.; 1 pen-knife, value 1s.; 3 pictures, value 1s.; 1 umbrella, value 1s.; and 1 half-crown; his goods and monies.
ROWLAND SWANN . I am a police-officer, and live in Freeman's-place, Coleman street, Bunhill-row, in the parish of St. Luke. I occupy the bottom part of the house—a man and his wife, and a son, live in the upper part—the landlord does not live on the premises—on the 24th of January, I went out on duty, about half past eight o'clock at night—I fastened the
room door, examined the window, and it was fast—there is but one room on a floor—I returned about half past four o'clock the following morning, and found the window-shutter a little open—I pulled it open, and found the window wide open also—I looked in, but could see nobody—I opened the street door, unlocked my room door, struck a light, and looked for a candle, which I had placed on a mantel-piece the night before I found it had been taken out of the candlestick—I locked the door, ran over to the station-house, and procured a lamp—I then returned, and searched the room, and missed three coats, five pairs of trowsers, two waistcoats, a hat and box, three brushes, three pairs of boots, and several other articles—a bed, a blanket, and a flannel-waistcoat.
Q. How lately before had you seen the articles? A. They were all there when I went out—on the 6th of February I went with sergeant Seal to the lodging of the prisoner Oliver, at No. 4, Coleman-street, and there I found a bed, a hat-box, a tea-kettle, three brushes, and a small framed glass, which were my property, and which I had lost—on the next day I went with sergeant Seal and William Ball to Morgan's house, in Peter-lane, Smithfield, and there found a black waistcoat of mine, a pair of white trowsers, a hat, and a flannel-waistcoat—I did not know Morgan lived there till I was informed of it—he was there, and his wife—he was taken into custody—I went the same night to a house in Northumberland-court, Compton-street, and found Taylor there—I could not identify any thing in his place—but on his being searched at the station-house I found a pair of boots on his feet which belong to me—they were Wellington boots, but the tops were cut off—our boots are marked with a particular mark, which is cut on them—it is the broad arrow, and a number—the officer took possession of the articles.
Cross-examined by MR. DOANE. Q. Do you pay the rent of the part of the house you occupy? A. Yes—the robbery was on the 24th of January—I went to Morgan's house on the 6th of February with Seal and Ball, and found the black waistcoat there—Seal did not suggest to me in the first instance that it was my waistcoat.
Q. Did not you look at it, and did not Seal say, "Do you not think that is your waistcoat? it has a string off it?" A. I did not hear him say any thing of the kind—I had no doubt of it—it appears that Morgan keeps a sale shop, and sells wearing apparel—there were a number of hats for sale in his window, and my hat along with them.
COURT. Q. Did you say any thing to Morgan as to how he became possessed of the waistcoat and hat? A. No, I did not.
THOMAS SEAL . I am a police-sergeant. On the 6th of February I went with Swann to Coleman-street, Bunhill-row—I had been there previous to that—I know Oliver occupies that house—I did not know it previous to that—I knew it from the witness Fairweather.
MARY FAIRWEATHER . I am the wife of James Fairweather, and live at No. 4, Coleman-street, Bunhill-row. The prisoner Oliver lodged there—I let the room to him on the 29th of December last—he occupied it from that time to the 6th of February, when he was taken into custody—I had given him notice to leave the day previous—I know James Stevens—he came to assist him to move his goods in, and remained with him the remainder of the time they were there—he lived there all the time with him in the same room—I saw George Clarkson there on Monday, the 5th of February, and on Tuesday, the 6th.
Coleman-street, between eleven and twelve o'clock at night, with Ball, and found the prisoners Oliver and Clarkson there—they appeared to be going to bed—they both had their coats off—I saw a bedstead in the room, and a bed on it—I turned down the bed, and under that found another bed, which answered the description of the one which Swann had lost—I then told the prisoners I should take them into custody on suspicion of being concerned in Swann's robbery—they said they knew nothing about it—the house is a very few yards from Swann's—I took the prisoners over, leaving Ball in charge of the room—I fetched Swann over, and we proceeded to search the room—in a cupboard in the corner of the room I found three brushes, a small picture-frame and glass, a tea-kettle, and a hat-box—shortly after, Ball brought Stevens to the station-house, he having come home soon after we had left—about ten o'clock, on the 7th, I went to No. 13, Northumberland-passage, Compton-street, Clerkenwell, and in a room up stairs found the prisoners Georgiana Stevens and Frances Taylor—I believe Georgiana Stevens is not James Stevens's wife, and I am not certain whether Frances Taylor is Taylor's wife or not, but they live together as man and wife—I never knew them before, myself—I found them on separate beds, and under the bed where Georgiana Stevens was lying, which was on the floor, I found the top part of a pair of police-boots, apparently—I found nothing more there—I believe the prisoner William Taylor is the landlord of that house, as I understand from the owner—I do not know it of my own knowledge—I went the same morning to No. 8, Peter-lane, Cow-cross, where the prisoner Morgan lives, and there found a hat, a waistcoat, a pair of white trowsers, and a flannel-waistcoat—I asked Morgan if he knew a young man named Oliver—he said, "Yes, he is my wife's brother"—I asked him what sort of a character he was he said he believed he was a very respectable young man—Morgan keeps a shop for the sale of old clothes.
Prisoner Georgiana Taylor. He came to my mother's place at nine o'clock in the morning, and I was in bed—he said, "Georgiana Taylor, turn out, old girl, I want you"—I said, "Who are you, what is your business?"—he would not tell me—I directly got up, and was about to put on my things—he said, "Stop," and did not want me to put on my clothes—he says I laid on the floor, and it was on a bedstead—he did not find any boots. Witness. I believe the bed was on the floor—the boots were under the bed.
GEORGE WILLIAM BALL . I am a policeman. On the 6th of February I apprehended the prisoner James Stevens, about half-past twelve o'clock at night, at Oliver's, No. 4, Coleman-street, Bunhill-row—I found on him two small scent-bottles, a penknife, 7 1/2 d. in money, and a wire with two hooks at the end—that is not here—it does not relate to this case—I afterwards went to No. 13, Northumberland-place, where I apprehended William Taylor, and found on him a pair of boots with the tops cut off.
ROWLAND SWANN re-examined. I know these boots by their being soled at the bottom, and other marks about them, and by the tops, which fit them—the broad arrow is cut on, and the number, and the date of the year—the soles have been patched since I lost them—the tops exactly correspond—these white trowsers were quite new—I had never worn them, but they have been since put into water to spoil them—I know my hat by a small break in it—I have worn it a considerable time—I know the lining
—it is a watered lining—I swear positively to the hat—I knew it in. stantly I saw it—the hat-box I know particularly, and the tea-kettle and brushes—this waistcoat I can positively swear to; here is a little break under the arm, and a small place in the left-hand pocket—the white trowsers I know by being joined here—the flannel waistcoat has a small piece under the arm which has been recently put.
Oliver's Defence. On the morning of the 25th I had occasion to go down into the yard, and saw a quantity of things lying there—the hat, hat-box, brushes, bed, and tea-kettle—I instantly went up stairs again, and did not touch them—I said to my fellow-prisoner, Stevens, "There is something in the yard, I do not know who they belong to"—we went down stairs, looked at them, and took them up stairs—there was nobody said any thing about them, nor asked for them, nor was there any noise about them, and we kept them—had I known they were stolen I should not have kept them, but I found them in the yard.
James Stevens's Defence. Oliver went down for some water in the yard—he came up stairs and told me there were some things there—I went down with a candle and fetched them up stairs, and put them into the cupboard—they laid in the open yard.
William Taylor's Defence. I bought the boots found on me, in Petticoat-lane, and my legs being bad, I was obliged to cut the tops off.
JURY to MRS. FAIRWEATHER. Q. Do you know any thing of the goods being found in the yard? A. No, I never heard it—I never knew they were there—I never went into their room while they were there—the things were not in the yard when I went to bed, about twelve o'clock, the night before—my house is not open all night—I shut the door when I go to bed, and if anybody is out they bolt it when they come in—Oliver once asked if I would let him have the key—I said no, I was going to wash, and I should be up—he could get out without the key—the door is fastened with a latch—I generally go to bed at twelve o'clock—I bolt it if I consider every body is in—the wall of my yard forms part of the side of Friendly-place—persons could get over into my yard from Friendlyplace—I have had my water-pipe and cock stolen out of the yard sometimes.
(Upon the prisoner William-Taylor's feet being examined, they were found to be sore just above the ankle.)
OLIVER— GUILTY . Aged 20.
JAMES STEVENS— GUILTY . Aged 18.
Of housebreaking, but not burglariously.
JOHN MORGAN, NOT GUILTY .
GEORGIANA STEVENS, and
Before Mr. Justice Williams.