Peter Delgens.
17th October 1744
Reference Numbert17441017-10

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442. + Peter Delgens * , of St. Martin's in the Fields , was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Christopher Pinchbeck , between the hours of one and two in the night, and stealing two gold cane heads, value 5l. twelve pair of silver buckles, value 6 l. a metal cup, value 6 d. a metal castor, value 2 s. and two ivory hook heads for canes, value 3 s. the goods of Christopher Pinchbeck , June 27 .

* He says his name is Velgent, he appeared very much like a gentleman by his habit.

Christopher Pinchbeck . The 27th of June in the morning I heard a noise in the house, and came down and found a hole in one of the shutters of my shop, which had been made by a nail piercer. The glass was broke, and several pair of never buckles, with two gold cane heads were taken away. - My dwelling house is the corner of Pallmall , facing the Haymarket. On the 30th of July my man told me he believed he had got the person who had stole my goods, and Mr. Chidleigh one of the Constables of St. James's told me he believed he had got a man who had some of my buckles, who was taken attempting to break open a house: I found some of my buckles, two pair of shoe buckles, and two pair of knee buckles, but the marks were pretty near taken out of them. The Constable and I went to the Round house where the Prisoner was confined, and I was confounded at the thing, upon account of the number of people that appeared for him, and the appearance that he made himself. He told me the place where he lodged, upon which I got a warrant from Justice Fraser to search his lodgings, and upon searching them I found two ivory hook heads for canes, which I believed to be mine, but the man [Prisoner] was such a concern to me, that I would not be positive to them; but upon opening another drawer, I found some childrens metal toys [a metal castor and a metal cup] (and saucer, and a metal teapot, which is not mentioned in the indictment) which I am certain are mine, for I made them several years ago, and there were none of them made before nor since; they are marked at the bottom with the two initial letters of my name, I have had them a good many years and never sold any of them. We took the things with us and went to the Round-house again, and carried the Prisoner before Justice Fraser. When I mentioned the buckles to him, he said he was a person that dealt in that way, and I find he is a Jeweller; then I produced these little toys and the ivory hook heads (then I was sure to the ivory heads, though I was doubtful about them before) he said he had bought them, and should be able to make it appear who he bought them of upon his trial. He had a pair of silver buckles in his shoes such as I lost of my workman's make. I have since had some of the goods brought me by other people, who will declare they had them of him.

I think I can take upon me to say I saw the silver buckles in my shop the day before, because I had shewn them to a customer: and when I looked at a pair of silver buckles he had in the knees of his breeches , he said, they are not yours, no more they were.

Prisoner's Council. How do you know these buckles are yours?

Pinchbeck . I don't say I am positive they are mine, for my workman works for other people; the marks were filed out.

John Chidleigh . On the 30th of June I was at the watchouse, and Mr. Hill of Pallmall brought the Prisoner into the watchouse, and charged him with breaking his shop. I took him into custody and put him into the hold, and hearing that Mr. Pinchbeck's shop was broke open before, thinks I, this is the gentleman, though he looks like a gentleman; he threatened me very much, and said he was a gentleman, and then a Jeweller. I said I would lock him up, but I searched him fi rst for fear he should have any pistols, and I found these buckles; said I, You look very much like a gentleman because you have so many buckles, I take these to be Mr. Pinchbeck's buckles. I took this saw from him, and the teeth of the saw were as full of deal sawdust as they could hold, which I believe came out of Mr. Pinchbeck's shutter with his boring the holes; these are the gimblets which he made use of, this is the piercer he bored Mr. Hill's shutter with. I went to Mr. Hill's and fitted it to the holes in the shutter, and it fitted as near as could be. - I am in the building way: I went to Mr. Pinchbeck's on the Saturday morning between one and two o'Clock, and his man got up; I told him I believed I had got the thief who robbed his master, and he was then in the Round-house . I shewed him the buckles, and he positively said he could swear to them. I put this nail piencer into the holes which were made in Mr. Pinchbeck's window shutter, and it fitted as well as a nail piercer could do: he had ripped down the holes with a small saw, till he had got a piece out; this is the piece of wood which fitted the hole in Mr. Pinchbeck's window shutter, I fitted it to the hole myself. [There was a piece of the window shutter produced, about 4 or 5 inches square.]

Ellis Pugh . I am a servant to Mr. Pinchbeck , this piece of wood is part of my master's window shutter.

Q. Where did you find it?

Pugh. I found it in the hole it was taken from - Loose in the hole - The shutters were all whole after it was dark.

Chidleigh . When this piece of wood was put to the shutter, then the holes appeared, for they were all bored before it was cut out; it was bored either with a gimblet or a spike bit. - Tis a spike bit, we tried several of the holes, and this spike bit was as full of the saw dust which seemed to come out of that shutter as could be. I said to Mr. Pinchbeck it is the best way to get a search warrant; we got a search warrant and searched his lodgings, and there we found these things: there were some metal toys which Mr. Pinchbeck swore to, and one ivory hook head he was positive to, because part of it was broke off by an accident, [the goods were produced.]

Pinchbeck . These buckles are the same make as mine, but I can't positively swear to them, there were a great many chases of buckles found in the Prisoner's room, but the silver was all gone: we found two small files and a burnisher, which are used in taking out names and marks.

Chialeigh. Mr. Pinchbeck's man said before the Justice, that the Prisoner had a pair of buckles in his shoes which were his master's, and he said may be there may be another pair in his knees, and the Prisoner said, they are not yours. Mr. Pinchbeck's man took out one of them, and it was not his master's: then the Prisoner was carried to Clerkenwell Bridewell, and he said he would endeavour to make friends with Mr. Pinchbeck to find the bill Ignoramus, and then he should be saved. I said he should send what goods he could of Mr. Pinchbeck's to him, and that would be the way to make Mr. Pinchbeck his friend (there were several of the goods sent to Mr. Pinchbeck) when I advised him to that, he said he would; and that he had ordered several people, particularly Mr. Bell a Taylor and his washerwoman, to carry some things to him. He desired I would recommend it to Mr. Pinchbeck to be easy with him, and he would get all the things again that he could, and make satisfaction for what goods he could not recover by raising friends, and said he hoped I would not be his enemy. I said it was not in my power to help him; he said, O Lord! what a sad thing it is that I have happened to light upon such a Constable that was so hard: I asked him if he had any confederates, he said he had none; said I, You must have some confederates to receive your goods, you should impeach them; he said he had nobody to impeach, there was no soul concerned with him, and he was a very unhappy man to fall into such hands as would not shew him mercy.

Prisoner. How came you to go to Mr. Pinchbeck to enquire about me concerning this matter?

Chidleigh . I don't live above a dozen doors from Mr. Pinchbeck. I had matched this piece of wood to the window shutter the day before, and I said I would look out, and may be I might find the person that did it.

Eilis Pugh called again.

Q. What time did you find that the house was broke open?

Pugh. About two o'clock in the morning, I found the shutter broke, the glass of the window broke, and the show glass broke.

Q. Where did the show glass stand?

Pugh. It stood I believe about three inches on the right hand of the hall, just on the inside of the window.

Q. In what manner do you think he took these goods out?

Pugh. To be sure he must take them out with his hand, and he could by putting his hand in at the hole, take them out of the show glass.

Q. Did you miss the things directly after you observed the shop to be broke open?

Pugh. I missed no more than one gold cane head at first; I called my master about a quarter after two, but did not miss the things directly: my master went to bed again, but I would not go to bed, and when my master came down, we missed the rest of the things, this castor and cup were missing - They are my master's: I took a pair of my master's buckles out of the Prisoner's shoes before the Justice, I believe these are my master's buckles.

Chidleigh. These are the buckles which were taken out of the Prisoner's shoes before the Justice.

Pugh . The Prisoner sent these silver buckles to Mr. Pinchbeck by his washerwoman Mrs. Prees.

Jaquelin Prees. I had these two pair of silver buckles from the Prisoner at the bar, which he gave me in part of payment for some money he owed me.

Prisoner. What did the chairman say to you against me, when I was taken up?

Chidleigh. He said you were leaning against Mr. Hill's window shutters, and he thought you intended to do something you should not do, and stood a little on one side to watch, and heard the shutter crack, and then he came up to you and you run away, then he made a run at you and you fell down and he fell over you: he said you dropped the nail piercer and he took it up.

William Knox (a Chairman.) On the 30th of June I was in Pallmall about one o'clock in the morning, I was about twenty yards off the Prisoner, and he was stooping against a shutter. I came up a little nearer to him and heard the shutter crack: he was then standing upright, and I believe he saw me; then he went behind the lamp post at the next door, I went up to him in order to lay hold of him, and heard something drop, what it was I could not then tell, but I afterwards found a nail piercer; then I called the watchman, and kept the Prisoner till the watchman came to me, the Prisoner made an attempt to get away from the watchman; I run after him again and he fell down, I must either have tumbled over him or have fell upon him, if I had not stepped over him. Then the watchman came up and gave the rails a knock with his staff and said, I have done for him now, he'll never run again: the watchman thought he had struck him, but he only hit the rails: then I knocked at Mr. Hill's door and shewed him the place the Prisoner had been attempting to break open; he had bored 13 holes in the shutters. We carried him to the Round-house, and Mr. Hill searched the Prisoner and found two pair of silver buckles upon him; he asked him what he was, he said he was a Jeweller by trade, and that he made buckles.

Q. Where did you find the nail piercer?

Knox. As near as I can guess about six yards from the place where the holes were bored, and the Constable tried whether the nail piercer fitted the holes, and nothing could fit better. When the Prisoner was before the Justice next day, he was asked how he came by the buckles; he said he bought them, and if we would let him alone for three or four days, he would find the man he bought them of.

Prisoner. He says he was in Pallmall, ask him how he could see me, as he was on the other side of the way in Pallmall and the street is so broad?

Knox . There were two lamps, and by the light of the lamps I saw him leaning against the shutter.

Prisoner. I have persons in Court to prove that I have bought buckles and deal in buckles, all the rest is a malicious prosecution. I don't know whether 'tis for the sake of the reward or what, I can't tell, I can prove that I bought the things.

Elizabeth Hewson . I lived at the Mitre tavern in the Strand - I kept the house. About the 28th of June - it was on a Friday morning between 10 and 11 o'clock, the Prisoner and another person came in and called for a pint of white wine. I went into the room where they were, and saw a tea kettle and lamp stand upon the table.

Q. What sort of a tea kettle was it?

Hewson . A little doll's thing.

Q. What metal were they?

Hewson. Gold, I took them to be.

Q. What else was there?

Hewson. There were a coffee pot, a pepper castor, a sugar castor, a cup, a saucer, and I believe about a dozen and a half of silver buckles; I took the tea kettle in my hand and asked if it was gold, and one of them said it was metal gilt.

Q. Do you remember any thing that passed relating to these things?

Hewson. I saw the Prisoner at the bar give the other person five guineas, and the person he gave it to said he would not have taken it, if he had not been very much put to it for money.

Q. Did you see him take the money?

Hewson. Yes, I saw him take the money into his hand.

Q. How came you to remember the day so particularly?

Hewson. It was the day to the best of my remembrance.

Q. Have you any thing particular to remember it by?

Hewson. I remember it for a very good reason, because I left the house the Wednesday after.

Q. How long had you kept the house?

Hewson. Not above three months. I never lived in London before I took that house.

Q. Have you a husband?

Hewson. Yes - he is in the army - he is at Plymouth now.

Q. How came you to keep the house but three months?

Hewson. I took it by the week.

Q. Are these the toys you saw at your house?

Hewson. I believe they are the same.

- Harrach. I have known the Prisoner about four or five years, and believe him to be as honest a man as any in England. He always had a good character, he has had goods of me upon return; - and what he did not sell he returned very justly; if I had thought he had been a rogue, I would not have dealt with him. - He was a jeweller by trade, but he dealt as well as worked at his business.

Q. How long is it since you dealt with him?

Harrach. I can't tell, I believe the day that he was taken up, he had a watch or two upon return, and towards the dusk of the evening he returned them to me.

Lewis Martineau . I knew the Prisoner at Paris, and always took him to be a very honest man.

Paul Phillipon . I have known the Prisoner 8 years, we have worked together in Amsterdam, and his character was very good there; he went over to France, and bore a very good character there . I have worked with him in England, and he always had a good character .

Paul Blanchard . He has come to my house a great many times, he had a good character , and was a pretty gentleman.

Mr. Garnault. I knew the Prisoner at Paris 9 months, he behaved well, and I always took him to be a gentleman; he has been at my house frequently , he was a dealer in watches, and other things , which he has shewn me several times.

Richard Deshoverie . I have known the Prisoner seven years; I knew him at Paris, and have sometimes sold him goods. I never heard any thing against his character. I never had any great intimacy with him.

Mr. Vanborn. I have known the Prisoner some years; I have had dealings with him to a considerable value; I have trusted him with goods at one time, to the value of 100l. which he safely returned to me again.

Prisoner. My Lord, It is all a pack of false stories, and it has been reported at Slaughter's Coffee-house , that they broke open the house, on purpose to charge me with it. Guilty Death .

He was a second time indicted for breaking , and entering the dwelling house of James Wood , in the night time, in the parish of St. James, Westminster ; and stealing 24 China cups, value 21 s. and 18 china saucers, value 12 s. the property of James Wood ; but he was not tried upon this indictment.

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