Thomas Barnes.
19th February 1752
Reference Numbert17520219-28
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s

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161. (M.) Thomas Barnes , was indicted for stealing one silver tankard, value 5 l. the property of Thomas Ward , in the dwelling-house of the said Thomas , Dec. 26 . ||

Ann Ward . I keep a public house in Golden-Lane . On the 26th of December, about three o'clock in the morning, two men came in and called for three pints of beer: before the boy could get down into the cellar, one of the men said, I am surprized to see you so dilatory, to be up yourself and have your cellar window open, than opens in the street: immediately the boy, in the cellar called out Aunt! Aunt ! here is a thief in the cellar. I ran down, saw the prisoner at the bar, with a silver tankard in his hand; he put his hand over a butt, dropt the tankard, and it broke a powdering pan. I took hold of him, and asked him what business he had there! The watchman came to my assistance.

Q. Was that window fast do you know before?

A. Ward. I am sure it was, there was a plate broke from the kirb.

Q. What sort of a window was it?

A. Ward. It is a standing door and a slap under it, and stairs to go down; I had just put two tankards on a butt-head before, one of which he had.

Q. Did he let fall this tankard behind the butt he took it from?

A. Ward. No, my Lord, it was two butts distance.

Q. Could it have fallen there by rowling from the place where it stood?

A. Ward. No, it could not, without the butt had fell. (She produced two tankards, and deposed it was one of them, but she could not tell which.)

Q. How came you to be up at that time?

A. Ward. Our house is an ale-house and watchhouse too, there is one room for the constable to sit in.

John Austin . I am a watchman: on the 26th of December, between three and four in the morning, Mrs. Ward's kinswoman cryed out, there was a thief in the cellar; she ran down and called out, Austin! Austin! I ran down and saw her have hold on the prisoner at the bar; I took him from her, and brought him up stairs.

Q. Did you see him have the tankard in his hand?

Austin. I saw tankards there, but I did not see any in the prisoner's hand; I saw the powdering pan broke.

Q. Had you seen the window fast that night ?

Austin. I went my rounds every half hour, and did not perceive it open; I saw afterwards the place broke where the bolt shot in.

Joseph Sopley . I am a watchman, I went down into the cellar, and saw Mrs. Ward deliver the prisoner to Austin, whom we carried to the officer.

Q. Did you observe the cellar door fast that night?

Sopley. I cannot say it was fast.

John Jones . I live with my aunt Ann Ward ; on the 26th of December, I was sent down into

the cellar, between three and four, to bring up three pints of drink; there I saw the prisoner at the bar ; I had a light in my hand; I asked him what he wanted ? he said, Jacky, don't say any thing, and I will give you a half-penny ; then I run to the cellar stairs, and cry'd, Aunt, Aunt, here is a thief in the cellar: then she came down and I went up.

Q. What was he doing when you saw him first?

Jones. He was hiding himself behind the butts, standing near the butt where the tankards stood: I did not see it in his hand.

Q. Did you hear the tankard fall?

Jones. No, I did not, I saw the powdering pan was broke.

Q. Did you know the prisoner?

Jones. I did, he used my father's house, I knew him when I saw him in the cellar.

Q. How came you to know he was a thief?

Jones. Because he was once taken up for stealing wet linnen.

Prisoner's defence.

I was in liquor, and I did not know where to go: knowing this was a night-house, I went and called for a pint of purl, because I would not lie about the street; then I wanted to go to the necessary-house, and I stumbled into the cellar, and did not know where I was; this boy came down directly, I said, Jacky Jones , where is the necessary-house? he called out, Aunt! Aunt! here is Tom Barnes in the cellar: then she came and took hold on me, and said I was a thief; after her came the two watchmen and took me away: I opened myself before them all, and said, for what am I a thief?

Q. to Ann Ward . Did you know the prisoner before ?

A. Ward. No. I never saw him till that night.

Q. to Jones. Did he ask you the way to the necessary-house?

Jones. No.

For the prisoner.

John Griffin . I happened to be there drinking a pint of beer at the time; I saw the prisoner brought out of the cellar; he said, he went down to the necessary-house; the woman said, you lie you rogue, having the two tankards in her hands, these are mine now, but had I stay'd a little longer, they would have been your's.

Q. Had you seen him in the house drinking that night ?

Griffin. No, I cannot say I saw him before he was brought out of the cellar.

Q. How many people might there be in the house at that time?

Griffin. There might be twenty I believe, besides the watchmen.

Guilty 39 s .

[Transportation. See summary.]

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