John Andrew Martin, Theft > burglary, 7th December 1768.

Reference Number: t17681207-9
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
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13. (L.) John Andrew Martin was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Valentine Knight , on the 17th of Oct. about the hour of two in the night, and stealing seven pair of snam-garnet gold buttons, value 6 l. 6 s. six pair of garnet ear-rings, set in gold, value 3 l. one other pair ditto, value 8 s. one pair of Moco buttons, set in gold, value 1 l. 15 s. two pair of ditto, value 2 l. two pair of clutter ditto, with garnets, value 3 l. one pair of crystal ditto, value 18 s. two pair of small ditto, value 1 l. 8 s. one three stone topaz gold ring, with a diamond, value 1 l. 14 s. one ditto amethyst with diamonds, value 1 l. 13 s. one ditto, value 1 l. 3 s. one ditto, value 1 l. 4 s. one ditto, garnet with diamonds, value 1 l. 5 s. one ditto, value 1 l. 3 s. one stone ditto with garnets and diamonds; value 6 l. one single garnet stone ditto, value 1 l. one single crystal stone ditto, value 17 s. one sapphire ditto, value 1 l. one Moco ditto, value 18 s. four Moco ditto, set round with garnets, value 4 l. 4 s. one cluster garnet with hair in it, value 1 l. 3 s. one case for rings, value 2 s. one pair of three drop cluster garnet ear-rings, set in gold, value 8 l. a pair of single drop ear-rings, with knots in silver, value 1 l. 1 s. six pair of fancy ear-rings, and cases in silver, value 5 l. a girdle buckle in silver, value 10 s. a pair of crystal buckles, set in silver, value 15 s. a pair of topazes ditto, set in silver, value 2 l. 12 s. 6 d. a pair of children's stone buckles, in silver, value 10 s. a pair of knee stone ditto, in silver, value 8 s. a stone shoe buckle, in silver, value 12 s. one child's silver buckle, value 2 s. a pair of garnet shoe buckles, in silver, gilt, value 2 l. a pair of crystal ditto, in silver, value 18 s. a pair of cluster garnet buttons, in gold, value 1 l. 15 s. six pair of buttons and wires; three silver and twelve gold ear-rings, value 1 l. 1 s. thirteen stone buttons, set in silver, value 18 s. 6 d. one pair of cluster studs, value 2 s. three gold diamond rings, value 6 l. one ditto false stone, value 5 s. three pair of stone buttons, set in silver, value 1 l. 2 s. one pair of garnet buttons, set in gold, value 18 s. one pair of cluster Moco, set in gold, value 1 l. 10 s. one pair of crystal ear-rings, set in silver, value 6 s. one pair of cluster paste, set in silver, value 7 s. one heart trinket, set in gold, value 7 s. one gold seal, value 1 l. 3 s. one pair of stone knee buckles, set in silver, value 8 s. a purple paste hoop-ring, set in gold, value 12 s: two paste crosses in silver, value 12 s. one pair of large garnet buttons, set in gold, value 3 l. four pair of Moco ditto, set in gold, value 4 l. four pair of garnet ditto, set in gold, value 4 l. three pair of Moco studs, set in gold, value 2 l. 5 s. one pair of garnet ditto, set in gold, 1 l. six pair of single drop ear-rings, set in gold, value 3 l. 12 s. two pair of three drop ear-rings, set in ditto, value 3 l. 3 s. five pair of garnet and topazes, set in ditto, value 1 l. 17 s. 6 d. one pair of night ear-rings, value 11 s. thirty hoop rings in gold, some paste, some garnets, value 14 l. 16 s. 6 d. five gold seals, value 8 l. 8 s. four diamond rings, value 8 l. 8 s. about thirty rings, value 12 l. 13 s. nine garnet buckles, set in gold, value 5 l. about fourteen gold lockets, some sapphires, some garnets, value 2 l. 10 s. two pair of sham garnet buckles, set in gold, value 1 l. 16 s. five stock buckles, value 2 l. 10 s. five shirt buckles, set in silver, 2 l. 5 s. about three pair of fancy ear-rings, value 2 l. 12 s. 6 d. about twenty-four pair of stone shoe buckles, value 19 l. 4 s. about twenty-eight stone knee buckles, value 11 l. 10 s. a large garnet unset, value 3 l. a mettle watch-case, value 12 s. about six pair of gold wires, and one gold ring, value 1 l. 1 s. one cluster locket, value 1 l. about twelve pair of silver shoe buckles, value 7 l. two heart trinkers, value 14 s. one garnet cross, set in silver, value 4 s. twelve large waistcoat buttons, silver, value 12 s. four breast buckles, value 1 l. 8 s. three girdle buckles, value 1 l. 4 s. one solitair, value 1 l. 4 s. one king William and queen Mary's half-crown; one pocket piece, larger; and sundry pieces of small money, in a chip box, value 10 s. 6 d. the property of the said Valentine, in the dwelling-house of the said Valentine . ++

Mary Knight . I am wife to Valentine Knight, we live in Noble-street, Foster-lane , he is a jeweller . On the 18th of October last, I was alarmed about three in the morning; our bell rang, we lissened to know what was the meaning; I heard a person run up stairs. Mr. Reynoldson, that lodges in our house, call'd, and said, he believed there were thieves in the house; he came down into my chamber and took the keys, and went down stairs. I followed him immediately after;

my husband was ill in bed; and is so ill now he cannot attend the Court. When I came into the parlour, I found the flap of the cellar window was torn up, and a padlock torn from the cellar door, that opens into the street upon the cellar stairs; the door shuts on the flap, and was padlock'd on the inside. There is a window seat like in the parlour, which was a head-way front, the top of that was wrench'd off, and the top of it lay upon the ground; by that means a passage was opened into the parlour, close to the bureau where our goods were locked up: I locked them up myself, about eleven o'clock over night; I am always the last up, and know the cellar door and flap were safe at that time. The bureau is a bureau and book-case, but instead of books there are twenty-four drawers that hold our work: there is an iron bar that goes cross and fastens the two doors, and is padlocked. The padlock I found torn to pieces, and the bar torn off; the shutter taken down, and the flap of the bureau had the lock torn off, the keys were in there; by which they unlocked the top where the other drawers were; there was a lock to the top besides the bar; the middle drawer the lock was broke off. There were three locks of the buffet broke also, and a case of tea-spoons moved out and put into a chair; but we believe, by the alarm of the bell, the thief made off. The next day I observed there were some drops of wax in the bureau: the goods mentioned in the indictment were taken away; some we have found again, but not all, nor near all. I immediately had warnings dispersed about, from Goldsmiths hall, and went to Sir John Fielding ; he could give me no information about them. I heard nothing of them till Mr. Wintle came to me, on the 21st of November, and told me, he believed he had some of my goods, he shewed them to us, and we owned them; he said, they were offered to him to sell, by one Mr. Davis in the Minories; Mr. Davis's son came with him: we asked him how he came by them: the son said, a gentleman, that his father knew very well, that his father had them of; and he was to call on his father about three o'clock; he had left them to see whether he liked them: Mr. Wintle, seeing Mr. Knight's seal, thought proper to stop them. There were fifteen pair of gold buttons, and seven pair of garnet ear-rings. Mr. Wintle and Mr. Peirce, a friend of ours, that happened to be at our house, went to see if they could light of the man that brought them to Mr. Davis's and between three and four o'clock, the same day, I was sent for to Sir John Fielding 's; there I saw the prisoner, and a case of rings that was taken from him; they were all our property, except one ring: there were seventeen in all. Sir John granted a search-warrant. I went with three of his people; and a gentleman that lives behind the Change, that had been robbed, to search the prisoner's house, No. 5, in Swan-street, in the Minories: we found the prisoner's wife and her sister, and a nurse; at going in the nurse took down a watch that was hanging up, and clapped it into her pocket; one of Sir John's men insisted upon her pulling it out; and upon my examining it, I found a gold seal of mine hanging to it; we asked for the keys; we were answered, they had none. So Sir John's people broke the locks. In the bureau we found several of my rings, buckles, ear-rings, buttons, and several things of mine: some we found in a chest of drawers.

Q. How can you swear to the goods?

A. Knight. I have been in the business near twenty years, and my husband has been very ill for twelve months: I have attended the business more than he laterly: and there are marks upon many of the things of my making; by which I know how to sell them, We found great many things at the prisoner's house besides mine, an iron crow, two chisels, a dark lanthorn, some wax lights, and a particular gimblet. We found a great quantity of silks, plate, china, and other things belonging to other people; we brought all to Sir John Fielding 's. Then the prisoner was called in to be examined; he would make no other answer, but that he bought the things in the street, Sir John ordered him to Newgate; he returned back again, and wanted to be admitted an evidence; and said, he would make very great discoveries. Sir John said, he was an old offender, and would not admit him. (The padlock produced, broke.) Perhaps, when the iron tools come to be produced, very likely, the Court may judge who did the mischief.

Q. What goods of your own did you find at the prisoner's house?

A. Knight. There were a pair of knee buckles, which were taken out of his knees. The other things as follows, a pair of three drop cluster garnet ear-rings, in gold; a pair of single drop garnet ear-rings, in silver; six pair of fancy ear-rings and cases in silver; a silver girdle buckle; a pair of crystal buckles, in silver; a pair of topazes; a pair of children's stone buckles; a pair of knee buckles; a stone shoe buckle; a child's silver buckle; a pair of garnet shoe buckle in silver, gilt; a pair of crystal buckles; a pair of cluster garnet buttons, in gold; six pair of buttons and

wires, three silver; twelve gold ear-rings; three stone buttons, in silver; a pair of cluster studs; three gold diamond rings; a gold ring with a false stone; three pair of stone buttons, in silver; a pair of garnet buttons, in gold; a pair of cluster Moco, in gold; a pair of crystal, ear-rings, in silver; a pair of cluster paste, in silver; a heart trinket, in gold; a purple paste hoop-ring, in gold; two paste crosses, in silver; and a small pocket piece. ( Produced in court.) I can swear to all these.

Cross Examination.

Q. How do you know it was the prisoner's lodging?

A. Knight. I inquired if that was Mr. Martin's lodging, his wife said it was.

Q. How do you know it was his wife?

A. Knight. She told me she was; and that her certificate was in Sir John Fielding's hands, among the papers that were brought there. We asked her if she had any more rooms than that, she said no. But afterwards she said there were more.

Q. What kind of marks were on the buckles?

A. Knight. The marks are scratched with a point of a file. (She takes up a buckle.) I have the fellow to this in my pocket. Please to examine this knee buckle; which is one I had out of the prisoner's breeches knee. You will find out felling mark, H. I. upon it. (The bench and jury examine and find it so.) Thus we mark all our goods that are large, so as to bear it; our papers are scratched in the same manner.

Martin Reynoldson . I lodge at Mr. Knight's. About half an hour after two, or a little after, that morning, I awaked, and thought I heard somebody was getting in backwards. About half an hour after three, thinking somebody was getting in backwards, I got up, opened my door, and rang the bell. No body coming, I went up and awakened one of Mr. Knight's apprentices. We both went down together, and opened the street door, and went into the street. There we found the cellar window open, upon which the apprentice put the flap of the window over it. We went in, and shut the door, and went down into the cellar, and from thence into the kitchen, and from thence into the parlour, where we found the seat of the window broke open. Mr. and Mrs. Knight heard us go down. She came down. We found the desk and book-case open, in the parlour; and the drawers open, and most of the things gone: upon which we went to the beaufet, and found that open. There were some little things lying in an easy-chair by it, ready to be taken away. I did not go to bed till near one o'clock that morning. I was in my own apartment; I was at home all the evening, and can answer to the street door being fast before I went up stairs.

Thomas Wintle . I keep a goldsmith's shop in the Poultry. These goods were sent to me by Samuel Davis , in the Minories: his son brought them on the 21st of last month, (producing fifteen pair of gold buttons, and seven pair of garnet ear-rings) to know what I would give for them. I employ Mr. Knight, and know them to be his work; and knowing his house had been broke open and robbed, I said you must go along with me. I took the things and the lad to Mr. Knight's, and shewed him the goods. He and she said they were their property: then I said I will take upon me to act the part for you, as you cannot go yourself. I went, and another gentleman with me to Mr. Davis's. I asked him who he had the goods off? He said they were a neighbour's of his, who had left them to know the value of them, and would call again for them. I said a workman of mine had had his house broke open, and I believed they were his. I staid till the prisoner came in. I was in possession of them when the prisoner came. Mr. Davis said, let me have these goods, the person is in the shop; he called and said, Mr. Martin, here is your things. The prisoner said, will they not suit you? He said no. Then Mr. Davis said, now I have done with you. Say what you please to him. Then I asked him, how he came by these goods. He said, what is that to you? I said it was to me: they were the property of one of my workmen. Then he said he bought them in the street. I asked him if he had any objection to going before Sir John Fielding ? He said, no. I desired the gentleman that went with me, to stay there till I got a constable. When I came with the constable, I asked him if I had not better have the prisoner searched? He said, yes. We found seventeen gold rings in a case in the prisoner's side-pocket. I believe them to be the property of Mr. Knight. I have bought goods of Mr. Knight many times out of (I verily believe) this case, (holding it in his hand) I found these goods tallied with the other goods. Then we took him before Sir John Fielding : Sir John was gone to dinner. I mentioned his lodgings being searched. We had a warrant granted. They went to his lodgings and found a large quantity of goods. I

was left with the constable and prisoner. When they came back they brought two coaches full of things, of divers sorts. When the prisoner was taken before Sir John Fielding , Sir John knew him very well; and asked him how long he had been come back from transportation? Mr. Davis's son said the prisoner offered them his father for 9 l. they are worth 18 l. or 19 l.

Samuel Davis . I keep a silversmith's shop in the Minories: On Monday morning, the 21st of November, the prisoner came into my shop, and laid these goods on my counter, and said, Pray sir, will these goods do for you? (Producing seven pair of gold buttons, and fifteen pair of gold ear-rings.) I was very ill; and it was a rainy dark morning: I said, indeed I cannot see them, whether they are garnets or not. Pray what do you ask for them? Said he, I must have nine guineas for them. I said, Sir, they will not do for me, for I am so ill I cannot look at them. He said, well, what time shall you be back from 'Change? I will leave them, and call again for either the money or my goods, by two, or a quarter after. He left me. I wanted to go to 'Change, but being ill, I went no farther than Mr. Levi's Coffee-house. I had not been there long before Mr. Wintle came to me. My son had taken the goods, and carried them to Mr. Wintle. Mr. Wintle, and another man, and my son, came to me. Mr. Wintle called me out, and said, here are some goods which your son brought me to sell, which belong to a workman of mine, whose house has been broke open; and I hope you will give me an account how you came by them. I said, sir, do not be uneasy about them, I have not bought them; but the gentleman left them, and is to be at my house by two or a quarter after, for either the money or the goods. He said, do you know the gentleman? Said I, yes, sir; I see him every day, at the Bank Coffee-house. Said he, I am afraid he will not come for the goods. Said I, I will warrant you, the man will come. Mr. Wintle had the goods in his pocket at the time. I said, do you and the other gentleman come to my house, and make no noise, but sit in my parlour, and you will see the gentleman come according to his time. We went to my house, and in about half an hour after two o'clock, the prisoner came. Then I said to Mr. Wintle, please to give me the goods. I took and opened them upon the counter, and said, here sir, is your goods, they do not suit me. The prisoner said, pray, sir, why do not they suit you? I said, because here is a gentleman that says they are not honestly come by. (The goods, with the gold rings in the case, produced in Court.)

Mrs. Knight. (Takes out a card which had earrings on it.) Here is my hand-writing on this. The card was brought to me by Mr. Wintle, as it is now, torn. Here are the letters H. L. upon the ear-rings, and H. B. on a small one: They are my property. (The bench and jury inspect it, and find it as she had said.)

Davis. The rings were delivered to me by Sir John Fielding , for me to produce here.

Mrs. Knight. These rings and the case are my property.

Cross Examination.

Q. How came your son to carry these things to Mr. Wintle?

Davis. My son does many things without my order. If he could have got any advantage by them, he would have sold them, and have given the prisoner his nine guineas.

William Peirce . I was at Mr. Knight's the 21st of November, Mr. Wintle came in with these goods now produced; he asked Mr. and Mrs. Knight, if they were their property: they both said they were. Mr. Wintle said he would do the same for Mr. Knight, as he would for himself. Mr. Knight being very ill, he went away with Mr. Davis's son; he returned again in a few minutes, and said, it would be proper to have more assistance. Mr. Knight desired me to go. I went with them to Mr. Davis's; we waited there till the prisoner came. We got a constable: on his being desired to search him, I saw that case of rings taken out of his pocket in his bosom. Then I went and fetched Mrs. Knight, and we proceeded to Sir John Fielding 's.

Nicholas Bond . On the 21st of November, the prisoner was brought to Sir John Fielding 's. These things were produced, and a warrant granted to search. Sir John desired me to go with others. We went to No. 5, in Swan-Alley, or, Street, in the Minories. I found several things which Mrs. Knight owned, particularly a seal that was to a watch, and several gold things in papers. In an under-drawer, in a double chest of drawers, I found an iron crow, two-ripping chisels, a piece of wax candle, and a dark lanthorn. (Produced in court.) The Chisels seemed to have been much used against nails, &c. the crow, about two feet long, two, claws at the great end, and the other drawn off tapering

round to a sharp point. I found under the fall of the Desk, thirty-six pieces of silk, and several other things.

Cross Examination.

Q. How do you know that was the prisoner's lodging?

Bond. I asked for Mr. Martin's; the woman said her name was Mrs. Martin.

Robert Jubb . On Monday the 21st of November, Mr. Wintle came for me (I am an officer) I went and took the prisoner in custody, in Mr. Davis's house, in the Minories: a coach was called, and he was put into it, and carried before Sir John Fielding . He had like to have made his escape from me, by pulling at the blind of the coach; he had cased the door so that he turned the latch, and the door opened. I found this case of rings in his breast pocket, and a pocket-piece, before the coach was called for. (The pocket-piece produced in court)

Mrs. Knight. I believe I have had this pocket-piece three or four years.

Jubb. When the prisoner was making an attempt to get out of the coach, I laid hold of him, and took this gold-headed cane from him. (Produced.)

Mrs. Knight. That is not mine, another prosecutor has sworn to that.

Edward Webb . I am a coachman, I was with my coach at Cheapside-Conduit there came three men and a woman, and got into my coach the prisoner was one of them.

Q. When was this?

Webb. This was about ten weeks ago. I set them down at the end of the Minories, at the end of Swan-Street, betwixt one and two o'clock in the morning. A gentleman said, Mr. Martin, a good night to you. There were several things in the coach; one in particular was this iron crow; (taking the crow in his hand.) I am certain it was this crow. There was also something that rattled; whether it was brass or silver, I know not. There were two men came with them in to the coach, but they parted with them in Cheapside. I carried the prisoner five times within a fortnight. I carried him twice from Blackwall: I cannot be sure he was one of them in the coach, the first time; but I carried such things as these (meaning the crow and chisels) and three men, to No. 5, in Swan-Street, in the Minories: I know he was one of them the second time. I delivered the crow to a woman at No. 5. They had bundles with them.

Q. Where do you live?

Webb. I live at Stepney.

Q. How came you in Cheapside at that time of the night?

Webb. I was going home, and somebody called Coach!

Cross Examination.

Q. Did you not suspect them?

Webb. I suspected them; and said I suspected they had got run goods; and I was afraid of losing my coach and horses.

Prisoner's Defence.

I am a foreigner: I met two or three friends; they told me they were going to Dunkirk; they said they would give me a premium, and leave some things in my hands if I would advance them a sum of money. All these goods, and what were found at my lodgings, were deposited in my hands for a sum of money that I lent them. I am innocent of the affair.

For the Prisoner.

Grace Mather . I was five weeks at the prisoner's house; I was there the very day that this unhappy affair happened; one night there was a supper, directed by his order; some people came to supper; I never saw them afterwards nor before. They were foreigners, by their language; they talked in their own language, I did not understand what they said; I took them to be Swedes (his countrymen.) I know nothing of any things they had with them: I was in the house when the people came with the search-warrant.

Q. Do you recollect your taking the watch down which hung up, and putting it in your pocket?

G. Mather. I did not put it in my pocket, I took it for fear it should be broke; the gentleman said, where is it? I said, here it is, and said, there it is, on the shelf. I was thinking of the flusteration people are in. I had heard them say the glass had been broke twice before, made me take it and put it on the mantle-piece.

Guilty . Death .

There were fourteen other indictments against him for burglaries.

See him tried twice before No. 238, in the last mayoralty, and No. 127, in Sir Robert Kite 's.


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