William Eastman.
6th December 1769
Reference Numbert17691206-31

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36. (L.) William Eastman was indicted for that he on the 11th of September , about one in the night, the dwelling house of Daniel Clarke , did break, and by force enter, with intent, feloniously and maliciously to cut and destroy silk manufactory, being in the loom in the said house, and did cut and destroy twenty yards of certain wrought silk, value 20 l. the property of Thomas Cook , being in the said dwelling house, not having the consent of the owner; and did break and destroy one shuttle, value 1 s. and one quill wheel, value 1 s. being tools made use of in manufacturing raw silk, the property of Daniel Clark in his dwelling house, without the consent of the said owner; and also did break and destroy one mountear, value 5 s. the property of the said Thomas Cook , being tackle used in weaving raw silk, not having the consent of the owner . +.

The witnesses were examined apart.

Daniel Clark . I live at No. 11, in Artillery-lane, Bishopsgate-street . On Monday the 11th of September, between one and two in the morning, I was awaked from my first sleep. I heard a calling out, Where does Clark the pattern drawer live? I am a weaver , and pattern drawing is a branch of the trade. I heard divers noises. They demanded the door to be opened; one spoke in a woman's voice; I got up and went to the window; and said, Gentlemen, what do you want? They replied, Clark come down and open the door, we will not hurt you;

you can afford it, we will do you no harm; you have got good business. Upon that I told them, I would come and speak to them; but upon my going down with only my shirt and night-cap on, I thought to myself, I would not open the door till they had resolution enough to break the house; I went into the yard and staid there, and heard them chop with a thing I believe to be an ax, and with an iron crow, making at the shutter of the door, which is an inch and a quarter; it is a sash door; there I staid till I heard the glass all flying into the passage in the house. I heard such a noise of their breaking, that I thought my life, and the lives of my family would be in great danger; thought it was broke enough for them almost to get in without me. Then I said, Gentlemen, pray do not make this noise, I will undo the door. I drawed the lock back, it was a spring-lock, and unbolted it; they had knocked it so, that the bolt and all stuck very fast: upon my opening it, half a dozen men came in a very riotors manner, and asked me where my work was. (I work for Mr. Thomas Cook ) Five of them found the staircase and went up, and the sixth man I fixed myself against, and entered into a discourse with him. I fell to telling him I had a good right to have looms worked, and they had no right to cut mine, for I was willing to pay; and that I had been very diligent to desire the men to pay the money, to save their masters property and their own.

Q. Pay, what money do you mean?

Clarke. They demanded two shillings a loom, which we were obliged to pay, or have the goods destroyed, and the master's work also.

Q. What was that to be paid for?

Clarke. Because they thought they had done some advantage to the journeymen in advancing their price, or having their price kept up. I also told him I had a little money that was collected the night before; that it was so little that it was not worth tending, but we should meet again next Saturday, and then I should have more money. With my telling him I had a right to a loom's work as well as any man in the trade, it prevailed upon him to call them down, and telling them they were all wrong, they would not come down till he was obliged to use cutters language, which was, Blast your eyes! and D - n your eyes! and so on. Then they all came down, and all went out. At their going out Mr. Gusset said, (that was the man that I conversed with) if he ever heard such a report of me he would cut my ears off. When they came down, I expected they were going away, and that I should hear no more of them. I began to lock the door, but the lock was so hard to get in that I could not fasten the door till they returned again, and demanded entrance. I told them I would open the door. Mr. Gusset came in again, and fixed himself before me, and asked me whether my wife ever made such work as that; I said she had, but they might depend upon it, she should make no more of it. (It was a two-coloured flowered sattin, which I have here) Then there came three other people in. I am not certain whether they had been in before. Mr. Gusset was talking to me, he put his face to mine, there was a man slipped behind his back whom I thought I knew by his stature and bulk, but was not then certain. I took him to be the man that is now in Newgate, Thomas Haddon ; after that there came a tall man in, about six feet high, with a broad sword, or a cutlass in his hand; he slipped by me; then the prisoner came in, with a different tone of voice, which was very particular. The very same voice I heard before in the street; he came in a different form; they all past before my face. This man came to my right shoulder, and put his mouth to my mouth, and spoke in the voice of a woman; he had a light-coloured great coat on, and another under it; he past round by my right shoulder. I saw him close by the other man that entered first; and I saw the tall man, whose name I understand is Bantam, with a sword over my head, waiting, as I thought, for the word of Gusset to chop me down.

Q. What were the words the prisoner said?

Clarke. I cannot recollect any particular word, but his tone was so particular; the tall man first entered the stairs, and went up, the prisoner followed him as close as he could; then I addressed myself again to the man I first conversed with, when they were gone up to cut the work; but they had a good deal to do to find the work. I had a good deal of discourse with the man, in pleading my right to work, and if they cut the work it would be the wrongest thing they did since they went to cutting. I talked to him till another man under the window said, D - n you, what signifies standing talking to him? then I went into the yard, and staid a while, and heard two mens voices; one said, Here it goes. I heard them cutting the mountear and the things fall. My shop is up stairs, and there is a very long light; that you may hear any body speak there when in the

yard where I stood. I heard the lingoes fall (they are small leaden weights, part of the mountear,) and I heard the clashing of the glass moles to pieces, they belong to the mountear; there I heard Mr. Eastman's natural voice, saying, Here it goes. I knew him four or five years before, and have often discoursed with him about weaving; he was no particular acquaintance of mine, far from it; though he never affronted me in his life before. I cannot tell whether Bantam was up in the rooms were the work was. When they had done their business they all went out; Bantam was in the one-pair of stairs, he called to them as they were coming down, and asked if they had taken care of the reed; they said all things were safe; they went away, and I saw no more of them that night (all the four) there were six in the first time; they did not go away till the clock struck two. I got up in the morning, and went into the shop about six o'clock. I found the mountear cut all to-pieces (that is a tackle that causes the flowers to be made in the work; it is used in making flowered silk; it will make all manner of flowers. (Produced in broken pieces) and (two pieces of sattin produced) this is the work. It is called the Leopard spot. (The lingoes produced.) [they are about the bigness of the tube of a tobacco pipe, about six or eight inches long, fastened to a small cord or thread, at one end.] (A piece of a shuttle, and the reed broke in three pieces produced.) There were two shuttles, they broke one in two pieces, and damaged the other; the reed is entirely spoiled. The quill-wheel is a large thing; I have not brought that, they broke that; the use of that is to wind quills on pipes, which pipes or quills are put into the shuttle; that is a particular tool used in weaving all broad silk; the shuttle and quill-wheel were my property. (A brass point to a scabbard of a hanger or cutlass produced.) This I found in the room the next day.

Q. Had you a candle in your hand when you opened the door?

Clarke. No: but there is a lamp before the door, that we may see the colour of every man's clothes.

Q. Are you positive, and sure, or have you any doubt whether you saw Eastman in the manner you have said?

Clarke. I have no manner of doubt at all; was I as sure of the other as I am of him, I should have done the same by him; but I was tender of Thomas Haddon ; I had not so good a sight of him.

Q. Whose property was the silk?

Clarke. It was the property of Thomas Cook . (A quantity of raw silk, cut to piece, produced.)

Mr. Cook. This silk was worth 15 or 16 l. now it is not worth a penny.

Clarke. There was a good deal of this silk taken away; this was would upon the roll in my house, part of which is this Leopard spot, which was in part made. I went to Mr. Cook, and told him what had been done, and said, I could swear to some of the persons; and that I would go to Sir John Fielding . Mr. Cook desired me to hold my tongue, thinking we should not be safe.


Q. How came you not to open the door when they first called to you?

Clarke. Because I was determined they should never cut my work till they had first broke my house. I had a mind to see whether they had resolution to do it.

Q. Did the prisoner whisper?

Clarke. No: he spoke very loud, I imagined his intention was to frighten me.

Q. How near is the lamp to your door?

Clarke. It is so near, the place is so narrow, that two carts cannot pass without one stopping; the lamp is about a yard and a half from being opposite my door. This conversation was close to the door.

Q. How could you distinguish the prisoner's face when he was at your right shoulder?

Clarke. Because I turned about and looked him full in the face.

Q. How many pair of stairs was it to the room where they were?

Clarke. There are three pair.

Q. Have you never declared that you did not know the prisoner was one of them?

Clarke. Some times I have been obliged not to know him.

Q. Whether have you in fact ever declared to any body, that you did not know the prisoner to be one of them?

Clarke. No: never in my life. I have said to some people, sometimes, that I did know him; but I must not know him, because Mr. Cook desired me, for the safety of his work, not to say any thing. One time I was at the Red-lion, there was the prisoner; Bantam and another. I was tried there and examined as much as now. They were preparing a jack-ass to ride me; that was through the instigation of one of Mr. Cook's journeymen. I was obliged to say what I had said was in a joke. If I had not,

possibly they would have rode me, and perhaps taken away my life. Mr. Gusset was chair-man there, they had laid a charge that Mr. Cook did not pay his men the price for work. I cleared all the points; then Mr. Gusset declared, the man that laid the Information before them ought to be punished.

Q. Have you not declared, you would not stir a step but for the sake of the reward?

Clarke. No, never in my life; there is a gentleman can prove, I have said, I did not desire the reward.

Elisabeth Clarke . I am wife to Daniel Clarke ; the people came to our house on the 11th of September, at night, or the 12th in the morning, between one and two. They broke the door to pieces, and cut the shutter, and broke the glass: they demanded entrance, and got in; then they went away again; they were demanded out again by the man below stairs; he blasted them, and said, They were all wrong, they were got to the wrong house; but they came again in about two or three minutes, and demanded entrance; two of them came up the first stairs, and demanded to know where the B - h his wife was, saying, they would murder her directly, and they would cut his ears off, if he did not come up and show them where the work was. When they got up, Isaac Solomon 's wife stood with a candle in her hand; they said, Blast your eyes! take the light in! Then she took it in, and shut the door; then they said that is right, and blasted her again, and demanded the light from her; she was in a two-pair-of-stairs room; they took the light from her, and never brought it her again; they then went up another pair of stairs. I can't say I could distinguish any thing when they were up there, only these words, Here goes, and blast the b - b we'll learn her to make Leopard sattin; they were there, it may be about a quarter of an hour; there came a man with a very rough voice up the first stairs, he wanted to know of them why they were up stairs so long; then he came up the second pair of stairs; then they came down, he asked whether they had taken care of the reed; they answered, as they came down, all was safe; then he asked what it was, one of them answered, it was a sattin with Leopard spots; then they said the Lion had been too much for the Leopard; then they went away; then I went and got my husband to bed.

Q. Why were they offended at the Leopard spot?

Elisabeth Clarke . I did it, they were offended because it was a work too good for a woman to have a hand in; then I went up to the workshop about half an hour after they were gone. I found the work was cut to-pieces, and thrown about the floor. The reed was in three pieces, the little harness all to-pieces, the great harness likewise, and the cane; the males broke and thrown under the loom, and a shuttle broke; the great harness is part of the mounture, the mangoes were broke, and upon the ground, and the quill wheel was also broke; the silk was in the loom; the cane was white, shot down with black and gold into Leopard spots, about six yards of it; this is part of it ( produced here). The mounture was Thomas Cook 's; the shuttle and quill wheel were my husband's; all was safe and and in working order between seven and eight over night.

Cross Examination.

Q. What room was you in at the time?

Elizabeth Clarke . I was in the first pair of stairs room.

Q. Where was your husband?

Elizabeth Clarke . He was in the passage, speaking to one of them for some considerable time. I heard him, and saw from the front window there were about a dozen in company; to let me know that I saw them, they threw a stone in through the glass, which hit the side of my face. The first man spoke with his natural voice, and the second with a woman's voice, very squeaking; the third blasted my eyes, and desired me to come down and open the door, and said he would not hurt me; there was a lamp opposite. If I had not been frightened, I might have seen them so as to have known them by that lamp; it is not five yards from our door, besides, I could by the light of the morning, it was a pretty bright morning.

Thomas Cook . Mr. Clarke worked for me in September last; he came and told me of the silk being cut; that silk that he had in his loom was my property, which was cut; it was in the mounture, and I delivered it upon a hand roll, and they put it all in order; but it was destroyed in the loom.

Issac Solomon. I lodged at Mr. Clark's in September last, up two-pair-of-stairs, in a back room. I saw some of the men go up stairs. I do not know how many there were, and when they came down, there was nothing but blasting and swearing. I heard nothing material about the silk.

Prisoner's Defence.

I never was much acquainted with Mr. Clark. He pretended he knew my voice and my stature. I saw him after the work was cut, two or three times. We answered, How do you do? and How do you do? I saw him at the Red-Lion, at which he pretends was a committee; he spoke nothing to me about his work being cut; he bid me a good night, and I him. I know not where he lives; he pretended to say the mounture was his master's, it is none of his master's.

Clarke. I do not remember meeting him once. I did see him at the Red-Lion; but dared not mention it to him. I knew my life was not safe in such a man's hands. I saw him at another time with three other cutters at the sign of the Ship, with John Smith and John Thompson , clerk of the Dreadnought sloop, as they called it, and the clerk of the Defiance sloop. I never met him alone since, to my knowledge.

For the Prisoner.

James Williams . I had some conversation with Daniel Clarke , in respect to the cutting the silk; his work was cut. On the Sunday after he came to supper with me in Crabtree-row, near Bethnal-green church; his wife came first and he after her, after service; she having mentioned something of it, when he came in I asked him if he knew any of them, he said no, he knew never a man of them, so as to swear to them, he wish'd he could. After that he repeated the words, d - n them for rogues; he was not sorry the work was cut, for the work was so bad that he could not work it; he was glad it was cut out. Several times I have been with him, I at his house and he at mine. He always did declare he could swear to no man at all. My son and house-keeper were by at the time; he was just come from service, and began to tell me, Mr. Eastman and Mr. Haddon, were taken. I asked him, Who swore against Haddon? he said the little boy. I did not ask him after the other. Then he said he would go to Mr. Chauvet's partner; he was very uneasy. They proposed to free him by way of security for himself, and if they were not so good as their word, they must do the business themselves. I went with him, but cannot rightly tell what he told the man. He said he would speak to the gentleman about the two men that he had swore against; the servant said, what two men, they that are under sentence? he said no, the two men that were taken on Saturday night; he said his house was not safe; it was not so much in sight of the guards as his master's was. They went to an alehouse, and I went to Clark's house till he came back.

Q. Explain that of security.

Williams. He said, they proposed this to him, he wanted security for himself, and they proposed to secure him as he said.

James Williams , jun. I am son to the last evidence. I remember being with Mr. Clark and my father the Sunday after the work was cut. He told my father his work had been cut out. My father asked him if he knew any of them. He said no, he wished he did; but he was not sorry that it was cut out, because the work was so bad.

Q. Who was by at the time?

James Williams . There was his wife there and my mother, and nobody else.

Williams the Elder. He calls her mother, because she has been my housekeeper fourteen years. Her name is Diana Eagan .

Diana Eagan . I live in Crabtree-row, Hackney-road, with Mr. Williams. Mr. Clark came the Sunday after his work was cut out; his wife came first, she seemed not well. I asked her what was the matter? she said, she had had a sad affair. We have had the cutters, and I was so frightened, that I have not since hardly been out of my bed. I said, I hope they have not cut your goods. She said, no, nothing but the work. I said, it is pitty you did not know them. Did you make any remarks on them? she said no, none at all. Mr. Clark said the same, but said he was not sorry the work was cut out; for it was a bad commodity, and would never be worked out: he said he did not know one of them. He was so frightened, he went to the back door instead of going to the other.

Cross Examination.

Q. Were there many that had their work cut about Spitalfields?

Diana Eagan . There were.

Q. Do you recollect any of them that were very ready to tell who did them the injury?

Diana Eagan . No, sir, but they always declared they did not know one of them.

Elizabeth Ham . I was in company with Mr. and Mrs. Clark on the 18th of October. We supped together. (I do not know the prisoner at the bar). Mr. Clark was talking with Mr. Ham a considerable time in one part of the room. When he came from that, he, Mr. Clark, bid his wife hold her foolish tongue; it was nothing

but that foolish little boy; he himself let them in, and did not know never a one of them; it was that little scoundrel of a boy said it was Mr. Haddon that cut the work out of the loom. I said, what, have you any work cut out of the loom? yes, said he, the boy says it was one Mr. Haddon; I said, were they disguised? no, said he; but the boy said they had got womens bonnets on, and I desire never to say nothing about it, for I did not know any of them, (or words to that Effect.) Mr. Clark was angry with his boy for saying it was Haddon; because he had been intimate with Haddon twenty years. He said he let them in, thinking he might have known them, but he did not.


Q. Did he not talk of any danger?

Elisabeth Ham . No; for we were all very merry.

Q. Did he not say his house was in a very insecure way?

Elisabeth Ham . No, he did not.

Robert Ham . I am husband to the last witness. I saw Mr. Clark on the 17th or 18th of October. I believe both days. I was first talking with Mrs. Clark, who was saying how her sattin was cut out. She said her boy said it was Mr. Haddon. Mr. Clark being somewhat angry, said to her, hold your tongue, it was only a foolish little boy. He said, he likewise knew no person that was there.

William Dale . I am a weaver, and live in Wilk-street. Some time ago my father employed Mr. Clark; he had some conversation with him about his work being cut out.

Q. When was that?

Dale. That was the 1st of September in the morning. I had some work cut out of my own, which curiosity led me to speak to Mr. Clark. This was early in the morning, between eleven and twelve. I introduced it in this manner, being a sufferer, whether Mr. Clark was exact in his information or not. I said to him, Mr. Clark, how came you to know the cutters better than I? he said I might know them if I would. I said, Mr. Clark, I would have known them if possibly I could, but how came you to know them? he said by information, or by enquiry, as he had done.

Q. Be so good as to recollect the time you met Mr. Clark?

Dale. It was the first of September.

Q. When was your work cut out?

Dale. My work was cut out the 21st of August.

Q. Recollect the time you met Mr. Clarke.

Dale. It was the first of September.

Court. The work was not cut out till the 11th.

Q. Was it the Friday se'ennight after your own work was cut?

Dale. I answer fair questions, but unfair questions I cannot answer.

Q. Was it last Friday was se'ennight?

Dale. It was.

Q. Where did you meet him?

Dale. Opposite the new turnpike in Shoreditch.

Q. How long after the cutting of your own work?

Dale. Mine was cut in the month of August, the 21st. I never heard what month Mr. Clark's was cut in.

Q. Have you always said it was the first of September? Do you mean any other month?

Dale. This is September, is it not?

Court. No, it is December.

Dale. Well, December then if you please to call it; it was the first of December.

Q. How do you know that he did know the cutters?

Dale. I heard so.

James l'Homme. I live in Wilk-street, Spitalfields. I have known the prisoner five or six years. He worked for the warehouse where I am foreman. He was a very hard working man, very honest, and very civil. He has earned upwards of 50 l. a year, one year with another, sickness and changing work, altogether.

Q. Did he work with you in September last?

L'Homme. No, the last of his working for us was in 68.

Daniel James . I am a silver buckle maker, and live in Kingsland-road. I have known him two years. He is reckoned in the neighbourhood to be a very honest quiet man. I live but four doors from him.

Robert Nash . As far as I know of him as a neighbour, he is a peaceable quiet neighbour. I have known him between one and two years.

Guilty Death .

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