WILLIAM HURLEY.
16th February 1774
Reference Numbert17740216-94
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence
SentenceDeath

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209. (L.) WILLIAM HURLEY was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Gregory Gearing , on the 16th of January , about the hour of six in the night of the same day, and stealing one silver pepper box, value 5 s. three silver tea spoons, value 6 s . two silver salt spoons, value 2 s. one silver snuff box set with mother of pearl, and a shell, value 5 s. one silver snuff box with a picture set in the lid, value 5 s. two gold rings, value 10 s. one gold ring set with a stone, and two diamond sparks, value 5 s. one pair of candlesticks plated with silver, value 5 s. one pair of silver knee buckles set with stones, value 3 s. a pair of silver shoe buckles, value 3 s. six linen shirts, value 30 s. one leather pocket book, value 2 s. one cloth coat, value 10 s. one pair of leather breeches, value 5 s. one crown, six silver threepences, four silver four-pences, four silver twopences, and two silver pennies, the property of the said Gregory. One silver snuff box, value 20 s. one silver cork screw, value 10 s. twenty-six linen shirts, value 26 l. four pair of laced ruffles value 30 l. four linen handkerchiefs, value 20 s.

one gold ring, value 10 s. three silver tea spoons, value 5 s. and sixty-four guineas, the property of Ernst De Hahn . One silver tankard, value 6 l. one pair of silver candlesticks, value 8 l. four silver table spoons, value 40 s. one silver milk pot, value 5 s. two silver waiters , value 40 s. one silver soup ladle, value 20 s. three silver tea spoons, value 5 s. one silver pepper box, value 10 s. and one silver salt spoon, value 2 s. the property of Samuel Lloyd , Esq . in the said dwelling house .

2d Count, for stealing the above goods in the dwelling house, but not burglariously breaking and entering.

Mr. Gearing deposed,

"that he is an attorney,

"and has a house in Chapel-court, behind

"the 'Change; that the prisoner was a

"menial servant to him for about two years

"down to the time the present fact was committed,

"and wrote occasionally; that he went

"his country house on a Saturday in January,

"leaving the prisoner and his servant Ann

"Clayton in care of the house; that he had

"intelligence in the country that his house

"had been robbed, in consequence of which

"he came to town on Sunday night; that he

"found his doors sealed up by some neighbouring

"gentlemen; upon opening the doors he

"observed in his own office his writing desk

"broke open, and some ancient coins and medals

"taken away; the drawers were turned out

"and the papers in great confusion; two boxes

"which contained papers and things of value,

"and some shirts out of his wardrobe; that in

"a back parlour the witness found a cupboard

"in a pannel of the wainscoat broke

"open and some plate taken out; that he

"found the prisoner in the house with his face

"blacked and much disfigured, who gave him

"the following account: that a man knocked

"at the door and enquired for Mr. Lloyd who

"lodged in the house, and said he had a message

"for him; that the prisoner let him into

"the house and offered him the slate to write

"his message upon, instead of which the

"man presented a pistol to his head and

"told him if he said a word, or made any

"disturbance, he would blow his brains out;

"that he then took him (the prisoner) by the

"collar, pushed him down stairs, ti ed him hand

"and foot, and thrust him into the coal

"hole; that upon consideration many circumstances

"led him to suspect the prisoner; that

"he asked the prisoner to let him fetch

"that there he found two pa one articles

"of clerkship of the prisoner to an

"attorney for five years, dated the 8th of

"July, 1773; the other was a lease granted to

" James Hayward a smith and stove-grate

"maker, an accomplice in this fact, which for

"the consideration of 12 l. was assigned over

"to the prisoner; he was informed that this

"Hayward had often been at his house to see one

" Ann Morris , who had formerly lived servant

"with the witness, but had been dismissed some

"time, between whom and the prisoner the prosecutor

"had suspected there was an improper

"connexion; that the prisoner after having

"several times refused it, did at last take the

"witness to a house in Allen-street near Hicks's

"Hall, where he got intelligence that this Ann

"Morris lodged at the house of Hayward in

"Long-alley, Moorfields; that the witness

"went with a constable to search the lodgings;

"that there, in the presence of this Ann Morris ,

"he found his pepper box and some other things

"in a drawer." (They were produced in Court and deposed to by the prosecutor.)

Ann Clayton , the prosecutor's servant, deposed,

"that she went out and left the prisoner in care

"of the house the day the house was robbed.

"between three and four in the afternoon, and

"did not return till half after seven; that she

"found the house had been robbed, and saw the

"prisoner in the coal hole tied hand and foot."

Richard Fowkes , who keeps the White Swan, a public house in Long-alley, deposed,

"that

" Ann Morris and the prisoner lived together

"as man and wife, at Hayward's , and that

"after having read in the newspapers an

"account of the robbery at Mr. Gearing's

"(which he did not know was the prisoner's

"master) he had some conversation with the

"prisoner respecting it, and the prisoner seemed

"to have heard nothing of such a robbery."

Sarah Fowkes , wife to the last witness, confirmed his evidence.

Joseph Wood , the constable, who searched the prisoner's lodgings, produced eleven shirts, four table spoons, two pepper boxes, four tea spoons and three salt spoons, which were deposed to by Mr. Gearing.

Mr. Samuel Lloyd deposed,

"that he had a

"first floor at Mr. Gearing's; that he was out

"of town at the time Mr. Gearing's house was

"robbed; that when he came to town he found

" his chamber door broke open, and he missed

"many things as mentioned in the indictment.

"He deposed that the four table spoons produced

"were his property."

Mr. Duane deposed,

"that he had a compting

"house and a bed chamber at Mr. Gearing's;

"that they were broke open, and he

"missed the things mentioned in the indictment." This witness produced some shirts , which he deposed were his property; his mark was partly taken out of them, and in its stead, the name William Hurley at full length, was stamped upon them in red. He also produced the materials for marking, and some red, which were found in the prisoner's lodging.

Henry Townly , Mr. Lloyd's servant, deposed to the spoons produced being his master's property; he added

"that he went to see the

"prisoner in prison; that he there told the witness

"that it was at the instigation of Hayward

"that he committed the fact."

Moses Lyon , who lives in New Prison, and attends at Sir John Fielding's office, deposed,

"that he attended the prisoner several times

"when he was brought up for examination,

"and that the prisoner confessed to him, that

"he (the prisoner) and Hayward robbed Mr.

"Gearing's house; that Hayward carried

"away the plate from Mr. Gearing's; that they

"gave one Hurley, who was capitally convicted

"some few sessions ago, a guinea to find

"out a Jew who would buy the plate. He said

"he believed Mr. Bennet heard the prisoner's

"confession."

Thomas Bennet deposed

"that he went to

"talk with the prisoner in gaol, but did not

"hear the prisoner's confession as deposed to by

"Lyon, but said he was not present all the

"time Lyon was with the prisoner."

Edward Proffit deposed

"that he is a smith,

"and worked for Hayward; that he saw

"Hurley and two Jews at Hayward's house ,

"and that Hayward had a large lump of silver,

"which was the produce of some plate he had

"melted."

James Hayward , the accomplice, deposed,

"that Ann Morris lodged at his house; that

"she passed for the wife of the prisoner, and

"went by his name; that the prisoner used to

"sleep with her there about two nights in a week;

"that the prisoner and himself agreed to rob

"Mr. Gearing's house; that the witness made

"a chissel for the purpose; that he went on

"the Sunday evening at about six o'clock;

"that he was let in by the prisoner; that some

"of the doors the prisoner had the key of, that

"others they broke open, and that they took

"the different articles mentioned in the indictment,

"to each of which he spoke particularly

"that the prisoner and himself put the

"things into two bags, and the witness took

"them to his house in Long-alley; that about

"a fortnight afterwards the prisoner and he

"melted the plate, which they sold to one

"Liepe Levi, a Jew, who is in custody. He

"said that he tied the prisoner at his (the prisoner's)

"request and put him in the coal hole."

Mr. William Bucknell and Mr. Hendy, two neighbours of Mr. Gearing's, deposed

"that

"hearing that Mr. Gearing's house had been

"robbed, they went there, and found the

"doors, &c. broke open, and the things in

"the greatest confusion."

Frances Spriggs deposed,

"that she received

"some rings of Ann Morris , who passed for

"the prisoner's wife, which rings she delivered

"to her uncle Thomas Morris ."

Daniel Thorn produced some rings, which he had from Thomas Morris . Frances Spriggs looked at the rings, and declared that they were the same she received from Ann Morris . Some of the rings were deposed to by Mr. Gearing as his property.

The prisoner, in his defence, did not deny the charge, but said

"that Hayward had

"many times endeavoured to persuade him to

"rob his master, but he had always refused to

"to do, but that Hayward came to him that

"Sunday, and would oblige him to submit to

"the robbery, notwithstanding he remonstrated

"very strongly with Hayward to the contrary."

Not guilty of the burglary, but guilty of stealing the goods in the dwelling house . Death .


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