WILLIAM ARCHER, THOMAS ROBERTS, Theft > other, Miscellaneous > perverting justice, 25th April 1781.

263. WILLIAM ARCHER , and THOMAS ROBERTS otherwise JONES were indicted, the first, for stealing on the 8th of December , out of the Norwich mail, twenty-three bags of letters, against the statute ; the other, for receiving and maintaining the said William Archer , after the commission of the aforesaid felony, he well knowing the said William Archer to have committed the same felony .

The second, third, and fourth counts, stated several notes and bills of exchange, contained in the twenty-three bags of letters.

Mr. SHAW sworn.

I am Deputy-Comptroller of the Post-office at Dublin. On the 10th of January last, a letter was received by the Secretary of the Post-office in Dublin, from the Secretary of the London Office, setting forth, that a bank note for 50 l. which had been stolen out of the mail near Epping, had been transmitted by Mr. Latouche of Dublin, to their correspondents in London; in consequence of receiving that letter, I went, by direction of the Secretary.

to Mr. Latouche's bank, in order to make enquiry from whom this note was received by them; I left the letter there, in order to have the enquiry, and went a little further; by the time I returned, I met one of the clerks; he had in his hand a letter, directed to Mr. Latouche, and signed James Jones , which requested Mr. Latouche would send cash for a 20 l. bank note. [A letter shewn the witness.] This is the letter. Mr. Latouche's clerk informed me, that the letter was brought by the waiter of the Hotel at College-green: I went down to the Post-office, and informed the Secretary of the information I had received; then an Alderman of Dublin, myself, and one of Mr. Latouche's clerks, went over to the Hotel, and enquired for Mr. Jones; we were shewn into a room, the upper part of the house, in which were the two prisoners, and one Edward Sullens (the man who afterwards turned King's evidence;) the Secretary asked, which was Mr. Jones? the prisoner, Roberts, said, His name was Jones; he was taken into another room, by the Alderman and the Secretary; after being absent for about two minutes, the Alderman came back into the room, where I remained with the other men; he asked them what account they could give of Mr. Jones, the person in the other room; they answered that they had met him, and travelled with him from London, and they had lodged together in Dublin; and that was all they knew of him: the Secretary immediately replied, That Jones's account was so different from theirs, that he was certain they had been guilty of something improper, and he should take them into custody: two coaches were sent for, and they were brought up to the justice's office in Dublin; upon being brought there, the three prisoners were searched; from the pocket of him that called himself Jones, and that was found to be Roberts, a small pocket-book was taken, by the Secretary of the Post-office, in my presence; in it were four Bank-of-England notes.

Are these the notes? [Shewing four notes to the witness.] - I omitted, at the time, making any marks on the notes. The Lord Mayor came into the office just at the time; he had in his pocket The Hue and Cry of the 5th of January. These notes were compared, in my presence, with the description in this Hue and Cry, and two were found to correspond with two notes described there, one for 20 l. the other 25 l. I marked them down at the time, and I have kept this paper in my pocket ever since: two of these notes correspond exactly with them; these are the notes; the others I did not mark in any manner, so as to identify them. The two other men were searched, but nothing was found upon them, except twenty-two guineas: I think in the pocket of Sullens was a watch; and a watch, without any money, in the pocket of Archer; they had all three watches. [ Producing them.] It was judged proper by the Magistrate, and the Secretary of the Post-office, to have the men examined apart. The prisoners were sent into a separate room, while Sullens continued in that room, in order to be examined; when that was done, this advertisement, and this paper I have in my hand, were read to him; after a short time, upon shewing evident marks of a desire to make a confession, he was taken into a separate room from the Public-office, and there made a confession. Roberts had no money that I recollect.

Are the watches marked, out of whose pockets they were taken? - Not at the time they were taken from them, but were marked since; they were shewn to these persons in Newgate, and they acknowledged them to be the watches taken from them; Roberts also acknowledged that letter to be written by him, and that he had inclosed a 20 l. note in it; and he acknowledged receiving 50 l. at Mr. Latouche's, upon a former occasion, for a bank note.

What clothes had the prisoner? - Roberts's clothes were taken off him by directions from the Post office, after he had been some time in Newgate; they were, I think, claret colour.

[The Letter read, as follows.]

" SIR,

"I shall be obliged to you for to send me

"by the bearer cash for the inclosed banknote.

"I should have come myself, but

"am not well; so shall take it as a favour

"of you to send it by the bearer; for it

"will be less trouble to me to pay the exchange

"than send over to England for the


"I am your humble servant,


"To Mr. Latouche, banker."

(The bank-note inclosed in that letter was produced in court; it was No. H. 441. for 20 l. That, and the bank-notes for 20 l. and for 25 l. were read, and corresponded with the statement of them in the indictment. The 25 l. was 0. 13. dated June 8, 1780: the 20 l. was K. 80 l. dated 7th August, 1780.)


I am a clerk in Mr. Latouche's bank. On the 19th of December-last, the prisoner, Roberts, came to our shop to get change for a Bank-of-England note of 50 l. I handed him over the money. He said his name was James Jones . This is the note (producing it.)

(The bank-note for 50 l. was read, and corresponded with the statement of it in the indictment. It was No. C. 11. dated 23d June, and was indorsed Halliday, Smith, and Co. - John Knowles , James Jones .)


I live at Ely. I am concerned in receiving rents for the bishop of Ely. On the 7th of December last, in the presence of Mr. Smith, I put up in a cover four bank-notes, amounting to an hundred pounds, and delivered the letter to the post-master at Ely. I took down at that time the marks of the bills: I am satisfied that this note C. 11, for 50 l. and H. 441, for 20 l. are two of the notes I inclosed in the letter, and sent by the post.

Did you take a description of the note then? - Yes.


I am post-master at Ely. On the 7th of December last, about one o'clock, I forwarded all the letters put into the Ely bag to London: the mail was carried from Ely to Cambridge by Aaron Chevill .


I carried the mail from Ely on the 7th of December last, and delivered it to the postmaster at Cambridge.

Mr. - INGE sworn.

I live at Cambridge. On the 7th of December, I inclosed six bank-bills in a letter, and delivered them to Isaac Brown , to go by the post. I took down the marks of the notes; one was K. 801. for 20 l. dated 7th August, 1780: another, O. 13, for 25 l. dated June 8, 1780.


I live at Cambridge. On Thursday the 7th of December, I received a letter from Mr. Inge: I inclosed it under a cover to Giles Atkinson , Esq. member of parliament; I laid it upon the desk, and William Nichols took it to carry to the post-office.


Did you take any letters on the 7th of December to the post-office? - I cannot recollect the fact, but from my making entries of them, I believe I did take them: it was my business to take them.


I am Deputy Post-master at Cambridge. I receive all the bags that come into Cambridge: I received the Ely bag on the 7th of December; I put it into my bag; I put the Cambridge letters in myself upon the 7th of December, and sent the mail off.


I carried the Norfolk mail on the 7th of December last from Cambridge; I delivered it at the next stage, Saffron Walden.

- MACKENZIE sworn.

I am Post-master at Saffron Walden. I

received the Norwich mail on the 7th of December from the last witness: it came to me about half after eight, or near nine o'clock; I forwarded it to Bishop Stortford, the next stage towards London.

JOHN LOWE sworn.

I carried the mail to Bishop Stortford, and delivered it to Mr. Thompson.


I am Post-master at Bishop Stortford. I received the Norwich mail of Lowe between the 7th and 8th of December: I delivered it to George Watson ; I sent it off about twelve o'clock at night, which is the usual hour.


I received the mail from Mr. Thompson in the night between the 7th and 8th of December; I carried it to Epping, and delivered it there to William Crowfoot .


I am hostler at the Cock at Epping, which is the post-house. I received the mail on the 8th of December from Watson: I delivered it to William Burgess ; he went on with it at about half past three on the Monday morning.


I took the Norwich mail on Monday morning from Crowfoot at Epping, and carried it to the Spread Eagle at Snaresbrook: there I changed carts; the boy from London, Jacob Byner , took my cart, and returned to London; and I went back with his cart to Epping; that is the custom always.


I received the Norwich mail from William Burgess at the Spread Eagle at Snaresbrook, on Monday morning the 8th of December, at about five o'clock: I was to carry it to London: I stopped at the Coach and Horses in Mile End Road, between five and six o'clock; I might stay there five or six minutes; I did not stay longer; it was very dark.

Did you leave any body with your cart, to take care of it, when you went into the house? - There was nobody to leave with it: I did not miss the mail till I got to the post-office yard; then it was just getting light; then I missed it out of the cart. The mail is open in the cart: the cart is so secured that nothing could fall out by accident; it must have been taken out at the fore part of the cart.

Is there not a chain round it? - No.

Were there more mails than one in your cart? - No: it was all made up in one portmanteau: I am sure I had it when I came to the Coach and Horses.

How came you not to miss it when you got into the cart? - We do not sit upon it, as on some other roads; we sit upon a seat over it.

Did not you perceive your cart lighter? - No; and I thought nothing about it at that time.


I am hostler at the Coach and Horses at Mile End. Byner called there, I think, between four and five o'clock: he stopped about five or six minutes. A man came in, and called for a pint of purl; he asked Byner to drink: while Harry Dial was drinking, the lad went to the door, and bid him make haste; he said he was afraid of losing his cloth off his horse: the boy was in and out four or five times, I believe during the time he was afraid of losing the cloth off his horse, which he had laid upon it.

Mr. - BRIGGS sworn.

I belong to the General Post-Office. On the 8th of December, I was at the Post-Office, waiting for the arrival of the Norwich mail: the cart came without the mail: it ought to contain twenty-three bags; amongst them the Ely and Cambridge bags. The boy came to the Post-Office about seven o'clock.

Is that the usual time? - Sooner sometimes: between the hours of five and seven, is the usual time.


What age are you? - Twelve the 2d of

last January. On the 11th of December last I found a portmanteau, in Globe-lane, Mile End, in a grain-pit. Edward Fleet was with me.

Was there any water in the pit? - There was; I saw one of the corners stick up. There was a plate upon the portmanteau; it was NORWICH MAIL. I carried it to my master.


I was with Bowler on the 11th of December; we found the bag in a again hole, in Globe-lane, which is about 100 yards from the Coach and Horses, at Mile End; there was not any thing in it; there was upon it, NORWICH MAIL. We took it to school, to our master; it was afterwards carried to the Post-office.


I live in Wellclose-square; I am servant to Mr. Wright. I found some empty bags in a ditch, by the side of the road between Bethnal-green and Old Ford, about three quarters of a mile, or not so much, from the Coach and Horses; they were in a ditch of water; there was another boy with me; we went a shooting sparrows.

What day was this? - I do not remember neither the day, month, or week; it was before Christmas; there were, I suppose, a peck of brickbats in them, and a hole cut in the bottom, to sink them; I took them all out; there was a letter in one; I put it in again, and took them home to Mr. Wright. There was a plate of copper at the corner; there were twenty-three of them; I do not know them all; there was upon the different plates, Saffron Walden, Ongar, Cambridge, Ely; some had no marks. My master sent me up to the Post-office with them; I carried them there, and the letter too.

- CUMMINGS sworn.

I belong to the General Post-office; Gladwell brought the bags to the Office on the 14th of December. Here is a list of the bags which are contained in the Norwich mail.


I live in Rose-lane, Spitalfields. On Friday morning, I believe it was the 8th of December, Archer came between four and five o'clock, and called me up; we went out, with intent to rob carts or waggons, or any thing we could; we went up Mile-End Road, almost as far as Bow; we met nothing to our expectation; we returned back to a watering-house; I fancy it was the sign of the Coach and Horses; it is an house the waggons and carts stop at; we staid there till almost six in the morning. I believe the mail cart came up.

Had you been in the Coach and Horses then? - No, we were waiting nearly opposite, about that time; the mail stopped, and the boy went into the house; Archer ran across the way; he was not gone, I believe, three minutes; five, I am sure was the most; he returned in five minutes, with the mail upon his shoulder; he carried it just across the road, and then flung it over the bank, which is close to the path-way; then I went over the bank with him; I am certain this is the mail bag; I said, We shall be both hung if we take this; he swore, D - n his eyes, he would take it, for there might be money in it; I said, I would not have any thing to do with it. I knew I was liable, being with him, to suffer as well as him. I went with him over the fields to Globe-lane; it was growing day-light, so that we could see over the fields; he said, It would not do to carry it home; we might be discovered; so we put it in a ditch, next to the lane; Archer staid there till I returned; I brought an hempen bag; I stood by the side of the rail-till he put the small bags into the hempen sack, and after that we threw the outside mail bag into a pit of water, in Globe-lane, called a grain pit, I believe; we flung bricks and stones upon it, to sink it.

Do you recollect how many bags were taken? - I was in so much confusion I cannot remember the number of small bags; there were a great many; they were put into the hempen bag, tied up, thrown across the horse, and then, mine being the nighest house, we consented to take it to my house. I went into the stable, with my horse, at the back of my house, the while he carried the sack into a front room of mine. We

cut the bags, and began to open the letters. I can't tell the number of small bags that were taken out of the mails; I did not tell them, but there were a great many. He said, He would burn the letters; they should not rise up in judgement against us; they were all burned; what we suspected to be notes or bills, all the small papers we found in the letters, we saved, and put on one side.

Could either of you read? - No, I could not; and I have heard him say, he could not. After we had burnt the letters, we put the small bags in an hempen sack, and took them in a cart to a place called Old Ford, near a hand-post, and flung them into a ditch; and I think there were some stones put into the sack to sink it.

Old Ford is near Bethnal Green? - Yes. It was between eleven and twelve o'clock when we got home with the cart; then we agreed between us to go to Roberts's, for him to look over the notes and the bills, to see which were good; we went over in the Borough, near the King's Bench; he was at work; when we got there, it was near one o'clock; we went to one Mr. Wood's, I think the sign of the George, a public-house where he lodged: we asked for Roberts; the man went to fetch him; Roberts said, He could not come over till he finished a piece of work he was about. We afterwards all threedined there off pork steaks; he enquired how the mail had been taken? and we told him all that we had done; he said, It was done very well, as it was done in that manner, and he would come over and look at them; he consented to go with us, and we proffered him an equal part with us of the notes. It was past three o'clock, I believe, when we returned from Wood's; we came to Rose-lane, to my house, just at dusk; before we went to Roberts's we put the notes in a pocket book, and buried them in a dunghill, at my house; when we got into my house, we fetched the pocket book out, and he looked over the notes; The Draughts, he said, were of no use to us, as it was war time, but, if it was not war time, he could go abroad with them. My wife and sister went for a Mrs. Moses, to get her to buy them. What he called the draughts were kept in one place, the bank notes in another: when she came, she said, The draughts were of no use to her, but the bank notes she would buy, but she did not not know whether they were good or not; she asked to have two of them, that her daughter might go to her son-in-law with them, to know if they were good. Roberts took two out, and took down the numbers upon a bit of paper, that they might not change them; she went, and was gone almost an hour and an half; in that time Roberts, Archer, me, old Mrs. Moses, and my wife, were in the house. I do not know who the son-in-law is; I never saw him, as I know of. When the daughter returned, she said, The notes were very good. Mrs. Moses, at her return, asked, What we would have for them? We asked 250 l. for 335 l. in value, as Roberts informed us; she said, She would give us 200 l. for them the next day; we waited till next day, eleven o'clock; she did not come; Roberts began to be uneasy; he said, He could lay them out as well as any gentleman in the city of London, without losing any thing by them.

What became of the bills and draughts all this time? - Roberts said, he would burn them; Mrs. Moses and I said, It is a pity to burn them; you say it is so much money, put them up in something, and I will go lose them, that the owner may come by them again. Roberts said, It would be no odds to the owners; it would be only writing backward and forward that they were lost. They were at last burnt. Mrs. Moses said, Don't burn them, let them be lost; it will be a lightening of the punishment if we should be found out. The next day, when Mrs. Moses did not come, Roberts and I proposed to go down to Rosemary-lane, to Mr. Downes's, I think it was: my wife came after us before we got to the bottom of Goodman's Fields, and told us Mrs. Moses's daughter was come for the notes; we returned to our house; she then said, Her mother could not afford to give any more than 100 l. for them, as they were not for herself, but another person; that she should only get 20 l. by them: we consented to let her have them at 100 l. she was to come at one hour and another; but she did not come: about three in the afternoon Roberts said, He would go

and lay out some of the notes that night, or else he would leave us. We went down to Mr. Downes's, in Rosemary-lane; Roberts went into the shop, and bought a suit of blue-grey clothes, and a great coat; he told us, He changed a 10 l. note there; we did not go in, we staid at the door. I saw a gentlewoman run over to a silversmith's shop, from Mr. Downes's, with a paper, and the gentleman I observed looked at it; it appeared like a bank note. Then we went up towards the Minories; into Leadenhall-street, I think it was; Roberts went into a stocking-shop, and bought half a dozen pair of silk stockings, at 12 s. 6 d. a pair; there, he told us, he changed another 10 l. note; there were two pair of light mottled stockings, two pair dark, one with clocks, and one without; we shared the stockings, two pair a piece, when we got from London. From thence we went over to one Davidson's, a pawnbroker, near St. George's church, in the Borough; Roberts bought two silver watches, a pair of silver shoe buckles, and knee buckles; there, he said, he changed a note, but I do not know whether 10 l. or what; just as he said, we went by; he said it was a 10 l. note: then he said, he knew another pawnbroker, in Barnaby-street; he went there, and bought another watch, and silver shoe buckles, and knee buckles.

What became of the three silver watches? - We had one a-piece; to the best of my remembrance this is my watch. [Looking at one of them.] There was a 10 l. note changed in Barnaby-street, as he informed us: then we proposed to go to our house, for Roberts said, Perhaps Mrs. Moses might get us apprehended. We went to my mother-in-law's, in Bishopsgate-street; my mother-in-law wondered to see so many men come there; we staid there, and had a pot of beer, and concluded to have some supper. Then we went to Archer's; there we staid all Saturday night. Archer and his wife went to bed; my wife and I sat up; Archer put the clothes on that he had bought, in my mother-in-law's room, after he returned from the Borough. We got up on Sunday morning; my wife pressed me to know where we were going; Roberts desired me not to tell her, for fear we should be upper-handed: after we came out, we proposed to go to Moorfields, and take a chaise; Roberts said, He thought that was too nigh, that people might find us out too soon. We went to Gray's-Inn Lane, to the Red Lion; and were driven to the Mitre, at Barnet; upon the road between Barnet and Dunstable, we agreed where we should go to; Roberts said, We must not keep a straight road, for that might be the means of our being upper-handed; we must cut out of the main road into cross country roads; he said, He had been a rider for his uncle sometime, and knew the roads. We agreed to go to Wales; he said he would go to Leicester; he changed a 10 l. note at the Peacock, at Leicester; then we went to Market Harborough; there, I think, we laid on Sunday night; the next day, I think, we travelled to Derby; he changed a note there, at the inn where we stopped; from thence we went to Manchester; there was nothing changed at Manchester, but between Derby and Manchester another note was changed: we went on to Holyhead, and from thence we went to Dublin, where we arrived the next Sunday after we set off from London. I went by the name of James Bolton , my wife's maiden name; Archer, by the name of William Pritchard ; Roberts went by the name of James Jones . We lodged in Dublin, at the Hotel on College-green. On the Tuesday following, Roberts went and changed a 50 l. note, with Mr. Latouche; and he said, He set his name upon the back of it, James Jones ; and that Mr. Latouche inquisited him a good deal about it; that he said he was a relation of Mr. Jones of Chester. The money was shared; I had 14 l. he 15 l. and Archer 14 l. he said, with the discount of the money, that made the difference. Roberts changed another 50 l. note with a gentleman upon 'Change; I do not know on what day that was. On the day before we were apprehended, we walked out all together; Roberts said, He as ashamed to go to Mr. Latouche again, as he wanted to change another note; he said, He would go home to his lodgings, and feign sick, and send a note by the waiter. I had not been returned home five minutes, before a gentleman came in, and

asked, Which is Mr. Jones? Roberts started off his seat; he said, I am. He said, A gentleman will be here, in a little time, and tell you the discount of the note. Shortly after, the gentlemen came in, and we were apprehended.

Do you know, of your own knowledge, whether that letter was sent with the bill, for the purpose of getting it changed at Mr. Latouche's? - The waiter went with it; I was not at home when he went; but he came back when I was there.

Cross Examination.

Have you, at any time, received his Majesty's pardon? - Yes, I have.

How long is it since you left your lodging upon the Thames? - This last March was a twelvemonth.

Have not you and Archer had some variance? - On the Thames?

No; have not you had some falling-out? - No; we messed together when we were on the Thames. Roberts was on the Thames too. I was all illiterate man; I used to give him a penny a letter to write for me; I have never had any quarrel with him at all, not since we came away; we had a little difference about messing, upon the Thames.

Do you recollect what time you went to Archer's lodging? - I never went to his lodgings in a morning, in my life; I never was twice at his house.

Which took the mail out of this cart? - Archer.

Where did you meet him that morning? - He called me up, to go upon what they call the Drag.

Are you sure it was Archer that took the mail? - Yes, I am as positive as that God is in heaven.

Did not you tell Archer, it was no felony to take the mail out of the cart? - No, I said it was; and advised him, after it was taken, to lay it where it might be found; he ran over, and took it.

Do you recollect, when you were in the road together, telling Archer, That it was no felony to take it out of the cart, it being under no person's care? - I never told him any such thing; I told him, I was sensible

it was death to take it away, when we were in the fields, and desired him to leave it.

You was present when Mrs. Moses was at the justice's? - I saw her there, but did not hear her say any thing. I was not present when she was examined.

Had Archer any of these notes at any time? - Yes, several.

Roberts. He says I was the person that advised him to do it; he was the acting party all through. Did I ever say, burn the notes? - Not the bank-notes, but to burn the bills.

Roberts. Did you ever tell me how you came by the notes? - We did.

Roberts. I never had any benefit from the transaction, had I? - He had it.

Roberts. Did not you come on Saturday morning to the King-and-Queen's Head in Gravel-lane, and send for me before I was out of bed? - Yes; we came to fetch him to keep him with us, for fear he should go and be an enemy against us. Archer came to me on Saturday morning, and we concluded to go to fetch Roberts, for fear he should turn from what he had said before we laid at a Mr. Goodges's in Gravel-lane, on Friday night; afterwards did not.

Roberts. What was the reason of not coming to where I lodged, rather than another house? - Because they should not suspect any thing.

Roberts. Whether you did not insist that you would not leave me till I went into the country? - It was his own proposal to go into the country; he said he could lay out the notes as well as any gentleman in the city, and he did not like to lose a farthing by them.


I am the wife of the last witness. On Friday the 8th of December, Archer called my husband up between four and five in the morning: he went along with him; he came home again, in about an hour or two, for a hempen sack, and he took his great coat with him; he returned again between six and seven; the bell had rung six a good while: Archer came with him; they brought this hempen bag with some little bags in it, and he emptied them out; he untied one

little bag at a time, and turned out the letters in them; they were opened, those that had any thing in them. Archer took out what were in the letters, and laid them on one side, and the letters were burnt at my fire-side; Archer and Sullens saw what were taken out of the letters, and they were tied up in a pocket case; they took them out in the yard, but where they put them I can't say.

Were there a great many of them? - A great number of the leather bags were put into the hempen sack again, and Archer and Sullens took them away in a cart; I heard Archer say, when he came back, That they had been taken to Old Ford, and thrown into a ditch, or pond; that they throwed stones and brick-bats upon them, to sink them. They went out together after that to Roberts's lodgings; they returned in the evening, and Roberts with them. Archer and Sullens fetched the pocket-book case out of the yard; he brought the bills in, and put them upon the table; Roberts looked over them, to see which were good, and which were bad; for neither Archer nor Sullens could read: they were emptied out upon the table, and he looked over them; all those that were good, he laid on one side the table; those that were bad, he laid on the other side. Sullens wanted them to be dropped; Archer swore, They should not be dropped, as they should not be brought against him; then those were burnt in the same fire-place. Archer said, He should wish to have the good ones sold to a Fence, which is a cant name for a receiver of stolen goods. I went to Mrs. Moses; I told her Archer wanted her at Sullens's house: it was on the Friday night; she said, It was her sabbath; she should rather like to know before she went out, whether it would be worth her while. She put on her hat and cloak, and came to our house: they shewed her the notes; she said, She could not read them; but if they would let one or two of them go with her daughter, while she staid to let her son see if they were good, she would buy them. Roberts took two out, looked at the numbers to see what the numbers of them were, and sent them by Mrs. Moses's daughter to shew to Mrs. Moses's son, to see if they were good; her daughter returned again, and said, they were good: the mother said then, She would buy them, but could not give the money that night, but would give it next morning.

Were they all three together, when Mrs. Moses came? - They were. I met them that night at my mother's in Skinner-street, Bishopsgate-street: they did not stop long there; they went to Archer's lodgings, and sat up with them there all night; Archer and his wife went to bed. They went off in the morning; and I saw no more of them, nor my husband, till I was taken to Bow-street; but they were all together on Saturday morning, and breakfasted at my house, and Mrs. Moses's daughter. I went to fetch them back: Roberts was taking them somewhere to buy some clothes, and Archer and I brought them all back.

JOHN WOOD sworn.

I keep the George in Gravel-lane, Southwark. Roberts lodged at my house in December last.

Do you know the other prisoner? - I saw him at one time at my house, with the man they call Sullens. I saw them twice at my house: they came first and wanted to see Roberts; he was at work at Squire Lane's; I cannot recollect the day of the week.

Do you recollect when Roberts left your lodging? - It was a Saturday, very early. When they came to my house, they asked me to send for Roberts; I said, he was very busy, and, I believed, not to be seen; but I would go and see. One of them went along with me; I shewed him where he was at work; Roberts followed them to my house very soon after.

Did they dine at your house? - Not at that time; they did a day after.

Can you recollect the day when they dined at your house? - It is impossible.

After the day they dined at your house, do you recollect Roberts leaving your lodging entirely? - I cannot recollect exactly; but I think this was two or three days before Roberts left my lodgings; I think it was in the same week.


Roberts worked with me in the beginning

of December last, at 'Squire Lane's, at Loman's Pond, in the Borough, Southwark; he went away from me on the 8th of December.

Did he ever return to work again with you? - No.

Did he stay for his wages? - No; I carried his wages to him, to John Wood 's; and never saw any more of him.


I keep a sale-shop in Rosemary-lane. On Saturday the 9th of December, Roberts came into my house, just at candle-light, and asked for a suit of clothes; my man took him up into the warehouse, and sold him a suit of clothes, and a great coat; a blue-grey lined with black, and a brown cloth great coat.

Whether these are the clothes you sold? - They correspond in colour; I believe them to be the clothes.

How did he pay you for them? - He gave me a 10 l. bank note; I gave him 4 l. 15 s. change out of it.

You took no account of the bank note? - I did not.

Mr. Shaw. These are the coat and waistcoat that Roberts had on when he was apprehended.


I live at Mr. Babb's, a hosier, in Aldersgate-street. On the 9th of December last, about six or seven o'clock in the evening, the prisoner, Roberts, bought six pair of silk stockings of me, which came to 3 l. 13 s. 6 d. I changed a 10 l. bank note for him.


I am a pawnbroker, in the Borough, near St. George's Church. On Saturday the 9th of December last, Roberts came to my house about seven in the evening, and said he was going down to Buckinghamshire; that he dealt in lace, and wanted a new watch; he said, I must change it if it would not do. I shewed him several; he bought two; I should know them again; the maker's name of one, was Pagent; I don't know the maker's name of the other. This is one I sold him, [pointing at it.]

I suppose many watches go from your shop you can't identify again? - Yes; and I sold him, besides, a pair of shoe and knee buckles. I think all came to 7 l. odd; he gave me a bank note; I think a 15 l. it was above 10 l. I know; and I gave him change out of it.

- THOMAS sworn.

I live with Mr. Bertram, pawnbroker, in Barnaby-street. On the 9th of December, in the evening, Roberts came to our shop, and bought a silver watch, and a pair of shoe and knee buckles. Mr. Bertram gave him change for a note; I think it was a 10 l. note. This is the watch I sold him.


I live at the Red Lion, Gray's-Inn Lane; I drove a chaise from thence to Barnet, on Sunday morning the 10th of December; I carried three men. I have seen that man with red hair before, but can't be positive that he was one of them.


I leave it to my counsel to call my witnesses.

(The prisoners witnesses were examined apart.)


I am a midwife, in Shoreditch, and have lived there many years. I have known Archer, and his family, many years; one Thursday night, I take it to be at the begining of December, about a week in it, called to his wife; the labour went off, so I went away between seven and eight in the morning; he was at home: when I went away she was not in labour, but she thought she was; she was but six months gone with child.

Can you swear to the day of the month? - Not for the world: if I had laid her, I should have set down the day; but she went afterwards to the Lying-in hospital


I go out a nursing; my husband is abroad; I engaged to nurse Mrs. Archer; and she was taken very bad before her time.

Do you remember the day of the month she was in labour? - It was in December, but the day of the month I can't say; it was of a Thursday.


As read by the Clerk of Arraigns.

My Lord,

With submission, I most humbly beg and pray your Lordship may be pleased to look over this, which I have here certified to be the truth, and the truth only; so help me God! viz. On Friday, the eighth day of December last, at about two o'clock in the afternoon, Edward Sullens came into the lead-yard of George Lane, Esq. Loman's Pond, Southwark, where I was at work, and said that he wanted to speak to me; when I made him answer, and said, that I could not then have time to speak to him; but told him, that about four o'clock I should have done work for the day; when Sullens said that he should wait until that time, at the house of John Wood , the George, in Gravel-lane. Between four and five o'clock, I done work, and went, as usual, to the said George, where Sullens and Archer were both in the parlour, drinking brandy and water: however, Sullens said to me, as I had not dined, that he had ordered some steaks to be done for dinner; when we all three dined; at the same time Sullens and Archer were saying to me, that they would be great friends to me, if I would leave my place, and be a servant to Edward Sullens , as they were a going into the country, and should be in want of a clerk to do their business, for they had got some bank-notes to pass. I asked them where and how they came by bank-notes; when Sullens answered, and said, we honestly got them; for this morning, between Stratford and Mile End, we found, laying in the road, a trunk, which we carried home, and found it contained several banknotes, which we are determined to make use of, as it will be the making of us for ever. I made answer, that it would be much better for them to keep the said notes until they should be advertised, as they would be sure of a great reward for finding the same. They replied, No; for it is all our own, and nothing but bank-notes, which is as good as cash; at the same time they both insisted that I should agree and be Sullen's servant, as he should pay me for my trouble, and said, It will be much better for you than to work for ten shillings a week. I then made answer, and said, that I would consider of it, and let Sullens know my determination some time the next day: No, said he, I must know this night, and you must go along with me home; I made answer, that I wanted to go that night into the city, and would accompany him part of his way home; accordingly we all three went out together from the said George: it was then between five and six o'clock o' Friday evening; and the same evening I parted with Sullens and Archer in Bishopsgate-street, with a promise that I should call upon Sullens some time the next day, Saturday. I was back at the said George by nine o'clock that same evening. The next morning, Saturday the 9th of December, before I was out of my bed, a person comes to the George, and said, that there was some one wanted to speak with me at the King and Queen; when I immediately got up, and went there, where I found Sullens and Archer were a drinking some purl: Edward Sullens said to me in this manner, By God, you must go immediately along with us, as we want to buy some things that is wanted for to go on our journey, as we are resolved to set out this afternoon, or to-morrow morning; so you must go along with us, and you shall be better paid for your time than work for ten shillings a week; with this they prevailed on me, and I went with them, and I bought what they desired me; at the same time Sullens giving me a banknote at a time to get it changed. By the time I had bought for them what they wanted, I believe it was near eight o'clock o' Saturday night; when Sullens insisted that I should go and stay with him all night at Archer's house, and to set out next morning for the country. I desired that he would let me go and settle with my master, and let him know that I was going into the country:

No, said Sullens, you shall not go from me, for I will not trust you out of my sight this night. The next morning, Sunday the 10th of December, by the desire of Edward Sullens we all three set out for to go to Liverpool; and when we arrived there, agreed for to go over to Ireland, as he, Sullens, said that he wanted to buy some Irish cloths. On the 17th of December we arrived in Dublin; and Tuesday the 19th, Sullens gives me a fifty-pound banknote, to go and get cash for it; when I went with the same to the house of Messrs. Latouche the bankers, and got the said note changed; immediately after I went with the cash to meet Sullens and Archer at the Elephant Tavern in Essex-street, where I paid Sullens the money, and he gave me fifteen guineas, and I believe to Archer the same. In a few days afterwards Sullens said to me, that I must get another note changed, and gave me a fifty-pound note; at the same time desired me to go upon 'Change, as some of the merchants would give me cash: accordingly I went, and met with a merchant, who gave me the cash for the fifty-pound note; and immediately went with the same to a house in Smock Alley, where Sullens and Archer was; and we all three went from thence to the Hotel in College-Green, where I paid Sullens the money, and he gave me fifteen guineas, and Archer the same. On Saturday, January the 6th, Sullens said to me that he must have some more notes changed, and that I had better go to the same merchant as changed me the last note, to get him for to give me cash for two or three notes accordingly I went to the said merchant's house, and asked him for to give me cash for forty or fifty pounds bank-notes, when the merchant made answer, and said, that if I would wait untill the Monday following, and meet him upon 'Change, at three o'clock, he would take my notes, and give me the cash: accordingly I promised to do so; and on Monday the 8th day of January, I met the said merchant upon 'Change, when he informed me that he wanted a draft of one hundred and twenty-four pounds, but could not get it that day, and on that account he could not take my notes. I immediately went and acquainted Sullens of this, when he made answer, and said, that I must go and get cash for them somewhere else, as he could not go from Dublin without some more money; at the same time gave me in all five bank-notes, value one hundred and five pounds. I then told him that I did not know where or how to get cash for them, unless Messrs. Latouche would change them; then said he, Go and ask them to do it, for you must see and get some cash. I told him then that I would either go or send to Mr. Latouche some time o' Wednesday, if that would do, and he agreeable, when he, Sullens, replied, and said, Do so; I am agreeable. The Wednesday morning, January 10th, I was not very well; and at about ten o'clock in the forenoon, I wrote few lines to Mr. Latouche, with a twenty-pound bank-note inclosed, desiring he would he pleased to send me cash for the said note by the bearer, who was the waiter where I lodged; the waiter comes back, and tells me that he was ordered to call for the money at twelve o'clock, as Mr. Latouche would not be in the way till that time; accordingly the waiter went at twelve o'clock, and returned to inform me that he was ordered to call for the money at two o'clock, as Mr. Latouche could not tell the exchange until about two o'clock; I said to the waiter, Very well, call for the money at that time. About one o'clock, Sullens and Archer comes up stairs in my room to shift themselves, when one of Messrs. Latouche's clerks came to the door of my room, and told me that I should have the money sent me for the twenty-pound note in about an hour's time; but in about half an hour's time, he returns to me, with the secretary of the Post-Office, Sir Thomas Blackhall , and others. The Secretary desired to speak with me; I said, by all means; and went with him into another room; when he began to tell me about a bank-note of fifty-pounds that I had changed with Mr. Latouche; also told me that he had an account of that same note being taken out of the mail in England. I made answer, that I did not know any thing about that, for honestly I had received it, as well as some more I had then in my pocket. However, he said, that I was in the hands of justice, and must go along with them to the Crown Office; accordingly we all three went to the said office, but not one question asked of me, and presently after sent me with Archer to Newgate. If I had the least suspicion of any ill consequences should ever attend, or that I had dishonestly come by any one of the notes, I should have hardly remained that day so many hours at the hotel, after hearing three different times from Messrs. Latouche, without the money; this would have been enough for me to go away from the hotel immediately, if I had been guilty of doing any thing amiss; instead of that, I was innocent, and remained there to be taken, knowing my cause was just and honest. Indeed I know'd not, nor no more than the child unborn, that Sullens and Archer had robbed the mail of the notes which Sullens gave me to pass. I am of opinion that any one then in my situation would accept of the same offer that I did from Sullens. Now I leave it all to your great wisdom and kind consideration, hoping, my Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury, that nothing but justice, and what is lawful and right, may take place in this affair, as I here declare before God that I am an innocent man, and am brought into this unhappy situation by deceitful men, and which cares very little what oaths they make, to save their own lives.

May it therefore please your Lordship to consider my hard case, and shew me all the lenity that the laws of my country will admit of, for I am innocent, and hope your Lordship will be convinced of it, in the course of my trial.

(Signed) JAMES JONES .

Wednesday morning, April 25th, 1781.



Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury, before Lord LOUGHBOROUGH.

[No punishment. See summary.]

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