21st April 1784
Reference Numbert17840421-2
VerdictNot Guilty

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377. The said THOMAS RANDALL was again indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Abraham Watt , at the hour of twelve in the night, on the 24th day of May , 1783, and feloniously stealing therein, twenty-four pair of base metal shoe buckles, value 12 s. twelve pair of base metal knee buckles, value 6 s. twelve pounds weight of tallow candles, value 6 s. one pound of tea, value 6 s. four pounds of tobacco, value 8 s. one pound of snuff, value 1 s. 8 d. twenty pound of cheese, value 5 s. ten pound weight of butter, value 5 s. six pair of scissars, value 2 s. one linen handkerchief, value 1 s. and four hundred and thirty-two copper halfpence, value 18 s. the property of the said Abraham .


Court. Relate what you know of your own knowledge against the prisoner? - On the 24th of May, I fastened my door at past twelve at night, there was a difference between my husband and me, and I believe the prisoner knew that I was alone; I live in Eyre-street , No. 23, I shut my shutters, and fastened my door at past twelve at night; I went to bed, and slept very heavy, I was tired; I was awaked with a noise of glasses, as if the whole house was glass and breaking about my ears; I arose upon my elbow, and listened, I thought it was the cat; I could not sleep again; I then thought I would get up and see what mischief was done; I could not get a light; now and then I heard a little tap on the counter; when it became clear daylight, I looked towards my parlour door, and I saw the door move; I still thought it was the cat, I prepared to throw my shoe at her, instead of that I saw the door continue to move; I then saw a man open the door about half way, he came to the bed foot and looked at me very hard; I had half a yard of flannel pinned over my face; I am no young woman; he came to see whether I was awake or no; thinks I, Lord, if he should think I am asleep, he will come up and choak me! he looked at me again; I was satisfied I should know him again; I asked him what he wanted, he looked at me, sneered, and bid me ask his a - e; I could make him no reply; he then turned himself round, and went out with his backside first, looking at me; I leaped out of bed, slammed to the parlour door, and broke the windows; I called some of my lodgers, and said for God's sake come down, here is a man bids me ask his a - e!

Court. Where were your lodgers at night when you fastened up your door? - They were all in bed, they have a private door, the lodgers come in by the passage door; I am sure they were all gone to bed; and when I came out in the morning, my shop door next the street was open, the street door was fast, and the lock of the shop door was spoiled.

When you alarmed your lodgers, what became of the man? - He made off when I slammed the door, he put his hand to his right breeches pocket, and felt his pocket, he took nothing out of his pocket.

What did you lose? - There were twelve pounds of tallow candles, a pound of tea, and the other things in the indictment, the till was taken away; the till and the tea cannisters were found again.

Were any of them ever found on the prisoner? - Never.

What light had you when this man came in? - There was light enough to see what I had to do, and I was three minutes looking at him when he came; if I was a dying I think I must own him to be the man.

Did you know him before? - I never saw him to my knowledge before.

How came you to say, in the beginning of your evidence, that you believed he knew you was alone? - He had been frequently about the neighbourhood, as I have been informed, I might have seen him, but not to know him.

How long was it after you first heard the noise of this breaking of the glass, before you saw this man come into your room? - It was a long time, it was totally dark at first.

Then it most be a long while? - Yes.

What hour did you get up? - About three in the morning, as near as I can guess.

Do you undertake to swear quite positively, that the prisoner was the man? - Yes.

Have you got any of your things again? - I have got none of my property, only the man seemed to hang about the neighbourhood, and I wish he was at liberty, but I am sure he is the man.

Jury. How was your shop door fastened that night? - Bolted and locked, the lock was picked, nothing was forced, the bolts got undone by being shook.

Prisoner. My Lord, Mr. Akerman's books will prove where I was on the 24th of May, I was in Newgate from some time in March till the July sessions, then I was discharged.

Court to Mr. Newman. Was this man in your custody? - I cannot tell.

Townsend. Yes, my Lord, he was, he was left for the opinion of the twelve Judges.

Prisoner. I am as innocent of that other affair as I am of this, only through that woman persuading the people, and I hope such a woman as this will be made an example of.

Prosecutrix. Indeed, Mr. Randall, if I was a dying I think it was you.

Prisoner. My Lord, if I had not been in such an unhappy place, my life would have been sworn away.

Court to Townsend. Was that the man that lay in the p rison from March to July? - Yes, my Lord, I am very sure of that.

Court to Prosecutrix. You should certainly be more careful in swearing positively to the persons of men.

Mr. Reynolds. My Lord, here is the Sessions-paper, and it appears that a man of the name of Thomas Randall , was tried for an assault, with an intent to rob; he was convicted, and recommended by the Jury; the sentence was respited till the next sessions: and it appears also, that in July following your Lordship reported the opinion of the Judges.

Townsend. This is the same man, and he was in Newgate from March to July.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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