21st April 1784
Reference Numbert17840421-22
VerdictGuilty > theft under 5s

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397. GEORGE ROBINSON , aged fourteen, GEORGE BANNISTER , aged sixteen, JOHN NURSE , aged fourteen, were indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of John Newen , about the hour of five in the afternoon, on the 26th of March last, no person being therein, and burglariously stealing therein, one marcella petticoat, value 8 s. one child's dimity cloak, value 3 s. one linen gown, value 1 s. 6 d. one pair of cotton stockings, value 6 d. the property of the said John .


I am wife of John Newen of Milbank , my husband is a labouring man , on the 15th of March I went out from my house a little before five in the afternoon, I locked my door, I left nobody in the house, I was absent about ten or eleven minutes, to the best of my knowledge, I went to my next

door neighbour's, where two of my children were at play, I took my little one out of the cradle, and went to fetch them home, and there came a little girl, sister-in-law to this woman, to know whether she should carry some tea, and as she opened her door, and stood for a minute on the step of the door, she called out to me, Mrs. Newen, here is a boy getting out of your window, with your clothes under his arm, I immediately looked out and saw the three boys, one with the clothes; they were all out of the house when I saw them, I saw none get out of the house, I called stop thief, he that had the clothes threw them down and run away, they all three run away, the things mentioned in the indictment were taken up, they were all mine.

Court. Do you know any thing of these boys? - No, upon my life I do not, one of their faces I saw, that of Bannister.

Was he one of the three that you saw running at the time your clothes were taken away? - Yes, when I went home my door was locked, and my key in my pocket, my window was cracked, and a piece of the pane was pulled out, and the window was unscrewed, and shoved up and open, the things were taken out of a pan on the table, wet, as I had washed them the day before.


I was coming out of my sister's, and I saw the boy get out of the window.

What boy coming out of what window? - Him in the middle, that is Robinson, he had clothes under his arm, and I hallooed out, and told Mrs. Newen, I saw them afterwards and knew them again, I saw them all three run.

Where were the other two when you saw one boy get out of the window? - Not four yards from the house, they were looking to see whether any body was coming.

Who picked up the bundle? - I picked up the bundle, and put it into the chest under the shop window, till Mrs. Newen came back.


Mrs. Newen called out thieves, and I assisted to take the prisoners, getting over a fence, and it being snowy, we traced them, and found George Bannister , he had hid himself behind some Willows.

Court. Was it out of any road? - Yes, in a private field, fenced at both ends.


I was at work at the next house, and I heard the cry of stop thief, I followed, and at the top of the lane one went over some willows down the creek, by the side of the water, and just behind the willows, in the same field, the prisoner Bannister was laid in the corner.


I know no other of it only taking the prisoner Nurse to the neat house, that is about a quarter of a mile off, he was out of the road, and he said he had got there out of the snow, I run after him, and run before him, the people said he had hid himself up in that field, I went there and desired him to come out.


I was in my master's yard, I heard the cry of stop thief, and I run after them, and at the top of the lane there was a turning to the right hand and to the left, then I lost sight of them for a few minutes, and I traced one, that is Robinson, into a ditch behind a house about a quarter of a mile off.


I was not near the place at that time, my mother takes in needle work, she had three shirts to make, and she could not finish them, she sent me to enquire for one Mrs. Wright, and as I was coming back I wanted to ease myself, and I went round there, and just as I was buttoning my breeches this man said come out, the gentlewoman said she did know whether I was one, and she bid me go, and that man came and took me, and tied my hands to these lads hands, and the tide was very high, and they said let us throw them into the Thames.


It was a very snowy day, I had no work to do, and I went to look after my mother's ass, I was going along the bank running to keep myself warm, after I had got a good way past this woman's door, she cried out, stop thief, and I stood up by some willows because it snowed, a little time after two men came and fetched me out, the gentlewoman said she could not swear to me, but she believed I was one.

The prisoner Bannister called three witnesses to his character.


I was sent of an errand over Chelsea-bridge, and it snowed and rained very hard, and I stood up for shelter, and they brought me to the gentlewoman, and she said she had nothing against me, and then I was going away, and they came and caught hold of me again, and threatened to chuck me into the Thames, my friends did not think my trial would come on to-day.


GUILTY Of stealing to the value of 4 s. 10 d .

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Mr. BARON EYRE .

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