21st April 1784
Reference Numbert17840421-61

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436. JAMES DAVIS was indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Daniel Gardner and Robert Wilson , at the hour of two in the night, on the 23d day of April , and feloniously stealing therein four cotton shawls, value 18 s. and two other shawls, value 2 s. 6 d. nine handkerchiefs, value 27 s. sixty-seven silk handkerchiefs, value 12 l. fifty-six silk and cotton handkerchiefs, value 5 l. forty yards of Irish linen, value 33 s. and one piece of Scotch linen, value 20 s. the property of the said Robert and Daniel .


On Friday the 23d of April, about ten minutes before four o'clock, we were alarmed by the watchman ringing violently at the bell, my partner threw up the window, and the man said the door was open, I immediately hastened down, when I came into the shop, I looked about to see what was missing, the door was fastened at night when I went to bed, I cast my eye out of the door, I perceived the door of the coal cellar bored in two or three places, and a board adjoining was wrenched up, then I went to the cellar door, I found that open, it was bored through in the middle way, so that a hand might go though to unboit the door, I went back into the shop, and I found some things on the counter was gone which I had folded up with my own hands the night before, we made a search to see; whilst we was at the door, up came two of the patrol and a Smithfield drover, and said, we have got the thief and the things, and that they were at St. Sepulchre's watch-house, and if I would go I might see him there; both me and my partner went, we saw Mr. Amey, Mr. Roberts, the constable, and the constable of the night; the prisoner at the bar was in custody, and the things there were mine; this is all I know of my own knowledge.


I was coming from Chick-lane through a court, I had information from a drover that there was a man gone by with a bundle of linen, we pursued him down Snow-hill, but we missed him, returning back we found him in Green Dragon-court, packing up a bundle of cottons and linens.

Court. Whereabouts was he in the court? - The court goes in narrow, and

then grows wider, he was in the right-hand corner, the bundle was on the ground, he was tying it round with a piece of linen, I asked him what he had got there, he said linen, he said he was going to Red Lion-square; I asked him where he got it from, he said from on board a ship; I asked him from whose ship, he said a sloop, upon that I took him into custody; the watchman took a large augur out of his pocket, concealed under his coat, we took him to the watch-house, there were two bundles in the court of handkerchiefs, and a tablecloth was found in his pocket, and the key of a pin of a window.


I am servant to Mr. Hall, lamb butcher, I was standing at Mr. Wildman's penns in Smithfield on Friday morning, I saw the prisoner come from Long-lane with the bundle upon his back, and another in his hand, he passed me, I looked at him and said, what have you got here? he said some cloth, I followed him, he went down Cow-lane, I met a patrol and we run after him, but we over run him, and we turned round and came back again, and searched the court, and we found him.

- ALEXANDER sworn.

I am the watchman, I heard the cry of stop him, stop him! I heard one of the drovers say, I am sure he is up one of the courts; I went in and found the prisoner in one corner, I took this augur out of his pocket, I asked him what it was for, he said he had been boaring some bungholes, the patrols came up and took him.


I was going along and I met this man, says he, I am come from on board a ship, you may go with me, I am going to Red-Lyon Square.


The prisoner came to my master on Thursday last, about four in the evening, and said he came to borrow a borer, my master would not lend it him at first, at last he consented, and I gave it into his hands, I should know it again; that is the borer; the prisoner came in another Cooper's name that we had lent a borer to several times.


I am one of the wardens belonging to Saint Sepulchre's, I found a table cloth in his pocket, and the key of the window, and something that looks like a watchmaker's tool, it is hard steel and will cut glass almost like a diamond, but it will not last so long; I marked the table cloth, the key, and the instrument, and gave them to the Constable to carry before the Magistrate, I am sure they are the same.


I am a Constable, I have the things here, these are the same things committed to my charge, and brought to the watch-house.

(Produces the things, which are deposed to.)


I went down Long-lane, and I saw these things lay there, and I picked them up, and as I was going across Smithfield, Dinmore said these things are mine, says I, what should they be yours for, and because I would not give him them he went and got a patrol and took me up.

Court to Gardner. Whose house is this? - It is mine originally, but during the partnership it is jointly each partner's, we share it, they are two houses, I live in one and my partner in the other.

Which house does the shop or warehouse belong to? - It is the under part of both houses, both turn into one.

Do you pay for the two houses separately or jointly? - Jointly during the term of the partnership.

Then the house is the house of the partnership? - Yes, as well as the goods.

Your partner lives in it as well as you.

Yes, he occupies the further part on one side.

Court to the Prosecutor. Was there any day light in the morning when you was first alarmed? - Yes, there was a little, it was about ten minutes or a quarter before four o'clock.

Court to Beldam. When you first saw the prisoner at Smithfield in the morning about what time was it? - About half past three.

Was it any light? - The day began to break.

GUILTY Death .

Prosecutor. My Lord, he has a poor hard-working honest father and mother, and I could wish to recommend him to mercy, that he might be sent out of the kingdom.

Court. I think it a very bad case, I approve of your humanity in the recommendation, but I do not think that I as a Judge can concur in it.

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

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