26th May 1784
Reference Numbert17840526-13
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s

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531. FRANCIS BLAKE was indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Anne and Alice Crow , spinsters, about the hour of two in the night, on the 17th of May , and burglariously stealing therein, nine linen shirts, value 18 s. two pair of silk stockings, value 4 s. four handkerchiefs, value 2 s. two pair of ruffles, value 12 d. eight oz. weight of chocolate, value 2 d. the property of William Rapley ; and six muslin neckcloths, value 20 s. the property of William Curtis , Esq .


I am servant to Mr. Curtis, I was at Maidenhead Bridge at the time with my master, the prisoner had lived with Mr. Curtis, and had been discharged that service about two months.


I lodge at the house of Mr. Curtis.

Mr. Garrow Counsel for the prosecution. Who was up last in the house, the night this burglary was committed? - Miss Alice Crow .

Did you see any thing broke any where in the morning? - Yes, about six in the morning of the 18th of this month, I saw a window broke, and the door unbolted, the window was close by the door, it is divided from the door only by the door post, it was a small leaded window which had no opening, the lead was taken off a few of the panes, by which a man could introduce his hand to open the bolt of the door.

In what state did you find the bolt of the door? - It was open, I had not particularly observed the window, I had no reason to think it was broke, it is a window to the back part of the house, that looks into the yard which adjoins to a stable yard, and we pass it constantly.

Court. Where is the house? - In Bond street.


I lodge in the house of Mr. Crow in Bond-street.

Did you go down stairs in the night or the morning that this burglary was committed? - I was down stairs between four and five in the morning.

Had you occasion to pass by this window? - I did, I saw it was broke, I did not observe the door.

Had you seen that window in the course of the preceding day? - Yes it was quite whole.

Court. At what hour? - I saw it in the evening, about dusk.

In what way was the window broke in the morning? - There were three panes broke.

Could any body introduce his hand through that hole? - I rather suppose they could.

Was it light when you went down stairs? - Quite light.

Whose house was this? - Mrs. Crow's.

- JONES sworn.

I am a coachman, I live near Mrs. Crow's house, about the 17th of this month, about seven in the morning, the servant Mary Bower called over to me, that she rather suspected there had been, or were, some thieves in the house, I went down stairs and saw the kitchen, and the things being thrown about gave me a suspicion; in the further corner of the kitchen, between the copper and the water-tub, I found the prisoner covered with a basket, with some shoes in it.

Court. What time was that? - It was about seven.

Were there any things in the basket with him? - We found a bundle with some shirts and things, and some chocolate tied up in an apron of the maid's.

What account did the prisoner give of himself? - The maid asked him at that time what brought him there, he said he only wanted to see his fellow servants, I remember his living in the family before; the bundle is in Court, I had it in my custody till the re-examination, then I delivered it into the man's hands that swore to it.

(The bundle produced, and deposed to.)

Court. Where were these things found wrapped up in that manner? - Between the water-cask and the copper, under the prisoner, he upon that, and the basket upon the prisoner.

Prisoner. I know nothing about the charge.

Court. Have you any witnesses to call? - No.

Court. Gentlemen of the Jury, this case will give you very little trouble, the only question is, whether you will find him guilty of the burglary or of stealing in the dwelling house only.

GUILTY. Of stealing to the value of 39 s. but not of the burglary .

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron PERRYN .

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