26th May 1784
Reference Numbert17840526-40

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557. JOHN AYNERS and JOHN ADAMS were indicted for feloniously stealing on the 15th day of March last, 214 pounds weight of lead, value 30 s. belonging to Jonathan Mab , and then and there affixed to his dwelling house , against the statute.


Between eight and nine in the evening, March the 15th, I took a walk round, and at the place called the Circus Building, I went into an house uninhabited, and stood in the door way, with my face towards the door, and the two prisoners came and passed me with each a load, I stood till they got past me, I saw another man behind, he set down his load, I took no notice at all of him, but I went into Quebeck-street and told the people of the publick-house, two of the men followed me, I took one of the prisoners, and pursued after the other two but could not find them, I came round the south side; when I took Ayners, he wanted me to keep it quiet, I told him no, it would not do, then I perceived Adams and another man along with him, I met them half way along the fouth side of Portman-square, I took Adams, and the other man got away, they had both loads on their backs.

Court. When you first saw them, were they coming from that way? - Yes, I took the lead and matched it, and found it had been taken from a house belonging to Jonathan Mab , it fitted exactly, it was taken from the middle gutter, there were nail holes, and it fitted exactly, here is one Robinson, who saw the lead matched.

- ROBINSON sworn.

Did you see this lead tried on the house? - Yes.

Did it fit the places? - Yes.

Was the place cut out even or irregular? - It was cut out irregular.

So that nothing could sit it but the piece itself? - Nothing but the piece itself.

(The lead produced.)

Court to Robinson. That is not so irregular as you described it? - It is impossible for a man to cut it even without he had a line to cut it by, they cut two pieces out from the gutter, they matched exactly to the place.


I shewed them the man that employed me when he took me.

Court. Where is the man, can you produce him? - No, I cannot, I had a gentleman here last sessions that waited two or three days.


When they took me, I told them the man that employed me was before me, and they took him.


Transported for seven years .

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

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