7th July 1784
Reference Numbert17840707-98
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s; Not Guilty

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758. RICHARD PERCIVAL and JAMES GRACE were indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of James Ingraham , at the hour of four in the night, on the 12th of June last, and burglariously stealing therein, one silver watch, value 30 s. one silver milk pot, value 10 s. one silver spoon, value 5 s. one pair of steel scissars with silver bows, value 2 s. one pair of leather shoes, value 5 s. a quantity of sugar, value 1 s. half 2 pound of tobacco, value 2 s. one linen towel, value 6 d. and four hundred and eighty copper halfpence, value 20 s. the property of the said James Ingraham .


On Saturday the 12th of June early in the morning my house was robbed, we did not go to bed till near one on the Sunday morning, I generally look round the house but there where no fastenings were it is supposed they got in, it is a flap that lets down at the top, the coals are under it and it is so filled that we cannot get in to fasten it, one flap lets upon another, they were not fastened; all the rest of the house was fast, the bottom was taken up and turned topsy-turvy, we were not alarmed till the next morning, and the prisoners were taken the same day; when I came down stairs the bar door was flung open, and I found the key in one till that unlocked the other, the tills were carried into the cellar and laid empty, I found them in the beer cellar; both the tills were locked: I was not alarmed till between five and six in the morning; I missed the things mentioned in the indictment and I saw them afterwards in Catchpole's possession.

Mrs. INGRHAM sworn.

The prisoners were drinking in our house on the 11th of June till past eleven o'clock, I am sure of that, we have a hole opens in a door that we can put a pot of beer out of, I saw Percival come behind that place that was after the house was fastened up, I asked the boy if he had fastened up the doors and windows, and I made him go up stairs before me; and I left my husband in the back part of the house with some company; we were alarmed at five o'clock.


On Saturday the 12th of June between six and seven in the morning, I went to a house in an alley between Goswell-street and Golden-lane, in consequence of an information I had heard the preceding evening, of one of the returned convicts lodging in that house, when I came there with two others, I found he was not there, I went into the one pair of stairs and knocked at the door, the prisoner Percival got out of bed and came towards the door, where was a hole big enough to put through two fingers; I saw him come to the hole, and from thence go to the closet towards the other side of the room, at first I saw somebody come to the hole but did not know who it was, I observed him tarry there a

little space, I conceived there was a closet there, and that he was preparing something to give us the meeting; I apprehended that he was preparing for opposition, in consequence of which I says to Clarke who was next the door, wait for nothing, snap open the door at once, or words to that effect; he endeavoured to break open the door, the hinges gave way, and I saw the prisoner Percival go from the place where he stood towards the window, I went down stairs to tell Newman to take care of the window, before I could get into the room he was out of window in his shirt, I saw Newman and him down together, and I immediately came up and assisted Newman in taking him; upon searching the room I found this pair of shoes and a pair of scissars with silver bows to them, and a quantity of halfpence; I have told them and I believe if my memory does not fail me, there is seventeen shillings and sixpence and some halfpence besides, and a quantity of tobacco, this towel in which the tobacco now is, was hanging up against the window, just by the bed side, and a quantity of sugar and two or three knives and forks, and a quantity of tobacco papers which I found on the floor in the name of Berry; on finding these I said these will say something, we will take him on suspicion, and he was taken into custody; he was asked whose things they were, he at first declined giving us an answer but he afterwards confessed that the goods were not his, upon which we tied his hands and took him to the Compter, I took the things to my house, and he was examined before Alderman Harley, the prosecutor brought his servant there the same morning in custody of an officer, on suspicion of being concerned; the servant's name is John Parker , he is here as a witness.


I am a constable, on the 12th of June about nine in the morning, I was sent for by Mr. Ingraham, who told me his house was broke open, and he suspected the servant, and gave me charge of him, the prosecutor was loth to give the charge of him, he said he thought from the kindness he had shewn him, he never could be guilty of such a fact, I know nothing but what the servant said.

Court. You do not come here to tell us that.


I am a constable, on Saturday the 12th, I went with Catchpole and Newman to a one pair of stairs room where we found the prisoner Percival, Catchpole desired me to break the door open, which I did, before I could break the door open he jumped out of the window, I went in and we found the shoes with the name of Ingraham in them, and a pair of scissars, some tobacco, and some sugar.


I went with Catchpole and Clark on the 12th of June about six o'clock, and Catchpole said there was a man going to jump out of window, and he bid me go down stairs, I went and took him.

Do you know any thing of the other Prisoner Grace? - I went to search at his house but found nothing. (The things produced and deposed to) The spoon and watch are not found.

Mr. Chetwood Prisoner's Counsel. As to Grace, there has not been any thing said.

Court. Certainly not.


Court to Parker. If you have occasion to speak of both the prisoners you may say what you know with respect to Percival, but if you know any thing with respect to Grace, you must speak it as of some other person, you must tell us what you know of Percival; I will ask you questions and you had better answer me.

Your master's house was broke open, who was it by? - The two young men.

Do you see one of the young men here? - Yes, Percival and another young man, I saw them on the Friday night, the other young man said whose watch is that hanging up in your master's bar?

Was Percival in hearing then? - No.

Then do not tell us? - My master sent me out of an errand one day, and Percival was in the street and he met me, he said nothing to me.

What did Percival say to you about breaking the house? - I heard the other young man say to Percival, he lives at the gentleman's house where they meant to come and get in; then they both said to me will you say any thing if we get into your master's house; they said no more when Percival was with them, they said they would give me some money if I would not say any thing, I was in bed when they got in, I did not hear them nor see them.

You knew before that they intended to come? - From what they said to me, but I did not let them in, nor hear what time they came in, there was a cellar window, they asked me if that window was fastened, I told them it was not, I left no other place open for them.

Was the door of the cellar stairs fastened? - No.

Do you know what became of the watch and the other things? - No, Sir.

Where were you to see them to get the money for holding your tongue? - The young man said he would come to the house.

Mr. Chetwood. Did not your master take you into custody the next day? - Yes.

Was not you terrified very much? - Yes.

Did not he tell you that if you would but confess no harm should be done to you? - Yes.

Did you say a word about Percival? - No, I did not know their names, I did not think it meant any harm because the young man is a monstrous laughing young man.

So they said it publickly in the street? - Yes.

How came you to say nothing to your master when you went home? - I had no thoughts of such a thing.

Court. He certainly stands in the light of an acceslary before the fact? - I had no acquaintance with them in my life, but they often used the house.


Between three and four in the morning, I was coming along Red-Cross-Street, I met a woman and she asked me to go along with her, I was in liquor, we both went together to this house where they found me, I d not been above two hours in bed they rushed in, I was very much frightened, I thought some of my friends were coming after me, I jumped out of the window, I was so frightened I did not not know what I said.

Jury to Prosecutor. Did you use to deal with the tobacconist whose the papers were? - I did.

The Prisoner Percival called six witness who all gave him a very good character.

Court to Prosecutor. What was the value of these things that are deposed to? - Six or seven shillings.

Court to Jury. Gentlemen there is no evidence against Grace.

RICHARD PERCIVAL , GUILTY Of stealing to the value of 7 s. but not guilty of the burglary .


Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

[Transportation. See summary.]

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