Offence: Theft > grand larceny
Verdict: Not Guilty
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638. HENRY TODD was indicted for stealing three pair of casimere breeches, value 3 s. two waistcoats, value 2 s. two ditto, value 3 s. three shirts, value 3 s. one yard of muslin, value 4 s. and one check bag, value 6 d. the property of Susannah Bliss , spinster .
SUSANNAH BLISS sworn.
I lived at No. 20, Liquor-pond-street , when I was robbed, which was eight weeks ago, last Wednesday; one Henry Todd came and knocked at my door; I knew him about three weeks before Christmas; he was a lawyer's clerk, he arrested a man that I lived with; I was unfortunate enough to leave my service, and take in washing; and live with a man, my husband as I called him; the watchman called three, when the prisoner knocked at my door; says I, who is there? Todd, says he; says I, what in the name of fortune has brought you here so soon? and he said, Mrs. Barnes (that was the name of the man I lived with); that man has left you, and is in keeping with a girl; for said he, I was coming from my club last night, and I saw him; he is at Mr. Brooke's or Breary's; I was dressed, waiting for Barnes, to see if he would come; so I said, come along Mr. Todd, I will go directly; and we went to Mr. Brooke's, the hair-dresser in Southampton-buildings; Barnes was not there; when I went down stairs, I locked the door, and put the key in my pocket; and the prisoner went before me; and he asked me what time I should return; he turned towards Hatton-garden; I went home a quarter before eight in the morning; I roved about every where to see for Barnes; when I got home, I found the door hanging on the bottom hinge; and the lock broken open; and the top hinge broke; and my boxes were broken open; and I missed the things in the indictment; part of which were my own; and part intrusted with me; and which I am accountable for; I gave information of the robbery at justice Walker's office; and about four the same afternoon, I heard of my things.
Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel. This man was a bit of a favourite, was not he? - No, nothing more between him and me, than between your honour and me.
You had had a bit of a quarrel with this Mr. Todd? - Yes.
That was just before the robbery took place? - Just three weeks ago.
Has not Todd carried things for you? - No, never; that I swear before your Majesty.
Did not you desire the prisoner to pawn these very things? - No, I did not.
How many names have you gone by? - Never by any but Bliss and Barnes.
Was not this man clerk to Serjeant Bolton? - I do not know; only Barnes told me he was clerk to a gentleman, I have washed and ironed at the Pilgrim in Holborn.
I am a headborough of St. Giles's; I only took the prisoner with this property; that is all I know; I believe it was the 17th of July.
Mr. Garrow. Do you know much of this woman? - I cannot say much about her character; I have heard she uses the Pilgrim; we took two or three housebreakers out of that house the other day.
WILLIAM BARRETT sworn.
I live in Little Turnstile, Holborn; I am a broker; on Wednesday morning, I heard the prisoner had committed a robbery; I had known him about seven days; when I returned home, I found him in my shop, with some things in his hand in a bag; I sent for an officer, and detained the prisoner; he seemed very anxious to go; and Mr. Freeman came and took him and the things; he said he had robbed a person; he did not say who; he said before Freeman came, that he had committed a robbery; he said he had stole the goods; and made a laughing matter of it; he said, I know I have stole them.
Did you consider him in earnest when he laughed? - No; I thought he had stole the goods, and turned it off by way of laugh.
Mr. Garrow. Why, did not you understand his confession, as you call it, to be a denial of it? - He turned it off in that sort of way; I considered it as a laughing matter.
I only know the prisoner by purchasing a child's waistcoat of him, some time about the middle of July, between one and two, at a publick-house, the Six Canns in High Holborn, in the tap-room; I cannot say the day, or the day of the month; I live shopman at No. 104, Holborn; I did not ask how he came by it, it was so publickly offered for sale.
(The things deposed to.)
Mr. Garrow to Prosecutrix. Upon your oath, have you never said that you had been threatened by the thief takers, to be sent to Newgate, if you did not prosecute this man? - No; I never said the word thief taker; I said that a gentleman offered me ten guineas, not to come and appear; his name is Thomas White, a Spittlefields weaver.
Do you happen to know a gentleman of the name Cowperthwaite? - I know him by sight; but he called himself Green to me; it was Friday or Saturday; I never told him so; Mr. White told me that Mr. Green would produce any money to save his life; that gentleman (Cowperthwaite) told me the prisoner was to have 700 l.; he had been down to examine an estate for Mr. White; and begged and desired me to save his life; he told me he was Mr. Green's Clerk.
Do you mean to swear that he ever said one syllable to you of the matter? - Yes; he came to me, No. 20, in Liquor-pond-street, before my landlord; and promised me any money, if I would not appear; my landlord is Mr. Martin, a hair dresser; they came to me on the Saturday, that Todd was committed on the Wednesday; this gentleman came to me, and asked me what it was about Todd's robbery, that he had wrote to him; and he asked me whether I would take five guineas to let him out.
Upon your oath? - Yes.
And you never told this gentleman that you had been threatened by the runners? - I told him I was liable to be put in Newgate, if I did not appear.
Court. Do you know this gentleman that sits next to me (Mr. Green)? - No; I do not think that was one of the gentlemen that came in; but I think that gentleman next to him came in: (pointing to Alderman Le Mesurier); that gentlemen, I think, spoke to me out in the passage, but I will not swear to it; it was concerning this subject.
What, did this gentleman talk to you about Todd's having robbed you? - Yes; I will swear that; I recollect his face now; I recollect him speaking to me about Todd's robbery; it was after candle light; I asked him if I could come in? and he said I must bide out; he said nothing more; I never worked at the Pilgrim but one day in my life; I have not been seen in the doors this five years.
I am just as innocent as you are yourself; for she actually gave me the things to dispose of for her own use; I disposed of part of them about eight, and gave her three shillings; she said she wanted to be revenged of the man she had lived with.
- GREEN, Esq. sworn.
I am an attorney in Gray's Inn; in the beginning of the year 1783, the prisoner was recommended to me by a gentleman in Lincoln's Inn, as a servant; and that could write; I did not want him then; I took him into my office, and employed him about six months; then he went to my friend's house as a servant; during the time he was in my service, he was very sober and very honest; and I recommended him to my friend as a servant; and he went and lived with him; and some time since that, he has been with Mr. Serjeant Bolton and another gentleman, as a clerk.
Have you ever trusted him with any money? - I cannot say I ever did; he was not that line.
Have you ever conversed with this woman on the subject? - I never had the least conversation with her in my life; Todd wrote me a letter, and said they were to take five guineas for making it up; I sent Cowperthwaite, my clerk; saying, go and enquire into this; if he has been guilty, let him take the consequence; but give him a little money, that he may not want; and in consequence of that, I gave a brief to you.
- COWPERTHWAITE sworn.
Did you ever ask this woman if she would take a sum of money not to appear? - Never; I say that positively; I have been in Mr. Green's office almost eleven years.
Mr. Justice Grose. Mr. Green is a gentleman of undoubted reputation.
Jury. We are satisfied.
NOT GUILTY .
Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice GROSE.