26th May 1790
Reference Numbert17900526-33
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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471. THOMAS JONES , alias AYRES , and CHARLES RICHARDS , were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of John Francis Hutton , on the 6th of May , about the hour of nine in the night, and burglariously stealing therein, a leather japanned hat, with a silver laced band, value 8 s. his property .

(The case opened by Mr. Silvester.)


I am servant to Mr. Francis Hutton , in East-street, Red-lion-square, No. 31 . On the 6th of May last, at nine o'clock, I heard a knock at the door; I went up and opened the door; there I saw Jones, alias Ayres; he says, is this Mr. Hutton's? I told him it was; he said, Miss Hughes's compliments, she is sorry she cannot wait on Mrs. Hutton to-morrow morning; I said, I do not recollect my mistress has such an acquaintance; he said, yes, Miss Hughes of Great Queen-street; I shut the door, and he came in; I rather stopped; he said he was rather in a hurry; he drew out his watch, and said it was rather past nine; I then said to Jones, otherwise Ayres, it was not quite convenient to deliver that message just then, as my mistress had company in the drawing-room; I would deliver it after supper; I then delivered it to her after

supper; I let him out; I swear it was that man; I heard another knock at the door, and of course went to the door, and opened it: the servant was then preparing the supper: the prisoner Charles Richards walked in, and presented me with a note, and says this is for Mr. Hutton; it came from an attorney, and requires an answer; I asked him whether an answer was required? he said, yes; I then said, you will stop; he came in, and I shut the door.

Court. Was the other prisoner with him? - No; I did not see any body with him; the parlour door was open, and a candle burning on the side-board; I looked at the direction; and instead of Hutton, I saw it was Hatton; at that moment I heard the door open, and the sound of a person's foot; I turned, and saw the two prisoners; Jones with a great coat in both hands; and Richards I saw take this hat off a brass nail; it was hanging in the passage; it dropped on the floor; and I directly cried out, stop thief! and followed them; they both went out; Jones went up East-street, and Charles Richards crossed Harpur-street; I pursued Richards, calling out stop thief! and at the top of the street, Richards was taken; never was out of my sight; and was stopped by James Moss ; I then desired Moss to secure him; I then returned, and took hold of Richards, and led him down to my master's door; the hat was dropped in the inside of some great coats; it was on the nail before; I am certain I saw him take that hat off the nail; there was no other person in the street but he and me, till he was stopped by Moss: I went back to the house, and shut the door, for fear of any body else; and when I returned, they were bringing up Jones; I never lost sight of the prisoner, till he was stopped by Moss.

Court. Before the time you went back to secure the door of your master's house, you had made such observation of the person of Richards, that you can be sure he was the same person that took the hat off the nail? - I am sure of it; for I took very great observation of his person in the passage, when he delivered the note to me: I am sure Richards is the man that delivered the note to me: I am sure Jones is the man that came with the message.

Are you sure he is the man that came with the message when Richards was there? - I am sure of it; this is the hat; it is Mr. Hutton's property.

Mr. Garrow. I am counsel for the prisoner Jones.

Was there day-light enough, when you pursued, to know the man's face? - I know their faces by the light of the passage; there certainly was light enough both by the daylight, and the light of the lamps.

Do you mean to swear that positively? - I am positive I could tell the man's face by the day-light.

Court. Are you sure that there was a sufficient light in the street, without the assistance of the lamp, merely by what is called day-light, to distinguish the faces of these persons at the bar? - Not at a distance; but what with the help of the light and the lamps.

Do you consider that hour when you saw these men, as night or day? - It certainly was night.


I am servant to Mr. Waterman. On the 6th of May last, as I was going to my lodging in Bedford-square, at half past nine, as near as I can recollect, I heard the noise of stop thief; I stopped a little while, and heard somebody running; and presently I saw there were two men coming; the one a little way before the other; and he that came first, I laid hold of; and he was very much frightened, I fancy, for he trembled exceedingly, and said he was not the man; that was the prisoner Richards: Slade cried out hold him fast; he came up in the course of a minute.

Did you let him go? - I never let go of him at all: then Slade came up, and said that was the man; he laid hold of him; he begged still to be gone, for he said he was not the man; we led him backwards nearly up to his master's door; and there

was a great many people got about; and I believe, another prisoner; but I did not see him.

Court. Was it at this time light enough for you to discover the faces of the prisoners at the bar, from Heaven, and without the assistance of the lamps? - I cannot say I could discover it by day-light, as there was lamps; I cannot say whether there was day-light sufficient, or not.

Jury to Slade. Is there a globe in your master's hall, or a burner, that shewed light in the hall? - Yes.

What distance is it from the hall-door? - It seems to be four yards from the street-door: it is a round globe with three burners, but only two lighted.

Had you a candle in your hand when you opened the hall-door for Jones? - I do not recollect that I had; I left it in the parlour.

How near was Jones to the light in the hall? - He came just on the mat, just within the door.


I am servant to Mr. Freeland, in East-street. On the 6th of May, Thursday night, between nine and ten, I was out on business in a milk-cellar in Boswell-court; I heard the alarm of stop thief! I came out of the cellar, and saw Jones running by as hard as he could run; I was not certain whether it was him or not; I came to the steps, and an alarm was made; I pursued him; he cried stop thief several times; I took him in Queen-square, and brought him back; he had nothing in his possession: I met a congregation of people coming towards him: I delivered him to Ball, the constable: the prisoner Jones, otherwise Eyres, is the man: we came back into East-street, where the alarm was given; we saw the other prisoner, and the congregation of people.

Court. Was it light enough to distinguish a man's face, without the assistance of lamps? - Why, I really believe I could discover a man's face within eight yards of me; there was day light enough then.

Mr. Garrow. There is evidence enough to the day-light. In the case of life, your lordship knows there is no limitation of distance by the law: the law says, that if there was light enough at the time a man's countenance could be distinguished thereby? - I took notice of his face; I had a right to do so.

Prisoner Jones. I leave it to my counsel; I have nobody here.



Of stealing.

Transported for seven years .

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

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