JOHN HODGSON, Theft > burglary, 15th December 1792.

Reference Number: t17921215-98
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty > lesser offence
Punishment: Transportation
Navigation: < Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

98. JOHN HODGSON was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of John Brown , about the hour of six in the night of the 23d of November , and burglariously and feloniously stealing therein, a dimity waistcoat, value 2 s. a pair of nankeen breeches,

value 2 s. two linen sheets, value 3 s. a silk hat, value 6 d. the goods of the said John Brown .

The witnesses examined separate by the prisoner's desire.

ELIZABETH BROWN the Elder sworn.

I am the wife of John Brown , we live in Little Ormond-yard, Ormond-street , he keeps a little house at 11 l. a year. On the 22d of last month, a little before six in the evening, I heard an alarm over my head up stairs, I said to my eldest daughter, Betsey, did you lock the door? I was a washing at the time, I was in the room on the ground floor in the parlour, when I supposed the prisoner was coming down stairs, he made a scrape with his foot, as I supposed to feel the stairs, I made answer to my daughter, there is some body up stairs, with that I took the candle, went out, and immediately the prisoner at the bar was abreast with me, with the bundle under his arm, he was in the passage, passing my parlour door; he did nothing to me, but his elbow was against my breast as I went to snatch the bundle. I cries out, you villain, you scoundrel, you have robbed me, with that he rushed to the street door, a person saw the prisoner at the bar come out of the house, and drop the bundle; he went behind a water spout, against a stable; I saw him again in two minutes; I went out with the candle in my hand; I never lost sight of him from the first moment I saw him, till after he was taken to the watch-house; the young woman is in Court that picked up the bundle.

Prisoner. This woman took hold of me as I was making water at the door, I was making water and a man run out by me. - I never lost sight of him till he was taken, I followed him out immediately, and he turned to the left hand, my eldest daughter took him at the water-spout.

Court. You do not state how this man came in the house. - I sent my youngest daughter about half after five for some candles, when she came in, I said, have you shut the door, she turned back again and latched it, I heard her; he must open the latch and go up the stairs, and the key being in the one pair of stairs, he turned the key; it was the street door my youngest daughter shut when she came in; my daughters are both here; there was no one in the house but us three.

ELIZABETH BROWN , the younger sworn.

I was the person that locked the room door, the last time I was up was at five o'clock, after I had done what I wanted, I locked the door and left the key in the door; I did not hear the man come in, I was at work at the table in the parlour; my mother said, about a quarter before six, who is up stairs, my mother opened the door to see who was there, and the man was a full breast at the door, with the bundle under his arm; I saw the bundle, she says, you have robbed me, he never spoke, but rushed out of the passage; I followed him with the candle in my hand, I never lost sight of him, he turned to the left hand corner at a farriers shop and fell against the stable, I took him.

Q. Had you any man to assist you? - Yes, there was a man who saw him run from the bundle, he ran to take him.

Q. What happened when you took him? - The people ran out to my assistance, I held him till the constable came, he said he was not the man, it was a tall man in a blue coat; the way I was sure of him was, he had got a scarlet waistcoat on when I saw him in the passage, and that made me sure of him, and I never lost sight of him.

Prisoner. That woman came and takes hold of me while I was making water. - You are the very man that was in the house.


Q. How old are you? - Not quite ten.

Q. Was you ever sworn before? - At Westminster twice.

Q. Suppose you tell a story, have you ever been taught what will become of you, if you tell what is untrue? What will be your punishment? - Go to the bad man.

Q. Who do you mean by the bad man? - The Devil.


Q. Did you see the man at the house? - I was the last person that came in, and when I went in, I shut the door and latched it, I am sure the latch was down; I then went and shut the parlour door.

Q. Did you see the man in the house? - I did, but not till my mother came and said she was sure somebody was up stairs, and when my mother opened the room door, I saw the man with a red waistcoat on, and he had a white bundle under his arm, he went out, and my sister ran after him, and he fell back against the coach house, at a farrier's shop; I did not see him fall but my sister did, and she catched him, I see my sister run after him.

Prisoner. I never saw the child at all.


I am a carpenter, on the 23d of November, Friday, about six in the evening, I was putting up my window shutters, I heard a cry of stop thief, I could discern a person very well, without the assistance of a candle, by his clothes, I saw the prisoner come out of Mr. Brown's house, and saw him drop the bundle about two yards from the door. I immediately went in pursuit of him, but in turning the corner, I lost sight of him, I went forwards about sixty yards, and returned back again, and saw Elizabeth Brown have hold of a man, I over-run the man in his turning the corner. I have no doubt but that is the man.

Prisoner. When I was in the watch-house, he said to me they cannot hurt you man? - I never said that at any time, I never spoke to him in my life.


I am beadle of St. George's the Martyrs, I was sent for, they said there was a thief in the yard, when I went out and looked at the man, and some woman was fastened on him, I went down to our night beadle and brought him, he came up and searched him, and found nothing on him.


I am the beadle of St. George's parish, I went up and found the prisoner in the girl's hand, and took him into custody, the prisoner told me when I was coming up with him, that he lodged in Red-lion-street. (The bundle produced, and the contents deposed to by having lost such things, a piece being put in the neck of the waistcoat, and the backs being one thing and the fronts another; the breeches were seated; the sheets, one patched, and one with a hole in it; and the silk hat by the ribbon and make.)

Prosecutor. The sheets were taken off the bed, the blanket and coverlid being turned down.

Prisoner. Please you my lord, I am a seafaring man , I had been down to Deptford, that day to get a birth to go to India, I could not, I came home to my brother's, and meeting a shipmate, and had a pint of beer, and came out, and was making water, and this woman came out and took hold of me, and said, I believe this man has been in my house, and presently, she says, and you was the man, directly she sent for a constable, and sent me to the watch-house; I know nothing of it, my lord.


I heard the alarm, and I went out and picked up the bundle; I did not see the prisoner taken, I picked it up immediately

as he was taken, it was about six o'clock, I gave it to Mrs. Brown.

Jury. Where was Mrs. Brown when you picked up the bundle? - They were with the prisoner.

GUILTY of stealing, but not of the burglary . (Aged 26.)

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

View as XML