22nd June 1796
Reference Numbert17960622-68
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty

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453. WILLIAM HUTCHINSON and JOHN BROWN were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of William Lovell , about the hour of two in the night of the 4th of April , and burglariously stealing 414 snorocco leather skins, value 140l. 36 rohan leather skins, value 9l. five silver tea spoons, value 5s. a silver table spoon, value 10s. two silk cloaks, value 20s. seven silk handkerchiefs, value 40s. two pair of sheets, value 10s. two table cloths, value 5s. a wooden till, value 6d. 5l. in monies numbered; and a Bank note, value 10l. the property of the said William Lovell , in his dwelling-house .(The case was opened by Mr. Raine.)


Examined by Mr. Raine. I live at No. 68, Fetter-lane, Holborn; at the time of the robbery I lived at No. 35, Butcher-row, Temple-bar : On the 4th of April I secured the house myself in the evening at dusk; as soon as candles were lit I locked the cellar-window out of Butcher-row, and returned the key into the shop as usual; I went out about ten or rather later to spend the evening with some friends, and staid till half past twelve, when I returned home my house was perfectly secure then; I in a very little time after that went up to bed; I secured the door particularly, the side-door, and the yard-door, which was particularly my charge before I went to bed; I bolted them, the lock is only a slip lock, I never had the key; I bolted them, and put up the chain across the door, and the outside yard-door; we had two yard-doors, one goes into the passage, and the other into Star-court; that in Star-court was secured by bolts, and I had driven nails above the bolt to prevent it being turned, and also the latch to prevent it being turned up, because there had been an attempt once before; that door was then fast, and had been fast a long time; there was also a door opened from the street into the shop, which was secured by bolts and locks, and the cellar-window was secure, and I found it in the same state in the morning, but traced dirty, muddy feet, from the cellar upon some pieces of leather, into the parlour; I went to-bed between twelve and one; in the course of the night, I judge it to be about two o'clock, or thereabouts, I heard a light noise, not supposing it any thing like that of breaking into a house, or breaking a lock off, but something like the noise of a cat jumping up and knocking something lightly down; about six in the morning, rather after than before, I heard from my servant that the house was broke open; in consequence of that I immediately got out of bed, went down, and to my great astonishment and surprize, I saw the side door open going into Star-court; the one that I described bolted, and with a slip to it, and a chain to it, that was opened, not broke, but opened by a person on the inside, and that was the way the escape was made, but the parlour door was broke open, and a great part of the wood which the screws of the box went into, for I had had extra screws, and an extra box put upon it, an inch; I suppose, was broke away, by violence, with the screws; that was the parlour door, coming out of the passage into the parlour; when I went into the parlour, to my great astonishment, I found the goods which were in a press, which had been a press bedstead; as near as I can judge, there was about 450 skins gone, or thereabouts, black, Spanish, red, blue, and green moroccos; blue morocco seals, and some calf skin legs waxed, and red morocco rohan skins, the press was so full, that I was obliged to put skins into other places; the drawers were all of them broke open, where was every thing of material value; two silk cloaks, and table linen, and other things spread about; and I lost a Bank note out of this pocket book (producing it), of 10l. I left it with my wife when I went out the night before.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. How many doors are there to your house? - A. Three doors.

Q. Were you the last person up in the house? - A. No, my wife came to bed after me; very soon after.

Q. You were not alarmed till six o'clock in the morning, except by this cat's story? - A. No.

Q. This was the 4th of April, was not it? - A. When I went to bed, it was the 4th of April.

Q. What time was it light? - A. I suppose, about four o'clock.

Q. It is impossible to say then, whether it was broke open in the night, or after day-light? - A. I cannot say, upon my oath.

Q. The Bank note you trusted with your wife after ten o'clock at night? - A. Yes.

Q. What she did with it, you know nothing, but from herself? - A. No.

Q. She is not here? - A. No.

Court. Q. Did there appear to be the marks of the feet of more than one person? - A. Yes, two or three; it appeared to me, that in coming down the cellar they had slipped some little way.(Mr. Raine desired the prosecutor to send for his wife).


Examined by Mr. Raine. I am servant to the last witness.

Q. What time did you get up on the morning of the 5th of April? - A. About six o'clock; when I came down stairs, I found the doors open, and I called my master.

Cross-examined by Mr. Jackson. Q. You came down about six o'clock? - A. Yes.

Q. It was broad day-light? - A. Yes.


Witness. My name is Gabby Levi, I never went by the name of Hutchinson in my life.

Mr. Raine. Q. Who do you live with? - A. Nobody.

Q. Who did you live with a month ago? - A. Nobody.

Q. Did you ever live with Hutchinson? - A. Yes.

Court. Q. How long ago? - A. I have not lived with him since he has been in custody; I lived with him two years.

Q. Griffiths, the constable, had a Bank note of you, I believe? - A. Yes, and twenty-six guineas.

Q. That 10l. note that Griffiths had from you, where did you get it? - A. I had it from Mr. Hutchinson, two months before he was taken into custody.

Q. Do you happen to know when he was taken into custody? - A. Yes, but I cannot tell the day of the month; I am sure it is now about three months since he gave it me.

Q. Do you remember the day when he gave it you? - A. Yes; on a Thursday.

Q. What day of the month? - A. I cannot say.

Q. What month? - A. I cannot say, it is above three months ago.

Q. Was it in the month of April? - A. I cannot say.

Court. Q. Upon your memory can you say it was in the month of April? - A. I should be very happy to inform you, but I cannot.


Examined by Mr. Raine. Q. Shew the girl that note you have in your possession? - A. I will (shews it be).

Court. (To Levi). Should you know it if you saw it? - A. Yes; I had it two months in my possession, and was going to change it several times for necessaries, it has got a great deal of writing at the back of it, but I can neither read nor write.

Mr. Raine. Q. Is that it? - A. I believe that is it, without Mr. Griffiths has changed it.

Court. Q. Looking at that note, you can take upon yourself to say that is the note he had from you? - A. Yes; he took it out of my drawer, with twenty-six guineas, I gave him the key.

Mr. Raine. Q. And that note you had from Hutchinson? - A. Yes; two months before he was in custody, we were going to set up a shop.

Mr. Raine. (To Griffiths). I believe you apprehended the prisoner at the bar? - A. Yes; on Saturday, May the 7th, in company with some more of the officers, Smith, Nowlan, and some others; I went to Hutchinson's house, No. 2, Hollis-street, Clare-market; when I came there, the house was shut up about seven o'clock in the morning; I saw a string in the middle of the door, I pulled it, and the door opened; I went up stairs, and up one pair of stairs, in the back room, Hutchinson and his wife, or his girl, were a-bed; I went into the back room, and desired him to get up, he got up, and in searching the place, I found between the bed cloath, this horse-pistol, and in a little trunk, close by the side of the window, this pocket pistol; two iron crows in the front room up one pair of stairs, rolled up in a woman's gown upon a chair; and in a table drawer in Hutchinson's front room, I found all these picklock keys, and at the same time, a box of phosphorus matches, and a box of gunpowder.

Q. With respect to those keys, did you try any of those keys with Mr. Lovell's locks? - A. Yes; that key with the string to it unlocks Mr. Lovell's cellar door, a slap that opens into Butcher-row; Brown was taken by my fellow officers, in the same house, up two pair of stairs, Smith and Nowlan; and when we took them away. I took the young woman's word for appearing before the magistrate at twelve o'clock, but she did not come; about a week or nine days after that, I had a search warrant against the house for this Bank note, and I understood she had moved from there, the house was shut up through some further information; I found she lived in Shoe-lane; I went there and searched her place, and in the drawer of a looking glass was this 10l. Bank note, and twenty-six guineas in gold.

Q. After you had got the 10l. note, did you at any time show it to Hutchinson? - A. Hutchinson at the office declared it to be his.

Mr. Knapp. Q. Was not that taken down in writing? - A. I cannot say whether it was or not.

Q. Do you mean to state, that no examinations were taken down of the prisoner at all before the Magistrates? - A. I cannot say whether it was or not, I was in and out.

Q. But will you swear no examination was taken down in writing by the Magistrates at all? - A. I believe there was some, I cannot be positive, but I think there was.

Mr. Raine. Q. What day was this? - A. I cannot say, he said it was his note.

Court. (To Levi). Q. Who lived in this house besides you and the prisoner Hutchinson? - A. A lodger.

Q. Who was that lodger? - A. Brown and another man lived in the garret.

Q. Who let those lodgings? - A. I did.

Q. Was it your house, or Hutchinson's? - A. My house.

Q. What part of the house did Hutchinson inhabit? - A. The first floor.

Court. Q. The back room and the front room? - A. He slept in the back room.

Q. And did he live in the front room? - A. He used it now and then.

Q. Who lived in the second floor? - A. Brown had been in it about six days.

Griffiths. Cross-examined by Mr. Jackson. Q. There are several lodgers in the house? - A. Yes.

Q. I perceive that is a common kind of key? - A. There are three among them that would open Lovell's cellar.

Q. And this Bank note you did not take at Hutchinson's house, but in Shoe-lane? - A. Yes.


I am the wife of the prosecutor: on the 4th of April, my husband went out, between nine and ten o'clock, and gave me his pocket-book.

Q. Do you know what it contained? - A. I don't know.

Q. Where did you put that pocket-book? - A. Into a drawer which I had in the parlour.

Q. Did you lock the drawer? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you leave it there when you went to bed? - A. Yes.

Q. Your husband has told us, you were the last that went to bed? - A. Yes.

Q. Were all the doors secure when you went to bed? - A. Yes; he fastened the side doors himself.


I am a Police Officer; I went with Griffiths to apprehend the prisoners; I apprehended Brown up two pair of stairs, in the same house, with Hutchinson; he was lying in bed with another young man, that the Magistrates thought proper to let go, there being nothing against him, (produces a large quantity of picklock keys); I found these keys in Brown's room, concealed in a drawer in the table.

Q. Did you try any of those keys with Lovell's locks? - A. No, I did not; I found nothing else upon Brown.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. The drawer was not locked? - A. No.

Q. And whether they belonged to this man, or the other young man, you will not swear? - A. No.


Examined by Mr. Raine. Q. Do you know the prisoners at the bar? - Yes; I have seen them.

Q. When did you last see them? - A. Three weeks before I delivered the skins up to Mr. Thompson, and those other officers, which was on the 12th of May, I had them in my possession; Hutchinson, and one John Estwick , came to me of a Saturday; Estwick took out a sample of skins, to know if I would purchase those skins; they said, they had a thousand pounds worth of other property; I told them I did not deal on a Saturday, if they would call again in the evening, I would deal with them; I went to Hutchinson's lodgings, No. 2, Hollis-street Clare-market, and there I saw Hutchinson and Estwick; Estwick brought me in the skins out of the bed room, and Hutchinson sat upon the chair at the fire-side; I asked them the price, and they asked me 40l. and I shortly agreed for them for thirty-six guineas, 360 odd I counted then, but I found afterwards 370 odd skins; after I had agreed with Estwick, Brown came into the room, when I took the skins away in the coach.

Q. Did Brown say, or do any thing? - A. Not to my knowledge; he sat on the chair, and saw me carry the skins in the street to the coach.

Q. Did he say any thing? - A. Not the least that I can remember; then Estwick came home with me, I told them I had but ten guineas, if they would call to-morrow, I would give them the rest; the next day, Estwick called in again, and I gave him ten guineas more, that was on Sunday; the next day, Hutchinson and Brown came, and Estwick and I gave them sixteen guineas.

Q. When was it you delivered those skins into the possession of the officers; to whom did you give them? - A. I spoke to Mr. Thompson at Whitechapel Office, and told him I had got the skins, and then I took Thompson and Smith, the Officers, with me, and put the skins into a coach.

Q. (To Smith). Had you those skins from Nathan the witness? - A. Yes, on the 12th of May; I have had them in my possession ever since.

Nathan. Cross -examined Mr. Knapp. Q. Pray let us know a little how you get your livelihood? - A. I keep a sale shop.

Q. How many times have you been in this Court? - A. Always upon honourable term, I can prove it.

Q. Always as an evidence for the Crown perhaps? - A. I get very little for my evidence, I never require any thing, I do it for the public good, because I might have brought half a dozen skins, instead of the whole.

Q. How many times have you been in this Court? - A. Twice before, and that was to deliver up 1000l. worth of property.

Q. This thirty-six guineas was a fair price, was it not, for that quantity of skins, Mr. Honesty? - A. No, it is not.

Q. How came you to buy them for thirty-six guineas, you who stand forward for the public good, when you know it is not a fair price? - A. I did it in hopes to bring forward 1000l. worth of property that Estwick was concerned in, to discover them for the good of the public, without see or reward.

Q. How long was it before, for the good of the public, you informed Mr. Thompson of it? - A.

I had not seen the prisoner, during that time, that was three weeks, within a day or two.

Q. So then the public good had the go-by for three weeks; you did not inform of it during that time? - A. No.

Q. Upon your oath did you give any information at all, till you were charged with stealing some boots belonging to a gentleman at the other end of the town? - A. I did not know where they were.

Court. Q. Answer the question, it is a plain one, did you give any information of those skins, till yourself was taken up for stealing some boots? - A. I was taken up about those boots, and I proved them to be honest boots, I have got them at home.

Court. Q. Did you give any information of those skins till yourself was taken up for stealing some boots? - A. I did not.

Mr. Knapp. Q. Then you did not give information for the public good, till three weeks afterwards? - A. No, not for stealing a pair of boots; I had them hanging at my window, so that they could not have been stole, I may have had others, not knowing them to be stole.

Q. Yes, you may have others in your honourable shop; do you know any thing about any waistcoats? - A. No.

Q. Do you know any thing of any charge against you of having stole some waistcoats? - A. No; I denied that, there were no waitscoats.

Q. Upon your oath, was not that charge made upon you, that you had some waistcoats in your shop? - A. No; I had not

Q. No certainly not, and with all this public good but was not somebody weeked enough to charge you with having some stolen waistcoats? - A. No; no such charge that I know of.

Q. Was not there a charge made against you, respecting your having some waistcoats, the property on a Poland Jew? - A. I denied that.

Q. But did not they make the charge against you? - A. Any body may choose to say that.

Court. Q. Was not there a charge of that sort against you? - A. No; there was no Polish Jew charged me with taking waistcoats.

Mr. Knapp. Q. Nor a laced coat? - A. No; not that I had taken.

Q. But found in your possession? - A. No; a Polander had a coat, but he had not it of me.

Q. Had you ever that coat in your possession? - A. No.

Q. Never in your life? - A. No.

Court. Q. What was this charge against the Polander; was he charged with having stolen a coat? - A. I don't know; there might have been such a thing, but I know of no coat.

Court. Q. What Polander are you talking of that might have a coat? - A. No one man in particular.

Q. You did not give any information of this till you were in custody yourself? - A. No.

Q. Do you know a person of the name of Durham? - A. Yes.

Q. A watchman you know? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember his being tried at Clerkenwall? - A. Yes.

Q. You were a witness against him, were not you? - A. No, to be sure I was not; that watchman was taken up concerning the silk.

Q. You gave evidence upon that occasion? - A. Not against the watchman; my heart alive, that man was taken up because he did not do his duty; what do you mean by abusing me, I did it for the good of the public.

Q. Did not you tell that watchman to keep out of the way? - A. It was my honesty to take every thief.

Q. Was not Brown asleep, drunk? - A. He was rather intoxicated, and laid upon the chair, when I paid the money to Estwick.

Q. The two other times you had been at Hutchinson's lodgings Brown was not there? - A. When I went Brown was not there; and when they came the next day for ten guineas, he was not with them.

Mr. Raine. (To Lovell.) Q. Look at those skins? - A. These are black Spanish, made from goat's skins, they have my mark upon them, some of them by this lad, and some of them by myself; these are all of them mine, though they are not all marked; it is the custom of our business not to mark every skin, but one in a dozen, the outside one; I know them from their being of the same manufactory.

Q. What is the value of those that have your mark? - A. I suppose it to be about fifteen or sixteen pounds.

Mr. Raine. (To Griffths.) Shew Lovell the note.

Prosecutor. (Looks at it.) I verily believe it to be the same that I left in the pocket-book that I gave my wife.

Q. What enables you to speak to it? - A. From some scribling on the back; I did not take an account of the number.

Q. Is that foribbling the same as was contained upon the note in your pocket-book? - A. I verily believe it to be the same.

Mr. Knapp. Q. I believe, before the Magistrate, you were not certain of the note? - A. I believe it to be the note.

Q. Were you certain of it before the Magistrate? - A. I did not swear to it, nor will I now, if it was an hundred pounds.

Q. As to these skins. I need not ask you if thirty-six guineas as a fair price? - A. If I had bought them, I should not have thought so.

Mr. Knapp. It is only such honest men as Mr Nathan that would think so.

Court. Q. Who had you received the note from? - A. From a man coming into the shop; I don't know who he was.

Court. Q. Did you make that scribbling upon the note yourself? - A. It was so when I received it.

Mr. Raine. Q. Did you lose any money? - A. I lost the till out of the shop with, as near as I can guess, about five pounds.

Hutchinson's defence. I know nothing at all of this; any other person in custody Mr. Nathan might have said the same of; that note I had two months before I was taken into custody, I had it from Bristol; and have had witnesses all last week to prove it, but they are now gone.

Brown's defence. I was a lodger in Hutchinson's house, I never saw any of the property there; I know nothing about it.

For Hutchinson.


I have known Hutchinson a great while, he lodged in my house a twelvemonth; I trusted him with large sums of money, and I would trust him again to-morrow.

Mr. Raine. Q. How long ago? - A. It is a year and a half since he lodged with me.

Court. Q. What is he? - A. When he was at my house, he worked at a butcher's, I never saw any harm of him; my husband kept an apothecary's shop the corner of Craven-buildings.


I am warehouseman to Mr. Charles Rice , upon Snow-hill; I am a house-keeper myself; I have known Hutchinson two years, he lodged with me about five months; he was very honest then for any thing that I knew.

Mr. Raine. Q. How long ago is it since he lodged with you? - A. It might be nine or ten months; he is a butcher.


I have known Hutchinson sixteen years; I never heard any thing against his honesty in my life.

Mr. Raine. Q. Have you known him lately? - A. Yes; I live at No. 9, King's-Bench-Walks, Surrey, I am a hatter.


I have known Hutchinson near upon two years he is a very honest man for any thing I know; I never knew any thing to the contrary.

Mr. Raine. Q. Where do you live? - A. As No. 24, Vere-street, Clare-market.


I have known Hutchinson between three and four years; he sat up with my sister's husband who was out of his mind; he was trusted with a great deal of plate, and other property, and conducted himself very honestly.


I am a waterman in Thames-street, Bank-side; I have known Hutchinson about five or six years, he bought a watch of me; his general character is that of an honest young fellow.

Mr. Raine. Q. You have not seen much of him lately? - A. No.

For Brown.


I live in Robinhood-yard, Leather-lane, I keep the Robinhood; I have known Brown all his life-time, he is a very honest sober youth, as far as I know; he served his time to a printer .


I live at No. 17, King's-street, Seven-dials; I keep a cook's-shop; I have known Brown between eight and nine years, I never heard any thing of him but what was very honest; I know all the family.


I live in Redcross-street, in the Borough: I have known Brown from six years old; I never heard any thing laid to his charge before this in my life.


I live in King's-bench walks, St. George's-fields; I have known Brown between four and five years; I never heard any thing amiss of his character; I always looked upon him as a sober, industrious young man

Hutchinson, GUILTY , Death . (Aged 20.)

Of stealing the goods above the value of 40s. but not of the burglary.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr.Justice LAWRENCE.

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