25th May 1814
Reference Numbert18140525-5
VerdictNot Guilty

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464. THOMAS WELSH and JOHN GRIFFITHS were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Robert Swiney , no person being therein, between the hours of three and four in the afternoon on the 30th of April , and stealing therein, a gold toothpick, value 7 s. a gold cross, value 3 s. a cloak, value 10 s. a broach, value 21 s. five handkerchiefs, value 5 s. three petticoats, value 1 l. five handkerchiefs, value 1 s. 6 d. a cloak, value 10 s. five shillings and sixpence in monies numbered, and four 1 l. bank notes, his property .

EDWARD SWINEY . Q. Where did you live upon the 30th of April - A. I lived at 37, in Horn's-alley, Liquorpond-street , close to Meux's brewhouse, in the parish of St. Andrew's, Holborn. On the 30th of April, Thomas Welsh and John Griffiths , about one o'clock, they both came together to my door just as I was going out. I was eating my dinner in my own room; Welsh asked me if I could help him to a job of plaistering. Welch is a plaisterer , and an Irishman. He told me to go with him to the next public-house. I refused to go with him; they insisted I should go. I went into the public-house; he called for a pot of beer; he drank first, and handed the pot to me; he told me to sit down. I sat down. He then put down an hammer and an iron crow on the table. Welsh's wife came to the window, and called him out. He went out in about ten minutes, and took the hammer and crow. He came back afterwards; he did not bring back the hammer or the iron crow. I said I could not stop any longer; he said I was welcome to drink the share of two or three pots of beer if I would stop. I stopped with him about half an hour, and then I went away to my work. I told him when I saw him again I would reward him for it I told him that my wife was not at home; that she would not be at home before six o'clock. My wife happened to come home before I did.

Q. When you went out of your house did you fasten up your door - A. Yes; I locked my room door and the street door. The lodgers in my house were all out at work. I have two lodgers in the house. When I locked the house I did not leave any one in the house. My wife came home first, and when I came home I found three locks broken open; the lock of the street door, my room door, and the lock of my box was broken open, and my things gone.

Welsh. Where did I meet with you - A. At my own door; you followed me into my room.

COURT. I thought you said you were eating your dinner - A. Yes. They came plump into my room; then they went out to the door, and stopped while I was locking my door.

MARGARET SWINEY . On the 30th of April, I left my house at eight o'clock in the morning; when I returned, I found the street door and my own room door broken open. The box stood just behind the door. I locked the box at half past eight o'clock, when I went out; I opened the box just about five minutes before I went out. I lost four gowns. Every thing that I left in the box was gone. I saw every

thing in it before I went out; a gold tooth-pick was gone, a broach, four gowns, a cloak, five handkerchiefs, a shawl, and four pound eleven shillings; there were several notes of the Bank of England. I made an alarm, and then I went to my husband, where he was at work. I have found no part of my property.

HANNAH KEITH . I live at No. 1, Horn's-alley. On the 30th of April, between three and four in the afternoon, I saw Thomas Welsh and John Griffiths in Swiney's passage of his house; Griffiths came out, and stood against the house as if he was making water. Welsh staid in the house. John Griffiths was standing by the house pretending to make water. Griffiths had an hammer in his hand, and Welsh had an iron crow. That is all I know. It was on a Saturday when I saw them in the house, and between twelve and one o'clock. I saw Thomas Welsh with a pipe in his mouth, and Mr. Swiney going with him to a public-house. I did not see Griffiths then. Welsh went into the public-house with Swiney.

Q. Have you been examined before the magistrate - A. Yes, I have.

Q. You did not say a word about this before the magistrate - A. Yes, I told the same as I do now, I am sure of it.

Q. You are quite sure you did see them in Swiney's passage - A. I did; I told the magistrate so.

JAMES KEITH . The last witness is my sister. I live at No. 1, Horn's-alley. I saw Welsh go down the court with a bricklayer's hammer in his hand about half after eleven, when I was eating my dinner. He went into Mr. Swiney's yard; he stopped there about two minutes. His wife was with him. After that I did not see Welsh until between three and four o'clock; I then saw him go into Swiney's yard again. Griffiths was with him, but I never saw Griffiths go in. Griffiths stood at the bottom of the court, leaning over a post at that time; I never saw him go in. I did not see any body with him. A little while afterwards, I saw Welsh come out with a bundle under his arm. That might be in about twenty times. He came out with a sailor's sack, a little narrow bag. He had nothing when he went in; he had this bag coming out. The bag appeared to be full; I cannot say what was in it. Welsh came down the court; Griffiths took the hammer, and Welsh's wife came up the court.

Q. When you saw him between three and four o'clock did you see the hammer then - A. I did not. When he came down I saw the hammer in his hand. Welsh passed down the court with the bundle; his wife went up the court. That is all I have to say.


First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Baron Wood .

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