Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 29 May 2022), June 1679 (16790605).

Old Bailey Proceedings, 5th June 1679.

The true NARRATIVE Of the Proceedings at the SESSIONS For London and Middlesex, Begun on Thursday the 5th of June 1679.

GIVING A full Account of the several Tryals there, for Robberies, Burghlaries, Felonies, and other Misdemeanors.

And particularly The Arraignment and Examination OF Daniel Clark , For FIRING his Mistrisses House in the Minories; who Confessed the same, and pleaded Guilty to the Indictment.

WITH The Number of the Persons that received Sentence of Death, were burnt in the Hand, are to be Transported or Whipt, and each of their respective Offences.

More exactly taken than ever heretofore.

LONDON: Printed for L. C. 1679.

The true Narrative of all Proceedings at the Sessions for London and Middlesex, began on Thursday the fifth of, June, 1679.

ON Thursday morning first came on the Middlesex Jury, and began with Trying a man for a Burghlary and Robbery, committed on the House of a person of Honour at Chiswick , stealing two brass Kettles, and a hitch of Bacon out of an out-room, but part of the Mansion House, on the 24th of March last past, between one and two of the clock in the night . The door was lockt, but the Key hastily laid down and left on a Bench hard by; which 'tis to be presumed the Thieves observed, and therewith opened the door; for in the morning the said Key was found orderly placed on the inside, but the door unlockt; which unlawful taking the Key, and opening the door, though there was no violent breaking in, they declared to be a Burglary in Law: As for the Bacon, it was found upon search in the Prisoners house, and the Kettles appeared to be pawned by his Wife in London. He endeavoured to cast the Crime on a Souldier that is not to be found, and said that he brought the things to his House; but not being able to prove any such thing, and endeavouring several times to run away and hide himself, when his house was search, &c. he was found guilty and received Sentence.

A young fellow was next found guilty for picking a purse, and 4 l. 15 s. 6 d. out of an honest man s pocket , in the Exchequer Chamber in Westminster-hall , on the 18th of May . The Prosecutor having business in the Court, as he was coming out, the Prisoner, and two or three more, justled and crowded him very much, and as soon as rid of them missed his Money; and seeing this fellow going to the stairs towards Hell,desired a friend (being lame himself) to follow him, who perceiving himself pursued, shly laid the Purse in a corner of a window; the other seeing him take his hand thence, lookt and found it, turning back with joy to tell the party: but presently the Prisoner not having gone down above five steps, did likewise turn back, and then the now Prosecutor meeting him, cryed out, That was one that Robbed him; so he was apprehended, and now found guilty , and sentenced.

A bold Woman , and old offender, having lately received mercy, being in the very last general pardon, and since the last Sessions, Bayled out of Newgate, had presently fallen to her old ill courses, and stoln a parcel of Cloaths out of an House in Stepney Parish ; being descryed and pursued by the servants of the House, dropt the things, and two of her Companions got away; but she was taken, found guilty , and being so irreclaimable as aforesaid, was Condemned to dye .

A fellow for a very great quantity of Plate , pleaded guilty to that and all others within the benefit of Clergy, and so was content to take a mark in the Hand .

A person at Westminster, on the 22 of May , had the ill-luck by flinging a small piece of a brick-bat at an old man , to kill him; for which he was Arraigned for Murther : the case was thus: the Prisoner and two others came to drink at the deceased's House, about Tuttle-fields ; as they were going away, a quarrel arose between them, and to fighting they went; at which time the person killed coming home from work, and vext, as is supposed, that they should make a disturbance about his door, ran in and got a fork, with which he made at the Prisoner, and wounded him near the eye, who thereupon, having nothing in his hands, caught up a piece of brick-bat, and threw it at him, and there with knockt him down, and wounded him so, that he dyed the third day after of the same. They had never seen one another before, so that there could be no malice; therefore he was only found guilty of Manslaughter , and received the penalty in that case usual .

A mischievous Youth , watching his opportunity about ten of the Clock, one Saturday night, in March last, slipt into a Barber s shop, whilst the Master thereof was gone into another room backward, and stole thence a Cloak, and Case of Instruments, most of them tipt with silver ; but being seen go in by a Girl, that took special notice of him, having observed him lurking thereabouts for two or three hours, she gave such a description, that by the directions of a Thief-taker they found him out; and being discoursed with concerning the Robbery, he at first declared he knew who had the goods, but on further consideration, thinking he had therein gone too far, would have recalled that acknowledgment; alleadging, he knew the man only by sight, and not his name, or dwelling, or where to be found. However, the Girl being sent for, presently singled him out amongst half a score people, and now swore, how she saw him go into the shop, &c. whereupon he was Convicted and burnt in the Hand .

Then the London Jury was called and sworn, and a Lad , late Apprentice to a Widdow in the Minories , keeping a Flax-shop , was Arraigned, for that he not having the fear of God before his eyes, but moved by the instigation of the Devil, did on the 15 of May last, about ten of the clock in the evening, set his said Mistress es House on fire . To the Indictment he ingenuously pleaded guilty; and indeed, had he denyed it, there was sufficient evidence to have proved the Fact upon him. Then the Court took abundance of pains to perswade him to a true and candid Confession, by whose instigations and incitements he attempted so mischievous a Crime: which he pretended to do, and told a long story, how a Countryman of his met him, and carryed him to drink, and afterwards appointed to meet him at a Tavern in Holborne, where he gave him four shillings, and promised him Threescore pounds (when the business was done) to Fire his Mistresses House, and also a Box-makers over against it; he likewise named a person of note, that had formerly dealt with his Mistress for Flax, and sometimes seemed to charge him as theparty that set him on, &c. But his present Account being neither very consistent with it self, nor agreeable to his former examinations, gave reason to suspect he had been tampered with, and did not fully discover the real truths; so that after much patience and pains, the Court ordered him for the then present, to a farther Examination more private, thereby if possible to fist out the bottom of the business.

Two notable Villains were then tryed for breaking a Gentleman s House near Fleet-bridge , on the third of June : about seven of the clock in the Evening they came in there to drink, would needs go up one pair of stairs, and after a little time, one of them got up two pair of stairs higher, and opening the door, and breaking open a box, got several Cloaths belonging to the servant Maid, who luckily going up in the nick of time, for a Blunder-buss, (her Master being a Lieutenant in the Train-bands ) found him in the room, shutting the door against her; whereupon, she running down, got help to secure them, and a bundle of Goods were found under the Table, where the other staid drinking, and the rest in the breeches of him that had been above, who refused to be searcht, till he came before a Justice: However, it not sufficiently appearing that the other was actually concerned, he was acquitted , and onely he that went up three pair of stairs, was Condemned .

After dinner they proceeded with the Malefactors in Middlesex, and a young fellow was Convicted of Burglary and Felony, stealing away a parcel of Pewter and other things, on the 12th of May in the night ; for being immediately after the fact taken upon suspition by the Watch, with the things about him, he carryed them back to the place, and knockt up a woman at next door, and would have had her own them; but she honestly dis-owning both him and them, the people robbed hearing the noise, inquired the matter, knew their goods, and so he was Committed, having been burnt in the hand before in Surrey, and but the very night before, escaped by reason of the late Fire, out of New-prison. And therefore since he would take no warning, justly had Sentence of death passed upon him.

A Maid lately servant to a Midwife , was accused for stealing a pair of sheets, and a Silver Cup from her Misterss ; but it appearing that others had formerly been wrongfully accused for stealing the said Cup, and no direct proof against her, but several she had formerly dwelt with, justifying her: Truth and Reputation, she was acquitted . As likewise was a good woman about a Gown and Petticoat ; she proving, that as it was her profession to buy old Cloaths, so she honestly purchased these in Holborn, in presence of two witnesses.

By the London Jury, two shop-lifts were that afternoon Convicted for stealing 20 yards of Persian Taffata, value 4 l. on the fifth of May , out of a Gentleman s shop on Snow-hill , being seen (when they found themselves suspected and pursued) to drop it in an Alley, near Holborn-bridge; for which, being old Offenders, they were both Condemned .

On Friday-morning two men were Arraigned on two several Indictments for stealing two Horses, one from Clapham , the other from Battersea ; the first of Nine, the last of Four pounds price . On the 26th of May last, in the night, these Horses were lost out of the Grounds where they were at Grass, and one of the Owner s missing his, spoke to an Acquaintance that was to go down to Banbury-Fair (an eminent place for putting off Horses) to take particular notice if he could see his Guelding, he knowing the same very well. Accordingly he going out of Town, before he to Acton overtook one of the Prisoner s on the said horse, in company with three others likewise mounted; and observing horse, rode before to Acton, and there seized him and his, and the other Prisoner , one of the said Company, with whom was found the other man s horse that had been stoln the night before from Battersea, as afterwards appeared; the two hindmost presently turn'd off, and riding extream hard, got clear away; on whom the now Prisoners would gladly have laid the whole Guilt: one alleadging, that he was only hired to ride a spare horse; and the other, that he was going down to Alesbury, concerning which he told a long story of a pair of Boots, but bootless to him in this Case: For not being able to make any thing of that kind appear, they were both found guilty and Condemned .

A kind of outlandish Fellow being in charity taken in at Linn by a Scotch Master of a Vessel , and his Passage given him to London, was so ill-natur'd as to requite that kindness by stealing out of the Ship, as she lay at the Armitage-stairs , a considerable parcel of Worsted-stockings , which he was seen to carry off; and being thereof convicted , prayed heartily for Transportation ; which, he being a Forreiner, was granted.

A pretended Purser was tryed for stealing a silver Watch, a silk Petticoat, and other womens Cloaths, out of an Ale-house, where he and several of his Associates came to drink at St. Katherines , on the 27th of May ; but there being several others in company, and no direct proof, he was acquitted : As likewise were two men Indicted for stealing a considerable quantity of Copper and Brass ; but on opening the matter, it appeared, that the same was delivered into their custody by the prosecutor about Black wall , to carry to his House at Wapping; and although instead thereof, they carry'd it far beyond, and went to make Money of it, yet being so delivered them, it could be no Felony, but the party left onely to his Action for remedy. Much such a Case there was before this sessions, concerning Brass and Iron work, to a great value, intended for a Water-Engine, but by the Gentleman that own'd it, put out to a workman to amend or correct it, yet still standing on ground that the Prosecutor paid rent for, from whence the said Workman and a Kinsman of his fraudulently removed it, and sold it in parcels to several people, and the said workman since absconds himself, but his Kinsman was now Indicted for the same; however, it being left as in their possession, and publickly removed, as they alleadged, he got off.

There were two Women Indicted for Robbing a Child of about nine years of age, of about nine pounds worth of unwrought Silk, which she was carrying home , and in More-fields a certain woman came up to her, and pretended to come from her Mother, to help her to carry it; but the Child refusing to let her touch it, she went along with her into Petty-France , and there wheadled her to go of a feigned Errand for her into an Alley, where two other women seized her, and one held her by the middle, and the other stopt her mouth, whilst the first violently snatcht and ran away with her Silk and then they let her go; who being frighted, did not observe which way they got away, but some days after, seeing the two women that to held her in the street, knew them again, and caused them to be apprehended, and now they were Indicted as aforesaid: but the Child being so young, the Court (though she told her tale very notably) did not think fit to administer an Oath to her; and there being no other evidence, they were discharged . But this may warn all parents, not to send goods of value by Children so young, when there are so many mischievous people abroad, that lye in wait to rob and abuse them.

A Gentleman having (but ungenteely at the Devil-Tavern ) ran another into the belly, and quite through the body; a very dangerous wound, upon scarce any provocation, and before the other so much as saw his sword, the same being drawn under the Table, he was now indicted for the Assault , and though he endeavour'd in vain to have ballanc'd it with bringing a Cross-Indictment; yet being found guilty , he was fined 100 l. committed in Execution till the same paid, and to find Sureties for the good Behaviour for a Twelvemonth .

There were in all Eleven Persons, Seven men and Four women, received Sentence of Death, viz. Two for Horse-stealing, in which they rid double, each being guilty of two Indictments; One for Pocket-picking; Three for Burglary and House-breaking; Two women, notorious Shop-lifters; and Two other women and a man (having all formerly received Mercy) for several Felonies.

There were likewise Six Persons burnt in the hand, Two allowed to be Transported, and One ordered to be Whipt: And so the Sessions concluded.