Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 19 August 2022), October 1676, trial of old Offenders (t16761011-3).

Theft > grand larceny, 11th October 1676.

Two old Offenders having two Indictments against them both for felonious taking the Goods of two Gentlemen , pleaded guilty to those and all others within the benefit of Clergy, a knack of Law which the Newgate-students are generally well vers'd in, though here 'tis like to do them but small kindness; for though the respective Indictments to which they pleaded guilty, were but for Felony, as being laid in London, where the Goods (being Plate and Linnen, to a very great value) were taken with them, yet upon Examination of Evidence both Facts appeared to be Burglaries in other Counties, viz. one in Wiltshire, and the other in Bark-shire; and in such a Case the advantage of Clergy is expressly excluded by the Statute: So that they are both like to suffer deservedly for their wicked practices, which was to take their progress to remote parts in the Country, and take the advantage of breaking open the houses of persons of Quality, where they might have the most considerable Booty, being well provided with all sorts of Betties, Mills, and other Hellish Engines for effecting the same.