Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 10 December 2023), February 1733, trial of William West Andrew Curd (t17330221-30).

William West, Andrew Curd, Theft > burglary, Theft > grand larceny, 21st February 1733.

38, 39. William West and Andrew Curd , of St. Martin's in the Fields , were indicted for breaking and entring the House of Richard Greener , and stealing 2 Gowns, value 20 s. 2 Petticoats, value 2 s. 6 d. 2 Pair of Sheets, value 15 s. 2 Pieces of Silk, value 10 s. a Gold Ring, a Trunk, 3 Shirts, 2 Shifts, 2 Girdles, 3 Caps, a Silk Mantle, 24 Clouts, 2 Aprons, a Coat, and a pair of Leather Breeches, the Goods of William Walker , December 24 about 12 at Night .

Ann Walker . I had a Room in the House of Richard Greener , a Currier in Castle-street near Leicester-fields , and on the 23d of December last I moved from that Room to another in the same House, and got John Smithson to help me; his Mother lodg'd in the next Room to mine. My Goods were all safe at 6 o'Clock that Night, and next Morning I miss'd them.

Court. What Goods did you lose?

Walker. A Hair Portmanteau-Trunk, a Bundle of Child-bed Linnen, 2 Gowns, 2 Petticoats, 2 pair of Sheets, 2 Pieces of Silk, 3 Shirts, 2 Shifts, 2 Girdles, 2 Aprons, 3 Caps, a Mantle, a Gold Ring, and some other odd Things.

Court. Have you a Husband?

Walker. Yes.

Court. What is his Name?

Walker. William Walker . I suspected John Smithson , and upon Enquiry found him in Bridewell. He produced this Ring which I lost out of my Trunk, and was carried before a Justice to be made an Evidence.

John Smithson . Mrs. Walker gave me Six-pence to remove her Goods from one Apartment to another in the same House; when I had done, the Prisoner Curd came by and saw this Coat in the Window between 3 and 4 in the Afternoon. He would sain have taken it away then, but I would not agree to it. Who lies in this Room to Night? says he; No-body, says I; Why then, says he, 'twill be a very good Chance to come at Night and take all these Things away. (For any thing we can steal we call a Chance - ) No, says I, it's too near Home, and I shall be suspected, and so he went away; but after it was dark we met again at a Brandy-shop we use, and then he asked me again about this Chance. At last he persuaded me, and we went together between 9 and 10 to see if we could do it conveniently; but when we came there he said two Men were not enough to stand upon one another's Shoulders and get in at the Window, and so we agreed to take in a fresh Hand. We went towards Covent-Garden and met with the other Prisoner West, and brought him back with us from New-street to Cecil-Court and shew'd him the Place. We thought it was then too early to do Business, and so we went to Curd's Lodgings and lay down upon the Bed till 12, and then we got up and went to work. When we came under the Window they said, they believ'd that I only play'd the Fool with them, or had a Roguish Design to betray 'em, and therefore I should go in, or they would not be concern'd with me; so I consented. West pulled out the Pin of the lower Shutters as far as he could, I set one Foot upon that, and the other upon Curd's Shoulder, and taking hold by the Hook of the Window above with one Hand, I broke a Pane of Glass with the other, and so open'd the Casement and got in. I ty'd my Garter to the Handle of the Trunk and let it down to them; It was a round hairy Portmanteau-Trunk; they both took it and went away with it; while they were gone I got a Sheet and pack'd up in it what I could find. In less than an Hour they came again and whistled, I put the Bundle out of the Window for them, Curd was afraid to stand under it because his Head was broke, and West going to receive it, it knock'd him down, but he got up again, put it on his Head, and then went away with it. I ty'd a Curtain to the Back of a Walnut-tree Chair, and so let my self down, and left the Curtain flying, and follow'd them; but in a quarter of an Hour I bethought myself that I had left my Hat behind, and fearing that might make a Discovery, we planted the Goods and went back again; I got up by the Curtain, found my Hat, and came down the same Way. We preserv'd the Goods till Wednesday, and then being at a Gin-shop together, a Woman went by the Door crying, Old Cloaths to sell ; we call'd her in, and ask'd if she would buy a Sheet? she said Yes, or any thing else that we had, let it be what it would: Then we shew'd her the rest of the Goods, and she bought 'em all of us for 50 s. We divided 15 s. a-piece, and paid a Crown that we had run up at a Gift-shop.

Prisoner. West, can you tell the same Story over-again?

Smithson. Yes, I can.

Court. If you would be understood that the Account he has given is nothing but his own Invention, and in order to detect him, desire he may be put to repeat it, the Court will not deny you; but consider the Nature of such a Request; if he gives a different Account it may do you Service, but if he repeats all the Circumstances without Variation, it will strengthen his Evidence.

Prisoners. My Lord, we desire he may repeat it.

Then Smithson gave the same Account as he had done before.

Richard Moore . I never knew that Curd wrong'd any Body; his Mother was a Butcher in the Market, and he was 'Prentice to his Brother.

Thomas Allen . Curd is my Brother-in-law; I am a Butcher and took him to be with me, but he has been at Sea since, and in October last he came to me again; he work'd for me, and did Jobbs, and went on Errands for some time; but since that he has been some Way astray, tho' how he spent his Time I cannot tell; but I believe he has been innocently drawn in. The Jury found them both guilty of the Indictment. Death .

They were a second time indicted for stealing 6 Cheeses, value 12 s. and 9 lb. of Lead, value 3 s. the Goods of John Nind , Jan. 26 .

John Nind . I went out at 4 in the Afternoon, and returning between 9 and 10, I heard that 6 Cheeses and a Bladder had been stolen from my Shop Window.

George Rathbourn . As I was going to Newport-Market, between 5 and 6 at Night, I saw two Boys at Nind's Door, I past them, and presently they came along, each with 2 Cheeses on his Head, and went to Curd, who stood at the Corner of the Street; they put the Cheeses on his Head, and something in his Lap, and went away together. I did not then think they were stolen; but as I came back, I heard a Disturbance in Mr. Nind's Shop, and asking what was the Matter; a Woman, said, they had lost 2 Cheeses; I told them which way the Boys went ; we follow'd 'em, and saw Curd and three more, at the Corner of Hays's-Court. Curd went up the Court, and the others went another way, I follow'd Curd and took him.

Edward Taylor . I and the Prisoners took these Cheeses off the Shop-Board in the Dusk of the Evening; we sold them to William Howard , but he did not know we stole them. The Jury found them Guilty .