Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 22 February 2019), April 1740, trial of John Sharpless, other wise Sweep William Disney (t17400416-25).

John Sharpless, William Disney, Theft > shoplifting, Theft > theft from a specified place, 16th April 1740.

216, 217. + John Sharpless, other wise Sweep , and William Disney *, of St Mary Whitechaple , were indicted for stealing 18 Yards of checqu'd Linnen, val. 13 s. and 6 d. and 5 linnen Handkerchiefs, value 3 s. the Goods of Sarah Skinner , Spinster , in her Shop , Dec.17 . But now Sarah the Wife of Samuel Sumpner .

* He was try'd last May, with Daniel Neeves , who was found guilty. See Sessions-Book, No. 4, page 80.

Sarah Stumper . I live in Lemon-street, Goodman's-fields . A little before last Christmas , I lost some Linnen Checque, and some linnen Handkerchiefs out of my Shop: but I neither know what

Quantity, nor who took them, nor the exact Time when I lost them. I miss'd them from the Shop, and remember they lay at the End of the Counter.

Richard Hooper . The two Prisoners and I went out one Night between 6 and 7 o'Clock to see what we could get; and going up Red-lion-street, we saw this Woman's Shop. Disney and I went in, and asked for a Halfpenny-worth of Sugar-Candy, - 'tis a linnen Draper's Shop on one Side, and a Sort of an Oil-Shop on the other, in Red-lion-street, they call it Goodman's-fields. While an old Woman (who was in the Shop) was serving us the Sugar-Candy, Disney took 5 linnen Handkerchiefs, and I took two Rolls of checqu'd Linnen, and I gave them to Sharpless, who stood to watch on the other side of the Way. Disney carried the 5 Handkerchiefs to one Jane Johnson , and sold them for Half-a-Crown. The Checque we sold for 7 d. a Yard. There were 15 Yards in one Piece, and about 22 in the other.

Prisoners. From what part of the Shop were they taken?

Hooper. They were taken off the Counter, - from one end of the Counter; Disney and I were in the Shop, and there was none but an elderly Gentle woman in the Shop, when we took the Goods.

Sumpner . I had an old Woman (a Quaker) in the Shop to look after it; she is above fourscore Years old, and is now taken ill, and consined to her Room. I miss'd the Goods the same Night they were stole, but I never heard any Thing of them, till this Evidence impeached the Prisoners, and then Mr Justice Foulkes sent for me.

Hooper. I had been acquainted with the two Prisoners, above a Twelve month; Sharpless (we call him Sweep) is a Chimney-Sweeper .

Disney . Ask him how much the Checque, and the 5 linnen Handkerchiefs, were sold for, and where we shared the Money.

Hooper. I have mentioned what we sold them for, -

Disney . But how much did the Goods come to in all?

Hooper. We made about 6 s. 6 d. or 7 s. a-piece.

Disney. And where was the Money parted?

Hooper. Upon Jane Johnson's Bed, in her little Room: She could not give us all the Money at once, so she gave us some at one Time, and the rest at another.

Sharpless . Hooper has been here 2 or 3 Times already; and now he is swearing away our Lives, as fast as he can. There is not such a Rogue in the World as he is. He was an Evidence against Orchard , 2 or 3 Sessions ago.

Hooper. Jane Johnson , who bought the Goods of us, was taken into Custody, but she was rescued out of the Constable's Hands.

Sumpner . I was a single Woman, and my Name was Skinner, when I was robbed of the Goods; but now I am the Wife of Samuel Sumpner . Both Guilty 4 s. 10 d.

+ William Disney , was a second Time indicted for stealing 2 Glass Sconces, val. 2 l. 12 s. and 6 d. the Goods of Thomas Joel , in his Dwelling-house , in the Parish of St Botolph Algate , December 20 .

Thomas Joel. I can only say, I lost 2 Glass Sconces, about the time mentioned in the Indictment, - the 20th of December, or thereabouts. I lost them from my Shop-Door in Houndsditch .

Richard Hooper . The Prisoner was with me, when we committed this Robbery. 'Twas done a little before Christmas, - about a Week before, - I believe; and 'twas in the Evening about 6 or 7 o'Clock. The Glasses were hung, one on each side this Gentleman's Shop Door: the Prisoner and I took them away, and sold them to one Mrs Barefoot, in Norman's Court , in Cable-street, near Well-Close-Square, for half a Guinea. I am positive the Prisoner was concerned with me, in this Robbery; and there was another young Man (one Irish Jack,) with us, at the same Time. Irish Jack, (who was a big Fellow,) took down one of the Glasses, and gave it me, to carry home; and while I was carrying it home, Irish Jack and the Prisoner brought the other Glass after me. I was just got in with the one Glass, when they came in with the other. I did not see them take the other Glass, but I saw them bring it home after me, and we were all concerned together. They themselves asked me to go out a-thieving with them. Guilty, 4 s. 10 d.

[Transportation. See summary.]