Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 July 2022), October 1767, trial of Thomas Lloyd James Murphy and Sarah his wife James Murphy (t17671021-41).

Thomas Lloyd, Sarah Murphy, James Murphy, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > receiving, 21st October 1767.

568, 569, 570. (M.) Thomas Lloyd was indicted for stealing sixteen linen handkerchiefs, value 8 s. and two silk handkerchiefs, value 2 s. the property of persons unknown; and James Murphy and Sarah his wife (together with Sarah Murphy , their daughter, not taken) for receiving the same, well knowing them to have been stolen , Sept. 30 . +

John Noaks . I had information that the prisoner, James Murphy , bought stolen goods; Sir John Fielding granted a warrant to search his house; we were told if we came and watched his house, we should see pickpockets go in with things; I, Heley, and Hartley, went and watched at seven in the morning, and waited; after some time Heley said, there is one gone in then Hartley ran across, and took Lloyd before I got in; we had observed Murphy, who is a taylor, at work upon a coat two hours, we could see him through the window; when I came in, Hartley asked Lloyd for the bundle he brought in; Lloyd said, he knew nothing of a bundle, he denied seeing any; I said, we must search the house for it; in searching about there was a bundle of eighteen handkerchiefs, sixteen cotton ones, and two silk, found between the grate and a board that stood before it in the fore-room (produced in court;) Sir John Fielding has advertised them, but no owners came; in the search Mrs. Murphy offered me her pocket to search; I said the bundle could not be put in that.

Q. What sort of handkerchiefs are they?

Noaks. They are all of different sorts, not two alike; Lloyd said he came with a coat to be mended; I said, I had seen Murphy working two hours upon that coat, as we had been watching the house; we took up Lloyd and Murphy.

John Heley . I was at the house of Mrs. Clark opposite Murphy's house, in Playhouse yard, Whitecross-street; I saw Lloyd come down the street, with a bundle in a handkerchief under his arm; I had seen him before, and knew him; we had been told there was a back way to the house, we went out, Hartley went to the back door, and I to the front in the street; I heard Hartley cry, halloo; I went; he said I have one in custody, which was Lloyd. Lloyd had then no bundle. he denied having any; we searched very particularly under the shop-board where Murphy was at work, and could not find the bundle; we were going away; Noaks said, I shall have another look; in going to the fire-place, here it is said he, and took it up; I said, I knew it to be the same bundle that he brought in; Murphy said he brought in no bundle, he brought in this coat, (meaning a coat he was at work upon.)

Q. Might not Lloyd bring in that coat for what you know?

Heley. I know Lloyd brought in a bundle, and I saw Murphy working upon that coat, I dare say two hours that morning.

David Hartley . I went with Noaks and Heley: I saw a lad coming down the street with a bundle tied in a handkerchief, I saw him go into Murphy's house; I was in a hurry to get to the back-door, I went in and took him; I asked him where the bundle was that he brought in; he said he brought none in; Murphy said, he brought in that coat he was at work upon; I had seen him at work on that coat two hours, or thereabouts; we searched the whole house, and I do not remember seeing any other coat in the house; I saw the bundle found near the fire-place concealed.

Q. to Noaks. Did you see any other coat in the house but what Murphy was at work upon?

Noaks. I saw one in a drawer, which Murphy said was his own coat.

Susanna Clark . I live facing Mr. Murphy.

Q. What are you?

S. Clark. I do business for a cabinet-maker; I have seen many boys go into Murphy's house at different times, and have seen them carry handkerchiefs in, and have seen Mrs. Murphy pay them money upon the counter, I could see it cross the way; when they thought I watched them, they used to go in at the back-door; but when they got into the house, I could see them open the handkerchiefs.

Bartholomew Fenton . About three quarters of 2 year ago, I was drawn into bad company, and did many robberies; Murphy and his wife used to buy things of us; Mrs. Murphy generally paid the money, for what I and other boys carried; they gave us hardly any thing for what we brought.

Lloyd's defence.

I was going down to Limehouse to see after some work on the Tuesday night, before the Wednesday that I was taken; coming home between eight and nine in the evening, I had occasion to ease myself; going down a gateway I found that bundle, I took and brought it home; and in the morning I saw what it was; and as Mr. Murphy had made me a coat and several things, and was making a coat at the time, I had seen two or three handkerchiefs hang at his door; I went to see whether he would buy them; I was afraid of getting into trouble, made me not own it at first.

He called seven people to his character, but none could give any account of him, or his behaviour for three or four years last past.

Murphy's defence.

I had a green coat to turn for this young man, he brought it in a bundle; I did not know where he lived; he desired me to get it turned and pressed; I had had it about nine days; then he agreed to let it alone a little while, I being busy; the week following he came for it; I promised he should have it by 12 o'clock the next day; about a quarter past eleven he came in, I was tying my garters, or buckling my shoes, I do not know which, I discerned something under his arm, but what it was I could not tell.

Sarah Murphy 's defence.

I know nothing of the young man; I never denied his bringing in any bundle, I saw no bundle that he brought.

To their character.

Thomas How . I am a scowerer, and live in Whitecross-street; I have known Mr. Murphy eight or ten years; he is a very honest industrious man, and she a woman.

Q. Did you ever hear of their dealing in handkerchiefs?

How. No, I never did.

John Griffin . I live in Playhouse-yard, Whitecross-street, I am a lath-maker; I have known Mr. Murphy and his wife above six years; he is an honest man, one that works hard for his family; this is all through a spiteful neighbour.

John Brogden . I am a periwig-maker, and live in Whitecross-street; I have known him almost seven years; I look upon him to be a sober honest man.

Edward Overion . I am a file-cutter; I have known him about four years; he is an honest man.

John Underwood . I keep a haberdasher's shop in Whitecross street, I have known him four or five years, he is a very honest man.

Daniel Yape . I never heard the man did any thing amiss in my life.

James Hollingsworth . I am a tallow chandler, and live in Playhouse-yard; I have known him about six or seven years, I look upon him to be a very honest, sober, industrious man.

John Ratford . Murphy is a tenant of mine; I am a bricklayer, I have known him about six years; he bears the character of a very honest worthy man.

Thomas Hattersley . I am a smith, and live in Playhouse-yard; I have known him about four years; I never knew nothing of him, but that of an honest industrious man.

Thomas Sutton . I am a carpenter, and live in Playhouse-yard; I have known him about a year and a half; he bears the character of an honest worthy man.

Lloyd Guilty . T .

Murphy and his wife Acquitted .