Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 17 August 2022), December 1775, trial of SAUNDERS ALEXANDER LYON ABRAHAMS, otherwise LYPE SARAH LAZARUS (t17751206-46).

SAUNDERS ALEXANDER, LYON ABRAHAMS, SARAH LAZARUS, Theft > burglary, 6th December 1775.

58, 59, 60. SAUNDERS ALEXANDER and LYON ABRAHAMS, otherwise LYPE , were a second time indicted, together with SARAH LAZARUS , for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Richard Sandford , upon the 12th of November , about the hour of six in the evening, with intention the goods and chattels of the said Richard feloniously to steal .

RICHARD SANDFORD sworn.

I am a baker and live in Great Winchester-street . I went out upon the 12th of last month, at a quarter before five, and came home again before seven: I left two servants and three men in the house; my sister and I went out together; I double-locked the door: we observed two men standing on the opposite side of the way, they went up the street: when they saw me lock the door they turned back and followed us, one turned down the wall and the other followed us through the postern: I don't know the person of either of those men: when I returned at near seven o'clock, I found my house had been broke open; it had been attempted twice before.

JOSEPH BUCKOW sworn.

I am servant to Mr. Sandford: I was left in the house by Mr. Sandford on the 12th of last month: soon after Mr. Sandford and his sister went out, between five and six o'clock, there were two or three knocks at the door, ten minutes or a quarter of an hour distant: about ten minutes after the knocking, I heard a key put into the door that seemed not to do, it was taken out and another key put into the door, and the door was opened: I was in the bakehouse at the same time with a candle concealed: the bakehouse is about six yards from the door; when I heard the door open I came forwards with the candle to the cellar door; as I came up three young men in the house-fired at the man that opened the door: Armstrong was shot; I did not see him till he was shot: I know nothing of the prisoners.

PETER BODDIN sworn.

I was in the house: after the three knocks, the door was opened, and three men rushed in; they were fired upon, and one of them killed, the others made their escape; I cannot speak as to the persons of the men.

WILLIAM EDWARDS sworn.

I live in Winchester-street, opposite Mr. Sandford; I heard a knock at the door; I came to the fore window and saw a man stoop down and two persons turned their backs upon him, and spread their great coats to cover him: I could not see the men so as to know them; I was up two pair of stairs; if I had been near I should have been able to distinguish their faces.

THOMAS PARKIN sworn.

I am an opposite neighbour to Mr. Sandford: having had intelligence that Mr. Sandford's house had been attempted to be broke open, and hearing a knocking at the door, I went into my shop and looked through the crevies of the shutters: I saw three men, one stooped down to look in at the key-hole, and two others stood before him, with their backs to him to conceal him: they went away; I went up into the one pair of stairs room, and saw them come again: I was going down to inform them of it, and then I heard the firing.

THOMAS COX sworn.

I live in Winchester-street: as I was coming home on the 12th of November, about five o'clock, I saw two men in the street near Mr. Sandford's house; one was dressed in brown, and the other, on the opposite side of the way, in light cloaths; I saw one of them walk away hanging down his head: just after that, while I was at my door, I heard the firing: I cannot identify the persons, they were about the size of the prisoners; I believe Saunders Alexander to be one of them from his size and gait; when I saw him at Sir John Fielding 's, I said I believed he was one of the rogues I saw in our street that night.

GEORGE KING sworn.

I went to Armstrong at Lype Abrahams', on Sunday the 12th of November, between ten and eleven o'clock in the morning, with a pair of shoes I had made for him: there was then in the house Sarah Lazarus , Hannah Saunders , and Armstrong; Armstrong paid me for the shoes, and I went home: about a quarter after five I went again to Lype Abrahams' house, and there were two young men that were come to see him, Robert Thompson and John Waterson ; Armstrong and I went to see for him: as we were coming up London-wall I asked what part of the play they were going to act, Armstrong said they were going to do a house in Winchester-street: we met Sarah Lazarus , and asked her where she had been; she said she had been at the baker's and knocked, and there was nobody there: I asked her where Lype Abrahams and Alexander were, she said they were in Winchester-street; I went to Winchester-street, and saw Abrahams with a brown coat on, standing at the baker's door, and Alexander in a light coat on the other side of the way; I did not speak to them, but went home, and then went to Abrahams' house: while I was there Armstrong came in, he took a pair of pistols out of a chest, he unscrewed one and took the ball out, and said that would do; he then opened a box and took a parcel of picklock keys out and some chissels; his hand shaked very much at the time; Sarah Lazarus was there, and said she was going with me, I said I would not go; she said you bougre I am going to carry something.

When you saw Abrahams and Alexander in the street, did you know what they were about? - Yes.

Did they know you was in the scheme? -

No; I only was told it by Armstrong.

On his Cross Examination he said he saw Abrahams and Armstrong open the door, and then he went home; that Alexander was then on the other side of the way; that it was then about half after five o'clock.

HANNAH KING sworn.

When I heard that a man was shot, I went down to Lyon Abrahams' house; Sarah Lazarus and Hannah Saunders were there; I said there was a man shot in Winchester-street; they made answer it was at the bloody baker's shop they had talked about: about half an hour after Sarah Lazarus and Hannah Saunders came to my house and offered me some picklock keys: I said what was I to do with them, neither my husband nor I could use them.

[ Hugh Pollet produced a brace of pistols and five picklocks, which he deposed were found in Armstrong's pocket.]

ALEXANDER's DEFENCE.

I have witness to prove where I was.

ABRAHAMS' DEFENCE.

I have witness to prove I was at another place.

FOR THE PRISONERS.

MICHAEL JOSEPHS sworn.

I live in New-court: I carry out meat in a morning for a Jew butcher in Shoemakerrow, and make and sell black puddings of a night: I know Alexander by serving him with black puddings; I saw him the night Mr. Sandford's house was broke open at Mr. Vaughan's coffee-house in Duke's-place: to the best of my knowledge it was then sometime after five o'clock, it might be a quarter or more, it was not half an hour; I staid about a quarter of an hour till I had sold my puddings; it might be near six when I went away: Alexander was there when I went in, and I left him there when I went away; to the best of my knowledge he sat with his father in one of the boxes; the room is not very large.

HANNAH LEVY sworn.

I go to Vaughan's coffee-house every night, except Friday night, to sell olives and pickles. I went there on the 12th of November, between five and six o'clock in the evening; I knew Alexander from a child, he was sitting there with his father: I staid there till nine o'clock; I always stay till nine; when I set my dish down on the table, I went and spoke to Saunders, he sat with his father an hour or an hour and a half; I don't think it was quite half after five when I saw him there. I am sure he was there an hour and half.

LYON ALEXANDER sworn.

The prisoner is my son, he was with me at Vaughan's coffee-house upon Sunday the 12th of November; he drank tea with me, and then we went and had some beer at a house in Duke's-place: just after five we went to Vaughan's coffee-house, and staid there till nine o'clock; my son was never out of company but once just to make water.

Was Mr. Vaughan at home? - He was at church: I believe he came home before eight o'clock; his wife, daughter, and servant were in the house: I asked Mr. Vaughan if he would come and speak for my son? he said he would never shew his face in any court.

AARON AARONS sworn.

I know all the prisoners by sight; I have known Alexander from a child, he kept a stall with haberdashery wares in Spitalfields market, he bore the character of an honest man; I never heard any thing against him.

SAUNDERS AARON sworn.

I am a tobacconist in Pettycoat-lane: I have known Alexander from a child; I never heard any thing against his character.

JOHN CHAPMAN sworn.

I am a leather breeches-maker in Shoemaker-row: I have known Alexander twenty years; he used to sell goods in the country by licence; he bears a good character.

ELIZABETH MOTE sworn.

I live in Sweet-apple-court: I get my living by needlework: I have been employed by Alexander to mend and make, and wash and iron for him; he bears the character of a very honest industrious man.

The Court sent for Vaughan.

- VAUGHAN sworn.

I keep a coffee-house in Duke's-place.

Do you remember Alexander being at your house on the 12th of November at five o'clock, or any time after? - I cannot swear he was there at that time, he might be; I will not swear he was not for the world. I never observed any thing ill of the young man in my house.

You never heard any ill of him? - No; I never heard him swear an oath in my life as I know of.

SAUNDERS ALEXANDER GUILTY . Death .

LYON ABRAHAMS GUILTY . Death .

SARAH LAZARUS NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice ASTON.