Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 29 January 2023), December 1783, trial of WILLIAM HALL, otherwise HALLEY JOHN FIELD (t17831210-52).

WILLIAM HALL, JOHN FIELD, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > receiving, 10th December 1783.

49. WILLIAM HALL, otherwise HALLEY , was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 28th of November last, one deal box, value 6 d. three linen shirts, value 15 s. six pair of white stockings, value 6 s. one dimity gown, trimmed with muslin, value 10 s. two womens linen riding shirts, value 10 s. two womens riding waistcoats, value 10 s. two linen handkerchiefs, value 2 s. one deal box, value 12 d. two worked muslin aprons, value 10 s. one plain lawn apron, value 4 s. one plain muslin short apron, value 3 s. two tambour muslin gowns, value 20 s. one printed muslin gown, value 10 s. one sattin gown, value 10 s. one white sarcenet cloak, value 10 s. two yards of white striped gauze, value 10 s. a pink silk petticoat, value 10 s. two muslin neck handkerchiefs, value 4 s. two muslin night caps, value 2 s. one silver tissue pocketbook, value 12 d. one leather pocket-book, value 2 d. one base metal handkerchief slider, value 6 d. the property of Mary Ann Hardcastle , spinster .

And JOHN FIELD was indicted for receiving the same goods, knowing them to be stolen .

MARY ANN HARDCASTLE sworn.

I am governess to Mr. Gosling's daughters; the family live in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, and their country house is at Langley, in Bucks, I packed up my box on the 27th of November, I never saw the box afterwards, till I saw it in Hall's lodging, the housekeeper who is here saw them packed up.

MARY CARTWRIGHT sworn.

I am housekeeper to Mr. Gosling, these boxes were packed up at Langley, and directed to Mr. Gosling, they were sent by Thomas Webb the carrier; I saw them put on the waggon.

THOMAS WEBB sworn.

I am the Langley Carrier, I took these boxes to bring them to town, I left an empty hamper at Knight's Bridge, and a woman at Hyde-park Corner; and when I came to the Running Horse, just below Park-lane, I missed two boxes, the tilt was tore, and the skewers taken out; I had a great many other persons goods; there were two trunks taken out; This is one of the boxes that was lost, the other was much larger and heavier.

Court to Webb. Where were those two trunks and boxes? - In the middle of the waggon.

Could they get out? - Not without the waggon was overturned, and then they could not.

Do you apprehend the things were lost out of the waggon after the woman got out, or before? - I think after; she sat just against them, they were cut out of the side of the waggon.

PATRICK MACMANUS sworn.

I went by information to the prisoner Field's house, No. 7, Park-lane, on this day week, between 8 and 9 o'clock in the morning, Hall lodged with Field upstairs, but there was nothing found in his room. When we went to the house I met a woman, which I thought was Mrs. Field, and I asked her if one Hall lodged there, she said he was down in the kitchen; she called Hall, and somebody answered, I went down, and found the prisoner Hall; he looked at me, and said, I suppose you came after this box; I did not know what he meant by that; I said, yes, I am come after the box, where is it? he said, it is up stairs; says I, have you made away with any of the things? no, he said he had not, the things were all safe. When we had got up stairs, some of Mr. Gosling's people came up; the trunk was in Field's bed-chamber; then Hall and I went into Field's room and Mrs. Hardcastle looked at the box and found it was locked, and she pulled out a key and unlocked it after some difficulty; there were some things in it, but she missed several things; I turned round to Hall, and said, did not you tell me the things were all safe? Oh! said he, they are all to be found; and he went down into the kitchen were I found him first, and I went down with him and he pulled the things that are in this handkerchief out of the drawers; they were brought up and shewn to Mrs. Hardcastle, and she said there were still some more things wanting; then Hall said there was an apron and some sort of a locket or thing that ladies wear about their neck; he said he had sold them: he said, the trunk was found at the end of Park-lane, going into Pically: Field was not at home; he came house while she was there, I stopped him; there was a good many of the things wanting; so Hall said, your wife has taken some of the things out here; he said, he did not know any thing at all of it; says he, damn your things; if my wife has got any of them you must have them; I will break the drawers open and you shall have them; then he took some keys that we had tried before, and could not open the drawers, but he got them open; I believe he sent for some keys, but he opened three drawers which we could not get open.

Did he open the drawers with those keys or with any other keys? - I do not know, I believe the keys lay on the escrutore; and all the things that are in this white handkerchief were found in the drawers; Mrs. Hardcastle and Mrs. Cartwright were present all the time.

(The things deposed to.)

Mr. Chetworth Council for the Prisoners. Field was not at home? - No.

I believe he came in from his work; had not he a pail in his hand? - He had two pails.

Did Field appear to you, from the observation you made when he came in, to have any knowledge of the things being in his house? - I cannot think he could miss seeing this box, because it stood by the bed side; but from his conduct I had every reason to think he did not know the things were in his drawers.

I believe the Justice was of the same opinion? - I believe every body has a good opinion of him.

Did not Hall say to him these words, I believes your wife has some of the things in her drawers? - I believe he did.

Did not he take up a poker to break open the drawers, and was persuaded not? - I believe he did.

You enquired after him? - Yes.

What character did you learn of him? - A hardworking honest man.

Mrs. Hardcastle. There were keys found on the top of the drawers; Macmanus opened some of the drawers; there were two drawers that could not be opened till Field came, he opened one with a key, the other he could not open: Macmanus said, they must be opened, there is a poker; Field immediately took the poker and attempted to open the drawers; he seemed very concerned and very much surprized when my things were found in his possession: I had several letters in my box, some directed at me at Mr. Gosling's, Lincoln's-Inn Fields, and some in the country. I had a large parcel of manuscripts, poetry, and bills and receipts, and many things that I valued very much, and Hall had burnt them the night before: the gentleman went down into the kitchen and found several scraps of my papers half burnt; I had likewise a common leather memorandum book which Hall sold for two-pence with the papers that were in it which I valued exceedingly: I had likewise a very large parcel of poetry; Hall afterwards, when I asked him why he burnt them, said, for fear of leading to a discovery, because he meant to sell my clothes.

Court. Was there any promise made him to induce him to say this? - None in the world.

PRISONER HALL's DEFENCE.

I saw something lying in Piccadilly, I did not know what it was; my landlady lent me the key; it contained woman's apparel, I never found it advertized; there was advertized a trunk and box: I got it honestly and I had sold two or three of the things out of it, which I redeemed with my own money; the things were found in my landlady's drawers unknown to me; nobody can say a wrong word of me.

PRISONER FIELD's DEFENCE.

I came in the doors about eight o'clock in the morning; the lady was there in the room, I stept in and said what is the matter; says they, here is so and so; I said, if there is any thing belonging to you, I will take the poker and wrench the locks open, will be damned if I do not; I went to do it: Macmanus said get the key: I went right across the way, and my daughter had the key; says I, why do not you give me the key, what do you keep me in this purgatory for: I am innocent of the thing as a child unborn.

The Prisoner Hall called six Witnesses who gave him a very good character.

The Prisoner Field called four Witnesses who gave him a very good character.

WILLIAM HALL , JOHN FIELD ,

NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the second London Jury before Mr. Justice WILLES.