Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 23 January 2020), February 1788, trial of THOMAS HOLYOAK (t17880227-9).

THOMAS HOLYOAK, Theft > burglary, 27th February 1788.

162. THOMAS HOLYOAK was indicted, for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Benjamin Laver , on the 7th of February , about the hour of seven in the night, and stealing a silk cushion, value 1 d. forty-nine handkerchief pins, value 40 s. eleven black glass handkerchief pins, value 11 s. sixteen gold enamelled handkerchief pins, value 50 s. ten gold handkerchief pins, value 30 s. seventeen gold handkerchief pins, value 50 s. a paste handkerchief pin set in gold, value 1 s. fourteen handkerchief pins, value 7 s. two silver handkerchief pins, value 2 s. a gold handkerchief key, value 1 s. and two metal handkerchief keys, value 1 s. the property of the said Benjamin, in his dwelling house .


I keep a jewellers shop in Bruton-street, Berkley-square ; my window was broke on the 7th of this month, about seven at night; I was in the shop with my son and man; there came a violent crush against a pane of glass; it being the corner of a stable yard, I though it was the pole of a coach; I went immediately to my door, and found it tied; I exerted myself, in some degree, and forced it open, by breaking the outside hasp of the door; I saw a man running down Little Bruton-street, I pursued him, and took him; I said, you have robbed me; he said he had not, he knew nothing of me; I said, whether he had or not, he should go back with me; a gentleman's coachman came to my assistance, and said he had some property about him, and desired me to search him, upon our talking of searching him, he hustled up against the wall, and dropped a cushion with the pins in it.

You are sure you saw him drop it? - Yes, I did; he said, upon my word Sir, I did not break the window; it was given to me; I took him to the shop, and them got a coach, and took him to the Rotation Office.

What pins were on the cushion? - I do not know without referring to a memorandum;they were brought to my shop by the person that came to my assistance; four of them are marked by that person; my son sealed them up the next morning in my presence; they have been in my possession ever since.


Mr. Garrow. What time was this? - A little after seven.

What distance was the prisoner from the shop when you took him? - About thirty yards.


I was in the stable at the time I heard the alarm; I saw the prisoner running; Mr. Laver was about two yards behind him; he collared him; I desired Mr. Laver to hold him fast, for he had something behind his coat; he had both his hands behind him, and I saw something drop on the ground close to his feet; it was a cushion full of pins; I marked four of them.

Are those them? - Yes.

To Mr. Laver. Look at them, and see if you know them? - Here is the same of our private marks, I think, but my son's eyes are better than mine.


These pins are my father's property; I know them perfectly well; they were lying against the pane of glass that was broke close to the window.

Mr. Garrow. Was it an upright window or a shew-glass window pushed out? - An upright window.

Jury. How do you know they are your father's? - There are our private marks upon them; there is P. H. which is 14 s.

(The prisoner said nothing in his defence.)

(The prisoner called nine witnesses who gave him an excellent character.)

GUILTY , Death .

The prisoner was recommended to his Majesty's mercy, by the Jury, on account of his youth and his good character.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.