Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 21 January 2019), April 1790, trial of JOSEPH CRAFTS JOHN CONWAY NICHOLAS MURRAY (t17900424-19).

JOSEPH CRAFTS, JOHN CONWAY, NICHOLAS MURRAY, Theft > burglary, 24th April 1790.

348. JOSEPH CRAFTS , JOHN CONWAY , and NICHOLAS MURRAY were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Mac Farlane , about the hour of seven in the night, on the 3d of March , and burglariously stealing therein twenty-four silk handkerchiefs, value 3 l. his property .


I am a slop-seller , No. 116, Cock-hill, Stepney . My house was broke open on the 3d of March; I was not at home; I went out, as near as I can recollect, it was dark when I went out; I returned about seven; there were a number of people about my house, and a few in my house; one of the shop windows was broken, the square of glass knocked fairly out of it, and a parcel of silk handkerchiefs missing that I had left in the window, amongst stockings, shoes, and other things, about half a yard from the window, on the shew board; they were so near the window that they might be taken from the out-side by stretching the hand pretty far: I never recovered the handkerchiefs; they were all new silk handkerchiefs, three dozen and two or three; they cost me between six and seven pounds: I found the prisoners, Conway and Crafts in custody, on my return.

Can you undertake to say, that that window was whole before you went out? - Yes, I can: candles had been lighted some time before I went out.


I am wife of the last witness. I was at home, and heard the square of the shop window break; I ran to the door and called stop thief! I saw a man; he said, I saw the man break the window; he caught him; and Joseph Crafts was brought into the shop; it was candle-light; I saw the handkerchiefs in the window not five minutes before, when I went to snuff the candle, which was in the shop; we never recovered the handkerchiefs.


I am a constable. The prisoner Nicholas Murray came to me on the 4th of March, about eight in the evening, and said he wanted to be admitted an evidence in a robbery, and would not say any thing till then; I went with him to Justice Staples; he admitted him an evidence; the other two were in custody before; on the 6th of March he was brought up to be examined again, and then he denied his writing or knowing any thing of the business.


I was coming along near the prosecutor's house, about seven, on the night of this robbery, and I saw the prisoner Crafts break the window; my wife was with me; there were three or four with him; I cannot speak to them: it was done on purpose, with his elbow; I saw nothing taken out of the window; I took hold of him the minute the window was broke; I stopped him instantly; he said, I suppose you are the father of a family, I hope you will not take my life.


I was with my husband, and saw Crafts break the window with his elbow; there were three or four with him; I do not know who they were.

Court to Cooke. Was you present when that confession was signed by the prisoner and the magistrate? - Yes.

"The voluntary information and confession

"of Nicholas Murray , who says,

"last night he, with Joseph Crafts , and

" John Conway , and another, went and

"picked several persons pockets of handkerchiefs,

"and a little beyond Shadwell

"Office, the same side of the way, Crafts

"broke the window of a house, took the

"handkerchiefs, and brought them to Mr.

"Moses, in Cable-street, who gave him

"twenty-five shillings for them, being

"twelve in number, and that he gave the

"other man twelve or thirteen shillings of

"the money".

Court. It says here

"taken and sworn." Who is the magistrate? - Mr. Staples.


I was coming from on board the ship, and going past when they took me.

Court. As to this confession, it cannot be evidence against the other two, and it cannot be received as evidence against himself, because by mistake it is taken on oath.