Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 28 January 2022), May 1800, trial of JOHN BURLEY, alias BURLAS (t18000528-136).

JOHN BURLEY, Deception > fraud, 28th May 1800.

475. JOHN BURLEY, alias BURLAS , was indicted for obtaining goods under false pretences , the 15th of April .

JOHN NORRIS sworn. - I am servant to Messrs. Jacob Wood , John Wood , Benjamin Wood , and Thomas Wilson , linen-draper s, in St. Paul's church-yard : On the 15th of April, the prisoner at the bar came into the warehouse, he said to me, have you any pink Bengal? I told him, yes; he went with me to that part of the warehouse, where we keep them; I took down two pieces which we had by us, he turned them over to look at, to see the quality of the work; the prisoner at the bar then said, they will do for us; I then took the two pieces to the farther end of the desk to have them entered; I asked the prisoner whether they were bought, or on approbation; he said, they were bought; I asked him who they were for, he said, for Newbury and Roberts; I then called a person down to enter them to Newbury and Roberts, in his presence; when they were entered, and the bill made out, I asked him his name; he said his name was John Williams , and I tied the two pieces up in two sheets of brown paper, they were two pieces of pink Bengal calico, forty-two yards, they were entered at three shillings a yard, that is six pounds six shillings; when I had tied them up, I delivered them to the prisoner, he stopped a little bit before he went out of the warehouse, after they were tied up; Mr. Roberts, the person that he said they were for, came in; as Mr. Roberts advanced to me, the prisoner walked out with the two pieces of print under his arm; I asked Mr. Roberts if the young man that was gone out belonged to him, he said, no; I ran out into the church-yard, and desired him to come back; he returned to the warehouse, with the two pieces of printed calico under his arm; I told Mr. Roberts, in the prisoner's presence, that he had come for this calico in the name of Newbury and Roberts; I then put the door too, and locked it, I put the key in my pocket, went up stairs, and told Mr. Wilson what had happened; I do not know Mr. Newbury's christian name, Mr. Roberts' name is Thomas, they were customers of ours, they were in the habit of sending for goods.

THOMAS ROBERTS sworn. - I have no partner, the firm of the house is Newbury and Roberts, but the business is carried on by Thomas Roberts only, the business formerly belonged to Robert Newbury : On Tuesday afternoon, the 15th of April last, between the hours of four and five, I had occasion to go to Friday-street; when I came to the corner of St. Paul's church-yard, it rained very hard, then I ran as far as Messrs. Wood's in St. Paul's church-yard for shelter; when I came there, I saw no one but Norris, the porter, and the prisoner at the bar; I said to Norris, if you will give me leave, I will wait here till the shower is over, he was then tying up the parcel for this young man; the prisoner then came out of the warehouse with the parcel under his arm; Norris then asked me if he was one of my young men, I said he was not; I immediately went out of the warehouse and called him back; when he came back, Norris said, he has just taken up two pieces of pink Bengal in your name, the prisoner was present then; I then asked the prisoner by what authority he took up these prints in my name; he then said, Thomas and Trye's young man desired him to call for them, and leave them at my house to the best of my knowledge; Thomas and Trye was the name; he then burst into tears, and said, he hoped I would forgive him, and if I would go with him, his friends would pay the money; I asked him where his friends lived, he said, in Bishopsgate-street.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. He said some other person desired him to call for them? - A. Yes, I think it was Thomas and Trye's young man, but I am not certain of the name.

THOMAS WILSON sworn. - I know nothing of the transaction; I apprehend my attendance here is merely for the purpose of identifying the property.

Q. (To Roberts.) Did you give this young man any authority to get these goods from Mr. Wilson?- A. No, I never saw him before to my knowledge. (The constable produced the property.)

Mr. Wilson. Mr. Roberts was a customer of ours, the firm is Newbury and Roberts, their names are over the door, I believe.

Q. Was there ever a Mr. Newbury in that house? - A. I have every reason to believe there was formerly, I had not the pleasure of knowing him.

Mr. Knapp. Q. He is out of business now? - A. I believe he is.

Norris. These are the pieces I delivered to the prisoner, I received them from the prisoner, and delivered them to Mr. Wilson, who delivered them to the constable.

Mr. Wilson. I believe I delivered them to the constable, I put my mark upon them, immediately upon my coming down from dinner, after the prisoner was brought back.

Mr. Knapp addressed the Jury on behalf of the defendant, and called five witnesses, who gave him a good character.

GUILTY (Aged 20.)

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.