Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 30 September 2022), January 1804, trial of WILLIAM HARTLEY (t18040111-78).

WILLIAM HARTLEY, Theft > burglary, 11th January 1804.

138. WILLIAM HARTLEY was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Benjamin Smith , about the hour of twelve in the night of the 26th of December , with intent to steal, and burglariously stealing seven gowns, value 21 s. a sheet, value 5 s. a counterpane, value 10 s. two cloaks, value 5 s. three petticoats, value 5 s. a snuffbox, value 6 d. a pair of sugar-tongs, value 1 d. a silver stay-hook, value 6 d. two neck-handkerchiefs, value 8 d. a silk half handkerchief, value 6 d. and a Bank-note, value 2 l. the property of the said Benjamin .

BENJAMIN SMITH sworn. - I live at No. 1, Bedford-place, Bloomsbury-square , which is a new street leading to Russell-square; I had the laundry belonging to the house, which is Mr. Hall's, a plaisterer; he lives in the house, and lets me have the laundry till he could sell or let the house; the laundry is about fifteen yards from the house, and there is a back way to it through a mews and a stable.

Q. Under what agreement with Mr. Hall did you occupy this laundry? - A. He offered to let me live there rent free till the house was let or sold: On the 26th of December, I left the laundry about half past five, to spend the evening with my master at his house; my wife had gone before me; I locked the door at the bottom of the stairs, which comes into a wash-house; about two or three minutes after twelve, an alarm was given of thieves; I went back, and the door had been violently burst open; the wood work was forced away; I went up stairs, and observed the drawers had been opened, and the articles stated in the indictment taken out; I saw them next morning at Marlborough-street.

- HOBSON sworn. - On the 26th of December, between twelve and one in the morning, I observed the prisoner near the top of Southampton-street, Bloomsbury, run from a bundle, which I saw in the act of falling on the pavement; nobody was near the bundle but the prisoner; I ran after him, and called stop thief; he went across Holborn into Lewkner's-street; when he came to Cross-lane, I lost sight of him, but found him in the hands of a neighbour, who ran faster than I could.

Q. Do you know what became of the bundle, and what should induce him to run away from it? - A. Going across the street, I said to my neighbours who were with me, halloa, here is something, what is it? and he immediately run away from the bundle, we took him and the bundle to the watch-house.

( John Hewitt and - Dunstan corroborated Mr. Hobson's testimony.)

- WYGATE sworn. - I am a constable, and took charge of the bundle and prisoner.

JOHN RUPPER sworn. - On the 26th of December, I saw the prisoner at the corner of Southampton-street, with a bundle on his back, about twenty minutes after twelve, and I saw him drop it in the street, in consequence of seeing Mr. Hobson, as I suppose; I staid by the bundle till the prisoner was brought back, and they were both taken to the watch-house.

(The property produced, and identified.)

- RUMLEY sworn. - I produce a tobacco-box, which I took out of the prisoner's pocket, which contains a steel, tinder, and matches.

Prisoner's defence. I was coming through Bloomsbury, and saw the things lay against a door, and I took them up.

GUILTY, aged 29.

Of stealing, but not of the breaking and entering .

Transported for seven years .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Lawrence.