Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 25 September 2023), April 1815, trial of THOMAS SHEPHERD (t18150405-3).

THOMAS SHEPHERD, Theft > burglary, 5th April 1815.

427. THOMAS SHEPHERD was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Joseph , about the hour of seven in the night, of the 6th of March , with intent to steal, and burglariously stealing therein, two hats, value 5 s. the property of John Joseph .

JOHN JOSEPH . I live in Cranburn-passage, Liecester-square, and likewise the house stands in Castle-street; the front is in Cranburn-passage; I was robbed at the back of the house in Castle-street ; the house is in the parish of St. Ann's .

Q. What is your business - A. A hatter .

Q. Were you at home on the 6th of March - A. Yes.

Q. Do you recollect the evening on which your attention was called - A. Yes; after having lit up the shop, I went into the parlour to tea, I went back into the little parlour, which is detached from the shop; after having had my tea I came out again into the shop; I looked round the shop; I found a great draft; I looked up, and found a window down; when I was in the parlour I left the windows closely shut, I had observed it.

Q. How were they secured - A. By pulleys, that pull them down; I had suspicion that I had been robbed; I looked round the shelves; I found two or three hats gone.

Q. What time in the evening do you suppose it was - A. About half past seven; I am sure it was half past seven, it was nearer eight than seven; it was quite dark; no remains of day-light left.

Q. You have no other fastenings - A. No, only the shutters; we do not shut up before nine o'clock.

Q. How high was this window - A. About nine or ten feet from the ground, or more, it is about eighteen feet to the top of the window. I saw the prisoner get upon the top of the brick wall; it was the upper sash that was pulled down; I perceived that two or three hats were gone; I then went out of the passage door to this window, to see if I could observe any person thereabouts.

Q. You went round to this window - A. Yes; after being there about a minute, I saw the prisoner come out of a very dark court, where there was no thoroughfare; he appeared to me to be waiting for an opportunity to get at this window again; I then suspected that he might be the man that opened the window; I did not think it proper it being a dark street to attack the man by myself; I went to an opposite neighbour, and asked him to assist me; I got my neighbour to assist me; my neighbour and I went round, and in about two minutes, he made a dash on the top of this brick work, he jumped upon the brick work at the corner of my house, which is built to keep off nuisances; he threw his head and shoulders into the window, and took another hat; I saw him do that; they were within his reach by putting his head and shoulders in and half his body; then me and my neighbour secured him, with the hat in his hand; we took him to the watchhouse; I there saw him searched; we found upon him the papers containing the former hats, the papers and string that tied them up.

Q. How did you know it to be the paper and string that tied them up - A. By the marks; theywere the shape of a hat as it lay upon the shelf; I knew it by the marks, and by the appearance; I knew the hats that were gone.

Q. Have you got the hat that he took last - A. Yes; this is it; it is marked with my private mark; I believe the witness that assisted me, William Chandler , took the hat out of his hand; the beadle has had it ever since. I know that hat by the private mark; it was marked twelve months before it was stolen.

Q. What is the value of the three hats - A. Half-a-crown each

WILLIAM CHANDLER . I am the neighbour to the last witness. Mr. Joseph called to me for assistance on the 6th of March, between seven and eight in the evening; I went into the street with Mr. Joseph, he pointed out the prisoner to me. I saw the prisoner stand upon this brick work at the window; I saw nearly half his body in the window, he was half hanging over the sash; Mr. Joseph said, this is him; I ran, and seized him with the hat in his hand; he made a blow at me with the hat; he was taken to the watchhouse immediately, and the hat was delivered to the beadle.

WILLIAM GOSLING . I am beadle of St. Ann's parish. On the 6th of March last, I was sent for to the watchhouse to take care of the prisoner, and to search him; I felt in his pockets; I took out this paper; Mr. Joseph said they were the papers of the other two hats that were lost. This hat was in the watchhouse; Mr. Joseph gave me the hat; I have had it in my possession ever since.

COURT. Q. To Prosecutor. Do you inhabit the house - A. Yes; I let the first floor; I live in the same house; I have no partner in the business.

GUILTY, aged 44.

Of stealing only, but not of breaking and entering the dwelling-house .

Transported for Seven Years .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Chambre.