Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 March 2023), September 1819, trial of SAMUEL BURR (t18190915-78).

SAMUEL BURR, Theft > burglary, 15th September 1819.

1160. SAMUEL BURR was indicted, for that he, on the 24th of July , about three o'clock at night, at St. Stephen, Coleman-street , being in the dwelling-house of William Thompson , therein feloniously did steal, ten silver table gravy-spoons, value 6 l.; seven silver tea-spoons, value 30 s., and five 1 l. bank notes, the property of the said William Thompson ; and that he after committing the aforesaid felony, in manner aforesaid, afterward, about the said hour of three o'clock in the night, burglariously did break the said dwelling-house, to get out of the same .

WILLIAM THOMPBON . I keep the Dr. Butler's Head, tavern , White Rose-court , in the parish of St. Stephen Coleman-street; the prisoner was employed every morning by my waiter to clean knives . On the 24th of July my wife had also employed him to clean all the windows, in consequence of which he was in the house till late in the afternoon, and must have concealed himself inthe cellar - I thought he had left the house. Between two and three o'clock in the morning, the watchman found our street-door open - he rang the bell, and informed me that the house had been broken open. I came down as quick as possible, found three watchman in the passage, and the bar-door broken open. I went into the bar, found the till had been forced open by an instrument, and between 5 l. and 6 l. in money, two brewer's books taken out, and all the silver spoons that were in common use gone. I immediately suspected the prisoner - he was not an hired servant. He was brought to my coffee-room, and taken to Giltspur-street - they found a key, a tooth-pick, and a pen-knife on him. I had no character with him.

Prisoner. Q. When did you last see me in the house - A. I think between five and six o'clock in the afternoon.

JOHN MARKWELL . I am a watchman. On Sunday, the 25th of July, about half-past three o'clock in the morning, I saw Mr. Thompson's door open, went in, and saw two panes of the bar-window broken - the till had been broken open. I called Thompson up; he came down, searched the house and missed the property. Nothing was left in the till but a few halfpence. About eight o'clock Thompson said he suspected the prisoner. We got information, took him at his mother's house in Tabernacle-row, and found a key on him; we took him to the prosecutor's, and then to the Compter; I returned to his mother's, but found nothing there. She took us to his lodgings in Windmill-street; we went up stairs, searched his bedroom, and found the key, which he had in his pocket, opened a little box under the bed; we opened it, and found four 1 l. notes, 14 s. in silver, in a purse, seventeen spoons, and a punch-ladle; ten of the spoons and the ladle were broken up.

JOHN GIRTON . I am a constable. I went to the prosecutor's, he said he suspected the prisoner. I apprehended him, brought him to the watch-house, and found a knife, a key, a tobacco-stopper, and a little silver, on him. I then took him to the prosecutor's, who charged him with robbing him - he strongly denied it. I went into the cellar, and there observed a footmark; I went up stairs, got his shoe, brought it down, and it exactly fitted the mark - there was half an iron on the heel of it, and that mark was in the impression. I went up, told the prosecutor, and took the prisoner to the Compter, returned, searched his mother's lodgings, but found nothing. I asked her if she had a trunk which the key belonged to? she said she had not, but it was at his lodgings. I went there - she showed me his trunk. I opened it, and the first thing I observed, was seven large tea-spoons, and the rest broken up, also a purse with four 1 l. notes, and 14 s. in silver. I took them to the prosecutor, who claimed them. I produce them.

WILLIAM THOMPSON re-examined.. I swear to the spoons and notes. They all have my mark on them. I went to bed at twelve o'clock; the door was double bolted inside. There were no marks of violence on it.

Prisoner's Defence. They said there were marks of my shoe in the cellar. I worked there.

GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 16.

London Jury, before Mr. Recorder.