Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 September 2020), May 1820, trial of CHRISTOPHER CRANE (t18200517-124).

CHRISTOPHER CRANE, Theft > theft from a specified place, 17th May 1820.

709. CHRISTOPHER CRANE was indicted for stealing, on the 15th of May , 100 lbs. of lead, value 15 s., the goods of Elizabeth Fraile , and fixed to her dwelling-house .

HENRY MARCHANT . I am footman to Mrs. Elizabeth Fraile , who lives at No. 60, Russell-square . On the morning of the 15th of May we missed this lead off the privy in the back garden - I saw it safe two days before. I was awoke about a quarter past four o'clock in the morning by a female servant, who said somebody was stealing it - it was daybreak. I got up; we searched the garden, and found three pieces of lead - one piece in the garden, one on the parapet, and another in the next garden, they were rolled up. I left the watchman in the garden and went up stairs for my stockings. I looked out of window, and saw a man going over three garden walls into Mrs. Hoffman's garden, he had a long coat and a hat on. I saw him in custody before five o'clock that morning. The watchman brought him out of Southampton-mews. By getting over the walls he might drop into that mews. He had the same kind of a coat on as the man I saw get over the walls.

LETITIA OAKLEY . I am servant to Mrs. Hoffman, of No. 57, Russell-square. About three o'clock in the morning I got up, went to the window, and saw a man at the corner of Mrs. Fraile's garden, he was stooping. I opened the window, he tried to conceal himself behind the trees. In a few minutes I heard a noise like a hinge or something knocking, which alarmed me. I called the watchman, he sprang his rattle, and another came. I saw him get over Mrs. Fraile's wall and seven other walls, the last of which led into the back of Bedford-place and Bloomsbury-square, he could then get into the mews. He had a bottle-green loose great-coat on. I saw a man jump from a house at the corner of the mews, and run along the mews about three-quarters of an hour after. I watched him getting over the walls till that time.

JAMES ARTIS . I am footman at No. 59, Russell-square. I was awoke a little before four o'clock by the watchman's rattle. I looked out of the window, and the watchman asked me if any man was in the gardens? I then saw a man going out of the gardens over several walls; he had a dark loose great coat on. I had a side view of his face, and can swear the prisoner is the man. It was quite light. I and the watchman went into every garden in Bedford-place till we came to Bloomsbury-square, I then saw him at the top of the stables in Southampton-mews, sitting behind a chimney. I called to him, he came towards me, and said,

"It is no use making a resistance." As soon as he came to the parapet wall, which is twenty feet high, he jumped down and the watchman took him at the end of the mews. I am quite sure he is the man - I had a full view of his face.

JOHN SIMMONDS. I am a watchman of Russell-square. About a quarter past four o'clock in the morning Oakley alarmed me; I placed watchmen in different directions, and went round myself to the mews, hearing he was coming that way, and stopped him - he had a loose brown great coat on.

MATTHEW RAGAN . I am a watchman. I saw the prisoner drop from the stable, he was secured.

THOMAS MARONEY . I am a watchman. I found part of the lead in Mrs. Fraile's garden, and part in the adjoining garden. I was present when it was compared with the building, it exactly covered the privy, and matched a small piece at the end which was left.

SAMUEL FURZEMAN . I am a constable. I compared the lead - it was nailed at the sides, and this was cut out of the middle - it matched exactly; there was above 100 lbs. of it. On the seat by which the prisoner stood at the lock-up house I found a knife, he told me to notice that I did not find it on him - no person there claimed it.

WILLIAM LIGHTFOOT. I am a watchman. I collared the prisoner in the mews.

Prisoner's Defence. A bricklayer told me to come for a job; I went up a ladder to the tiles.

GUILTY . Aged 28.

Transported for Seven Years .

First Middlesex Jury, before J. Vaillant, Esq.