Old Bailey Proceedings:
Old Bailey Proceedings: Accounts of Criminal Trials

16th April 1740

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Currently Held: Harvard University Library

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230. John Cane proceedingsdefend , of St. Martin's in the Fields , was indicted for stealing sundry wearing Apparel the Goods of Edward Wren proceedingsvictim , March 22 .

Edward Wren. Last Saturday was 3 Weeks I lost all the things mentioned in the Indictment, (be named them all) from off the Horse in my Yard, and never met with them again. The Prisoner was seen in our Entry, after the things were gone, and was knock'd down by a Watchman as he was running away. I live in New-street, Covent Garden ; and was in the Kitchen, when the Maid came and told me the things were stole out of the Yard. When the Prisoner was taken, he desired me to advertise the Goods, and told me if I would be at one Day's expence, he would be at another.

Elizabeth Swift. On the 22d of March, I wash'd some Linnen for Mr Wren, and hung the things up on the Horse in the Yard, near our Kitchen-door. At 11 in the Evening, I heard the Footsteps of somebody in the Entry, and taking up a Candle, I saw the Linnen was gone. I heard some Person treading down the Entry, but the Wind took my Candle, and I never saw the Prisoner, 'till he was knocked down by the Watchman.

Robert Swift < no role > . I serve Mr Wren as a Journeyman, and happened to be there on Saturday Night the 22d of March. About 11 o'Clock my Master and I were sitting by the Fireside, and as my Wife was washing the Dishes, she said she heard somebody trip along in the Yard; she ran and found the Cloaths gone; and I took a Candle and a Stick, and ran across the Yard into the Entry, where I found the Prisoner, and by the Light of my Candle, he found his Way into the Street. There is a Hatch at the End of the Entry without either Lock or Latch, which opens with pushing, or pulling, and shuts to of it self. The Prisoner pull'd open this Hatch, and shut it to, after him, which stopped me a little; but I saw him running, and cried stop Thief, - and the Prisoner cried stop Thief too, by which means he passed by a little Watchman, because he did not know who to knock down. But when the Watchman saw me, then he and I pursued the Prisoner into Bedford-street, Covent Garden, where another taller Watchman knocked him down, when I was not above 10 or 15 Yards from him.I kept my Eye upon the Prisoner, from the Time he ran out of the Entry 'till he was knocked down by the tall Watchman: and I am sure the Man who was knocked down, was the same Man, who ran out of our Passage. I am positive the Prisoner is the Man.

Prisoner. What Cloaths had I on when I was knocked down?

Swift. Not that Coat which he has on now. It was a caped Coat, but not so light as that which he has now on.

Prisoner. The Coat I had then on is now in Newgate I'll send for it - No; I won't give the Court so much Trouble. But pray did you see any thing in my Hands, when you pursued me?

Swift. No nothing at all.

Jervase Bellace < no role > . I am a Watchman, and was at my stand, on Saturday, the 22d of March, a little after 11, and had just hung up my Lanthorn, when a great outcry was made, - stop Thief! So I took down my Lanthorn and ran into the Middle of the Street, where I stood to see who ran by. The Prisoner came running down the Street at a great Rate, and got past me, but I turned short about, and knocked him down. Swift came up to me directly upon the Prisoner's falling, and said he was the Man, and he had never been out of his sight. On Sunday he was carried before Colonel De Veil, and in the Colonel's Entry, in my hearing, the Prisoner offered to make Mr. Wren full satisfaction for the Goods. He made the same offer, before the Colonel; and the Prosecutor I believe would have made it up, if the Colonel would have suffered him to have so done.

Wren The Prisoner asked me, what the Value of my Goods was? and I told him, I believed they were worth about a Guinea. He told me if I would not prosecute him, he would pay the Guinea with all his Heart: and because he had no Money, he offered to leave his Cloaths with me. When I was before Colonel De Veil, I would have made an End of it, if I could.

Prisoner, to Bellace. Had I any Goods upon me, when I was taken?

Bellace. The Constable neglected to search him, 'till after he was put into the Hole, and then we found nothing upon him.

Prisoner. What Cloaths had I then on?

Bellace. Not the Cloaths he has on now. He had then on him a large cap'd Coat, of a grey or drab Colour.

Richard Barber < no role > . On the 22d of March, between 11 and 12, as I was at my Stand, the People cry'd, Stop Thief! The Prisoner was in the Mob, and cry'd, Stop Thief too; and I pursued, but did not know who was the right Thief; but my Brother-Watchman knocked him down because he would not stop; and Swift was running after him, the same Time, and said the Prisoner was the Man who had stole the Linnen. We found nothing upon him; but I heard him offer to make Satisfaction for the Goods.


Sarah Hughes < no role > . I happened to be at one Mr Turner's, at the Mogul's Head, a Constable in Drury Lane, the 22d of March, and knowing the Prisoner to be an honest, just Man, I sent for him to go home with me, about half an Hour after 10 at Night. I live hard by Charing-Cross, and he saw me home thro' Bedford-Court, - quite to my own House. We did not pass thro' New-Street, where the Prosecutor lives. The Prisoner lives at one Mr Lyon's, I don't know where, - somewhere in Drury Lane, and he took his Leave of me, (to go home) about half an Hour after 10, or near 11 o'Clock. I have known him these six Years and better: he lived about a Year ago in the next Room to mine. I take in Washing, and have entrusted him in my Room, when I have had thirty or forty Pounds-worth of Linnen there, and he always behaved honestly. His Business is to carry a Chair, and during the Time of the Frost, he was ready to go on Errands, and has fetched me Water for my Work. I have seen him plying, and carrying a Chair about Charing-Cross; I saw him plying there last February, and the beginning of March.

William Lyons < no role > . I am a Sawyer by Trade, and live in Drury Lane. I have known the Prisoner between 8 and 10 Years. He lodged in my House all the hard Frost, - upwards of five Months. He did follow Chairmen's Business, and when he was out of Work, I used to help him to Business as a Porter. He ply'd about Charing-Cross, and Spring-Gardens, but I know nothing of his Partner who used to carry the Chair with him. I never saw him at my House. I know nothing of him. - I have seen him; he has been with the Prisoner at my House.

Elizabeth Lyons < no role > . The Prisoner lived at our House, and behaved well; I am Wife of the last Witness; I know the Prisoner carried a Chair, and ply'd about Brownlow-Street, and Drury-Lane I mean, low-Street, and Russell Street and that Way, and about Covent-Garden, and St. James's but he generally ply'd about Covent-Garden, and Drury-Lane. I have seen him in Bow-Street, with his Straps on, and his Partner was with him. I forget his Partner's Sirname, but he lived with his Sister at the Coach and Horses in Drury-Lane, and his Christian-namewas William. When they had nothing to do they used to help my Husband to saw Timber.

Thomas Williams < no role > . I am a Sawyer I live in Bowl-Yard, and am Lyons's Partner. The Prisoner lived in his House, and I never heard any thing in the World, but that he was an honest Fellow. He used to tell me he follow'd Chair-work about St. James's, but I never saw him at Work, because I never walked that Way. I have seen him at Lyons's House, with Straps on.

William Moss < no role > , Serjeant. The Prisoner has been in our Company about 10 Months, and in case he should have proved his Character, I should have taken Care of him, and have carried him to another Place. I never saw him carry a Chair, but he has had a Chairman's Coat and Straps on in the Tower, and behaved well while he was in the Barracks.

Catharine Hall < no role > was called by the Prisoner, but when she appeared, he would not have her sworn, because she was not the right Catharine Hall. Guilty .

[Transportation. See summary.]

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