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

8th December 1784

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192. THOMAS LUCAS proceedingsdefend was indicted for burglariously and feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Lazarus Levy proceedingsvictim , about the hour of seven in the night, on the 15th of November last, and feloniously stealing therein two watches with the inside and outside cases made of silver, value 5 l. the property of the said Lazarus Levy.

(The witnesses ordered to withdraw, by the request of Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Council.)


I live at Ratchliff-highway, No. 41 ; my windows were broke open, on the 15th of November last, between six and seven in the evening; I shut up five of the shutters there are six, I leave up the biggest, and there is a small space between each, so that the light shines through, I shut up shop at about half after four, and I was sitting in my shop by the fire, and saw the corner shutter move, there is a gentleman next door and there was a boy at the door, I said to him, you have medled with my shutters; he said; I am sure I did not meddle with your shutters, there is a man gone past, I suppose he did it, I went in again and sat down, about six or seven minutes after, all at once four shutters were shut up, and bounced out two of the paynes of glass, there were twenty watches hung all in a line on brass wire, and every watch had a hook, when the glasses were pushed in, I saw two hands coming in with gloves, and a drabish colour great coat, pull some watches down, I run out of doors, and the man run away; I followed him, and cried out stop thief! he run better than I, but he was pursued and overtaken, but he got out of my sight when he turned round the corner, after I came up they had him fast; I said, that is the man that run away with my watches; he had another coat on then, I did not see his face, I saw his clothes; he had a round hat, a light colour great coat with bright buttons, and a pair of gloves on.

Was there any thing of your's found upon him at any time? - No.

Can you swear that is the man? - I swear by the clothes, he run before me, and another man followed him; all I know is, that the man was brought back in the same clothes; I lost two watches.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Council. I think we have gone so far that nothing was found on the prisoner? - Nothing.

When you went out the first time you suspected it was a boy? - Yes.

Who is that boy? - I do not know, he is not the boy that is now to give evidence, I went into the shop, I did not think of any harm.

You jumped up in a hurry for fear they should get all the watches? - There was a great bounce made by the four shutters, then in the instant two panes of glass was broke, the prisoner immediately run away, and run much better than me.

How far had he to run, till he came to the corner of Denmark-street? - I believe I could run it in a minute.

Four out of five of your shutters were close? - Yes.

Were the other shops in the street open or shut? - There is a watchmaker's shop shut up at seven.

Did the other shop shut up before you or not? - They may do as they like.

But did they? - My neighbour never shuts up her shop till nine, as to the other shops, I do not know whether they were shut or not.

Did you observe the man's coat? - I observed it was a little drabish.

How many of your neighbours might have the goodness to join in the pursuit? - Nobody run but one, but a little higher up there was a few.

Is the boy to whom you had spoke, one of them? - He might.

Was you at your tea? - No, Sir.

The person that run from your door, had a round hat on, flapped? - It was not flapped, I suppose it was a little flappish, I am not a maker of hats, I call it a round hat.

Now a man with a round hat of whom you had about the third part of a minute, running from you with his back to you, you undertake to swear to? - He was not above thirty yards off.

What sort of a night was it? - It was not moon light.

Was it rainy or fair? - It was a little sprinkle of rain.

A little sprinklish? - It was not very dark or light.

It was a little darkish, so upon a darkish night about one third part of a minute a man running from you, with his back towards you, with a hat flapped on, you seeing him for only twenty seconds, undertake to swear to him? - He had two white buttons on his side.

That is right, now you can swear to them, two white buttons upon his hip; to be sure a man with two whitish buttons upon his hip, is the most remarkable creature in the creation; I will not keep you any longer Mr. Levy, good night to you? - Good night to you.

JAMES READ < no role > sworn.

On the 15th of November, between six and seven, I had just left work, and passing by the end of Denmark-street, I heard the cry of stop thief! I took no notice of it, at last I saw the prisoner at the bar come up between the posts, there is a bar at the end of the street, he came into the new road from Denmark-street.

Was he walking or running? - He came running up to me when I stopped him.

When you first saw him, was he walking or running? - He might be standing still when I first saw him, it was dark, and I could not see him.

When you first saw him what was he doing? - He was coming through the posts, I was about twenty yards from the posts, he came running up to me, and I stopped him, I took hold of him, he asked me why I stopped him, I told him I did not know, I supposed he was the thief; soon after Mr. Trevallion who keeps cows came up, and desired me to keep fast hold of him; then Mr. Levy came up and said, that was the man; we took him to Denmark-street, to the sign of the Kettle-drum, an officer was sent for, but no property was found upon him.

The Remainder of this Trial in the Eleventh Part, which is the last, and will be published in a few days.

THE WHOLE PROCEEDINGS ON THE KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON; AND ALSO The Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex; HELD AT JUSTICE HALL in the OLD BAILEY, On Wednesday the 8th of DECEMBER, 1784, and the following Days;

Being-the FIRST SESSION in the Mayoralty of The Right Hon. RICHARD CLARK < no role > , LORD MAYOR < no role > OF THE CITY OF LONDON.




Printed for E. HODGSON (the Proprietor) And Sold by J. WALMSLAY, No. 35, Chancery Lane, and S. BLADON, No. 13, Pater-noster Row.



KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON, &c.

Continuation of the Trial of Thomas Lucas < no role > .

Mr. Garrow. How far might you be from the prisoner when you first saw him? - About twenty yards.

It was so dark you could not see whether he was running or not? - He stopped at the posts, he might run after he came through the posts, and he certainly did.

Was it a rainy night? - No, it did not rain at all.

Now do you mean to swear that? - It rained afterwards, that same evening.

Nay man, never blink it, did it rain or not? - I cannot positively say.

Recollect yourself a little? - I cannot say.

May be it was a light night? - It was dark, but not so dark but I could distinguish the man coming through the posts, he had a drab coloured coat and metal buttons.

After you took hold of him, you took care he threw nothing away? - The constable took him away, there were no watches found upon him.

JOHN TREVALLION < no role > sworn.

I am a cow-keeper, I live in Denmark-street.

How near is that to Levy's house? - About fifty yards, I cannot say how long the street is, it is a longish street, I heard the cry of stop thief, I saw a young fellow in a light coloured great coat, with metal buttons, and a blue coat under it, run along, there was a lamp, I saw him very plain, I run after him and fell down on one knee; I made a stumble at the top of the street, a young man stopped him, and we took him to the public-house and searched him, he had a bit of myrtle in his mouth.

Had you sight enough of him to know that the man that was stopped was the same man? - Certainly, he never was out of my sight, he had not got by the door when I saw him; when I turned out of my door he stepped over my cellar window; there was a knife in his pocket; Mr. Levy came up crying stop thief, and partly out of breath.

Did you see any boys running? - Yes, towards the top of the street.

Mr. Garrow. The boys were a head of the person that came past your door? - No, Sir.

Do you know any thing of these boys that were running? - I saw no boys till the cry of stop thief, there are many alarms in that street, the prisoner was taken at the upper end of the street in a back lane, the boys ran after me, and some overtook me; I keep a chandler's shop at home, and carts and cows.

Stand up that the Jury may see you, you keep carts; what the handy jockey carts, do you keep any of those convenient things for the benefit of the country poultry? - No, Sir, I do not.

Do you deal in any other animals, do you deal in horses? - I never buy any but what I buy for my business, I buy them with a good face.

Was you in your front room that you was drinking tea? - My rooms are all in front, I have but three rooms.

Did you hurt yourself much? - No, Sir, not a great deal.

Was it a moon light night? - It was not.

It was a dry night, that you recollect? - I will not be positively sure of that, to the best of my knowledge it was a dry night.

Did not it sprinkle a little? - I did not know, if it did I forgot it.

Did you dirt yourself much in falling down? - I did not.

Did you trace back the way that the person had run from Mr. Levy's house? - No, Sir, they brought the prisoner back, I saw him make a halt back; I sent Mr. Levy back, it was not my business, there was nothing found on the prisoner.

WILLIAM HAY < no role > sworn.

I live in Ratcliff-highway, within three doors of the prosecutor, I was going out with some goods, I saw that person about Mr. Levy's window, I saw him walking backwards and forwards, looking at the things that were in the window.

What did you see him do? - I saw him do nothing but look at the things.

How long did you observe him? - He might be ten minutes, or better.

What might you be doing all the time? - I went out with some goods, and when I came back he was in the same place.

What are you? - A grocer, I live with Mr. Jollands, I am errand boy, I have lived there two years and three quarters.

Did you see Mr. Levy come out of his shop at all? - No, Sir, I did not, I went and told my master that there was a person lurking about, and I did not like him, but my master being busy in the shop, did not take much notice of it.

How do you know it was the prisoner? - Because I am sure of it, I went close by him, he had a bit of myrtle in his mouth, and a light great coat on.

Did you take notice of that? - Yes, Sir.

How came you to take notice of such a circumstance? - I did take notice, he was walking backwards and forwards, and I looked at him.

What sort of a bit of myrtle was it? - A little sprig.

Was this a very light night that you saw a little bit of myrtle? - He was near the windows, and by the lights you might see his face very plain.

What led your attention to him so much to observe he had a bit of myrtle in his mouth? - Because he looked at me, I went in doors and saw no more.

Mr. Garrow. What time of night was this? - Between six and seven, all the shutters were up excepting one, and there was a little space between every one, I did not see any body thereabouts.

Do you know the lady that lives at next door? - Yes, the prisoner was looking at her shop as well as Mr. Levy's.

Did you see any body with him? - No, Sir, I did not.

It was a moon light night? - I cannot say directly, the lamps were alight.

It was a dry night? - No, Sir, it was a wet night, it rained small rain a good pace, that made me look the more, because the person stood still in the rain.

You frequently have been alarmed in that neighbourhood with thieves? - I cannot say.

(The prisoner called four witnesses, who all gave him a good character.)

Court to Read. Was you present when the prisoner was searched? - Yes.

Did you see what was found upon him? - I saw nothing found in his pocket, he had a pair of gloves on his hands, I am positive of that, I took particular notice of it.


Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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