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Old Bailey-James Hoy


JOSEPH BRIGGS, WILLIAM GOLDSMITH, JAMES JERVAIS and JAMES HOY were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Smith, on the 10th of January, about the hour of seven in the night, and stealing 15 pieces of calico, containing 315 yards, value 30 l. the property of John Smith, Edward Langdon Macmurdo, and James West, in the said dwelling-house.


I live at Old Ford; I am a calico-printer.

What is the firm of your partnership? - John Smith and Company; the names are John Smith, Edward Langdon Macmurdo, and James West.

Describe the manner in which your house is situated as distinct from the shop; the calico I understand was taken from a place near the dwelling-house? - The lower part is a printing-shop, the next story is a warehouse, the upper part is a dwelling, or lodging for a number of apprentice lads; we have to the amount of eight or ten.

Are there any other apprentices who sleep there? - Yes.

How far is this from the dwelling-house? - Ten or fifteen yards.

Is this surrounded with any sort of fence? - On the one side it is open to the road.

Without a gate? - Yes.

Is it attached to the house? - No.

Does that part from the road go into the yard? - Yes.

Did this building come into that road? - Yes, on that side near the road; I know nothing of the burglary.

Mr. Garrow. You said this adjoins to the road? - Yes.

Is the entrance from the road immediately into the workshop? - No, into the yard.

Is the yard inclosed? - Yes.

You do not step off the causeway of the road into the workshop? - No.

How is the yard enclosed? - By gates, and the building which runs down on one side next the road; the yard encloses a number of out-buildings, not the dwelling-house.

The dwelling-house is quite distinct from that connexion of out-houses? - Quite so, the drying-places and other things of that sort are enclosed in the yard.

Jervais, I believe, was an apprentice of your's? - He was not articled.

How long had he been employed? - About two years.

What character had he borne to this time? - A very good character; he was always esteemed a very sober lad.

Court. This building has no connexion with your dwelling-house? - None.

On the contrary, it stands in a yard in which the house does not stand? - Yes.

And that yard is enclosed with a gate? - Yes.

These apprentices, are they the apprentices of all the partners, or any one in particular? - To the company.

Is the house and this printing-place held of the same landlord? - Yes.


I am servant to Messrs. Smith and Co. at Old Ford; upon the 10th of January, I made the windows and doors of the workshop fast, about twenty minutes after four in the afternoon; I did not leave the shop till five o'clock.

Court. It appears to me, as to the burglary you cannot prove it from the account.

Did you miss any thing in the morning? - I went in about seven o'clock in the morning; when I went down stairs, some of the women said, the windows are open.

You must not tell us what the women said.


I am a workman with Mr. Smith and Co.

Do you remember being at work on some calico the evening before this calico was missing? - Yes, I do not recollect the day.

What time did you leave off work? - I cannot recollect; we worked as long as we could see; it might be between four and five; I was working upon a green pattern, I had some under my table that I was to work in paste colours, the paste was not fit, and I put by eight pieces of calico under the table I was at work at.

Was it work of that kind you should know it again? - Yes, I should know the pattern of it.

What time did you come the next morning? - I was not the first, but I came as soon as it was light, and the calicoes were all gone.

Have you ever seen any calico since that time that you have reason to believe was that calico? - Yes.


I am an officer of the Public-office, Shadwell.

Have you any of the property? - No, Armstrong has; I took Usher.

Mr. Garrow. Who is Usher? - A witness here.

Who is he? - A Jew.

How long have you known him? - Not long.

He has been here before? - I do not know, I took him on the 7th of this month; I met him in Fleur-de-lis-street, it goes from Shoreditch to Wheeler-street; I asked him what he had under his arm; I saw it was a bundle; he told me he had a piece; I asked him a piece of what; he said, a piece of his own property; I told him, I had some suspicion it was not his own property, and he must go to the Justice to prove it was his property; it was a piece of calico; Armstrong was with me at the same time, and he took it from him.

How came you to suspect Usher? - From a little bit of an information.

He was a little shy? - No, he never offered to run away.


I was with Harper, we met with Usher; he had a piece of goods which he said he bought of Terry Finley; here are two more pieces which Usher afterwards brought to the office; this is the piece I took from him.

(Producing it.)

Mr. Garrow. You have had a little acquaintance with Usher before? - No, I have never had him in custody before.


There is a piece of callico there, where did you get it from? - I had it from Terry Finley.

The other two you afterwards brought, where had you them from? - From the same person.

Mr. Garrow. May we ask how much you gave for them? - If you please.

If you please to answer it? - I gave sixteen-pence a yard.

Do you mean to swear that? - I did.

And paid for them at the time you had them? - Yes.

Before you were taken into custody? - Yes.

That is a high price for you to give; is it not? - I have told the truth.

How came you to give that price? - Because I could not get them cheaper.

Where did you buy them? - Of Terry Finley, at his own house in Back-lane, Rag-fair, the day before I was taken up.

How long have you dealt in calico? - I deal in any thing.

I suppose so; but how long have you been a dealer in calico? - I gave a fair judgment for it.

You will have a fair judgment some time or another? - When I can buy any thing I do; I am a dealer.

You have been a dealer a long time? - I cannot tell.

But you deal in any thing and every thing? - Yes.

Do you keep a shop? - No.

Did you pay it in cash or bank-notes? - No, in gold and silver.

How much did you pay him for these goods? - Two pounds thirteen shillings for two pieces; that was the first time, and I gave him one pound seven shillings for the last piece.


I live in Cable-street, Back-lane.

Those calicoes which Usher had, do you know where they came from? - On the 10th of January I was out; my wife sent for me home; when I came home, there were three men round my door, and two withinside.

Who were the two men on the inside? - The man with the one eye (Briggs) and the other, he with the silk handkerchief, (Goldsmith.)

You don't know who the men at the door were? - No; when I went into the house, there were five pieces, four white and one Stormont, which I agreed with Goldsmith to give them three guineas and an half for; Briggs came the next day and another man; I believe him in the white jacket (Hoy) I don't know his name.

You are sure that is the man that came with Briggs? - I cannot be positive, they told me I gave them a light guinea the night before, which I changed, and they told me they had some more, and they said they did not like to bring it down Back-lane, on account of the runners being about there; with that I appointed a place in East Smithfield; I took Briggs with me,; he looked at the place, and said he liked it very well; Briggs and Goldsmith, and another, brought me, on the Sunday night following to this room in Smithfield three pieces; we appointed a place to meet Briggs, at a public-house, on Tower-hill.

Confine yourself to those pieces of calico that belong to Mr. Smith? - I don't know which belongs to Mr. Smith; I thought they all belonged to Mr. Smith; Shakeshaft has the other pieces.

(Shakeshaft produced the pieces which he said he had of Finley.)

How many pieces did you purchase the first time? - Five.

How many pieces did you purchase before the 21st of January? - I purchased none before the 21st of January.

When did you purchase these? - The 10th of January I purchased five pieces, and on the Sunday night following I purchased three pieces, and on the Monday night I purchased five; those that are produced I purchased of Briggs and Goldsmith.

Shakeshaft. I produce three, and Armstrong produces three pieces.

To Finley. You purchased all these of Briggs and Goldsmith? - Yes.

Were any body else with them? - Yes, the first time they came to the Black Horse, that was on the Tuesday night, there were five in company.

Who were those five? - I only went in at the door of the Black Horse, and Goldsmith and Briggs came out to me, I don't know any of the other three.

How many did you see at any other time? - There were three when they came with the light guinea? - I don't know any but Briggs and Goldsmith.

Out of the six that are produced, you sold three? - I sold three to a pedlar, one Johnson, that goes about the country, and I sold three to Usher, and three that are now produced; I purchased fifteen in the whole.

Mr. Garrow. You are a wholesale calico warehouseman, are you? - No.

What trade are you? - A shoe-maker.

You don't make women's shoes of this, do you? - No.

How came you to be dealing in this? - I have dealt in it a great while; I have been guilty of bad faults in buying things that were stolen.

How long have you been a receiver of stolen goods? - About a couple of years, off and on.

Have you had any intervals of honesty in the two years; very short ones I am afraid; have you been here before? - Yes.

How often? - Twice, I believe.

No oftener? - No.

Twice as a witness? - As a witness.

Or in that place (pointing to the bar)? - I was once in that place.

How long ago? - Two years ago.

What was that for? - For what I was honorably acquitted.

What was it you was acquitted of? - I do not know what I was indicted for.

You really do not know what you was tried for? - For nothing.

How long have you been acquainted with Usher? - Seven or eight years.

Have you had dealings with him much? - Yes.

In that way of business? - Yes.

Nothing came amiss to either of you? - No.

Now what price did you give for the first parcel you had? - Three guineas and a half for five pieces.

How many did you sell to Usher? - None of the first five.

What did you give for the next? - For the next three, I gave two guineas and a half.

Were they what you sold to Usher? - I cannot tell particularly.

What did Usher give you? - Sixteen-pence a yard.

Why were you at the trouble of measuring them between you and your friend Usher? - I never measured them.

Never measured them, and yet sell them by the yard? - The people I bought them of, told me they were two yards and a half.

Who was present when you received the money from Usher? - My wife.

That was all you received of Usher? - Yes, except a year ago; it was one pound six shillings and eight-pence; I did not take the halfpence.

So that a guinea and five shillings and six-pence was all? - Yes.

You only sold him three pieces? - No, two at one time, and one at another.

What was the one pound six shillings and eight-pence for? - For the one.

What did he pay you for the others? - One pound six for each of the others; that was two pounds twelve shillings.

What did you mean by telling me that one pound six shillings and eight-pence was all that you received from Usher, except a year ago? - That was a mistake.

Have you not been here since you was tried? - Not to my knowledge.

Recollect yourself; upon your oath, have you ever been examined here as a witness? - I never have, not before to-day.


I am the wife of the last witness; on the 10th of January, about seven or eight o'clock in the evening, or it might be later, five men came to my house; two of them were Briggs and Goldsmith; I did not know the other three; they asked for my husband, he was out, I sent my servant to call him; while the servant was gone, each of the men pulled a piece of calico from under their coats; I desired three of them to go out, for my husband would only deal with two of them at once; my husband came in and bought the five pieces of Briggs and Goldsmith, for three guineas and a half.

Did he afterwards sell any to any body? - Not that I know of.

Do you know Usher? - Yes.

When did you see Usher after this? - I cannot say when; I saw him some time afterwards.

Mr. Garrow. You have a slight acquaintance with Usher? - Yes.

He does not deal with your husband? - I cannot tell that he does.

He does not deal with you of course? - No.

Where did you keep these goods? - In the cock-loft.

You never received any money? - Yes, soon after this, my husband told me to receive two pounds thirteen shillings of him.

Was that all you received of him? - I received one pound six shillings and sixpence afterwards.

How came you not to mention that, when you was asked how soon after you saw Usher? - I do not know.

Your husband never deals with five people at a time? - No.

How long have you been married? - Fifteen months.

He has carried on a roaring trade, has not he? - Not that I know of.

For what reason did you desire the three men to withdraw? - Because my husband ordered me.

Your plant was in the cock-loft? - Yes.

Explain to the Jury what a plant is? - Where we put things.

The plant is where you keep stolen goods; is it not? - Yes.

Why was you to receive this money, and not your husband? - I do not know.

Your husband was by? - No.

Was he present or not? - I cannot rightly say.

What part of the house did you receive it in? - In the back shop.

What shop do you keep? - A clothes-shop.

Was he in the house? - Yes.

Was he in the room? - I do not know.

You are sure he did not enter into any conversation with you and Usher about the money, or about any thing else? - No.

Did you receive any halfpence in change? - No.

How happened that, because you know it came to eight-pence? - He did not give me the odd two-pence.

You received these monies at different times? - Yes.

Was your husband present at either of the times? - I cannot say.


I am a calico printer, I was servant to Mr. Smith of Old Ford; on Tuesday night the 8th of January, Hoy, Briggs, and I were together at the White Horse, Old Ford, and we consulted how we should rob Mr. Smith's ground; we were to rob the shop on the Wednesday night; we were to meet at the White Horse, Old Ford, but when I went to unkey the window, there came one of the men into the shop; upon that I went out again; when Briggs and Hoy and I met, I told them I could not do it, because one of the men came into the shop; we agreed to meet the next night, and I was to acquaint Jervais with it; after I had done work on Thursday night, I saw Jervais at the door, I told him it was very easy to rob the shop, if he would be agreeable, which he consented to; and I told him to go and unkey the further window in the shop; then we both went up towards the White Horse, we sat there till about six o'clock; then Joseph Briggs came in, and we told him every thing was ready; after being in for some minutes, Briggs went out, then Jervais and I followed him; there we met Briggs, Hoy, and Goldsmith, very near the White Horse; we went all together towards Mr. Smith's shop; going along, Briggs stopped and got a sack; Jervais and I, and Goldsmith and Hoy, went on towards the shop; Jervais and I went up to the shop window first, and let down the bar, and opened the window shutter, and then I went away, a little way below the shop, and left Jervais.

For what purpose? - To look out, to see if any body came along; when I went away Briggs and Goldsmith came up to the window, and one of them, I do not know which, broke a pane of glass; I thought I heard somebody coming down the lane; I went away towards the window, and told Briggs and Goldsmith; Briggs threw the sack over the pales opposite the shop; then we went away to the end of the wall.

All of you? - No, Jervais was in the shop.

Did you see him in the shop? - No.

When you all went up there, you did not see Jervais at that time? - No, when we found there was nobody coming, we went back again, and I went to the same place where I was before; I saw some pieces come out of the window.

How do you mean? - They were put through the pane of glass that was broke, and thrown over the pales where the sack was.

Who threw them over the pales? - I cannot say which it was; after that, Jervais came out, then Briggs got over the pales; Goldsmith, Hoy, Jervais, and I went up to the further end of the pales, where Briggs brought the sack, and threw it over; Goldsmith took it upon his back, and carried it a little way up the lane, with the assistance of the rest of us; we carried it all through the fields, till we came to the field but one joining to the Gravel Pit at Old Ford, then we took five pieces out of the sack, each of us put one round our bodies, then we carried the sack and buried it in the Gravel-pit-field, under some loom, and then we all sat off down the alleys towards London, and came out at Mile-end-road; we went into Back-lane, to Terry Finley's; Briggs and Goldsmith went in first, after they had been in some time, Goldsmith came, and called Jervais, Hoy, and I in; we went in, and each of us took a piece from round our waists, and threw them on the stairs; Mrs. Finley told us we must go out, for her husband would not deal with more than two at a time; accordingly Hoy, Jervais and me went to the Gun and Holly-bush, in the lane; after we had been there some time, Briggs and Goldsmith came in to us; Briggs said he asked Mr. Finley seven guineas for the five pieces, but he could get no more than three guineas and a half; then we went to another public house, and shared the money; then we went as far as Bow together, there we parted with Goldsmith and Hoy; I went and delivered myself up to Mr. Leach and Mr. Newton.

Did you tell them of this robbery of Mr. Smith's? - Yes.

Did you tell them that all these prisoners were concerned with you? - I do not know that I did.

Mr. Garrow. Before you was in custody you certainly gave an information? - Yes.

Somebody else was in custody who could have informed against you, I believe? - Yes.

That is the merit of your information; who was it that was in custody at that time? - Jervais, Briggs and Doust.

You did not say a word of this to anybody, till you yourself expected to be taken up and hanged? - No, I cannot say I did.

You began your evidence by saying, we met together, and consulted how we could do this? - Yes.

Upon your oath who proposed it to the others? - I believe I did.

Upon your oath have you any doubt about it? - No.

Then we may understand you, that you proposed to Briggs and Hoy to rob your own master, and then agreed with them to endeavour to draw in Jervais, who was a servant to the same master? - Yes.

A poor lad who had, before this, borne a good character? - Yes.

You said one of them broke the window; upon your oath did you not do it yourself? - No.

You was not at the window at the time it was broke? - No.

Were there no calicoes on the bleaching grounds at that time? - None of them were on the grounds.

I know none of them, but were there any upon the bleaching ground? - I cannot say.

Recollect, because you cannot possibly fail to know that; the workshop joins the bleaching ground, does it not? - Yes.

Did you not propose to break the house rather than the grounds, that you might get these people into the scrape, and get the reward? - No.

How long had you lived with this master to whom you was so faithful? - I believe about six months.

You found Jervais living there when you first went to live there, and in possession of a good character? - Yes.

He knew nothing of it till you were all agreed? - No.

To Royle. Look at those calicoes, and see if you know them again? - I know the pattern very well; I printed twenty pieces of the pattern.

Are those the pieces you left under the table? - The ends being torn off, I cannot swear to them; the ends were on every piece I left under the table; the ends were numbered, and I have the numbers of the pieces that were stolen, in a book at home.

Are those finished? - No, they are in the first state in which they are printed; there was another colour they had to go in, and then they were to be boiled off; they are in the state of those that we lost; a paste was to be put in to save the eye, and they were to be stormonted; I did twelve of them, but the eight that were to do, the paste did not answer the purpose.

That was to fix the colour? - Yes.

Have you any doubt about this being property that was lost that night? - No, every piece here seems to be in the same state.

Unfit for sale? - Yes.

Mr. Garrow. This is not an uncommon pattern; is it? - We have not a pattern that I know of like it; it is a new pattern.

Have you seen, since those were lost, any patterns of Mr. Greaves's before the Justice? - No; I have not seen any till I saw this to day.

To Mr. Smith. Do you know that piece? - There has been a name taken off; I have a piece (producing it); part of the goods of this man's printing, which was left in another room, at the time the robbery was committed; this was sent to the office that they might know the pattern when they saw it.

Is it a new pattern? - Quite so; they never were printed before; our patterns are confined to our own houses.

Court. You have sold none of this pattern yet? - None.

None of the trade that you know of had that pattern? - No.

Jury. Were the calicoes all of the same width and quality? - All the same.

Do those exactly correspond in width and quality with what you lost? - Yes.

To Finley. Did you buy the calicoes all of the same persons? - Yes; of Goldsmith and Briggs.

Jury. Were the fag-ends to them when you bought them? - Yes; I pulled them off, and burnt them.

Were there any marks upon them? - Yes,

"Smith, Old-Ford."

The prisoner Briggs said nothing in his Defence.


I know nothing about it.

Jervais. I leave my defence to my counsel.


I sailed with Mr. Hindes, of Bow, to the East Indies, for the East India Company, and he would have been here, but he has a bad state of health; he has sent this paper.

Court. That cannot be admitted.

Briggs called one witness, who gave him a good character.

Jervais called four witnesses, who gave him a good character.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron THOMPSON.


JAMES HOY, sexual offences: rape, 10 Jul 1816

684. JAMES HOY was indicted for a rape, and found

GUILTY - DEATH, aged 35.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Abbot

JAMES HOY, theft: simple grand larceny, 09 Sep 1818

1360. JAMES HOY was indicted for stealing, on the 27th of July, one watch, value 6s., the property of Thomas Wood.

JOHN MURRAY. I am servant to Thomas Wood, who is a pawnbroker, and lives in St. Giles's. On the 27th of July, the prisoner pledged a watch for 4s. He came again in the evening, and I advanced him 2s. more on it. I put it on the counter by the side of the boy, while he made out the ticket. I went to the further end of the shop, to serve some other person; when I returned the prisoner was gone, and the watch also. About half-past eight o'clock he was stopped at Burrows's with it.

ROBERT EDWARDS. I am a constable. I heard a noise in Burrows's shop, went in, and took the prisoner and watch. He wanted to escape.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

Prisoner's Defence. The boy gave me the watch with the 2s., and being in distress, I did not tell him of his mistake.


Third Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant