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Michael Hoy Old Bailey

MICHAEL HOY, theft: burglary, 07 May 1788

365. MICHAEL HOY was indicted for that he, about the hour of one in the night, on the 8th of April, in the dwelling of Mary Young, Spinster, without breaking the same, feloniously did enter, and feloniously did steal two silver spoons, value 11 s. a silver caster, value 11 s. a silver strainer, value 1 s. seven guineas, and two shillings, the property of the said Mary Young: and a silver tankard, value 6 l. a silver chafed cup, value 37 s. two silver salts, value 20 s. a pair of silver sugar tongs, value 5 s. two guineas and a half-guinea, the property of Margaret Young, Spinster, in the same dwelling house; and the indictment further states, that afterwards, about the hour of two in the night, he the said Michael Hoy, the said dwelling house feloniously and burglariously did break to get out of the same.

(The witnesses examined apart at the desire of Mr. Garrow, prisoner's counsel.)


Where do you live? - In Leadenhall-market.

Are you a house-keeper? - Yes.

On the 8th of April last did you lose any part of your property? - Yes.

Give me an account of it; speak up that I may hear you? - A good deal of plate.

Did you lose two table spoons? - Yes.

What was the value of them? - Twelve or thirteen shillings apiece.

Were they worth twenty shillings? - Oh! yes.

Did you lose a silver pepper castor? - Yes.

Was that worth eleven shillings? - Yes, I dare say it was; the plate is here in court.

Did you lose two silver salts? - Yes.

Were they worth fifteen shillings? - Yes.

Did you lose five silver tea spoons? - Yes.

Were they worth twelve shillings? - Yes.

Did you lose a silver tea strainer? - Yes.

What was that worth? - I do not know.

Was it worth one shilling and nine-pence? - It was worth more than that.

Did you lose seven guineas? - Yes.

Did you lose a silver tankard? - Yes.

What was the value of that? - Seven pounds I believe.

Did you lose a silver chafed cup? - Yes.

Was that worth thirty-seven shillings? - Yes; it was a very large one; they were all my property; the rest were my nieces.

Were these all taken out of your house? - Yes.

Have you reason to charge the prisoner? - I know the prisoner.

Of your own knowledge? - Yes.

Have you reason to charge the prisoner with taking these articles that is spoke of? - Yes; the prisoner came into my house about one in the morning; the street door was left on the jar; he came in; nobody was there; and he hid himself down in the cellar; for he owned it himself; he lived with a neighbour opposite to us; I know him very well.

What business did he carry on? - He lived servant at a fishmonger's.

Your house was open when he came in? - The door was upon the jar.

How came that? - My niece went over the way; we have another shop; and I left the door open at nine in the evening; my niece came in almost directly; she did not stay above a quarter of an hour; we saw nothing of the prisoner at that time, nor during that night; at one o'clock in the morning he came up in the chamber.

Did you see him? - No; but we felt him; he came and flung himself across the bed; we were in bed and in sleep; he demanded our money, and said, he came for money, and money he would have.

Did you lay alone? - No, my niece and me were in bed together.

Some person came and threw himself across the bed, and demanded your money? - Yes; I did not know his voice, but my niece did.

What happened after? - He went out after he had the money and the plate.

Did you give him any money? - Yes, I gave him about two guineas and a half, and two shillings, in a bag.

Did he take any thing else besides the two guineas and half-a guinea and two shillings? - Not that I know of besides the plate.

Did you see him take the plate? - No, I did not, but I lost that quantity of plate I have mentioned, and it was found upon him; then he left the room and went down stairs; I asked him how I should get out; he said, I shall lock the door, and will put over the key for you to come out; I went out and called in the watchman, and the things were gone.

Then he left your house without discovering who the person was? - Yes, we got up and struck a light, and went down into the market and called the watchman, who came up.

Did you make any discovery? - None at all, only we lost our property; nobody was in the house when the watchman came; nothing more happened in the course of that night.

Mr. Garrow. You are a single woman, you have never been married? - No.

MARY YOUNG, the younger, sworn.

I am niece to the prosecutrix, she lives in Leadenhall-market, and I live withher; on the 8th of April last, about a quarter before one, as near as I can recollect, we were in a dose, not in sound sleep, and somebody came on the bed, rushed on my arm; and I cried, oh dear! who be you, how came you here? the answer was, be still, and I will not hurt you; that was repeated two or three times; I cried, which way did you come in? and he said no matter; but he had that about him that would do for us, if we made any resistance, for he never went out without a pistol or hanger; but he would not hurt us if we were still.

Did he demand your money? - Yes; he said, he wanted money; the money was given him; the first money was given by my aunt; I do not know the amount of it.

Did he take any money from any other person besides your aunt? - He said, it was not money enough, and I got out of bed and unlocked the box, and gave him two guineas and half.

Was that the whole that was in the box? - No it was not; then he said, was that all? and I said, would you distress me to the last half guinea? and he said no more; but said, I will not hurt you.

Was that money taken out of the box yours, or your aunt's? - That was my property.

What passed afterwards? - He told us to go to bed, and be quiet, and make no noise.

And he sat upon your stairs, and you had a little conversation with him? - I had not, my aunt had.

Did he set upon your stairs, or stand? - That I cannot tell, because I was in the dark; and my aunt said (I wish to speak this) my aunt said, have you been in this way before? that was of robbing; and he said, yes, many times; but he never hurted any one, without they were obstreperous, or turbulent, or any thing of that kind; and I made answer, it was a very bad way of doing; but wherever you go never commit murder, for the life would do him no good, and it would save him, I did say, I think, from the gallows, (which you know is a vulgar way of speaking) the longer.

Court. So you had this conversation, after he took your property and had left your room, on the stairs? - Yes.

He came in at one, and did not leave your apartments till after the watch went half past two? - Yes.

Had you any knowledge of the person with whom you was holding this conversation? - Yes, I had.

From what circumstances? - By his voice.

Had you been acquainted with the prisoner before? - Yes, I have known him this three years.

Did you know it was the prisoner at the time? - I knew it was his voice, but I did not say it was him at the time; it is hard saying to the person by the voice.

Then do you apprehend that the voice was similar to the prisoner's voice? - Yes, I did, when he had spoke three words; and I pinched my aunt that she might not speak, because being an antient woman, she might have cried, oh Mich! is it you?

As far as I understand you, you have acquainted with the prisoner for three years? - So far as neighbours, speaking good night, or good morning; but no conversation particular.

Did you deal with the fishmonger that he lived with? - Very little; a little now and then; he served me before now with a trifle; he always behaved very civil.

But nothing more than good night, or good morning? - Nothing more.

When did he leave the house? - I think the watch went half past two; a person called up a neighbour to go to Billinsgate to buy fish, and when the watchman come the half past two, he said, I shall not be in your house above five minutes longer, and he would lock the door; my aunt said, how shall we shut the door after you, when you are gone? and he said, he would take care and lock it.

Court. This was very familiar conversation that your aunt held with him, I think? - Yes, and me too; he locked the door, and threw the key in, that we might have it, when we came down stairs; my aunt and me came down, opened the door, and called in the watch; and we had the house searched from top to bottom; there was no nail moved, nor lock broke; then I immediately said, he had hid himself in the cellar.

How could he throw the key in? - He could shove it in under the door, or shove it through the lattice; I heard the key go down, and then I said, now he is gone.

Did you lose any part of your property? - A silver tankard, a silver chased cup, two silver table-spoons and tea-tongs; they were my property separate from my aunt's; I brought it with me; I saw the several things that same night at half after ten; when we went to bed; there was a dark lanthorn left in the cupboard, instead of the plate.

Did you see any thing of the prisoner during the course of that night or the next day, or any other time? - Yes; I frequently saw him when I used to go down to the shop, but I did not take any particular notice; I dare say he was at the shop as usual.

Had you any other reason to suspect the prisoner took this plate and money, except from the circumstance, that you knew his voice? - So far; when we put out advertisements from Goldsmith's-hall, in consequence of my advertisement the plate was found, by Mr. Wright, in Tooley-street, a silversmith; the whole was found there.

Then will you inform me, whether you of your own knowledge knew any thing to affect the prisoner, being the person guilty of the fact, except the circumstance of his voice resembling? - No.

Mr. Garrow. You were much frightened? - Yes, it is very natural.

You were very much frightened? - Very much.

This was a very odd conversation to hold with the man that had been robbing you, on the stair-case? - Really, I could talk to him more freely knowing him; I thought he would have more compassion.

But you was cautious that neither you or your aunt did let him know, that either of you did know him? - Certainly.

Have you one of the hand bills here? - I have.

I wish to see one.

(Shewn to Mr. Garrow)

These hand-bills were published the very next day, I take it for granted? - In the morning, as soon as possible.

How many days after this robbery did the prisoner continue in his work? - I sent to his master's on the 8th that the bill was put out, and on the 11th he was apprehended; I saw him every day, three or four times a day, with a great fear and trembling.

How happened it, that in this advertisement you give no sort of description of the person, or of his name, or any thing particular in his voice, where he lived, or where he was to be found? - Because I thought if the plate was found, I should know the person it was taken on.

But you knew the man already? - Yes, and I spoke to him once as I had done before.

There was no reserve on your part? - No, there could not be much reserve on my part; I reasoned with myself thus far; what signifies it to take and apprehend this man, when I have no proof against him, his voice will not do; I did not say that the person was a neighbour; I took care that nobody should know it.

Did you mention it to any human creature till the plate was found? - I gave an item to one just to ease my mind a bit, but not to a soul beside; she never divulged it.

That was a female friend? - Yes, you may be sure of that.

Did the person speak in a feigned voice? - He had rather two voices; sometimes a rough one, and sometimes a smooth one.

Do you mean now in a case where a man's life is concerned, alarmed as you was, frightened almost to death, do you mean to swear with certainty to a man's voice, especially a man that has two voices? - Yes, Sir, and more than that; I said, who the man was, after he locked the door, I said to my aunt.

Did you tell your aunt that this was Mich.? - I did not say Mich. at once; I said, that was a face I knew; you have a right to plead, but I have not a right to answer every question.

There you are a little mistaken, you will find you must; do not talk so much, you will beat me all to pieces: you did not tell your aunt before the watchman came in, who it was? - I said it was Mich's voice.


Will you explain to me, (because it is taken down in short-hand) that you did not trust your old aunt with it, because she was an antient woman; how happened it that you only trusted it to one confidential female friend, and nobody else? - I never mentioned it to her the next day.

But you told me not many minutes ago that you were cautious not to tell your aunt? - That part of the story I had forgot.

Did not you think by letting this man continue four or five days at his work, that he would get an opportunity of disposing of the plate? - Yes.

He might have got it melted down you know? - Yes, that was what I thought; if he had, I should not have meddled with him; I did not choose to do any such thing; he bore a fair character; I would not take him up, because I could not swear positively to the man by his voice.

I should think it a strange thing, but it is what you have been doing for the last half hour: did you make any complaint to his master? - No, all the people knew we were robbed.

You did not hint to the master, that it was his servant that he was keeping in his house? - I never told any body any thing of it.

Do you know John Vincent? - Yes; he lived fellow-servant with this Michael Hoy.

He has been taken up for this, has not he? - Yes; Mich. took him up, not me.

He is admitted to bail, he is to be a witness here, what is his character? - I never heard any thing of his character, nothing at all, but drinking; all the market are alike for that.


I cleaned the plate that evening before it was lost; my mistress let me out in the evening; the things mentioned in the indictment, were those that I cleaned that night; I did not know the prisoner before.


I live in Tooley-street, I am a gold and silver smith; on Friday, the 11th of April, between five and six in the evening, the prisoner brought a box, and said, he had some plate to sell; he opened the box, and there appeared a parcel of plate cut to pieces; the appearance of the plate gave me great suspicion, and having received warning a day or two before of some plate being stole at Leadenhall-market, I examined several pieces; I picked up two that had the mark, M. Y. which are two letters mentioned in the warning; as soon as I discovered that, I told the prisoner the plate had been stolen; he said, I think, sure! was the expression he made, or something I believe of that kind; I am sure it was the prisoner; I have known him seven or eight years ago; he was an apprentice to a neighbour and customer of mine, or at least, he lived with him; he said, it is a hundred, or ten hundred to one, if ever I see the person again that I had it of; I told him it was a very serious piece of business, for I must stop him and the plate, and without he found the person, he would be thought the principal; after that expression, somebody came into my shop; I did not like to have a bustle about the door; I took the plate up, and directed him to follow me into a parlour which we have behind the shop; he followed me; I said, Nance, we should send to let Mrs. Young know; my wife went herself, and as she was going out of the door, he called her back; I desired my wife to step back; he said, when you come to Mrs. Young, whisper, do not speak loud, and only let her come with you; when my wife was gone, I said, then you know Mrs. Young, he said, yes; I asked him, what she was; he said a greengrocer; there came in a lady and sat down; the conversation turned on different matters till Mrs. Young came; I told him, he had very bad connexions, and it behoved him to get shut of them, for they might lead him into very great error; when Mrs. Young came, she was so agitated at the sight of him, that she nearly fainted away; we shewed her the plate; she took up several pieces, and said, these are mine; Mich! how could you do so? I went into the shop, and left them to come to a conclusion, and a constable was sent for; she took up several pieces, and said, this is a piece of a pepper-box or spoon; I cannot tell minutely what; I do not know what; she took up the particular part, with the letters M. Y. upon it.

Did the prisoner say any thing during the time that he and Mrs. Young were there? - I do not know; he seemed to acknowledge he had got a very bad connection; I told him, industry and honesty would carry him through the world, if he got but sixpence a day; the plate was delivered to the constable who is now here.


I am a constable; I produce the plate.

(Deposed to.)

Mr. Wright. This is the same I delivered to the constable; the piece that had the letter on, is not here; we were obliged to separate the pieces to prevent confusion, and in order to find out the mark which was on the bottom of the pepper-box.

Henderson. I asked the prisoner how the plate came in this state; he told me, he cut it with a knife.

Mr. Garrow. You told him, it would be better to tell all he knew about it? - No, Sir, I did not.

Who told him that? - Nobody that I know of.

Court. Previous to the time of any conversation, did you make him any promises, that if he would confess he should receive favor, or had you frightened him by any threats? - No; he asked me, what would be of any service to him? indeed, says I, I do not know, it is a business I do not understand; says I, I do not know any thing will be of any service to you; here is the property; I asked him what he had done with the money; he said, he had paid his rent with the money.

Did you give him any reason to apprehend, if he was to make any confession respecting this matter, it would be better for him? - No; he asked me, what would be of service to him; I told him I did not know any thing else would.

Mr. Garrow. I take the principle to be this; the language which I remember of Mr. Justice Grose on our last circuit;

"he must neither be influenced by hopes, nor awed by fears."

Court. But according to my apprehension, this man did not hold out to him hopes, or intimidate him by fears.

Mr. Garrow. No, my Lord; but he is consulting what he shall do; the man is not acting freely; you know the common saying is,

"it will be better for you."

Court. When he said he had cut this plate with a knife, was that before he asked you what would serve him? - No; it was previous; he said, he cut it with a knife; says I, I thought you must have done it with a pair of sheers; says he, with a knife and a hammer.

Do you recollect his particular expression? - He said, he cut it with a knife;

(The plate shewn to the niece;)

Here is the strainer marked M. H. my aunt's.

Do you remember the mark? - Yes.

Was the one you lost, marked M. H. Yes; I have cleaned it a hundred times; I am quite sure that is the mark, not H. M.

Then how happened you then to print it in your hand-bill H. M.? - Because it was a mistake; it was only the cart before the horse; I saw that fault when the bills came home; here is a table-spoon that was marked, T. E. Y. and here is the T. at the end; it was mine; it was a table-spoon; it was my father and mother's name D. E. and Y. at top.

Mr. Garrow. That is not so printed here; it is D. E. Y. as though it was in a word? - That is the printer's fault; this was marked, D. E. Y. but this I can swear to without any mark; it is a silver cup, and has no mark upon it now; this is part of the cup that was my property; here are two letters on the sugar-tongs M. R. besides the mark, T. E. & Y. that mark does not agree with the hand-bill.

Court. From your observation of that plate, in the mutilated state in which it is; are there any particulars by which you can swear to the property; either your aunt's, or your own? - I can swear to the whole, either marked, or not marked; the mark of some of it is visible, and not only that, often handling it at three or four and twenty years, and some of it thirty years, these marks were all upon either my aunt's or my property.

John Vincent called, but did not appear.

Thomas Bonner called, but did not appear.

Court. Order their recognizance to be estreated.


I am innocent of the matter; I leave it entirely to my counsel; my master is out of town; I have sent for his sister who is housekeeper to him; I do not know whether she is here.

The prisoner called five witnesses who gave him a very good character.

The Jury withdrew, and returned with a verdict,

GUILTY, Death.

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. Baron PERRYN.

He was humbly recommended to mercy by the Jury, on account of his behaving so will during the time of the robbery.


MICHAEL HOY, miscellaneous: returning from transportation, 09 Dec 1789

MICHAEL HOY was indicted for returning from transportation, and being found at large on the 11th of November last, without lawful cause.


I was removing the prisoners, and we lost two going by Black Friars Bridge, Hoy was one; I have had the care of him upwards of eight months; I found him the next day at No. 11, Joiner-street, Borough.

JOHN OWEN sworn.

In May sessions, 1788, the prisoner was tried and capitally convicted here, for stealing in the dwelling house of Mary Young, spinster, and breaking out of the same: I have had him in my custody a long time; he received his majesty's mercy in September last, on condition of transportation for life; he broke his chain on the 10th of November last; here is the certificate of his conviction.



Please you my lord, and Gentleman of the Jury: when that iron was first put upon me; it was nearly cut through, and quite rusty; I did not perceive it; I hopeyou will consider; I broke no prison; I used no violence before I got away; I was in the custody of Mr. Akerman; I made my elopement, and went to a friend, to go to Bristol, and from thence to get on board a ship to America or the West Indies; and I am very confident that there is not a convict in the prison but would extricate himself out of the prison if he knew how. If you had a bird, Gentlemen, that you was ever so fond of, and kept it so that it wanted for nothing but liberty, it would get away if it could; and who would be to blame, the bird or the keeper? Gentlemen, ask the keeper if I have not a good character.

Sibley. He always behaved remarkably well in the prison, and always remarkable for his cleanliness.

Owen. I say the same.

GUILTY, Death.

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER

WILLIAM WRIGHT, JAMES BARTLETT, theft: pick pocketing, 05 Dec 1821

40. WILLIAM WRIGHT and JAMES BARTLETT were indicted for stealing, on the 9th of November, one reticule, value 2 s. 6 d., two half-crowns and three sixpences, the goods of Caroline Williams, from her person.

CAROLINE WILLIAMS. I am a single woman, and live in Marman-street, Commercial-road. On the 9th of November, about three o'clock, I was in Cheapside, waiting for the Lord Mayor's procession. I had a reticule in my hand, containing 6 s. 6 d., a key, and a handkerchief, it was snatched out of my hand, I saw it go, but could not tell who took it, there were a great number of persons by, I saw it at Guildhall the next day, when the prisoner were in custody - I saw them at the watch-house about an hour after; the 6 s. 6 d. was in it then, as also my handkerchief and key.

MICHAEL HOY. I am a watchman. I was on duty at the corner of Watling-street, near St. Paul's; Mines, the constable, beckoned to me to follow some persons; about three o'clock, we saw the prisoners at the corner of Cheapside, next to St. Paul's, in company, together with many others. I watched them towards Queen-street, I heard Miss Williams cry out that she was robbed, she was then down on her knees, and her scarf half off her shoulder. I saw Bartlett snatch the reticule from her hand; Wright was a very little distance from him - I noticed them in company all the way. I immediately seized Bartlett, he threw the reticule to Wright, whom Hughes secured and took it from him; I saw it in his hands. We took them to the watch-house - the reticule fell open as it was snatched.

NATHANIEL MINES. I am a constable. I saw Hoy at the corner of St. Paul's church-yard - I called him to my assistance, we followed a gang; I first saw the prisoners near St. Paul's church-yard. I saw Miss Williams against a door, she complained of having lost her reticule; the prisoners were both near her, I did not see it taken. Foy seized Bartlett and Hughes took Wright - there was a great crowd, I took Wright to the watch-house, the reticule was torn with the violence of the pull - I found 10 s. 6 d. on Wright and a gold ring on his finger.

FREDERICK HUGHES, I am a watchman. I saw the prisoners in Cheapside, in company; I followed them with a great many more, they kept rushing about the mob. I heard the prosecutrix scream out and say somebody was robbing her. I saw Wright receive the reticule from Bartlett, it was a little dirty with the mud.

JAMES KNIGHT. I am a constable, and was in Cheapside. We followed the prisoners from Ludgate-hill, to where this happened - I did not see the prosecutrix till Foy called, and gave Bartlett's hand into mine; he had a ring on, I took it off, and Foy said, "Take him, here is another;" he seized Wright, who had the reticule in his hand, which the prosecutrix claimed - it is torn, there were thirty or forty persons in the gang.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

BARTLETT'S Defence. I went to see the show, and heard the cry of thieves - I stood by the lady, but am innocent.

WRIGHT'S Defence. I heard the cry, the mob drove me on the pavement - I saw the reticule on the ground, and picked it up to find the owner.



Transported for Life.

London Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.