Tuesday, July 24, 2007


From the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 12 April 1820.

CHARLES MILES was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of James Alexander , about seven o'clock in the night of the 10th of January, at St. Luke, with intent to steal, and burglariously stealing therein, one tea-caddy, value 10 s.; one looking-glass, value 20 s., and one thimble, value 2 s., his property.
MARY ALEXANDER. I am the wife of James Alexander; we live at No. 2, West-place, Bath-street, City-road, St. Luke's; he keeps the whole house. Last Monday evening these things were in the parlour, the glass hung in the room, the tea-caddy was on a table under the glass, and the thimble on the mantle-piece. Between six and seven o'clock in the evening, after dark, a knock came at the door, my sister-in-law went to the door, I heard a cry of thieves, went into the parlour in a minutes, and missed these things - the looking-glass was only taken from its place, and put on a chair by the window, which was up, and the blinds open. I had seen them in the parlour an an hour or two before. The tea-caddy was worth 10 s. The parlour-window was shut, and the shutters shut outside, but not fastened. I did not see the shutters shut, but about half-past five o'clock I saw the window close down - I do not think that it was fastened, it was then dark; the things were then safe, and the looking-glass hanging up. The officer produced my thimble.
THOMAS BRADFORD. I am a constable. I was on duty in John's-row, and as we came to the prosecutrix's window, about a quarter before seven o'clock, a woman cried out "There is somebody jumped out of the window." I went immediately to the window, a man stood there, whom I thought belonged to the woman; he pulled the prisoner out of the window, and said,
"You rascal, here is one of them;" he was in the parlour. The man then ran away. The prisoner ran to the paling, and five or six people secured him, while we pursued the man. On my return I searched him, and found this thimble at his feet, it dropped from him.
JOHN TWEEDY. I am a constable. I was with Bradford; his account his perfectly correct. I found the glass on the chair.
(Property produced and sworn to.)
Prisoner's Defence. I was walking along, kicked the thimble, picked it up, and put it into my pocket, it fell out of my pocket as it had a hole in it. I was not in the house.
GUILTY. Aged 15.
Sentenced to Death.
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Holroyd.

Merciful Lord in Heaven!

See original (page 1, page 2).

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