1827 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)
|Topic||Thieves discovered at Robin Hood Court, Shoe Lane|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-18. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-08.
[11 Jan. 1827:]
BENJAMIN CREW. I am nearly ten years old, and live in Robinhood-court, Shoe-lane - I am in the service of Mr. Smith, a cow-keeper, whose premises join Mr. Brooks' out-house. About a quarter to eight o'clock, on the night before the prisoners were apprehended, I saw them both come in at our gate with the horse and cart; they work for Mr. Dupree, whose horse and cart stood on our premises - they went to the shed, and unharnessed the horse; I heard Hoare say to Read, "If anybody comes, whistle;" he was then up the cow-house ladder, by the shed - Read stood by the ladder, watching him; my mistress came out, and then he whistled to Hoare, who was up in the loft - my mistress went in-doors, and fastened the door; Hoare then called Read up into the loft, and when he had been up there about five minutes, he came down, and then Hoare threw down some lead; he then came down, took the lead, and covered it with some straw, a little higher up the shed than where I was (they could not see me; I was laying in the cow's manger, and could see what they did) - they fetched a pail of water for the horse, then put out the light, and went away - before they went away they stopped up in the shed a little while: I got out of the manger, and went and told my master, who went for the officers; this was after they put out the light - they were gone when the officers came. I saw Hoare again about six o'clock in the morning, in the shed, and he went up into the loft, and I saw lead thrown down, but cannot say that he threw it down - he got a great stone and beat the lead, and then covered it up in the same place: he was taken on the premises, about nine o'clock that morning - Read was taken that day at his master's.
Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did they leave the premises that night? A. Yes; they could have carried the lead away then, if they chose; I cannot say that they carried any away - there was a penny candle lighted at the end of the shed; there were ten cows there; I looked under two cows' bellies, through their legs, and saw them - the manger is a trough on the ground; I knelt down - part of the shed and loft belongs to Dupree; he keeps his hay there; but they were on Mr. Brooks' premises: the shed is rather longer than this Court - I saw them throw the lead down, and after they were gone, I went and showed it to master. I said nothing to my mistress when she came out. I could see them plainly, but they did not see me - nobody but their master and his men have access to the shed.
COURT. Q. Who had the care of the cart and horse? A. Hoare; Read was not often employed about the horse. Dupree's other men are employed at plumbing; he is a plumber.
GEORGE SMITH. Crew is my servant; the prisoners were in Mr. Dupree's employ. On the evening of the 8th of December, as the wet came through the ceiling of a room in my house, I went on the roof, and I went on Brooks' premises to get to my roof; this was on the Wednesday before the Saturday on which the prisoners were examined - I saw the lead was cut from Brooks' gutters. Crew gave me information on Friday night, between six and seven o'clock; it was after dark - I had not seen the prisoners come in - I went with two constables that evening, and found a roll of lead in the horse-stall, covered with straw; it was in Mr. Dupree's part of the shed - it was fresh cut; the edges were bright - the officers stood outside the door with me that night, and we saw the prisoners come out of the cow-house door; they were suffered to go away, as I had not found the lead then: I was in the shed next morning when Hoare came; the officer took him; I was not near enough to hear what he said - he had the care of the horse.
Cross-examined. Q. On what day was Hoare taken? A. On the Saturday. The lead was not too heavy for one man to carry away - there is no division in the shed - both the prisoners had velveteen jackets on; there did not appear to be any thing about them; Hoare came to his business as usual the next morning; we had not spoken to him at night - I do not think that he saw the constable.
THOMAS WEAVELL. I am an officer, and live in Dean-street, Fetter-lane. On Friday evening, the 8th of December, I happened to be in Smith's dairy, which is near this cow-shed - Crew ran into the dairy, and informed me that something was going on wrong; I waited in Robinhood-court, and saw the prisoner come out of the premises; Read came out four or five minutes before Hoare - I afterwards went into the shed, and Crew, in my presence, discovered the lead in Mr. Dupree's horse-stall - my brother-officer put his mark on it, and put it in the same place: next morning I was waiting outside, and Crew came and said that another roll was thrown down - I went into the shed and took Hoare; he asked what I took him for - my brother-officer told him he knew what it was for; I found another roll added to the lead which was there the night before - I went on Mr. Brooks' premises, and about sixty feet of lead had been taken from there - I found a knife on Hoare with marks of lead on it; only 75 lbs. were found - the largest quantity was thrown down on the Saturday morning - I took Read in Mr. Dupree's shop; he said he was innocent.
IRHB has silently regularized the use of spaces before punctuation marks in the quotation and corrected the HTML text at Proceedings of the Old Bailey from the PDF of the original printed edition.
- Not included in Sussex, Lucy, compil. 'References to Robin Hood up to 1600', in: Knight, Stephen. Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1994), pp. 262-88.
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- Robin Hood Court (Holborn).