samuel smytheman trial

Transcribed Version of Samuel Smytheman & Elizabeth Eaton Trial and Sentencing

[Page 116]

True bill prisoners/case # 252, 253, 254, 255   James Haycraft, Ann Henley, otherwise Haycraft, Samuel Smytheman, and Elizabeth Eaton, of St. Margaret Westminster, were indicted for stealing a parcel of hardware, consisting of razors, pen-knives, buckles, buttons, & c. to the value of 30s. the goods of William Griffiths, April 6.

Ann Griffiths:  On the sixth of April I was called up at four o'clock in the morning, and found my shop broke open, and was robbed of the things mentioned in the indictment.  I heard the Prisoners had given away several things, upon which I got a search warrant, and had them taken up.  The men owned up to breaking open the shop, that they were full two hours in it, and carried away the goods in a sack.  The women owned up that they stood watching, and that they were to give a sign if any body was coming by.

Catharine McPherson:  The men owned they were two hours in the shop, I did not hear the women say anything.

Thomas Rawlins:  I had a search warrant directed to me from Justice Poulson, and I found all the goods mentioned in the indictment in Mr. Whiting's show-glass, and Mrs. Griffiths said they were her goods.  I heard James Haycraft say he was two hours in the shop, Smytheman said he was on the outside with the women.  James Haycraft wanted to be admitted an evidence.

Francis Whiting:  I keep a shop in Holborn, and sell hard-ware, the women Prisoners came to me, and said they had some hard-ware to sell.  I desired them [Page 117] to go to an alehouse, and told them I would come to them.  I went, and they were all four together; all of them and some of the goods, I bought them, and gave them 17 s and 9 d. for them.

Q. What may the value of these goods?

Griffiths:   I cannot say exactly, I believe 30s if they were to be sold, they would bring more.

James Haycraft:  On Friday the 6th of April about six o'clock in the morning, I called Smytheman up, and we went out a chimney sweeping, and got as much soot as we sold for sixteen pence, and coming home I kicked my foot against a trunk, and carried it home, and the next day we sold those good to Whiting for 9 s and 6 d. (the other three Prisoners said they sold them to Whiting for 9s and 6d.]

Griffiths:  They stole my trunk out of my shop, and owned before the Justice that they burnt it, in order to prevent a discovery.

Mr. Perkins (Justice Poulson's clerk) produced the examinations of Ann Haycraft's &c. taken in writing before Justice Poulson, April 12, 1744.

Ann Henley, otherwise Haycraft, says, that she was married at Town Malden to Kent to James Haycraft about three years since.  That on Friday night last Samuel Smytheman said he wanted some money, and that they all went to Mr. Griffith's shop, broke it open, and took away a parcel of goods, which they sold to one Whiting in Holborn.

The confession of Samuel Smytheman, taken April 12, 1744:

Samuel Smytheman says that he and James Haycraft have committed divers burglaries, &c. and this examinate says that about a week before that time, Ann Henley proposed the breaking open and robbing Mr. Griffith's shop, and that she, himself, and James Haycraft, went to view it, that James Haycraft said he was resolved to go and break open the shop that night; that they went there about ten o'clock at night, and James Haycraft broke it open with a hammer, &c. and that they remained there till the clock struck twelve: that they put the good into a sack, and as they were coming along some of them fell out, but they were picked up; that they were carried to the examinate's lodging at Petty France, Westminster, that they went into Holborn overagainst Gray's-Inn Gate, to a man who keeps a stall, and that the man was very ready to buy them without asking any questions.  That they asked 20s for the, but the man bid them about 8s and one Francis Whiting bought them for 9s and 6d and told them, if they had any handkerchiefs to bring them to him on Monday, and he would buy them, for he was going into the country.

The confession of James Haycraft, taken April 12, 1744:

This examinate says, that on Friday last; Samuel Smytheman, Ann Haycraft, Elizabeth Eaton, and himself, broke open a shop belonging to William Griffiths, that Smytheman went in first and that they put the goods into a sack, and brought them away between twelve and one o'clock, and that the two women kept upon the watch; that the next day they went to Francis Whiting in Holborn, who went to a cellar by Gray's-Inn Gate, and that they sold them to him for 9s and 6d which money was divided between them share and share alike.

The examination of Elizabeth Eaton:

This examinate says, that she has been acquainted with Samuel Smytheman about a year and a half, and has lived with him as man and wife for six months past; that he was a industrious fellow till within these four months, since which he has been acquainted with James Haycraft, who lives in Angel Court at Story's Gate, Westminster, that they went to one Whiting in Holborn, who brought all the goods which were stole out of Mr. Griffith's shop, (except a few pair of buckles which they kept themselves) for 9s 6d and no more, and that was divided between them share and share alike; and that Whiting asked them if they had got any wipes {meaning handkerchiefs) and if they had, if they would come again on Wednesday he would buy them of them, and give them as much as any body would.

Ann Henley, otherwise Haycraft, was acquitted, as being the wife of James Haycraft, and with him at the time of the robbery was committed.

James Haycraft, guilty, Samuel Smytheman, guilty, Elizabeth Eaton, guilty.

Francis Whiting is detained in order to be indicted at the next sessions, for receiving those goods knowing them to be stolen.

[Page 144]

The trials being ended, the Court proceeded to give Judgement as follows:

Received Sentence of Death: 5

Henry Cole 247
Robert Rockett 273
Robert Fuller 275
Ann Terry 251
Sarah Lowther 277

Transportation for 14 years: 1
Joseph Greswold 246

Transportation for 7 years, 22

George Andrew     245     
Sarah Howard      270
Ann Barnett        282     
George Lax        265
Lydia Booth        258     
John Long         243
Ann Budd          286     
William Mitchell    289
Margaret Compton   284     
James Poole        242
Sarah Cooper       266     
Elizabeth Robinson   290
Thomas Dobbs      259       
Elizabeth Eaton      255             
Thomas Evans      269    
 John Hawkins       256     
Samuel Smytheman    254
 James Haycraft       252     
George Wilson       249
Robert Howard      264     
Diana Woodcock     268
Mary Shirley , otherwise
Catherine Davis      274

Branded 1

Robert Ker 294

262 Hugh Conner's sentence was respited for the further consideration of the court.

Samuel ______ and Henry Barret, condemned last December Sessions received his Majesty's most gracious pardon.

Michael ____ condemned the same sessions, received sentence of transportation to life.

The following persons received sentence of transportation for 14 years, viz.
Mary Stanford, condemned in September sessions.
John Girrard, Eleanor Geary and Julius Hunt, condemned in December Sessions.

Next ensuing sessions to begin:

On Tuesday, June 26, at Guild-Hall
On Thursday, June 28, at the Old Bailey

Trials at Law, &c are taken in Shorthand by N. Fromanteel, at the
Two Black Boys within Whitechapel Bars.