The Examinations of Charles Webb of Pitney in the Parish of Pitney in the County of Somerset, Labourer and Giles James of High Ham in the Parish of High Ham in the County of Somerset, Police Constable, taken on Oath this fourth day of June in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Two, at Somerton in the County aforesaid, before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in and for the said County, in the presence and hearing of John Rue who is charged this day before me for that he, the said John Rue, on the Second day of June One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Two at the Parish of Pitney in the said County, feloniously did break and enter the dwelling house of the said Charles Webb there situate, and therein feloniously did steal one half sovereign and one shilling, the Monies Goods and Chattels of him the said Charles Webb contrary to the form of the statute in that case made and provided.
This Deponent, the said Charles Webb on his Oath saith as follows: On Sunday the second of June instant I marked a half sovereign on the head side and also a shilling on the head side with a crop and put the half sovereign and shilling into my purse where I had other money and put the purse in my trousers pocket and hung the trousers up to a nail in one of the couples of the roof in my bedroom of my house in Pitney aforesaid, and about six o’clock the same evening, I and my wife, and the whole of my family, left the house to go to Ham Chapel about a mile and half from my house. I left the purse and money in the house and said Giles James in the house to watch. I locked the front door of my house after me and took the key with me, and bolted the back door inside. These two doors are at the ends of a passage which passage comes against my living room, and there is a door leading from my living room into the passage, and opposite that door the other side of the passage is a door leading into my barn. There is also a door leading out of the barn the same side of the house and to the East of the front door, and another door leading out of the barn by the side of, and on the West of, the back passage door, towards the orchard.
I latched the two doors leading from the barn into the passage and from my living room into the passage and bolted both the barn doors on the inside so that a person could not have got into my house without breaking or picking the lock of my front door, or breaking or drawing back the bolts of the three other doors. The passage and barn all ajoin to and are under the same roof as my dwelling house.
About eight o’clock the same Sunday evening I returned from Chapel, unlocked the front door and there found said Giles James with said John Rue in custody. From something said Giles James said, I went to my trousers and searched my purse and missed the half sovereign and shilling I had marked, and, after I had told said Giles James what I had lost, he showed me a half sovereign and shilling which I knew to be the same I had marked and then missed. The half sovereign and shilling now produced by said Giles James are the same.
Taken and sworn the day and year found above witness at Somerton aforesaid before me. Signed Charles Webb.
And this Deponent the said Giles James on his Oath saith as follows: Between five and six o’clock Sunday evening June second, I went to said Charles Webbs house and remained there after he and his family had left, to watch. About twenty minutes after seven the same evening I heard some footsteps coming from the barn to the kitchen. I heard someone come into the kitchen and try a door dividing the kitchen from a small back room in which I was concealed, but not being able to open it, the person went back and upstairs. I heard the person walking about the room upstairs for about ten minutes, and he then came down stairs, and I got close to the door separating us and looked through the joints of the door and saw it was said John Rue. I watched him a little while, and he came and tried the door of the room in which I was again, and, finding he couldn’t get in, he laid down and looked under the door where he could see my feet and legs and the he got up and was making his way off. I followed, and caught him before he was out of the kitchen, or living room. I asked him what he was about there – he said “nothing”. I then asked him what have you got about you? He said “nothing but my own money”. I searched him and took his purse containing a half sovereign and shilling with some other money. I said I should detain him until Charles Webb came home, and about eight o’clock the same evening Webb came home.
I told him, in said John Rue’s hearing, that he (Rue) had broken into his house and Webb went upstairs and on coming down said he missed a half sovereign and a shilling. I produced the half sovereign and shilling I had found upon said John Rue, and said Charles Webb pointed out the mark on each and owned both. I produce the same half sovereign and shilling. Directly aftersaid Charles Webb owned the money I cautioned said John Rue and charged him with stealing it and he said “he hoped I would forgive him this time, he had never been there before”. When on the road to the station, he said “ I will speak the truth when I am before the magistrates and I hope they will let me off. I have been in there twice before, I have had thirty shillings of Charles’s money”. Before we left Webb’s, Rue pointed to the door and said “that’s the door I came in at”. I said but it is bolted; he said “I bolted it after me”. That was the door at the back of the house leading out of the barn and into the back premises and orchard.
Taken and sworn the day and year first above witnessed at Somerton aforesaid before me. Signed Giles James.
The before named prisoner John Rue after making the foregoing statement in answer to the charge offers the following witnesses to be examined on his behalf, namely:
Not any called.
The said saith as follows on his Oath.
John Rue stands charged before the undersigned one of her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace acting in and for the County of Somerset, this forth day on June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy two for that he the said John Rue, on the second day of June one thousand eight hundred and seventy two at the Parish of Pitney in the said County of Somerset feloniously did break and enter the dwelling house of one Charles Webb there situate, and therein feloniously did steal one half sovereign and one shilling, the Monies, Goods and Chattels of him the said Charles Webb, contrary to the form of the Statute in that case made and provided.
And the said charge being read to the said John Rue, and the witnesses for the prosecution namely the said Charles Webb and one Giles James, being severally examined in his presence, the said John Rue is now addressed by me as follows: “having heard the evidence, do you wish to say anything in answer to the charge? You are not obliged to say anything, unless you desire to do so, but whatever you do say will be taken down in writing, and may be given in Evidence against you upon your trial; and you are clearly to understand that you have nothing to hope from any promise or favour of, and nothing to fear from, any threat which may have been holden out to you to induce you to make any admission or confession of your guilt, but whatever you shall now say may be given in Evidence against you upon your Trial, notwithstanding such promise or threat.”
Whereupon the said John Rue saith as follows: “Please to forgive me and I will go to work and pay it back.”