A Perfect Narrative OF THE APPREHENSION, TRYAL, and CONFESSION OF The Five several Persons that were Confederates in Stealing the Mace and the Two Privy Purses from the Lord High Chancellour of ENGLAND. As it was Attested at the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bayly, the Seventh and Eighth of March; Anno. 1676/7.

With Permission.

Printed for E. Oliver, at the Golden-Key on Snow-hill, over-against St. Sepulchres-Church. MDCLXXVII.

A Perfect Narrative of the Apprehension, Tryal, and Confession of the Five Seve­ral Persons that were Confederates in Stealing the Mace and the Two Privy Purses, from the Lord High Chancellour of England, &c.

MAny and Intollerable are the Injuries and abuses that are committed almost dayly within the City and Suburbs of London, I need not run no further to find out Examples that may equallize the Barbarian Infidel, do but consi­der in what Sphear we move; with double diligence our Natives run to hasten others and their own di­struction; one Brother can't put confidence in ano­ther, but still is fearful, least he should betray him; one Neighbour hates another, and are grown so Implacable and almost Incorrigible, that did not timely Justice Supercede, no man could find a safety in his own Castle: the super-viewing of each Sessi­ons will demonstrate the Vices and Perverseness of our Times.

But not to Derrigate too far from the In­tended Subject of this Present Narrative; I shall give you an Account of the Audacious Burglary that was Committed on My Lord [Page 2] Chancellour, the Sixth of February, being Tuesday-Night, One Thousand Six Hundred Seventy Six, and the Parties that were Appre­hended the Saturday-night following.

The manner of their Apprehension was thus. Some of the head of the gang had ta­ken a Lodging in Knight-Riders-Street, neer Doctors-commons; and there in a closet they had lodged the Mace and Purses.

The Womans Daughter of the House, going up in their absence to make the bed, faw some silver Spangles, and some odd ends of Silver scattered about the Cham­ber, which she with no small diligence pickt up, not knowing from whence such Riches should proceed, in this Admiration she paus'd a while, and 'twas not long before her Fancy led her (like the rest of her Sex) to pry into, and search the furthermost point of this new and strange Apparition, and direct­ing her course to the Closet-Door, she through the Key-hole could Descern something that was not commonly represented to her view; which was the upper end of the Mace, but [Page 3] knew not what it was; however she thought it could not be amiss to acquaint her belo­ved Mother with what she had beheld; and with this resolve she hastens down Stairs, and with a voice 'twixt fear and joy, she thus crys out; Oh Mother! Mother! Yonders the Kings Crown in our closet! Pray Mother come along with me and see it.

The admiring Mother being something surprized at her Daughters Relation, as also having no good opinion of her new Lodg­ers, makes hast (good VVoman) and goes to the Closet-door, and opening the Lock with a Knife, she enter'd into the Closet, where she soon discern'd that it was not a Crown, but a Mace; and having heard that such a thing was lost, sends immediately away to acquaint my Lord Chancellour that the Mace was in her House; upon which information, a Warrant was soon granted, and Officers sent to Mr. Thomas Northy, Constable of Queen­hive-Ward, who with a sufficient assistance went into Knight-Riders-street to their Lodg­ing, and very luckily found them, being [Page 4] Five in Number, and of both Sexes, Viz. Three Men, and Two Women; whom they carried before the Right Worshipful, Sir William Turner, who after Examination (accor­ding to Justice) committed them to the com­mon Goal of Newgate.

At the Sessions held in the Old Bayly, begin­ning the Seventh day of this Instant March. The Five Prisoners aforesaid were first call'd to the Barr, where according to the custome of Eng­land they were bid to hold up their hands, and ask'd whether Guilty or not Guilty, they all re­ply'd severally, Not Guilty. After that the Wit­nesses were Sworn and Examined, who very manifestly proved the fact, the Woman and her Daughter where they lodg'd being two great Evidences against them.

After this the principle of those Malefactors, a person very well known in court, having been Arraign'd at the same Barr five or six several times before, very confidently speaks to the Bench in this manner: My Lord, I own the fact, 'twas I, and this Man (pointing to one that stood by him at the Barr) that rob'd my Lord Chancellor, [Page 5] and the other three are clear of the fact, though I can­not say but they were Confederates with us in the con­cealment of the Prize after it was taken. This I de­clare (said he) to the Honourable Bench, that I may be clear of the blood of these other three Persons. The Bench and all Spectators else admir'd to hear him thus confidently declare himself guilty be­fore Examination, knowing that the Fact was of so high a Nature, and without all doubt would prove capital; However the Court went on in a legal way, and another Witness begun to demonstrate in what manner he was taken; to whom the Prisoner answer'd in this manner. Prithee Fellow do not make such a long Narration of my being taken, thou seest I am here, and I own that I and this Man (as aforesaid) are Guilty of the Fact.

With that the other Prisoner whom he thus impeach'd, endeavour'd to clear himself after this manner: My Lord, said he, this Man meet­ing me in Pauls-Church-Yard, ask'd me to go and drink, with whom I went, and after we were seated, he told me that he knew of a Booty would make me smile, telling me of the Mace and Purses; and further saying [Page 8] that if I would be his assistant he would give me my share of the Prize. To whom the Prisoner afore­said, made this reply in open Court; Yes, My Lord, I look like a Fellow that would commit a Rob­bery, and give him half the Prize. At this there was a great shoot in the Court, but silence was straight commanded. And the other Man with the Two Women were examin'd, who endea­vour'd to clear themselves, but sufficient Evi­dence was produc'd in Court, who did attest that they found some of the Plate with them at the time of their Apprehension, so they were put to silence, and dismist the Court for that time.

It was observ'd the Prisoner whom the cheif Malefactor impeach't to be equally guilty of the Fact with himself, had a great sense of sor­row upon him whilst he was at the Barr, and complained to himself of Lewd and Lascivious Women, saying that they were the cause of his and many other Mens ruine; which is certainly true that they are the ruine of many a hopeful Young-man. From such vile Women that brings many a Man to sudden Death, Good Lord Deliver us all.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.