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Old Bailey Proceedings - Trial Accounts
London's Central Criminal Court

20th February 1695
Thomas Lane
Miscellaneous - Conspiracy divider

Thomas Lane was indicted, for that he together with one William Tuttle not taken, did Conspire, and Charge one Mr. Hall, a Merchant, with the Offence of Buggery with one John Bates.

The Evidence was first Mr. Hall who swore, That the said Bates sent for him to a Tavern, where he went; and immediately the said Lane and Tuttle came into the Room, and Lane presently charged the said Hall with Buggery and Tuttle took him into another Room and told him, That he had committed the Sin of Buggery with Bates.

And he answered that he was innocent of such a thing being a Person of another sort of Conversation.

But then Mr. Tuttle still persisted and told him, That he could produce one that would swear it, so said Lane it is so, said he.

So Mr. Hall being in a great Consternation, agreed with Tuttle to give him a Bill of 36 £. which he did, but Lane only said thus, Mr. Hall it is so, and we can prove it.

Mr. Bates Sister swore, That the Prisoner and Tuttle came to her Brother; and he told the Court, that Tuttle would have perswaded him to lay the Buggery upon Mr. Hall, and if he would do it, then he should be provided for as long as he lived, &c. But Bates refused it; and could not say, That Mr. Lane spake any thing to him.

The Prisoner called some Witnesses to prove his Reputation, who all said, That he been bred well, and served an Apprenticeship to a Wier-drawer, and that he never was given to do any evil thing; and that if he had done amiss now, it was the first Fact, or words to the same effect in favour of him; yet for all this, his Innocency was not cleared.

For says the Court, What business had Mr. Lane with Mr. Hall, along with Tuttle; Was it to advise him about the Charge and Conspiracy, how to defend himself?

Surely no, for he was altogether a Stranger to him; therefore it must be conjectured that he went along with Tuttle out of a sheer design to get money out of Mr. Hall.

And the Gentlemen of the Jury were to consider of the business of the Fact, that men should be so impudent to impose upon a Citizen, and so worthy a Merchant, as Mr. Hall was.

So that in the end the Prisoner was found guilty of a Misdemeanor in conspiring against the said Mr. Hall, and for charging him with so great a Falshood.

[Punishments: fine, pillory, sureties]



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