ON the night of the 29th of March, 1813, the house of the Marchioness of Downshire, in Hanover Square, was broken into, and robbed of plate, jewels, &c. to the amount of four thousand pounds. The villains effected their entrance by means of a lamplighter's ladder, which they had released from the place where it had been lodged behind the marchioness's stables.
For several days they escaped the most diligent pursuit of the police, but were at length brought to justice through the information of their accomplice, Richardson, who, it appeared, had been the principal executer of this robbery, though not the planner of it.
Richardson, although but a young man, is supposed to have committed a number of daring robberies, and had broken out of two of the strongest prisons in the kingdom. Being suspected of this robbery, he was apprehended by Becket, an officer, who, on searching him, found banknotes to the amount of five hundred and twenty-three pounds, which he offered to give Becket if he would let him go; he was, however, conveyed to the House of Correction, where he disclosed the circumstances of the marchioness's robbery, and accompanied the officers to various places in search of the parties concerned.
At No.4, Seymour Court, they found Old Symons in bed, and took him into custody. He at first denied that his name was Symons, but Adkins knew him when he had put on his clothes. Under the bed, in a box, they found a large quantity of the marchioness's property. Next day more rings and jewellery were given up by Richardson; and Harry Adkins found young Symons locked up in a cupboard in the house of one Levi, a Jew.
The family of the Symons' were a notorious set of cheats and robbers, and on this occasion planned the robbery which the young Symons and Richardson executed. The mother and daughter, having shared in the plunder, were also apprehended, as well as one Frankill, a well-known character.
The parties were indicted at the Old Bailey, June the 5th, 1813, when, after a protracted trial, young Symons and Richardson were found Guilty -- Death; and Old Nathan Symons guilty of receiving the property, knowing it to be stolen. The others were acquitted for want of evidence, and Richardson, in consequence of his timely information, was considered a fit object for a commutation of punishment. He was subsequently pardoned, and became an useful spy for the police.
The trial excited great interest; and the Duke of Sussex, Marchioness of Downshire, and several of the nobility, were present the whole time.