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The Trial and Reprieve of Prouse and Mitchel

Last Week at a Court of Oyer and Terminer held in this City, two Servants, James Prouse and James Mitchel (the same who broke Prison some time since, and were retaken at Amboy) were tried for Burglary. It appeared by the King’s Evidence, that Prouse entred the House of Mr. Sheed, Barber, in Front-street, (being admitted by a Servant of the Family) and there broke open a Desk, from whence he took Seven Pounds Ten Shillings in Paper Money, and some Copper Half-pence; and that Mitchel in the mean time waited without to watch. It was proved that the Money lost was found upon Prouse when he was taken; who only said in his Defence at the Bar, that it was given him by Mr. Sheed‘s Man to keep. Mitchel in his Defence said, that tho’ he had been in Company with Prouse and other Servants drinking Rum out of Town in the Day Time, being Sunday, yet that he heard nothing of any Contrivance to Rob, or the like; and that he was in Bed when the Fact was committed, from whence Prouse afterwards call’d him to go and drink, but did not acquaint with what had been done. The Jury brought them both in Guilty; and Prouse being asked what he had to say why Sentence of Death should not pass against him, answered, that he had nothing to say in his own Behalf, but declared that Mitchel was wholly innocent, and knew nothing of the Fact. The Court passed Sentence on them both, but directed Mitchel to apply to His Honour the Governour for Mercy.

Mr. Sheed‘s Servant (who in the above Trial was Evidence for the King) is hereafter to be tried for Robbery; the Law not making it Burglary in a Servant to open a Door in the Night time, tho’ it be to admit Thieves, &c.

The Pennsylvania Gazette, December 23, 1729