Offence: Theft > pocketpicking
Verdict: Not Guilty; Guilty
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Joseph Smith , and David Anderson , were indicted for privately stealing from Thomas Collier a Coat and Waist-coat value 30 Shillings, a Hat, a pair of Silver Buckles, a Handkerchief, a pair of Gloves, a Tobacco-box, a Knife and Fork, half a Guinea, and 25 Shillings on the 2nd of August .
Thomas Collier thus depos'd. I had been a drinking with some Friends at the King's-Arms-Tavern at Charing-Cross, and so got fuddled, as a Man may say, and we parted about 10 at Night, and I went along the Strand, as I think they call it, in order to go to my Lodging at the George Inn at Holborn-Bridge; I was a stranger in this Town, and whither I went, or what I did with my self I cannot tell, but I fell asleep somewhere or other, and when I waked, I found my self upon my Back without either Hat or Wig, or Coat or Wastcoat. It was mortal Dark, and I look'd up and saw nothing but the Sky above me, and in a great Amazement I was; says I to my self, what will become of me? Where am I? In the World or out of it? At last I lookt a little lower and saw the tops of the Houses, and then I be thought my self I was got into some Town or other, and was lying in the middle of a dark Alley without any Clothes upon my Back, though still I was strangely confounded to think which way I got there, and how I came to be in such a sad Condition: However, I made shift to get upon my Legs, and quickly came into a Street that lookt a little lighter; and as I was going along, I spied a Man making Candles: I inquired of him where about I was, and he ask'd me how I came to be in that Pickle. I told him that I could give no other Account of it but that I came from Whitney and had lost my self. Pray, says he, do ye know Mr. Busby in Whitney? Yes very well, says I and every me body else in that Town, and so upon that he lent me a Cap and a great Coat, and carried over to an Ale-house, where I staid till day-light, and then sent for some of my Friends. When they came, they went with me to look for what I had lost, and there we went up and down till we met one Joseph Smith with my Clothes upon his Back, my Cane in his Hand, and my Wig in his Pocket; but whether or no that was the same Joseph that stands here at the Barr I cannot tell, it may, and it may not, but I believe he has got my Wastcoat on his Back at this time; its true the Wastcoat that I lost was a black one, and this that he has got is a Grey, but its all one for that, a black Man may turn grey, and so may a black Waistcoat.
Edmund Purser and John Ellis thus depos'd. We had been drinking with the Prosecutor over Night at the Kings-Arms at Charing-Cross: he was fuddled when he went away, and I desired him to send for a Coach, but he said he'd try how his Legs would carry him first, and so we parted. About 6 a-clock next Morning Word was brought us that the Prosecutor was at the Rose and Crown Ale-House in Drury-lane, and that he had been rob'd and stript and left asleep in the Street. We quickly found him, and took him with us to look for the Persons that had rob'd him. We made Enquiry after ill Houses, and were particularly directed to Castle-Alley in Mercer's Street near Long-Acre, and there found the Prisoner Smith with the Goods upon him.
Barbara Hughsly thus depos'd. Betweed 7 and 8 in the Morning the Prosecutor and others came to my House and took my Maid Servant from the Fire, and said she was the Woman that caus'd the three Soldiers to rob him. While they were in the Alley, the Prisoner Joseph Smith came out of a House with the Prosecutor's Cloths upon his Back and his Cane in his Hand. I went to seize him, and he offered to thrust the cane in my Face, but the People being with me we secured him.
Thomas Parker thus depos'd. Several People came to my House in the Morning, and Collier who was with them told me, that he had been rob'd by some body thereabouts. Why, says I, there are but few Houses in this Alley, and if some of you will stand at one end, and some at another to see who goes out, the rest may search within. By and by we saw Joseph Smith come out of Green's House. I took the Prosecutor's Cane and Wig from him, and ask'd him how he came by 'em. He said he found them in Broad St. Giles's, and that he bought the Coat in Crown-Court; but after we came from the Justice's with him, he told us that the other Prisoner Anderson and Country will were concerned with him in the Robbery, and desired us to look after them, and especially the last, for says he, That Country Will is the greatest Rogue of us all, for he has got all the Money and has run away with it.
Mary Williams thus depos'd. Between 2 or 3 in the Morning, I met the Prosecutor in Drury Lane, and ask'd him to give me a dram, and so he went with me to a Gin Shop, and treated me with three or four Quarterns, and then he desir'd me to help him to a Lodging, whereof I carry'd him to Welch Kates in Farr's Ally. Fanny Olifphant was one of her Lodgers, and the Prisoner Smith us'd to keep Company with her; And so when we came to Kates Door, we could not have a Lodging there, but however the Prosecutor (who was very drunk) gave me a six Pence (as I thought it to be) for my trouble. The Prisoner Smith, was sitting at the same time upon a Bank over against us; He came up to me, and swore he'd go snacks with me, I told him I had got no more that 6 pence from him, why then D - ye for a Bitch says he, get about your business, or by G - I'll murder ye, for I'll have the rest of his Cole my Self. I was glad to get out of the way, but as I turn'd the Corner of the Ally, I look'd back, and saw him knock the Prosecutor down, and what he did more I can't tell, for I went to Chalkleys Night-house in Princes-Street, and then I found that the Money, that
Smith Confest before the Justice that himself, the other Prisoner, and Country Will , and Jenny Austin , took the Prosecutors Money and Cloths, when Moll Williams left him at Welsh Kates Door. There being nothing against Anderson, but Smiths Confestion, which could not affect him, the Jury Acquitted him, and found Smith Guilty . Death .