Joseph Hodson, Theft > pocketpicking, 18th May 1738.

Reference Number: t17380518-10
Offence: Theft > pocketpicking
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

12. Joseph Hodson , was indicted for privately stealing from the Person of John Pye , June 23 , a Promissory Note, No H. 229. and subscribed Daniel Race , on Behalf of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, bearing Date June 2, value 500 l. by which Note the said Daniel Race, on Behalf of the said Governor and Company, did promise to pay to Nat. Bracey and Company, the Sum of 500 l the Property of John Pye, the said Sum of 500 l. being then unpay'd and unsatisfy'd unto the said John Pye.

The Council for the King having open'd the Charge, the Witnesses were call'd.

Mr. Pye. I receiv'd this Note, among others, on the 23d of June last, from Mr. Bracey 's, in Lombard Street; and being to pay some Bills that Day to Sir William Billers , and likewise to attend a Trial at Guildhall , I went first to Sir William's, but he unhappily was not at Home. From thence I went to Guildhall Coffee-House to meet my Attorney, who told me the Trial was put off, to the Week following; but Mr. Serjeant Hussey going by, Mr. Eustick, my Attorney presented me to the Serjeant, who told me, he hop'd it would be no Inconvenience to me, that the Trial was put off. Mr. Serjeant Hussey, desired Mr. Eustick to go into Court, and inform Mr. Serjeant Eyres that the Cause was put off. He went; and when he came back to us, he told us, the Cause was brought on, and the Jury were sworn. Upon this I went into Court; and before I went up to the Bar, I waited a while, in Expectation that my Servant would come, and I intended to have delivered him my Pocket-Book; but Mr. Eustick pressing me to come within the Bar before my Man came, I took it out of my Waistcoat Pocket, and thrust it down (square) into my Breeches Pocket, and button'd it in. Then I attempted to get thro' the Crowd, but I met with some Interruption. A lusty Man seem'd to jostle me, and something, - that lay upon the Ground, rubb'd against my Shins. I thought it had been a Dog, but I now believe it was a Man, upon his Hands and Knees. I got up to the Bar, and in five or six Minutes Time, the Trial was interrupted for want of Mr. Cantillon; I ran to call him; ('tis hardly a quarter of a Mile from the Hall to his House) and in coming back, I remember'd my Pocket-Book, and intended to have left it, at the Upper-End of Basinghall-Street; I felt for it, but there I found, that one of the Buttons of my Pocket was cut, or twisted off; the other unbutton'd, and the Pocket Book was gone. I immediately ran to the Bank to stop Payment; the Note (in Question at present) was for 500 l mark'd H. No 229. I had taken a Memorandum of the Notes, upon a bit of Paper, and this 500 l Note was payable to Nat. Bracey; who sign'd it, I cannot remember; but the Date was June 2d I walk pretty fast, and I am sure I miss'd it within a quarter of an Hour after I had button'd it up in my Pocket. I went no farther than from the Hall to Bartholomew-Lane End.

Sampson Solomon. I have known the Prisoner about 7 Weeks, and no longer. About 7 Weeks

ago, he gave me the Wink upon Change to follow him; I went after him into the Passage that goes out of Swithings-Alley into the other Alley. There he told me he had a Bank-Note of 500 l. to dispose off, and said I should speak to some of the Tip-top of our Nation, who had Dealings Abroad, and should tell him if any of them would buy that Note. I said, I don't doubt but I will help you to a Chap to dispose of it Abroad; when shall I see you again? Either To-morrow or next Days says he. He mentioned no Price this first Time of our Meeting.

The next Day he met me according to Agreement, and we went to the Black-Swan Tavern in Bartholomew- Lane, where he asked me if I had got him a Chap? I told him, I had got him a Chap, (I believed) who would buy his 500 l. Bank Note, but (says I) they are People who are acquainted with the Nature of Advertisements, and they supposed there were more Notes lost with this at the same Time; I told him likewise, that the Gentleman who was to buy this Note, was desirous of knowing the Number of the Note. I had not spoke to any one about buying this Note, but I thought proper to tell him this, that I might get out of him the Mark and Number of it. Why, says he, I have not the Note about me now, but in a Day or two I will shew it you, and you may give your Friend an Account of it. At the Day appointed we met at the Black-Swan Tavern, and there he shewed me the real Note; I took Notice of the Number, No. 229. for 500 l. and asked him what he must have for it? The first Price he set was 300 l. Why, says I, this Note must go Abroad, and there must be prov'd - Value received; and all that meddle with it must get by it. Well, says he, I will take no less than 250 l. for it. And what must I have out of this, says I? You shall have 20 Guineas your self; so he was to have 229 l. for the 500 l. Note. I made no Words with him, because I never designed to get any Money this Way, else I believe I could have made him promise me 30 Pieces, but I did not design to deal with him all; I only intended to make what Discovery I could. When I had got the Number out of him, and had seen the Note, I was willing to take Time, so I told him, my Friend was gone to Bristol, and nothing could be done that Week; this was on the Monday, and I told him he would not be in Town till next Monday, because in that Time I thought I might find out who had advertised the Note; and I immediately told Aaron Polock of the Affair. (I forgot to tell the Court that I had asked the Prisoner how long the Note had been in his Possession, and he told me ever since June last,) I bid Polock find out the Person that had lost the Note, and let me know who it was. Mr. Polock found the Advertisement, and told me that Mr. Weston the Banker, and Mr. Fitzgerald in Basing-hall street wanted to speak with me. I went to Mr. Weston, and told him all that I have related here. This was on the Monday; Mr. Weston desired me to get the Note, and take the Man; so I went the next Day to Change, and the Prisoner being there, I shew'd Polock that was the Man who had the Note, and I order'd him to walk on the other Side the Change. Then I gave the Prisoner the Wink, and he follow'd me into the Passage that goes into Will's Coffee-House; I told him the Man was come to Town now; he said he was then going down to Gravesend, but he would meet me on Thursday. He did so, and we went again to the Black-Swan, he asked me if I could get him the Money that Afternoon? I told him it was not the Time appointed for the Payment of the Money, and the Gentleman was gone out to take a Ride; but however, his Time (I said) should be my Time. Upon this, he appointed the next Day, (Friday) for me to bring the Money, and he was to come with the Note upon Change about 10 o'Clock, because (he said) there would not be many People there, and he assur'd me he should have the Note in his Pocket. I had no sooner parted with him, but I went to Mr. Weston and told him I was to meet the Prisoner the next Day (Friday) to have the Note from him upon Change; and that Day he was taken. At this last Meeting, (Thursday) I began to be afraid he should suspect me, so I told him, if he car'd to go with me to the Union Coffee-House, he might (I believ'd) have the Money. No, says he, we'll refer it till To-morrow, there is so great a Reward upon it, that the Gentleman perhaps may Napp me. I ask'd him, why he did not go and take this Reward. Ask me no Questions, says he, if you can get me a Chap do; if it won't do for you, 'twill do for some Body else.

Counc. Was you present when he was taken?

Solomon. He was taken before I came upon Change. Mr. Polock, to whom I had shewn him, was there, and the Gentleman when they came, being assured by Polock of the Man, they seiz'd him. I was in the Room when he was search'd, and he deny'd that he had ever seen me before. Why, says I, we were together but Yesterday at the Black-Swan, I will not put it upon the Drawer to remember a Thing done many Days ago, but

he can't have forgot that we had Half a Pint of Sherry, Yesterday. Upon this Mr. Fitzgerald and I went to the Black-Swan, and he asked the Drawer if he should know the Man that came with me Yesterday? Yes, he said, and when he was brought to the Prisoner, he knew him immediately I was at Guildhall when the Note was taken out of his Book, and the Alderman shewed it me, and I said, that was the Note the Prisoner shewed me before, as sure as there was a God in Heaven. 'Twas No. 229. for Five Hundred Pounds.

Mr. Smart. This is the Pocket Book that was produced at Guildhall before Mr. Alderman Westley ; I have had it in my Custody ever since, I received it sealed up, but it was opened before Sir Robert Baylis to be shown to Mr. Pye. The Prisoner owned the Pocket Book, but denied the Note that was found in it. There was a good deal of Difficulty in finding it, but at last Mr. Robinson found it artfully enclosed in this Paper, in this Manner. I saw it taken out of the Pocket Book, and there were likewise some small Spring Saws taken out of his Comb-Case, which the Constable has now in Court.

Solomon. This is the same Note which the Prisoner shewed me at the Black Swan.

Mr. Pye. This is the very Note I lost the 23d of June.

Counc. Prof. I think you said you ask'd the Prisoner how long the Note had been in his Possession.

Solomon. Yes, and he said ever since June last. I told him it was not fairly got. No matter for that, says he. I said, you may open the Case to me, I won't betray you. Why then, says he, it was bit in Guildhall, without mentioning by whom. I declare nothing but the Truth, as God Almighty loves the Truth, and I am upon my Oath.

Aaron Polock . On Friday before the Prisoner was taken Mr. Solomon informed me he was offered a Bank Note of 500 l. No. 299. I went to the Coffee House and searched the Papers, in one of which I found it advertis'd. I informed Mr. Weston of the Discovery the Prisoner had made to Mr. Solomon; and on the Tuesday following Solomon shew'd me the Prisoner upon 'Change. After this he informed me that he had promised to pay him the Money for the Note on Friday Morning. I acquainted Mr. Weston and Frizgerald of this Agreement, who ordered me proper Assistants upon 'Change, where I shewed them the Prisoner, and would have had them have staid for Mr. Solomon's coming before they took him, but when they saw him walking off, they would not stay for Solomon, (as I was positive to the Man) but followed him into the Passage that goes to Will's Coffee-House, where they took him, and carried him to the Crown-Tavern; then they sent for Mr. Weston and Fitzgerald, and the Prisoner was searched, but no Note was found; however, they carried him to Guildhall, where the Pocket-Book was produc'd, and the Note found in it, before Alderman Westley.

John Giles . I am Drawer at the Black Swan Tavern, and remember, that on Thursday the 20th of April last, I saw the Prisoner and this Man (Solomon) there, and drew them Half a Pint of Wine.

Richard Lawrence . I am Beadle of the Clothworker's Company, and was at the taking the Prisoner. We carried him to the Crown Tavern, and when Mr. Weston and Fitzgerald came, we searched him; he was very ready to pull out his Handkerchief, his Comb-Case and his Money; I searched his Coat Pockets, but found nothing; at last I found a private Side-Pocket on this Side of his Coat, and from thence I pulled out this Pocket Book, which I delivered un-opened to Mr. Weston and Fitzgerald; then I took up the Comb-Case, and observing a Sort of a Flaw towards the Bottom of it, I gave it a Knock, and out came a Steel Saw, upon this I asked Leave to break it open, they told me I might, and upon breaking it open I found three more, and they all seemed to me to be made of Watch Springs.

Joseph Mowden . These are the Saws found in the Prisoners Comb-Case.

Lawrence. This is the Comb-Case, and these are the Saws which I found in it.

Mr. John Weston . I had Information from Mr Polock, that this Bank Note had been offered to Mr. Solomon for Sale; I told him it was the Property of a Friend of mine at Falmouth, and desired him to do all he could to get it; he brought Sampson Solomon to me, and I asked him why he did not. seize the Man, when he must needs have apprehended that he had stole it. Lord! says he, what could I do against so great a Man! He is as big as Goliah, and as strong as my Namesake. I asked him if he could procure the Note? No, says he, he is too crafty a Chap. I told him I would assist him, if he would let me have a Sight of the Man, and he promis'd I should; he has come two or three Times a Day to tell me what he had done, and the Day before the Prisoner was taken, he was with me twice, and told me

he had appointed him to bring the Note the next Morning (the last of April) to him upon 'Change, in order to his paying him the Money for it. The next Morning (Friday) Polock came to me in a great Hurry, and told me (about nine o'Clock) I must come away that Minute, for the Man was then upon the Exchange. I desired him to stay till I put my Shoes on; then I went with him, and having planted some of my Servants, I asked Polock if he was sure the Prisoner was the Man? He said he was sure; upon whidh I was resolv'd to take him if he should attempt to go off, though Sampson was not yet come. We watched the Space of Half an Hour, and then the Prisoner went off the Exchange; we followed him, and in the Passage going to Will's Coffee-House, we took him; I squeez'd him hard by the Wrist, therefore he begged I would not use him roughly, and that he might be carried into a House. We carried him to the Crown Tavern, and gave Charge of him to two Constables; then I ordered my Servants, one on each Side to search the Prisoner's Hands. He behaved civilly, but we were determined to search him, and Mr. Fitzgerald went to enquire whether we could answer so doing. Upon his Return I bid Lawrence search him; he (the Prisoner) put one Hand into his Pocket, and threw out a Comb-Case, my Man took it up and looked at it; I asked him if he had not a Pocket Book? He told me he had; but my Man, eager in searching, pulled it out himself; I opened it, and the first Thing I cast my Eye upon was a Note of 45 l. this, says I, is not what I want; I saw a Piece of Brownish Paper fastened in, but I did not think the Note could have been concealed there, so I laid it down, and the Prisoner took it again and put it into his Pocket. My Man then took up the Comb-Case, and observing something to shine through a small Crack in it, he gave it a knock, and a small Saw came out, upon this we gave him Leave to break it, and found three more. This made us order the Prisoner to deliver his Pocket Book to the Constable, he took it and tied it up, and put it into his Pocket.

Councel. Was you by when the Note was found?

Mr. Weston. Yes. At Guildhall Mr. Fitzgerald took the Book from the Constable, and delivered to Mr. Robinson, who found this very Note concealed in the Brown Paper.

Joseph Williamson , Constable. This Pocket-Book was delivered to me at the Crown Tavern by the Prisoner; I tied it up in the Presence of the Company, and delivered it un-opened to Mr. Fitzgerald at Guildhall, he delivered it to Mr. Robinson, who found the Note in it.

Mr. Fitzgerald confirmed the former Witnesses, and proved the Note produced in Court, was the same which was found at Guildhall in the Pocket Book.

Mr. Robinson. When the Prisoner was examined at Guildhall, Mr. Fitzgerald delivered the Pocket Book to me, and some Account being given of the artful Concealment of the Saws, I imagined it might be proper to search the Pocket Book more carefully; I therefore untied it, and the Prisoner said, if there was any Bank Note in it, it was not put there by him. I searched the Book carefully, and found this Note, folded up in this Manner.

The NOTE.

For the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.

No. H. 229.

I promise to pay to Nat. Bracey, Esq; and Company, or Bearer, on Demand, the Sum of Five Hundred Pounds.

London, June 2, 1737. 500 l. Daniel Race.

Enter'd E. Shenian.

Mr. Ralph Morrison and Mr. Race, proved the Signing the Note.

DEFENCE.

Prisoner. The Night before I was taken I came from Gravesend, and got to a Friend's House about One o'Clock; about 7 in the Morning I got up, in order to find out a Man that owed me 45 l. I went upon 'Change between 9 and 10 to wait for him, and sat down upon a Bench; after I had sat some Time, I went out into the Passage to make Water, and they came and seiz'd me, they would not tell me what I was seiz'd for; I said, I hop'd it was not for Murder; no, said they, 'twas for something worse, for we have got a Jew to swear against you. As I use the Holland Trade, I might have put this Note off myself. 'Tis very odd that I should wink at a Jew, - a Stranger, - a Fellow that I never saw in my Life, to consult with upon this Affair. As to the Saws, the Man tool the Comb Case and turned himself to the Window, and then said he had taken them out of the Comb Case.

Councel. To Mr. Pye. Was this Note ever satisfy'd?

Mr. Pye. No, it has never been paid.

Prisoner. 'Tis a little odd, that I should offer this Note to a Fellow all in Rags; for as I have

Dealing over Sea, I had no need to undervalue it. Coin sent out of the Kingdom, I know is seizable, but a Bank Note I could easily have sent abroad. That Man (Lawrence) came to see me in Newgate, and brought me two Pieces of Beef, and a Piece of Bread, and told me he believ'd the Jew was the greatest Rogue of the two.

Mr. Lawrence. I did carry him some Bread and roast Beef, and treated him with a Pot of Beer, because he was very poor; but so far from saying, the Jew was the greatest Rogue, I then told him, that I verily believed he was the Man that pick'd Mr. Pye's Pocket, and he cry'd about it most heartily.

Humphry Ingram gave an Account that the Prisoner used to live at his House, in Bell Alley, Goswell-Street; that the 21st of April he came thither about one o'Clock in the Morning; that he had known him ten Years, and had an honest Character, as far as he knew.

Elizabeth Price had known him about 12 or 13 Years; that his Business was selling Hollands, Lace, Muslin, &c. and that he bore an honest Character.

Philip Collins depos'd to the same Effect.

Thomas Loftos did not know him personally, but he had made Perukes for him, and he had been paid for them.

Matthew Leman , William Blincoe , Francis Kelham , and Sarah Redhead , had known him, different Numbers of Years, and took him to be an honest Man.

Samuel Thompson likewise declared, that he had known the Prisoner ever since he was 18 or 19 Years old, from his frequenting the Streets of London. That he went by the Name of Joseph Johnson , and that from a Lad he had been accounted a Pick-pocket. He farther said, that about the Time this Note was lost, he met the Prisoner and another Man coming out the back Way, as from Guildhall; that they went towards London-Wall, and that hearing in a publick House, the next Morning, that a Gentleman had lost such Notes in Guildhall, he then said publickly, he believ'd he knew who robb'd him; and that his general Character for 24 or 25 Years past, has been that of a Pick-pocket.

The Jury found him Guilty . Death .


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