John Lowdon, Theft > pocketpicking, 24th February 1742.

Reference Number: t17420224-11
Offence: Theft > pocketpicking
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

+ John Lowdon , of St. Paul's Covent Garden , was indicted for privately stealing a silver Watch, value 40 s. from the Person of William Payne , Jan. 13

William Payne . I don't swear to the Prisoner, because I was in Liquor when I was robb'd, but I can swear to my Watch. He own'd that he robb'd me of it, and here is the Person he pawned it to. It was on the 13th of January, between 1 and 2 in the Morning, I had been with some Friends at the Brown Bear in Bow-street, about some Business, and when I parted with them I went into Earl's-Court , and was robb'd of my Watch: my Hat was likewise taken away and carried about 20 Yards, and then thrown into an Area. After they had robb'd me, some Friends took me Home, and then I missed my Watch.

Q. You mention they, were there several Persons there?

Payne. Yes, I believe so.

Q. Who was with you, that you say they took your Watch?

Payne. Only the Prisoner and the Evidence Gilson, as he informs me.

Pris. Ask him whether he ever knew, or saw me before?

Payne. Not to my Knowledge.

James Gilson . I know the Prisoner very well; he lived Fellow-Servant with me at Spring-Gardens, Vaux-Hall, and was turn'd away from thence about three Summers ago. He and I were at the Gaming Table in Vinegar Yard together on the 13th of Jan. playing at a Game card Reds and Whites; - it is a House kept by one Mitford. After the Gaming was done, which was about 12 o'Clock at Night, we went to a Night-house, the Brown-Bear in Bow-street, and having brought myself very low, design'd to sit up there all Night. Lowdon told me I might be at his Lodging, upon which we both went out, and just at the Corner of Earl's-Court this Gentleman Mr. Payne, lay quite down upon his Back. When we had got about two Yards past the End of the Court, Mr. Payne groaned, and I said to the Prisoner, Jack! I'm afraid here's a Man dead! I set him up against the Wall, and the Prisoner came and look'd at his Buckles to see if they were Silver, and at the same Time push'd Mr. Payne down, took his Watch from him, and ran cross the Way, and cry 'd, D - n your

Eyes, Jack, why don't you come along? I did not go directly to him, but put Mr. Paines's Back against the Wall again, upon which the Prisoner came over to me, and catch'd me by the Arm, and lugg'd me away for fear we should be taken, for he had got the Watch, he said. We then went down to the Bottom of Bow-street, and came up again to see whether he was gone or no. He said he supposed he had got more Money about him, and when we came to the End of the Court, there were two or three Gentlemen with him. After this, we went into Phoenix-Alley, and by the Light of the Lamp, the Prisoner opened the Watch, and said, it was a very good one, but it was very large, and would fetch about a Ridge. I asked him what he mean'd by a Ridge? and he told me, it was a Guinea, and that he would not sell the Watch that Night, but I should go Home and lie with him The next Morning he and Flack's Girl went and pawn'd the Watch in Fox's-Court, Gray's-Inn-Lane.

Q. Was you with them then?

Gilson. Yes; but I did not go into the House. He told me he had pawn'd it for 25 s. but it seems he had thirty-five upon it, and he gave me Half a Guinea out of it.

Q. Why did not he give you half?

Gilson. He did not give it me as my Share, but bid me go, and get a clean Shirt and a Waistcoat.

Pris. Ask him if there were not two Women coming by when the Man lay drunk?

Gilson. Not that I perceived.

Pris Did he see me take the Watch out of his Drawer?

Gilson No, but I heard the Chain gingle, and I afterwards saw the Key in his Hand.

Pris. I took the Watch off the Ground, 4 Yards from the Man. Drift or assist him to set the Man up against the Wall?

Gilson. No, when I set him up, the Prisoner pushed him down again.

Thomas Birch . I live with Mrs. Parsons, in Fox-Court. I know nothing of the Prisoner: but he brought the Watch in the Name of Peter Wise , and I lent him 35 s. upon it. My Mistress was then at Islington, in a bad State of Health, and I was entrusted by her to carry on the Business. - The Watch is worth 50 s. to any Body that wants such a Thing, and no more, according to my Judgment.

Q. Have you any Part of the Profits?

Birch. No: I asked the Prisoner if it was his own Property, and he said it was, and he would fetch it out in four Hours Time, for he was in a great Hurry.

Q. What was you to have besides the Money again ?

Birch. The Interest, which was Ten-pence Half-penny. He brought it on the 13th of January, about half an Hour after 8 in the Morning.

Mary Thornton . About the 12th of January, as near as I can guess, - I believe I can be certain as to the Day, because I am a Midwife and keep a Register: -

Q. Do you know the Prisoner?

Thornton. I have seen him about twice; - his Father was a Watch and Clock-maker, and I remember something of him. I was called to a French woman's in Shorts-Gardens, between six and seven in the Evening, and when I came from thence, I took my Servant and a Man with me, to see me safe Home, and just by Bow-street, there is a kind of a Bagnio, and I heard some Body say, There is a Man lies dead. It was Moon-light, and I saw that young Man at the Bar snatch up something from the Ground which shone very much. I have seen the Prisoner twice before, to the best of my Knowledge, and that is as much as I have, and he had the very same Cloaths on as he has now.

Q. Did you see the Man that lay for dead?

Thornton. I saw something lie along; I don't know that I saw the Evidence, Gilson there: What I took most Notice of, was, the Colour of the Buttons on the Prisoner's Coat.

Jury. We desire she may be asked how she knew that the Prisoner was taken up?

Thornton. I live in Half-Moon-street, and heard that such a Neighbour's Son was taken up.

Q. Did you see the Man set up against the Wall?

Thornton. No, I was afraid to stay when I heard that the Man was dead, and I saw the Prisoner snatch up something, and it might be a Watch or a Snuff-box, for I did not stay to see.

Elizabeth Hickson . I don't know any Thing of the Prisoner, but I remember his Face: As my Mistress and I were coming along, I see him pick up the Watch, - I think it was a Watch.

Q. Have you ever seen the Prisoner before?

Hickson. I don't know him any farther than

by seeing him as he went along. It was very light being Moon-light, and I observed no Man but him that picked up the Watch

Q. Did you see the Prosecutor stand against the Wall.

Hickson. No, I did not see him, for I was behind my Mistres, and had hold of her Arm.

Q. What Time of Night was it?

Hickson. I know it was after Twelve, because the Clock struck just as we came out of the House in Short's Gardens.

Prisoner. My Father died about eight Weeks ago.

Thornton. About a Month ago, I heard that his Father was ill, and that he (the Prisoner) was taken up on Account of some Robbery.

Guilty Death .


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