Offences: Theft > animal theft; Theft > receiving
Verdicts: Guilty; Not Guilty
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Christopher Woodham . On the 10th of March, Mrs. Carter lost thirteen weather sheep, and a ram, out of a field in the Parish of Enfield ; we heard they were brought to town, and several of the skins sold in the Borough of Southwark ; but the marks were quite out of the skins, that I could not swear to them; they took away fifteen sheep, but one was dropped in the road, and that gave us a suspicion they were drove to London.
Mr. Pickett. The widow Carter lost 14 sheep the 10th of March; we were informed where the skins were, and went in search after them; we found three or four which we thought to be them, in the possession of one John Robinson in Barnaby street.
Q. Did you know them to be the skins of those sheep Mrs. Carter lost?
Pickett. They were very badly marked, but according to the best of our opinion they are them; they have a mark, but it is so blind that I could not be positive to the letters.
Q. Did you know Keep?
Brownscomb. I never saw him before that time in my life.
Q. Are you a butcher?
Brownscomb . Yes - I carry on business for my self.
Q. Was any body with Keep when you bought them?
Brownscomb . Yes, they that killed the goods; Stone and Scals.
Brownscomb. Some people said he was a very honest man, and a farmer.
Q. Were the skins taken off when you bought them?
Brownscomb. Yes, and I gave a market price for them.
Q. What did you give?
Brownscomb. I gave 17 d. a stone, I paid him 5 l. 16 s. 6 d. for them.
Q. Where did you buy them?
Brownscomb. At the White Hart in Cable street by Rag-Fair.
Q. Is that a usual place for them to be sold in?
Brownscomb. They were killed in a common slaughter-house.
John Brownscomb . Stone came to me, and said, a countryman had brought some sheep to town to sell, for fear of being seized, to raise a little money for his landlord. And Scales said he knew the man had rented 200 l. a year, only he had been reduced, and he was certain the sheep were honestly come by. He carried us to Sam Keep, and my brother and I bought them: Kingsland was about buying them, but people told Keep, if he bought them, he would be flung out of the money.
John Stone . I was hired to dress those fourteen sheep, and I dressed them, not thinking they were come dishonestly by; and I had no more than the common price 3 d. a sheep. Keep sold them; I don't know how he came by them.
William Scales . I had been to buy a beast, and saw Keep and Kingsland together at the Rose and Star in Mill yard, Goodman's-fields. Keep said, won't you drink with me; I sat down and we had two tankards of beer. I happened to see Stone at work; he had killed four of those sheep, so I lent him a hand, and killed ten of them.
Q. What was Keep?
Scales. He was a clay carter. I always took him to be an honest man.
Q. Was not he called a farmer?
Scales. I heard he married the widow Wood at Hackney, and kept a farm of 200 l. a year .
Q. Did you tell Brownscomb this?
Scales. I don't know that I told him so.
Q. Did you hear he was broke or breaking?
Scales. He said he was forced to make some goods off to get some money to satisfy his landlord.
Q. Did you tell Brownscomb so?
Scales. No, I did not tell him so.
Q. What do you think he meant by saying he would do for them all.
Holland . My opinion is, that he thought they were stole, and knew them to be stole. And it is my opinion Keep would never have stole them, if it had not been for him. I don't know what he meant by doing for them.
Q. Who is Kingsland ?
Holland. That is the gentleman [pointing to the prisoner Kingsland .]
Q. Is Kingsland a butcher?
Holland. He is no butcher; he suckles calves.
Charles East . I know Kingsland is a very honest man. He desired me to carry some sheep skins to Mr. Cook in Barnaby Street. Keep delivered the skins out of the slaughter house to me; and Kingsland stood by: and he came to me next day for money for the skins.
Q. How did Kingsland come by the skins?
East. Very honestly, for what I know. One Robinson bought the skins; they were sold for 18 d. a piece. The 14 skins came to a guinea.
Q. Whose skins were they?
East. They were Keep's skins. He may be an honest man, and he may not; I never saw him in my life before.
Q. What mark had the skins?
East. I don't know what mark they had.
John Hudson . Scales and East came to me and said, I might have a job. I asked what it was; they said it was to carry some skins to Mr. Cook's house. We carried them to him, but he did not approve of them: we went to Mr. Robinson, and he bought them at Mr. Cook's house for 18 d. a piece. We went to a publick house, and Robinson paid a guinea for the 14 skins.
Q. Who did he pay the money to?
Hudson. To Kingsland.
Q. to Scales. What mark had these sheep?
Scales. There was a little red oker behind the pole of the neck, I saw no other mark.
Q. What is Mrs. Carter's mark?
Pickett . Her mark is R P, it was her father's mark. Mrs. Carter, the person the prisoner stole the sheep from brought him, up from a child. I have known him all his life time; and never heard any thing amiss of him before; and I am sorry I have occasion to appear against him now.
John Howard . I am clerk to Justice Bourne of Enfield . This confession was made by Samuel Keep ; it was taken in writing, read over to him, and he signed it freely.
[The information was read.]
This information faith , that on Sunday the 10th of March 1744 , he stole out of a field called Fenny-Coats about 14 sheep , the property of the widow Carter of Enfield; and drove them into Church lane, near White Chapel church ; where they were killed , by his order, by John Stone , and William Scales , and that he sold the carcasses to John and Philip Brownscomb for 5 l. 16 s. 6 d. and the fat for 15 s. 9 d. to the man who keeps the mulberry garden; and that William Kingsland sold the skins in Southwark, and took the money for them.
Taken before me the 10th of March, 1744. - Bourne.
Prisoner. They made me fuddled, and I can neither write, nor read; and I did not know what I did.
Q. Was he in liquor?
Howard. I believe he was quite sober. Keep said that Kingsland was with him the Friday before, and that he appointed to meet him*.
* Mr. Howard did not say when or where they appointed to meet. But this seems to agree a little with what Holland says, that he believes Kingsland knew them to be stolen if he was not the instrument of their being stolen.
Jonas Lawrence . I keep a public house. Keep came to me and wanted me to take the sheep into my yard, and mentioned Mr. Kingsland's name. I said I would not do it. I told him I believed the sheep were stolen; and I told him, if the sheep had not been stolen, I believed Kingsland would have come along with him, for he is a very honest man.
Mr. Lessingham . I have known Kingsland forty years. He was servant to my father, and to me, and I always took him to be an honest man. He drove a cart as a scavinger, and has been in gentlemens cellars, where there was plate in plenty; and I never heard any thing amiss of him. Keep, Guilty Death . Kingsland acquitted .