Offence: Theft > pocketpicking
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194. Thomas Jones , otherwise Harper , was indicted for stealing one gold watch, val. 40 l. one gold chain, val. 5 l. three stone seals, set in gold, val. 5 l. the goods of the , privately from his person , Jan. 20, 1748 .
General St. Clair. It being the Birth-day of the Prince of Wales, I had been to pay my duty to his Royal Highness. Returning back, the place being crowded with chairs, &c. I was oblig'd to go out at the great gate. Turning to the right hand, I found, by the little shops, a prodigious crowd of people; I found myself thrust backwards and forwards, then I suspected I should have my pocket pick'd: I put down my hand, and found I had lost my handkerchief; then I felt for my watch, and found that was gone. I thought to myself, that whoeverEdward Hawkins , who knew me, came running up with my watch in his hand, saying he saw the old Fellow drop it. I at that time had him by the collar ; the other was a young man. I desired the Serjeant of the guard to see if he could find my Lord Carpenter; for I had met him going up, as I was coming down stairs. I met with Edward Linn , the Provost's Marshal-man. Telling him what had happen'd, he had them both searched. On the other person was found six or seven handkerchiefs, a pair of silver spurs, and a book of the records of England. Then they were both committed to the Gatehouse, Westminster. And, I do believe, on my honour and conscience, the prisoner at the bar to be the person which Thomas Shorthouse said then, he saw drop my watch; but I will not swear it. He was then cloath'd, (if it be the person) in a blue coat, and a darkish wigg.
The prisoner desired Shorthouse might be put out of the court while he asked the General one question, which was granted; which was, what time of the day this was done ? to which the General reply'd, it was between one and two o'clock in the afternoon.
Thomas Shorthouse . I was going through the Prince of Wales's Court at this time, and I observ'd General St. Clair coming along, and a crowd of people about him. I observ'd two men in particular, one on his right hand, and the other on his left. He on the right press'd forward, leaning over the General's right shoulder ; after that, he seem'd to decline back. The General almost at the same time turn'd back, and said I have lost my watch; took hold of two men, and said either of you have got it; seeming in a consternation, as not knowing which had it. The man on his left hand seem'd to slip in between the General and the other on his right, saying, I Sir, what I Sir, have I got your watch, Sir? &c. He looked about seemingly as though he wanted to get away amongst the chairs and coaches. I said to the General, Sir, this man has got your watch, meaning him on the right. The General had quitted his hold; but immediately collar'd him again, and lugg'd him forward, in order to deliver him into the hands of the centinel. Then I saw that man put his hand into either his coat or waistcoat-pocket, and saw the chain hang out. Then I saw the watch drop from his pocket, and I pick'd it up, and gave it to the General. I cannot swear to him; for that was the only time I ever saw him.
Q. Did you say to the General, it was the old man that pick'd his pocket?
Shorthouse. No, my Lord ; but the Remark the General made then, was (in that Hurry) that it was the old man; the other being a young man, and not so big. To me now the prisoner seems younger than at that time, if he be the man.
Q. How was that man cloath'd ?
Shorthouse. He had on a blue coat, and a grizzle wigg.
Edward Linn , the provosi's marshal man, depos'd, he was in waiting that day, and that the Gen gave him charge of two men, one of them with a blue-grey coat on, and a darkish wigg, for picking his pocket of a gold watch; that he had him in custody for some time, while the General went up into the court, for Mr. Varne, who came, and committed them both to the Gatehouse, Westminister, and that he, with a file of mujketteers, conducted him, and deliver'd him safe there. Not seeing him since, or knowing him before, he would not take upon him to swear to the Prisoner.
William Salt , the Keeper of the Gatehouse, produced the commitment, and depos'd the prisoner at the bar was one of the two prisoners mentioned in that commitment, which was on the 20th of Jan. 1748, and that he is the person who was rescued from the prison afterwards.
Patrick Henley, the Deputy-turnkey, depos'd, he receiv'd them with the commitment which was read in court, and that he knew the prisoner well in Dublin. Before and when he was committed, he had on a blue-grey coat, and a darkish wigg.
The prisoner desired he might be asked, when he ever saw him before? To which he answer'd, when he, the prisoner, went by the Name of Banbidge, the pickpocket, in Dublin.
Guilty , Death .