George Anderson, Theft > grand larceny, 17th October 1750.

Reference Number: t17501017-19
Offence: Theft > grand larceny
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

637. George Anderson , was indicted for stealing two pieces of silk ribon, value 8 s. the good of James Thwaites , Aug. 8 .

Jane Thwaites . I live in Portland-street by Soho Square , and sell stockings, ribons, &c . the prisoner came into our shop Aug. 8th. about two in the afternoon; he ask'd if I had any figur'd ribons, I said I did not sell such; he said I am surpriz'd you don't, I hope you'll allow them to be the more fashionable; I was then behind my counter: I said I had many others, he stood in a pause, and at last said, may be I may buy some, so he chose to look at them; there was another man belonging to him stood at the door, which he call'd John. I took him out one drawer, he seem'd very difficult, I took him out another, still he was difficult in the colour, &c. some look'd

watery, some were flimsy. Thus I had five drawers on the counter at once, one of satin, and four of paduasoy; he was dress'd like a gentleman, I had no mistrust of him, being dress'd with a waistcoat trim'd with gold, and all other things answerable: he bought 4 single yards of paduasoy, at 7 d. halfpeny per yard, of three different colours, he paid me at three different times, and made me change his money three times. Then I told him the third yard was not paid for, said he, you are quite right; then he paid me for that; then he turn'd about to John and said, well John, I think I shall ruin myself in buying ribbons ; no sir, said I, four or five ribbons will not do that; no no, said John, master, if you lay out that, you know where to get more; said he, now my hand is in, I'll buy you a ribbon John for your wife; master, said he, you are joaking with me, what should she do with that? There lay a white pair of cotton stockings by, said he, I had rather you'd buy me such a pair of stockings as they are; while he was disputing what colour to buy, I shew'd him brown, scarlet, one colour after another; then he left it to me to chuse what colour to buy for the man's wife. At the same time my husband came in, who saw the prisoner put some ribbons in his pocket; he said to him, friend, that piece of ribbon you have put into your pocket, is not your own; the prisoner said, d - mn you for a villain, I have none but what I paid for; my husband put his hand into his pocket, and took out these two pieces of ribbon; they were produc'd in court, one of scarlet, the other green; one was 9 or 10 yards long, the other 18. I was doubling up the 4 yards he had bought at that time, he had paid me for them, but I had not delivered them to him; the prisoner strove to get away from my husband, he draw'd him as far as the street door; then he swore d - mn you for a villain, if you don't let me go, I'll kill you on the spot; then he took out a long knife from his left side, and open'd it over my husband's head ; when I saw that, I cry'd out, for Christ's sake let him go. He cut my husband over the eye, and cross the nose; I was so affrighted I saw no more; he got away, and our neighbours pursu'd, and took him.

Q. What are these ribbons worth?

Jane Thwaites . They cost me 5 d. halfpeny per yard ; there were 27 yards. The ribbons were produc'd in court; also the knife, when open'd about 18 inches long.

Cross Examined.

Q. How can you take upon you to say this ribbon is yours?

Jane Thwaites. I had just given him one piece out of my hand, and the other, we have not such a piece in the shop for colour and quantity, but that; and the figures for the selling mark are my own hand writing.

James Thwaites . I am the prosecutor; on the 8th of Aug. about 2 o'clock I was coming home, I saw this man at the compter, and another staid at the door; I being in a red coat they might not imagine I belong'd to the shop; he at the door did not get out of the way to let me in, so I went to the other door, and came through my parlour, the parlour door faces the compter. At coming into the shop, the first sight I saw, was the prisoner putting a piece of green ribbon into his pocket, in the inside his coat under his right arm, which he took from off the compter; I went up to him, he made me a bow; I told him what he had put there was not his, but my property; he d - n'd me for a villain, and said, he had none but what he had paid for; then the servant ran away, and we saw him no more. I took out two pieces from that pocket, one green, the other scarlet, and flung them on the compter, while we scuffled together; said I, you have more in your pocket, and you shall not go away with them; he swore he would murder me, and endeavoured to get away; he took a knife out of his last hand pocket, and gave me this cut on my forehead; the scar was just above the eyebrows, about 2 inches long. I was blind for 5 days; then he d - n'd me again, but I laid hold then on his shoulder, then he gave me a cut on my left hand and disabled me. It was a long cut down the back of his hand; by the scar it seem'd as though it had went through, into the palm of his hand; and in the hualing, the palm was draw'd together. My surgeon is now in court, who computed I had lost a gallon of blood from these wounds. I belong to the army, but now am not capable of doing duty more; he got away, I call'd out stop thief; many of my neighbours went in pursuit of him.

Cross Examin'd.

Q. Are these two pieces of ribbons your property?

Thwaites. I cannot directly swear to them; I believe they are the same; the constable has had them ever since.

William Hall. I live about 300 yards from the prosecutor; I saw the prisoner without hat or wig making his escape, running to go into the field; he had a long knife in his hand; he cry'd take care, let me go, the bailiffs are after me, the bailiffs are after me, waving the knife about; I

followed him, and asked him to surrender himself; he said he would not, and that he would run his knife through the person that offered to lay hands on him; said I, you had better surrender, you'll receive damage by stones, (the people flung stones at him as he ran, crying, stop thief) I looked back and saw a man with a stick in his hand, I borrowed it of him, then I followed the prisoner again; I got up to him and hit him a knock on his head, he staggered 15 or 16 yards, then fell; he got up again and run well, I run after him again; then I hit him over the wrist, and he dropped the knife; he got the knife up again before I could get at him, and as he was running a brick-bat hit him on the temple, and turning about to see who threw it tumbled down into a ditch; I jumped to seize him as he fell, and narrowly escaped falling into a pond by the ditch; he got up again and ran, and I after him; then I hit him and knocked the knife out of his hand again, and at the same time a stone hit him on the side of the head, and he fell.

Prisoner's Defence. I was to go to a christening, and I thought it would be requisite to make presents to the women, so I went to this shop to buy some ribbons; I paid for every yard I bought; the man says he took these ribbons out of my pocket, but he took them out of my hand. When I was examined before justice Trent Mr . Salt was there; Mr. Salt asked what they had to alledge against me; she said she did not know she lost any thing at all, but her husband said I had robbed him of a piece of green ribbon; Mr. Salt asked him if he could tell what quantity, he said no; she there swore to but 3 s. 4 d. she was told that was only transportation; she said she thought that would hang me; then she took up a piece of scarlet, and said, I can swear to this, and you can swear to more.

Q. to Prosecutor. Are you sure you saw the prisoner put the ribbon into his pocket?

Thwaites. I did, my lord, and I took them out.

Mrs. Thwaites. I saw my husband take them out.

Prisoner I desire Mr. Salt may be called.

Mr. Salt sworn.

The prosecutor and his wife agreed in what they there swore, the same they have done now; she swore to the value of 8 s. 4 d. they swore first to the green, then to the scarlet.

Guilty Death .


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