William Ford, Theft > animal theft, 16th January 1754.

Reference Number: t17540116-7
Offence: Theft > animal theft
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

86. (M.) William Ford was indicted for stealing one mare, of a black colour, value 12 l. the property of Nicholas Healing , Oct. 4 . ++

Nicholas Healing . I am a butcher , and live at Hounslow ; I had a black mare, along with two other horses and a mare, in my ground, about a quarter of a mile from my house, they were all safe over night, but on the 4th of October in the morning the black mare was missing. I found her again on Tuesday the 9th at Spinham-land in Berkshire, in the possession of Abraham Sandey the younger, who was subpena'd, but is not here.

Q. How came you to find her there?

Healing. I had told Matthew Davis of my loss, who knew my mare, and as he was going to Wayhill Fair said he would enquire, and if he could hear any thing of her, he would send me word. After which he sent me a letter, with an account that he had seen her at Sceal beyond Reading; so I went, and by enquiry found her out.

Launcelot Hide . I live at Twickenham, and was sent for by the prosecutor to Reading, as I had lost a mare at the same time. I went, and saw the prisoner there in the Compter. Coming from thence I saw Sandey the younger come gallopping hard up the town on the prosecutor's mare. The prosecutor came, and he, I, and Sandey, went to the prisoner, there they both charged him with stealing the mare; but the prisoner said he bought her, and owned he sold her to Sandey; and Sandey said he gave him six guineas for her.

Q. Did he say who he bought her of?

Hide. He said he bought her of the man that lived at the George at Old Brentford. But I knew there was no such sign there. The prisoner had got my mare there, at the Black Horse, which I had again.

James Ascue . I live at the King's Arms at Reading, the prisoner brought the mare to my house on the Saturday after the prosecutor was robbed, I know not the day of the month; he wanted to sell her to me, but I thought her too heavy for my business, therefore did not buy her.

Thomas Painter . I am servant to the prosecutor, and on Thursday the 3rd of October, about two or three o'clock in the afternoon, the mare was put into my master's ground; but the next morning the rails were broke down and the mare gone.

William Horton . I live at the Black Horse in Reading, the prisoner came and put the mare into my stable the 5th of October. She had a white face and a rat tail; he told me he had bought her; he went out with her again, and returned and staid all night: He went away after that, and returned again, and was taken in my house.

Matthew Davis . I am a neighbour of the prosecutor's, I was going down to Wayhill Fair, he

had told me he had lost the mare. I knowing her, said, I would see and enquire after her, and if I could hear of her, would send him word. I put up at the Bull at Sceal, and saw the prisoner riding on the prosecutor's mare. I was not near enough to speak to him, but knew the mare very well.

Q. Did you know the prisoner before?

Davis. No. I never saw him before in my life, as I know of.

Q. Which way was he going?

Davis. He rode out of an inn yard, and on towards Reading; I went to the house, and asked the hostler, if he knew the man who had just rode out; he said, he did not. I then got a person to write a letter to the prosecutor, to let him know where I had seen the mare.

Prisoner's Defence.

I bought the mares both together of two men, one of whom was taken up at Hounslow; but I, being then confined at Reading, could not go to swear to him, and so they let him go.

Guilty Death .

There was another indictment against him for stealing Launcelot Hide 's mare; but being cast on this, he was not tried upon that.


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