Offence: Theft > animal theft
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Richard Hutchins . I live at Little Chelsea ; on the 18th of Nov. I saw my black gelding in my ground, and the next morning he was missing; the gate, that had been tied with a rope, I found open, and the rope cut: I could get no intelligence of him till the Sunday sen'night after, then a woman came to me, and said a man told her
Q. Did you know him before?
Hutchins. He has worked for me; I discharged him on the 15th of Nov.
Q. What did you employ him in?
Hutchins. In doing labouring business. I said, at you? He said, Yes, master; said I, you are the man I wanted to see. I took him into the house, and called for some liquor, and said, Now, William, tell me what you have done with my house; he said, Master, I know nothing of him. I said, I heard you had him in the country, and sold him for 3 l. 10 s. at Marlborough fair; he said, he sold one for that money, but that was not mine. I asked him, how he came by the money to buy that? he was at a loss for an answer. I took him into another room, then he said, if I could raise a little money, he believed he could fetch the horse he sold: I said, if it is not my horse what should I raise money for; he said but little to it. There came in William Marsh , the waggoner, then the prisoner said, I'll tell you the truth, it was your horse sure enough. Said I, what time did you take him? he said, about 10 at night. Said I, did you take the bridle and sadle first, or the horse first? he said, he took the bridle and sadle first, and rode him to Slough that night. I said, was he not lame, having lost a shoe behind? he said, he had him shoed there, and that he was not very lame. Then I got a constable, and took him to New-prison. I asked him, who he sold him to? he said, he did not know, but one Mr. Johnson was there at the time, and he knew the man very well. I went down in the country to Mr. Johnson as he directed; he recommended me to the buyer; the buyer told me he had changed him away, and went along with me to the man that had him, where I found him; It was one farmer Soaper, near Andover. We went before a Justice, there I swore to my horse, and the Justice ordered the horse to be delivered to me.
Edward Johnson . I live at Wanborough in Wiltshire. I was at Martin's fair at Marlborough, on the 22d of Nov. Mr. Laws had bought a horse of the prisoner, he scrupled paying him till he knew how he came by him; I said, I knew the prisoner's father to be a very honest man, and all his family, upon that he paid him for him.
I was going into the country, I met a drover coming along the road, I bought this horse of him for 3 l. and sold him again for 3 l. 10 s. the man seemed to be a good creditable man, and I did not dispute his honesty at all.
To his Character.
Mr. Hutchins. I have known him two or three years, he worked for me the greatest part of the time; he used to live hard and work hard to muck up money to maintain his children. I believe this to be the first fact he ever committed.
Guilty . Death .