FRANCIS MEADDOWS, Theft > theft from a specified place, 17th April 1822.

Reference Number: t18220417-7
Offence: Theft > theft from a specified place
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

541. FRANCIS MEADDOWS was indicted for stealing, on the 15th of March , at St. Andrew, Holborn, one table-clock, value 5 l., the goods of Catharine Sharpe spinster , in her dwelling-house .

MR. LAW conducted the prosecution.

GEORGE WALKER . I am footman to Miss Catharine Sharpe who lives in New Ormond-street in the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn . On the 14th of March, about twenty minutes after seven o'clock at night, the prisoner came to the house, and said he had brought a letter which required an answer. I said the family was not home. He said he would call the next night with it; he would not leave it. He brought it again next night, and requested an answer. I told him to come into the passage. - I took the letter of him, and shut the door; he stood on the mat. I laid the letter down on the sideboard, and went down stairs for my coat; when I came up he still stood where I had left him. I took the letter to Miss Sharpe in the drawing-room, but as I suspected something, I returned to the stair-case, and looked over the bannisters - I saw him take the clock off the bracket in the hall, and saw it in his hand; I ran down, calling Stop thief! He opened the door with one hand, having the clock in the other, and dropped it on the threshold of the door, and ran off. I pursued, and took him in Lamb's Conduit-street, without losing sight of him. I am sure he is the man. It is Miss Sharpe's dwelling-house.

Prisoner. Q. Is there no turning in the street - A. Yes.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

JAMES CROPLEY . I am a clock-maker. This clock is now worth between 8 l. and 9 l. I had repaired it lately.

JOSEPH CADBY . I am an officer. I heard an alarm, but the prisoner was secured before I got up. I produce the letter.

(read).

MADAM. - I have taken the liberty of addressing you respecting the will of Mr. James Browning , lately deceased, and who when living resided in Bernard-street, Russell-square. The motive of my application is to find one of the attesting witnesses to the will, it being about to be proved. The will is attested by a Mr. William Gordon , a Mr. John Brown, and a Miss Eliza or Elizabeth Sharp , and having been apprised of your residing in New Ormond-street, Queen-square, I have ventured to address you, and should feel obliged by your informing me, per bearer, if you ever had any acquaintance with the deceased, or any knowledge of the above Will.

I am, Madam, your obedient Servant,

J. JESSOP, Gray's Inn.

March 14th, 1822.

WILLIAM SHARPE . I am brother to the prosecutrix. She knew nothing of the business mentioned in the letter.

Prisoner's Defence. I consider it a hard case, that a man should speak so positively to me. I have only been three months in town, and have nobody to give me a character. On this evening, I was in Lamb's Conduit-street, two gentlemen happened to stop me; he came up, and swore I was the person who took the clock. A lady who came to the door cannot recognize me, and had a better view of the person than him.

SARAH SMITH . I live in New Ormond-street. I was passing the house, and saw a man in the hall with the clock; he looked at me, made towards the door, and I screamed Murder! He dropped it at my feet - I collared him, but he got from me. The footman pursued him quite close; it is impossible he could lose sight of him. The prisoner is of the same stature and dress as the man, but I will not swear to him.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 32.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Burrough.


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