Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 24 November 2014), February 1781, trial of PATRICK NORRIS otherwise NORTON (t17810222-51).

PATRICK NORRIS, Theft > grand larceny, 22nd February 1781.

182. PATRICK NORRIS otherwise NORTON was indicted for stealing two pounds and twelve ounces of sewing silk, value 3 l. the property of John Crocker and Edward Rainbow , January 20th .

JOHN CROCKER sworn.

I am a silk-dyer , and am in partnership with Edward Rainbow . The prisoner has worked for me a year and half. On Saturday the 20th of January, at about a quarter after ten o'clock, my apprentice went down into the cellar to draw some beer; he returned very much frightened, and said there was a person in the house. I took a candle and went down and found the prisoner in the cellar. I brought him up; he appeared to be very much in liquor; he said he had got intoxicated, and fell asleep, and had never been out of the dye-house. I believed so at the time. There are utensils which are used in the dye-house in the cellar. I let him go, but one of my apprentices said he thought he had some silk about him, and they went after him and brought him back, and found some silk in the alley, and brought it in; then the prisoner owned the fact. He said it was the first time he had been guilty of such an offence, and begged I would let him go to sea. I told him if he would inform me who was the receiver I would do every thing I could to serve him.

(The silk was produced in court and deposed by the prosecutor.)

JAMES COLE sworn.

I am apprentice to Mr. Crocker. I went down into the cellar, about a quarter after ten o'clock, to draw some beer, and saw the prisoner run by the stair-foot into the cellar. I ran up and told my master. After he was gone out my fellow-apprentice said he thought he had some silk; and we went after him. I saw him secure the prisoner, and pick up the silk in the alley which the prisoner had gone through. He was brought in and I fetched a constable.

BENJAMIN WHITE sworn.

I am an apprentice to Mr. Crocker. I followed the prisoner and told him my master wanted him, and he came back with me into the dye-house, and stripped himself. My fellow-apprentice and I took a candle and went up the alley, and found the silk and brought it back.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

I got in liquor; I went down to the necessary and fell asleep. My master came down and found me there. I did not take any silk; it is possible lying asleep some might stick to my clothes or buttons of my coat. Such a thing has happened. I never confessed taking it.

(The prisoner called two witnesses who gave him a good character.)

GUILTY . W . and Imp. 6 months .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.