Offence: Theft > animal theft
Verdict: Guilty; Not Guilty
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John Lucas. On the 14th of September, in the Night, I lost two heavy black Mares, out of my Grounds at Thollowson, in the Parish of Dunchurch, in Warwickshire ; and my Servants having Inform'd me that two sorry Fellows had been lurking about the Ground the Evening before, I enquired of every one I met, if they had not seen two such Persons with two Mares, and was told they were gone towards London; I followed them to St. Alban's, where a Man told me he had seen them at Redbourn Wash, coming for London; at the New-River-Head I heard of them again, and was informed they would certainly be push'd into the Market for Sale; upon this I went directly to Mr. Cleaver, in Smithfield, and searched the Toll-Book, and got a Friend to search the Inns about Smithfield and St. John's-Street, while my Landlord and I went to cross the Water, in order to look for them in the Borough, and just as we were going to take Boat, the Hostler came to us, and told us the Mares were found at the Pewter-Platter in St. John's-Street; we returned with the Hostler, and saw them; I am positive they are the same Mares that I lost from Thollowson; as to the Prisoners, I can only say, they answer the Description my Men had given me of them; I can't say I ever saw them before.
Lucas. The Prisoners were carried to the Justice, - before I got back to the Inn, where the Mares were found.
James Gill . The Morning we found the Mares at the Pewter-Platter, Machell was talking to a Man about one of the Mares; the other ( Wilkinson ) was a-bed, but was fetch'd down Stairs. I thought it might be proper to part them, so I took Wilkinson into the Kitchen, and asked him some Questions, in answer to which, he said, he knew nothing of the Matter, nor from whence the Mares came; then he said he bought them at Woburn Fair for Twenty Pounds, and they were his own; and then Machell said he bought them himself.
John Maxwell . On the 15th of September about 7 at Night, the two Prisoners brought the Mares into our Yard; one rode one of them, and the other Man led in the other. On the one were two Saddles, the other had no Saddle but four Bridles. They bid me take Care of them, litter them and make them clean; which of them in particular gave me this Charge, I cannot take upon me to say, - they both came together, and gave me charge of them; then they went into the House, and sent for me to drink with them, and Machell again bid me take Care of his Mares. My Master Jones coming in, I told him those two Men had two good Coach Mares; - and I'll be hang'd then, says he, if they have not stole them. When the Prisoners were gone to Bed, he and I went to look at them, one was about four Years old, and the other about six. In the Morning my Master got Mr. Markham to come and look at the Mares, and I call'd Machell to shew him one of them. He warranted the Mare to be sound; and while Mr. Markham and he were talking together, this Gentleman (Mr. Salter) came in and sent for a Constable, and Mr. Cleaver sent after Mr. Lucas, and fetched him back. I went before Mr. Poulson to swear I received the Mares from the Prisoners. They told me I needed not give them any Corn, for they had given them as much as they would eat at Whetstone. This was on Friday Night, and the next Morning Mr. Lucas came and owned the same Mares, which the Prisoners over Night had given me Charge of.
Machell. I was going down to Northampton, and met with this Wilkinson, and the two Mares. He told me he had bought them, and offer'd to satisfy me if I would come with him to Smithfield Market to sell them.
Wilkinson. He had none of the Mares from me. I met him at Newcastle under Line with them and a Sorrel Mare, which he swopp'd away at Daventry, and afterwards it was claim'd by another Man I had got 4 or 5 l. and thought to have got a Place, but I spent it with him, and he promised to pay me again when these two Mares were sold.
Machell Guilty . Death . Wilkinson, Acquitted .