Lawrence Bourn.
16th January 1751
Reference Numbert17510116-4

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99. Lawrence Bourn , was indicted for stealing one hat value 10 s. the goods of Albert Nesbit , Esq ; Dec. 24 . ||

William Martin . On Christmas Eve between 7 and 8 o'clock, the prisoner took my hat off my head and ran away with it. I ran after him and cry'd stop thief. Two men stopped him.

Q. Whose servant are you?

Martin. I am servant to Albert Nesbit, Esq; this is a hat he provided for me; I had wore it but two or three times.

Arthur Smith . I am the constable that took the prisoner in charge. I asked him how he could do such a thing? He said it was necessity drove him to do it. He produced the hat.

John Ward . I was coming up Holbourn from Smithfield, and a little on this side the watch-house I heard the cry of stop thief! and near a grocer's shop where was a light, the prisoner came running by me. I ran about 50 yards after him, when he stumbled and fell down. I was just behind him as he got up. I took hold of his arm, and the young man came up. Said I, what has he done to you? Said he, he has robbed me of my hat. The prisoner said he was almost starv'd. I saw a hat flung down, but I cannot swear to it. The hat was produced.

William Martin . The prisoner came behind me, and took this hat from my head, and ran away with it.

William Meridey . As I was going up Holbourn on Christmas Eve, this young man cry'd out stop thief! stop thief! I saw the prisoner running as hard as he could. I ran after him; whether the hat came from his hand or under his arm I cannot say. I saw it drop from him. I ran by it about 20 yards. We took the prisoner. Then the young man came up, and said, this man has stole my hat. We took the prisoner to the high-constable, there he owned the taking it.

Prisoner's Defence.

As I was coming along Holbourn, I saw a man walking behind the young man, I was about 12 yards behind him. I saw that man take his hat off his head. I ran after him to take him, and ran a considerable time. I by chance fell down, and the man got away; and these gentlemen came and took hold of me and thought I was the man, so they swore against me. What they say of my owning it is false.

Guilty .

[Transportation. See summary.]

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