John Furgerson.
26th May 1757
Reference Numbert17570526-23
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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236. (M.) John Furgerson was indicted for that he was indicted and tried on Thursday the fourth of December, in the 29th year of his present majesty, for that he on the sixth of November, 1755, 11 pair of worsted stockings, value 15 s. the goods of John Hayman , privately in the shop of the said John, did steal, take and carry away, and that he was found guilty of stealing to the value of 4 s. 10 d. and ordered to be transported; and after that, to wit, on the 19th of April, 1757 , he was feloniously without any lawful cause at large in St. Margaret's, Westminster .

The record of his conviction was produced and read, the purport of which was, '' That on Thursday the 4th of December, in the 29th year of his present majesty, at the delivery of his majesty's gaol of Newgate, holden for the county of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, the jurors for our lord the king upon their oaths present, that John Furgerson , late of the parish of St. Margaret's, Westminster, on the 6th of November, with force and arms, 11 pair of worsted stockings, value 15 s. the goods and chattels of John Hayman , in the shop of the said John, privately did steal, take and carry away.

He puts himself upon his country, the jurors say guilty, 4 s. 10 d. To be transported for the term of seven years, according to the statute, &c.''

Thomas Huntley . I happened to be on the jury when the prisoner was tried, and I know him to be the very same man.

Q. When was he tried ?

Huntley. It is about a year and half ago. He delivered a petition to me, and desired me to speak favourably to my brother jurymen for him.

Q. What sessions was it?

Huntley. It was the very same sessions that the minister at the Savoy chapel was tried and cast for clandestine marriages.

Q. Don't you know what month it was?

Huntley. I can't say what month.

Q. Was the prisoner found guilty ?

Huntley. He was cast for transportation. He is much alter'd, but it is the same person.

Bright Wilmot. I am a constable, I was sent for by one of his majesty's chairmen, named Dean, to a house; when I came there I was told there was a person there that had been transported, and was return'd; he desired I would go and get some of the guards, and go and take him.

Q. When was this?

Wilmot. On the eighth of April last. I went and found the prisoner at the sign of the Cock in Duke-street, the house of one Macurr; there were two other men along with the prisoner, one is here, the other look'd to be a sailor. We took them before justice Wright, when the other sailor was discharg'd, and this was committed to the Gatehouse.

Prisoner. The other man was a ship-mate of mine, and he shew'd his ticket to the justice.

Q. Was the prisoner in custody when you found him?

Wilmot. No, he was not.

Q. What is the name of the other person that was with the prisoner when you took him?

Wilmot. His name is Thomas Lane.

Thomas Lane. I was with the prisoner when the constable and others came in and took him. I was writing a petition by his direction for him to his majesty.

William Lemberick . I am the lad that picked up the stockings that the prisoner stole, for which he was transported.

Q. Was you an evidence against him on that trial?

Lemberick. I was.

Q. Are you sure the prisoner is the same person?

Lemberick. I am.

Q. Have you seen him since that trial?

Lemberick. I have.

Q. Where?

Lemberick. It was by New Palace Yard, about three or four days before he was taken.

Henry Jackson . I saw the prisoner tried in December sessions, 1755.

Q. Was you an evidence on that trial against him?

Jackson. I was, but he is alter'd a good deal.

Prisoner's Defence.

Here is my ticket (producing one) I am in his majesty's service now, and belong to one of his ships. I am not the man that was cast, there are many men deceiv'd, there are many men like one another. I have not a friend within many leagues of this place, I was born leagues off. I have been in his majesty's service ever since I have been able to serve him, and now for want of friends I am cast away. There are people in Newgate that say they knew the other man that was tried for stealing the stockings.

Court. Then you have a right to call them.

For the Prisoner.

Edward Hudson . I am a prisoner in Newgate.

Q. For what are you a prisoner?

Hudson. For a quarrel.

Q. How long have you been there?

Hudson. Almost three years. My case was tried at Hick's-Hall.

Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar?

Hudson. I only know him from about six weeks ago.

Q. Was you in this court last December was twelve-month.

Hudson. No, I was not. I don't know every person that comes into Newgate and goes out again.

Q. Did you know one named Furgerson that was tried in this court?

Hudson. There was a Furgerson that came into Newgate about 13 or 14 months ago, I am not sure to the time. He was a great deal lesser than the prisoner.

Q. Do you remember what he came in for?

Hudson. I think it was about some stockings.

George Martin . I can't say this is the same Furgerson that came in here about stockings, that man was in a carman's dress.

Q. Was you in court when he was tried?

Martin. No, I was not.

Guilty , Death .

[See No. 56. in Mr. Alderman Bethell's Mayoralty.]

Note, The aforesaid prisoner was taken while a mess-mate of his was writing the following Petition, to be presented to his Majesty in his behalf; whether it was finish'd or not we can't say, but on account of its singularity, and as it is refer'd to in the above trial, we thought it would not be improper to offer it to the perusal of the publick, which we here do in its native dress, the spelling only excepted.

The humble Petition of John Furgerson to his Majesty.

To His Most Gracious Majesty.

London, April 18, 1757.

I Your poor petitioner, a poor jack tar, undone for the sake of a brother tar, who has been in a great deal of trouble, and is a well wisher to his king and country, and is willing to fight for his king and country, but has been forc'd to fly from his country, for he had a misfortune, and was transported, and he went no farther than Gravesend, and left the ship and swam on shore, with the great hazard of losing his life, in the month of January,

1756; and had not been but a few days on shore before he was stop'd and inlisted for a soldier in Lord Sandwich's regiment of guards, and was forced to fly from them on account of some thieftakers that had got intelligence of him, and was but a few days before he enter'd on board your majesty's ship the Nassau, but did not take your majesty's bounty; and after coming home from the Streights to Plymouth was (belonging to the captain's barge) come on shore, and was taken up there as a deserter, and is willing to serve your majesty by sea or land, and knows his duty on both; but he is to fly from both for want of your majesty's free pardon, and poor Jack begs that your majesty will take compassion on this petitioner and grant him his pardon, for poor Jack will dance for joy to go on board again.

And I poor Jack's mess-mate will wait for your majesty's most gracious answer.

John Furgerson your poor petitioner, and his mess-mate, will fight for our king and country for ever, and he was not willing to enter on board of ship, for fear they should make him take your majesty's bounty; and if your most gracious majesty will grant poor Jack this, he will dance in his old cloaths till pay-day, so Christ preserve your most gracious majesty's life, and all the royal family's, for I your poor petitioner Jack will stand staunch for life.


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