John Sherriden, John Bucannan, Robert Aplin.
2nd May 1764
Reference Numbert17640502-59
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty

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291, 292, 293. (M.) John Sherriden , John Bucannan , and Robert Aplin , were indicted for stealing seven fathom of rope, called a hauser. value 5 s. the property of Bearent Willer , April 3 . +

Bearent Willer. I am master of a ship , lying on the river Thames . On the 3d of April, about seven or eight fathoms of a hauser were stolen from on board my vessel: I know not who cut it off, or who took it away. My mate , that is, Bucannan, desired me to go before the justice, that I might

swear to my cable; it was then in the possession of Edward Smith: as to Bucannan, I do think he is innocent: the hauser lay in another ship. that lay a long-side my ship. (Produced and deposed to.)

Edward Smith . On the 3d of April, Sherriden and Aplin brought this cable to my house; they had put it in my cellar: I desired to know whose property it was? they told me it belonged to one Mr. Bucannan, the mate of the Carolina: I insisted upon further satisfaction, or they should not go. Then they wrote a letter to this purpose;

"Sir, we are stopped at Mr. Smith's, with the hauser that we were to sell, and were to bring brooms and greens with: I desire you will come and clear us." I went myself on board the ship, to Mr. Bucannan, and he came on shore: I shewed him the hauser; he said. it does not belong to me: it belongs to such a captain, mentioning the prosecutor; he charged the two men, and they were sent to the watch-house. After that, one of them got the liberty to come to my house again; he then charged the mate with being concerned, in sending it by them, to sell it, and bring him the money; but the next morning, Mr. Bucannan was cleared by the officers.

Q. How came he to be brought here?

Smith. Mr. Bucannan did own to me he sent them on shore to sell it, and to buy brooms and greens, and bring him the money for the ship's use.

Sherriden's Defence.

I cannot tell who cut the hauser: the mate ordered me to carry it on shore, and to bring brooms and greens on board: he delivered it to me, on the forecastle of our ship.

Bucannan's Defence.

I never gave any such orders. I am chief mate of the vessel: my orders were to the boatswain and second mate, to sweep all the odd ends of rope together, and go on shore, and exchange them for brooms and greens.

Q. What do you call odd-ends of rope?

Bucannan. I mean short pieces, about a foot long. These two men cleared me before the justice: if I had a mind to have been a thief, I could have taken something worth my while.

Aplin's Defence.

I came on board that evening, and heard the mate say, he had liberty to sell junk, and such like.

For Bucannan.

Joseph Jenkins . I am a custom house officer: I was on board the Carolina, on the 3d of April: the two other prisoners went on shore, at the same time Mr. Bucannan was in his cabin, about nine o'clock.

Q. Where was you?

Jenkins. I was on the deck. Mr. Bucannan was snoring asleep: I said Mr. Bucannan drives his hogs to market. About an hour after this, I heard a noise, and saw Mr. Bucannan run with a candle in his hand, in his shirt and breeches; there was talk about a rope; he ran to see if it was his own new rope: this was after Mr. Smith came with the account of it.

Q. to Smith. Did Bucannan own he ordered them to take this great piece of cable?

Smith. He did say he ordered them to take this piece on shore.

Q. Did he say this piece of cable or junk?

Smith. He mentioned junk.

Q. Did he call this old junk?

Smith. He did.

Q. Can you swear he ordered them to carry this very piece on shore?

Smith. I cannot swear to this very piece.

Q. Cannot you tell whether he said carry that piece. or carry old junk?

Smith. I believe he said old junk.

John Some. I attended the ship, the Carolina: the mate was in the cabbin, snoaring asleep, when the rope was taken away. I am the waterman's apprentice, and moored our boat at the bow: I missed my boat, and went to look round, and found her with this rope lying part in her, and the end of it was not cut: Aplin cut it, as the other part was on board the ship, and the bit fell down into our boat: I jumped into the boat, and desired them to hawl it up: Sherriden was on the poop; it was chopped off partly, and then he cut it with a knife. I heard the custom-house officer say, that the mate was driving his hogs: when they had cut it, they carried it away. I rowed them on shore at St. Catharine's.

Sherriden and Aplin Guilty , T .

Bucannan, Acquitted .

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