John Price.
19th October 1768
Reference Numbert17681019-18

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608. (M.) John Price was indicted for stealing a silver watch, value 4 l. the property of Rice Williams . Sept. 27 . ||

Rice Williams. On the 27th of September I was near the Marquis of Granby's Head in Piccadilly , about twelve o'clock in the day, there was the prisoner; he asked me if I wanted to hire myself to a gentleman; I said, I came up upon other business; he told me there was a gentleman wanted a servant, an extraordinary place; he got me to go in at the Marquis of Granby's Head, there were some men began to hussel gold about; said the prisoner, will you go any thing; I said, I did not, understand it; said he, put down a guinea, never mind it, you shall not be out of pocket, he and one of the company would answer it; I was persuaded to do it he, I, and another against three others; they got my guinea; I said I would play no more; said the prisoner, you shall have your money of me, I will bring it back again; I was for going, and drew my watch out to see what o'clock it was; he took it out of my hand, and put it into a hat, and then said your watch is gone; he went out under pretence to meet with a gentleman, his friend; I followed him as far as Tyburn-road, I desired him to come with me to my brother's, he lives in Soho; he would not; then he walked on to Leicester-fields and St. Martin's-lane; said I to him, deliver my watch, or you will be hanged; no, said he, I will not, unless you give me a guinea; at last he set off, and ran away; I overtook him, and brought him to the Duke's Head; he would not deliver me my watch, we sent for the constable; then he would give the watch up, or a guinea, or any thing in the world; indeed I was afraid of my life, I found they were dangerous people; he delivered it me then back.

Q. Upon your oath did you consent to his putting your watch down for a guinea.

Williams. Upon my oath I did not, he slipped it from my hand, and put it down without my consent, and held his hand upon it.

Q. When he gave it you back again, who was by?

Williams. Then there was my brother and the constable.

Q. from prisoner. Whether you did not pull out your watch, and put it into the hat yourself?

Williams. No, I did not.

William Williams . I am brother to the prosecutor, I was sent for to the Duke's Head, I found my brother and the prisoner in a room; I asked my brother how he came there; he told me he was obliged to bring the prisoner there by force, that he had his watch, and would not deliver it; I asked the prisoner why he would not deliver it; he said he would not, without my brother would give him a guinea; I left the room, and went home, and told my wife what had passed; she went up and fetched down a guinea, and went to them; I asked the prisoner how the thing was; he told me he was at the Marquis of Granby's Head, and he had won it, and would keep it, without my brother would give him a guinea; I went to Mr. Smith, an acquaintance of mine, and told him of it; then we went to the Duke's Head, with Mr. Rogers the constable; when the prisoner saw them, he took the watch out of his pocket, and delivered it into Mr. Smith's hand; then, when we talked to him, he said he would do any thing, he would send to his wife, and give my brother the guinea that my brother said they had won of him; he said, if we would let him go, he would give him a guinea, or make any satisfaction; then we took him before Justice Welch and Major Spinnage ; when Major Spinnage saw him, he said, you Price, you ought to have been hanged ten years ago.

Edward Rogers . I was with Mr. Smith, and the prosecutor's brother; when we went in the prisoner immediately delivered the watch to Mr. Smith, and Mr. Smith delivered it to me; the prisoner said, for God's sake, I will make any satisfaction in the world I can, if you will let me go; I said I could not, and I would not; he behaved very obstreperous, we were obliged to bind him (the watch produced and deposed to.)

Prisoner's defence.

Coming by the Admiralty I saw Mr. Williams reading a paper, an acquaintance of mine came by and said, how do you do Mr. Price; Williams said, is your name Price; I said, yes; said he, are you a Welchman; I said, no; said he, I thought you might by your name; said he, I think I know you; very possible, said I; he asked me if I knew of any gentleman that wanted a footman; I said, our footman was gone away; said he, if you will give me a direction where I may enquire, I shall be obliged to you: then we went in at the Marquis of Granby's Head, for me to give him a direction; we called for beer, bread, and cheese; there came in two men, I know no more of them

than of the farthest person living, one of them seemed to be in liquor; they said they had been gaming, and had lost their money; said Williams, I wish my brother was here, he would soon win all their money of them; they went to hiding a halfpenny under a hat for a shilling; Mr. Williams won two shillings, I had one, and he the other; then we went out of the room together, said he, we shall win all these mens money from them; then one of the men said, he would play no farther under a guinea, then Mr. Williams lost a guinea; then said the man, I will go for another guinea; then said Williams, I have no more money, but I will stake my watch, and took it out, and put it in the hat, and lost his guinea; I said, young man, do not take Mr. Williams's watch for the guinea, he is an acquaintance of mine, let him have it for the guinea; then one of these men went along with me for him to have his watch again for a guinea; I said, give me the watch, and I will be bound to give you the guinea; then Williams got me to go in at a public house, and said, give me the watch again, and do you go about your business; I said, I cannot do that, because the men will come upon me for the guinea; after that his brother and the others came in, they began to speak Welch together, I did not know what they said; then I pulled the watch out of my pocket, and gave it to the constable, when I saw what they were about; they after that took me before Justice Welch, and I was committed to Clerkenwell Bridewell for a defraud, and last night he went and swore a robbery against me; I never received the watch from him; I lived with Mr. Dodd, Member of Parliament for Berkshire.

Q. to prosecutor. How long had you been in London?

Prosecutor. I then had been in London but two days, I came up to see my brother, I had been in London twice before; the first time nine years ago, then I staid nine days; the second time I staid in town two or three days: that is all false which he says of speaking to him to get me a service, I never told him I wanted a place.

The prisoner called Thomas Levis, an attorney, that bound him an apprentice to a jeweller, Thomas Gravesbarg , a lapidary, and Benjamin Lyun , that knew him in Birmingham, and one Huckle, that served part of his time with the same master, but neither of them knew any thing of him lately.

Guilty . T .

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