29th April 1772
Reference Numbert17720429-26
VerdictsGuilty; Not Guilty

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344. 345. (1st L.) RICHARD MORGAN , and WILLIAM ROWLAND , were indicted, the first for stealing thirty-six ells of linen-cloth, called white roll, value 20 s. two pieces called white essene, containing fifty-six ells, value 50 s. ten ells of linen cloth, called paterbone, value 5 s. twenty-eight yards of printed cotton, value 50 s. ninety-four ells of and eight ells of hempen Russia cloth, value 50 s. the property of Ralph Hotchkin , in his dwelling-house , Feb. 23d . and the other for receiving the said goods, well knowing them to have been stolen . ++

[The witnesses were examined apart at the request of the prisoner.]

Ralph Hotchkin . I am a linen-draper , and live in Smithfield . Richard Morgan , the prisoner, was my porter ; I hired him on the 15th of May, 1771; and he quitted my service on the 21st of February last. In a short time after he was discharged, I found out, by the means of Sydden, Mr. Stracey's coachman, that some of my goods were convey'd to Sydden's box, at Mr. Morris's in Smithfield; upon this I got a constable, and by the assistance of Sydden we took Morgan at one Mr. Baker's in Noble-street at twelve o'clock that night, and sent him to the Counter; the next morning I took him before my Lord Mayor, where he confessed taking several things from me while in my service; among other things, he said that there was a box then at the Bell-inn, to go by the Birmingham waggon; on this I got Mr. Pollard to go after the box; he traced it to St. Alban's, and brought it back to me; it was directed to John Matthews , at Birmingham, to be left till called for; I opened it, and found many goods I can swear to; the first article has no particular mark on it; the cotton I can swear to, it has my printed mark on it; the white essene I can swear to, it has got a particular number on it, a number that the maker puts on the goods he sells to me in particular; all the handkerchiefs have different marks, I can swear to them. After Morgan's having robbed me broke out, on Monday evening Mr. Stracey's coachman, one Cist, and the prisoner Rowland, who is Mr. Savage's coachman , came to me, and brought me different goods they had in their custody; Rowland had ten yards and a half of Irish, and two printed handkerchiefs, which I can swear to; one of them appears to have been torn off a piece that was in the box.

Edward Tuck . I am the ostler at the Bell-inn, Smithfield. Morgan the prisoner came to me, and told me he was going to Birmingham, and that he wanted me to fetch some boxes to go by the waggon; I went with him to the Red-lion; he then sent for the two coachmen; when they were come, Stracey's coachman and Morgan talked together a good deal; there was no conversation between Morgan and Rowland; we went out together, and Mr. Savage's coachman said nothing; but Mr. Stracey's coachman said you must go with me for a box to the stables; so we all three went together; when we came there the goods were in a bag in the loft in the stable; Mr. Stracey's coachman brought them down out of the bag; Rowland and I expressed some doubt of the rectitude of this transaction; Mr. Stracey's coachman said they need not be afraid, that Morgan had bought the goods, and was going to settle in the country; we packed up the box and corded it, and I brought it away and carried it to the waggon; Morgan gave me the direction in writing, and I put it on the box; I saw the box before my Lord Mayor, and it was the same I packed up; before this, Mr. Morris's man sent me to Mr. Stracey's stable, to tell Morgan to be off.

Court. You very kindly helped to pack up these goods after you had delivered that message?

Tuck. Yes.

Q. You had no notion that they were stolen goods?

Tuck. No.

Q. You did not know what was meant by being off?

Tuck. No.

John Bollard . On the 24th of February I

was present before my Lord Mayor when Morgan was under examination; he confessed to several times taking goods from his master; he gave information of a box being packed that morning, and sent to the Bell-inn in Smith-field, to go by Baker's waggon for Birmingham; this box he said was directed for one Matthews, to be left at the ware-house till called for. Mr. Hotchkin being engaged, I offered to go after it, to recover it; I went to St. Alban's the same evening, and got there before the waggon; I applied to the mayor of St. Alban's, to take it from the waggon; the mayor granted a warrant, and an officer to go with me; the waggon came in about one in the morning; I spoke to Baker; he said he remembered the box, and he believed it was in the middle of the waggon; he said it would be a considerable trouble, but he would dispense with that, if I shewed him my authority; I did, and we unloaded it, and in an hour's time found the box; I brought it as it was to my warehouse, and in the morning sent for Mr. Hotchkin, who opened it, and knew the things to be his property; they have been in my custody ever since.

Oliver Charles . I am a porter to Mr. Stracey and Savage; as I was coming home one day, I met Morgan; he said he had been on board a ship, and had bought some goods, and asked me to lend him a box to put them in; he said he thought he had a right to smuggle as well as any body else; it was about four months ago, a little after Christmas; he brought as much linen as he could carry the next morning about five o'clock, and I put it in the box, which I locked; I asked him what he intended to do with it; he desired me to carry it into the coachman's room; I asked him if he had asked his leave; he said yes; I did not believe him, but went and asked the coachman myself, who said yes, he was welcome to put any thing in his room; about a week after he brought me some more goods, and asked me to keep them till night for him; he put them on the counter, and I put them under the counter all day, and Mr. Stracey's coachman came between ten and eleven o'clock and took them away; about three days after that, he brought three pieces of coarse sheeting, and a piece of ticking; and, about a week after, he came one morning and brought a good deal of goods; he went away again, and returned with some more, and he borrowed an old box, and tied them up with a piece of cord; he desired to leave them there till night, and then asked me to bring them down to the Castle, and he would meet me; when I came there, there was no body there, so I went to another place, and left them for Mr. Stracey's coachman, and then I saw no more of them.

Thomas Worling . I am book-keeper to the Birmingham waggon. On Monday the 24th of February there was a box left at the inn, directed for John Matthews , Birmingham, which I sent in the waggon; I saw it before it went, and since at the prosecutor's shop; it is the same box.

Henry Sydden . I am a porter to Mr. William Morris , in Smithfield. I received two pieces of Irish from Mr. Hotchkins's man, who said he received them of smugglers; he asked me to cut ten yards and a half off the cloth, and said they were for Rowland; Morgan took them to him. I sent the ostler to Morgan to bid him be off.

[The box produced.]

Prosecutor. The handkerchiefs have my mark on them, one Y T, another marked U L, another marked Y S z; the piece of cotton has my stamp R H upon it; the essene has got the printer's mark, whic h is a particular number they have for every customer's goods; this is my No. 33, which is put on all my goods; this piece is marked Y N; they have all my marks; I can swear to them.

For Morgan.

- Allen. I live opposite the mansion-house; the prisoner Morgan lived a servant with me nine months; he was an honest, sober man; he went away in January 1771.

Thomas Wellings . I am a druggist in the Poultry; I hired Morgan as a porter the 27th of February 1770; he lived with me till the December following; he behaved very well as a porter.

Rowland's Defence.

I had nothing to do with the box; I had ten yards and a half of linen, which Morgan offered me at 1 s. 6 d. per yard; I was in a hurry, and could not stay to talk about it, so Morgan threw it into the manger. When Morgan was taken up, I then brought the cloth to Mr. Hotchkin; I know no more of it.

For Rowland.

Mr. Savage. On Sunday the 23d of February Mr. Stracey and I went to dine with a gentleman. Rowland has lived with me ten years. When we came home at eight o'clock, he was at home at supper; I knew nothing of this till next morning. I had a suspicion of a servant of mine that he had robbed me; I spoke to the cooper, and asked him if he saw any back-door work; he said no; but in about five minutes he said he could tell me something that would surprize me, that the coachman had left a box of linen; my coachman said directly,

"Lord, Sir, I have ten yards and a half of cloth he gave me." I know no more of it; he always behaved as an honest, sober, just man; I had an excellent character of him, and I believe he deserves it.

Mr. Stracey. I have known Rowland ten years; I believe him to be a sober, honest man; how he came into this affair I know not.

Morgan, Guilty . Death .

Rowland, Acquitted .

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