21st April 1773
Reference Numbert17730421-23

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385. (L.) JOHN WYATT was indicted for stealing a cotton gown, value 30 s. a silk petticoat, value 5 s. a silk handkerchief, value 2 s. two pair of brass shoe buckles, value 1 s. 4 d. the property of Elizabeth Laurence , spinster, and a pair of stays, value 20 s. two lawn aprons, value 20 s. two linen handkerchiefs, value 8 s. and a pair of linen sleeves, value 1 s. the property of Elizabeth Cook , March 22d . +

Elizabeth Laurence . I left a box with Elizabeth Payne , at the White-horse, Coleman-street , containing the things mentioned in the indictment. On the 25th of March she came and told me they were gone; I saw them all safe the Thursday before, and locked the box: two men were taken three weeks after the things were lost. The prisoner's wife came to us at Mrs. Payne's, and wanted to speak to us; Mr. and Mrs. Payne and I went; I took up some pieces of the gowns; and the men said the linen gown was sold, and a pair of stays to one person; and the rest were in pawn for a very thrifle, a guinea and a half: the prisoner clapped his hands and said, Lord! what must I do for a guinea and a half, to fetch these things out of pawn. I asked them to tell me where they were pawned; and I would fetch them out; they would not, but said I must follow the law; I have as far as I could; but I have not recovered one of the things. The prisoner's father wanted me to take a note of hand and charge what I would for the things; I told him I durst not.

Q. from the Prisoner. Was it me or the other man that said the things were sold or pawned?

Laurence. They both made answer together: they both said the linen gown and stays were sold, and the rest of the things pawned.

Elizabeth Cooke . I did live at Mr. Payne's: I left my box there: there was a new pair of stays, two lawn aprons, one clear lawn, and one muslin and a pair of shift sleeves. I had not been gone but a few days before Mrs. Payne came and told me the box was broke open and the things gone; I never found any of the things. I never saw the prisoner till I saw him at Sir John Fielding 's; they owned nothing at all to me.

Elizabeth Payne . Laurence and Cooke's boxes were left at my house; the boxes were broke open on the 22d of March; as far as I can recollect they were safe on the Friday: the prisoner and one Robert Wallace were lodgers of mine. On the 25th of March the day I found the boxes broke open, they went out and never returned till they were taken up; the day after they were taken the prosecutrix and I went to the Compter. Laurence took some pieces of her gowns with her that were left in the box; the prisoner and the other man took the pieces of gowns in their hands, and said, the one was sold and the other was pawned with the rest of the things for a guinea and a half; I asked them where they were pawned; they said they would not tell me; for if they did the pawnbroker would prosecute them; I asked who they had sold the gown and stays to; and they said they would not tell me; they said it was no business of mine. The prisoner took my hand, and squeezed it, and said he hoped I would not hurt him, and he would endeavour to get the things again.

Jonathan Digget . I assisted in the taking the prisoner and Wallace: I took the prisoner on the 24th of March, at his lodgings; he desired me not to make a noise; for the man of the house to hear of it; but bid me come up stairs and he would do what he could to make it up; he took hold of my hand and said do all you can for me; and ask Mr. Payne not to prosecute me; do not let me go to goal, for I can get the things out for a meer trifle, about a guinea and a half. Wallace lodged in the same apartment: I took him the same night, about eleven o'clock.

Prisoner's Defence.

I know nothing at all of the affair; if the other young man said they were pawned, it was unknown to me; I never heard him; when they came to the Compter to me first they said the things lost, came to about seven guineas; I said I could not raise 7 s. but if they would let me go, I would give them a note for any money; rather than loose my character and be exposed.

Guilty . T .

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