7th September 1774
Reference Numbert17740907-51
VerdictsGuilty; Guilty; Guilty
SentencesDeath; Transportation; Transportation

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614, 615, 616. (M.) RICHARD CLARKE , EDWARD NICHOLLS , and JOHN SMITH were indicted, the first for stealing a gold watch, value 7 l. a watch with an enamelled gold box, and a green dogskin case, value 20 l. another watch with a gold case, value 13 l. a pair of small flated gold sleeve buttons, value 30 s. a gold ring with an antique oynx head, value 3 l. a sardonyx stone ring, value 40 s. a white cornelian ring set in gold, value 40 s, a locket set with marquisets, value 30 s. a turkey stone hoop ring. value 30 s. a pair of gold enamelled blue sleeve buttons, value 40 s. a single stone garnet ring, value 25 s. and one hoop marquiset ring, value 10 s. the property of William Prosser , in his dwelling house ; the other two for receiving different parcels of the above goods, well knowing them to have been stolen , August 9th . *

William Prosser . I keep an oil shop in the Strand ; on the 9th of August about four o'clock in the afternoon, I lost the things mentioned in the indictment ( repeating them); they were in a show glass on the compter; I was asleep in the back room facing the shop door; there was no one in the shop; a neighbour informed me she saw Clarke take the things out of the show glass and put them in his pocket; she is too far gone with child to bring her here; I went to Goldsmith's Hall to get some hand bills printed with the description of the person, but the prisoners were all taken that evening; there are goods in court that were found upon each of them; I was not present when either of the prisoners were searched; I saw the goods at Sir John Fielding 's the day following; the three prisoners were there; the goods are in the custody of Mr. Clarke and Mr. Heley.

Blanchfield Clarke. On the 9th of August Mr. Bond called me and said he was informed Clarke had stole some gold watches and asked if I knew him, I said I did; I went to Hedge-lane after him, there I took Smith; I brought him to the Nag's Head and found a watch upon him (producing it), and a bullet mould and a nutmeg grater with some tinder in his pocket; Heley took Nicholls; when they were in custody I went to Westminster after Clarke and took him; he was lying on a bed with his clothes on; he had this gold watch in his pocket, and this ring on his finger, (producing them); I brought him back to Hedge-lane; this was about nine o'clock at night.

John Heley . I took Nicholls; when I had taken him I saw him shuffling something out of his pocket within the flap of his breeches; I asked him what he was doing and immediately seized hold of his hand and took this watch (producing it) from within the flap of his breeches; upon his finger I found a marquiset hoop ring; after that I searched his breeches pocket and found a pair of gold sleeve buttons; he said he gave seven pence for them. (They were produced and all the articles were deposed to by the prosecutor.) We did not know where the goods were lost from till we took Clarke; when he was taken he asked if there was any evidence; I said I did not know; then he said he would tell where he took them; he said he took them from Mr. Frosser's show glass; his expression was that the Old Gorge was asleep when he went into the shop.

Clarke's Defence.

Nicholls and Smith and I were going along the Strand; I desired them to stop while I went up a passage to a necessary; I put up my hand to a place over the door to feel for a bit of paper, and found a handkerchief; I pulled it down; when I opened it I found these three watches and the other things in it; I came out and told them I had found something, I believed of some value, and agreed to share it; I gave Nicholls a watch, a pair of buttons, and a ring, and a watch and ring to Smith, and kept the rest myself.

The other two made the same defence.

CLARKE, guilty . Death .

SMITH guilty . T. 14 Years .

NICHOLLS guilty . T. 14 Years .

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