10th July 1776
Reference Numbert17760710-35
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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542. WILLIAM WHITE was indicted for stealing 85 guineas in monies numbered , the property of James Morris , March 22d .


I am master of a ship in the river called the Jackey; the prisoner accosted me on the 18th of March, when I came on shore first; the ship lay opposite Fountain-stairs; I was enquiring the way to the Royal Exchange; he said he was going to the 'Change, and he would shew me: he asked me where I came from; I told him I came from Glasgow; he asked me if I knew several captains, whose names he mentioned; I told him I did not; at last he asked me if I knew a captain George Read ; I said I knew one Robert Read ; O, says he, that is his brother: he said he was abroad with George Read , and had done some business for him, which they had not settled, and asked me to give him a direction to his brother; we went into a public house, and I gave him a note of the gentleman's name: we went up to 'Change; as I was a stranger, he asked me after 'Change to spend the evening with him; he said his name was Johnson, that he was captain of a ship, and used the Virginia trade; I said that was my former trade too: he was to call upon me in the evening on board my ship; I was not on board; I was detained by the owners longer than I expected; I sent a note on board to the mate, and desired if a gentleman came he would entertain him as a master of a ship; he came, and my mate did entertain him; the next day he came again, and I was not on board: on Friday the 22d he came along side; the boy came into the cabbin, and told me the gentleman was along side that had called several times; I desired him to come down into the cabbin; he did, and drank a glass of gin; this was about twelve at noon: then we went on shore; he desired me to go on shore on the Rotherhithe side; we did; I stopped at a barber's shop and got shaved, and he waited on me; as we were coming by Dock-head he desired me to call in with him at a public-house, for he had a friend waiting for him there; I said with all my heart, and we went into a public-house, the sign of the Sugar Loaf: while we were there two gentlemen came in and made great apologies, and said they hoped they did not disturb us; I desired they would make no apologies, the room would hold us all; they sat down, and one of them pulled a pack of cards out of his pocket, and they began cutting the cards, and wanted me to cut with them; I would not: one of them, who pretended to be a 'squire, said I was no captain of a ship, I was only some lousy barber or other, and I had not a guinea to shew; I said they used me very ill, and I would not take it in another place; the prisoner then said, you

use my friend very ill; they damned him, and said there was not one in the company could shew a hundred guineas in three hours, and each of them deposited five guineas a-piece that they would shew a hundred guineas; the 'squire directly deposited ten against their five; they insisted I should do so too; I said I would not; my supposed friend, who called himself Captain Johnson, said if I would do it, it would be five guineas gained; so I took out five guineas and deposited them, that I would shew a hundred guineas in three hours: as soon as that was done, they said who should keep the deposit money; I said the most proper person to keep the money was the landlord of the house; they said it would be too far for us to walk here again; what do you say to your friend Captain Johnson's keeping it? I said with all my heart; Captain Johnson took up the money: we then agreed to meet at the King's-Head Tavern, at the corner of Tower-hill, to shew the money and determine who had gained or lost: I went between three and four in the afternoon, and found them all there; they proposed to go to the Ticket Porter's in Cooper's-row, Crutched-friars , because they had a friend there; when we came there the 'squire asked who had gained or lost; the prisoner said, you have gained to be sure; they went to the bar and called for a half-crown bowl of punch, and went into a room, and I told down a hundred guineas upon the table; when I had told it down, the prisoner said he had been to his landlord, and he was not at home; that he could get but fifteen guineas, and if I would let him have 85 of my guineas in his hand, just to shew the company, he would return them to me directly; I gave him the 85 guineas, and as soon as I had done that the cards were produced on the table, and they began to cut the cards very fast among themselves; at last they prevailed on me to cut the cards; I did three times, once for five guineas, another time for ten guineas, and the third time for five, and lost every time; all above five was my chance, and all under five was their chance; when I had lost that, I snatched the cards out of their hands, and they were only twos and threes; then I said I believed they were rascals, and I would cut no more; the other two went out then with a pretence to get a glass of peppermint, and I desired the prisoner to give me my money; O, said he, we must have these fellows back, they shall not go off with all the money they have won; and then he made a start and ran off; I ran after him, but could not catch him, and I never saw him again till I met him last Monday fortnight, when I had him secured.

Did you pay the 20 guineas you lost? - Yes, besides the 85.

' John Roxborough , the mate of the ship,

'deposed that the prisoner came several times

'to the ship to enquire for the captain; that

'on Friday he found the captain on board;

'that he asked him to come and dine with him

'at his lodging, No 14, Virginia-street, on the

'Sunday following; that after the affair he

'went to enquire for him, and found that

'no such man lodged there.'


That man has sworn against an innocent man before, and will swear any thing; he tried another man for this offence in April sessions.


Tried by the London Jury before Mr. Justice WILLES.

[Imprisonment. See summary.]

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