4th April 1779
Reference Numbert17790404-51
VerdictGuilty > theft under 1s
SentenceCorporal > whipping

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253. JOHN MINSHIP was indicted for stealing thirty-four copper halfpence, and a copper medal, value 1 d. in monies, numbered , the property of John Evans , March 23d .


I am a victualler in Charlotte-Street . The prisoner was my servant . I repeatedly missed money out of my till. Once, when I had put in a number of halfpence that covered three silver-spoons, the next morning I found them very bare, which raised my suspicion that I was robbed, and that the robber was in my house. I went to a friend, an optical-instrument maker, and got him to mark twenty-four pennyworth of halfpence with a mark on the head of the Britannia; those halfpence I put into the till, among a great many more. The next morning I missed seventeen pence. I suspected that my boy, the prisoner, was the person who stole them; but, to be certain of it, I sent for William Tanner , and told him my suspicions. We agreed that the boy should be sent to his house that morning with a quartern of gin, and Tanner was to give the boy sixpence to change, in order to discover whether the boy had any of the marked halfpence in his possession. He took the gin, and gave Tanner seven halfpence in change, among which was one of the marked ones. I then sent for a constable, and charged him with robbing me. He said, I rob you! what do you mean! Do you want to take away my character? We asked him for the key of his box; he pulled out another key by mistake, which he endeavoured to conceal. The constable took it from him, tried it, and found it would open my till as well as my key. We went and searched his box, and found a guinea in gold, five pounds nineteen shillings in silver, two shillings worth of halfpence, and a medal which I kept in my till.


On the 23d of March the prisoner brought me a quartern of gin, and I gave him sixpence to change; he gave me among the change a marked halfpenny.

(It was produced in court, and deposed to by the prosecutor.)

William Stowden , the constable, confirmed the prosecutor as to the key, and finding the medal and money in the prisoner's box. They were produced in court. The medal was deposed to by the prosecutor.


I know nothing of the affair my master charges me with.

The prisoner called several witnesses, who gave him a good character.

GUILTY of stealing to the value of 10 d .

Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury before Mr. DEPUTY RECORDER.

[Whipping. See summary.]

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