25th April 1781
Reference Numbert17810425-75
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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275, 276. THOMAS GEARING and JOHN COLLINS were indicted for stealing a pair of silver candlesticks, value 10 l. ten silver spoons, value 50 s. eight shirts, value 40 s. four linen handkerchiefs, value 10 s. six linen table-cloths, value 6 s. a mattrass, value 5 s. a pair of blankets, value 8 s. a quilt, two pillows, value 4 s. two bolsters, value 10 s. a pair of nankeen breeches, value 14 s. a pair of dimity breeches, value 4 s. and five pair of silk stockings, value 30 s. the property of Thomas Pritchard , Esq ; two linen sleeves, value 4 s. and a pair of stockings, value 2 s. &c. &c. the property of Percival Johnson , April 21st .


The prisoner, Gearing, lived with me six months; he behaved so well that I placed great confidence in him: Mrs. Pritchard complained of missing a great number of things to a great amount; I suspecting the prisoner, he was sent for to the justice's by the justice's advice; when he was brought there, he was beginning to make a confession; having some regard for him, I was not willing to take his life; I stopped him from going on with the confession; he only confessed pawning a shirt, a tablecloth, and a neckcloth. I took him home, and promised him, if he would tell the truth, I would be as favourable as I could; I would spare his life. Several articles I had lost were found at different pawnbrokers.


I am a pawnbroker in Holles-street, Clare-market. I took in a pair of silver candlesticks of Gearing last Saturday night; he pledged them in his own name; he told me they were his own; that he lived at Mr. Kitchen's, in Drury-lane: I lent him three guineas on them: he had been backwards and forwards to my shop some months. I took in some shirts from him at different times, some in the month of October; he pledged them all in his own name.


I took in some shirts and stockings, two table-cloths, and two or three handkerchiefs, of Gearing; I believe it was about the month of November.

(The candlesticks were produced in court.)

ANN BROWN sworn.

I am servant to Mr. Pritchard. To the best of my knowledge, these are my master's candlesticks; we have lost such: I do not know that there is any particular mark.

To Mr. Prichard. Do you know the candlesticks? - I do; there is a dent in one; and he has taken two wrong sockets, which I took notice of before I saw them; I can positively swear they are mine.

Brown. The table-cloths are not marked; we lost such. I know the stockings; they are marked T. S. P. To the best of my knowledge, these are my master's shirts; they are not marked they are like those we lost.


I keep a public-house. I bought a tablecloth of the prisoner about three months ago; he said he got it at a sale; he often attended sales; I gave him 18 s. for it.

(The table-cloth is produced in court.)

To Brown. Do you know that tablecloth? - Yes; we lost such a one; it is marked E. B.

Prosecutor. That is one that was my wife's before she was married; it is marked E. B. ( Elizabeth Burdet .)


I went into the Feathers ale-house about a month ago; the prisoner, Gearing, was offering some things to sale; I bought a pair of nankeen breeches, a white dimity waistcoat, and a pair of white dimity breeches, for 7 s. 6 d.; I paid Gearing for them.

Have you the waistcoat and breeches here? - Yes. ( They are produced.)

Mr. Pritchard. I have lost such; I cannot swear positively that these are mine.


I am a pawnbroker. I live with Mr. Fleming, in Drury-lane. I took in a quilt, three shirts, four table spoons, a table cloth, and a neckcloth, of Gearing, at nine different times, since November last, in the name of Thomas Gearing . (They are all produced.)

Mr. Pritchard. I bought the table spoons myself; there is no mark, therefore I cannot swear positively to them; but I think these are the spoons.

Brown. We lost such a one; and it is marked E. B.


I keep a public-house. I have known Gearing upwards of three years. The two prisoners, and another person, came to my house, and sold me this bolster (producing it) for 6 s. 6 d.; I paid the money down on the table; I do not know which took it; it was six or seven months ago, I believe.

Brown. We have lost a bolster; I cannot swear to it.

Le Moine. I have a shirt and three handkerchiefs I took in of Collins in the month of December last, in the name of John Collins . (They are produced.)

Brown. I can't swear to the shirt; my master has lost one of the same sort: nor can I swear to the handkerchiefs.


What I confessed was on a promise of my master not to prosecute me.


When I worked with the prosecutor, Gearing asked me to pawn a shirt for him; I went and pawned it.

To Mr. Pritchard. What led you to the evidence of Bailey, Haines, and Srud? - By the account of the prisoner, except Haines; he came of himself.

For Gearing.


I am constable of St. Clement Danes. Matthews came to me, and desired me to go to Mr. Pritchard of Clement's-Inn; I went, on Tuesday last, about nine in the evening; the prisoner was there; Mr. Pritchard told me the whole matter, and charged him with robbing him of divers things. He said, that, provided he would tell what he had taken from him, and tell who were his accomplices, he would not take his life.

When Mr. Pritchard gave you the charge, what did he charge him with? - Robbing him of divers things; and I was to take him to the watch-house; I have the charge-book; that is the charge, according to Mr. Pritchard's desire; - Mr. Pritchard charges Thomas Gearing , his servant, with improper behaviour: I was going to enter it in the common manner; but Mr. Pritchard desired to enter it in that manner, not to hurt the man.

To Mr. Pritchard. You had been at the justice's before this? - Yes.

For Collins.


I heard Thomas Gearing say, that Collins had pawned the shirt for him.

Did you hear Gearing desire Collins to do it? - No.

GEARING GUILTY . N. 2 years .


Tried by the First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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