12th September 1781
Reference Numbert17810912-12
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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476. WILLIAM WHITAKER was indicted for stealing a gelding, value 6 l. the property of William Lowe , August the 3d .


I lost a horse from a field of mine at Potter's Bar , at the time of the corn harvest. I did not take notice of the day of the month. I followed it to town on the Friday; and it was found in the market. I missed it on the Friday morning; I believe it was in the field on Thursday night. I found the horse at the George in Long-Acre.


On the 3d of August, Friday morning, there was a good many officers in Smithfield. Coming by the Rose and Crown, a man came up to me, and said, A young fellow has been offering a horse to me; I believe it is stolen: and he asked me to go to the stable and see it. I went and saw the prisoner, and asked him if he had any horse to sell: he said he had, and shewed me the horse: the prisoner was in the stable at the Rose and Crown in Smithfield, close behind the horse: it was a bay horse. I then asked him how he came by it: he said it was his own; his father gave it to him; that he lived at Honiton in Lincolnshire. I then searched him, and found this pistol upon him, loaded; my partner took another out of his other pocket.

What did he say that his name was? - I can't recollect now; but he gave a wrong name. We took him to the office, and he was committed: the same afternoon, Mr. Lowe came up, and owned his horse, which I had taken to the George, in Long-acre; I was present.

What time in the afternoon did he go there? - About five or six in the evening.

Was the horse led out and shewn him? - Yes.

How came Lowe to come there? - He went and enquired after the horse in Smithfield, and was told the man was taken up for horse-stealing; and he came to the office. I am positive the horse the prosecutor saw at the George was the horse found with the prisoner.

To Lowe. When you went to the George, in Long-acre, the horse was brought out to you? - Yes. I am sure it was mine: he had a black mane and tail, and a blaze in his forehead; he had black legs, with two white heels behind: I bred him from a colt.

Do you know any thing of the prisoner? did you ever see him? - I never saw him before that day.

Was the field shut or open? - It was an inclosed field; there were other horses with it.


A man brought the horse to me to get it ready for the market, and desired me to take it to the Rose and Crown, Smithfield.

GUILTY . ( Death .)

(He was humbly recommended, by the Jury, to his Majesty's mercy.)

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

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