10th September 1783
Reference Numbert17830910-75
SentenceCorporal > private whipping

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668. JOHN JONES was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 13th day of June last, five hundred iron brads, value 2 s. 9 d. the property of Jeremiah Smith .


I lost the iron brads mentioned in the indictment, I had several men at the time, the prisoner was one, I thought them all honest; I found myself robbed daily, at last I resolved to watch; the prisoner came to work at five in the morning, I was up before he came, and secreted myself in a little room by the side of my shop, I had told my apprentice to go to bed when he had let him in, as soon as the prisoner came in, he took down one of the shutters and looked round the shop, on that side next the little room where I was, and took down a half thousand paper of nails, called flooring brads; not having a curtain against the window, I could not watch him so close as I could wish, for fear he should see me, I saw him take them down, but I could not be sure where he put them, I thought he put them in his pocket, and when he went to work I sent him backwards, (we have a long yard from our workshop) while I felt in his coat pocket, but I did not find them there, and I concluded that he had hid them some where about the shop; I examined the shop all over and could find none; I took no further notice that day; the next morning he came to work at the same time, and I watched him in the same manner, I had now hung up a curtain against the window of the little room, and he took down the shutter as before; he went to the same hole, took down another half thousand paper, and put them in his breeches; I saw him do that.

Court. Is not it a large paper? - Yes, it weighs about eight pounds.

What is the value? - About two shillings and six-pence or two shillings and nine-pence, I kept an eye on him that he did not leave the shop, and I sent for an officer and he was committed; he was searched and the brads found upon him.


I am the constable, I took the prisoner, and took the property out of his breeches.

( The property deposed to.)


I had no breeches on, I had trowsers on, and they were taken from under my apron by a mistake.

Court to Harper. Were they breeches or trowsers? - I cannot say which, but let them be one or the other I unbottoned them and took them out.

Jury to Prisoner. How long did you work for the prosecutor? - Three quarters of a year, I took the things in a mistake, I never took any thing else out of the shop the whole three quarters of a year.

Court to Smith. What age do you take the prisoner to be? - I suppose he is about fifty-five.

The Prisoner called one witness who gave him a good character.


Court. How long has this prisoner been in gaol? - Thirteen or fourteen weeks.

And he has had a very bad fit of illness? - Yes.

Court. This is a very bad offence, but considering those circumstances, let him be privately whipped and discharged .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice GOULD.

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