29th October 1783
Reference Numbert17831029-3
VerdictNot Guilty

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722. SIMON FRAZIER was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 13th of September last, one canvas bag, value 1 d. and thirteen guineas in monies numbered , the property of John Noble .


I am a labouring man , I live in the Horse-ferry-road, Westminster, I lost my purse and money at Mr. Medley's, the Green Man and Still the corner of Bear-street, near Stratton-ground , I cannot tell how I lost my money, but I brought my money into that house and was sober when I came in, I had been drinking a drop in the course of the day, but I rather made too free in the house, and I laid down in a long box.

Court. Did you stretch yourself at length or did you lean on the table? - I cannot tell.

What money had you? - I know I had thirteen guineas in a canvas bag with a parting in it, I had the silver in one side and the thirteen guineas in the other; I cannot be positive to the quantity of silver.

Was this your own money? - Yes.

It was a large sum? - It would not have been long my own, for I had not paid my men.

I thought you said you was a labourer? - So I am, and work as hard as any body I employ, I keep three carts, this distresses me more than any thing in the world; when I worked for ten shillings a week I was not so hard pushed; I awoke about six o'clock.

When was you sober enough to know what came to you? - About ten minutes after they awoke me.

Was you sober enough to recollect who was in the house at the time you fell asleep?

- Yes, Sir, there was one Perry a smith, but he was very much in liquor.

How many people in all? - I dare say there might be to the tune of seven or eight people, but there were but very few when I awoke again.

How many were there of your party? - Only one, but he was more in liquor than me, and was taken away to bed.

Do you know this prisoner? - Yes, he is a neighbour of mine.

Do you know whether he was there or not? - No, I never saw the man all the day.

Did you ever find your purse or your money? - No neither, I was offered seven guineas of the money by Perry, who said he came from the prisoner, and asked me to make it up.

Is Perry here? - No, my Lord.

What is your reason for charging the prisoner now with stealing your money? - I was informed by the people in the house that he was the man that took my money.


Was you in this house? - Yes.

What time of the day did you come in? - About a quarter after four o'clock, I stopped I believe till six o'clock or after, I went in to have a pint of beer to nourish myself, and in the mean time who should come in but the prisoner, and he would insist on sitting down by the prosecutor who was in the house; when I first came in he was in company with Mr. Perry.

Was he sober or in liquor when you first came in? - He was between both.

Do you remember his falling asleep? - Yes.

How did he lay? - He lay with his head on the table sleeping by himself, the prisoner came in and placed himself on the other side of the box opposite to him, and he sat there about the space of a minute, he moved and sat by the prosecutor and began to handle him with his right hand on his left side, and I saw the prisoner put his right hand into the prosecutor's left hand breeches pocket, he drew his hand back and put it behind him under his coat, and drank his beer and walked out of the house immediately.

Did the man awake before you went out? - Yes, and I saw him searched.

How came he to be searched? - Mrs. Medley insisted on his being searched before he went out of the house, as I told her of the man having robbed him; he had nothing but a few bad halfpence.

What did he complain of having lost? - The same as he does now, thirteen guineas and some silver.

Prisoner's Council to Prosecutor. Was not you intoxicated when you came in? - Not so much.

No, not quite so much: did the last witness at any time give you a reason for not detecting the party he afterwards chose to say had robbed you? - Yes.

Why did not you immediately pursue him? - I did, I went to three different constables.

What reason did the last witness give you for not detaining him? - The reason he gave is, he is very guilty of drawing a knife, and they were afraid of that.

There has been a great deal of misunderstanding between you and the prisoner? - No, nothing.

Did you never make use of words to this import, that you would do for him? - No, never.

Prisoner's Council to Brassnell. Had the prisoner and you any quarrel at any time? - No, never.

How many people were there in the room? - I suppose there were ten or eleven.

But you did not think proper to stop him? - I was rather dubious, I immediately acquainted all the remainder in the room of it, and nobody stopped him.

Did not you say at any time, that if he did it, it was out of fun? - Yes I did think so.

Jury to Brassnell. When you saw the prisoner with his hand in the man's pocket, did he take out canvas or money? - I saw his hand full.

What was it full of, canvas or money? - I cannot say, it made no noise.


I was in the house about half after five, the prosecutor was fast asleep when I first went in, and I saw the prisoner at the bar go to him, and I desired him to keep away from him, and let him alone, and he went to him and he handled him, I did not see him do any thing else than handle his breeches, he went and felt his breeches on the outside, I saw no further of it.

Did you see all he did while he was near him? - That was all I saw

Might he have done more without your observing it? - He could do a great deal more, because I sat opposite to him, he was even with me, and I could see him handling him.

Who first mentioned the suspicion of his having taken any thing away from the prosecutor? - I cannot recollect.

Do you remember a woman coming in after him? - Yes.

Was it before he awaked? - Yes, that was his house-keeper came to fetch him home; Mrs. Medley desired he might be searched, his money was all gone but eight-pence farthing.


I came in there about half after five, and the prisoner called for a pint of beer, and he went on the other side of the prosecutor, and I saw his right hand on the prosecutor's left thigh, up and down his thigh, I was sitting just facing the bar.

Was that all that he did? - That was all that he did, I was not fronting of him.

Did you make no observation of that, it was an odd thing that a man should take so much liberty with a sleeping man? - Yes, I did, I asked one of the witnesses whether he had any property about him, I thought he was making more free than was righ

What became of the prisoner after he had felt the prosecutor's thigh? - He paid for a pint of beer and went out of the house.

How long was the prisoner in the house? - About ten minutes.

The prosecutor was asleep when you first came in? - Yes.


I came in for something to drink at the bar, and the last witness was there, and he called me, and said, says he, there is Simon is very busy with Noble, says he, has he any property about him; says I, I believe he has, for he has something of a purse, I said I will acquaint Mrs. Medley, I said to her, Madam, there is Simon very busy with Mr. Noble, I would have you speak to him.

You did not observe what Simon was doing? - No, Sir.

Mrs. MEDLEY sworn.

The prisoner came into my house, and called for a pint of beer, and he went to that box where Noble sat, to that end of it, I was very busy at the bar with a number of people round me, I did not see any thing pass, I supposed he was waking him, I saw him handling him, but in what part I cannot pretend to say; and Tudor came to me and told me, that the prisoner had been very busy with Noble, and he said you know what sort of a fellow he is; I came to the box, and called him away, and said Simon Frazier , you have no business with him, he came and paid for the pint of beer, says he, I will go and fetch his house-keeper to fetch him home, for he is very much in liquor, and as they told me what had passed when the woman came in to fetch him home, I desired he might be searched, and they turned his pockets inside out, I knew he had some money in his pockets as he came to the bar to pay for some liquor, which was eighteen-pence, he pulled a bag out of his breeches pocket, but I cannot say which; I saw by the bulk, there was a good deal of silver and gold, but I cannot pretend to say how much.

How soon was it after when the woman came to fetch him? - About ten minutes.

Where does he live? - I believe in the horseferry road.

Was that such a distance as this man might have gone to his house, and told her of his situation in that time? - Yes.

Prisoner's Council. This prisoner in your hearing endeavoured to wake the prosecutor,

did not he? - I saw him pulling him about, I supposed he was waking him.

Was you present when the house-keeper examined him? - Yes.

You did not see this house-keeper as you call her take any thing from that person? - No, Sir, she did not.

How many people had you in your house? - I cannot say.

Was not the purse down on the ground any part of the time? - When he sat down to go to sleep, he sat down in the box, and he slipped down, and I thought he lay in a very uneasy position, and I desired two or three that are here, to go and pick him up, and they did not chuse it, because he had some money about him, and nobody went night him but the prisoner.

Court. You said that nobody went near him? - No.

Was you in a situation to be able to see that? - Yes, Sir, suppose this was the bar, and the bench where you sit the box, all on a line strait.

Then you can speak with confidence that nobody went near him till the prisoner? - Yes, and after the prisoner went out, nobody went near him till the woman came in.

Was the prisoner come into the house at the time that you called to the company to help the man up? - No, this was before.

Was the box searched? - Yes, very carefully, he could not have dropped his money there, he never turned with his face downwards.

Prisoner. I have witnesses here that were in the tap room at the same time.

Court to Prisoner. What are you? - I keep carts and horses.


Was you in the tap room when this robbery was supposed to happen? - Yes, I was.

How near was you to the prisoner? - I was as nigh as I am to the table.

Did you see the prisoner take any unusual pains to handle the prosecutor? - I did not see him meddle with him further than lifting up his arm to endeavour to wake him.

Did he appear to you to endeavour to wake him? - Yes, he did, I did not see him meddle with his person further than that.

What are you? - What am I, a labourer, I have known him a good while, I never knew any thing wrong about the man, he kept carts and horses and did as well as he could, I never knew any thing but a good character.


I was in the room, I sat with that gentleman who was laying on the table, his feet were under mine, and he was down on the ground.

Did the prisoner endeavour to wake him in your presence? - Yes, he did endeavour to wake him, but I never saw him any further than laying hold of his hand, I did not see him meddle with any part of his person any further; I was sitting in the same box, the rest of the company sat at the right-hand of me in another box; I have known him about a twelvemonth, I never heard any thing but a good character of him, always a striving endeavouring young fellow in his business.

Did you hear any of the persons in the room charge him with a felony at this time? - No, Sir, they did not.

Court. Do you remember hearing Mrs. Medley call to him? - No, I did not.

Did you stay in the house after the prisoner, or go out before him? - I went almost directly after him.

Did you come in with him or before him? - We came in both together.


Was you at this house when this affair happened? - No, I was not.

Was you present at any time when there was a quarrel between Brassnell and the prisoner? - Yes.

What time? - About six months ago, but to say the day I cannot.

What passed between the soldier and the prisoner? - There were a great many words passed, and I heard Brassnell say that he

would be revenged on the prisoner in time.

Did he repeat the threats? - Yes, a great many times, I have known the prisoner a great while.

What has been his general character? - Driving of carts.

Did you ever know any harm of him? - No.

Did you ever hear any? - No.

The prisoner called two other witnesses who gave him a good character.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron EYRE .

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