15th September 1784
Reference Numbert17840915-71

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848. NICHOLAS BIRNE was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 16th of August , one woollen jacket, value 3 s. one man's hat, value 4 s. one cotton handkerchief, value 2 s. one striped cotton shirt, value 2 s. one pair of silver buttons, value 12 d. one pair of cotton stockings, value 2 s. one pair of silver shoe buckles, value 20 s. one pair of leather shoes, value 5 s. and five shillings in monies numbered , the property of Thomas Hutchinson .

THOMAS HUTCHINSON (a black) sworn.

I belong to the Columbus at Liverpool, she came to London, I lost the things mentioned in the indictment on the 6th of August, we were paid off, all the people that were ill were brought into a house in Virginia-street, we stopped to drink a pot or two of beer, and I saw this Brneset set in the next box, and every time I went out he looked very hard at me, and seemed to know me, we staid till about eleven o'clock, and then we parted, we went home, and I was rather a little in liquor to be sure, and as I was going down Virginia-street , I happened to tumble down, and I laid there sometime, and I felt a person pulling at me, I raised my head up and looked at his face, and laid my head down again, in the mean time he took my shirt, and jacket, my shoes and buckles, and took every thing off but my trowsers, that was the person, I did not speak to him, it was very dark, it was a little after twelve.

Court. What light enabled you to see it was the prisoner? - Only the lamp that was very near me.

How long did you lay there? - Till about five o'clock.

Can you positively swear that is the man? - I can.

Prisoner. Did you ever see me in your life before I say? - I saw you at that public house and the man at the public house saw you at the same time.

In what street? - It is down at the bottom of Virginia-street, in Redman-lane, I went on the Monday following, and I was going along Rosemary-lane, and the first jacket I clapped my eyes on was mine, hanging up at this woman's door to be sold, she asked me if I wanted to buy a jacket, I told her I did but it would be rather hard to buy a jacket twice, I had only wore it when I was out and on Sundays.


I keep a little bit of a shop in Rosemary-lane, I sell second-hand clothes, the 16th of August, about eight, the prisoner came to my door, he had a jacket, a shirt and shoes, and a pair of buckles, says he, will you buy these things, my husband was there, says he, I want the money, take the whole for half a guinea; I said, are they your own? he said yes, I immediately said, it was a pity a man should sell his shoes off his feet when he has got such a bad ones on, and he said, I am obliged to sell them, because I am necessitated; I bought only the shirt and the jacket, he asked me 7 s. 6 d. and I gave him six shillings.

(The shirt and jacket deposed to.)

Prosecutor. I have a particular mark in my jacket, a stroke of tar, which is marked quite across the waist.


I am husband to the last witness, I remember the prisoner coming, and he brought those things on the 16th of August last, about nine, and he asked me to buy them, they were his own he said, and I bought some, he asked me half a guinea I opened the bundle, says I, I don't deal in buckles, I will buy the shirt if I can deal with you, he asked seven shillings and sixpence, at last he let me have them for six shillings, the prosecutor came and claimed them, the next night I found him in Rosemary-lane.


Before the Justice the prosecutor said he was so bad in liquor, he could not hold up his head, and that he should not know the man; as for the silver buttons, he never mentioned before, the silver buckles were no more than metal.

The prisoner called one witness to his character.


Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron HOTHAM .

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