THOMAS WILLIAMS.
12th January 1785
Reference Numbert17850112-67
VerdictNot Guilty

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270. THOMAS WILLIAMS was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 4th of January , one watch with a metal case, value 20 s. the property of Joseph Sommerville .

JOSEPH SOMMERVILLE sworn.

On the 4th of this month, in the morning, I lost a metal watch; I was at a house I was acquainted with in Piccadilly, I take it to be a house where the waggons put up; the prisoner followed me out of the house, and told me he would see me home, this was about a quarter before seven; I seemed to turn to leave him, I had not gone above two yards before he was along side of me, and told me he would see me home, he said I appeared like a gentleman, he would go home with me, and he was a gentleman's son, I told him by no means, I had but a very few yards to the house where I had been three years; there was a little court near Shug-lane, Piccadilly , there are two steps at the bottom of this court, and he came and took my watch from me openly, and attempted to run off with it, I stopped him immediately, he threw the watch behind him a matter of three yards, and the watch is all broke to pieces, I value the watch at twenty shillings.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

I was drinking with this gentleman, in that house, we had two or three pots of beer together, and talked about coming home, this gentleman said it was almost time for him to go home.

Prosecutor. He was quite in a different company.

Prisoner. We came out of the house together, and we came about a hundred yards together, and he accused me of taking his watch.

Court to Prosecutor. What are you? - I am a gentleman's servant .

DAVID OWEN sworn.

I am a taylor. I have known the prisoner from a child, his father was a journeyman taylor and worked for me, the prisoner has worked for me these two last years, he always behaved as a faithful, honest, sober servant ; he worked all the holidays, his only fault is getting in liquor; I will take him again this afternoon, I have the highest opinion of his integrity, I have trusted him repeatedly, and always found him honest.

WILLIAM VAUGHAN sworn.

I am a dealer in coals, I have known the prisoner between twelve and thirteen years; his father and mother lodged in my house, and he at the same time for six years; I look on the prisoner at the bar, at the time he lodged with me, to be one of the most dutiful, honest young fellows I ever saw.

WILLIAM DAWES sworn.

I am a coal-dealer, I have known him

about a year and half, his mother and he lodged in my house; he is a very honest young fellow, but now and then he would get a little in liquor, but not often; a man called the day before his trial came on at the Old Bailey, and left word no money would do: I afterwards found out they had offered to make it up for money, the person that called at my house, said, tell Mrs. Williams no money will be of any service with regard to her son.

Court to Prosecutor. Did he seem in liquor at that time? - I cannot say.

Jury to Prosecutor. Was you in liquor? - I had been drinking.

NOT GUILTY .

Court to Owen. I desire you will take him with you? - I will, my Lord.

Court to Prisoner. I hope this will be a warning to you, never to get drunk again.

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice ASHURST.


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