6th April 1785
Reference Numbert17850406-57
VerdictNot Guilty

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470. JOHN ASQUITH otherwise GILLET was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 20th day of March last, one cushion made of woollen cloth and canvas stuffed with feathers, value 9 s. the proproperty of John Hughes and Stephen Brunsdon .


I live in Grosvenor-Mews, my partner's name is Stephen Brunsdon , the chair belongs to us both. on the 20th of March, between seven and nine in the evening, we lost a cushion belonging to our chair, it was taken out of the chair; I saw it a little after seven, it was afterwards found by Mr. Ryland, it is here now.

( Produced and deposed to.)

- RYLAND sworn.

On the 20th of March, between eight and nine, I took this cushion from the prisoner, in Flee-lane, he had it under his arm, I took him into custody, he said, he bought it, and gave two shillings for it; I did not ask him of whom.

Prisoner. Did not I tell you it was a pillow? - He did.

Prisoner. I thought it was a pillow.

Court to Prosecutor. How near is that to where your chair was? - Near two miles.


I have had it in my custody ever since, I am a constable, it was delivered to me at the watch-house, and there the prisoner said, he gave two shillings for it; when I came to turn it down, I saw written upon it, Sir Henry Bridgman , then I suspected it had been stolen from some chair.


I had been up to Piccadilly in the evening about eight; to a son I have apprentice there; I met one Joseph Harrison , who is a waiter at Vauxhall, where I wait for the Summer season; I have been out of business since the beginning of December, I have a family of six children, and I told him I was in distress, and obliged to make away with the necessaries I had, and I begged him to give me any relief, if he was in business; he had that cushion, as it now appears to be, under his arm, we came together as far as Temple-bar, then he said, he was going to call of an acquaintance, a waite somewhere near Butcher-row, and desired me to wait for him at a public house in Fleet-lane, and if he succeeded; he would lend me a shilling or two, when the man stopped me, I was standing looking about for the house, and I did not know what I had till it was opened at the watch-house, I gave Ryland directions where to go.

Mr. Ryland. He gave me directions to this man, and I went there, but could not find any such person.


I am a broker, I know the prisoner two years, he served me in my shop, after he had done in the shop, he used to go to be waiter at Vauxhall and Bagnigge-wells I trusted him, and he always behaved very well to me.

ANN CLARK sworn.

I have known him thirty-two years, when he was a child, he is about thirty-five years old, he was in the woollen manufactory, but when Fordyce failed, he owed him seven hundred pounds, that was the downfall of him; I used to go to see them when they lived in splendor; and he came to me, and told me that the American affairs hurt him, his business being dead; I can say no more, he had always a good character; he has dealt for thousands of pounds; there were gentlemen on Saturday who waited till ten, but they could not come to day to speak for him.


I have known the prisoner eight years, a very honest man in every thing; we emplayed him in the coal-way, he always brought change very honest and just; my husband would have been here, but he could not come; he was very much reduced

when we employed him; he has now a wife, and six children, in the workhouse, in very great distress.


Tried by the first London Jury before Mr. Justice NARES.

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