11th May 1785
Reference Numbert17850511-18
SentenceMiscellaneous > branding

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539. The said WILLIAM TATUM was again indicted for feloniously stealing on the 2d of March last, at Lincoln's-Inn , twenty-five printed books, value 38 s. the property of Darcy Tancreed , Esq .

DARCY TANCREED , Esq. sworn.

I missed these books about two months ago, or rather better; I advertised them twice in the daily papers, but I heard nothing of them, till Mr. Downham, the prisoner's landlord came to me.

Mr. Garrow. Do not tell us any thing he said to you. - He came to me after he had taken up the prisoner, I went immediately to Justice Walker's, where the prisoner was taken, and I spoke to the prisoner, and asked him, have you done any thing with any of my books? he was very much confused, and muttered something, I thought it was no, but I was not sure; I told him, if he had got them he had better be candid and open, and perhaps he might expect mercy.

Court. After that declaration, the law will not permit us to hear what he said: in consequence of that did you ever find any of your books again? - Yes, I found them again at the pawn-broker's in Wych-street.

What did you find there? - I found all the number mentioned in the indictment, I think it was eighteen, but I am not sure; I

found several books, many of which I had not missed: I knew them all.

How did you know them? - Many of them I had wrote the price in which I had given for them; my book-case was open, and the key in it; I always let the clerks go and read there when they have nothing else to do; the prisoner was my clerk a year and a half; I had not the least suspicion of him.

Did he live with you at this time? - No, I parted with him the 26th of March, which is about three weeks.

Mr. Garrow. This poor fellow lived with you one year and an half? - Yes, thereabouts.

You had advertised your books without success? - Yes.

And would never have learned any thing of them without his information? - No, I had not the least cause of suspicion before this unhappy affair.

Mr. Cowper gave you no manner of information? - No, Sir.


These books I received of the prisoner, on the 4th of April, I delivered him four of these volumes on that day, and he brought another volume on the same day.

When had they first been pledged with you? - I cannot tell.

Had they been pledged more than once with you? - I believe they have.

How long had they been away? - About two or three hours; there are other books that I cannot speak to, because they have been pledged with Mr. Cowper before I lived with him.

Mr. Garrow. These were an incompleat set, were not they? - Yes.

Not in a state fit for sale? - No.

How long have you been a pawn-broker? - Eight years.

Upon your oath do not you know that an incompleat set of books is much more sit for pledging than for sale? - I do not pretend to say it, I do not know the value of books.

Court. It is a matter of inference; he is not bound to speak his opinion.

Mr. Garrow. I do it merely for the credit of the witness.

Court. I do not think it goes to his credit.

- MILLER sworn.

I have taken books of the prisoner several times, I have not seen this parcel of books, (looks at them) I believe there is one book which I should know, here is one book with two others, which was pledged the 12th of March last, which I have taken of him before several times; I have left the business, only I was requested to attend here; I cannot identify them, they have been mixed.

(The five volumes, and one volume deposed to by Mr. Tancred.)

These are the five first volumes of the Harleian Miscellanies, I never had the three last volumes; I had them of some relation, and here are their names in them; he left my service the 26th of March; he called in once or twice afterwards, but I was there; I advertised these things, I think about a month before, he had no opportunity of taking these books after he left my service; and I do not think he could have brought them back without my knowledge.

What was the state of his health? - I only know from hearsay; I hear it is very deplorable indeed.

Mr. Garrow. I will ask you, from my knowledge of your character, do you believe he was prompted to do this from necessity? - Upon my word, I think he could not do such a thing without it was from disease and necessity.

Court. You have given a very good natured answer to the question; but I am bound in justice to ask you another question; how could this man be reduced to such distress, while he remained in your service? - I am sure, my Lord, I do not know what

his distress was, I have heard nothing but about his health.

Was it a sort of disease, an extremity of disorder, that does exhaust a man's money? - I observed he was in great pain when he walked.

Mr. Garrow. One can rather hint at the disorder than talk of it; but I will ask Mr. Downham? - I really believe he was in a most unhappy state, from a certain disease.


To be burnt in the hand and discharged .

Court to Prisoner. In consideration of your former good conduct, and the distressed situation you have been in, these gentlemen have all of them very humanely interested themselves in your behalf, and they say they have an opportunity of sending you abroad, if your health was properly restored, which I think in point of justice you should; but you cannot be sent in the state you are in, and confinement in prison would be fatal to your health; therefore I will order you to be burnt in the hand for this offence, in confidence from these gentlemen, that when you are better, you shall be sent out of the kingdom.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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