11th May 1785
Reference Numbert17850511-4
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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520. WILLIAM M'GINNIS was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 3d day of May , one metal watch in a shagreen case, value 40 s. a steel chain, value 6 d. a seal, value 2 d. a key, value 1 d. the property of William Barrow , privily from his person .


On Thursday the 3d of this month, I lost my watch, between two and three in the afternoon, in Barbican ; I was just come from the yard at Langhorn's, where the balloon was, I got into a croud, and was hurried along, and a person said, a boy has got your watch, and he is here; I looked round; says he, that is the boy; he dropped the watch, and I took it off the ground myself; he secured the boy, he said the boy had the watch in his hand; I looked, and the boy dropped the watch at his feet; the prisoner was then close beside me, I thought I saw the watch in his hand.

Are you sure you did? - I did, and he dropped it immediately.

Could you be sure it dropped from the prisoner's hand? - Yes, he was close behind me, I saw the watch drop, and I was affraid it would be broke; I got it again, I took it up myself.

Did you feel him take it? - No, it is my watch.

(The watch produced by John Fletcher the Constable.)

It has been in my possession ever since; he was taken into custody, he denied knowing any thing of it.

Are you quite sure it was his hand you saw it drop from? - I am very clear in it.


I was in Barbican on this day, I saw the prosecutor in a great mob, and I looked amongst them, and I saw the lad at the bar take a watch out of this gentleman's pocket; I seized him, and told the prosecutor of it; the prisoner dropped the watch, which the prosecutor picked up.


I was going through Barbican, and there was a great mob of people; I went to see the balloon, like others, and got into the crowd; and this gentleman came and said I had the watch; immediately my foot slipped, and I fell down, and the gentleman picked up the watch before me, and said I took it.

GUILTY Of stealing, but not privately .

Transported for fourteen years .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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