14th December 1785
Reference Numbert17851214-4
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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4. THOMAS SCRIVENER was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 2d day of December last, one warrant for the payment of money, signed under the hand of Godschall Johnson , dated the 28th of November, 1785, value 10 l. 3 s. 1 d. by which he did direct George Prescott , Geo. William Prescott , Andrew Grote , George Grote , William Culverden , and John Hollingsworth , by the name of Messrs. Prescott and Co. to pay to Mrs. Martha Young or bearer 16 l. 3 s. 1 d. the said warrant being the property of the said William, and the same sum payable and secured by the said warrant being then due and unsatisfied .

A second Count, For stealing the same thing, only calling it a bill for payment of money instead of a warrant.


I live in Holborn , I am a butcher , I lost the draft mentioned in the indictment, I had it on the 2d of December, it was left on the compting-house table, I have seen the the bill since, Mr. Prescott has it now.


I live with Messrs. Prescott and Co. I have a draft of Mr. Johnson's, it was brought to me on Saturday the 3d of this month.

Did you take it in? - I paid it.

Who brought it? - A woman.

You do not know her I suppose? - I cannot swear to her.

The bill read and examined with the indictment, signed Godschall Johnson, 28th November, 1785:

"Messrs. Prescotts, Grotes, Culverden,

"and Hollingsworth, pay Mrs. Martha

"Young or bearer, 16 l. 3 s. 1 d.

Court to Prosecutor. Look at the draft, is that the draft you lost? - Yes.

You have not received any money for it? - No.


Court. Look at that note? - I know this is the draft I received from Mr. Godschall Johnson 's housekeeper, on the 28th of last month, I put it into my pocket book, it remained there till the 2d of this month, and then I put it out of my pocket, to make a payment with other bills, as I keep a butchers shop, and I omitted putting it up again, I believe I laid it on the compting house table, it was between three and four, she compting-house is a little place out or the shop, I missed it on the Monday, I brought I had put it into my pocket book again, and looking for it to make a payment, I missed it on Monday, the 5th, I sent for a constable to take u my servants, I suspected the prisoner because he came in to the day book, which was in the compting-house, some money was found upon him.


On the 5th of this month, Mr. Young sent for me, and said he had been robbed. I went to apprehend the prisoner, and I took him going up to the gallery in Drury-lane, Play-house; I brought him back and told him that his master had charged me to take him into custody, I took him up on the 5th of this month, about eight; I brought him back to Mr. Young's, and I went up stairs to look over his box, and in his box I found three pair of new shoes, two pair of new buckles and other things, and he told me if I would send up for his mistress, he would tell her the whole business, Mrs. Young came up, I was present, and when she came up he said -

Court. Before you tell this did you advise him to send for his mistress? - I told him, says I, young man, all the servants at present have their characters at stake, they will all be discharged, and it is a pity they should if you have the draft, and it looks very suspicious.

Was that all you said? - It was, I called up his mistress, that was Mrs. Young that is here, and he told her he hoped it would be a warning to her, for leaving her draughts and her money about, that he had taken the draught and got the cash for it, that he had sent one Mad Jack to receive the money, a coachman; I then went and took the man into custody that went to receive the money, and a woman that went with him; here is a small bit of paper, where is put down how he expended a great deal of the money that was after he was apprehended, and the remainder, he said, he had lost at gambling, I found 1 l. 8 s. 2 d. upon him.

Court to Mrs. Young. When you was sent for, what did you say to him to induce him to tell you the truth of the matter? - I did not ask him any questions, I made him no promises, he owned he had taken the money, and said he hoped it would be a warning to me.

Prisoner to Lucas. Did not you promise me that if I would confess having the draft I should be forgiven and nothing said against my character?

Lucas. No, my Lord, I do not recollect ever saying any thing of that sort to him, I only told him that the rest of the servants characters stood at stake, as nigh as I can recollect; I told him this, that it was a pity, if he had taken it, that the other people should lose their characters,

that they would all be turned away; then said call up my mistress, call up my mistress.

Mr. Justice Willes. You say that you do not recollect that you made him any promises, are you sure? - Yes, I am sure, any further than what I have told you.


I saw Lucas take the prisoner, I came with him and the prisoner to Mrs. Young.

Did you hear what passed up in the garret? - Yes.

Tell us what it was. - We went up stairs, Mrs. Young desired us to go up stairs to see if he had anything in his box, and Mr. Lucas told him, says he, young man, it is a sad piece of work if you know anything of it, it is a sad thing the other servants should lose their places; but as for making any promises, I heard none, he seemed a good deal confused, and said, call my mistress, and she came up; and he said, Mrs. Young, I beg you will take care of your cash and drafts in future.

Prisoner. Was not you by when Mr. Lucas promised me that? - I did not hear it.

Did not you hear him say, if any body came after my character, my mistress would take no notice? - No.

Court to Prosecutor. Is your shop a part of your house? - Yes.

JOHN BUN sworn.

The prisoner asked me to go to the bankers for him, I went, and going along I met with that young woman, and I asked her to go with me; she was to have fifteen guineas and eight shillings and one penny, I did not know whose draft it was.

Whose house did you go to? - A banker's in Threadneedle-street, on the left hand.


I am acquainted with John Bun , I knew him a very little while; on Saturday coming along I met him, he said he was going to the bankers to change a note, he asked me to read it; says he, I thought it had been a bit of paper, he told me what it was, I came and told the young man, he said it is not much further, I went with him to the bankers in Threadneedle-street.


I found the note on Saturday evening between three o'clock and five, on the shop board; my mistress's name is Sarah Young ; this note was made payable to Martha Young ; I was not positive, therefore, that it was hers; they promised me if I would tell where it was, they would forgive me.

Court to Mrs. Young. How long has he lived with you? - About three or four months.

Court to Lucas. I put it again to you, the man's life is at stake, did any thing pass between you that could induce him to make this discovery? - Nothing more than what I have already told you.

Prisoner. Mr. Tibbs was by and heard it said.

Tibbs. I never heard any such thing.

Court to Mrs. Young. Is William Young your husband? - Yes, my second husband; I have lived in that house seventeen years.

Court to Clayton. Do you know Mr. Johnson's hand-writing? - Yes.

Have you seen him write? - Yes.

Mrs. Young. I have taken many of his drafts, and stood by while he has wrote them; that is his hand-writing.

GUILTY, Death .

He was humbly recommended to mercy by the Jury .

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

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