14th December 1785
Reference Numbert17851214-42

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42. JAMES WANT was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 14th day of November last, one truck, made of wood and iron, value 40 s. and four thousand eight hundred copper halfpence, value 10 l. the property of Elias Hibbs and William Bacon .


I am a rum and brandy merchant , my partner's name is Elias Hibbs : the prisoner was hired the 15th of November last to accompany our porter with a truck, and two casks of liquor, from Monument-yard to Paddington, they went from our house between two and three: a truck is a small carriage drawn by hands; I waited till past ten, and was alarmed the porter did not return, having something particular for him to do the next morning: I apprehended the prisoner, and he declared he knew nothing of the matter, he told his serjeant that he was knocked down in Tottenham-court-road, and was robbed of ten pounds worth of halfpence; I told him it was very extraordinary that he did not immediately apply to us on his being knocked down to receive his wages, he said, he was so frightened, he did not know what he did, that was every reply I could get from him.


I am servant to the prosecutors, I went with the prisoner to Mr. Kettle's at Paddington, and delivered the liquors, and Mr. Kettle gave me ten pounds worth of halfpence to take back with me, I put them in a sack, and put them on the truck, we came along Tottenham-court-road , and almost at the bottom, I stepped on one side, and desired the prisoner to take care of the truck, and the halfpence, and while I was out of the way the prisoner went off with the truck and halfpence and all.

How long were you before you missed it? - Not a minute, I ran down to St. Giles's as fast as I could, and could see nothing of him, then I returned to the place where I left him, then I went home and he was not there, and then I went to St. James's and found out his quarters, I got his name and likewise his Colonel's name, I went to the Park next morning, which was a field day, and found him in the ranks, he said he was knocked down, and the truck taken away from him.

Was there time for that to have happened while you was absent? - No, there was not.

Was you perfectly sober? - I was very sober.

You are sure this is the man? - I am sure this is the man.


I live in Dyot-street, the prisoner lived with me, and when I came home he was at home in my room, I believe it was nigh eleven; I saw this money, it was tied up in parcels, I took it down to Westminster, I never saw what was in it.

Who tied it up in parcels? - Me and another woman.

Where was it? - It was loose upon the floor in a corner of the room, I first saw it when I went home at night, it was upon the floor, it was halfpence, but I did not know the quantity; I went with the prisoner to one of his comrade's wife's house with it, and in five minutes after, two serjeants came up and took the money from us; the truck was found on the 19th, in Bambridge-street among a parcel of rags, I saw H. B. on it.


On the 16th in the morning we had a field-day, and the two prosecutors and this old porter came and challenged the prisoner, and they went to get a warrant for him, I was ordered to confine him, we went and took the prisoner, and we went to a house in Westminster, where one of our men lodged, and there I found three women, two about the money, and they threw their cloaks over it, and I took the money and brought it away, and I searched the two women and found a great many halfpence in their pockets.

ANN ALTON sworn.

I went over and my husband brought me the key, and in five minutes the two serjeants came up and took the money, it was in my room, we brought it to our room, this Elizabeth Jones and another.


My Lord, this porter hired me to go down to Paddington to carry some liquors, accordingly I did, and the people gave him something to bring away, but what it was I cannot say, the porter said it was ten pounds worth of halfpence, so he put them upon the truck, and away we came across the fields; coming through Tottenham-court-road the porter says to me, I must stop here awhile, and you go forward, I will soon overtake you, and he had not left me very little while, but three men came up to me and knocked me down and took away the truck and what was upon it: and they said if I made any violence or resistance, they would take my life, and I never saw the truck nor what was upon it any more, that night.


Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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