11th January 1786
Reference Numbert17860111-30

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151. WILLIAM BARTLETT was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 6th day of January , one silver watch, value 20 s. a steel chain, value 6 d. and a steel seal, value 4 d. the property of John Williamson .


I lost a silver watch last Friday night in the evening out of my pocket, I was going up Cornhill , and turning round the corner by the pastry-cook's, I was jostled about, and the prisoner took my watch, I felt it going, and I saw it in his hand.

By whom were you jostled? - By that prisoner.

Did you see any other? - I saw him give the watch to another man, and I collared him directly, and took him into a shop and charged a constable with him, he denied it, but I saw it.

Mr. Scott one of Prisoner's Counsel. What time of the evening was it? - Between four and five.

Was not it dusk? - There were lights in the pastry-cook's shop, but it was light enough to see the watch in the man's hand.

This was near a pastry-cook's shop? - Yes.

Did not you stop to look into the pastry-cook's shop? - I did not stop there.

Then you was passing through a crowd that had stopped? - Yes.

What was the first impediment that you found? - Two or three jostled me, and I put my hand to my pocket to save my watch but I could not, nothing was found on the prisoner.

You saw somebody part with it? - I saw him part with it, I never lost him.


Mr. Garrow. My Lord, this is a witness that can neither speak nor hear.


Mr. Garrow. This woman is to be an interpreter to a dumb man, to which I object.

Are you sworn? - Yes.

To interpret? - Yes, as far as my knowledge.

Swear her to all such questions as shall be asked of him.

Mr. Garrow. You are acquainted with this dumb man? - Yes.

What sign have you to put these questions to him, what is the nature of an oath, by what sign would you ask him that question? - We look up to heaven and shew him that he is to answer seriously.

Mr. Garrow objected to this witness being examined, but his objection was overruled by the Court.

Court. Can you interpret the oath to him, you have sworn well and truly to interpret to John Rasten , a witness here produced on behalf of the King against William Bartlett , now a prisoner at the bar, the questions and demands made by the Court, and also well and truly interpret the answers made to them? - There may be some things I do not understand.

You cannot interpret farther than you know.

Court. I remember a deaf and dumb man being sworn in the Common Pleas to suffer a fine? - I have interpreted the oath to him and he understands it.

Court. Ask him if he has seen the prisoner before? - He shews me that he is positive to the prisoner.

Ask him if he knows any thing of the offence which is charged against him; what he saw the prisoner do? - He shews me that he saw the prisoner get the watch behind him.

Ask him if he knows how the prisoner came by the watch? - He shewed me he did not see it taken out of the pocket, only given behind.

Ask him if he knows the person that lost the watch? - He shewed me he never saw him before.

But did he know him now? - Yes, he points to him.

Ask him how near he stood to Williamson when he saw the watch in the prisoner's hand? - I understand him he was near, but I cannot answer how near, he shews me by the length of a yard but I cannot pretend to say to the space.

Ask him if he knows any more of the matter? - No more than the taking him to the constable.


I had hold of my brother's arm looking past the pastry-cook's shop, the corner of Cornhill, and this gentleman came up, there were fifty or sixty people round me, up came this gentleman and told me I had his watch, I said it was false, I never saw him before he took me into the pastry-cook's, he charged a constable, he searched me and my brother, and found nothing upon us.

Court to Mrs. Rasten. Ask your brother how far off he was when he saw him give the watch to another? - He shews me a very little way, but I cannot take upon me to say how near.

The Prisoner called three witnesses to his character.


Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. Justice HEATH.

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