13th December 1786
Reference Numbert17861213-1
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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2. JOHN GERVALT was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 5th day of November last, one silk purse, value 6 d. ten guineas, value 10 l. 10 s. seven half guineas, value 3 l. 13 s. 6 d. and three shillings and sixpence, the property of Charles Crause , in the dwelling house of George Doery .

A second count, For feloniously stealing, in the said dwelling house, one bank note, value 20 l. one other bank note, value 20 l. and five notes of ten pounds each, value 50 l. the property of the said Charles Crause , and the said several sums thereon respective due and unsatisfied to him the proprietor thereof.


I lodged at Mr. Doery's, a coffee-house in Oxford-road, the Green Man and Still ; it was three or four days before the 5th of November; I understood the prisoner was a lodger there and boarded with the family; I saw him there several times; I lost a purse with one hundred and seven pounds four shillings; there were ninety pounds in bank notes, and the rest in gold and silver; I have an account of the bank notes; the day before the robbery was committed I received all the bank notes but one ten pound, at Messrs. Berkley, Bevan, and Co. Lombard-street; which notes at the time of payment, I saw numbered in the bankers book, No. 6264, 20 l. 4259, 20 l. 8452, 10 l. 1512, 10 l. 8624, 10 l. 3602, 10 l. those notes were all received at Mr. Berkley's; and I had another 10 l. note in my pocket, No. 362, which is not in the indictment; I do not remember the number of guineas; but when it was retaken, there was two pounds eleven shillings wanting; on the 5th of November, between three and four in the morning, I thought I heard a noise in my room, I called out halloo, who is there? nobody answered; upon waking myself more, I thought possibly somebody might have attempted to pick my pocket, and I felt for my breeches, and found my purse was gone; these bank notes were all in the purse; the purse was in my pocket when I went to bed, I am sure of that, and the notes and money were in it; I believe it was a little after twelve when I went to bed; when I perceived my loss, I jumped out of bed and alarmed the house; Mr. Doery

and family got up immediately, and said, do not be uneasy, Sir, nobody can get out of the house; I asked if any body slept in the room adjoining to mine; as in passing, I put my hand on the bed, and found nobody there; and the clothes turned up; Mr. Doery said, the same gentleman that slept there the night before, slept there that night; upon which I said, then that is the man that robbed me; we perceived the sash of the bar was thrown up, and the bar door open, and the door through the bar into the street was also unbolted, which induced us to suppose that the prisoner had made his escape that way; I said, let us lose as little time as possible, and fix a place to meet; we got a constable; and Mr. Doery and his son went out, and they returned and told us the prisoner was taken; I went and saw him at St. James's watch-house; it was then past four o'clock; I asked him how he could do a business of that sort; he went down on his knees, and hoped we would look it over; I told him, I should not wish to hurt him if possible; he was taken before Sir Sampson Wright , and committed the same day.

Prisoner. Did not you awake when I took the property from you? - No, not that I know of; I did not see him take it.


I keep the Green Man and Still coffee-house, in Oxford-street; I remember the prosecutor coming to lodge at my house two or three days before the robbery; I knew the prisoner very well; he lodged at my house I believe near four months; he came the beginning of August; he has shifted from one room to another, for our convenience a many times; and did so four days before it happened; I should rather think he slept in Mr. Crause's room, but after Mr. Crause came, he slept in the next room to Mr. Crause; I understood from the prisoner that he came home in the Essex East Indiaman; on the 5th of November, Mr. Crause called at my door, and said I am robbed; I said nobody could get out; I came down stairs in my shirt, and found my bar door open, and the top sash thrown up, and the bar door unbolted; I then said the house has been broke open and robbed; I missed nothing; and upon not finding the prisoner, I went in pursuit of him; I could not find the constable; I went to the watch-house to seek for one, and there I met the prisoner; the first person I saw was him; his coat was off, and he was in his waistcoat and shirt sleeves; I said this is the man I want; he came to me, and downed on his knees, and begged for mercy; I said, give me the gentleman's money this minute, you have robbed the gentleman of his money; he got up, pulled the purse out of his pocket, and gave it me in the watch-house; I opened the purse in the presence of those that were in the watch-house, and particularly of Mr. Smith, one of the beadles; there were in guineas, ten, in half guineas, seven, in shillings nine, one sixpence; and I took the number of the notes; there was a striped silk purse, and two bits of waste paper; I cast up the money to 104 l. 13 s. Mr. Crause said there was 2 l. 7 s. deficient; he was searched, but nothing was found about him besides a knife; I sent home my son, with information, to make my family easy.


I am beadle of St. James's parish; the prisoner was brought into the watch-house by the beadle's assistant; he had shewn the property he had about him at an ale-house, and the landlord sent him for safety to the watch-house; he appeared to be in liquor; this was rather after four in the morning when he came in; I do not think he knew where he was; I asked him to sit down; he was very warm, took off his coat, and said he was very dry, and must have something to drink; he said he would have a bottle or two of wine; I told him one would be sufficient; then Mr. Doery came and knocked at the door; he saw the prisoner immediately; and upon seeing Mr. Doery, he downed on his

knees, and asked pardon immediately; Doery demanded the money he had robbed the gentleman of; he pulled out a purse; Doery counted the money, and put it down, and I counted it.

Court to Doery. Do you know whether the prisoner went to his room? - Mr. Crause said in the presence of the prisoner, he had had his pocket picked of his handkerchief, and it was lucky he did not lose his purse, as he had above one hundred pounds in it: We went into conversation, and the general conversation for half an hour, was on the life of Jonathan Wild ; the prisoner was by; he had a gill of wine before he went to bed; there was no appearance of liquor in any respect.

(The purse produced and deposed to.)

Prosecutor. I have had it a considerable time; it has a little hole in it; I can swear positively to it.


I was very much intoxicated in liquor, and I went up to the room; I thought I should have slept in the same room with the gentleman; I used to sleep there.

GUILTY, Death .

Aged Nineteen.

He was humbly recommended to his Majesty's mercy by the prosecutor, on account of his apparent sorrow .

Mr. Doery. I beg leave to mention that the prisoner behaved very well; he is a foreigner, and has not a person in England that he knows; he is a Swede.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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