23rd May 1787
Reference Numbert17870523-23

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471. THOMAS ELVESTON, alias GEORGE FENLEY , and GEORGE WATSON, alias PINKEY , were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 25th day of April last, one linen pocket apron, value 1 s. forty-eight copper half-pence, value 2 s. thirty-eight copper farthings, value 7 3/4 d. and one pen knife, value 2 d. the property of Ann Reynolds , widow .


I am a widow; I keep the King's-head publick-house, in Broad-street, Bloomsbury ; I had seen one of the prisoners before, that was the prisoner Watson; the other I had not; they came in together and had six penny worths of brandy and water, and two gills of raspbery, and a pint of beer; they paid for that, and called for another six penny-worth; while the other six penny-worth was getting ready, the string of my pocket broke; I took it off and laid it down on the table in the box, where these men were drinking their brandy and water; all of a sudden while I just turned round, the tallest of the prisoners, Watson, ran to the door; he opened the door, and the other man run out, and he run after him as fast as they could go; they left best part of their brandy and water upon the table; and I called after them going out so quick and not paying for their liquor, and turning round, I missed my pocket; I run to the door and the patrols came up, and I sent them after them; it was between eleven and twelve at night;

they said, they would not go till they had the other six penny-worth; the patrols pursued them, and they were taken to the watch-house; I went to the watch-house, and desired the patrol to search them; and on the shortest man, I saw found some half-pence and farthings, to the amount of two shillings and nine-pence.

What was in your pocket? - I cannot say particularly, there might be two or three shillings in half-pence and farthings; I saw the patrol take a knife off the bench, near where the tall man sat, which was mine.

Had either of the half-pence or the farthings any thing singular about them? - There is one half-penny that is crooked and scratched; I only point it out; I had it some time in my pocket; I am sure the prisoners are the men.

Prisoner Watson. Mrs. Reynolds, do you remember any thing of a disturbance in the house about some man not paying for six penny-worth of something he drank at the time? - I recollect that while I was speaking to that man, these men rushed out of the door.

Court. Did you ever see your pocket again? - No.

Did the person with whom you disputed about the payment of the liquor come in with these men? - No Sir, not that I know of, he came in just after; they drank one bowl together; there were two more in company; the other two went away first; these staid behind; when I found they were gone, I could not get the reckoning, and while I was discoursing with this man, the prisoners went away; there were five of them; two went off without paying, when I was applying to the third for payment, these two rushed out.

Prisoner Watson. Do you remember some strange man coming into our company and drinking a share of six penny-worth, and paying three pennyworth of halfpence and no man else drank in our company? - No.

Court. Upon the oath you have taken, you do not come here upon any resentment about the reckoning? - No, Sir.


(The other witnesses examined separate.)

I was at that time one of the parish officers of Saint Giles's; it was my night at the watch-house; the patrol brought in these two prisoners, and Mrs. Reynolds came in; I think it was near one o'clock; she gave me charge of the prisoners; she gave charge of them for running out of the house and not paying the reckoning, and taking a pocket with some halfpence, and she desired me to search there; I searched them both; on Elveston, I found two shillings and nine-pence in halfpence and farthings; I found nothing more on them; I have a pen-knife that was picked up by one of the patrols.

(The money and pen-knife produced.)

Prosecutrix. This is my knife.

Court. This is a common pen-knife.

Prosecutrix. I have had it some time; I am sure it is mine; I always carry it in my pocket.

(The halfpence shewn to Mrs. Reynolds.)

This is the halfpenny that I shewed to the Jury.

Jury. Is there any thing wrote on the handle of the knife that you know of? - Not as I know of, but it certainly is mine; I bought it a great while ago.

Jury. Had you ever the knife ground? - No.

Is any of your family named Best? - No.

(The remarkable halfpenny handed to the Jury.)


I am the patrol that took the prisoners; I cannot rightly say to the time; I took the prisoners in Holborn, almost facing Bloomsbury-square, and brought them to

the watch-house, and the last witness searched them and took some halfpence and farthings from Elveston; I saw the penknife in the watch-house; I know nothing of it; I saw it in the hands of the patrol, Buckley; it was a small knife; I think it had two blades.

(The knife shewn to the witness.)

I am not sure whether it is the knife or not; she charged them with not paying the reckoning; I recollect no other charge; she said, that the knife belonged to her; she said, she left her pocket on the table, and the pocket was gone; I do not recollect her singling out any particular halfpenny at that time; she looked at the halfpence.

Court to Uriel. Did Mrs. Reynold's single out any halfpence? - No, not that night, but the next day before the Justice.

Prisoner Watson. When he took us, whether we were not going back to Mrs. Reynolds's house; we had a friend of Mrs. Reynolds's which she had sent after us? - I do not know, there was a man with them, asked us to take them to Mrs. Reynolds's house; and I said, I would take them to the watch-house.


I was a patrol at this time on duty; I came in with another charge, and going out again, I met the two patrols that have been examined, come in with these prisoners; they were making a noise and a racket as we met them; I came with them to the watch-house, and Mrs. Reynolds said, they had robbed her of her pocket, that she missed it, and she thought it necessary to have them searched; with that, the constable of the night searched the tall man and found half a crown upon him, but Mrs. Reynolds knew nothing of it, and it was delivered to him again; then he searched the prisoner Elveston, and found three shillings in halfpence and farthings, and they were examined, so the constable thought proper to keep the money, and one of the men that was upon duty, said to Mrs. Reynolds, madam, is there any thing else in the pocket but halfpence; yes says she, there was a knife; then he looked about, and as I was standing by the two prisoners, I saw a knife lay down just by the tall man; the prisoners were near together; I asked Mrs. Reynolds if she should know the knife; she said, yes; I asked her the marks; she said, it was her own; I gave the knife either to the constable or Mrs. Reynolds, I do not know which.


We went in about half after ten and had six pennyworth, then another six pennyworth; then another man drank with us and paid three-pence in part of the reckoning; then we had two glasses of raspberry and a pint of beer which was paid for; then there was six-pennyworth that she said was not paid for; there was a disturbance in the house when that six-pennyworth was brought in and set down; Mrs. Reynolds bolted the door to detain the people; they were going away without paying their reckoning; I asked her to open the door, I was going home; she opened the door, and I wished her a good night.


I had been spending the evening, and in coming home I met this young fellow; I went into this house; I had been drinking before; we had two or three six-pennyworths; I was rather in liquor; I asked Mrs. Reynolds what time her house shut; she said, two o'clock; I came away, and every thing was paid for as it came in; if the last was not paid for, it was by no wilful intent; we went to the Pilgrim; in came a friend; says he, the last six-pennyworth was not paid for; very well, says I, we will go back; we were going back to pay for it, and they took us; it has been attended with the loss of my charactr, and I have been in gaol a great while.

The prisoner Watson called one witness who gave him a good character.


Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. ROSE.

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