27th February 1788
Reference Numbert17880227-22
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s

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175. EDWARD ELMES was indicted for stealing, a silver watch, value 42 s. the property of James Frost , in the dwelling-house of John Gouch , on the 27th of October .


About a fortnight preceding the 27th of October, the prisoner came to me, and told me he was in distress; he had no work and no lodging, I had known him by sight three years before; I told him he was welcome to a corner of my room, and I would try to get him, some work; he was with me till the 27th, that morning I called him up at four o'clock, he was hunting about the room; my wife asked what he wanted; he said he had lost his stocking; we were in bed; a few minutes after he said he found it, he went out of the room, I jumped out of bed; I had two watches laying in a drawer by the window, I heard but one, I was frightened, and put my hand into the drawer, and missed one of them, and cried out I am ruined! I am ruined! I had made it for Mr. Thompson; I went down stairs as soon as I could, but not time enough to catch him; I never saw him again till the 10th of January; the watch was found at Epping.


I was working for Mr. Scott, the lawyer, at Epping, I have known the prisoner seventeen or eighteen years; on the 25th, or 26th of October, he brought a watch,

asked me to buy it, he said he was distressed for money, that he found it in a dust basket, it wanted the minute hand; I gave him a guinea for it, and said if it went well I would give him three or four shillings more; I never knew a slippery trick of him before, if I had I would not have bought it at any rate; when he was taken the headborough came down for me, I delivered the watch to him.


I received the watch of the last witness.

(It was produced in Court, and deposed to by the prosecutor.)

Prisoner. I have nothing to say against it.

GUILTY, Of stealing to the value of 39 s.

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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