9th December 1789
Reference Numbert17891209-19

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19. THOMAS MALTBY and JOHN WOODWARD were indicted for stealing, on the 2d of November last, 36 lb. weight of beef salted, value 12 s. the property of James Alexander .

(The case opened by Mr. Knowlys.)

(The witnesses examined separate.)


I am a watchman at Bell-court, in Mincing-lane , between 50 and 60 yards from the prosecutor's slaughter-house door: on Monday the 2d of November, about half past eight in the evening, I was going round my beat, and I saw Thomas Maltby standing at the door of the slaughter-house, I asked him what he was doing there, he said his master was in the shop, and he could not go in there at present; I told him he must not stand there; I put my hand to the slaughter-house door and found it fast; he said he did not intend to go in; he turned towards Tower-street, and I went away, and I saw him return with his hand at the slaughter-house window, and I saw him pulling a piece of beef through; I stood in the same position and saw one or two pieces more come through the same place; I believe he did not see me; when he had the quantity he went to take it away, and when he was got about 4 or 5 yards, I said what have you in your apron? says he, let me go, for God's sake; it will make a deal of confusion; I told him it was not in my power to let him go, his master might; I seized him, and pulled him to the corner of Mincing-lane; I called Mr. Alexander, two or three times, and the prisoner let his apron go, and the meat fell down in the street out of his apron; then I saw Woodward coming, who must have come out of the shop; he took up the meat and ran towards Fenchurch-street; I called stop thief, and the other watchman stopped him; he was about seventy or eighty yards from me, up the lane, past the slaughter-house door; the prosecutor ordered me to take Maltby to the watch-house, and I saw Woodward at the watch house; when he was stopped I did not see him stopped.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel. How long have you been watch there? - Three years.

He knew you? - Yes, but I did not know him.

You say he could not get into the slaughter-house? - He could not.

Mr. Knowlys. Did Woodward go in the way towards the shop with the meat? - No he ran to the next street.


I am a watchman in Mincing-lane; on the 2d of November, about half past eight, my partner called to me to stop Woodward; I did so; he desired me to let him go; he said he was Mr. Alexander's servant , I said, this is your master's; he made me some query or something to that purpose; he said it was not his master's property, then I took him to his master's, who was not at home.


I am a butcher in Tower-street; I have two doors to my house, one in Mincing lane, and one in Tower-street; there is a

communication between my shop and slaughter house; I saw the prisoners taken; I saw six pieces of beef, thirty-six pounds.

Court to Watchman. How many pieces of beef were there? - I saw three come through the bars, but there were more? there were four carried to Guild-hall.

Mr. Garrow. It may happen that you may swear this to be your property; by what marks do you understand it? - There is a method we have in trimming beef for salting to go abroad, a different method from any other beef that is salted, and the larger piece is what we call a veiny piece, it was of my own putting into salt on the Saturday in the evening; it is a rule to lay it in salt on Saturday, and to resalt it on Monday; I know these pieces of beef to be my putting in salt; I will swear to the whole of them, from the mode we chop them, and trim them.

But knowing that you are in a considerable way of business, you do not chop and trim a great deal? - Yes, I do.

Do you swear these were your own chopping and trimming? - I swear that the largest piece was mine.

I wish we could have seen them as they were salted? - They are not here.

I suppose that in that part of the world, there are some butchers who salt for shipping besides yourself? - Numbers; there is one person in that neighbourhood, that now and then does a little matter; I mean to swear that I know all the pieces of beef, which were four, to be mine.

You talked of six just now? - That was a mistake of mine.

That proves that you are mortal, that proves that you are fallible? - We are all fallible sometimes.

Might not you forget the number of ribs, and the size of the piece, and the manner of trimming it? - There is but one mode of chopping.

Then there was a veiny piece, and you remember putting a veiny piece into pickle some days before? - Yes, Sir, but I do not verily believe, because I wish that to be out of the question; I swear directly to that veiny piece of beef, to be a piece of beef of my own trimming, and on the Saturday night having salted it.

Now will you swear another thing as directly; that is, that it had not been sold? - Yes.

How many people sell in your shop? - Four or five.

You are not always at home? - I am much at home.

Then these four or five people might have sold this, if it had been applied for? - Certainly.

Were the two prisoners in the number of those that might have sold for you? - They were.

And there were three other persons that had the same right? - Undoubtedly.

Mr. Knowlys. How long had your shop been shut up that evening? - It had not been shut up.

Court. Were those pieces all salted beef? - Yes.

Did you happen to have in your slaughter-house at that time, any salted beef that you had borrowed, that was not your own? - No.

Mr. Garrow. How long had these people lived with you? - Woodward six months, the other about five weeks.


I leave it to my counsel.


I have known Maltby some time, he bears a good character; I put great confidence in him, he lived with me; we parted on a trifling affair; he was always very honest, it was only a little inattention; I would take him again if he was discharged.

Mr. Warren. I have known Maltby four or five years; he always bore a good character; he was a servant of mine, he managed my business while I was in the country.


I live at Horn-Church, in Essex; I came to town to give Woodward a character;

he always bore an excellent character.

William Giles . I have known Maltby some time, he was a servant of mine fifteen months; he was always honest.

John Herring . I have known Maltby from a youth; he always bore a good character.

John Bagley . I have known Maltby ever since he came to town, ten or eleven years; he always bore a good character.

William Croke . I have known Maltby six years, he always bore a good character.



Imprisoned six months .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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