7th July 1790
Reference Numbert17900707-35
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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572. GEORGE BOWYER was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 2d of June last, one pocket handkerchief, value 2 s. the property of Claude Crespigny , Esq . privily from his person .


On the 2d of June last, about noon, under Newcastle-house , a footman told me I was robbed, and pointed to the prisoner, and called to him; and in King-street I came up to him; I never lost sight of him; towards the end of Gate-street, a man caught him in his arms; and he had thrown my handkerchief into a passage; I saw him make a motion with his right arm, as he was running, before he was stopped: I stooped passing by the passage, and picked up my handkerchief; that was in the pursuit, scarcely stopping in my career: he was instantly stopped within a few yards of that passage: I saw my initials, and No. 14, on the handkerchief: the prisoner was taken to Bow-street.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel. Were there more persons near you than one? - I cannot say; I did not see; there might be; but I was not aware that there were others; there were a variety of passengers passing.

If I understand you right the first alarm you had was from somebody calling out to you? - It was from the coach.

So that it was not done very privately? - I do not know; it was noon day.

Is the handkerchief here? - I have brought a handkerchief, which may be the handkerchief, but I cannot swear it is the handkerchief; but this I can swear, that it is one of the number; for I was not aware that it was necessary to return the particular handkerchief, as thinking I had preserved the mark and number, necessary to ascertain it; when I came home I threw it among the dirty linen; and all those that were bought at that period were all marked with the same number of fourteen; being handkerchiefs of a certain number, therefore I cannot swear that it is the same; but I swear it is one of the same sort.


I am servant to Mr. Earl, of Hanover-square. I cannot swear to the prisoner. On the 2d of June I was behind the carriage, and I saw Mr. Crespigny walking, and I saw a young man take a handkerchief out of his pocket; I immediately called out to the gentleman that he had lost his handkerchief, and I pointed out the young man that had got it; the young man ran off on my calling out; and I saw Mr. Crespigny pursue him up Gate-street: I did not see him taken.

Mr. Garrow. You saw distinctly some young men picking Mr. Crespigny's pocket? - Yes.

So that it was not a private transaction? - No.

Which of the men it was you know not? - No.


I was up two pair of stairs, and I heard the cry of stop thief; and I saw a young man running, and chuck a handkerchief into a house; I am not rightly sure to the young man: it was a red and white handkerchief, to the best of my knowledge; I do not know whether it was a silk one or no; but I believe it was a silk one; I think I saw Mr. Crespigny pick it up himself:

a constable took the prisoner away, and a brewer's servant stopped him.

Mr. Garrow. You was up two pair of stairs, on the other side of the way? - Yes.

You do not know the man at all? - No, I cannot swear to him: it was a great deal of red, and a little white.

A very bright red? - Not so very bright.

Prisoner. I leave it to my counsel.

The prisoner called seven witnesses, who all gave him a very good character.

GUILTY, not privately .

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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