15th September 1790
Reference Numbert17900915-10

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600. ON Wednesday morning, September 15, 1790, at nine o'clock, GEORGE BARRINGTON was set to the Bar to be arraigned, (with the other prisoners) on an indictment, charging him with stealing, on the 1st of September , 1790, in the parish of Enfield , in the county of Middlesex, a watch, with the inside case and outside case made of gold, value 20 l. a gold watch chain, value 40 s. three seals, set in gold, value 40 s. and a metal key, value 2 d. the property of Henry Hare Townsend , Esquire .

When Mr. Barrington was asked, as usual, by the Clerk of the Arraigns, whether he was guilty or not guilty of the felony with which he stood charged, he addressed Mr. RECORDER (the only Judge on the Bench) as follows:


"It is with great concern that I interrupt the business of the Court for a single moment; but I am under the necessity of stating to your Lordship, that when I was taken into custody on suspicion of this felony, every article about my person was taken from me; and although the gentleman who is my accuser, did not attempt to say any money was lost, my money was also taken from me: and although I have made application to the Magistrate that this money should be restored, it is, however, still detained; by which detention, my Lord, I have been hindered from taking those proper measures for my defence, and from obtaining that legal assistance, which my unfortunate situation peculiarly requires."

Mr. Recorder. Mr. Barrington, it is impossible for me to decide previous to your trial, what is your property; but when your prosecutor appears, every thing which has been taken from you, and which is not necessary to be identified on your trial, shall be restored to you.

Mr. Garrow. My Lord, Mr. Chetham, who is concerned for the prosecution, can inform your Lordship, that no money whatever was taken from Mr. Townsend.

Mr. Townsend. My Lord, I am the prosecutor in this case. When the prisoner was apprehended, the money was sealed up which was taken from him, together with a snuff-box, and a metal watch, which were also found on him. This was done under the idea, that these articles might belong to somebody or other, who might afterwards claim them. They were intended to be advertised, but were not.

George Law , the constable, produced the articles above-mentioned, as also a silk purse, with twenty guineas, which were taken from Mr. Barrington, at the time he was taken into custody.

Mr. Recorder. Is there any mark on the money?

Mr. Townsend. No, my Lord, Mr. Hubbard looked over the money, but there was no mark on it.

Mr. Recorder. Mr. Barrington, I shall order your money to be returned to you.

The twenty guineas were accordingly handed over to the prisoner, who after counting them, said, My Lord, I thank you.

Clerk of the Arraigns. George Barrington , are you guilty of the felony whereof you stand indicted, or not guilty?

Mr. Barrington. Not Guilty.

The Jury were then called over, and when the Clerk came to the sixth name ( Henry Mist ), Mr. Barrington said, My Lord, I take the liberty of objecting to Mr. Mist.

Mr. Recorder. Certainly.

The Prisoner was then removed from the Bar, and his trial fixed for Friday at twelve o'clock; at which time Mr. Barrington made his appearance, and the Clerk proceeded to call over the names of the Jury, and when he came to the names of Henry Mist , Mr. Barrington said, My Lord, on Wednesday last I took the liberty of objecting to Mr. Mist; I beg leave to continue that objection.

Counsel for the Prisoner.


The JURY sworn.

John Gregory ,

Edward Shee ,

Adam Dunford ,

Charles Green ,

John Lambert ,

Matt. Emmerson ,

Alexander Gardner ,

John Crookshank ,

John Debenham ,

Thomas Hamson ,

Thomas Clarke ,

William Peartree .

Mr. Barrington objecting to Henry Mist, one of the Jury, Matthew-Emmerson was sworn in his room.


Court. When did you lose your watch? - The first of September.

Where? - At Enfield, in Enfield Marsh.

On what occasion was you there? - On account of the races.

At a race? - At a race.

At what hour? - Upon my word, I believe it was near two o'clock; that is the time it is fixed for the horses to start.

Was you on foot, or on horseback, or where was you? - I was on foot most of the time; I went on the ground in a phaeton.

Did you alight out of that phaeton? - Yes.

Was you walking about, or did you stand or move, or what? - I was but a small time at a stand, I was walking about chiefly.

And at what time did you miss your watch, and where was you? - I did not miss my watch till I was spoken to by Mr. Blades.

Upon Mr. Blades speaking to you, did you then miss your watch? - Yes.

A gold watch? - A gold watch.

A gold chain? - A gold chain

A metal key? - A metal key.

Did you miss it from your fob pocket? - No, Sir, from my waistcoat pocket.

Was it in your pocket? - Yes, the chain and all was put in.

Do you wear your watch generally in that manner, or did you put it there for any particular purpose? - No, my Lord, I had a new pair of leather breeches on, and I was afraid the seals would dirt them.

How long had you been on the turf before you missed your watch? - I had been on the ground an hour or an hour and a half.

Had you any occasion to take notice whether you had your watch in your pocket at any time after you came on the ground? - I felt my watch in my pocket after I came on the ground.

How long before you missed it? - I think it must have been a quarter of an hour before I missed it.

Did you recover your watch again? - I recollect very well the watch was given to Lady Lake, and she took it home with her; and when we took Mr. Barrington before justice, I sent for the watch, and the watch was given to me by a servant.

Have you the watch now? - The Constable has the watch.

Have you any thing to say to the prisoner at the bar? - Yes, my Lord: the clerk of the course, whose name is Furnish, said somebody wanted to speak to me; I had a horse run there that day, and he won the first heat; I gave a short answer; he said it was something particular: a gentleman at that moment came up to me, and said, he wished to put me on my guard, that he had seen Mr. Barrington follow me about a considerable time, and that he seemed to have some design, and he asked me if I had taken notice of any person; I immediately said, has he a light coloured coat on? he said yes: I then felt for my watch, and found it was gone, for I recollected, after the first heat my horse had won, I was on the stand; I ran out of the stand as quick as I possibly could, and I went and

laid hold of my horse by the bridle, and was leading him to the post, where the jockeys are weighed; it is necessary that a jockey should be weighed at a certain place; a great many people pushed round me; but one person in particular came between my horse and me, which I thought rather particular; he had a light coloured coat on.

Have you any idea of the dress, figure, or the person of that man? - Yes, I had an idea of the dress, figure, and the person of the man the first time.

What is that idea? - It was a person in a light coloured coat; but as the first push was not a very strong one, I did not notice him much; the person that pushed me fell back upon my looking; that was the person in the light coloured coat; then somebody, that I take to be the same person, as that I have sworn to be Mr. Barrington, came against my arm as I was leading my horse, with a more violent push, which I thought an exceeding rude thing, where a gentleman was leading his horse up, and I lost my temper, and asked him, with an oath, where he was coming.

You think that was the same man? - I think it was.

Whether it was the same man or no, he had a light coloured coat on? - To the best of my belief it was the prisoner Barrington.

Cannot you describe a little more accurately how he came up the second time? - I was walking as I might be here, close by the horse's cheek, I was rather behind the horse's head, as it might be hold of the horse's head, so that there was but little room between me and the horse; I thought it was a rude thing for any one pushing against me; the man came up straight against my arm, rather behind me than before me; I looked round, and the person, whoever he was, fell back; and the colour of his coat, and his figure, was what appeared to me to be Mr. Barrington; the second time he pushed against me I looked very hard at him, and he looked with his eyes as if he did not know what he was looking at, as if he was looking at the scales; what made me take particular notice, was the blow being repeated on my arm, and my immediately turning round and looking at the person, and asking him, with an oath, where he was coming to, it struck me as if the person had a wild look with his eyes, and was looking for something, and did not know what.

Is that the whole? - Yes, that is the whole.

Did you see the prisoner, Barrington, that day? - I took him.

Was he then taken? - No.

Then afterwards, in consequence of what Mr. Blades said, and what you recollected, you went after him? - Mr. Blades said, I will see for him, and if I can see him, I will let you know; then one of the witnesses, Mr. Kempton, came up to me, and people asked me questions if I had had my pocket picked, and I said no, it was a false report; I said so to keep the matter quiet; however, Mr. Kempton came to me, and asked me if I had lost my watch; I said in a low voice that I had; then, says he, I can shew you the man; he is gone to the starting post.

Where did you find the prisoner? - I found him by the starting post; the horses started a quarter of a mile from the weighing post; this is about a quarter of a mile from the place where I was when Mr. Blades came to me; I went up on foot; the horses were all drawn up ready to start; I happened to get near to Mr. Blades; I did not know it till I heard his voice; Blades immediately said, there is Barrington, collar him; and I immediately said, that is the man that ran against me; the horses were drawn up, and ready to start; I was afraid to run across the course for fear of interrupting them; I waited till they were passed; I waited till Barrington's back was turned from me; he was walking towards the weighing post; as soon as his back was turned I ran up to him as fast as I could, and I collared him with both my hands, and I said, you rascal, you have robbed me.

Court. I do not think any thing will turn on the conversation you had with him? -

Mr. Blades, who was standing by me, came up and laid hold of Mr. Barrington; and Mr. Kempton seeing what we were about, and he being a stoutes man than Mr. Blades, supplied Mr. Blades's place; and we conducted Mr. Barrington with one hand on his collar; and with the other hand I caught hold of his arm, because I suspected he might have the property about him, from his saying to a man (whom I supposed, by his appearance, was an acquaintance of his); he nodded with his head, and calling him by his Christian name, said,

"Do you walk there." Mr. Kempton and me had him then by the collar.

Where was that? - That was on my side; and the man did walk for about half a quarter of a mile, half way to the stand; and when he had got about half way, that man came up and said,

"Sir, do not trouble yourself with that fellow, but let me take him;" and I said,

"I heard what Mr. Barrington said to you;" and having some friends about us, I said

"Do not let that fellow walk there any longer;" and one man whom I did not know, took and knocked this man on his back, out of the way; and I never saw him afterwards: when I got near the booth, I met my coachman, who was a very stout strong man; I let Barrington go; and I fancied the coachman suspected he had something in his hand; and he laid close hold of his fist, and the other hand by his collar; and in that way conducted him the rest of the way to the booth; I was walking before; I know no more of the business, only I saw him safe in the booth; and as he was going over the booth, there was a little man with a stick struck him over the head once or twice; I was rather in a disagreeable situation; I did not like to see a man beat, with both his hands confined; and I desired him to desist, and he did not; and I was obliged to tell him that if he did not, I would knock him down; and I thought I should have all parties against me.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel. You was dressed pretty much as you are now? - Pretty much; I had nearly the same clothes on.

Does that include that your coat was in the same state it is now, buttoned? - The same as it is now.

Please to front the jury a little more: the sensation that the man in the white coat occasioned to you at first, was that of a man pushing rudely against the proprietor of a horse that had won? - Yes, it was.

No other sensation had been occasioned in your mind till Mr. Blades had spoke to you? - None whatever.

From the period of weighing your jockey, till the time Barrington was secured by you, how much time had elapsed? - It must have been very near half an hour.

In the course of what I have to say, I shall express great ignorance of horse raceing; I know nothing about it, therefore have the goodness to excuse it, if I should ask you any ignorant questions. I apprehend, the moment of the conclusion of the heat is a very anxious one? - Yes, Sir, it is.

And those who have bets on the preceding heat, or have bets to make, naturally wish to see the horse on coming in? - Certainly.

Those that have large bets wish to see it the jockey has any make-weight? - I suppose so.

Therefore the situation of any person who has a bet, is that of getting near the winning post? - Yes.

The first sensation you felt, was, that it was a natural pressure? - I did not think it was natural.

Not for a man to be near the winning horse? - Yes; but I should not have done so, to run against the proprietor of a horse that had won.

I do not know whether you expect the manners of a drawing room on a race ground? - There is a kind of etiquette that is observed.

There are decorums that are better observed, certainly; but an unpolished or ignorant man might run against the proprietor

of a horse. You did not know the person of Mr. Barrington before? - No, Sir, I never saw him before.

You told me that several people, after Blades had spoke to you, had come to you to know if it was true you had lost your watch? - Yes; I suppose there were four or five.

Therefore the thing was not a profound secret? - It was not.

There had got a rumour about the ground, that Mr. Townsend had lost his watch? - Yes, there had.

Did you chance to know that Barrington had come to the course on horseback? - No, I did not.

Mr. Garrow. I will not trouble Mr. Townsend with any more questions.

Court. What might be the depth of that waistcoat pocket? - Much the same as this; my waistcoats are all made alike.

Was it the depth of your finger, three inches? - Yes, full the depth of my finger.

Was there a flap to it? - No, just such a pocket as this: (a welted pocket.)

The watch and chain were fairly covered? - Oh, certainly covered, because I thought something of that kind might happen at such a place.

Where did you put your watch in your pocket? - At home; but I felt it when I was there.


When the prisoner was first brought up into the booth, in custody, I was very near him; I heard something rattle from behind him; I looked that way immediately, and I saw the watch drop.

Did you see the watch dropping on the ground? - I saw the watch dropping.

Falling? - Yes, falling; I immediately stooped to pick it up; it fell down on the ground directly behind the prisoner.

How was you situated? - I was standing to the right of him.

Which way was your face? - Towards him.

Was you next to him, or was any body between you and him? - I was next to him.

How close behind him was the watch? - It dropped almost between his legs, nearly so.

Did you observe at the time, something rattle? - I could not see either of his hands; they were both behind.

Were his hands at liberty at the time? - They were at liberty.

Do you recollect who brought him up into the booth? - No, I do not; there were a great number of people; and a great number of people laid hold of him, at the same time pulled him and pushed him.

How long after he was in the booth was it, that you heard something rattle, and saw the watch fall, and picked it up? - It was not above half a minute.

You was on his right hand? - Yes.

Who was on his left hand? - There were ladies in the other booth, not the next booth; there was a partition breast high between the two booths.

Then there was no person between him and the partition; and there were ladies in the booth on the other side of the partition: is that right? - Yes, that is right.

Did you take notice at the time you saw the watch fall, or that you picked it up, who were behind him? - There was nothing behind him but the boards, and a carpet nailed over them.

Was he placed at the end of the booth? - Yes, almost in the corner.

Who was immediately next to you? - Mr. Townsend's coachman was next to me.

Who was next to the coachman? - I do not recollect; the coachman and myself were the two nearest.

Was there any body but the coachman and you near enough for the watch to have fallen from them? - No.

Where was the booth? - Opposite the ending post where they come in.

Court to Mr. Townsend. Had you been in that booth? - That was the booth I had been in that I came out of.

Had you been in that corner? - No, I do not think I had, indeed; I am pretty sure I had not been in that corner, because I

kept as near as possible; I stood upon a form all the time my horse was running; there was a row of ladies close to the edge of the booth; and I stood up behind them.

Court to Buxton. Was there any form behind the prisoner? - No, no form at all: a circumstance I forgot; the prisoner attempted to kick the watch back almost at the instant I went to pick it up; he attempted just to push it back again with his heel.

What did you do with the watch? - I gave it to Lady Lake that was in the booth, a relation of Mr. Townsend's.

Is Lady Lake here? - No, she is not.

I suppose you did not know the watch, did you? - No; I had never seen it before I had picked it up; I looked at it when I had picked it up.

Did you see it again afterwards? - Yes, I did, at the Angel at Edmonton.

The same watch? - The same watch.

In whose possession? - I do not know exactly who had it then; Mr. Townsend I fancy had it.

Have you ever seen the watch in Mr. Townsend's possession since? - Not since that day; I saw it that day in his possession, and put a mark on it, that I might know it again.

Court to Mr. Townsend. Was the watch that you saw in that gentleman's possession that day, the watch that you lost? - Yes, it certainly was.

Mr. Garrow. I understand you can ascertain the watch, you say, again, by a mark on the inside? - Yes, I can.

Do you mean to be understood, that in the booth you took so much notice of it, that you should know the watch again? - I took notice of it by the hands.

How many hands was there? - Three hands.

That on a race course is of great importance? - Yes.

Because things are minuted on the race ground? - I observed a gold linked chain and a gold seal.

That is not a very uncommon circumstance. In the particular booth to which Mr. Barrington was carried, there were Lady Lake and other ladies, particular acquaintances of Mr. Townsend's? - Yes, there were.

That was a booth on the ground? - Yes.

The next adjoining booth was a covered booth, to which any body was admitted for six-pence? - Yes; the booth was partitioned elbow high.

Not breast high? - No, not so high.

And any other persons who could afford to pay their six-pence, were admitted? - Yes.

Now we have heard that the prisoner was secured at the instant the horses were going to run the second heat: was he carried into the booth then or afterwards? - Just as the horses were coming in.

How long had the rumour of Mr. Townsend's having lost his watch reached you before? - I believe, half an hour; but I did not go out of the booth.

The thing was pretty well known, however? - Yes, it was.

And there was another rumour, I believe, nearly coeval with it; namely, that Barrington was on the course? - Yes, there was.

Had that rumour reached your ears soon after the first heat? - I did not hear he was on the course before I heard he had taken Mr. Townsend's watch.

It was full half an hour before he was taken? - Yes.

Did you see Mr. Barrington searched? - Yes, at the court; he had twenty-two guineas and a half in money.

A guinea means a pound in the language of the turf? - I do not know.

Mr. Townsend. No, a pound means a guinea.

Mr. Garrow. I beg pardon.

- WALDUCK sworn.

I am coachman to Mr. Townsend. I know nothing of the matter till the prisoner was in custody; I helped to take him up into the booth; I had one hand on his collar, and the other hold of his hand.

Which hand? - My left hand had hold of his right hand.

Do you recollect whether his hand was open at the time you laid hold of it, or whether the fingers were closed? - It was open; I laid hold of it when it was open.

Then he could have nothing in his hand? - Nothing at all; we brought him to the booth; when we got into the booth, my master left me in care of him; I put him at the back of the booth; and there was a carpet nailed at the back of it.

Was there any body behind him? - Nobody at all.

Was there any body on one side of him? - Mr. Kendrick, the young gentleman who picked up the watch; he was on one side, and I on the other.

Whereabouts were the ladies? - In the adjoining booth, about three foot and a half, or four foot; they were looking over the booth.

Were they looking over the side you was on, or over the side Mr. Kendrick was on? - The side I was on.

What do you say about the watch? - I saw the watch drop between Mr. Barrington and the carpet.

By the situation you describe, that must be behind him? - It apparently fell on the left side of him, behind him.

You say you saw it drop: do you mean that you perceived any thing of it before it reached the ground, or when it was on the ground? - I saw it as it jingled down, before it had reached the ground.

Then it could not have been on the ground when Mr. Barrington was brought in? - No.

Do you recollect the situation of the prisoners hands or arms at the time? - I did not notice any motion he made at the time.

Where were his hands or arms; were they before or behind? - His arms hung down on each side of him.

Could you see his hands? - I did not particularly notice that I did see his hands.

Who took up the watch? - Mr. Kendrick.

Do you happen to know whose watch it was that was taken up? - I knew it to be my master's watch.

You had seen it before? - I had it a few days before, one afternoon, in my possession, fetching it from London.

What became of the watch? - I do not know who Mr. Kendrick gave it to.

Mr. Garrow. My lord has asked you whether you knew the watch: recollect yourself: you was asked the same question before the magistrate, and the watch was then shewn you? - Yes, it was.

Upon your oath did not you at that time say, that you could neither tell that that was your master's watch, nor the watch that was taken off the ground? - I said no such-thing.

That you are positive of? - I am positive of it.

You was placed in the situation your master had been in; and left to watch Mr. Barrington? - I was.

You kept your eyes upon him? - I did.

If he had put his hands in his pockets you would have prevented him? - I do not know that I was so curious as that.

Upon your oath did he put his hand into either pocket, or attempt any such thing? - Not to my knowledge.

Do not you know he did not? - No, I do not.


On Wednesday, the 1st of September, on Enfield race ground, I met Mr. Townsend; I asked him if he had not lost his watch? he replied, yes; I told him Barrington was on the course; he asked me where? I told him at the distance post; I went down there, and Mr. Townsend had got hold of Barrington; then I went to see the decision of the plate; and when I returned I saw the watch in Mr. Kendrick's hand.


On the 1st of September I was at Enfield races, close by the stand: I then saw the prisoner, Mr. Barrington, as I thought; I told a friend of mine it was Barrington,

to my best opinion; no, says he, it cannot be Barrington, to be along with Mr. Townsend, for he was as close to Mr. Townsend as he possibly could be.

Did you observe that they had any conversation, or do you know now whether that man was Barrington or not? - I am well convinced it was Barrington: I then went to Mr. Townsend, to be perfectly satisfied; and I asked him if he recollected a tall thin gentleman in light clothes? he said, I do remember seeing such a person, but he is no acquaintance of mine; Mr. Townsend then asked me why I asked the question? why, says I, I have an opinion it was Barrington; he immediately felt at his pocket; says he, I have lost my watch; Mr. Townsend begged the favour of me to walk up and down the course to shew him the person, for he said, he could recollect him; and in twenty minutes time I saw the person, says I. I see the person now; Mr. Townsend said, that is him, is not it? yes, says I, Sir, it is; he went and took hold of him, and said, your name is Barrington, damn me, Sir, says he, you have robbed me of my watch; and I assisted him, and took hold of him; going along, he did not try to get away himself; other people seemed to be trying.

Court. He could not help what other people did? - I saw him in the booth: I did not see the watch.

Mr. Garrow. Did not the prisoner immediately say, you are right, Sir, as to my name; but I have not your watch? - I heard him say nothing about his name.

( George Law , the constable, produced the watch which he received of Mr. Townsend, which was deposed to by Mr. Townsend, to be his watch that he lost on the course that day, which was sent by Lady Lake's servant to the Angel, at Edmonton: it was also deposed to by the coachman, as the watch that was picked up in the booth.

Law. Here is another watch, a purse, and a pair of spurs.


I was in the next booth to that in which the prisoner was brought in; I was but a very little way off him; there was nobody between him and me; nothing but the partition; I was next the partition; the prisoner was sideways to me when he dropped the watch on his side; he dropped the watch from his hand; I told him of it at the time; I cannot recollect which hand: his hand was by the side of him at the time I saw it drop from him; and I mentioned it to him at the time.

Mr. Garrow. Was it the side nearest to you or farthest from you? - Nearest to me.

There were many persons in the same booth with you? - Yes.

You paid for your admission? - Yes.

Did you go before the magistrate? - No.

So this is the first time you was examined on the subject? - Yes.

How was you found out? - I do not know: a gentleman that went with me to the races told Mr. Townsend.

Pray where do you live? - At Ponders End.

A married or single lady? - Single.

Do you know where the prisoner got the watch from? - I cannot say.

You did not see him take it from under his hat? - No.

If it had dropped behind, and he had attempted to kick it, you must have seen that? - I did not pay any attention to that.

If he had got before and attempted to have kicked with his heel backward, you could have seen him? - I looked in his face; and I was pulled away; somebody else crouded to the partition.

Did this gentleman live in London that was with you? - I do not know where he lives. You do not mean the gentleman in the carriage.

Yes, I do? - Oh! I forget his name; Mr. Townsend, I believe, knows him: he was not in the booth with me.

Are you an acquaintance of Mr. Townsend's? - No.

Where did you find that gentleman? - He is an acquaintance of my father's.

Who was entrusted by your father to

carry his daughter to the races in a one horse chaise? - Yes.

How long has he been acquainted with your father? - I do not know: he is my step father. Does any body here know his name?

Do not ask any body else. - I never was in his company but that one time.

Did he come from London? - I do not know where he comes from; I believe he comes out of the country; he called at my father's; and as he was going down, my father asked him to carry me to the races.

Did he bring you back again? - No; I came home in another gentleman's chaise cart.

What was that gentleman's name? - I do not know him.

What part of Ponders End do you live in? - I live just by the Two Brewers.

Do you usually take these excursions? - I was with more company, and it rained very hard.

What company was you in? - I was with my sisters.

Try and recollect the name of one of those gentlemen? - I do not know either of their names; I never saw the gentleman that called in the morning, before or since.

Then he did not come to you with a message from Mr. Townsend? - No, Sir, Mr. Townsend came to me himself.

Is this a young gentleman? - No, he is an elderly gentlemen; he is a farmer in the country.

Should you know his name if you heard it? - I do not know.

Was it Forrester? - I do not think it was; I do not know.

Was it Bishop? - I cannot swear to his name.

Mr. Townsend. I think the young woman's character is in some measure at stake; therefore I wish to clear up this matter: that young woman's father-in-law is a farmer, who has lived a long time in the neighbourhood I live in, and has for a long time been respected; that gentleman to whose care she was intrusted, is an elderly man, whose name was Mr. Chase; he was going to the races in his one horse chaise; he told me of this circumstance; and my coachman said, that when Barrington said,

"did any body see me drop the watch?" a young woman in the booth said,

"Yes, I did!" I related this to Mr. Smith, the attorney to the India Company, and he said this was a very material witness.

Mr. Garrow. I submit Mr. Townsend cannot tell the conversations.

Court. It does not go further than restoring the credit of the witness; therefore it is fit that when any thing seems to bear against the credit of a witness, all manner of circumstances should be related.

Mr. Townsend. Mr. Smith said, that will be a very material witness: I never could learn any thing about her, till on Saturday last I went by accident to Mr. Chase, who had been a long time a servant to my father, and owed a small rent of five guineas or five pounds; he asked me about losing my watch; and he said,

"a young

"woman I carried to the races in my

"chaise saw him drop the watch."

Court. The circumstances were certainly such as made it the duty of the council to go into the examination; but it was also equally fit to hear every thing that could be said to establish the credit of the witness, who certainly appeared to have gone to the races in a way that did not appear proper: there is no way of finding out the truth but by examining into all the circumstances.

Court to Prisoner. Prisoner, you have heard the whole of the evidence that is against you: you are to state the matter of fact to the jury yourself, with the observations on the evidence on the part of the prosecution; and, by way of introduction to your own evidence, if you have any yourself. Your counsel are only permitted to cross-examine the witnesses on the part of the prosecution, and to examine your own witnesses; and this is the time for you to make your defence.


May it please your lordship, and you gentlemen of the jury, to favour me with your

attention for a little time. The situation of every person who has the misfortune to stand here is extremely distressing and aukward; mine is so in a peculiar degree: if I am totally silent, it may be considered perhaps as a proof of guilt; and if I presume to offer those arguments which present themselves to my mind, in my defence, they may not perhaps be favoured with that attention which they might deserve; you by no means distrust the candour and lence of the jury; and therefore I beg leave to proceed to state the circumstances of the case as they occur to me, ing but they will meet with some credit, notwithstanding the un- ion I am in. Gentlemen, I the race ground at Enfield, observing the race, on the day that the indictment mentions, where I found myself surrounded by Mr. Townsend, and numbers of others; Mr. Townsend said,

"Your name is Barrington, and you have taken my watch!" I told him he was right as to my name, but he accused me unjustly; however I would go any where with him: I was removed from thence to a stand, from whence the races were viewed; it consisted of two booths, and they were separated from each other with only a railing elbow high; and it is a great misfortune to me, gentlemen of the jury, that you were not able to observe the situation of those booths; for if you had, you would have found it nearly impossible that some circumstances which have come from the witnesses could be true: I was close to the railing that separated the two booths, and some person said,

"here is the watch!" this watch Mr. Townsend claimed, and said it was his. I was removed from thence to the Angel at Edmonton, where the examination took place; and I am very sorry to be under the necessity of observing, that a very material difference has taken place in the depositions delivered that day before the magistrate in various respects. A witness (the coachman) positively declared that he did not see this watch in my hand, that he did not see me take it from my pocket, that he did not see it drop from the person, but that he saw it on the ground; and he might have gone so far as to say he saw it fall: I took the liberty of asking him one question, Whether he had seen this watch in my hand, whether he had seen it fall from me? he declared he did not. I then asked him, whether he could take upon himself to swear, from the situation he stood in at the adjoining booth, that this watch might not have dropped from some other person? he declared he could not observe any such thing. Gentlemen, with respect to the evidence of Mr. Kendrick, he made the same declaration then.

The Remainder of this Trial in the next Part, which will be published in a few Days.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter.
15th September 1790
Reference Numbert17900915-10

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THE WHOLE PROCEEDINGS ON THE KING'S Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON; AND ALSO The Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex, HELD AT JUSTICE HALL in the OLD BAILEY, On Wednesday, the 15th of SEPTEMBER, 1790, and the following Days;

Being the SEVENTH SESSION in the Mayoralty of The Right Honourable William Pickett , LORD MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON.




Printed for E. HODGSON (the Proprietor); And Sold by him, at his House, No. 14, White Lion Street, Islington; Sold also by J. WALMSLAY, No. 35, Chancery Lane; S. BLADON, No. 31, Pater-noster Row; and J. MARSOM, No. 183, High Holborn.




KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON, &c.

Continuation of the Trial of George Barrington .

Mr. Townsend has brought me here under the charge of having committed felony; he has told you, gentlemen of the jury, that he lost a watch out of his pocket, and that pocket is a waistcoat pocket, that he was in a very extraordinary situation; that he was on the race ground, where certainly the greatest decorum is not always observed; and he was also in a situation which exposed him more to the pressure he complained of than any other person; for, instead of his horse being in the possession of his jockey or groom, he attended it himself; and I must beg leave to observe, gentlemen of the jury, that it is a custom where people bet money at races, to wish to see the horse immediately after the heat is over, so that the pressure which Mr. Townsend had, or what he thought he had from me, could not appear very extraordinary; and I am under the necessity of saying, his fancy has rather been improved on the occasion. With respect, gentlemen, to the last witness that has appeared. I will not say any thing on the occasion; that will rest entirely with you. It was a circumstance, however, of a most extraordinary nature, that this person should never come forward till the present moment; and whether the contradictions and strange accounts she has given of herself, are such as entitle her to any credit, particularly in a situation where the life or liberty of another is at stake, is not for me to observe upon. Gentlemen of the jury, it may perhaps be expected by many persons in this place, that I should say a great deal about prepossessions and newspaper reports, and if I had the ability to do it, perhaps I should not be blamed; for he who has been the unhappy object of much defamation, has surely a right to deprecate its baneful effects; where much pains have been taken to defame, some pains may be surely allowed to abate that defamation. Gentlemen, that it has been the hard lot of some unhappy persons, to have been convicted of crimes they did really not commit, less through evidence than ill-natured report,

is doubtless certain; and doubtless there are many respectable persons now in court, fully convinced of the truth of that observation. Such times, it is to be hoped, are past; I dread not such a conviction in my own person; I am well convinced of the noble nature of a British Court of Justice, the dignified and benign principles of its Judges, and the liberal and candid spirit of its Jurors.

Gentlemen, life is the gift of God, and liberty is its greatest blessing; the power of disposing of both, or either, is the greatest man can enjoy. It is also adventitious that, great as that power is, it cannot be better placed, than in the hands of an English Jury; for they will not exercise it like tyrants, who delight in blood, but like generous and brave men, who delight to spare rather than to destroy; and who, not forgetting they are men themselves, loan, when they can, to the side of compassion. It may be thought, gentlemen of the jury, that I am applying to your passions, and if I had the power to do it, I would not fail to employ it; the passions animate the heart; and to the passions we are indebted for the noblest actions, and to the passions we owe our dearest and finest feelings; and when it is considered, the mighty power you now posses, whatever leads to a cautious and tender discharge of it, must be thought of great consequence, for, as long as the passions conduct us on the side of benevolence, they are our best, our safest, and our most friendly guides. Gentlemen of the jury, Mr. Townsend has deposed that he lost his watch, but how, I trust is by no means clear: I trust, gentlemen, you will consider the great, the almost impossibility, that having had the watch in my possession for so long a time, time sufficient to have concealed it in a variety of places, or to have conveyed it to town, it should be still in my possession. You have heard from Mr. Townsend, that there was an interval of at least half an hour between the time of losing the watch and my being taken into custody: there is something, gentlemen, impossible in the circumstance; and, on the other hand, it has sometimes happened, that remorse, a generous remorse, has struck the minds of persons in such a manner, as to have induced them to surrender themselves into the hands of justice, rather than an innocent person should suffer. It is not therefore, I suppose, improbable, that if Mr. Townsend lost his watch by an act of felony, the person who had the watch in his possession, feeling for the situation of an unhappy man, might be induced to place that watch on the ground. But it is by no means certain how Mr. Townsend lost his watch, whether by an act of felony, or whether by accident: it might have fallen into the hands of some other person, and that person feeling for my unhappy situation, might have been induced to restore it. I humbly hope that the circumstances of the case are such as may induce a scrupulous jury to make a favourable decision; and I am very well convinced that you will not be led by any other circumstances than those of the present case; either from the reports of former misfortunes, or by the fear of my falling into similar ones. I am now just thirty-two years of age (shall be so next month) it is nearly half the life of man; it is not worth while being impatient to provide for the other half, so far as to do any thing unworthy. Gentlemen, in the course of my life I have suffered much distress; I have felt something of the vicissitudes of fortune, and now, from observation, I am convinced upon the whole, there is no joy but what arises from the practice of virtue, and consists in the felicity of a tranquil mind and a benevolent heart; sources of consolation which the most prosperous circumstances do not always furnish, and which may be felt under the most indigent: it will be my study, gentlemen, to possess them, nor will the heaviest affliction of poverty, pain, or disgrace, cause me to part with resolutions founded on the deepest reflection, and which will end but with life: I will perish on the pavement before I will deviate from them. For my own part, whatever your verdict may be, I trust I

shall be enabled to meet it with a firmness of mind; he, indeed, has little to fear from death, whose fame is tarnished, and who has endured the ceaseless abuse of unfeeling minds; when Heaven accepts contrition; it receives into favour when it pardons; but man, more cruel than his Maker, pursues his offending brother with unrelenting severity, and marks a deviation from rectitude with a never dying infamy, and with unceasing suspicion and reproach, which seem to exclude him from the pale of virtue.

Gentlemen of the Jury, the thought of death may appal the rich and prosperous, but on the other hand the unfortunate cannot have much to fear from it, yet the tenderness of nature cannot be quite subdued by the utmost degree of human resolution, and I cannot be insensible to the woes which must be felt by an affectionate companion, and an infant offspring; and there is, besides, a principle in human nature, stronger even than the fear of death, and which can hardly fail to operate some time or other in life, I mean the desire of good fame: Under that laudable influence, gentlemen, if I am acquitted, I will quickly retire to some distant land, where my name and misfortunes will be alike unknown; where harmless manners shall shield me from the imputation of guilt, and where prejudice will not be liable to misrepresentation: and I do now assure you, gentlemen of the jury, that I feel a cheering hope, even at this awful moment, that the rest of my life will be so conducted, as to make me as much an object of esteem and applause, as I am now the unhappy object of censure and suspicion.

Mr. Townsend. My Lord, permit me to say a word.

Court. By no means in the world, not a word.

Court to prisoner. Have you any witnesses? - No my Lord.

COURT. Gentlemen of the Jury, this prisoner, George Barrington , stands indicted for stealing a gold watch, a gold chain, three cornelian seals, set in gold, and a metal key, the property of Henry Hare Townsend , Esq. and this being the whole of the indictment, I need not state in you, that it is not a capital offence, but it is a charge of single felony, Mr. Townsend tells you - Here the learned Judge summed up the evidence, and then added.

This is the whole of the evidence; to you see what is the result of it. The result is, that Mr. Townsend having somehow or other lost his watch he not able of his own knowledge to describe the circumstances of having lost it, concludes that his pocket was picked of it somewhere, not that he dropped it: then the circumstances that go to fix the guilt on the prisoner, are these; that he was seen close to Mr. Townsend, in a way that alarmed Mr. Townsend, and he expressed surprise that he should be pushed upon in the way he was, and in a situation that might afford an opportunity to a man who was disposed to make use of it, to have taken his watch: that foundation being laid, they go further, and they endeavour to satisfy you that this watch was in fact in the prisoner's custody; for all the circumstances relative to the dropping of the watch, go to that; and that he endeavoured to get it out of his custody for fear the possession of it should (as it certainly would) be a very evident proof of his having taken it: to be sure, if a gentleman losea his watch on the race ground, and it is found afterwards on a man who does not give a good account of it, and on whom any suspicion can fasten, it calls upon him to answer for such possession; but it certainly is liable undoubtedly to all kind of explanations; because if a watch was found on a man of such character as Mr. Townsend, who could convince all the world that he would not commit such a thing, and he was to say he found it, it would be extremely different: but they do not prove simply that the watch was found there, but that it was seen in the act of falling, and that would have left it open to the possibility of its being thrown down, or falling from some other person: but if it be true that it was in his possession, then it is necessary for him to give you a satisfactory account, how he came by it. He has addressed himself to you, by way of defence,

and he has added every thing that could interest you in his favour; in the general turn of his address to you he has also made all the observations that I think could be made, on his part in his favour, and you have heard them with attention, and you will do him the justice to give them all the weight they deserve, but you will give them no more weight than they deserve; and you will therefore judge now, whether to you it appears with sufficient certainty, that that watch fell from the prisoner, when he was in the booth, and if it did, whether that, together with the other circumstances, of his being seen by Mr. Townsend in the way he describes, do not convince you that he must have been either the person that took the watch, or connected with those that did; in either case you will find him guilty: on the other hand, if you, on the observation he has made to you, or on others that occur to yourselves, see any reason to believe, that the charge does not conclude against him, with sufficient certainty, that he was the man, then you will acquit him.

The Jury instantly found him GUILTY .

After the verdict was pronounced, the Lord Chief Baron thus addressed the prisoner:

Mr. Barrington, Hitherto I have conducted myself towards you on this trial, as if I had never seen you before; but now, when nothing I can say can prejudice the Jury, I must say that you have been treated with much more favour than you deserve. This ought to have been a capital indictment, and it ought to have reached your life, and public justice very much calls for such a sacrifice; for if ever there was a man in the world that abused and prostituted great talents to the most unworthy and shameful purposes, you are that man; and you have done it against all warning, against the example of your own case, and of a thousand other cases that have occurred; and I am afraid, that now, as the punishment does not reach your life, I cannot entertain the least hope that you will in any manner reform; but that you must be a shameful spectacle at your latter end.

Mr. Barrington bowed and retired.

On Wednesday, September 22d, being the seventh day of this session, this prisoner, GEORGE BARRINGTON , was set to the Bar.

Clerk of the Arraigns. George Barrington , hold up your hand; you stand convicted of felony; what have you to say for yourself why the Court should not give you judgment to die according to law.

Mr. Recorder. George Barrington : the sentence of the Court upon you, is, that you be transported for the term of seven years to parts beyond the seas, to such place as his Majesty, with the advice of his Privy Council, shall think fit to declare and appoint .

Mr. Barrington. My Lord, I had a few words to say why sentence of death should not be passed upon me; I had much to say, though I shall say but little on the occasion: Notwithstanding I have the best opinion of his Lordship's candour, and have no wish or pleasure in casting a reflection on any person whatever; but I cannot help observing that it is the strange lot of some persons through life, that with the best wishes, the best endeavours, and the best intentions, they are not able to escape the evenomed tooth of calumny; whatever they say or do is so twisted and perverted from the reality, that they will meet with censure and misfortune, where perhaps they were entitled to success and praise. The world, my Lord, has given me credit for much more abilities than I am conscious of possessing; but the world should also consider that the greatest abilities may be so obstructed by the mercenary nature of some unfeeling minds, as to tender them entirely useless to the possessor. Where was the generous and powerful man that would come forward and say, you have some abilities which might be of service to yourself

and to others, but you have much to struggle with, I feel for your situation, and will place you in a condition to try the sincerity of your intentions; and as long as you act with diligence and fidelity you shall not want for countenance and protection? But, my Lord, the die is cast! I am prepared to meet the sentence of the Court with respectful resignation, and the painful lot assigned me, I hope, with becoming resolution.

Mr. Barrington bowed and retired.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter.
15th September 1790
Reference Numbert17900915-10

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error

THE WHOLE PROCEEDINGS ON THE KING'S Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON; AND ALSO The Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex, HELD AT JUSTICE HALL in the OLD BAILEY, On Wednesday, the 15th of SEPTEMBER, 1790, and the following Days;

Being the SEVENTH SESSION in the Mayoralty of The Right Honourable William Pickett , LORD MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON.




Printed for E. HODGSON (the Proprietor); And Sold by him, at his House, No. 14, White Lion Street, Islington; Sold also by J. WALMSLAY, No. 35, Chancery Lane; S. BLADON, No. 31, Pater-noster Row; and J. MARSOM, No. 183, High Holborn.




KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON, &c.

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