8th June 1791
Reference Numbert17910608-11
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s

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236. WILLIAM HAYNES was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 21st of May , a watch, inside case and outside case made of silver, value 40 s. the goods and chattles of William Jones , in his dwelling-house .


I am a pawnbroker. On the 21st of May the prisoner came into my master's Thomas Jones 's shop, No. 145, Fleet-street , between ten and eleven o'clock, and asked to look at a watch in the corner-square of the window, marked three guineas; I shewed it him; he asked several questions concerning the going of it, and staid, I suppose, for seven or eight minutes, after which he told me to wind it up, and set it; I did so, and gave it him, after which he holds it up to his ear, and in an instant he opened the back-door and ran out; I got after him as the door was going to; I immediately run after him up Wine-office-court, never lost sight of him, and I saw the watchman William Chandler take him: when the watchman took him, I saw him move his arms, and throw the watch into Mess. Faulkner's and Radley's yard, two wine merchants; the watch was not hurt, only the glass broke; I saw it in the garden myself at five o'clock the next morning: I could not get in before.

(The watch produced and deposed to by the maker's name, and by the number being the same on the back of the label.)

What may be the value of the watch? - It cost two guineas.

Prisoner. How many people were in the shop when you missed the watch? - I do not know.

What time was this? - Between ten and eleven.

Was the watch taken out from the window, or from the counter? - I took it from the window.

Have you found the watch? - I have.

Where did you find it? - In Mess. Faulkner and Radley's garden.

Did you see any body put it there? - I did not.

Did you search any place when the watch was first missed? - I could not, because the place was locked.

Did you search no place? - I did not, I searched you.

Did you search no where else, while a person held me by the collar? - No.

Was any present, besides yourself, when the watch was first found? - Yes, there was a lad, John Simmons , who is now at home.

At what time was the watch found? - At five o'clock on Sunday morning.

What was you doing when the watch was first missed? - Shewing it to you.

What reason have you to suppose that I had the watch? - I have witnesses to swear it besides myself.

Do not you think that any one person may resemble another in size, person, or stature? - You never was out of my sight.

Court. Did you lose sight of the man? - I did not.

Are you sure of that? - I insist upon it.

Prisoner. When there was so many people in the shop, how could you tell who took the watch out of the shop? - You had it, and held it up to your ear.

Was the watch in motion? - No.

Not at all? - Not till after I gave it you, when you told me to wind it up and set it to time.

Where did you put it when it was wound up? - Into your hand.

When I was not in your shop? - I am certain you was in the shop.

How many were in the shop besides you? - Several others were in the shop, but there was no one ran after you, till you was taken by the watchman.

Do not you think that any other person may put it there as well as I? - You never was out of my sight, and I found the watch the next morning near the place where you was taken.

Did you search any person but me? - No.

How many persons were there that saw the watch first found? - One person besides myself.

Did you find any thing in my possession? - Not on you, I did not.

If you found nothing in my possession, what have you got to alledge against me? - You stole this watch; you stole this watch.

I stole that watch! you found it in my possession, you say? - I saw you throw it away, or at least I saw you move your arms as if you were throwing it away.

How do you know I threw it away, you found nothing in my possession? - I could not observe the watch go, because it was dark.

Jury. Will you take upon you to swear, that the watch you delivered to that young man, is the same watch taken out of Faulkner's and Radley's yard? - I do, I took it up myself.

Court. When did this man come to your shop? - Near eleven on Saturday evening.

Jury. Did you make any minute of the time you picked it up? - I did not.

Court. You have kept it from that time to this? - I have.


I am an hair-dresser; I was in Mr. Jones's shop when the prisoner came in to purchase the watch; it was taken down and shewn him, and he examined it some time, and closed the watch, and I thought he had settled in himself to purchase it; he stood afterwards for the course of a minute or two, and ran out of the shop; Mr. Jones's man and I run after him, and brought him back from Vine-office-court; I lost sight of him only while the door was shutting; I saw nothing what became of the watch.

Prisoner. Was you in the shop when the watch was first missed? - I was.

How many people were in the shop? - Two or three, I am certain there were two.

At what time was the watch missed? - Very near eleven.

How near? - Very near.

Was the watch taken from the window or counter? - It was taken out of the window, and put into your hands.

Was the watch found again? - It was.

Where? - In Mr. Faulkner's and Radley's yard, over the rails.

Did you see any body put it there? - I did not.

Did any body search any other place? - Wine-office-court was examined.

Who was the first person that found the watch? - The young man that shewed you the watch.

Shewed me the watch! - Yes, you, Sir, I am certain it was you.

Was any other person present at the finding? - I was not present.

What was you doing when the watch was first missed? - I had business there like you.

Did you come there for a watch? - I came there for the business I wanted, and you seemed to come for some purpose.

What reason have you to say that I had the watch? - I saw you carry it out.

What part of the shop was you in? - I was in the shop close to you, and there was two women in the shop at the same time.

Do not you think it possible for one man to resemble another? - I am so certain that I am not mistaken.

Have I any particular marks you know me by? - I know you by your person, and I suppose that is sufficient.

When there were so many people in the shop, how could you tell particularly who took the watch? - There were two women in the shop, and you was the only man besides myself in the shop.

Was the watch in motion? - I saw the young man seemed to set the watch a going.

Where was the watch put after that? - Into your hands.

Why the man must have gone to sleep to put it into my hands; how many people searched for the watch after it was first missed? - This young man and one watchman.

How many watchmen were in Mr. Jones's shop? - One.

You found nothing about me? - No, nothing.

Do not you think any other person could put it in the yard? - I know you took the watch.

Was any other person searched but me? - I saw no other person searched.


I am a watchman, I know nothing of the robbery; I stopped the prisoner on the 21st of May, on Saturday, about eleven o'clock, in Wine-office-court, Fleet-street; I did not see the watch at all. The prisoner is the man I took, he was running along, and upon the alarm of stop thief, I took him prisoner.

Prisoner. What time was it you first saw me? - About five minutes after eleven.

Where did you take me? - In Wine-office-court.

Where did you take me to afterwards? - I surrendered you up to two young men.

Was not you in Mr. Jones's shop? - I was afterwards.

You searched me? - Yes, slightly, but I ordered you to be taken to the constable.

Have you any reason to believe that I had a watch? - You played with your hands, and the watch was found inside the rails the next morning.

Did not you conduct me to the watch-house that night? - I helped, aided and assisted.

Do you know what time the watch was found? - I do not know, only what I was told.

Was your walk from the corner of Wine-office-court? - It is.

Did you see any watch there; how long might you stop there? - I suppose I stopped there about twenty minutes.

What time did you leave your walk? - About twenty minutes after four, in broad day-light.

Jury. Did you see the prisoner make any motion with his arms? - No, I did not.


Although my poverty has precluded me the benefit of counsel, yet I thank heaven that that misfortune will be supplied by the humanity of the Judge who tries me; the Jury will observe that I call no person to my character, that the case may be reduced to its own merits; theirs is the character I rely upon; not on my own: On their discernment and not on my own I rely. I sent to none of my friends, because I did not wish them to know the disgraceful situation into which I am plunged; my character is lost by the situation itself: Gentlemen, believe me innocent; I lived till this misfortune by an honest trade, that of a stay-maker, and by that trade I hope to maintain myself as usual, by the favour of your verdict, and the recovery of my usual health and spirits.

The Jury retired for ten minutes, and returned with a verdict,


Of stealing to the value of 39 s.

(Aged 25.)

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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