8th June 1791
Reference Numbert17910608-8
VerdictGuilty > theft under 1s
SentenceMiscellaneous > fine; Imprisonment

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233. JOHN NORMAN was indicted for stealing, on the 4th of June , one linen handkerchief, value 18 d. the property of

Thomas Farr , Esq . privily from his person .

(The witnesses examined separate.)

THOMAS FARR , Esq. sworn.

I was going to a fire there was in Rosemary-lane , I thought I felt something press against me, I missed my handkerchief; a man said, is not your pocket picked? says he, this is the man that did it; says he, I saw him take a red and white linen handkerchief out of your pocket; I took him to Justice Staples; and as he was going along, a man brought the handkerchief, and said it had been thrown into the cellar; I did not find the handkerchief on the prisoner, it was last Saturday, the 4th of June, between six and seven in the evening.

Then you did not see the handkerchief go out of your pocket? - I thought I felt somebody running against me, I put my hand into my pocket, and missed my handkerchief.


I never saw the prisoner before last Saturday night; I was going to see the fire in Rosemary-lane, I was desired to watch the prisoner: I saw him try several, and pick a handkerchief out of Mr. Farr's pocket, and put it into his own; I am positive to him, and told Mr. Farr; while I was speaking to Mr. Farr, the handkerchief was dropped; I did not see it dropped; he was searched in about five minutes, nothing was found upon him.


I know only that the handkerchief was thrown down into my cellar; my servant delivered it to me.

(Produced and deposed to.)


I am servant to Mr. Dawson; these two handkerchiefs were thrown down the cellar window, I delivered them to Mr. Dawson; these are like them.

Dawson. I have had them in my custody ever since.

Prisoner. Can you take it upon your conscience to say I threw them down? - I did not see where you threw them down.


Gentlemen of the Court and Jury: I was going down Rosemary-lane to an acquaintance of mine, where I retained and lodged, in Union-street; I happened to see this fire, I heard a great noise about it, which caused me to hurry down Rosemary-lane, where the fire was; when I saw this fire, opposite to the fire there was a great bustle, and in the mean time one of the gentlemen came and laid hold of me, and said, this is the young man; I believe he said, you took a handkerchief out of that gentleman's pocket; he laid hold of me and called for assistance, and searched me; I told him to examine me, the gentleman searched me, and nothing was found upon me; therefore gentlemen, I think it a hard thing that I should be bound into this disgrace, concerning a thing I know nothing about, and I am quite distant from any of my friends; all my friends live in Rotterdam, I lived some time at a shop in Houndsditch, No. 16, where any body may inquire my character; I served very honestly and truly, I never was out at bad hours, in my life. I am quite ignorant of the laws of this nation, I know not what to do at present, I am out of place, I am looking for a place; I have a mother in Rotterdam, I learned a kind of hatting-way, which I was able to perform at this gentleman's in Houndsditch.

How long have you been in this country? - I learned English in Holland, I have been here a twelvemonth; I was thinking about learning the painting business.

GUILTY, 10 d.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron PERRYN.

[Fine. See summary.]

[Imprisonment. See summary.]

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