15th February 1792
Reference Numbert17920215-43
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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149. SIMON SAMUEL was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 23d of January , three pair of silk stockings, value 20 s. the goods of Henry Goldfinch .


I am apprentice to Mr. Henry Goldfinch , No. 57, Lombard-street ; he lost three pair of silk stockings, Monday the 23d of January,

he put his handkerchief over them, between the hours of four and five in the evening; the prisoner came into the shop, and asked to look at some patterns of worsted stockings; I shewed him two pairs, which he objected to, being rather too large: I put them away; he then asked if we had any lady's silk stockings; I informed him we had; he desired me to shew him some; I opened a paper with some; during the time he was singling out these three pair of stockings, he covered with his handkerchief, by lifting it up once or twice, some pairs of stockings, but how many at that time I could not tell; he had singled out three pair, and asked me the price of them; during that time he had covered some silk stockings with his handkerchief; the price I informed him was a guinea and a half the three pair, which he thought too much money; he offered me twenty-seven shillings for the three pair, which I informed him was lower than they could possibly be sold for; not agreeing for the price, I pushed them to the bottom of the counter, excepting those covered with his handkerchief.

Did this covering seem accidental? - It seemed intentional; he had his handkerchief in his hand when he came into the shop: I went to call Mr. Goldfinch round the end of the counter; I had got the cotton stockings down, and laid them on the counter, but had not opened them; they laid immediately behind me: he was going out of the door; I ran to him, laid hold of him by the collar, and brought him back again; a little scuffle ensued, during which he had laid the stockings down on the counter unperceived by me: when I had taken the cotton stockings down, I saw him concealing the silk stockings into his pocket, in the handkerchief; I did not see the stockings, but the handkerchief.

Can you say whether he took up the handkerchief and the stockings together? - Where he had taken the handkerchief up, the counter was quite clear; I am certain of that; the stockings were laid nearly on the same part, but quite in a confused state. I desired him to empty his pockets; but when a constable was sent for, nothing was found upon him but these stockings.

How could they be put down, and you not see it? - It was near five o'clock, and at that time of the year duskish.

Jury. If it was duskish, how could you see the counter was clear? - I am certain there was nothing on the counter: the stockings all belonged to my master.

Mr. Garrow. Tell the Jury how much money was found upon the man. - I do not know exactly.

Had he not considerably more than he had been treating for? - He had certainly.

How far were you from the counter when you had what you call the scuffle? - Nothing like three yards.

A man might turn round; the man had not got out of the shop at all? - I cannot say that.

You cannot tell even that!


I searched his pockets, and found nothing; and turning round, I found three pair of silk stockings lying in an unusual manner, as if they had been grasped up; they were white silk stockings, my property; I saw the prisoner had three or four guineas, and some silver, about him.


My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury; I had an occasion to do some particular business, and also being in want of some stockings, I went into the prosecutor's shop, and asked the shopman to shew me three pair of silk stockings; I asked the price of them; the shopman told me the price was 30 s. I examined the stockings very carefully, and found them rather slight, and not worth that money; I then offered him 27 s. which he refused, alledging he could not take less than 30 s. which was the price: on which he said he would shew me some inferior and lower quality, which I refused, and then stood by the counter, and took my pocket-handkerchief out of my pocket, and afterwards put the handkerchief into my pocket, and then I buttoned up my coat,

with my stick in my hand, and walked five yards from the counter, and wished the shopman a good day: I was near out of the door, when the shopman called two more out of a room, and charged me with stealing the stockings; on which I was searched by them, but no stockings found on me at all, nor any thing else, saving cash to the amount of five guineas, and some silver; on which the shopman turned round and said, I see the stockings on the counter; all this happened on the 24th of January last, about four o'clock: these circumstances of my case I humbly offer to my Lord and the Jury, and I am entirely innocent of the charge against me.

(The prisoner called six witnesses, who gave him a very good character.)

The Jury withdrew for about two hours, and returned with a verdict,

GUILTY. (Aged 40.)

( Recommended by the Jury .)

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

[Imprisonment. See summary.]

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