14th February 1798
Reference Numbert17980214-2
VerdictNot Guilty

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145. JOSEPH CARTER and WILLIAM PEATTY were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 26th of January , a gelding, value 10l. the property of John Ayley .

JOHN AYLEY sworn. - I am a landholder , I live in the parish of Stonedon, just by Ongar, in Essex : I lost a gelding out of my stable, either on Thursday night the 25th, or Friday morning the 26th of January; a lad who is here was the last that saw the stable before the gelding was stolen; I never saw the prisoner before, I have seen the gelding two or three times since, under the care of Mr. Pope. who keeps a Livery-stable, I saw it in the horse-ride, there were thirty or forty more horses with it at the same time; he is as remarkable a horse as ever lived, he was lame of two feet, he had a star in his forehead, he was rising seven years old; Mr. Pope and my son were at the taking of him.

Cross-examined by Mr. Scott. Q. You don't know

of your own knowledge that the horse was locked up in the stable? - A. No.

Q. And you know nothing of the prisoners at the bar? - A. No; I never saw them till they were before the Lord-Mayor.

CHARLES AYLEY sworn. - I am the son of the last witness: I received information that the gelding was taken away, on Thursday night, by the Ongar coachman, at the Three Nuns, in Whitechapel: On Friday noon, I went into Smithfield-market, I had not been there a quarter of an hour before I saw the prisoner, Carter, upon the horse; I looked about for an officer, I could not find one; I saw Mr. Pope, and asked him to lend me assistance; we went and cheapened the horse, and asked him, where he brought it from; he said, he brought it from Hampshire, he said, he had had it four months upon his hands, and two months he had sent it to the Straw-yard, at Kensington Gravel-pits; we then asked him the price; he said, 10l.; he said, he had been used for plough and cart; we pointed out the blemishes, and then left the man upon the horse; while we were cheapening the horse, the other prisoner came up, recommending the horse, as knowing the horse, and man likewise; we then got two officers, and sent them to the Crown public-house, in the Market; then Mr. Pope fetched the two men into the public-house, as if we had thought better of the horse, and intended to buy it; we then asked him about the consitution and ways of the horse; Carter gave the same account as before; Peatty gave no account, only that it was a good horse, and he knew the horse and the man; we asked Carter several questions, and found he prevaricated very much in his answers; I then charged him with taking it from my father's stable, and we found him change colour, and not say a word against it; I gave them in charge to the two officers, and they were taken to the Compter.

Q. Did all this pass in the hearing of the other man? - A. Yes; I sent the horse by another constable, to Mr. Pope's Livery-stables, in Little Moorfields.

Q. Can you describe the horse? - A. Yes; he was a gelding, lame of two feet, and the hoos broke away from the off fore foot; the horse was brought to market with a leather halter, the same as he used to wear in the stable; I had not seen the horse, I believe, for a month before; I cannot swear to the bridle, it has had the winkers cut off.

Cross-examined by Mr. Scott. Q. About what time was it that you met this man in Smithfield? - A.About three o'clock.

Q. You cannot swear to the halter? - A. No.

Q. You will not swear that that is a halter from which the winkers had been cut off? - A. No.

Q. You did not find Peatty at all in possession of the horse? - A. No.

WILLIAM POPE sworn. - I am a stable-keeper: On Friday, the 26th of January, I went into the market, and saw the horse, with Carter on the back of it; I asked him the price of the horse; he told me, 10l.; he said, he would take eight guineas; I said, that was too much, it was a lame horse: I asked him, where he brought him from, and he altered very much; he said, he brought him out of Hampshire, he had had him four months, and two months at the Straw-yard; Peatty was with him, and he spoke in behalf of the horse; and he said, he had known Carter from a child, that he was his countryman; he heard what Carter had been saying; Charles Ayley , after that, came to me and told me, he had every reason to believe it was his father's horse; I told him, the better way, then, would be to get two constables, and secure then; we got two constables, and secured them, at the Crown public-house; I sent the horse to my stables; Charles Ayley brought his father the next day, and he saw the horse, he claimed it, and instantly said, it was his horse; I have him now in my stables, he was lame of two feet; the bridle was on the horse when I took him, and has been in my possession ever since.

Q. Is it a common thing in the country to cut off the winkers? - A. No; I never knew them cut off before.

Cross-examined by Mr. Scott. Q. He asked you 10l. for it? - A. Yes.

Q. That is more than any man who had stolen it would have asked? - A. It was too much a great deal.

Q. You did not see Peatty in the possession of the horse at all? - A. Not at all that I recollect.

Q. He only recommended the man as having known him from his infancy? - A. Yes; and recommended the horse.

WILLIAM LETCH sworn. - I am servant to Mr. Ayley: I missed the horse on Friday morning, I saw him in the stable on Thursday night, he was locked up; there is a chain put up, and that is padlocked; I carried the key in doors; I was not the first at the stable in the morning; there is a witness here who was there before me; the lock had been picked; it was a lame gelding, with a star upon his forehead.

Q.(To Pope). Is the boy's an accurate description of the horse? - A. It is.

Letch. Cross-examined by Mr. Scott. Q. You did not lock the stable door yourself? - A. Yes, I did.

Q. Are you quite sure of that? - A. Yes.

Q. You don't know how the horse got out of the stable? - A. No.

SAMUEL CORNE sworn. - I am a labouring

man; I work for Mr. Ayley: I came into the yard, on Friday morning, about six o'clock, there was a horse out in the yard, not the horse that was stole, and I took him by the mane, and led him to the stable, the stable-door was a-jar; there is a chain goes across the door, with a padlock, but I did not look to see how it had been opened.

Cross-examined by Mr. Scott. Q. You know nothing of this padlock and chain? - A. No.

Q. You don't know whether it was broke, or picked, or any thing about it? - A. No.

Q. And you know nothing at all how this horse got out of the stable? - A. No, I do not.

Court. (To Letch.) Q. What time was it that you examined and found the lock was picked? - A. A little after six o'clock.

Mr. Scott. Q. Where did you see the padlocks? - A. Lying in the stable where the horses are.

RICHARD TILCOCK sworn. - I am a constable; I took charge of the prisoners at the Crown, and took them to the Compter.

THOMAS FAWCETT sworn. - I was with the last witness; Mr. Pope shewed me the horse, and I conveyed it to Mr. Pope's stables.(Mr. Scott took an objection that as the possession of the horse was not traced to Peatty, he ought not to be put upon his defence, which was over-ruled by the Court).

Carter's defence. I was in town the whole of Thursday night.

Peatty's defence. I was at home in my own house, from three o'clock till a quarter before eight in the morning.

For the prisoner Peatty.

JOHN BATEMAN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Scott. I have lodged with Peatty upwards of five years, in Black-horse-yard, Rathbone-place: on Thursday the 25th of January, I went home about eight o'clock at night, and staid till eleven with Peatty in his apartment, and when I left him, he was preparing for bed, I left him with his wife going to bed in his room, and to the best of my belief, he slept at home that night.

Cross-examined by the Court. Q. What are you? - A. A chaff-cutter; I work at the George and Blue-boar in Holborn, I have worked there upwards of three years.

Q. What is Peatty? - A. A chaff-cutter.

Q. Has he kept the house all the time that you have lodged with him? - A. He has kept the house, I believe, near ten years.

Q. How many lodgers are there in the house? - A. Only myself and his son.

Q. How do you know it was the 26th of January, rather than the 26th of December? - A.Because he was taken up the day after.

Q. You did not see him from eleven o'clock till after he was taken up? - A. No.

JOHN PEATTY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Scott. The prisoner is my father; last Thursday was three weeks, in the evening of the 25th of January, he was at home when I came home from work at ten o'clock, and I went to bed at eleven; I left him undressing himself to go to bed, I saw him getting out of bed the next morning, about half past seven o'clock, I slept in the room adjoining, he called me up, and I went to him.

ELIZABETH BISHOP sworn. - Examined by Mr. Scott. I know Peatty, I keep the Black-horse-yard, Rathbone-place; Carter came down the yard about eight o'clock, and asked if Peatty was there; I told him he was removed from there to No. 10, Little Howland-street, he asked me leave to put a horse in the stable, I told him he might, he went in search of Peatty, and they came down the yard together; Peatty told me, he was going to Smithfield with the man to sell the horse, that was the day that they were taken up.

Q. What day was it? - A. Three weeks ago to-morrow, and the Sunday following, I heard that they were taken up; I have known Peatty 15 years, I never heard any thing against him in my life.

Court. How long had Peatty changed his lodging? - A. A short time before, it might be at Christmas, I cannot say, he rented a place in the yard of 10l. a year, he lived there ten or a dozen years.

HANNAH HILL sworn. - Examined by Mr. Scott. I live in Gower-mews, Gower-street: On Friday the 26th of January, I was going to the butcher's, and met Carter with a horse, it was a bay-horse, he asked me, if I knew Peatty, I said, yes; he asked me, if I could tell where to find him, he understood he had charge of the yard; I told him, no, he was not in the yard.

Q. He was not in what yard? - A. Gowermews, that was about eleven o'clock in the day; I have known Peatty several years, I always understood him to be an honest upright man, he has worked for us, my husband keeps Hackney-coaches; Peatty used to live in the Black-horse-yard, Rathbone-place, but he has lately moved to No. 10, Little Howland-street, I did not then know that he was moved.

Mrs. Bishap called up again. - Mr. Scott. Q. Was any offer made to you of this horse? - A. Yes, it was a bay horse; I asked him the price, and he said 10l. the horse was very lame, he is a dealer in old cast off horses.

The prisoner Peatty also called Mr. Abraham O'Connor , a surgeon, who had known him between seven and eight years, and four otheres who had known him from ten to fifteen years, who also gave him a good character.

CHARLES AYLEY called again - Q.How far is your father's house from town? - A. About 21 miles.

For Carter.

JAMES RYCROFT sworn. - Examined by Mr. Scott. I live at Mr. Shirley's, No. 20, Knights-bridge; I lodged in the same house with him six months, I slept in the same room with him the night before he was taken up; I came in about eleven o'clock, and asked him if he had seen Mrs. Shirley, he said, he had not; I told him she wanted to speak to him; I went to sleep after that, and saw no more of him-that was this day three weeks; the next morning Mrs. Shirley asked me, if I had seen him, and I told her he went out as soon as it was light, I did not see him go.

ROBERT GREEN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Scott. I am a bricklayer, I live at No. 20, Knightsbridge; I lodge in the same room with the prisoner, I saw him about seven o'clock on the Friday morning, when I got up and went out; I have known him about six months.

Court. Q. What business is he? - A. I do not know.

Court. (To Ryecroft . What business is Carter? - A. He deals in horses .

WILLIAM PEPEAU sworn. - Examined by Mr. Scott. I am a butcher, I live at No. 2 Knights-bridge, but I lodge at Mrs. Shirley's, in the same room; I went out at seven o'clock on the Friday morning the 26th of January, and left him dressing himself.

Court. Q. How do you know it was the 26th of January? - A. I left the lodgings that day.


Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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