14th February 1798
Reference Numbert17980214-30
VerdictNot Guilty

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173. JOHN WILLIAMS was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 22d of January , 80lb. weight of cheese, value 40s. the property of Joseph Peacock , privately, in his shop .

JOSEPH PEACOCK sworn. - I am a cheesemonger , at Ratcliffe-cross : On the 22d of January I lost two cheeses out of my shop; I was not at home at the time; I had left them in the shop, about three yards from the shop door, with some more cheeses; when I returned home at night, my wife told me the cheeses were gone.

Q. Is your wife here? - A. No. The next day the watchman, Downes, brought me down one of the cheeses; it was a cheese that had a crack in it.

- DOWNES sworn. - I am a watchman; I stopped the prisoner and another with the cheese. at the corner of Rupert-square, Leman-street, they were both covering the cheese with a pair of breeches; I went to lay hold of them, and the one that had the cheese ran away, and immediately dropped it; I stopped the prisoner, and he said he knew nothing of it.

Q. How far is this place from Mr. Peacock's? - A. He lives at Ratcliffe, I dare say a mile off; a man that is here picked up the cheese, it is cut in two halves.

Prisoner. Q. Did not I come up and offer to assist you, and ask what was the matter? - A. Yes; when I stopped him, he said he was come up to assist me; there were six or seven of them altogether; one of them was a good smart young man, bigger than what I am myself.

THOMAS NOADES sworn. - I keep a cobler's-stall, at the corner of Leman-street: On the 22d of January I got out of my stall, to take a pair of boots home, and saw half a cheese lying directly opposite the stall, not two yards from me; I turned about, and saw a little pair of breeches lie, I picked them up, and found them very heavy, and in them I found the half of another cheese, and about five doors farther I saw the watchman had got hold of the prisoner. (The cheese produced).

Downes. I never lost sight of the prisoner after I saw him covering the cheese.

Peacock. I know this to be my cheese, from the mark of the person I had it of, B.H. and my own mark besides, P.; I had not sold one of that kind of cheese for a month before; I had no other cheese that was cracked in this kind of way; I had forty or fifty of them, some of them I have had three months; the Cheshire cheese, which was the

largest cheese I had, laid on the top of this; the Cheshire cheese has never been found; I dare say it weighed 90lb.

Prisoner's defence. I had been to Wellclose-square, to get some steel to make tools for my brother, who is an ivory-turner; it being near ten o'clock, the shop was shut up; and coming up, I heard a noise, and I heard a man call out, and I ran up, and asked him what was the matter, and whether he wanted any assistance; a man came up, that was in liquor, and said, take him to the watch-house, and the watchman stood looking at me a long while, before he would take me to the watch-house; I asked the man what I should be taken to the watch-house for? and he said, he dared to say I was one of the gang; I went with him to the watch-house, and sat there till almost eleven o'clock, and the man brought the cheese up.

For the Prisoner.

ISAAC WILLIAMS sworn. - The prisoner is my brother; I am just out of my time, and I sent him for some steel to make me some tools; he is about sixteen; he has been errand-boy at several places, but was never put apprentice.


Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before


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