JOHN LOWTHER.
12th September 1798
Reference Numbert17980912-20
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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485. JOHN LOWTHER was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 21st of August , a wooden shew-board, value 6d. thirty pair of gold ear-rings, value 14l. five pair of composition ear-rings set in gold, value 15s. a base metal pin gilt with gold, value 4s. and twelve pair of gold wires for ears, value 36s. the property of John Sadler , in his dwelling-house .

MEDITATION SADLER sworn. - I am the wife of John Sadler, a lapidary and working jeweller , I live at No. 51, Snow-hill , we keep a shop: On Tuesday evening, the 21st of August, between the hours of nine and ten o'clock, the prisoner came in with an ear-ring, and asked me if I could match it; I told him, no, I had not any of the pattern; then he said I could make one to that pattern; I told him it would not answer the expence to make a new dye on purpose; he said I had odd ear-rings; I told him I might by accident; then he said, he would sell it, and purchase another pair; I did not feel myself willing to buy it, I did not chuse to buy it, I was very unwilling to serve him, but I felt myself overpowered; he asked me to shew him some ear-rings, I went and fetched a deal shew-board from the window, which contained gold ear-rings, with some composition and paste pins; the prisoner put his hands on each side the board, and drew it to the edge of the counter, after holding up a slip of ear-rings to the candle; my lad looked under the man's hat and watched him; I heard a great noise like an iron crow, or a stout wire, and a great report upon the counter; no other person came in, but by some contrivance or other the drawer was drawn out at the door, and some of the things fell down at the prisoner's feet; I went to the door, being much frightened, and screamed out thieves, the man continued in the shop; there was a corporal going past came up to my assistance; the prisoner was then going to run out with the ear-rings, but he knowing the corporal turned back, and put them down upon the counter, and then the constable came in and secured him.

Q. What became of the board? - A. It went clean out of the shop, I never heard of it again.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. I take it for granted the same account you have given to-day you gave before the Magistrate? - A. Yes.

Q. The prisoner came in with the ear-ring in his hand? - A. Yes.

Q. Your shop was a shop that a person would naturally report to if they wanted ear-rings, or wanted an ear-ring mended? - A. Yes.

Q. When these ear-rings were upon the ground, the prisoner at the bar was picking them up, and you called thieves at the door? - A. Yes.

Q. And did he continue picking up the ear-rings after you had cried out thieves? - A. Yes, before and after.

Q. You saw no hand at all? - A. No; I am sure there was no hand came in the shop at all, nor no person.

Q. Any person, besides the prisoner, might have been under this place and moved the board? - A. No, I am sure there was nobody else.

Q. How far is the shop-door from where this place was? - A. About a yard.

Q. Were not the hands of the prisoner above the counter at the time you heard that noise? - A. I cannot swear as to that, either one way or the other.

Q. Should you recollect the pattern of the earring, if you should see it, that the prisoner brought? - A. I think I should.

Court. Q. What did you lose? - A.Thirty pair of gold ear-rings, five pair of composition ear-rings, partly gold and partly composition, a gold locket, twelve pair of gold wires, three paste pins, and a base metal pin.

JAMES M'DOWAL sworn. - I had been teaching some gentlemen their exercise: As I was coming a few doors above Mr. Sadler's I heard a cry of thieves, I made what haste I could; when I came there the last witness was at the door, unable to speak, and the prisoner picking up the ear-rings in the shop, and coming to the shop-door I went into the shop, and said, here is the thief, I know him; and then he turned to the right-about, quick time, and threw the things down upon the counter.

Q. Did you know the man before? - A. Yes.

JOHN OSBORN sworn. - I am a constable; I only apprehended the prisoner, that is all I know of it.

JOHN HORTON sworn. - I live at No. 17, Union-court, Holborn; I am an apprentice to Mr. Sadler (produces a board); this is a board of the same size that the man took away.

Prisoner's defence. I had broke an ear-ring in a young woman's ear, she took the other out of her ear; I went to this gentlewoman's house to get it matched; she said she had not any; she agreed to to allow me 10d. for the odd one; I told her I would buy a new one; some person came in unknown to me, and snatched them off the counter; I stopped to pick up some that were fell down and put them on the counter; knowing the soldier, I desired him to come in and speak for me.

Court. (To M'Dowall.) Q. Did he desire you to speak for him? - A. No, he did not.

MARY ATTERBURY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knapp. I know the prisoner at the bar; he beat me, gave me several blows, and struck me, and broke my ear-ring; he said he would go and get another if he could match it, and he said if he could not match it, he would buy me a new pair.

Court. Q. What are you? - A. A sailor's wife.

Q. How do you get your bread? - A. I washed for this young man, and he struck me because I had not washed his linen as well as I should; he took that liberty because I was an unfortunate woman.

JOHN MANBY sworn. - I am a butcher's porter; I live in Snarp's-alley, Cow-cross; I work in Fleet-market; the prisoner has been my servant off and on for fourteen months, and is a hard-working, industrious young fellow.

GUILTY Death . (Aged 23.)

Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.


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