JOHN BROWN.
20th February 1799
Reference Numbert17990220-59
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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191. JOHN, otherwise JOSEPH BROWN was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 25th of January , a bay gelding, value 10l. the property of William Stevens .

WILLIAM STEVENS sworn. - I am a farmer at Poplar : I lost a bay gelding, but cannot tell whether it was taken out of my stables, yard, or field; my usual way with my horses is, to leave the stable-door open, and they run in and out of the stable as they like; the gates of my field were all locked, but not the stable-door. On the 24th of January, in the night, or early in the morning of the 25th, the horse was gone; my servant called me up about six o'clock, as near as I can guess, and told me of it; I said, which horse is it; and he said, Prince; and that very day, the 25th, I found my horse in Smithfield, tied up to the rail; I looked at him, and said to a man, of the name of Duffield, who is here, what is this horse to fell; he said, yes; I said, what do you ask for him; he said, thirteen guineas; says I, I should like to see him go a little, is he a found one; he said, he did not know; I said, is he a good drawer; he answered me, yes; pray how long have you had him; he said, sir, I had him this morning; says I, it is my horse, pray how came you by him this morning; he said, it was not his horse, but he was a servant to Mr. Life; I said, where is Mr. Life; he said, he would fetch him, but I would not let him go without me; I went with him to Mr. Life, at the King's-head, in Smithfield; he called to his master, and said, master, this is a stolen horse we have got here, this gentleman owns it; I had told the man, it was stolen from me, and I would swear to him; Life said immediately, I changed for him this morning, and I gave the man three guineas and a half, and a poney; I said, that is nothing to me, for if you do not find the man, I will keep you and your man both in custody; I sent the horse to the Rose and Crown, in Smithfield; and going across Smithfield with Life's man, he saw the prisoner at the bar upon a poney; Life's man went up to him, and said, that was a stolen horse Mr. Life had of you; I said, get off the poney, for the horse that you have been changing for him, belonged to me; says I, how came you by this horse; why, says he, I bought it yesterday in the afternoon, about three o'clock, at Epping; I said, who did you by it of, at Epping; he said, he did not know; says I, pray what might you give for it; he said, five guineas and a half. I then sent from the Rose and Crown, for an officer from Hatton-garden, and he was taken away. I never saw the prisoner before, to my knowledge.

Q. Are you sure that was your horse? - A. Yes, it was a bay gelding, about sixteen hands high.

Q. Are you sure it was on your premises, on the 24th of January? - A. I am not sure, for I have another farm; and I cannot say that I had seen my horse for three or four days; my servant is here, who looked after the horses.

JOHN LARKIN sworn. - I am servant to Mr. Stevens: I am certain I saw the horse that was lost, on the evening of the 24th, about seven o'clock; and when I get up in the morning, the first thing I generally do, is to get the horses in, and give them a feed; I got up about five o'clock, I found the other horses, but could not find that; it had been taken out at a gate at the bottom of the field, the gate was nailed up, with a chain to it; I saw the horse again, in the possession of the officer, at Hatton-garden; I know it to be my master's horse, I am sure it was the same horse. I never saw the prisoner till I saw him at Hatton-garden.

SAMUEL LIFE sworn. - I am a butcher, at Kingstand; I had a stable at the Bull, at Kingstand, I went, about nine o'clock in the morning, and the prisoner was there; he told me, he had got a horse in the stable that he would sell me; upon that, says I, I have got a little horse in the stable I will change with you; I had not seen his horse then; when I went into the stable, I saw the horse, says I, the horse is lame; he was lame of both his fore feet; I asked him, what I should give him difference, between my horse and his -

Q. Was your horse lame? - A. No, found; only blind of one eye. He said, I must give him six guineas; says I, your horse is not worth six guineas, I will give you three; I gave him three guineas and a half.

Q.What did you value your own at? - A. Three guineas. I gave him three guineas and a half.

Q. Who were present at that time? - A. My man and several more. I brought the horse to Smithfield-market, and tied it up to the rail at Smithfield.

Q. Did you buy the horse on purpose to make money of it? - A. Yes; I meant to have taken my own horse there.

Q. Did you know any thing of this man before? - A. I have seen him at our place several times.

Q. Had you bought any horses of him before? - A. Yes, some very low priced ones.

Q. Did you keep a shop at Kingstand? - A. No.

Q.What did you want a man for then? - A. I have other business, I go after killing of pigs, and what I can do.

Q. You do not want a man to kill the pigs? - A. I buy and sell pigs.

Q. That you can do without a man? - A. I want a man to help me drive them home.

Q. What business is the prisoner? - A. I do not know; he told me, he used to buy them to fell again.

GEORGE LONGDEN sworn. - I am an officer belonging to Hatton-garden; I was sent for to take the prisoner into custody, and I was directed by the Magistrate to take care of the horse.

EDWARD DUFFIELD sworn. - I am a butcher, I work for Mr. Life, he deals in different kinds of stock, he buys horses, or any thing.

Q. How long have you lived with him? - A. About three months; I went down to the Bull, at Kingstand.

Q. How many horses had you at the Bull? - A. Only two, I believe.

Q. Where were the rest? - A. We lend them to neighbours.

Q. Let them, you mean? - A. No, we never take any thing for them.

Q. How many did his stock consist of? - A. Five or six; he lent them for their victuals, as the weather was bad.

Q.What is the prisoner? - A. He told me he dealt in horses, and my master used to buy dog-horses of him; he deals in horses as he does in any thing else.

Q. You have not slaughtered any thing for Life a good while? - A. No.

Q. Have you done any act, as a butcher, since you have been with him? - A. No; he does not keep a shop now, he kills pigs for people, but does not keep a shop of his own.

Q. What do you know about this horse? - A. On the 25th of January, in the morning, I went to the Bull, to our stables, and the prisoner said, he had a horse in the stable to sell; I went into the stable and looked at it, while he was in the public-house; I said, I think Mr. Life will buy this horse of you, if you do not set too long a price; Mr. Life came down to the stables, and I told him there was a horse to sell; he went and spoke to the prisoner, and they agreed for it; he gave the prisoner three guineas and a half and a poney.

Q. What sort of a poney? - A. A very good poney, worth about three pounds, or three guineas, thirteen hands and a half high; he was blind of one eye.

Q. How long have you had him? - A. I think about three weeks or a month, I cannot speak to a week; we came to Smithfield in the afternoon with three horses; Mr. Stevens came up and asked me to shew him this horse out.

Q. Are either of the other horses claimed? - A.No, only that one.

Q.Was the horse that Stevens claimed, the same that your master bought of the prisoner? - A. Yes.

Q. How came you to tell Mr. Stevens it was a good drawer? - A. Only from thoughts; he was chased in the shoulder, and looked like a good drawing-horse, only he was lame.

Q.(To Stevens). Was your horse lame? - A. Yes; it is a little tender before, otherwise a very fine horse.

Prisoner's defence. The horse that I sold to Mr. Life, I bought at Epping on Thursday evening.

GUILTY Death . (Aged 22.)

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.


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