11th September 1799
Reference Numbert17990911-98
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceCorporal > private whipping

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480. LEONARD HOLE was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 21st of June , fifteen ounces of tobacco, value 3s. the property of Thomas Seal .

THOMAS SEAL sworn. - I am a tobacconist , I live in Whitechapel-road; the prisoner was a servant of mine about two or three months, I am not certain of the time: On the 21st of June, I had some suspicion I had been robbed, and I ordered the men into the accompting-house, when they were leaving work, in order that they might be searched; I found upon the prisoner, when it came to his turn, about fifteen ounces of tobacco, in his waistcoat-pocket; I took the tobacco and folded it up in a sheet of paper, and gave it to my shopman; I then sent for an officer, and he took him into custody, and upon his examination next day, I was bound over to prosecute; he begged that I would forgive him, and for God's sake that I would not take him into custody, I do not recollect the precise words; he begged that I would have mercy on him.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. I believe you have known the prisoner some years? - A. I have.

Q.And, in consequence of the good character he has maintained, you took him to be an honest man? - A. He has certainly bore a very good character; he has been an unfortunate, but I believe an honest man.

- ABBOTT sworn. - I am shopman to Mr. Seal: I did not see the tobacco taken from the prisoner; Mr. Seal gave it to me. (Produces it).

Mr. Gurney. Q. Have you had it ever since in your possession? - A. Yes.

Q. It was left at the office was it not? - A. Yes, and I went for it; it was sealed up, and I know it to be the same.

Seal. The tobacco delivered to Abbott, I am sure, was my property.

Abbott. This is the tobacco I received from Mr. Seal.

Prisoner's defence. It was tobacco that I had saved up from what was given me of an evening, to make a present of.

Seal. The tobacco we give them is perfectly finished, and cold; the tobacco I took from him was warm, and the same description of tobacco he had been at work upon; and there is a particular smell that betrays it at once, whether it is just took off the stove or not.

Q. A man being at work near the stove, with tobacco in his waistcoat-pocket, it might produce nearly the same smell, I should think? - A. It might in some degree.

The prisoner called three witnesses, who had known him from twenty to thirty years, and who gave him an excellent character.


The prisoner was recommended to mercy by the Jury.

Whipped in the jail , and discharged.

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

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