15th January 1800
Reference Numbert18000115-44
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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114. JOHN THOMPSON was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 8th of January , a shawl, value 17s. the property of Robert Wreaks and Rees Price , privately in their shop .

ROBERT WILBERFOSS sworn. - I am an assistant in the house of Wreaks and Price; their names are Robert Wreaks and Rees Price : On Wednesday the 8th of January, the prisoner at the bar, a woman, said to be his wife, and another old man, came into the shop, about four o'clock in the afternoon, to look at some prints; I was engaged with a customer in the shop; the prisoner leaned himself down upon the counter, and gave his opinion of the different prints, and pointed to some upon a pile behind the pillar, I was taking some from them; upon shewing one, he said that was the kind that he approved of; I then observed him in the act as though he was putting something inside his waistcoat; I took hold of the top of his waistcoat, and said, what, have you not got something there that you fancy; he was not above a yard distant from where the shawl laid.

Q. Had you no suspicion then that he had taken something? - A. No; I tore down his waistcoat, and found the shawl of the prosecutor; I know it to be the same, we have some of the same kind, and it was of a peculiar fine fabric; it is worth seventeen shillings, I would give that for it.

THOMAS SAPWELL sworn. - I am a constable of Bishopsgate Ward, (produces the shawl); I received it from Mr. Price, one of the partners.

Wilberfoss. This is the same shawl.

Prisoner's defence. I was very much intoxicated with liquor, I was insensible at the time.

For the Prisoner.

CHARLES WRIGHT sworn. - I live at No. 8, Broker's-row, Moorfields: On the 8th of January, the prisoner came with his wife, and another man, about two o'clock, and purchased a bedstead; he asked the price of the bedstead, he was only asked a guinea and a half, and he said he would give me thirty-five shillings, and insisted upon treating me with a glass of rum, and they had a glass of rum a-piece.

THOMAS PELLING sworn. - I am carpenter of his Majesty's ship the Enterprize; the prisoner was carpenter's mat e, he has been under my direction four years; when he has had a little in a morning(I have known small beer get into his head) I have been obliged to use means that I should not have wished to have done.

Wilberfoss. The prisoner certainly was in liquor, and said he should plead the privilege of an Englishman; he said, it was of no use to stop him, he was a better man than Mr. Price; his wife said, she could not concieve what could induce him to do it; he said, it was of no consequence at all.

Pelling. I told him, the day after he was paid, that he should not go on shore; and he said he would go on shore, he would ask the captain for liberty to go on shore, and he sent his wife to the captain, and she got leave for him; I told him he was too stupid to go on shore, and if he did, he should leave his money with me.

GUILTY (Aged 40.)

Of stealing the goods, but not privately in the shop.

Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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