1st July 1807
Reference Numbert18070701-3
VerdictNot Guilty

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420. RICHARD ANDREWS was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 30th of April , a box, value 3 s. a silver tea pot, value 7 l. a silver bason, value 4 l. a silver milk pot, value 1 l. two pair of silver salts, value 4 l. four silver table spoons, value 2 l. two gravy spoons, value 1 l. six silver tea spoons, value 1 l. the property of James Harris , in his dwelling house .

Second count for like offence, only stating it to be the property of James Stonehouse Harris .

The case was stated by Mr. Gleed.

JAMES HARRIS . - Mr. Gleed. What are you by profession. - A. I am a surgeon ; I have resided at the corner of Harpur-street, near Red-lion square .

Q. Did the prisoner at the bar lodge with you. - A. He did, he lodged with me in the years 1800 and 1801. His family consisted of his wife and three sons, two servant maids, and a servant man.

Q. The house that he lodged in belonged to you. - A. It did.

Q. Your daughter was married to Mr. James Stonehouse Harris . - A. Yes, he bore a commission in the army .

Q. Was any thing deposited in your custody by him. A. A box of plate in the year 1800; that was in my custody during the time the prisoner lived in my house. There was a silver tea-pot and other silver articles in the box; my daughter had the key, and I had the box. About nine o'clock one morning in April or May 1802, the prisoner came down; I was in the act of shaving myself, he looked about the room, the cupboard door happened to be open, he saw the box of plate, he asked what it was, he took it down and shook it; I told him to put it back again, and I might tell him it was Mr. Harris's plate. that he had left it under my care while he was gone to the West Indies; I then was sent for into the shop by my young man: it might be ten minutes before I returned again. The prisoner had then taken the box of plate up stairs into his own room. I went up stairs immediately to him, I asked him what he meaned by taking the box; I saw the box in his apartment, it was open, and the plate was on the table. He told me he would put the plate in the box again directly and bring me the box down stairs. I was sent for again into my shop, a person wanted to see me in a hurry; I returned in about five or ten minutes up stairs. The prisoner and the box of plate was gone. After diner I saw the prisoner; I asked him about the plate, he said, my good man, you shall have it in the evening, I was very much distressed about it, he tried to pacify me, but he never brought it; I made frequent applications to him about it; he always refused to communicate where it was. The prisoner at this time kept a carriage. I was not in a very good state of health at the time he lived in my house.

Q. What became of you after this - A. One morning after this he asked me to go with him in his carriage; I went with him to a Mr. Hill, that lives in a lane in Fenchurch-street; the prisoner went into Mr. Hill's; I remained in the carriage alone; he returned to me, he ordered the man to drive to Westminster; when we came to Westminster the coach stopped, he got out of the carriage; I thought he went into the hall, it was some time before he returned; when he returned a man came with him; I asked the man who he was, he told me he was a tipstaff, and that I was his prisoner; I said, your prisoner, for what? I never did any body wrong in my life; says he, that does not signify, be quiet. I said I did not know how to be quiet; Andrews said, my good man be quiet, every thing shall be settled in a little time; well then, says I, I will go with you. I did not know where I was going to. I was left in the King's bench, distressed enough, nobody then knew where I was but Andrews himself and the tipstaff; I was very ill a long while in the King's bench, which brought on me an epilepsy. During the time I was in the King's bench Mrs. Andrews called on me once. I was discharged from the King's bench in 1804, under the insolvent act. About a year after I was discharged I met Mr. Andrews near the Buffalo tavern, Bloomsbury-square; he was talking to a gentleman whom I did not know. I waited till he had done with the gentleman, and then I said how have you done this long while; he asked me to walk into a public-house, I refused. I lived then in Middle Row place.

Q. You did not return to the same house that you had left. - A. No, I did not return to Harpur-street, that house was let, and all the goods were gone. I walked with the prisoner after I had met him at the Buffalo's head, down Gray's Inn lane; I called at Mr. Best's, my butter shop, for him to assist me in taking the prisoner; I wanted him to send to Mr. Harris; the prisoner tried to get away. I laid hold of his coat, I begged the butterman to assist me in keeping the prisoner, I said he had robbed me. The master of the shop did not give me the least assistance, I was in a weak state, there were several people about the door, no one would give me any assistance; the prisoner got away, and I hallooed out stop thief; the prisoner got away, and I did not see him for some time. The next time I saw him I had a letter from a gentleman in the Bank; I went to the public office, there I saw him, and gave in every particular.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Then you mean to say that between the time of your being in the King's bench, and the time you saw the prisoner at the police

office, Queen's square, you never saw him only once. - A. Yes; only once in the bench; then I went to see Mr. Lessoo.

Q. Did you go before any magistrate at that time. - A. No, I was informed it would be of no use.

Q. Do you remember your being arrested at the suit of Mr. Baron, a druggist, before you went to the King's bench. - A. I do; I was surprised at it.

Q. That was before the transaction of the box of plate. - A. Yes, but no great while.

Q. Bail was given to the sheriff for your arrest. - A. I do not know, I was released.

Q. Then you did not at all understand at the time the tipstaff took you to the bench, that that was a surrender of your bail. - A. No.

Q. That we shall hear hereafter. - Then from the time of the box of plate being taken, down to your going to the King's bench, you were daily importuning Mr. Andrews for the box of plate. - A. I was, I wanted to get it myself.

Q. You thought him a most wicked and guilty man. A. I did.

Q. You told him you would not forgive him for that wicked act. - A. Yes, I told him so.

Q. Between the time of his taking the plate, and the time of his putting you in the bench, as you call it, how many times have you dined with him. - A. A few times. I was in hopes of getting the plate.

Q. What with dining and threatening, you were in hopes of getting the plate. - A. I was.

Q. You were so angry with him that you could never write to him that you loved him as a son. - A. No.

Q. Look at that letter, is that your hand writing. - A. It is. (The letter read.)

Addressed to MR. ANDREWS.

MAY 27, 1802

"Dear friend.

"I am positively assured part of the goods are sold, but without your knowledge; I love you as my son, and I believe you have affection for me as a father. Out of the notes accepted by me I had thirty pounds; that will not qualify this business, nor any other. If the goods are sold, it is but right I should know it - and it appears some are sold - if with your sanction, I hope I shall be out by Saturday.

"Yours, sincerely, J. HARRIS."

Q. Now sir, upon your being arrested about the time this plate was taken, you were not short of cash. - A. I was

Q. Being short of cash, I dare say it never occurred to you of pawning this plate to make a little money. - A. No, I never did do such a thing.

Q. To be sure it was your daughter's, it would be an awkward thing; have not you never told any body that you was sorry that you pawned the plate. - A. No, I never did.

Q. Just now that was true, that you never wrote that letter - did you never say that you was sorry for it, and that you consented to it - A. Do not ask me them questions, because I speak the truth.

JAMES STONEHOUSE HARRIS . - Mr. Gleed. You are the son in-law of the last witness. - A. Yes.

Q. In consequence of your going abroad to the West Indies, was any thing deposited with your father-in-law. - A. Yes, a box containing plate, a silver tea pot and other articles.

Q. At what time did you leave England. - A. On the 20th of February 1802; I returned in June 1803.

Q. Have you seen the plate. - A. It is at home; I did not think it necessary to bring the plate, as Mrs. Harris is detained at home; she is not able to come to identify it.


First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Lawrence.

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