Offence: Theft > theft from a specified place
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722. WILLIAM HARRISON CRAIG , alias KENYON , was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 14th of July , a sheet, value 10 s. a knife and fork, value 2 s. a pair of sugar-tongs, value 5 s. and two tea spoons, value 5 s. the property of Hannah Ball , in a lodging room .
HANNAH BALL . I live at No. 2, Church-court, Kensington , I let ready-furnished lodgings. On the 22d of July, the prisoner came to my house between twelve and one; I let him one room on the second floor, he was to give me half a guinea a week; he said it was the price he always gave; he was a tea-merchant in the city. He came in the same evening, before I could send for his character. He referred to a gentleman in Moorfields; my daughter went to the gentleman, he said, he did not know him. He went up with a parcel on the Sunday and took the key with him; he was not to come to sleep till the Monday evening; he then came and slept there. On Tuesday I missed the things, my sheet, towel, spoons, and tea-tongs were gone.
Q. Where did you find these things - A. He sent me a letter.
Q. Do you know his hand writing - A. I never saw him write.
Prosecutrix. They are my property.
Prisoner's Defence. Gentlemen of the jury, It is my humble hope and trust, knowing that I am come before a jury of my countrymen, to offer these few observations; although they may appear foreign to the charge, yet they are inseperably connected with the groundwork of my conduct. Gentlemen, I am unfortunately deserted and persecuted, and the persons I mean to ailude to are the appointed guardians to my wife and family. In their views they are fulfilling the voice of a dying parent, in persecuting the children. My brother was sent on board a ship at the Nore. I am the husband of the eldest child. I have been insulted by them in the grossest manner, and by them treated with indignation; our quarterly salary was diminished; not having it in my power to have redress from the law, I threatened them with manual punishment. I was plunged into a prison fourteen weeks by their power. I began to think I was to be sent after my unfortunate brother, and the only thing left for me to do, they told me, was by signing a certain deed to our disadvantage. I refused to do it, and at the same time I got bail; I absconded, and was a prey to the greatest distress. This was my fatal epoch; I was unable to appear in public, I was friendless and deserted; my infant son and dying wife made me do acts of the greatest dishonour; nothing but the most imperious necessity prompted me to act as I have done. I have a letter from the honourable Mr. Wilbeiforce, Member of Parliament, I beg leave to forward it to your Lordship, that you may be satisfied.
GUILTY , aged 20.
Transported for Seven Years .
Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.