10th July 1816
Reference Numbert18160710-44
VerdictGuilty; Guilty
SentenceDeath; Death

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720. THOMAS CLAYTON and JOHN CLAYTON were indicted, for feloniously assaulting John Hill , on the King's highway, on the 1st of June , putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, one watch, value 3l.3s. one watch chain, value 3l.3s. and one seal, value 2l.2s. his property.

JOHN HILL . On the 1st of June, I and my wife went to Whitechapel market , about ten o'clock, to buy a bit of meat. My mistress went to ask the price of it. Directly as she past me, the prisoner Thomas came and ran his head against my body. The small one is Thomas; and at that moment I felt my watch drawn from me. It was a sort of tortoise-shell case, and had Britannia and a ship in pins upon it. When I felt that, I saw Thomas Clayton throw his hand behind him, and there were two others in black coats came up at the same time. They came up close behind him, close to him. I never saw my watch after that. There was no body near Thomas when I felt my watch go from me. I then seized Thomas. I said, you are the person who has robbed me of my watch. In the space of about half a minute he held up his hands, and said, see here, I have not got any watch. I told him that he should go to the watch-house, and then the other two went away. Then the tallest of the two, who is now the other prisoner, came up again, and said, I am sure he is a respectable young man; he would not rob you of your watch. I had Thomas taken to the watch-house; and when he got there, he was well known. John was taken on the Tuesday following. At that time, Saturday he was not taken; but I described his person. He went away before the officer came up; but he was apprehended in consequence of my description. My watch was never discovered from that time to this.

SARAH HILL. I am with my husband. On the 1st of June, I was at Whitechapel market; I went up to ask the price of a bit of beef. I turned round to ask my husband if he would have it; and I thought John Clayton was talking to my husband; that is the tallest of the two. I thought he was talking to him. He was looking at him full in the face, and I looked at him for half a minute, and found they were not speaking, and with that I went up to him. It was at the side of the shop. There were two large lamps outside. I could distinguish his dress, and every thing, and he came before the Lord Mayor in the clothes; that man was John. I have not the least doubt about his being the person. I went up to my husband in the presence of the two prisoners, and asked him whether he had lost any thing. He said, yes; this lad had drawn my watch. He then had hold of the least prisoner, Thomas. Then the eldest got hold of me, and said; do you think a decent lad like him, could rob your husband of his watch; a decent lad like him. He is like a trad-sman's son. He was dressed as he is now, only he had a short white apron, and he looked like a working lad in a tradesman's shop. My husband told him to keep off; for if he did not, he should charge somebody with him. He said that to the tall one. Then Mr. Le Fevre came up and took the little one, and the big one turned up Whitechapel. My husband asked the lad where John lived; the little one did not speak, and my husband and Le Fevre took him to the watch-house; we were in the lower part of Whitechapel. I have no doubt whatever of them, by the lamps.

THOMAS LE FEVRE . I am a headborough belonging to the parish of St Matthew, Bethnal Green. I was in Whitechapel market on the 1st of June, about ten o'clock. I heard a person cry watch; he called watch louder than I speak. I was within a few yards of him and ran up, and he had hold of Thomas Clay

ton. Mr. Thomas Hill said, that that lad run his head into his body and drawed out his watch. John Clayton, I believe was, then gone. Mr. Hill said, there had been two more; but they were gone off. We went after the other two; but did not find them.

Thomas Clayton 's Defence. I was going home to my father's house, and I was shoved against this man, and he laid hold of me and shook me; and said, I had robbed him of his watch, and I was searched, and no watch was found.

John Clayton 's Defence. I am innocent of the crime that is charged against me, I was at different a place.

SUSAN ASHTON . I am servant to Mr. Roberts, the publican, who keeps the Jane Shore , in Shoreditch. I know the prisoner John Clayton . I have seen him at my master's house several times. The ast time I saw him there was on Whit Saturday. That is the Saturday before Whit Sunday. Greenwich fair was on the Monday following. The prisoner John was at our house about twenty minutes or a quarter of an hour before ten. Henry Matthews was with him, and another young man, whose name I can't bring to recollection. I am sure the name of one was Henry Matthews. He staid from about a quarter or twenty minutes to ten, to about half past eleven. He never went out to my knowledge during that time.

JOSHUA BRIDGET . I am a shoe-maker, and live in Halfmoon-alley, Bishopsgate-street. I know the prisoner John; but no more than by just speaking to him. I know the Jane Shore public house, in Shoreditch. I remember the last night that I was in company with him, was at that house. It was on the 1st of June, and a Saturday night. I first saw him about twenty minutes before ten, and he stopped there till half past eleven. I did not see any one else but him and me at that time. There was a young man afterwards joined us, named Henry Matthews. The prisoner and I were drinking together for about five minutes. and then Henry Matthews came in. Then we sat down and all drank together. Just before I came in the half hour chimes was just a going. The last witness was there all the time in the next box; I knew her name; it is Susan Ashton ; she is servant in the house, she attends that laproom. The prisoner did not leave the room during the time I have spoken of.

HENRY MATTHEWS . I am a Willow hat weaver, I happened to be in the Jane Shore public house, on the 1st of June last. I saw John Clayton there. Joshua, the last witness joined our company. I saw John, about twenty minutes or a quarter of an hour before ten that night, and I remained there until about half after eleven. To my knowledge John never quitted the house during that time.



London Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

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