WILLIAM SMITH.
17th February 1820
Reference Numbert18200217-20
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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369. WILLIAM SMITH was indicted for stealing, on the 9th of February , at St. Mary, Whitechapel, two cows, price 36 l. , the property of William Morris .

WILLIAM MORRIS . I am a farmer , and live at Lee, in Kent , about seven miles from town. On Wednesday, the 9th of February, I missed two cows, and saw them on the Friday following at Joseph Martin 's of Mile End. I had issued hand-bills, offering a reward for them. I am certain they are mine.

JAMES MARTIN . I work for Mr. Morris. On the 9th of February, in the morning, I missed two cows, and found them at Martin's. I am certain they are my master's.

JOSEPH MARTIN . I am a cow-keeper, and live at Mile End; I know the prisoner perfectly well. On the 9th of February, between six and seven o'clock in the morning, I saw him in Whitechapel-road driving two cows, one was black and white, and the other red - he was crossing the road. I asked him where he was going to with the cows? he said to sell them at Romford-market. I asked him what he would have for the red cow? he said 10 l., and 14 l. for the other. I said if he would drive them into my yard, I would look at them; he drove them in, and I asked him where he came from? he said he came from Camberwell, and his name was William Smith . I said I would give him 20 l. for them both, but he must call for the money at five o'clock in the afternoon. He said they belonged to his father, who was seized on, and he sold them to make up a sum - he went away. When daylight came, on examining them I found they were worth much more money - I hired a horse, rode over to Camberwell, and enquired for Mr. Smith, but could find no such a man. On my return I found Freeman had been to see me about them. I went to Lambeth-street Office to him, and stated the particulars. By agreement, he came to my house at four o'clock, and waited there till a little after five, when the prisoner came for the money. I told him I had been to Camberwell, and found no such person there as Smith. He asked me why I did not tell him in the morning that I was going, and he would have gone with me to satisfy me.

Freeman then asked him where he got the cows from? he told the same story, and was taken into custody.

FRANCIS FREEMAN . I went to Martin's on Wednesday morning, understanding that two cows had been sold under suspicious circumstances; I found them there - Martin was not at home! he afterwards came to me, and desired me to come at four o'clock. I went, and waited till about five minutes after five o'clock, when the prisoner came. Martin said,

"You have come for your money are you? I don't much approve of my bargain; I have been to Camberwell, and made every inquiry, but can find no such person as William Smith ." He said,

"If you had told me you were going I would have gone with you, you have not been to the right place, or you would have found it." I then asked him whose property they were? he said they were the property of his father, William Smith , down a lane, near the Red Cap, Camberwell-green - I took him into custody. He said his father was in difficulties, and he was selling them to make up a sum. On Friday I found they belonged to Morris.

Prisoner's Defence. I was looking for a job, and met a man in the Kent-road, who said if I would meet him at the Bull, in Kent-street, between five and six o'clock in the morning, he would give me a job - I met him. He said he was going to Romford, and told me to drive them through Whitechapel, and if any one asked me where I was going to, I was to say to Romford-market. I met this man, sold them to him for 20 l., and said they belonged to my father. I saw the man again, and he sent me for the money.

GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 24.

Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Graham .


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