23rd October 1822
Reference Numbert18221023-21

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1508. JOHN SMITH was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Thomas Finer and Thomas Nowland , about the hour of ten in the morning of the 11th of October , at St. Andrew, Holborn (the said Thomas Nowland and others being therein), and stealing one watch-chain, value 3 l. , their property.

THOMAS NOWLAND . I am a watchmaker , in partnership with Thomas Finer . We rent a house in High Holborn, in the parish of St. Andrew ; we both live there, and pay the rent jointly. On Friday, the 11th of October, about ten o'clock in the morning, I was in the back part of the shop; the door was shut; I saw my partner's son come suddenly from behind the counter, open the door, and run out; I observed a pane of glass was cut, which was whole before. Some gold curb watch chains lay in the window, near the pane. Mr. Finer, junior, brought the prisoner back.

HORATIO FINER . I am the son of Thomas Finer . I was in the shop, about two yards from the window, and saw the prisoner and another boy at the window. I heard the glass crack, and then they walked away; I looked and saw it was broken, and a piece pushed in; I ran after the prisoner, and took him opposite Mr. Stanley's shop, but found nothing on him. He was very much frightened, and the moment I collared him said he had not broken the window, before I charged him with it. When I brought him back he said a boy pushed him against it.

EDWARD STANLEY . I live four doors from the prosecutors'. Between ten and eleven o'clock, I saw eight or ten people gathered round my window. I went out to see what they were doing, and saw a watch-chain in a woman's hand - this was about a quarter of an hour after the prisoner was secured. I asked her for the chain - she said it was hers. I took it from her, saying, I thought it belonged to my neighbour, and she might come with me. I took it to the prosecutors', but she went away. He claimed it. The prisoner was there at the time. It was found down my area. The woman said she was going by, and a little girl who was with her dropped the chain. One of my areas is very shallow, but the chain could not be reached without a stick. The woman herself had no stick, but a boy who stood there had one.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

Prisoner's Defence. They said they missed nothing.

MR. FINER. I did not say nothing was missing. I took him within a foot of Mr. Stanley's area.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 16.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Park.

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