WILLIAM WATSON.
13th September 1827
Reference Numbert18270913-8
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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SECOND DAY. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14.

Second Middlesex Jury - before Mr. Sergeant Arabin.

1596. WILLIAM WATSON was indicted for stealing, on the 18th of July , at St. Paul, Shadwell , 1 gelding, price, 36l.; 1 saddle, value 3l. 10s.; 1 bridle, value 12s., and 1 martingale, value 10s. , the property of Richard Peck .

MR. BRODRICK conducted the prosecution.

RICHARD PECK . I am a corn-dealer , and live at Ford, in Middlesex. On Wednesday, the 18th of July, about two o'clock in the day, I stopped with my bay gelding at the Jolly Sailors public-house , Shadwell; I had been offered 36l. for it - it had a saddle and bridle on. When I got off the horse a little boy came up, and offered to hold it, but immediately after, the prisoner came and offered to hold it - he came up, and said, "Shall I hold your horse?" I hesitated for a moment, and he asked a second time - and thinking he had better have it, it being a spirited animal, I put the reins into his hand, taking it from the boy; I told him to take care of it - he said, "I will take great care of it, Sir;" I went into the house, and in less than five minutes heard an alarm; I came out, and saw a great dust in the road; the horse was gone; I went after it, but could not overtake it. I received information from the witness Hitchcock. The prisoner was taken into custody in about five weeks - I was with the officer when he was taken, and said to him, "You are the man who held my horse;" he said, "Yes, Sir;" he said he was the man. I have not seen the horse, saddle, or bridle since.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. He did not hesitate to acknowledge he was the person who held the horse? A. No; he said at once that he was the man - he said nothing in my presence about a man named Dean; I have heard of Dean, but not through the prisoner.

OSWALD CHARLES HITCHCOCK . I live with my father, at No. 46, John-street, St. George's in the East. On the 18th of July I was near the Jolly Sailors, and saw the prisoner holding a horse; a man named Thomas Dean came up to him, and said something, which I could not hear; I was three or four yards from them; Dean spoke in a low tone; I heard him murmur something, but could

not hear what he said - Dean then got on the horse, and rode away on it, and the prisoner ran down the next turning as hard as he could run - the prisoner gave the horse to Dean, but ran himself, in quite a contrary direction; he made no effort to stop Dean. I saw Mr. Peck come out of the house, and told him directly - I knew the prisoner and Dean before; I have seen them several times in company together, two or three times; I knew both their persons perfectly well.

Cross-examined. Q. How do you get your living? - A. I work at my father's business, he is a mathematical instrument maker; he does not live a quarter of a mile from the Jolly Sailors; it was about two o'clock; I was going to buy some dog's meat at the time; the horse did not stand at the Jolly Sailors, but four or five yards further on; the dog's meat shop is close to where the horse stood; I saw Mr. Peck' run out, and told him directly that I had seen the horse rode off by Dean and the prisoner, in quite a contrary road; I was not on the opposite side of the way; I knew the prisoner when he lived at the baker's, but never spoke to him; I cannot say that he knew me: I have seen him passing the end of our street, and seen him at Dean's house; Dean keeps a public-house; I went there once to throw for a looking-glass; I did not hear Dean ask the prisoner to let him have a ride - I swear that.

CHARLES SCOTT . I am a butcher. I was coming by the Jolly Sailors, and saw the prisoner holding the horse; I did not see any body go up to him, but afterwards saw Dean on the horse, walking; and, as I knew him, I spoke to him; he directly rode off as fast as he could go - I knew both him and the prisoner before - I have seen them together several times, and know they were acquainted.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you see Hitchcock there? - No; the horse was walking when I saw Dean on it; the prisoner was holding it when I passed; I went to buy some wood for a pig-sty, and as I came back, Dean passed me on the horse.

COURT. Q. You saw the prisoner holding the horse, was that as you went to get the wood? A. Yes, and as I came back I saw Dean on it; he was not above a hundred yards from the house - he was walking then.

WILLIAM DIGHT . I am an egg-merchant, and live in Back-road, Whitechapel, four doors from the Jolly Sailors. I saw the prisoner holding the horse at the corner of the Jolly Sailors; he brought it from there opposite to my door - I do not know the man; another man came up, and the man who had the horse said, "Get up;" the man got up, and rode off as fast as he could go, and the other man ran away in a different direction; the man rode away on a canter; I was standing at my door, and did not go from the house.

Cross-examined. Q. Did not the man gallop away as fast as he could go? A. Yes; he galloped away on a canter; I was standing at my door all the time - it made a dust on the road.

WILLIAM COLLINSON . I live in Wellington-place, Back-road, Shadwell, near the Jolly Sailors. I saw Mr. Peck get off his horse, and give it to a boy to hold; the prisoner came up, and said, "Let me hold it?" Mr. Peck at last gave it to him, and went in; I went in, and had a glass of ale; I heard an alarm, ran out, and saw nothing of the horse.

Cross-examined. Q. You did not see it rode away? - A. No; I saw the mob running in all directions.

JAMES KINGGETT . I saw the prisoner holding the horse - my eye was off it for two minutes, and when I looked up again it was gone.

JOSHUA ARMSTRONG . I am an officer. I apprehended the prisoner on the 24th of August, in Charles-street, near the Jolly Sailors; he said he lodged there; I had been looking after him several times, and have been some hundred miles to look for Dean.

Cross-examined. Q. You had been after him several times, was it not on this charge? A. Yes; I never saw him before. Mr. Peck said he was the man who held the horse, and he said "I did hold it."

Prisoner's Defence. (written.) I am innocent of the charge of stealing the horse. I was unfortunately the person who had it to hold while the prosecutor stopped at the public-house; and, to my great misfortune, I was brought up in the same neighbourhood with Dean, who rode off with it. He came up, and asked me to let him have a ride up and down the street, which I did, and walked by the side of him; I requested him to return back as the gentleman would be angry; he immediately rode off at full speed, and I have not seen the horse or Dean since. When the officer came to apprehend me, I said I was the person who held the horse, and gave them my name. I did not know he was going to ride away with it.

One witness gave the prisoner a good character.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 19.


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