20th October 1831
Reference Numbert18311020-12
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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Third Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

1968. THOMAS DAVIS was indicted for stealing, on the 23rd of October , at St. Marylebone, 3 coats, value 12l.; 3 pairs of boots, value 15s.; 1 pair of trousers, value 4s.; 1 pair of breeches, value 10s.; 3 pairs of drawers, value 8s.; 2 waistcoats, value 6s.; 6 shirts, value 20s.; 1 handkerchief, value 1s.; 3 table-cloths, value 1l.; 2 bags, value 10s.; 2 forks, value 20s., and 3 knives, value 3s., the goods of George Reid ; 1 coat, value 4s.; 1 pair of trousers, value 1s., and 1 handkerchief, value 6s., the goods of Robert Jones , in the dwelling-house of the said George Reid .

ROBERT JONES. I am butler to Mr. George Reid, who lives at No. 8, Clarence-terrace, Regent's-park, in the parish of St. Marylebone , and is a gentleman . The prisoner came into his service as footman on the 22nd of June; he slept in the house, and left about five o'clock on Sunday morning last - he had received notice about the 29th of September, that if he did not like his situation he was at liberty to go, as he had made a complaint, but he gave no notice of his intention to go; the servants usually got up about seven o'clock - I got up at a quarter before seven, and he was then gone; I had seen my coat, trousers, and handkerchief on the Saturday; I brushed the coat about ten o'clock in the morning - it was safe in the servants' hall; I never gave him permission to use my things - the coat was worth 4s., the trousers 1s., and the handkerchief 6d., not 6s. - it was a black silk cravat, rather worn; the prisoner never came back - he had not received his wages; I have the care of my master's wardrobe, and when he left I missed the property stated in the indictment - this paper was found on the table in the hall after he left; I have seen him write, and believe it to be his hand-writing - I missed the articles stated in the indictment; (enumerating them) they were all taken out of the house at one time - they had been worn; I value them altogether at between 30l. and 40l., but I believe, in the indictment, I valued them at about 17l.; he was taken about eight o'clock that morning - Robertson, the headborough, brought part of the things to me, and Jacobs produced some others.

Prisoner. Q. Can you swear when you saw these things last in the wardrobe? A. I set the wardrobe to rights on the Friday, and did not miss any thing; to the best of my knowledge every thing was there then.

Prisoner. I had taken the things out of the wardrobe above a week before. (Paper read.)

I am a soldier brave and bold, as ever went to sea, And the few things run away with was for a spree.

JOHN ROBERTSON . I am a constable. I apprehended the prisoner on the 23rd of October, in Worship-street, Shoreditch: I found a carpet bag, and apparently the cover of it, both filled with clothes - he was walking up Worship-street with them over his shoulder; one bag in front, and the other behind; they contained three coats, three pairs of boots, a pair of trousers, a pair of breeches, three pairs of drawers, two waistcoats, six shirts, a handkerchief, three table-cloths, a silver knife, a common steel one, and three common knives; he had in his pocket six sovereigns and 12s. 6d. - he told me he had left his place for a month, and that it was at No. 12, Berkeley-square - Jones claimed the things as his master's; I found a paper in his pocket, through which I found the owner.

JOHN JACOBS . I live at No. 246, Shoreditch - I buy and sell clothes. The prisoner came to my house on Sunday morning last; I never saw him before - he asked if I bought old clothes; I said Yes - he said he had got some at his lodgings; I went with him to a public-house opposite Shoreditch church - he brought out two bags, and told me he would come down to my house, and I should buy them of him; he brought the bags to my house about a quarter to eight o'clock that morning - the first article he showed me was an olive double breasted coat, quite new, and asked 30s. for it; I value it at 4l. or 5l. - he then showed me two coats, and asked 20s. each for them; I asked how he came by them; he said his master gave them to him - I said, "I think they have hardly been worn, and I think them too good for your master to give you;" I told him to put them all into his bag, and I sent for the headborough, who took him to the station-house.

Prisoner. He asked me first if I wanted to buy any thing; I asked if he bought old clothes, which I had to sell - I asked him a price for them, and he offered me 2l.; and because I would not take that, I suppose he fetched the officer.

ROBERT JONES. I am confident all these things are my master's - I have examined them; the bags are also his - he had a written character with the prisoner.

Prisoner's Defence (written.) My Lord and Gentlemen, - I beg leave to assure you that so far from my being an old offender, or having and bad accomplices, I have only been five months in London, my native place being Market Overton, in the County of Rutlandshire. I had served two masters faithfully, and in all probability should have continued to serve the prosecutor with the same faith and industry, had I not been driven to despair by the bad usage of the butler, Robert Jones; it is true, I ought to have complained to my master, who I am sure would have seen me righted, but I was afraid to complain. I am, my Lord and Gentlemen, overcome with sorrow and shame- but I do trust that you will take into your consideration my youth, being only eighteen years old - that you will consider the respectability of my family, my father having been forty years high-constable of the County of Rutlandshire; my father died about three years since - my mother is alive, and will be heart broken when she hears of my disgrace. I do hope, my Lord and Gentlemen, you will consider these circumstances, and inflict as lenient a fine as the nature of the case can admit. My Lord and Gentlemen, I throw myself entirely upon your merciful consideration, in hope that my master will speak for me, and prove the character he received with me from Mr. Chapman.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 18.

Recommended to mercy by the Jury, on account of his youth and good character.

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