5th December 1781
Reference Numbert17811205-51
SentenceCorporal > public whipping

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59. THOMAS LEWES was indicted for stealing, on the 8th of November , one wooden firkin, and 56 lb. weight of butter contained therein , the goods of James Strange and Hamond Parker .


I am a porter to Messrs. Strange and Parker; I had been into Whitechapel with two firkins of butter to the Talbot inn, belonging to Mr. Strange and Mr. Parker; I carried two there upon the 8th of November, about twelve o'clock in the day: as I was coming up Houndsditch home, I saw the prisoner at the bar with a firkin of butter on his shoulder, on the left hand side of the way, I on the right; after he had passed me, I turned about, and looked after him; I saw him turn up Sandwich Court, that goes towards Devonshire-square, I followed him, and stopt him in Devonshire-square, because I knew it was my masters' property; while he was carrying it, I saw the mark upon the head of it; I asked him where he was going with the firkin of butter, he told me he was going to carry it to his master; I told him it was my masters' firkin of butter, and he should carry it back, and I made him carry it back again to my masters' shop. My master sent for an officer, and we sent him to the Compter.

Where had he got the firkin from? - I know I left two firkins with that mark at the door when I went away, it had a mark J M in chalk upon it, it was going to Stratford, I saw my masters' cut mark, besides the chalk mark; living many years with him, I knew the mark; I said it is a wrong thing of you to take such a thing away, at such a time of day; he said he did it through necessity.


Deposed, he was a Cheesemonger , in partnership with Hammond Parker ; that the firkin of butter was their property, he saw it when it was brought back; the empty firkin is in court.

Ward said he remembered that was the firkin found upon the prisoner.

To Strange. What was the quantity of butter in it? - Fifty-six pounds, value 30 s. I have laid it.


As I was going from Houndsditch, there stood a man with a firkin of butter, who said to me, my lad will you earn six-pence, to take this firkin of butter to Newgate-street; I said I was going to Catherine-wheel-alley, and he lifted it on my shoulder, and when this man stopt me, I thought it was the man that hired me, to give me six-pence. If I had stole it, I would hardly have carried it back to the shop with him.


To be publicly whipped in Bishopsgate-street, one hundred yards from the shop of the prosecutor , and then discharged.

Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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