27th October 1790
Reference Numbert17901027-45
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty
SentenceMiscellaneous > fine

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733. JOSEPH MARRIOTT and JOHN SIMPSON were indicted for stealing, on the 17th of September last, a quart of wine, called Lisbon, value 18 d. and seven glass quart bottles, value 2 s. the property of John Bedford .

(The case opened by Mr. Knowlys.)


I was a waiter at the King's-head at Longford , the 17th of September last: the prisoner Marriott was quartered there: Simpson was quartered at the White Horse, but his horse stood at our stables; I was backwards looking through a window, about four in the afternoon; we went across the yard to the wine-cellar; I was going into our beer-cellar; and there is a window on the left hand by which you may see into the wine cellar; and I saw Marriott take one bottle of wine up, and look at it, and set it down again; then he took another, and clapped it under his jacket, and went

up to his bed-room; no other person was near him; he got up from the cellar by a ladder which comes near the cellar; I went immediately and told my mistress.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel. If any body else had been with Marriott, you must have seen it? - Yes.

There was nobody with him? - No.

There was nothing else taken at that time? - No; the maid was in the cellar at the same time; the man did not go into the cellar; he leaned against the post, and reached round his arm; the maid must have been within two or three yards of him.

Is she here? - No; I do not know what she was doing; she made no complaint.

How long was Marriott doing this? - Not above ten minutes.

In broad day-light, and the maid in the cellar? - Yes.

Mr. Knowlys. Is this cellar in which the wine was, one entire cellar, or is it divided? - It is in two parts.

Which part was the maid servant in? - I cannot tell; I could only just see the cellar door.


I am wife of Mr. John Bedford , who keeps this King's-head. In consequence of the boy's information, I saw Joseph Marriott take the bottle of wine out of the cellar, and put it under his jacket, and take it up into his room: John Simpson immediately followed him; Simpson was waiting for his horse; they went out partly in ten minutes; Simpson was just by, in the coach-house; they went out on duty, and came back before we could get the constable; they were absent some hours: on going up with the constable, Simpson unlocked the box readily, as the constable said he would break it open; they first said there was nothing of ours in the box; Simpson refused to let the constable take the man without his leave; in the box was a bottle of Lisbon wine, which I can swear to corking the night before; under the bed was some empty bottles, which had a loose cloth thrown over them; the constable asked Simpson how those bottles came there? and Marriott and John Simpson said they were bottles they made water in; I can swear to the bottle; I marked it myself the day before.

Had they been in the habit of buying wine at all of you? - No, Sir, never.

Mr. Garrow. Who was this servant that was in the cellar? - A maid servant that had lived with us but a very little while, a chamber-maid; when we were busy, we sent her into the cellar.

She of course was intrusted to carry wine to any part of the house, and occasionally to receive the payment for it? - Yes.

Simpson was in the place where his military duty led him? - Yes.

Now with respect to his opposing your taking the man, that was a foolish notion that the civil power is not greater than the military? - Yes.


I am headborough. Mr. Bedford came himself; I went up, and first took Marriott; he made very little resistance; he said he thought it was a bastard child; I said it was a charge of felony; the serjeant said, what! without asking me; I said, if you are the serjeant, I hope you will help me; I went into another room with Marriott; and he asked me what it was? I told him; he said he had nothing in his box; I said, I will open it; Simpson had the key; in the box I found these two bottles; one is as full as they generally are.

(The full bottle deposed to.)

Mr. Garrow. In the state it is in, do you mean to swear to any mark that is upon this cork? - Yes.

(Shewn to the jury.)

There is a crack in the cork; and I had chalked the crack, but being in the box, it had rubbed some off.

Did you chalk any more? - I chalked several dozens.

Mr. Knowlys. At the time it was found in the box, had it the mark upon it that you had put on those bottles of Lisbon? - Yes.


The day this wine was found, I had been helping them in the cellar; both in the ale-cellar and in the wine-cellar; all the time I had to spare; they had been bottling a great deal of wine; and I found this bottle of wine in the manger, which is quite close to the cellar door; I heard some talk of setting mens water there to play people tricks; and I looked at it, and I took it up and put it into my box; and as we were going to the justice's, she said she would value it at six-pence.

Captain HENRY TEMPLER sworn.

I am an officer in the Prince of Wales's own regiment of dragoon s. The two prisoners are both in that regiment: I have known Simpson upwards of seven years: he has the best of characters, both as a soldier, and a private character; he has ever been much respected in the regiment as an honest man and a good soldier: I never heard any thing against Marriott's character; he has ever behaved with honesty, I believe: the serjeant, I had more opportunity of seeing his private character; I never heard Marriott accused of doing any thing dirty, or unworthy an honest man.


I am an officer in the same regiment. I have known Simpson two years and a half; he was always perfectly honest; and as I had an opportunity of seeing him, and judging of his conduct, having had him under my command: I have known Marriott the same time; always a good character.

If they were acquitted, would they be received into the regiment? - Undoubtedly.

Mr. Garrow. I will not call others to their character.

Court. No, their characters are very well established.


Fined one shilling, and discharged .


Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice HEATH.

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