2nd July 1817
Reference Numbert18170702-109
VerdictGuilty; Guilty; Guilty; Guilty

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1038. JOHN HOLMES , RICHARD JAMES , THOMAS DAVIS , and JOSEPH HOLLAND were indicted for stealing, on the 17th of June , forty-eight heads, value 1s.; one coat, value 1l.; thirty yards of lustring, value 9l.; thirty yards of fringe, value 10l.; one doll, value 6d.; one gown, value 5s.; and fifty yards of drugget, value 1l.5s. , the goods of George Colman , David Edward Morris , and James Winston .

SECOND COUNT. The same, only stating the goods to be the property of Joseph Neeld , Francis Fladgate , the said David Edward Morris and James Winston .

THIRD COUNT. The same, only stating them to be the property of Ann Henrietta Smith .

DAVID EDWARD MORRIS , ESQ. I am one of the proprietors of the Haymarket Theatre ; the other proprietors are George Colman and James Winston. On the 13th of June, I had occasion to go to the Theatre; every thing was in its usual state; I went again on the next day, which was Saturday, and close to the stage-door in Suffolk-street, I observed a doll which was used in the Theatre, and was kept in the ladies' wardrobe; it was not there on the 13th; and in the passage from Suffolk-street door to the stage, there was a quantity of black baize, and going towards the stage, I found a curtain was let down, and some scenes thrown across the stage; I found the things in a different state to what they were on the day before; there had been no performance-the pier-glass had been taken down in the green-room, and part of it taking away-there was writing on the wall-the door appeared to have been burst open-the whole seemed in the utmost confusion-the furniture of the King's box was taken out of the press, and put on a dresser, and appeared to have been packed up to be taken away; it was worth 50l. or 60l., the fringe was all of real silver - We found an iron crow-bar behind the dresser in the wardrobe - I compared it with the marks on the door-it fitted exactly. There was a box of beads opened, but none taken away - A candle had been left burning on the dresser-it was then out - I left every thing in the same state as I found it, and set persons to watch, in consequence of what I heard. On the Monday following, on the 16th, about half-past twelve o'clock at night, I went again and saw the doll, which had been in the passage, was removed, I went to the ladies' wardrobe, it was shut and fastened inside; the watchman and patrols who were with me forced it open, and we found the four prisoners there; they were taken into custody, and searched at the watch-house. On Holmes we found some beads, which appeared to be what I had seen in the box on the 14th. On Davis was found a large skeleton key, and I believe twenty-five smaller keys, and on Holmes we found a dark lantborn, and on one of them was found a phosphorus box; I then returned to the Theatre and found a helmet in the pit, and part of the furniture of the King's box was on the ground; the fifty yards of drugget was in the ladies' wardrobe, which was on the stairs on Saturday.

Cross-examined by MR. ALLEY. There are only three proprietors of the Theatre, only we three are included in the licence.

Q. Has not Mr. Colman's interest in the house ceased - A. I understand he has mortgaged his interest.

MR. WALFORD. Q. Does Mr. Colman act as one of the joint owners - A. He does, he exercises his vote as a proprietor, and those votes are carried into effect; he acts as a proprietor in every description of the word-no other person attends the meetings, or acts in the arrangements.

Cross-examined by MR. BROADRICK. Every thing appeared in the same state when I went on the Monday, except the furniture of the King's box; part of which was on the floor; the black baize was not in the wardrobe on the Saturday.

Court. Q. Who are Neeld and Fladgate - A. Trustees to Mr. Coleman.

JOHN FLEETHAM . I was with Mr. Morris at the Theatre, on Monday night, and found a skeleton key on James.

PHILLIP PILGRIM. I tried the key to the Suffolk-street door, it opened it. I found the beads on Holmes.

RICHARD JONES . I found seventeen skeleton keys, a turn-screw and a phosphorus box, in the wardrobe.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

ANN HENRIETTA SMITH. I have the care of the ladies' wardrobe-the furniture of the King's box is kept there; it was safe the last time I was in the wardrobe.

Cross-examined by MR. ALLEY. The doors were sealed at the conclusion of the season - I gave the key up - I consider myself responsible, and in possession of the property.

HOLMES'S Defence. We met four women at the corner of Coventry-street - they asked us to go with them-one of them said her father was one of the proprietors of the Theatre, and took us in - They went for some gin, and gave James the key to let them in. The watchman came and took us.

HOLMES - GUILTY . Aged 28.

JAMES - GUILTY . Aged 23.

DAVIS - GUILTY . Aged 28.


Transported for Seven Years .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

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