Joseph Adams.
25th April 1759
Reference Numbert17590425-20
VerdictGuilty > theft under 1s
SentenceCorporal > whipping

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164. (L.) Joseph Adams was indicted for stealing one plaster figure, value 4 s. the property of Benjamin Rackstrow , April 21 . *

Benjamin Rackstrow. On the 21st of April I was gone out upon business; when I return'd, I was told a person had stolen a little figure of Shakespeare, which I sell for about twelve shillings, and that the man was taken and committed. I went to Guildhall; there I saw part of the figure; I know it to be mine, by the manner of it's being repair'd; I know nothing of the prisoner, but by seeing him at Guildhall.

Richard Wilkins . I was coming through Mr Rackstrow's shop; I saw the prisoner at the bar with his head in the glass case, where this figure stood.

Q. At what time was this?

Wilkins. This was about a quarter of an hour before two in the afternoon, on Saturday last.

Q. Did not you speak to him?

Wilkins. No.

Q. Why so?

Wilkins. Because I was told there was a man suspected to be upon the same lay on the Friday, and I went on without disturbing him to tell them of this man.

James Hoskin . On Saturday the 21st of April I saw the prisoner at the bar come out of Mr Rackstrow's shop, with a figure in his hand.

Q. What figure was it?

Hoskins. It was a figure of Shakespeare, about twelve inches high. As I did not know but that he had bought the figure, I did not stop him; I went in and ask'd if that man had bought a figure; they said, no; then I went to pursue him; he went up Flower-de-Luce-court with it in his hand; then I follow'd him, and took him almost at the bottom of Fetter-lane; I did not see him sling the figure away; I brought him back; then the people said there was a figure in an entry belonging to a Corn-chandler's shop; I went and found it, and brought the prisoner and that to Mr Rackstrow's shop; the figure being made of plaster, was broke by the fall; but I knew it again to be the same, and that it was in his shop when I went to dinner that day.

Q. Where is his shop?

Hoskins. In Fleetstreet.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was going to Charing-Cross; I saw some people stop at this shop; I look'd into the shop, but never went in. Then I was thinking to go and see an acquaintance in Holborne, to have a pint of beer; so was running along to go there, when they stopp'd me; I never saw the figure?

For the prisoner.

Ralph Adams . I have known the prisoner ever since he was in petticoats.

Q. What is his general character?

Adams. I never heard any thing amiss of him in the whole course of my life before this.

Q. What is his business;

Adams. He is a bird-cage maker .

Henry Adams . The prisoner is my son.

Q. How has he behav'd?

H. Adams. He work'd; but I can't tell how he came to go out at noon-day to do this thing.

Guilty, 10 d .

[Whipping. See summary.]

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