George Clark.
13th April 1763
Reference Numbert17630413-24
VerdictNot Guilty

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174. (M.) George Clark was indicted for stealing one bank-note No 283, signed Benjamin Sabertine , bearing date London, 16 March 1763, for 200 l. one ditto No 21, signed Thomas Tomlinson , London, 9th of March 1763, for 100 l. one ditto No 240, London, 17th of Feb. 1763, value 25 l. one ditto No 82, London, 21st of Feb. 1763, for 20 l. one ditto No 81, London, 21st of Feb. 1763, for 20 l. one ditto, London, 8th of Nov. 1762, for 20 l. the said notes being due and unsatisfied, the property of Thomas Elrington , Esq ; against the peace of our Lord the King, and against the form of the statute in such case made and provided , March 31 . +

Thomas Elrington . On the 31st of March I being at the war-office about some business, I was desirous of seeing his Majesty as he was then passing by; I stept down to the door, and observed there was but a few people under the piazzas; my coat was open, having a charge in my pocket, I clapt my hand to it; one or two people came and placed themselves by my side, I believe there was a woman on my left side; I button my coat, and placed myself close to a pillar; I found some body push'd me behind, I turned about, I can't say I took so much notice as to say it was this man, but there were but two or three men by me at the time; I said, there is no occasion to push me now, there is no crowd here; a man said, I want to see, I want to see His Majesty going by immediately, I took my hand from off my pocket in order to take off my hat, two or three people cried, O ra! I felt something immediately at my pocket; I turned about, the prisoner was then on my right side, he got between me and the pillar, he turned about shuffling his hand in his pocket, so as to make me suspect him. I clapt my hand to my pocket, not being willing to accuse a person till I was sure. He went by me; I said, stop, sir, I want to speak with you. He did not seem to mind me much. I said, you have got my pocket-book; then he fell to running as hard as he could, and got as far as the Iron-gate-way, that being crowded, he could not get through very cleverly, which gave me an opportunity of getting up to him. I said, you have got my pocket-book, a thing of too much consequence to loose. He got from me, on which I cried out, stop thief; the crowd made way for me, and a man or two seized him. When he got near the Tilt-yard coffee house window, there was a seaman very officious to search him, he cried, search him, search him! said I, don't be so officious, I'll search the gentleman myself. It was a red leather pocketbook with the notes in it as mentioned in the indictment. I put my hands by the sides of his pockets, and found nothing there, I said, you are the man that picked my pocket, I insist upon carrying you before a magistrate. I brought him into the guard-room, and begged a file of musqueteers to attend him. The seaman, whom then I suspected to have an intention to conceal this man's roguery, went voluntarily before the Justice, and swore he saw the prisoner strive to make his escape from me. As we were going, the prisoner seemed a good deal confused, when he heard the consequences of the pocket-book, and said in a kind of flutter, he would give 50 l. that I had my pocket-book again, but if any honest person has got it, you may depend upon getting it again; then, said I, you have thrown it away; he said, no, I have not seen it. (He mentioned the several numbers names and sums of the notes.)

Q. (A note is put into his hand.) Look at this note.

Elrington. This I can swear to as one of them, it is No 82, payable to Henry Martin , signed Edward Stone , for 20 l. dated 21st of Feb. 1763.

There was also another of the notes negociated the same day, betwixt 4 and 5 in the afternoon, for 25 l.

Richard Devordack . I am acquainted with Capt. Elrington. I was near the Tilt-yard coffee-house when the King went by to go to the house. I saw the captain have hold of the prisoner, the prisoner got from him, and run just before the king came through the iron gate; after that I saw the prisoner run a second time, after that he was stopped; he was carried to the guard room, and from thence to Justice Fielding's. I asked him, why he run away from the captain if he was not guilty? He said, he was not the man. I said, I saw you run. He said, that is nothing to the purpose, I am not the man: he said, he was not uneasy, he could get security for ten thousand pounds for his good behaviour: he said also, he would give 50 l. that the captain had his book again, and if it fell into an honest man's hands the captain would have it again.

John Kirkland . I saw a mob and the captain running, he called out stop thief, he took the prisoner by the collar, the prisoner broke from him, and bobbed his head, and got into the mob, a sailor run and took him, and carried him into the guard-room.

John Vandicom . I was waiting to see his Majesty come through, and heard the gentleman cry stop thief, I went and took hold of the prisoner, and begged to search him. The gentleman suspected, I believe, I belonged to the prisoner, so I went with him to the Tilt-yard guard-room; he was searched, and a file of musqueteers guarded him to the Justice's. The gentleman had a coach; I thought he was going to charge me, but he said, no, he did not charge me; so I got up behind the coach. There I told the Justice I stopped the man, and searched him, and found nothing upon him. The captain said there was a sailor man whom he did not know but was concerned. So one came and snapt my a - c, and felt about me, and another came and did the same, but I had nothing about me. I never saw the prisoner in my life before that time.

Prisoner's Defence.

I am a cabinet and chair maker, and live in Cold-bath-fields, Gray's inn-lane. The captain took hold of me, I had just wiped my face, and put my handkerchief in my pocket; he said, had put his pocket-book in my pocket. I was myself, and going to Madam Heckshaw's to enquire after a kinsman that lived in the country.

To his Character.

Daniel Porter . I am a Chair maker, and live on Saffron-hill. I have known the prisoner between three and four years, I never heard any harm of him, he is a housekeeper, and works in the small way in the cabinet way, he always bore the character of an honest man, I look upon him as such.

Mary Jefferson . I live next door to the Angel in Islington. I have known the prisoner from an infant, he always bore a very good character, I look upon him to be a very honest man.

Q. How do you live?

Jefferson. I am a widow, and live upon what little I have.

Acquitted .


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