8th September 1773
Reference Numbert17730908-16
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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531. (2d M.) GEORGE BROWN was indicted for that he on the king's highway, on Charles Jacob Sheffield , did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a gold watch, value 10 l. a gold watch chain, value 3 l. a cornelian seal set in gold, value 10 s. and 6 s. in money, numbered , the property of the said Charles Jacob Sheffield , July 16 . +

Charles Jacob Sheffield . On the 16th of July, between ten and eleven in the evening, coming to town in a post-chaise, I was stopped at Knightsbridge by three foot-pads; they demanded my money and watch; I gave it to them; it was a gold watch.

Q. Had they any arms?

Sheffield. I cannot say I saw any. I lost my

watch and chain that cost me 40 l, and some few shillings in silver.

Q. Did you ever get your watch again?

Sheffield. No; a part of the chain and seal is in Court; Sir John Fielding sent for me, and there I saw these; (the seal and part of the chain produced): the other part of that chain was produced, which is the principal part that I can swear to, but the woman who had it is no more; her name is Elizabeth Grey : I can swear to the seal: I am sure it was to the watch.

Q. Is the seal fixed to part of the chain?

Sheffield. No; it was when I lost it; but was separate when I saw it at Sir John Fielding 's.

William Morris . I am a jeweller: I have the seal; it was brought in by a person very dirty he said he had picked it up; I was at first doubtful whether it was gold or not; it is a very coarse sort; I gave half a crown for it, which is more than the value of it.

Q. Do not you know the person that brought it?

Morris. No; he was dressed like a workman; I believe the prisoner is the person.

Cross Examination.

Q. You doubted first before Sir John that he was the man?

Morris. Yes.

Q. You are not certain he is the man now?

Morris. No.

Court. How was he dressed when he came to sell the seal?

Morris. In the same clothes he has now, and a blue apron; when before Sir John Fielding he had a great coat and no apron.

Q. Have you any reason to doubt of its being the person?

Morris. I have no reason to doubt of it.

Robert Cross . I live in Cornhill, with Mr. Maddison, a silversmith; I bought this bit of chain of a young man on Saturday July the 17th; he had a red waistcoat and blue apron on, and I believe a light coloured coat; I cannot swear to the person; I think it is the prisoner.

Q. Have you any doubt in your own mind about it, whether he is the person or no?

Cross. No.

Prosecutor. I have seen the piece of chain, I cannot swear to it, mine was exactly the same pattern.

Cross Examination.

Q. I should be glad to know the reason why you should be so certain he is the man now, when you had before said you was not certain?

Cross. and I look at the man and look at his d I have no doubt of it.

Samuel Robertson . One James Field , the prisoner, and I stopped this man: James Field was executed last Wednesday. It was between Kensington and Knightsbridge.

Q. Was it light enough to distinguish the person robbed? do you know him again?

Robertson. No; it was between ten and eleven o'clock: Brown stood at the head of the post-chaise, and I and Field robbed the gentleman; we took from him some money, a gold watch, and a gold chain.

Q. to Morris and Cross. How came the goods to be traced to your hands?

Cross. By his information at Sir John Fielding's.

Q. Was you present at the selling of any of them?

Robertson. I was on the opposite side of the way.

Q. Who sold them?

Robertson. Brown; when he sold the seal to Mr. Morris I was at about a hundred yards distance.

Q. Was you there when the chain was sold to Cross?

Robertson. No; on the opposite side of the way.

Q. Did you see him go into Cross's shop?

Robertson. Yes.

Q. Where does he live?

Robertson. In Cornhill.

Q. It was part of the chain and seal you took from that chaise?

Robertson. Yes.

Q. What business are you?

Robertson. A painter.

Q. What business is the prisoner?

Robertson. He follows his father's trade a milkman .

Q. Do you know Elizabeth Groves ?

Robertson. No.

Q. Do you know where any thing else was sold?

Robertson. Yes; one piece was sold in Holborn, about two doors from Hatton Garden; it was melted down directly.

Q. Do you know the house again?

Robertson. Yes.

Q. Do you know the man?

Robertson. Yes.

Q. Are you sure you should know the man again?

Robertson. I believe I should if I saw him; I cannot be positive; I was not in the shop.

Q. Whereabouts is the house?

Robertson. Two or three doors below Hatton-Garden on Holborn Hill; one piece I sold myself in Grafton street by St. Ann's Church; it was melted down.

Cross Examination.

Q. Had Brown any arms?

Robertson. No.

Q. How came you to be together?

Robertson. We had been drinking that afternoon; and met accidentally together; Field threatened to shoot us through the head if we did not go with him.

Q. Had you any intention to rob when you first went out?

Robertson. No.

Q. Whether was that man and you concerned in any robberies before?

Robertson. No.

Court. Remember you are upon your oath: there is a part of you that is superior to all human judicature, that you are to take care of. What became of the watch?

Robertson. It was sold to a Jew, one Moses.

Q. Where does he live?

Robertson. I do not know.

Q. Who sold it him?

Robertson. Brown and I for three guineas.

Elizabeth Grove . I live with Mrs. Smith, a silver-smith, the side of the Fleet Market, three doors on this side of Holborn Bridge; I have a piece of chain (producing it) Mrs. Smith bought it of the prisoner; I was present when it was bought.

Q. Are you sure it was that man?

Grove. Yes.

Q. When did she buy it?

Grove. On a Saturday afternoon, about six or seven weeks ago?

Prosecutor. I was robbed on Friday; I have compared the pieces of chain; and they matched one another.

Cross Examination.

Q. Did you ever see this young man before?

Prosecutor. No.

Q. to the Prosecutor. Whether there are not many chains of the same pattern?

Prosecutor. Yes: but there is an urn in the division of the chain.

The prisoner said nothing in his defence, but called twelve witnesses, who gave him a very good character.

Guilty Death .

Recommended to mercy by the Jury .

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