19th October 1774
Reference Numbert17741019-66
VerdictGuilty > theft under 1s
SentenceCorporal > whipping

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758. (2d M.) WILLIAM DOWLING was indicted for stealing a mourning ring, value 4 s. 6 d. the property of Thomas Field , Esq . Sept. 29th . +

Thomas Field , Esq. I live in Great Ormond street . I lost four rings; I only found this one; they were taken out of my ward-robe, I believe, on the 29th of September; the ring was stopped on the prisoner by Mr. Newton, on the Saturday after; the prisoner owned before Justice Girdler that he took the purse and four mourning rings, and several pieces of money; there was no confession taken in writing.

Richard Newton . On the 1st of October, between nine and ten in the morning, the prisoner came to my shop, and asked if I bought old gold; I told him I did; I keep a jeweller's shop at No. 119, opposite Red Lion-street, High Holborn; I asked him where he got it; he told me he found it the evening before in Water-lane; I weighed it; while I was weighing it I asked him his name; he said it was William Bryan ; I put down the money; it came to 4 s. 6 d. or 5 s. I cannot say which, and then asked him his name again, that I might set down who I bought it of; he then said his name was William Gwier ; I asked him if he did not say it was Bryan before; he said, yes, and he thought a man had a right to give himself as many names as he would; then I told him I believed he did not come honestly by it, and it was my duty to stop it; I took up the money and said I believed I could find an owner for it, to hear what he would say; he then said one Mrs. Pearson's maid gave it him; I sent my servant for a constable; while he was gone the prisoner said he went to visit a servant maid in Red Lion-square, or somewhere thereabouts, and in her absence took it off the gentleman's table. I took him before Sir John Fielding , and he gave the same account there; he was committed till Wednesday, and the ring was to be advertised; on Wednesday the prisoner and several others came to me, and offered to indemnify me if I would give him the ring; I told him I was not authorized to give him the ring till I went to Sir John Fielding 's; I went to Sir John's, and Mr. Bond told me I might give the man the ring; I told Mr. Bond I thought it very strange to commit a man to advertise a ring, and it not to be advertised, and the man acquitted, and that I thought the Justices did not know of the matter; they were not then sitting; the next morning I looked in the paper and saw it advertised; I then wrote to Sir John Fielding about it, and went to Sir John's, and Mr. Bond interposed, and said I was a dirty fellow for writing to Sir John. I met with the prisoner afterwards, and took him before Justice Girdler, and the ring being advertised, Mr. Field came and owned it.

Q. Do you know how he got out of custody after he was committed the first time?

Newton. No.

For the Prisoner.

Nicholas Gay . I have known the prisoner fifteen or sixteen years; he lived with an uncle of mine, John Garnett , bishop of Tor, in Ireland; he was remarkable for honesty as a servant; he had the management of a large quantity of plate; he left the bishop's service on the 20th of June last; he was one of the best servant s the bishop had; I have heard that he has behaved well since he left the bishop's service.

Thomas Ward . I have known the prisoner upwards of five years; he lived with the Lord Bishop of Tor; I lived with Mr. Pearson in Bedford-row; he bore a good character.

Guilty of stealing to the value of 10 d. W .

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