12th September 1781
Reference Numbert17810912-10
VerdictNot Guilty

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474. RICHARD WILLIAMS and RICHARD MILLS were indicted for stealing a silver watch, value 40 s. a brass watch key, value 1 d. a watch string, value 2 d. the property of Jonas Strem , privately from his person , July 27 .


On the 27th of July, about three in the afternoon, I was at my lodgings, the Ship, in Shadwell ; I found myself sleepy; I laid down on one of the benches in the taproom. The prisoners sat on the next seat; between sleeping and waking, Williams threw his hat down over me; he took it up again, and swore why did he throw the hat over me? I then went to sleep: when I waked, Mills was gone, and Williams sat on the bench. I missed my watch; there was a noise about it. Mrs. Mordant went out, and brought back Mills, and a constable was sent for. Mills, Mr. Mordant, and Forrester, went out together. When they came back, Mills had the watch in his hand: he gave it me, and said, There is the watch; take it. Nobody else was in the room when I went to sleep.

- MORDANT sworn.

I was in the house when the prosecutor complained of losing his watch, and charged Williams with stealing it; he denied it: I went out and got a constable, and my wife brought Mills back: they both denied it. Mills brought me out, and said he knew where the watch was; and, if he was not to be prosecuted, he would tell where it was. I promised he should not be prosecuted, and then he discovered it.


I was sent for, and came down to the house; and, after a great deal of enquiry about the watch, Williams said to Mills, Bugger the watch! let him have the watch. The prosecutor was present. This was before Mills went out with the landlord; the landlord was in the back-room. When he came in, I said he might make himself easy; I could find the watch; and then I went out with Mills for it.

To the Prosecutor. Did you hear this expression by Williams to Mills? - There was not any time after Mills was brought back that the constable, the two prisoners, and I, were left together. I did not hear Williams say any thing about the watch to any body, except denying he knew any thing of it.


The watch had dropped underneath the bench, and I took it up.


The watch dropped under the bench; I know nothing of the taking it up.


Tried by the First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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