10th December 1783
Reference Numbert17831210-139
VerdictsGuilty > with recommendation; Guilty
SentencesCorporal > public whipping; Imprisonment > newgate; Transportation

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136. JOHN WILLIAMS was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 4th of December , one black cloth coat, value 5 s. one striped silk waistcoat, value 2 s. 6 d. one velveret waistcoat, value 2 s. 6 d. one pair of cloth breeches, value 2 s. 6 d. one pair of fustain breeches, value 2 s. 6 d. one hat, value 1 s. one handkerchief, value 9 d. and three pair of stockings, value 1 s. 6 d. the property of Thomas Adams .

And MICHAEL BRYANT was indicted for feloniously receiving part of the same goods knowing them to have been stolen .


The prisoner Williams was my servant , and he left my service between seven and eight o'clock in the morning, and a bundle of clothes was missing, I sent after him, and he was brought back between one and two, he denied having taken any bundle away; I then observed the handckerchief about his neck which belonged to me: he then told me he took the other things the night before, and gave them to the other prisoner, Bryant; I positively swear to the handkerchief, and the boy did not deny taking it.

Did not you tell him it would be better for him to confess? - I told him it was out of my power to forgive him; there was another boy in company with the prisoner Bryant, when he received the things; we took charge of Williams and then went to Bryant's house, and in searching him we found a handkerchief which was mine, and the key of his room; we went to his room; the goods belonged to a person that is dead, whom I buried, and they were all put together, I am sure the handkerchief was there, we found several more things which the constable has; Bryant said, the boy gave them to him that he might do what he pleased with them: no promise was made to him.


I am a constable, I apprehended Williams, and I went into Bryant's room, and there was the prisoner Bryant and George Whitford , I took them into custody, I found a handkerchief and a key on Bryant, and went to search his lodgings, and the moment I opened the door, the first thing I went to lay hold of was these things: Bryant told me the boy gave them to him; and the next day before the magistrate, Bryant acknowledged where the other clothes were pawned; the black coat, striped waistcoat, and white cloth breeches, I found at a pawnbroker's in Shoreditch, facing the Black-dog, one Mr. Cooksley's: Bryant said that Williams gave them to him out of his master's house the night before.


Bryant told me his landlady was going to turn him out, and he had no money to give her; and he brought me this bundle of clothes, a coat, waistcoat, and a pair of breeches, and asked me to pawn them for him; he said, they were his own clothes; I pawned them for seven shillings.


I am servant to the pawnbroker; on the 4th of this month the last witness pledged this suit of clothes with us for 7 s.

(The things deposed to.)


That hat my father gave me, this lad was a ship mate of mine, we came up together from Plymouth on Saturday night, I went on Sunday morning to Deptford, he was out of place, I got into place and he could not; in about a week after he was at me every day, wanting me to rob the house, and he came to me two, three, or four times a day, I would not consent to do any such thing, at last I told him, there was a bundle of clothes up stairs, and I would take them and come off with them, I gave them to him at the door, and he went and pawned them.


Whoever told him to tell these speeches to you I cannot tell, he gave me the clothes and told me he had them from his father, and I might do what I pleased with them, I was in want of some money the same night, and I pawned them.

The Prisoner Williams called two Witnesses to his character.


On the recommendation of the Jury and Prosecutor, to be twice publickly whipped and imprisoned one week in Newgate .


Transported for fourteen years .

Tried by the second London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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