14th January 1784
Reference Numbert17840114-38

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183. STEPHEN LE GROVE was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 9th of December last, one hundred and eightteen deal boards, value 10 l. the property of John Rigg , and John Rigg the younger.


Mr. Garrow, Council for the Prosecution. I believe you are lighterman to the house of Messrs. Riggs? - Yes, I received directions from them for carrying some deals to Mr. Shepherd and other persons, in consequence of which I unloaded into my lighters the deals that were contained in the ship, I saw it loaded on the 26th, and on the 29th I perceived several were lost, about one hundred and twenty, they were two inches and a half yellow cast deals, they are the second sort of deals, I never saw any of them since I delivered the remainder of the cargo.

Mr. Sylvester, Prisoner's Council. The ship was loaded with deals? - Yes.

You took them to different timber-yards? - Yes, where we were ordered.

Where did your lighter lay? - At King Edward's Stairs .

When had you seen them? - Not from the 26th to the 29th.

They are loaded on board of ship, are not they? - Yes.

Your servants do not load them? - No.

You have many lighters and servants? - Yes.

Is not that business in general left to your servants? - Yes.

Had your servant the care of the craft all the time that you did not see them? - Yes.

- THOMPSON sworn.

Mr. Garrow. You are servant to Mr. Randall? - Yes.

Do you remember unloading any deals? - We only carry the craft up and down, we have no business at all with the unloading the vessel, she was full when I left her at King Edward's Stairs, I saw her again on the Saturday morning about ten o'clock, she was then cut away from the place, with about one hundred and twenty deals taken from her.

Mr. Sylvester. Had you reckoned them into the lighter? - No.

You was not employed in unloading this vessel? - No.


I received information by two waterman, and I went into Houndsditch, they said the last cart was just going, I went into Bishopsgate-street, and enquire after the cart, and when I came near Norton Falgate, I met a cart, and I asked the carman where he had been with them deals, he told me into Hog Lane; I went and saw the deals in the yard of one Webb, Mr. Corfield who was foreman to one Mr. Croft had bought them, and I came to Mr. Goff's, and I said, I suspected they were stolen, he said, he was to pay the man the next day at four for them, I went there, and after

some time the prisoner came in, he said, that was the man, and I took him into custody, and carried him to the Poultry Compter.

Mr. Garrow. Did the prisoner in your hearing give any account of these deals? - He said, he had them from some of the mates.

Mr. Sylvester. Did he say what he was to give for the deals? - I do not remember.

Did you see the deals? - I saw a great quantity.

Was it an open timber yard? - Yes.

Where was it? - It is under Mr. Nash, a coachmaker's yard in Hog Lane, the last cart-load lay by themselves, there were a great many more.


I am servant to No. 69, Houndsditch, the prisoner came to me in October with two more men, he said, he wanted a bedstead, one of the other men said, he wanted a chest of drawers and six mahogany chairs; I told him I could serve him, and he asked me then, if I would buy any deals, I told him on condition, he would have some goods out of the warehouse I would, for the use of Mr. Goff, accordingly there were some deals brought up to me, which he said were down at Billinsgate, I went to Billinsgate, and saw some deals there, and we agreed for seven pound ten shillings a load; that is 15 l. a hundred, they delivered the first parcel to me, that was sixty-seven, they were carried to the yard where all our deals go to be cut up for use, and some time after they delivered seventy-one: on the 21st, the prisoner came again to me and said he had got some deals, and I might go and see them again down at Billinsgate, and on the 29th of November, the prisoner and two more came and brought these deals up, five score and eighteen, that wants two of a a long hundred they were two inches and a half twelve feet Christiana second deals they were carried to Mr. Webb's then on the 28th or 29th, the prisoner came and took money on all the deals on account, they were at the price of 15 l. per hundred; on the 5th of December, Gates came to me, and asked me for the bill and receipt of some deals which were delivered that day, I told him, I had no receipt, because I paid money on account; I told him if he would come on the morrow at four o'clock, he might see the person that brought the deals to me, which he did, and saw the prisoner there.

Mr. Sylvester. You are foreman to a paper-stainer? - Yes.

You are besides a carpenter and joiner? - Yes.

You have seen a great many Norway deals? - Yes.

Two inches and an half is the common size they run? - Yes.

Other deals are not above ten pounds a hundred? - That is nothing to me.

Did you know any thing of the three men that came to you? - I have seen the men once before.

Where did they live? - I do not know, I was once with the prisoner, he called me to go down, and look at another matter he had to dispose of, I asked the men where they came from, and they told me they were the perquisite of the mate of a ship, I had no time to enquire, because my business called me; I should have looked them over before I gave that price, I was to give fifteen pounds a hundred.

You was taken into custody? - No.

How long had you dealt with him? - From October to December.

Did you see them at Billingsgate openly? - Yes, publickly.

Was there any thing particular in these deals from any other deals? - Nothing particular; there is a mark in the yellow deals in particular, but not on them deals that came out of Billingsgate.


I am carman to Mr. Schooner, I carried some deals to Mr. Webb's yard, three load, I carried the first some time before Mr. Gates applied to me, I loaded at Billingsgate dock, I carried them by the direction of a young man on board the lighter, not the prisoner; I did not see them at all at the first.


I conduct the business of the prosecutors, I went to Mr. Webb's yard with Gates, I looked at the deals and took the marks on a piece of paper, I counted them, and there were one hundred; and eighteen, two short of a long hundred; on the following morning I went to Mr. Shepherd's timber-yard, and compared those marks with the deals on the pile that were taken off that craft, I found the marks corresponded, and was satisfied they were the prosecutor's property, Mess. Riggs are the general consignees of all the deals of the house of Madame Cudrio, at Norway.

Court. Have all the ship loads the same mark? - I cannot say, they are of various sizes, I only speak to those I took the marks of, and compared with a particular pile of deals, the mark is on the end with red chalk, each deal cannot contain the same mark.

Court. Are all the deals that come over in the same ship marked in the same way? - That I do not know, I only speak to these.

Court. Does the same house always mark in the same way? - Yes.

Mr. Sylvester. The deals that came last year, and the deals that will come next year have the same mark? - Yes.

These deals go to different houses, and are dispersed all over London? - Yes.

There are other merchants that trade from Norway; - Yes, several.

Court. Were these deals that went to Shepherd's the only deals of that description? - No, a thousand of another desc ription went to another merchant.

And he sells them out again? - Yes.

What is the value of one hundred? - This year we have sold them at eleven pounds.

Mr. Garrow. Were any of the deals of this cargo delivered at the time these were lost? - No.

The prisoner called five witnesses who gave him a very good character.

Jury to Dixon. Were these green deals? - Yes.

When a lighter is loaded they generally make a mark across the whole craft; did you perceive any such? - No.


Transported for seven years.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice ASHURST.

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