26th May 1784
Reference Numbert17840526-91

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611. JOHN ARCHER was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 28th of April last, two large coach glasses, value 40 s. the property of the Reverend Charles Tarrant , D. D. privately in his coach house .


I am coachman to Dr. Tarrant, I came in with the chariot about twelve at night, the 27th of April last, the stable was at the Red-lion, in Argyle-street , I left the stable at half after one, I put the carriage under the gate-way in the yard, we do not put it in the coach house because the yard is a close yard, the door was fastened and I saw the boy going up to bed; and the next morning when I came at half after six the glasses of the chariot were gone, and the strings of the glasses were a part left in the carriage, but my master desired me to inform the Court he could not spare the glasses, he has sent the strings; the prisoner was taken by the watchman, I saw him the next day about eleven, before Justice Hyde.


I stopped the prisoner at past four in the morning, near Red-lion-street, he had a pair of coach-glasses in this bag, I called to him twice and he would not stop, I asked him where he was going with it, he said to the gentleman's, I took him to the watch-house, we went about a quarter of an hour after to Red-lion-yard, as we saw two men lurking about there at night, and we found the tassels belonging to the chariot in the chariot, they fitted the strings that were to the glasses which the prisoner had, (The straps and tassels produced) Jones the coachman took off these strings in my presence, and I took them into my possession.

(The strings and the tassels handed up.)


I was in Holborn when the prisoner was stopped, he called upon me for assistance, and I went with him to the watch-house, we searched two or three coach houses, and we went into this coach house and the doors of the chariot were open, and the tassels lay there; he said he was going to sell them to a coachmaker.


I have nothing further to say than that I know nothing of the robbery, I never committed it, Welch told me right or wrong it was immaterial, I should be hanged, I said I hoped not, I asked him if he had the law in his own hands, he said damn the law, I should have enough by and by.

Court. Gentlemen of the Jury, this indictment is so framed as to make it a capital offence, why it was so framed after hearing the evidence, I am at a loss to conceive; for the prisoner might as well have been indicted under any other statute in the statute book as this, there is not the smallest foundation whatever for that part of the charge which makes the capital part of the indictment, for these coach-glasses were not stolen in any place belonging to Dr. Tarrant, nor were they stolen in any coach-house, but they were stolen from under a gate-way in a yard; you will therefore reject that part of the case and consider the evidence, you are to judge on comparing these strings, whether you are satisfied they are the same, I looked at them myself, and they do very strongly appear to be separated one from the other.


Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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