7th July 1784
Reference Numbert17840707-111
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

770. JOHN CASTLE and WILLIAM HOWSE were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 1st of June last, one silver watch, value 40 s. one steel chain, value 6 d. two seals, value 12 d. one pair of leather shoes, value 1 s. one silk handkerchief, value 1 s. the property of John Hanbury .

The witnesses examined apart at the request of the prisoners.


I was robbed either on Whitsun Monday, or the next morning, I cannot say the time.

Were you in liquor? - Yes, I was going home from the Horse-shoe in Goswell-street to Black Friars, where I live, I was robbed of a silver watch, a pair of plated buckles, a pair of shoes, a black handkerchief off my neck, and my knife out of my pocket, and what money I had about me; I cannot tell how I was robbed, I was insensible, it rained very hard, I had been drinking, I thought myself capable of going home; when I came into the street I went into Fleet-market , and sat down there on a bulk and fell asleep.

When did you last perceive your things, when you were sober? - When I was in the house the people wanted me to leave the things there, but I would not; I was awaked in the morning by some of the porters, by one Sam. Biningham that worked in the market, his mother did keep a butcher's-shop, and then I missed my things; I did not hear of them till the 4th of June, he brought the watch in his pocket, I saw it

after I made mention of it, not before, I saw the handkerchief and shoes at the constable's house, I have not got them yet, the shoes were on my feet when they were taken, and the buckles out of them; the buckles I have never found yet.


I am constable, on the 4th of June, in the afternoon, one Jeffries and Walker came to my house and shewed me a watch, and nothing else; they came to me as an officer to apprehend the parties, they are two labouring men, I went down to Puddle-dock, to a public house there, and charged Castle with having the watch, I asked him how he came by it, he said he found it, I went and fetched the other prisoner; the other prisoner Howse said Castle gave it to him to sell to Jeffries, he said so in the presence of Castle; when I had them both in custody, Howse said to Jeffries I gave you the watch, and says Castle I had it of you, and he acknowledged he had it from him; I asked Castle where he found it, he told me by Bridge-street, near Black Friars Bridge, then Jeffries produced a pair of shoes, Castle said he found them also, and a black handkerchief, he said he found that too.

Did Howse say that Castle had given all the things to him? - No, my Lord, only the watch, and Castle acknowledged that, and acknowledged that he found the other things, and I took them and put them into custody, I advertised them, and on enquiry I found that a man had been stripped of some things in Fleet-market, and I found out the prosecutor, and he described the things to me before he saw them; there is an R. and M. I think in the shoes, it is the maker's name in Holborn; he described the shoes, he described the watch by a particular seal, but he could not tell the name or number, he said the minute hand was broke.

(The things produced and deposed to.)


I got these things from the prisoner Castle, and the shoes and the watch of William Howse , at six in the morning the 1st of June; they told me they found them, about eleven in the same day they came to me and said they had a watch too which they found; John Castle said he found it, I asked where that watch was, he told me that William Howse had in his pocket, I said let me see it; I went with him and looked at it, they took me into a private room, they asked a guinea and a half, and then I said well, I will have it, and they desired me to throw away the chain and the seals, and I went to this officer for advice.

Court. Could not they as well have taken that off before they shewed it you? - That they knew best about.

What connection had you with these men before? - Only drinking a pot of beer with them.

What are you? - A labouring man, I work for Mr. Newitt at Puddle-dock, I never bought such a thing in my life, Howse said he knew where to sell it, he said he was not with the other when he found them; Castle said he found them, he did not say whether Howse was with him, or not.


I bought a handkerchief of John Castle on the 1st of June last, which he said he found, that is all I know; I went to Wood-street compter, and heard John Castle say that he lighted on a man in Fleet market, and picked his pocket completely, but says he, my blasted brother blowed me, I never asked him any questions at all.

Did you ever hear Howse say any thing about it? - No.


I was at work down at Puddle dock, and I saw these things lay one morning, and I went and picked them up, I went a little further and I saw a watch lay, further on I

saw a handkerchief lay, all in the mud, and I picked it up.


He came to a house where I was, and he put his hand in his pocket, says he I have found this watch, will you take it and sell it for me; I did not chuse it; I was at home and in bed all the night, and the witness Walker knows that.

Court to Walker. Are you acquainted with Howse? - Yes I was, I knew him before, he lodged where I lodge, I do not know where he was on the night of the Whitsun Monday.


I am Headman at Puddle dock, I know both the prisoners; I have known Castle going on three years, and Howse about twelve months, I can say nothing against them, they worked for me, and I paid them, I heard one of the witnesses say to the other, says he never mind, there will be thirty pounds for you, and thirty pounds for me, and we will take a public house; and I thought it very bad, I heard Jeffries say so to Walker.

- WALKER sworn.

This is a brother in law of mine, he fell out with me and left the place, he has saved that man once for doing the same thing that is done now; and I do not chuse to do it.


I am a shoe maker, I have known Castle two years, the other about a quarter of a year, I looked upon them as hard working men, never heard any other, I heard a dispute between the parties, and I heard one of them say, he would hang his own brother for the sake of the reward.


Transported for seven years .


Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

View as XML