14th December 1785
Reference Numbert17851214-113
VerdictNot Guilty

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113. CHARLES YOUNG and JOHN POWER were indicted, for feloniously stealing, on the 17th of September last, 2092 pounds weight of wood, called Red Sanders wood, value 20 l. the property of the East India company .

A second Count. For stealing the same, the property of persons unknown.

The witnesses examined apart at the request of Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel.

(The Case opened by Mr. Silvester.)

- WISSETT sworn.

I am an officer in the service of the East-India Company, I am clerk to one of the warehouses; a witness attends with some of the wood; this is red sanders wood, it is imported from Bengal.

Have the Company lost any of that wood lately? - Yes, as appears from the report, I can know no otherwise.

Court. It is impossible to prove this belongs to the East-India Company? - It is so, my Lord, for it is put up to sale very soon after it arrives, and it is impossible to say whether this has passed the sale.

Court. You must go upon the count, as the property of persons unknown.


I am a custom-house waterman, I know the prisoner Young extremely well; on the 17th of September last I saw him in company with three other people at Ratclilffe-cross , they were landing red wood or log-wood, I do not know which.

Where did they carry it? - To one Mr. Bottlebold just below Ratcliffe-cross.

Was Satchfield with you? - Yes, it was between five and six in the morning, as nigh as I can guess.

Mr. Garrow. This was at the public plying place? - Yes.

I take it that sort of lumber is not such stuff as one could carry in one's pocket? - It was carried publicly.

As a baker carries his basket? - Yes, I saw them carry some pieces, to the best of my recollection.


I was at this landing place on the 17th of September last, I saw the prisoner Young there, I cannot say to the other man; he came on shore with some wood, I do not know what wood it was, it was a kind of red wood, he took it to Mr. Bottlebold's wharf.


Mr. Garrow. Mr. Bottlebold you come here about something called red wood, you know that? - Yes.

You was charged also with receiving it, knowing it to be stolen, you know that too; nay, tell us, why you are an honest Jew; what, have you lost your voice? - Yes, Sir.

You was charged with receiving it? - Yes.

Why speak out, it has happened to many of your tribe before? - It never happened to me.

Mr. Garrow. My objection is, that Mr. Bottlebold being applied to, is to transfer that which is prima facie evidence against him as the thief, and put himself into a less disagreeable situation.

Court. Having called the two witnesses, they have proved enough of this man's evidence to go to the Jury, for there is no objection to the competency of the accomplice, he is at all times liable to be examined, but the objection is to his credit.

Mr. Garrow. There is no evidence at all against Power, for whom I am concerned, therefore your Lordship will not let him say any thing against Power.

Court. I must hear what he says, but I shall direct the Jury, that what he says against Power alone, is not evidence.

Mr. Silvester. Where do you live? - I did live in Narrow-street, Ratcliffe.

On the 17th of September last, did you receive any thing? - Yes, on the 17th day of September, between two and three in the morning, Charles Young and four other persons knocked at the door, and my partner Levy Phillips went down stairs and opened the door; they informed us, they had a parcel of red wood, they asked us what we would give them for it, and we agreed to give them half a guinea a hundred, it weighed fourteen hundred weight, they brought it in between three and four in the morning; after that, we went up stairs, and my partner gave Charles Young seven guineas for the wood; after they were gone, between five and six, I went to Mr. John Henry Ford , No. 17, in Broad-street, Old Gravel-lane; Mr. Ford asked us, what we would have for it, I asked him 18 s. he offered 16 s. when I returned, I found eight logs more of the same wood; soon after Charles Young and another person came in, and the said wood was weighed, and it weighed two hundred weight; I believe Power was there.

Do you know whether Power was there or not? - I rather think he was.

Can you swear positively that he was? - I think he was there positively.

Court. How came you to say then it was Young and other people; will you swear positively that Power was there? - He was; my partner agreed to give them a guinea, we was to call on Mr. Ford for payment.

What did you do with the logs of wood? - Mr. Ford took it away in a cart, and going home it was seized.

Who is the carman that took it away? - He lives in Nightingale-lane.

What is his name? - Horseman.

Was the wood in the cart, the same wood that was in your house? - Yes, it was put into Horseman's cart, to be carried to Ford's.

Is that part of the wood? - It is like it.

Mr. Garrow. What trade are you? - I am a dry-salter, and sell drugs.

Is this an article of dry saltery goods? - Yes.

Do you usually buy your wood at two o'clock in the morning? - I never did before.

Are you obliged to sell it by six, it is a perishable article, I suppose? - I took

the earliest opportunity, my partner wished me to sell it.

How long was you in gaol about the goods? - One day.

What did they send you to gaol for? - For receiving stolen goods.

Did you swear positively to Power at the office? - I said I was almost sure, I was quite sure, he had a different jacket on, he was ordered to put another jacket on, and then I knew him; I did not positively know him before.

Have you never doubted about it? - No, never.

How came you to say you believed it, and you thought it, if you had never doubted it? - Because his dress was altered very much, when I saw him.

Was not you from home a week after this happened, to hide yourself from the officers? - I was in the city, at my brother's, for a few days, it was holiday time, and there was an account that Charles Young was taken.

Was you from home for that cause, or any other? - I had no other cause but that.

But what? - But Charles Young 's being taken.

Court. You were quite sure at the Justices, when the jacket was put on, that Power was the other man? - Yes.

Did you tell the Justice so? - Yes.

You did? - Yes.

Then you said before the Justice, that Power was one of the men that was with Young? - Yes.

Now, take care what you say, for I have your examination before me, upon your oath, did you say one syllable about Power, or was his name ever mentioned? - The Justice asked me whether I knew him, I told him, yes.

You did, you swear that? - Yes.

Now, read his examination. How long after this man brought them to you, was it, that you went to the Justice's? - The same morning.

Court. Now observe, in two particulars, that he states that he swore before the Justice, that he was sure of Power.

(The examination read.)

"Middlesex. The voluntary confession

"and examination of Judah Bottlebold ,

"admitted an evidence on his Majesty's

"behalf, taken the 11th of October, 1785,

"who on his oath says, that about five

"weeks ago, he took a house in Narrow-street,

"Limehouse, and the first act they

"did, after taking the house, was receiving

"a quantity of red wood from Charles

"Young and four others, which confessant

"agreed with Charles Young and

"his four companions, for half a guinea

"a hundred; that on the 17th ult. at four

"in the morning, this Charles Young and

"four others, brought fourteen hundred

"weight; at six, the said Young and

"black Joseph brought eight sticks,

"weighing two hundred weight, for which

"they agreed to pay him one guinea, but

"not having money at home, the wood

"was left in the back kitchen; that the

"next morning, the informant and John

"Phillips, went to John Henry Ford ,

"No. 17, Broad-street, and told him

"that he had a parcel of sanders wood to

"sell, who being then in bed, he got up,

"dressed himself, and told Phillips and

"the informant he would get a cart, and

"come and take it away; that about

"seven the same morning, the said Ford

"brought a cart down, and the said wood

"was put into it by the driver thereof,

"said Ford, this informant, and his partner

"Phillips; that the agreement Ford

"and Phillips made for said wood, was

"161. per ton, that at the time of landing,

"he had no bill of parcels, nor did he ask

"for any, but that when they went down

"for the money, Ford told them that the

"wood was stopped, and he was to be at

"the Justice's by ten; that informant gave

"him a bill of parcels for the said wood,

"at 24 l. a ton: that informant received

"from said Young and his companions, a

"quantity of hemp, and seven bags of

"hops, which he is confident were stolen.

Mr. Silvester. Who was present at that first examination? - Nobody was present.

Mr. Garrow. What charge was you in custody for? - I was charged for buying hops.

And for buying some hemp too? - Yes.

The second examination read, dated the 12th of October, 1785; also, a third and fourth examination.

Court. In all these examinations, the nome of Power is not mentioned; he mentions him in a fifth examination, as he does now to-day. There is no other witness that speaks to Power, but this accomplice, whose evidence can have no effect against Power.


I know Bottlebold, he did live in Narrow-street on the 17th of September, I saw a cart load of wood come to his wharf, there were forty-two pieces of sanders wood as they called it, I call it log wood; I put it into the office at Shadwell, William Elby took it there.


On the 17th of September, I believe I was coming to the water side, between six and seven in the morning, I come up Narrow-street, Mr. Payne met me, and told me Mr. Saunderson and him were looking for me, to stop a cart-load of wood, I did stop it, it was carried to the public office, Shadwell; I do not know what became of it after.


I was sent for on the 17th of September, on a Saturday, I took the wood out of the cart, and assisted Nichols to put it into the office.


I was at the office at Shadwell, I received this parcel of wood, containing forty-two pieces, this is a part of it, it has been in the custom-house ever since.

Mr. Garrow. Under whose care? - Mine, and my brother officers.

You have the key of it? - I have.

You are sure that is a part of it? - Yes, it came in on the first of October, and had a tally on it.

You seized it, as uncustomed goods not as stolen goods? - I do not know that we seized it properly, but the Justice said there would be a prosecution, and we took it.

Prisoner Young. I was taken up for this before and was discharged, such wood as this comes from Guinea, I did not carry any such wood to Bottlebold's, I am a waterman, I dare not ask a gentleman how he comes by any thing.

The prisoner called two witnesses to his character.


Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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