14th December 1785
Reference Numbert17851214-30
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s

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30. JOHN CROPPER and JOHN BARFORD were indicted for feloniously stealing on the 1st day of November last, one hair trunk, value 12 d. four silk gowns, value 40 s. one silk apron, value 2 s. six linen ruffled shirts, value 30 s. one plain linen ditto, value 3 s. six stocks, value 6 s. a silk cloak trimmed with fur, value 5 s. two linen gowns, value 20 s. one petticoat, value 4 s. six children's night-gowns, value 5 s. a yard of printed cotton, value 12 d. two linen table-cloths, value 10 s. one child's linen clout, value 12 d. one silk petticoat, value 5 s. a counterpane, value 10 s. six pillow-cases, value 12 d. a pair of stays, value 4 s. one box iron, value 12 d. a pair of steel snuffers, value 12 d. a snuffer-stand, value 6 d. a blanket, value 6 d. six yards of silk ribbon, value 12 d. one gauze cap, value 1 d. the property of William Spencer .


I am one of the proprietors of the Gosport waggon ; I know nothing of the matter.


I was driving the Gosport waggon to London, Mr. Spencer is one of the proprietors; I stopped to put down four pockets of hops at Brentford, and a man overtook me, and fell into discourse with me, what countryman I was, and I told him; the man was on foot, he said it was very bad wet weather, and at Turnham Green he would treat me with two pints of beer, and we came to Hammersmith, and between Hammersmith and London the waggon was robbed; I do not know how I was robbed, I missed two large boxes and a hat box, and more articles, I cannot tell what the rest was; the man that joined me came about a mile and half, he left me on this side of Turnham Green, I could not tell the direction of the boxes; I put up at the New Inn in the Old Bailey; there were two boxes and a hat box, I saw the boxes the next day, I did not see them put in the waggon, I saw them in the waggon, but I missed two of them; the two boxes I missed were put in the fore part of the waggon, I saw them there, and the hat box in the fore part of the waggon.

Did the man that joined company with you go into the waggon at all? - Not that I saw, I saw the boxes the next day at Bow-street.

Do you know the man that joined company with you? - No, I do not.


I live at the Coach and Horses this side Turnham-Green, Cropper was the man that treated the waggoner at my master's house, I am sure he was the man, I took notice of him, they staid about a quarter of an hour, they went off together, nobody else was with them.


I live at the coach and horses, I am hostler, the prisoner Cropper came over and called for a pint of hot, and the waggoner brought it across the road, I said waggoner where is your hay, he said in the waggon, I said I do not chuse to get into any body's waggon, they walked together about one hundred yards, then I saw the prisoner Cropper leave the waggoner and leap into the fore part of the waggon.

Could not the waggoner see him? - I do not know that.

How far was you off? - About one hundred yards.

The waggoner and he were together? - Yes.

What became of the waggoner? - As soon as ever he got into the waggon, the waggoner crossed the tail of the waggon and went on the right side of the horses.

Was it possible that the waggoner could not see that? - I should think he must have seen it.

Was the waggoner drunk or sober? - As he was a little elevated in liquor I bid him take care of himself and the waggon.

Prisoner Cropper. At Bow-street this man said upon his oath, he could not swear whether I was the man or not, and the Justice said if he did not swear to me he would commit him too, and he said then that is the man to the best of my knowledge.

Court to Garfield. Are you sure now he is the man? - Yes, I am clear he is the man.


I am one of Sir Sampson's patrol, near Kensington turnpike, I have these things which I produce; on Tuesday the 1st of November, between six and seven, we met three men about five or six lamp posts on this side of Kensington turnpike, the two first men passed us, I wished them a good night, and I passed Cropper, who had this box on his head, I turned round and caught him by the collar and said what have you there, he said a box, I said, where did you bring it from? he said, from the other end of Hammersmith, and said the two men that were before him had hired him to carry it, the other two men ran off as fast as possible; I detained Cropper, I kept him some time, I searched him and found these two child's clouts in his coat pocket, one in each pocket, this cap and blanket were in his breeches, and a woman's cap and some pieces of ribbon, some in his breeches and some in his pocket, and a knife; in the course of this time one of my brother patrol's brought the other prisoner Barford, I asked Cropper if he knew him, he said he never saw him before; I said, did not you tell me the two men that were before you hired you to carry it: then he said it was the other man with the cockade in his hat that hired him to carry it, which man is not apprehended; I took him to the three tons at Kensington, and put him into a back room, and while I was in the room the prisoner Barford says to Cropper, stick to that and that will do, I then tied him, the things I took from him I delivered to Mr. Maynard.


I was along with Thomas, I followed the prisoner Barford into a garden two or three hundred yards off; when Cropper was taken with the box, the two men that were before said to one another, run on you b - r, we are done; they jumped over a wide ditch into a field, and ran some distance and parted, and the little one stooped under a gooseberry-bush, I asked

him what made him run away, but he would not give me any answer; I have had the things in my possession ever since, they are the same things.


All that I know is, that this is the identical trunk that was loaded in the waggon at Gosport.

Was there any direction upon it? - Yes, it was directed for Colonel Cheval, there is no direction upon it now, it is torn off; I took particular notice, there were other articles for the Colonel besides these, I know it by the cording, when I first saw it in Bow-street one corner of the card was on, there was enough for me to read, ( looks at it) there is not enough of it on now to be legible, but when it was at Bow-street there were several bits on then, I am quite sure it is the same box; there were two deal boxes, this hair trunk, one little box covered with a mat, and a clock in a case, and two lead weights, all directed to the Colonel, and a three-cornered wainscot hat-box, directed to the Colonel, that is not found.

Maynard. The other man that got away had a gentleman's hat with a cockade in it; Barford, when I apprehended him, had two hats on.

Can any body prove the property any further? - No, the lady that the property belonged to came to the office and saw the b ox opened.

Court to Jeffries. You do not know of course what the trunk contained at Gosport? - I do not, but I am certain sure that is the trunk.


I was coming up to town to see for work, and just by Hammersmith I saw these petticoats and that little thing laying, I put them into my pockets and into my breeches; a little further there was a man, and he employed me to carry that box, and promised to give me two shillings and some beer, he said take up the box and follow me, I did so, and through the town I went, and this man came up to me, and being a wet night, they bid me a good night, and he went to the man that was before me, and we met the patrols, they gave the man the time of the night, and they came up to me, says they what is here, says I, I cannot tell, it is that gentleman's in the cocked hat, before me, that gentleman he ran away, and I ran after him; I took up the box again and carried it again, I was very glad of the money, I had but one shilling and one halfpenny when they searched me, I came from Cheshire about three months since.


I live at Stains, I had left my place and was coming up to town, and this gentleman, just as I was coming past, stopped me with the trunk, and I did not know who they were, and I ran to save my money.


Each transported for seven years .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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