22nd February 1786
Reference Numbert17860222-24
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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215. JOHN LOCKLEY was indicted for feloniously assaulting William Lindsley , on the King's highway, on the 13th day of January last, and putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person and against his will, twelve pair of silver watch cases, value 5 l. and one bag, value 1 d. the property of Thomas Gibband .


I was fifteen the second of last month, I know the nature of an oath; I saw the prisoner in St. John's-square, Clerkenwell , the 13th of January, I am an apprentice to Thomas Gibband , he is a watch-case maker , it was between five and six in the evening; I had twelve pair of silver watch-cases which I had been fetching from Goldsmith's Hall; the prisoner came behind me, and pulled me backwards, and when I was down, he struck me about half a dozen blows on my head, I am sure it was the prisoner, then he took hold of the bag where the watch cases were, and dragged me along by it about two yards, and then he d - d my eyes, and gave me a sudden blow on my side, and snatched the bag at the same time, he ran away with the bag, and I got up directly, and ran after him, and I cried out stop thief! and he ran up Badger-yard, and in the middle of that yard there are some posts, and the posts stopped him, then I got up close to him; he got up to the post, and turned round the corner not sharp, but into the road, so that I never lost sight of him; then he run up Red-lion-street, and was apprehended and stopped; Mr. Young stopped him, I saw him all the time, I came up and saw Young and him together, he had thrown the bag and watch-cases down Mr. Haines's area, the corner of Badger-yard.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel. This happened in St. John's-square? - Yes.

Which side of the square? - On the left hand fire from here.

There the square is open? - Yes.

What sort of weather was it? - It was a remarkable light night.

What made that? - The moon just came out.

The person came behind you? - Yes.

What part of the square did he come from? - I cannot tell that, I did not see him till I felt him.

He gave you some violent blows? - Yes.

Did not he stun you? - No, as soon as ever he got the bag, he ran away, and I got up and cried stop thief! he ran up Badger-yard, on the left hand side the square, which is more than two hundred yards where we ran to Mr. Haines's.

How many corners might you have to turn? - One, out of Badger-yard, into Red-lion-street.

You went before the Magistrate that night? - Yes.

Do not you remember swearing before the Magistrate, that you only believed that to be the man? - No, Sir, I do not; when he dragged me along the ground, I had a full view of his face, besides I never lost sight of him, the area of Mr. Haines's, is the corner of Badger-yard, it is not a twentieth part the length of this Court, not so far as from me to you; I did not see the cases found.


On the 13th of January I was going up Red-Lion-street, it was about half past five in the evening, it was a very light night, I had just passed the end of Badger-yard on the opposite side of the way, on a sudden I heard the cry of murder and stop thief, I turned round as quick as possibly I could, and I could see nobody in the street but the prisoner at the bar running from the corner of Dr. Haines's house, running on the pavement, the prisoner ran up towards the side that I was on, and by the time that he got across the way, the boy and three or four people came out of Badger-yard, and they cried out stop him, I then stood, and the man passed me, I was going to knock him down, but he passed me, I then stooped forwards

and caught hold of him, and he said let me go, and I believe he said d - n you, or something of that kind.

Did you see any other person running in the street? - My Lord it is so clear, and I believe Red-lion-street is well known in this court, I saw no man in the street, I could see from the top to the bottom, I had not been I suppose half a minute while I was struggling with him, before the boy and the other people came up, and the boy said give me my watch cases, give me my watch cases; the prisoner said nothing to my recollection, only said he had not got them, several people came round and wanted to search him, and one of the persons that came first up, that laid hold of him with me was accused of picking a gentleman's pocket, or his hand in his pocket, or something of that sort, I therefore thought I was in a situation I did not much like, and I desired they would send for a constable, and that somebody would assist me, and nobody would, I then said to the prisoner, friend as the boy says you have taken his watch cases, I will take you to the magistrate myself, I then rather exerted myself, and took him to Justice Blackborough's; when we were there they proposed to go back to the place to look for the watch cases, and while we were there a message came that they were found in Dr. Haines's entry.


The first witness is my apprentice, I am employed in the watch case branch; on the 13th of January I sent the lad at five o'clock to Goldsmith's Hall to fetch twelve pair of silver watch cases that had been there to be stamped, and before six I was informed he was robbed, I immediately went out and met the prisoner in custody of Samuel Young , I then went before Justice Blackborough, where my apprentice swore positively to the prisoner's being the man, I sent some of my men to search the areas from the parts he came from, and while we were in the Office news was brought that they were found in Dr. Haines area, I went and saw them delivered from Dr. Haines to the constable.


(Produces the watch cases.)

I received those from Dr. Haines, and they have been ever since in my custody marked T. G. and the stamp at Goldsmiths Hall.

( Deposed to).


I was going along Red-lion-street, and a man caught hold of me and said I was the person.


I live in Bridgewater-square, I am a watch-maker, I have known the prisoner five or six years in the square; my opinion is this, I always looked upon him to be an honest hard working lad, and as good a lad as ever was, I have known him these six years very nigh, ever since his master came into the quare, he worked for Mr. Ward in the square, Mr. Ward is a watch-maker, I know this, that if he had been a rogue he might have robbed me very often, he was the last person I should ever have suspected of robbing me, he might have takenmany things, he had always access to my house.


I live St. Sepulchre's parish, I am a watch case gilder, I have known him seven or eight years, a very honest industrious young man as ever I knew.


I am a carpenter, I live at No. 4, Newin-street Shoreditch, I have known him ten years and upwards, his father worked with me, at that time as worthy a young fellow as ever I heard tell of, I never heard amiss of him, he might have robbed me.


I am in the watch business, the prisoner now at the bar came to me as an errand boy, his behaviour was such I took him

apprentice, his time expired the 2d of last November, and ever since that time he has worked journeyman with me, and he was at work with me the day he was accused of that transaction, I have trusted him with a great many cases, I have had half grosses and dozens and dozens, and I never missed a case in my life, I look upon so him honest that I would take him again to day.

Court. Had you sent him that day to Goldsmith's Hall? - No, he never went of any errands for me after he was out of his time, he went to dinner about a quarter after one as near as I can tell, he loged somewhere in Holborn.

Was it the road to his lodgings to go through St. John's Square? - He might or he might not.

GUILTY , Death .

He was humbly recommended to mercy by the Prosecutor and Jury.

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. Baron PERRYN .

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