12th January 1791
Reference Numbert17910112-12
VerdictGuilty > theft under 1s
SentenceCorporal > whipping; Imprisonment

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66. ADAM WARD was indicted for stealing, on the 16th of December last, a piece of ash timber, value 2 d. twenty pieces of leather, value 3 s. two pieces of iron, called screw-wrenches, the property of William Leader ; and a wooden spokeshaft, value 1 s. the property of Richard Lucas .


I was a workman to Mr. Leader: I was coming out of the shop, and I overtook the prisoner with a piece of timber on his shoulder, about two or three hundred yards on the road: I followed him to the Pindar of Wakefield's, and down a little passage where he went in, and took it up stairs: that was his lodging: it seemed like a piece of timber about four foot long, more or less, and four or five inches thick: he had nothing else but his lanthorn: it was near six in the evening, and dark: it was the 17th of December, on a Friday.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel. I understood you, it was a piece of timber, or something like it? - It was a piece of timber represented: I cannot swear it was: I think it was.


I am a baker and constable of St. Andrews, Holborn. I went with a warrant, and told him my business, and asked him what he had done with that piece of timber that he lately brought home out of Mr. Leader's premises? he said, oh, here it is, in a very careless unconcerned manner: says I, fetch it out, and he brought it out of his room, at the first door in a narrow passage behind the Pindar of Wakefield's: he acknowledged it to be Mr. Leader's property: I neither threatened nor promised him: it was on the 17th of December, about half past eight the same evening: the man was very sober, and in bed: he is a watchman whom Mr. Leader kept to protect his premises: Mr. Lucas was with me: I could not be certain whether it was the first or second door.

Mr. Garrow. Recollect all that the man said when he produced it? - He made a very slight value of it: he said he did not conceive it to be of any value.

Did not he say that it was part of a common sewer in the parish of Pancras; that he thought it of no value, and brought it home to burn? - I believe he did.

(The timber produced and deposed to by Lucas.)

It was formerly a coach-perch, and is not fit for any thing but to burn: I also found several pieces of leather, which he said was Mr. Leader's property, and he brought home to mend his shoes; and one piece of coach-leather, which he said he brought home to mend his spatterdashes, and was of the value of two and six-pence: and here is a tool which I am certain is mine; it is a spokeshaft.

Mr. Garrow. I object to that: it is improperly laid: it is wood and iron, and it is called a wooden instrument: I could cite the case of Senior, in which I had the honour of very feebly assisting your lordship, in which the casements in the Temple were stolen: they were iron and wood, and they were described as iron.

Court. It does not depend upon that particular article.

The jury withdrew for ten minutes, and returned with a verdict,

GUILTY, 10 d.

Whipped , and imprisoned six months .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.

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