29th May 1793
Reference Numbert17930529-98
VerdictNot Guilty

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491. WILLIAM ATWELL was indicted for obtaining twenty-seven ladies morocco collars, value 1 l. 1 s. 6 d. of Joseph Berisford , under false pretences .


I know nothing of the transaction.


I am servant to Mr. Evance, King-street, Cheapside; I was sent the 16th of April with some ladies leather collars, I don't know how many, to Mr. Belger; I was going along Cheapside about four o'clock, and a man met me, says he, I know your face; soon after the prisoner came up, and he met me the corner of Snow-hill, the man when he met me, asked me where I was going? I told him to Covent-garden; and he asked me to shew him the direction; I shewed him the directions, it was to Mr. Belger, New-street, Covent-garden; this I shewed the man in Cheapside. I met the prisoner the corner of Snow-hill , says he, you have got a parcel for Mr. Belger and he said he was going for it; I told him I had, and the receipt was a guinea and six-pence, and he said Mr. Belger did not tell him to pay any receipt; I told him then to go to Mr. Evance's clerk and pay the receipt; he asked me for the bundle, and I gave it him; he said he came from Mr. Belger's and was going to Mr. Evance's for the parcel; I gave it him, and he said Mr. Belger did not tell him of the money; then I said, pay Mr. Evance's clerk, and I left him; he walked off, and I went about my business. This was on Tuesday I saw him on the Saturday after he was taken up.

Q. Did you see him between the Tuesday and Saturday? - No.

Q. How came he to be taken up? - I don't know. I am sure that is the man.

Q. Who was with him when he took the parcel? - Nobody. I am sure he is the man.

Q. Did you know any thing of this man before? - No.

Mr. Knapp. You never saw the prisoner before in your life? - Never.

Q. And yet you say you are sure he is the man? - Yes.

Q. Have you ever seen the first man that came to you? - Never.

Q. Should you know him again was he to come to you? - I don't think I should.

Q. Why he had some conversation with you? - Yes, about two minutes.

Q. How much time was you with the prisoner? - A good deal longer with him, about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour.

Q. Then the other you do not recollect? - He is a thinish man.

Q. You don't know whether these goods were sold or no before you saw the prisoner at my Lord Mayor's? - I did not.

Q. Have you always said that you was sure of the man? - Yes.

Q. You was before Mr. Alderman Boydell? - Yes.

Q. On the first examination, will you take on yourself to say that you said, you was sure of the man then? - Yes, sir; I did.

Q. Pray was not this the case, that you was not sure of him at the first, but you was at the second examination? - He had not got his hair the same the first time.

Q. He was in custody all the time? - He was.

Q. And there were two examinations of him? - There was.

Q. You thought you knew him at the first, but you was sure of him at the second examination? - Yes.

Court. What do you say now, is he the man or not? - He is the man.

Q. Have you any doubt about him? - I am sure he is.


I am shopman to Mr. Cowles in Cornhill, he is in the jewellery line. Having occasion for the articles which are described in the indictment, I sent to Mr. Evance's, and was informed of their being defrauded of such articles, red morocco collars for ladies, being informed they had not got any, we applied for some elsewhere. The articles laying in the window was the cause of the prisoner bringing in some to offer for sale, he came in the 18th of April, saying he had an article which he found on Tower-hill, and seeing that I had an article of the same description in the window, he came to know if I would buy them; he did not know what their value were; from the appearance of his story I thought they were the collars that Mr. Evance's lad was defrauded of, I suspected him, and to be certain before ever I taxed him with it, I begged him to sit down while I went to shew them to Mr. Cowles who was hard by; instead of which I went to Mr. Evance's, and asked Mr. Evance's clerk if they had heard any thing of the collars? he informed me they had not; when I returned to the shop, I found the prisoner was gone, and had left the shop about a minute, I was informed he was gone down Sweeting's-alley; I immediately went in pursuit of him, at the bottom of Sweeting's-alley the prisoner looking about observed me, and he immediately communicated it to some others, as I conceived by their looking about too; I went up to him and asked him if he had not shewn to me some red morocco collars at a shop in Cornhill? he told me he had; says I, why did you leave the shop till you had done your business? the excuse he made was, that he had some business with these friends in Broad-street, and

he wished to finish it in my absence; I told him he must come back with me and finish the business he had in hand first; accordingly he came back, and he was charged with the constable; the collars are in the custody of the constable.


I am constable of Cornhill; I received these collars of a gentleman in Mr. Cowles's shop.

- HUTCHINGS sworn.

I am servant to Mr. Evance; having an order from Mr. Belger for two dozen of collars, we made some according to his directions, of different sizes, I believe these to be the same, we sent them by the boy the 16th of April; there is no mark on them, but the reason I believe them to be the same, we had particular orders to make them very neat; I can speak particular to one, I sent two dozen and three, he wanted only fifteen; I sent the boy with them on Tuesday.

Mr. Knapp. You are inclined to think from the appearance of these collars that they belong to Mr. Evance? - I do.

Q. How long have you been in this line of business? - About two years.

Q. The work comes out as neat of other shops as it does out of your's? - They are very neat.

Q. Do you mean to swear to the Court and Jury that you never saw any others of that sort before? - No, but at the same time I believe they are the same; I would not say further.


I live in New-street, Covent-garden.

Q. Do you know the prisoner? - No.

Q. Did you ever send him for any goods? - No.

Q. Was he ever a servant of your's? - No.

Mr. Knapp. You are in a considerable line of business in New-street, Covent-garden; you employ a good many workmen, perhaps you have a foreman that manages your business? - Not so much manages my business as he is my clerk.

Q. What is his name? - John Holford . In my business there is one more who is present, Henry Bunting .

Q. Mr. Holford may give orders for persons to fetch your goods in, and has done so many times? - He has.

Q. Whether he gave any orders respecting these goods you don't know? - I do not.

Q. Did he know whether you had ordered the collars? - I cannot say, I will not by any means say that I know the prisoner, but that same evening somebody brought the collars to me in the dusk of the evening, I chose some of them, I chose one dozen, and paid for them, I made use of them.


There was a young man brought some collars from Mr. Evance's into the house he gave a little parcel and said he brought them from Mr. Evance's; I did not buy them, he said he was not to leave them without the money; I desired him to call again when Mr. Belger would be at home.

Mr. Knapp addressed the Jury in behalf of the defendant.

Court to Belger. Did you or did you not give orders to any body to go for these goods? - No, I did not.


Tried by the London Jury before. Mr. COMMON SERJEANT

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