14th September 1796
Reference Numbert17960914-84
VerdictNot Guilty

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541. JAMES GRAY . (a soldier ,) was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 27th of August , a hempen bags value 4d. a saw, value 2s. a dovetail saw, value 1s. 6d. a jack plane, value 14d. a smoothing plane, value 15d. a rabbit plane, value 6d. two mallers, value 6d. two gimblets, value 4d. one gouge, value 6d. one axe, value 6d. three broad awls, value 3d. four chissels, value 12d. a Turkey oil stone, value 6d. an iron hammer, value 4d. and an augur, value 4d. the property of Charles Harding .


I am a carpenter : I was at work at the Shepherd and Shepherdess in the City Road; I was coming home down St. Martin's-lane, about six o'clock, with John Thompson, my partner; I met with a soldier (not the prisoner) who said he was my countryman, and we stopped and drank with him at the Northumberland Arms; at the door the soldier paid for one pot of beer, and my partner paid for two; I went in to see how he settled the reckoning, and left my bag of tools under the window; and while I was in the house the prisoner came out

and ran away with the tools; a man told me my tools were gone down towards the Strand; I went, but I could not find them; my partner found them at a public-house higher up, the Rose and Crown; the prisoner was there, and I took him into custody; he and some other soldiers beat us both terribly; the tools were in the landlady's possession in the bar of the public-house; the prisoner came in and out once or twice while we were drinking with the soldier.

John Thompson corroborated the evidence of the prosecutor.


I saw the prisoner take the tools from under the window of the Northumberland Arms, and carry them to Mrs. Rutledge's, the Rose and Crown; I am sure it was the prisoner.

Mrs. RUTLEDGE sworn.

I keep the Rose and Crown in St. Martin's-lane: On the 27th of last month the prisoner came to my house with a bag of tools, and desired me to take care of them.(The tools were produced in Court, and deposed to by the prosecutor.)

Prisoner's defence. My comrade had been drinking with these two carpenters; they had had a pot a-piece, and then they said they would have in my pot; the landlord said we had had enough, and would not give us any more; it was then agreed that we should go to the Rose and Crown, which we did; I took the tools and told them to come along; they did not come, and I went out again to see for them.

For the Prisoner.


I keep the Northumberland Arms, St. Martin's-lane ; the two carpenters and a soldier came to my door, they had three pots of beer; the prisoner partook of the second and third; I desired them to walk into the house, because people could not pass and repass; they insisted upon the prisoner having his pot; I begged them to walk in, or they should not have it; they insisted upon having it at the door, and I would not to let them; then the prisoner said, we will go to the next house and have my pot, and he repeated that three or four times, and they went away; I did not see the tools; I thought they had had enough. they seemed all intoxicated.

Mrs. Rutledge. The prisoner came to my house and desired me to take care of the tools; he went cut and came back again, and then these young men came and asked for him; I went down stairs to draw some beer, and when I came up again they were all fighting.

Minnifin. I saw him take them.

Q. Did it appear to be an intentional taking? - A. It appeared so to me, or else I should not have troubled myself about it.

Harding. He never said a word to me about going to another public-house; I went down towards the Strand to look for them.

Thompson. I heard no proposal to go to another public-house, or any thing like it.

Jury. (To Waddington.) Q. Did either the soldier or the carpenters return to your house? - A. No; not after the tools were missed.

Mrs. Rutledge. When he went out of my house he went across the way.


Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.

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