20th September 1797
Reference Numbert17970920-6
VerdictNot Guilty

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489. JOHN BLYTHE was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 3d of August , twenty packs of playing cards, value 20s. the property of Henry Hart .

FRANCES SMITH sworn - I am housekeeper at Mr. Hart's, in Lamb's-Conduit-street ; the prisoner was shopman there: On the 3d of August, I arose a few minutes after seven, I looked to see if the prisoner had opened the shop; I saw his brother, Edward Blythe, standing by him, tying up a parcel in a white cloth, which I knew to be a very improper thing; his brother is apprentice to one of our journeymen, I forget his name; I went out into the shop, and asked Edward what the parcel was, and he seemed so agitated at seeing me, that he pushed it from him, and put his hat upon the top of it; then I said I would see what it was; I looked, and found it was Mr. Hart's property; the prisoner's brother had no business in the shop at all.

Q. Was the prisoner near his brother? - A. No; he had just been sweeping the shop, and was going with the broom to put it in it's place; when I asked what the parcel was, he was passing by between him and me.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. It was the prisoner's business to open and sweep the shop? - A. Yes.

Q. He was in his proper employment? - A. Yes.

Q. And in going to put the broom by, he necessarily passed his brother? - A. Yes.

Court. Q.Where did the prisoner's brother work? - A. In the back shop.

Q. Did he go through the fore shop in order to get into the back shop? - A. Yes.

WILLIAM DEAN sworn - I am clerk to Mr. Hart: All that I know about it is, that he acknowledged himself one of the confederates, before Mr. Blamire.

Q.Was that taken in writing? - A. No.

Q.What was said to him to induce him to acknowledge it? - A. Mr. Blamire asked him what the cards were to be done with, and he said they were to be sent to Norwich, to his mother who was a poor washerwoman, with what packs they could make up; he confessed it, and was very sorry for it.

Q. Are you sure it was not taken down in writ

ing? - A. O yes, all that Blythe said was taken down in writing, I believe it was, but I cannot swear it; I saw this bunch of keys taken out of his pocket, and they were given to me. (Produces them).

Q. What do you know about those keys? - A. Nothing at all.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. Do you mean to say there is a picklock key amongst them? - A. No, I do not.

JOSIAH STONE sworn. - I am foreman to Mr. Hart: On the 3d of August, in the morning, between seven and eight, I was sent for by Mrs. Smith; she had seen the prisoner's brother tying up a bundle, which, when I looked at, I found to be Mr. Hart's property.

Prisoner's defence. I know nothing at all about them.

Mr. GORMAN sworn. - My father is a merchant, in New Broad-street, in the city; I live clerk with Messrs. Winter and Kay: I have known the prisoner about twelve months; he lived in my father's service about twelve months, during which time he was perfectly honest.

Court. Q. How long ago? - About fourteen months ago.

Q.(To Stone). How many packs of cards did you find in the bundle? - A.Twenty packs.

Q. What are they worth? - A. Twenty shillings.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice ROOKE.

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