15th January 1800
Reference Numbert18000115-45
VerdictNot Guilty

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115. JAMES-BLACKMAN SNOOK was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 15th of November , a gelding, value 9l. the property of Thomas Somerset .

THOMAS SOMERSET sworn. - I am a farmer , at Bird-farm, Preshute, near Marlborough : I lost a gelding from the grounds near my house; the last time I saw him in my grounds was the 1st of November, I found him again on the 1st of December, he was brought to my house; one of my men saw him on the road; the person that brought him to me was Mr. Powell; one hip was rather lower than the other, he had a star in his forehead, and a little snip of white below the nose; it was a black gelding, a saddle-horse.

Q. Did you ever see the prisoner near your house? - A. No.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. You lost your horse? - A. Yes.

Q.Whether it was stolen out of the field, or strayed, you do not know? - A. No.

RICHARD POWELL sworn. - I am servant to Mr. Marsden, a horse dealer, in the Curtain-road: I was sent with this horse, and twelve more, to Bath, for the Cinque Port Fencibles; I slept at Marlborough on the last day of November, and on Sunday, the 1st of December, I was going forward with my horses to Devizes, when one of Mr. Somerset's men stopped the little black horse, and owned it, he said he was bred there; I said, if he was bred there he would certainly go home; I took the halter off, and he went home to Mr. Somerset's up to the stable-door, and I followed him.

Q. Is the Curtain-road in the City of London? - A. I cannot say.

JAMES LANGHORNE sworn. - I keep the City Repository in Barbican: This horse was brought to our house on Friday November the 15th, but I cannot say who brought it; it was put up by auction and not sold; after which it was sold at private sale to Mr. Bishop, for nine pounds; I think I saw it delivered to Mr. Bishop's man; and on Monday, the 18th, the prisoner at the bar came and demanded the balance arising from the sale of his horse, which I refused to pay him, till he produced a voucher, or I had made some inquiry relative to his character; he gave me several references which were not at all satisfactory; he then gave me a reference to a Mr. Chancellor, in my neighbourhood, and in consequence of his account of him my suspicions were conquered, and I paid him the money, eight pounds six shillings.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. Who this horse was left by you do not know? - A. No; the entry was in the name of Blackman.

Q. Did you ever see the horse in the possession of the prisoner? - A. I never did.

Q. Are any of Mr. Bishop's men here? - A. I really do not know.

Q. It was three days after before you paid the money? - A. Yes.

JOHN BISHOP sworn. - I am a horse-dealer: I bought a gelding on the 15th of November, of Mr. Langhorn, and on the 17th, or 18th, I sold it to Mr. Marsden, and delivered it to him.

Powell. I was at home when the horse was brought from Mr. Bishop's by his man.

WILLIAM- THOMAS HOLLINGSWORTH sworn. - I am foreman to Mr. Langhorne: The horse was brought to our house on the 15th of November, and sold to Mr. Bishop for nine pounds; it was booked in the name of Blackman, our book is not here; I delivered him to Mr. Bishop's man the same evening; on the Monday the prisoner at the bar came for the money; my master came out of the accompting-house, after having been there some time, and ordered me to get a horse, and go to the Golden-canister, in Portland-street, to inquire the prisoner's character; I went, but got no

satisfactory answer; after that, the prisoner went with me, from our yard, to Mr. Chancellor's, and he gave him a very good character; Mr. Chancellor said his name was James Snook ; I told him the check was drawn James Blackman, and I would take it back to my master; the prisoner said he was christened James Blackman Snook ; and then my master wrote a check in the name of James-Blackman Snook, and the prisoner took his money.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. Were you present at the time the horse was brought to your yard? - A. No; it was brought by a stranger that the ostler at the Maiden-head, in St. Giles's, sent it with.

Q. You never saw the horse in the possession of the prisoner? - A. I never did.

Q.(To Bishop.) What time was it that your servant delivered the horse to Marsden? - A. On the Sunday about twelve o'clock.

Hollingsworth. I took the prisoner the very next day, after my master heard of the horse being stopped, somewhere about the beginning of December, at No. 1, Portland-street, he lodged there; when we were coming out, Mr. Langhorne asked him if he remembered receiving the money for a black horse, on the 18th of November; he said he did; Mr. Langhorne then informed him that it was a stolen horse; he said he would give us information where he got the horse, but he must step home to his wife first; then I walked after him, to see that he went to his house, and, instead of going to his house, he ran through the passage, caught hold of the back door, and kept me in the house; I recollected the next house, and got over the wall; by that time he had got out of his own yard to the next premises, over another wall, and was trying to get in at the back part of the house, but the door was fast; I asked him why he ran away, as he told me he could tell the person that he had the horse of; I told him he had better go with me; he said he would if I would let him go over the wall, which I did; and then he gave a spring from me, and went over a number of back premises, and I after him; he then got into the farmer's yard, and when he got there the back door was open, and he went through the house, and I after him; at last he ran into a butcher's shop, and there I took him; I am sure he is the same man.

Mr. Knapp. Q. Did you mention one word of this before the Magistrate? - A. Yes, I did.

Q. Are you sure of that? - A. Yes.

Q.Were you bound over by the Magistrate? - A. No.

Q. You told the same story you have told to-day, and yet the Justice did not bind you over to give evidence here to-day? - A. No.

Q. You have not been talking to any body about it, have you? - A.Not to my knowledge.

Q. Do you know that gentleman, Mr. Gould? - A. Yes.

Q. Have you had any conversation with him? - A. No, not to-day.

Q. During the sessions, in the yard? - A. No; I have never seen Mr. Gould; I saw him in our yard before the Sessions began, and Mr. Gould was in the yard when we came home from apprehending Snook.

Q. Have you had any conversation about a forty pound reward, if this man is convicted, and that you should have a good part of it? - A.Not to my knowledge; I never took a man in my life before; I did not take him for a forty pound reward; I took him for my master's security.

Q.Had you no conversation with Mr. Gould, about a forty pound reward, that you were to get a good part of? - A. I do not recollect any thing of it; Mr. Gould may come forward, and talk about it, but not to my recollection.

Prisoner's defence. I never stole a horse in life; the rest I leave to my Counsel.

The prisoner called three witnesses, who gave him a good character.


Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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