13th January 1802
Reference Numbert18020113-24
VerdictNot Guilty

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103. ROBERT PARKER and WILLIAM LONSDALE were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 5th of January , in the dwelling-house of the said William Lonsdale, four guineas, and a bank-note, value 30l. the property of Cuthbert Kitchen .

CUTHBERT KITCHEN sworn. - I am a farmer , near Bishop's Castle, in Shropshire; I came to town this day fortnight, and it will be a fortnight tomorrow since I lost my property; I was sitting in the parlour of my nephew, who is a cheesemonger, in Whitcomb-street, and a man came in and fetched him to decide a wager of a foot-race that was run at York some years back; he asked me to go with him, and I did; we went first to a public-house in the Haymarket that my nephew used, and there we had a pot of beer between us two and the man that fetched him; one man came, and said, if it was not decided by such a time, he would lose his wager; and my nephew went, and came back again to me, and then I went with him to the Robin-Hood, in Charles-street, St. James's-square.

Q. Who keeps it? - A. I don't know; there were some people drinking punch; they knew my nephew by pretence, that they had seen him before, and they asked us to drink with them, and then cards were introduced, and my nephew played.

Q. Who were the parties that sat down to play? - A. There is one there, (Parker.)

Q. What did they play at? - A. They played at whist; there was my nephew and three of them made the party; I sat by them, and then they proposed to lay money; my nephew said, uncle, I have an extraordinary good hand of cards, I can beat them myself, I am sure of the odd trick.

Q. Did he say that openly, so that the others could hear? - A. Yes.

Q. They would not take your best after that, I suppose? - A. Yes, they did.

Q. What did you lay? - A. I laid forty pounds to twenty.

Q. Did you win? - A. No; as soon as they put it down, I thought there was something wrong; I thought they were going to rob me, and I said

to my nephew, John, you have brought me here to be robbed.

Q. Before all the company? - A. Yes; he said, no, uncle, I know the men very well, they will not rob you; Mr. Parker, the man at the bar, got the money in his hand, and I snatched it out of his hand by force, and, in getting it from him by force, I tore the thirty-pound note in three pieces; I had put into his hand a thirty-pound bank-note and two five-guinea country-bills; then that caused a disturbance in the house, and they were angry with me, and he said I had robbed my nephew, for he could have won the game if I had let him.

Q. Was he to go halves with you? - A. There was nothing said about halves, and my nephew himself was angry with me; upon that we all went away from that house, and I thought of going home, and all the way I went, my nephew and these two men were chiding me that I had ruined him, by not letting him win the money; they said, they were my nephew's friends, and they would not let him be robbed; so in going home, some of the party proposed to get some more drink; then we went to a public-house in the Haymarket; they call it the tap at the Opera house; we went all straight away in the parlour.

Jury. Q. What time of night was this? - A. I do not know, for I had been drinking punch with them, and had more liquor than I should have had.

Court. Q. Do not you know what time it was - was it dark? - A. Yes; I dare say it was nine o'clock before we went out.

Q. Who keeps the tap? - A. The prisoner Lonsdale.

Q. Was he sober? - A. I do not know whether he was drunk or sober; I did not see any thing by him; when we went into the parlour, they called for some more punch, and some of them began to produce a pack of cards again; my nephew was as keen of playing as any of them, and he said only put it down, and we will soon have the money; and they proposed a wager again, and one of them said, oh, he is drunk, we will soon do him.

Q. Who was that? - A. One of the party that was playing.

Q. You thought him drunk too, I suppose? - A. I thought he was in liquor; he appeared very much like a gentleman; they would not let him speak, and I thought they used him ill; and then I laid the same wager as I had done before; I laid forty pounds to twenty again; I was thinking I could get some money.

Q. And did you think that perfectly honest? - A. I cannot say; then my nephew laid twice over ten to one, that was threescore pounds, and I put it down for him; he said, he had got such a hand of cards; he had got all the trumps in his own hand; he had got seven trumps; he had only one trick to get; he had only one card left when the wager was laid, and that was a trump.

Q. You knew all this, and saw it? - A. Yes; and one of the men wanted to look at the cards that had been played, and he played a trump; my nephew said, you are a rascal, I played that card, it was the seven of hearts; then the gentleman, that pretended to be drunk, snatched up the money, and ran away with it.

Q. Did you see Lonsdale in the room at all? - A. No, I did not.

Court. Gentlemen, you see this is a scene of iniquity from beginning to end.

Jury. Q. Who held the stakes? - A. Another man that they brought in; I did not know him.

Q. You recollect all these circumstances perfectly well, and yet you say you were so drunk you could not tell what time it was? - A. No.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. Will you just tell the Gentlemen of the Jury how many jails you have been in? - A. I never was in any jail for any harm.

Q. How many jails have you been in? - A. I do not know.

Q. Clerkenwell, one; Newgate, two; Hereford, three; and so on? - A. I never was in any country jail.

Q. Do you know that place behind you? - A. I suppose you know that as well as me.

Q. What were you in Newgate for? - A. For no felony.

Q. For gambling? - A. No.

Q. What for? - A. For debt.

Q. What were you in Clerkenwell for? - A. I was there once for something; I changed a horse at Smithfield, and the horse that I changed for was stole, and they took me upon suspicion, but I was discharged.

Q. Do you recollect a man of your name being indicted for horse-stealing, and run away from his bail? - A. No.

Q. You never heard of such a man? - A. No.

Q. Your's is a singular name - I do not ask you if you are the man -

Court. I don't know whether we should go any farther in a case like this; they are playing at cards in a public-house, and his nephew, being sure of winning, lays two to one; what credit can you give to so drunken, so abandoned, a witness.

Jury. We should like to hear the nephew, my Lord.

JOHN BOLDERSON sworn. - I am a cheesemonger, No. 7. Whitcomb-street, Haymarket; Parker called upon me.

Q. How long have you known him? - A. I did not know any thing of him further than coming to my shop for cheese and butter: On Tuesday, the 6th of January, he called upon me, about eight

o'clock at night, and asked me if I was busy; I told him I was; he said, he had betted a wager of a bowl of punch about a foot-race at York; and I told him I knew the man won his wager that he run for, but I could not tell what time it was to be done in; I told him I had an uncle from the country, if he would take him with me, I would go; we went first to the tap under the Opera, and there they said he was gone to the Talbot; then we went to the Talbot, and then a man came in with a note from the Robin-Hood, saying, that his bowl of punch would be forfeited, unless I came directly; I left my uncle, and went there; there was only one person in the back parlour, and he asked me what I knew about the wager, and I told him; he said, he was satisfied that he had lost, and called for a bowl of punch; I had a glass of punch, and a man came in, and said, Mr. Bolderon, how do you do? I was astonished at his knowing me, and he asked me to have some brandy and water; he said, he should like to smoke a pipe with me, and persuaded me to fetch my uncle; Parker went with me, and my uncle came; after we had sat down some time, a pack of cards was produced, and my uncle was asked to play; he said, he never did; we played for a bowl of liquor; I had a capital good hand, and they proposed to bet wagers as far as forty pounds; my uncle put down a thirty-pound note and two five-guinea notes; Parker took them up; and then my uncle, dreading something, said, John, you have brought me here to be robbed; I said, G - d bless you, no, we are all countrymen together; then there was a proposal to go to the tap under the Opera.

Q. Were you sober? - A. I was rather fresh in liquor.

Q. How long have you lived in London? - A. Only since May; we went to the tap, and then the cards were introduced again, and we stopped to play; hearts were trumps, and I had the ace, king, queen, knave, nine, seven, and six, of hearts, Parker was my partner; the other two were Furby and Harrison; Harrison was the man who was represented as the gentleman.

Q. He was drunk, was not he? - A. He pretended to be drunk; when I looked at my cards, I said to my uncle, I am sure I can get the odd trick; I trumped one of their cards with the seven; then Furby said, let me look at your cards that you have played, and he did look at them, and stole the seven from my cards; after a little while, he played my trump seven, and then I perceived he had stole it; then the gentleman swore he had won, and snatched up the money; my uncle had betted thirty pounds, and put down five five-guinea notes and four guineas in gold; Mr. Harrison put down his pocket-book and his gold watch against it; it was all put into the hands of a man of the name of Solliker, and as soon as there was a row about it, he snatched the money from Solliker, and ran out; my uncle ran out immediately, but he was gone.

Jury. Q. Was Lonsdale any one of the party that was gambling? - A. No, only bringing in the liquor.

Q. Did he seem acquainted with the persons who were playing? - A. Not at all.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. What part of the country do you come from? - A. Near Richmond, in Yorkshire.

Q. Do you know what time this was? - A. I think, to the best of my recollection, it might be about one o'clock in the morning; we went out between eight and nine.

THOMAS BLISS sworn. - I am one of the Inspectors of bank-notes: On the 6th of January, the prosecutor came to the Bank to say something about a thirty-pound note that he had lost in the scramble the night before; and, while he was there, Parker came and presented it; I stopped it, and have kept it ever since, (produces it;) it was torn in this manner.(Kitchen produced some pieces of a bank-note, which corresponded with that produced by Mr. Bliss.)

- MACKENZIE sworn. - I am a watchman: On Wednesday, the 6th of January, about two o'clock in the morning, I heard the found of the rattles; I went to the tap under the Opera, and there was the prosecutor and his nephew; they both said they had been robbed, and the man was gone; there was a great deal of confusion.

WILLIAM PERCY sworn. - I am a watchman in the Haymarket: At near half past two o'clock I heard the spring of a rattle, and went to the Opera tap; they wanted me to take the landlord, but I said I knew where to find him, and as he was not the man that robbed him, I did not know that I should do right.

WILLIAM WARREN sworn. - I apprehended Lonsdale and his wife upon a warrant.

Court. (To Kitchen.) Q. Cuthbert Kitchen is an odd name, were you never in Newgate but for debt? - A. No.

Q. It is a name known in this Court, were you tried for that horse that you say you changed? - A. No, I told the Justice how it was, and I was discharged.

Prisoner Parker. I wish to have the landlord of the Robin-Hood called.

MATTHEW BARNES sworn. - I never saw these people before; they asked me for cards, and I refused them; I saw the cards on the table packed up twice, but I did not see them played.

Q. Did you know any thing about this? - A. No, Bolderon was very much intoxicated, and abused my wife because I had refused the cards.


First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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