1st July 1807
Reference Numbert18070701-60

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483. JOHN GODDING, alias GODWYN , was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 25th of June , seven pine apples, value 6 l. the property of Sackville Stephen Bale .

The case was stated by Mr. Gurney.

SACKVILLE STEPHEN BALE . Q. I believe, sir, you are rector of Wineham in Sussex . - A. Yes.

On the morning of the 25th of June did you go to your pine house. - A. I was informed by my servant. I went to the pinehouse about nine o'clock in the morning; I found the door going into the garden had been broken open, and I saw one of the front lights of the pine house had been taken out, and that some one had entered the pine house; I saw a cavity there.

Q. How many pine apples were gone. - A. About thirty in all; two of them were ripe, and some were nigh ripe, and others were green.

Q. Was there any thing that gave you suspicion that the person who had done this, whoever he was, must have known the premises. - A. I had every reason to believe so.

Q. Had the prisoner been your servant. - A. Yes, four months ago he was my gardener , and had the care of the pine house; he had lived with me about four or five months.

Q. You came or sent to Covent Garden market directly. - A. I came to Covent Garden that same day; I have seen the pine apples at Bow-street; I have no doubt they are mine.

ALEXANDER FRAZER . Q. You are Mr. Bale's gardener. - A. Yes.

Q. On the night of the 24th of June was the pine house all safe. - A. Yes; about ten o'clock at night I saw them safe.

Q. At what hour the next morning did you go to the pine house. - A. About seven o'clock I found the front light of the pine house pulled out, and about thirty two pines were cut from the plant; about eight or nine of them were ripe, the rest were green. On Saturday I came to London; I saw the pines at Covent Garden, and they were produced at Bow-street.

Q. Are you able to speak to any of them being your master's. - A. I can speak to one, it was a singular one; I had never seen the like before.

Q. Is that the pine that you speak of being so singular. - A. Yes.

Q. What is the singularity of that pine apple. - A. They generally swell up here (describing it); about an inch from that it had been hurt in the root, and it came up with a double crown.

Jury. Did you never see one with a double crown before. - A. No, not both connected together, with a double crown, and not to swell at the top.

Mr. Gurney. Now look at the others, and tell me whether they are such as you raised. - A. Yes; I have every reason to believe they are the pine apples that were taken out of my master's pine house.

Q. How many are there. - A. Five.

WILLIAM SHALES . I am servant to Mr. Lloyd, five miles beyond Croydon.

Q. On the morning of Thursday the 25th of June were you near Sanders's workhouse. - A. Yes, I was on horseback; that is three miles beyond Croydon; I overtook the prisoner, he was walking, he had green pine apples in a handkerchief, and ripe ones in a flag basket; he had a handkerchief, with a cabbage leaf inside of it, and some grapes; he was coming from Wineham to Croydon, and so towards town; I carried the basket and the handkerchief for him, they were tied together; he said he had started about one o'clock in the morning; this was about nine I believe when I saw him; he said the grapes were all of his own growing. I came three miles with him of the high road, and just as we came to the pay gate he turned off there; his stockings were torn, he said it was getting over Dubble Hill.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Did you know the prisoner before. - A. No; I understood since that he lived at Dubble Hill.

Q. Did you see a great many people in your riding and walking together. - A. We met three men. I unluckily let one of the pine apples fall; one of these men picked it up, and said they found it; they brought it to our house, my mistress bought it.

MR. BENTLEY. I keep a shop in Covent Garden market. On the afternoon of Thursday the 25th of June, between three and four o'clock, the prisoner came to my shop and offered me five pine apples; I told him they were too green, and they were not cut as in general they were to come to market; he told me they were just upon the turn, and if they were put in the window they would ripen in a day or two; he said he came from Croydon, just by Haydon park; I asked him why he cut them so; he said he generally cut them so to set them flat in a plate; we generally have the stalks about three inches long; some will come only an inch long, but none come in this way. He said he was a gardneer; I asked him if they were his perquisites; he said his master was a very good kind of a man, and never said any thing so long as he kept the table well supplied; I asked him if he should have any other kind of fruit to dispose of; he said he should in the course of the season have two or three dozen of peaches.

Q. Did you buy the pine apples. - A. Yes, I gave him fifty-five shillings for them. I told him as I bought the pine apples of him, and they were not ripe, he should give me the refusal of the other fruit when he came to town. I put them in the window; Mr. Carpmeal and Frazer, the gardener, came together; they went into the parlour; I put the pine apples I bought of the prisoner on the table. They desired I would take care of them, which I did.

THOMAS STACKMAN . I was in the shop of the last witness when the prisoner came with the pine apples.

Q. Are you sure the prisoner is the person that sold the pine apples. - A. Yes.

MR. LARKING. I keep a fruiterer's shop in Covent Garden.

Q. On Thursday the 25th of June did the prisoner come to your house. - A. He did; I think it was between two and three o'clock; he brought four pine apples, two ripe and two green; I bought the two ripe ones and refused the two green; I gave thirty shillings for them; I sold them; I am certain he is the man.

ANN BAILEY . Q. On the same Thursday did the prisoner offer to you any pine apples. - A. Yes, four; three of them were ripe, and one green; they were cut without stalks, which I objected to; I told the prisoner they looked as if they had been on table for a desert.

Q. Did not that create suspicion in your mind. - A. No. Sometimes gentlemen's servants will bring a pine after it has been on table; it is their perquisites.

THOMAS CARPMEAL , I am an officer of Bow-street. I apprehended the prisoner at his house Dubble Hill; I told him I took him in custody for stealing pine apples at Mr. Bale's, and that on Thursday in the afternoon he had sold them in Covent Garden market; he said he had not been to Covent Garden market for many months.

Q. to Frazer. Would any body trampling among the rough leaves tear their stockings. - A. Yes, provided they went against the edge.

Q. Had you any peaches. - A. We had a peach-house.

Prisoner's Defence. I had been very bad; on Thursday the 25th of June I was a little better; I came to town, I went to see my brother at Islington. As I was coming over Thornton heath I saw the basket with eleven pines in it; I picked it up; I brought them to Covent Garden market and sold them, as I did not find any body to own them.

The prisoner called one witness, who gave him a good character.

GUILTY , aged 28.

Transported for Seven Years .

Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.

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