30th November 1808
Reference Numbert18081130-34
VerdictNot Guilty

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34. JAMES HARDY was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 11th of November , a silver snuff box, value 2 l. the property of Thomas Imeson , from his person .

THOMAS IMESON . Q. What are you - A. I am a tobacconist in Shoreditch. On the 11th of November I attended the meeting of the freeholders for the county Middlesex, at the Mermaid tavern, Hackney , I got there previous to the sheriff's arrival, and was in the room some time; I had with me a silver snuff box, and after the business of the day had commenced and the debates were going on, I put my hand in my pocket in order to take some snuff; I could not find my box, it was missing; I examined the pocket, I found it had been cut by some some sharp instrument. It struck me that I would go out of the room to the waiter and get a constable, if I saw any suspicious characters I would have them taken up. While I was requesting the waiter to get me a constable; Mr. Bell, the high constable, came up, and said he was sufficient; a person came up to me; from his information I went to the mistress of the tap; I enquired if a snuff box had been left with her; she said, yes; I looked at it and desired that the person might be taken in custody if he came after the box; after I had been in the room a short time, a messenger came and said the gentleman had come for the box; I enquired of the prisoner if the box was his; his answer was, that he found it; I asked him where; he said near the sheriff's carriage as he was going into the room; I told him I was robbed of it, I did not know where he might find it. I then gave him into the custody of Mr. Bell.

MARGARET ANDREWS . Q. You keep this house, I suppose - A. I keep the tap belonging to the Mermaid, Hackney. The prisoner came to me at my bar; he asked for a glass of gin and water; he sat down in the parlour about ten minutes. The sheriff's footman came in, and he set in the room a quarter of an hour after the sheriff came in; he asked me if I had any snuff; I told him I had none; he asked me the favour to get him half an ounce, he gave me the box to put the snuff in, and said he would call for it; then he went away. When Mr. Imeson came up he asked me to let him look at the box. When the prisoner came for the box the prosecutor and Mr. Bell came forward and asked him if it was his box; he said, no, he found it.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Was there any thing the prisoner did respecting this box that any person might not have done - was there any thing that created suspicion in your mind - A. No; he said he found it in the yard.

MR. BELL. I was ordered down there; I met with Mr. Imeson; he said he had lost his snuff box; the prisoner came and demanded the snuff box; Mr. Imeson gave him in my custody; he said he found it; I

searched him, I found a pair of scissars.


First Middlesex jury before Mr. Recorder.

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