JOSEPH WILLIS.
28th October 1812
Reference Numbert18121028-95
VerdictGuilty
SentenceTransportation

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936. JOSEPH WILLIS was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 29th of September , a sack, value 2 s. and four bushels of wheat, value 35 s. the property of Thomas Jordan and Robert Heath .

THOMAS JORDAN . I am a farmer , at Stanwell . My partner's name is Robert Heath . On the 29th of September I had in my barn ten sacks and three bushels of wheat, called Chatham wheat. It growed upon black ground. We had sowed on that ground, three years before, French wheat.

Q. Was there anything in this wheat particular - A. Yes, black ground. I saw it in my barn on the Tuesday. On the Wednesday morning I missed some of this wheat. My barn was broken open. I took a sample of the same wheat to Staines, on Friday, the 2nd of October. Mr. Saunders was there; he shewed me the wheat. I saw the wheat, and inspected it. I had no doubt it was mine. This is the sample of my wheat, that I missed.

Q. Was any French wheat grown in your neighbourhood - A. No, none.

THOMAS DAVENPORT . I am a meal-man. I reside at Staines. On the 2d of October I saw the prisoner at Staines market. He standing by a sack of wheat, that was for sale in the market. I asked him the price. He asked sixty-five shillings. I bid him fifty-five. He at last took it. He said, he had been standing there all the morning. He lived at Colnbrook, and he grew the wheat at Colnbrook. He wished to have the sack shot immediately. He wanted to get home to dinner. I took the wheat home. I am sure it is the same wheat. This is a sample of the wheat I bought. That has been in my possession ever since.

JOHN GIBSON . I am brother-in-law to the prisoner. On Wednesday morning he came into my little room. He brought something in a sack. He put it down. Me and my wife were a bed. He said, he had some gleaned wheat; he was going to take it to market. On Thursday the prisoner took it away. He said, he was going to Staines market, to sell it, to pay his rent. My wife went to Staines, on Friday morning, along with him.

ANN GIBSON. This sack of wheat was brought just as my husband has related. I went with the prisoner to Staines. He asked the sack carrier to fetch it on the ass. Joseph Willis came to me and asid, there was a piece of work about the sack of wheat, in the market, and I was to say it belonged to me; it was leased wheat or gleaned corn.

THOMAS CLARK . I am a constable. I took the prisoner in custody on the 2d of October. Mr Jordan said to him, he could not have done it all by himself.

MR. JORDAN. I said to him, Willis, this is a hard job. I think it might be as well, if you are the thief that robbed me, to tell me. He said, I am the thief that robbed you. I told him I could shew him no favour, it must be as Sir William Gibbons directed. The constable was by his side, and he was in his power.

Q. to Clark. Did you see the prisoner sign that - A. I did.

(Read.)

The voluntary confession of Joseph Willis , who saith, a person at Stanwell Moore, met him. They agreed to go together on the 20th, at night, to the barn of Thomas Jordan ; that they went and took a sack of wheat from there, which they hid in a field until the 1st of October, when they took the sack of wheat from the field, and carried it to Staines market. Taken before me, Thomas Gibbons , October, 2d, 1812. Signed, Joseph Willis .

Q. Now, Mr. Jordan, look at that wheat produced by Mr. Davenport - A. It is the same as was in my granary.

Prisoner's Defence. Mr. Jordan and the constable told me, if I would tell them they would clear me. I told them the truth. I am very sorry for it.

GUILTY , aged 30.

Transported for seven Years .

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.


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