14th September 1826
Reference Numbert18260914-28

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Before Mr. Justice Gaselee.

1339. SAMUEL MERRETT was indicted for stealing, on the 23d of April , at St. Leonard, Shoreditch , 1 gelding, price 5l. , the property of Joseph Hoggett .

JOSEPH HOGGETT. I am a labouring man , and live at Laytonstone. On Saturday night, the 22d of April, about eight o'clock, I turned my gelding out on Wanstead Flats , and missed it between seven and eight on Sunday morning; I had had it about eight months - it was a black gelding, was chafed on the rump a good deal, and was worth 5l.; it was in an open place; I found it in possession of Bevan, at the New London Docks, about a month afterwards.

JAMES BEVAN . I lived at King's-head-yard, Kingsland-road, but now live in Burr-street, Wapping. I never saw the prisoner till the 21st, 22d, or 23d of April; I think it was on the 22d I saw him in Old-street - he had nothing with him then, and I said nothing to him; I saw him afterwards at Gotts' livery-stables, Old-street-road, nearly opposite Pitfield-street; the witness Lock came after me, and I went there (I had asked him if he knew who had a horse to sell); he took me to Gotts' livery stables: we met the prisoner coming up Pitfield-street, towards where I lived; he asked if I wanted to buy a horse - Lock was with me, and told me the prisoner had a horse to sell; the prisoner took me to Gotts' stables, shewed me a horse, and asked if that would do; I said it would not do at all - I would have nothing to do with it- I wanted a cart horse, and it was not big enough. He asked what I would give for it; I said I could give nothing for that; he said he had a horse he could bring me, if I would try it. He brought the horse away, and came up to my place in King's-head-yard, and I tried it; Lock said he had known the horse for three years; I asked what the price would be if I should like him after trying him a day; the prisoner asked what sort of a horse I wanted; I said a strong cart horse, worth about 8l. or 9l.; he said he wanted a little money to go to a fair; I said I would let him have 50s. on this horse till he brought me one to suit: I had but 49s. - he took that, and left the horse with me; I had it about six weeks, I think, when Hoggett came and claimed it in Old Gravel-lane, by the London Docks - I gave it up to him; I did not see the prisoner afterward till he was taken - he never brought another horse - one was brought to me but not by him.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Who brought it? A. I was not at home at the time - it was not left;

another was brought afterwards, but it was too dear. I took it on Lock's recommendation; he said he had known it three years, working at the back of the White Raven public-house. I have known Lock five or six years; it was sold to me openly in the King's Head-yard; any one passing might see it - it is an open yard; he did not tell me he had bought it that morning. I do not know whether he is a horse-dealer.

GEORGE HYDE . I am a carman, and live at the King's Head, Kingsland-road. I know Bevan. I first saw the prisoner on the 23d of April, coming down King's Headyard, with Lock; Bevan was gone into his own house; the horse was put into Bevan's stable - they brought it into my yard, and the prisoner tried it. Bevan had the horse at work with me, at the London-docks, for four or five weeks. The last time I saw it was at Worship-street, on the 21st of June - it was then in Hoggett's possession.

Cross-examined. Q. Can you say whether the prisoner or Lock led the horse into the yard? A. No; the prisoner seemed master of it; Lock said he had known it at the back of the White Raven for three years. I knew Lock before by his driving about town.

GEORGE GOTTS . I keep the Crosby's Head liverystable, Old-street-road. On Sunday, the 23d of April, the prisoner brought a black horse to my house - he came alone, and left the horse in my stable for about an hour; then two or three people came with him to look at it, and took it away with them - it was one or two of the witnesses - Lock was one, I think. I saw a horse at Worship-street, at the examination - it appeared to be the same.

Cross-examined. Q. What time did you get up that morning? A. Between six and seven o'clock - he brought it as early as that.

JOHN LOCK . I am a carter, and live in Old Nichol-street, Shoreditch. I know the prisoner by sight. On a Saturday in April (I do not recollect the date) I saw him in Golden-lane - I knew him before, only by sight. I went to a house in Golden-lane to him; I saw him again on Sunday morning, between six and seven o'clock, in Old-street-road - he had nothing with him then, and I had no conversation with him; he had told me overnight to tell Bevan he would bring the horse to Gott's stables on the Sunday morning; Bevan had asked me on Saturday if I knew who had one to sell; I said I thought I did, and went to Merrett, and he told me to tell him he would bring one there.

Q. How did you know he had one to sell? A. He had told me if I knew who wanted one to let him know - I thought he dealt in horses. Baker and Bevan were with me when I met the prisoner on Sunday, and we all four took the horse up to the King's Head, which is nearly a mile from Gotts', and tried it; the prisoner went with us to Gotts', and got the horse - Bevan lent him 49s. on it till the Friday following, when he was to bring him another - I do not know whether he did take him another - I never took one. I saw the same horse at Worship-street afterwards.

Cross-examined. Q. Are you a horse-dealer? A. No- I only knew Merrett before by sight.

Q. Did you not ask him to sell this horse for you? A. No - I am certain of that; I did not take another horse to the King's Head; I thought I knew this horse by its working at the back of the White Raven - it was so much like that horse, I thought I could swear to it. I pledged myself that I had known it three years, and one James Howard pledged the same. I did not tell Bevan afterwards that I was mistaken - I did not find it out till the horse was owned. I was at the King's Head afterwards, when another horse was brought, and should know the man who brought it, but I did not; I was there by accident, standing outside the gate - it might be between eight and nine o'clock in the morning. I live half a mile off - that horse was sold to Harwood; I do not know where the prisoner got this gelding from; I told the prisoner I had known it three years, behind the White Raven, and he said that was where he brought it from.

WILLIAM BAKER . I live in Mill-row, Kingsland-road. I was passing the King's Head gates on Sunday morning, when Bevan asked me to go and look at a horse; we went to Gotts' stables, the Crosby's Head - we met the prisoner in Pitfield-street in our way; Lock said he was the man who had it to sell, and he went back with us and showed us the horse; we then went to King's Head yard - Bevan said it was too little; the prisoner said he would let him have it to work a day or two, and would then bring him another, as he was going to a fair.

Cross-examined. Q. Did Lock appear to know the prisoner? A. We should have known nothing of the prisoner, or horse if Lock had not come to us. We were about half an hour in the yard looking at the horse.

JAMES BROWN . I am a Bow-street officer. I received information that the prisoner was wanted, and apprehended him at the corner of St. John-street, Smithfield.

WILLIAM ATTFIELD . I am an officer of Worship-street. The prisoner was brought to the office on another charge, and I detained him, as the person described as bringing this horse to the King's Head.

JOSHUA ARMSTRONG . I am an officer. I only found the horse.

JOSEPH HOGGETT. The horse found at Bevan's is mine. I never saw the prisoner near my premises.

Prisoner's Defence. I had witnesses here, but am afraid they are gone into the country.

GEORGE GOTTS . The prisoner paid me 6d. for a feed of corn for the horse.

One Witness gave the prisoner a good character.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 21.

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