Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 24 February 2018), September 1746, trial of Samuel Mecum (t17460903-34).

Samuel Mecum, Theft > theft from a specified place, 3rd September 1746.

319. Samuel Mecum was indicted, for that he, together with Richard Swist , Samuel Smith , and James Stamford , not yet taken, did steal one Back of Yarn, the Property of William Haydes , from the Rose and Crown Yard, Holbourn-Bridge , the 12th Day of February .

Q. (to Robert Gricewood .) What have you to charge the Prisoner with?

Gricewood. These Goods were lost out of my Custody; the Sack containing a hundred Weight of Linnen Yarn.

Q. Who did this Yarn belong to?

Gricewood. To William Hayles of - in Wiltshire. We were going to load it in a Waggon; whilst we were busy about the Waggon, these Goods were taken away out of the Yard.

Prisoner. My Lord, ask him if he ever saw me in his Yard, or about it.

Gricewood. No, my Lord, I did not.

Q. Were these Goods ever found again?

Gricewood. No, my Lord.

Q. (to William Archer .) What have you to say ?

Archer. Last Ash-Wednesday there was I, Samuel Mecum , Richard Swift , and James Stamford ; Richard Swift gives Mecum a Hand up with thus Yarn, in order to carry it home to Mecum's House.

Q. What did you do the mean time ?

Archer. Stamford and I stood to look if any body saw us. After we had brought the Yarn pretty near to his House, he run to get his House open, which he did: We Went into the Entry, and threw it down the Cellar. As soon as he carried it as far as he had a Mind, Mr. Swift carried it; then James Stamford; when he was tired, I carried it upon my Shoulder: Mecum carried it as far as Goswell-Street, then he ran home to get his Door open to put it down his Cellar.

Q. What became of it?

Archer. It was sold to Gordon for 20 s. but I never had but 3 s. and Mr. Smith owes me now 18 d. of the Money.

Q. (to the Prisoner.) Now what have you to say in your Defence?

Prisoner. Please you, my Lord, I was at Mr. Lane's, an Alehouse, where we had something for Supper, and there Archer and I had a Quarrel, and he does this out of Revenge, &c. This Witness was took up for murdering his own Father: I never was in no Gaol 'till they brought me to it.

Q. (to Hugh Pinchin ) What Business are you?

Pinchin. Sir, I am an Officer belonging to the Marshalsea Court.

Q. What sort of an Officer? what is your Office to arrest Men?

Pinchin. Yes, when I have Business to do.

Q. Do you know any Thing particularly of this Yarn?

Pinchin. No otherwise, my Lord, than I happen'd to go and see this Archer in Bridewell, and I ask'd him how he came to do this Thing to these Men; I said I know you to be a Reprobate Fellow, but I never knew you to be a Thief; so he d - d me, and said will you give me a Quartern of Gin, which I did; said he I was persuaded to do it, and I have done it once, and I must do it again.

Q. (to Richard Worral .) Do you know any Thing of this Affair about the Yarn?

Worral. I know so far, please you my Lord, that I give 900 l. Security for my Place; the Prisoner has gone along with me sometimes; the Prisoner and Arther happen'd to be at one Mr. Lane's, so there happen'd to be a Quarrel.

Q. When was it? I say, when was it? Was it a Month ago, or two Months, or is it three Months ago?

Worral. 'Tis eight or nine Months ago, I believe; it was just when Archer's Father sent him to Bridewell. I did not keep an Almanack in my Head.

Court. You say that Archer and Mecum were at Lane's nine Months ago; what was then done, and said ?

Worral. We had some Steakes, and I eat a Bit with them; there was Sop, and Archer throws it into the Prisoner's Face, so Mecum hit him with the Candlestick, and Archer d - d him, he would hang him right or wrong.

Anne Mitcham . I went along with that Gentleman; he desired me to go with him to see Mr. Archer in Bridewell.

Q. What Gentleman?

Mitcham. Mr. Pinchin; when we went into the Place, Archer fell a Swearing, and said won't you give me a Dram of Gin; says Mr. Pinchin I don't care if I do; he said, how came you to speak against these Men, I never knew you was a Thief before; with that they had a Quartern of Gin; he d - d it, and said they persuaded me to swear it, and as I swore it, I'll stand to my Word, right or wrong.

Q. Where do you live?

Mitcham. In Spittlefields Market.

Q. Is the Prisoner at the Bar any Relation of yours?

Mitcham. No, Sir.

John Gardner . I went into Mr. Lane's House to get a Pint of Beer one Night.

Q. When was that?

Gardner. Some Time ago; I cannot tell the Time.

Q. Was it Half a Year ago, or a Quarter of a Year?

Gardner. I believe it was about three Months ago; and I heard Archer say he would take Mecum's Life away, right or wrong.

Q. How came he to say this?

Gardner. He said it of his own Accord, without any Body saying any Thing to him.

Q. What Business are you?

Gardner. I am a Butcher, and I live in Whitecross-Street.

Q. How long have you know Mecum? What Business is he?

Gardner. He is a Hatband-maker, and makes Loops for Hats; he serv'd his Time to it.

Q. (to James Smith ) What have you to say?

Smith. I have no otherwise to say but I have seen this Mecum pass and repass by my Master's Door, and I never saw any Misbehaviour of the Man.

Court. Then you don't know any Thing particular of this Fact?

Smith. No.

Q. (to Elizabeth Wooley ) What have you to say ?

Wooley. This Man came to and fro to my Stall; I never knew any Harm by him.

Q. What Business is the Man?

Wooley. He has follow'd these Bailiffs and Officers; I have seen him with them to and fro, and a great many Times, and I never heard any Harm of him.

Guilty .

[Transportation. See summary.]