Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 20 February 2018), December 1746, trial of (t17461205-4).

Theft > shoplifting, 5th December 1746.

5. indicted for stealing one Silver Watch, value 42 s. out of the Shop of John Neal .

Q. to John Neal . Where is your Shop?

Neal. In Leaden hall-street , my Lord.

Q. Do you know the Prisoner?

Neal. My Lord, I never saw him before he was taken. I missed the Watch the 20th of September, pretty early in the Morning: I had lost the outside Case two Days before. It was a Watch that I had to repair; after I had repaired the Watch, in the Intrim, on Saturday Morning, the Watch that belonged to the same Case, I missed; looking at the Window, I saw a Corner of the Glass cut out, where there was about Room to take the Watch out, with which I concluded the Watch was gone by the same Hand that stole the Case. I thought it was not prudent to advertise it directly. I have often observed, when Watches are lost and advertised, without no Questions asked, they are seldom heard of, and I thought it would look like hiding Theft; for that Reason I determined to wait a-while. I waited ten or twelve Days, when one Mr King, Constable in Bartholomew-lane, called upon me, to know if I had not lost a Watch. He said, if you can go over the Way with me, and drink a Glass, I can tell you something about it. He then told me he had taken up a little Boy, one Mr Lane, and he would make no Scruple to tell the whole Affair. When I came, the little Boy told me he was sorry he had said so much, but he would not say any more. He told me what he had said to Mr King, I might make what Use I would of it, he had said one William Lewin was concerned in stealing a Gold Watch; and after they had stolen mine, they delivered it to one Mary Clements , and they sold it for a Guinea, and they divided the Money. Then I applied to Mr Gardner (from whom they had taken the Gold Watch) first for his right Name, and whether he could give me any Information about it. In a few Days afterwards, Mr Gardner saw the Prisoner go by, and took him: and I do not remember that he pretended, from first to last, to deny it. The next Day we went to the Lord-Mayor, and his Lordship remembered him as soon as he saw him, that it was the same Boy as was before him for Mr Gardner's Gold Watch, and that was tried the Sessions before last. The Boy turns to me and says, he need not be surprized, I have been tried since that at Kingston Assizes. Upon this my Lord granted a Warrant for Mary Clements ; we went to Mary Clements , and she went along with us to the Man that gave a Guinea for it; we took the Man, and the Watch was produced, and the Watch is now in Court. The Watch was taken at Alexander Bagnal 's in Rag-fair.

Thomas Gardner . The Prisoner at the Bar robbed me of a Gold Watch, and I tried him in this Court; my Servant told me that the same Boy that had robbed me of my Gold Watch, had robbed Mr Neal of a Silver one.

Q. Where did he take your Gold Watch?

Gardner. He took it from my Show-glass.

Q. What became of it?

Gardner. I never had it more. The Jury acquitted him. - About three Days after that I heard that Mr Neal was robbed, I saw the Prisoner go by with two others. I took him at the Pastry-cook's buying some Tarts : I took him Home to my House; he immediately confessed he was aiding and assisting in taking Mr Neal's Watch, and told me how he broke the Glass.

Q. to Samuel Ridley . What have you to say about this?

Ridley. I saw the Prisoner the 4th Day of October at Silversmiths-Hall, and he owned he was with Mc Lane when he stole the Watch.

Court. Then he said Mc Lane stole it.

Ridley. Yes, my Lord.

Q. Where was he?

Ridley. He was a long with him when he stole the Watch.

Q. What Time of the Day was it?

Ridley. He did not mention what Time of the Day it was.

Q. to Joseph Johnson . What do you know of this Matter?

Johnson. I am Constable where this Lad was taken up. Mr Gardner sent to me to take the Charge of him. I brought him Home to my House; while my Back was turned, he jumped out of the one Pair of Stairs Window - I was told he fell upon his Backside - one of the Neighbours run by and took him up, and he was carried before my Lord-Mayor, where he was known to be an old Offender. He offered to be a Witness against many of his Accomplices, but my Lord-Mayor said it would be better for him to be sent abroad. The Prisoner told me, he robbed a Gentleman's Coach-box, &c.

Guilty .

[Transportation. See summary.]