Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 26 October 2021), October 1759, trial of John Crockford (t17591024-20).

John Crockford, Theft > grand larceny, 24th October 1759.

319. (M.) John Crockford was indicted for stealing twenty-nine Guineas , the money of Joseph Hutchinson , October 11 . ||

Hutchinson. I am clerk to Mr Mac-Cray at White's Chocolate-House ; I always am intrusted with money in the house, because I pay bills, and do all business in the house in regard to trade. I have a drawer in the counting-house, which I keep the key of myself; on the 10th of October last my master was gone out upon some business, and left money with me put up in papers. I had chang'd a Bank note of 50 l. for a gentleman. The last time I looked in the drawer was between twelve and one that night; I went to it to get a handful of silver out of a bag that I have there, to give change to a gentleman up stairs. I put the silver in my pocket, and did not make an entry in the book, doing it in a hurry; I might leave the key in the drawer for what I know.

Q. What money was in the drawer at that time?

Hutchinson. There were two rollo's, fifty guineas each; twenty-nine guineas, part of a rollo; a 50 l. Bank note, and a draught upon somebody in Lombard-street for 22 l. odd; I went to bed, thinking every thing safe. When I got up, my master and I went to settle accounts, as we do once a week, to strike the balance; I felt for my key, and miss'd it; I look'd at the drawer, and that was lock'd; I enquir'd for it of every servant in the house, but could not find it; the prisoner at the bar was out all that day.

Q. Who did you leave up when you went to bed?

Hutchinson. I left the prisoner at the bar and Charles Paterson up, they were to sit up to wait that night; I was obliged to break open the drawer, there I miss'd the twenty-nine guineas, part of a rollo; the gold was all safe; the silver, being an uncertain sum, I cannot speak to that; my master advised me to search all the servants in the house, immediately; so I call'd them all up stairs, and searched them one after another, but found nothing; the prisoner was out at that time; he had had leave the day before to go out that morning.

Q. Was he gone out before you miss'd the money?

Hutchinson. He was: there was also another servant out; I never had a very bad opinion of the prisoner; but upon his being extravagant I mistrusted him more particular; I ordered the other servants not to say a word what had happened, but to keep it a secret 'till I had a farther proof, for I thought I should find it out in two or three days, by his paying some debt; on the Friday morning, my master ask'd me if I had heard of my money; I said, no; said he, I have, the prisoner at the bar has got it; he said, he was told he had paid six guineas to Mrs Clark, and he did not know how he could get it; upon this, the prisoner was charged with taking it; upon being ask'd how he came to have money to pay that six guineas; he said, he had borrowed seven guineas of one Murphy, that keeps the sign of the Coach and Horses; I went to Murphy, and ask'd him if the prisoner had borrow'd any sum of money of him within these two days; he said, no; then I desired he would go home along with me; and before I got home the the prisoner had confess'd he took the money.

Q. Was you with him before the Justice?

Hutchinson. I was: and Murphy brought eleven guineas, which he said the prisoner had left with him, and tendered it down to him; the prisoner would not take it up, but push'd it to me, and said it was part of the twenty-nine guineas that he had taken out of the drawer.

Q. Did he say how he opened the drawer?

Hutchinson. Before the Justice he said he found the key in the drawer, and he took the money out, and left the key in the drawer; the Justice ask'd him, if he had stolen the twenty-nine guineas out of the drawer; he said, yes; and he own'd that the money he had paid was part of it; that was six guineas to Mrs Clark and four to Murphy; upon the whole I understood he had squander'd the rest away, or paid debts with it.

Mary Clark . The prisoner at the bar paid me six guineas on the eleventh of October that he had borrow'd of me.

Q. Was you before the Justice when the prisoner was there?

Clark. I was before Justice Fielding, and heard the prisoner there confess, that he took twenty-nine guineas out of the drawer; the day before he told me, he would ask Mr Mac-Cray for the money; but before the Justice, he said, this six guineas were part of the money that he took out of the drawer; he also said, he had paid four guineas to Mr Murphy; and I believe he said that was part of that money which he had taken.

Anthony Murphy . The prisoner paid me four pounds eleven shillings and eight-pence half-penny; I told him I was very glad he had given it me, for I never wanted it more; he told me he had received his wages, and was going to make holiday, and if I would keep eleven guineas, which he had there, he should be obliged to me; I took it, which I produc'd to him; and he said, it was the prosecutor's money.

Prisoner's Defence.

I know nothing at all of the matter. I have some people here to my character.

For the Prisoner.

Bradley Kennet . I am a Wine-Merchant, in Pall-Mail; I have known the prisoner ever since he was two years old.

Q. What is his general character?

Kennet. I never heard the least complaint of him 'till this time; I would have trusted him, or any of his family, with any thing they should ask.

Mr Watson. I have known him ever since he was a child.

Q. What is his general character?

Mr Watson. He has a very good character; and so has his whole family, as any family in Westminster.

Mr Perkins. I have known the prisoner a great many years.

Q. What is his character?

Mr Perkins. I believe he had a very good character; if he had had a bad character he would not have been there where he lived, he has been there twelve or thirteen years.

Mr Wilson. I have known the prisoner eleven years; he always was very honest, and bore a very good character.

Mr Clark. I have known him sixteen years; I never heard any thing ill of him.

Guilty .

[Transportation.]