Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 12 December 2017), December 1761, trial of John Parris (t17611209-10).

John Parris, Theft > petty larceny, 9th December 1761.

11. (L.) John Parris , was indicted for stealing one linen handkerchief, value 10 d. the property of John Rogers , Oct. 28 . ++

John Rogers . On the 28th of October I was in Guildhall , I was not there a minute before I felt something at my pocket. I turned myself about, and saw the prisoner at the bar putting my handkerchief as fast as he could between the bib of his apron and his waistcoat. I accused him with taking my handkerchief. He said he had no handkerchief about him; but, upon my taking hold of it, he said he found it upon the ground, and had asked many people if it was theirs, but no body owned it, and he then thought it his own property. [The handkerchief produced in cou rt, and deposed to.]

Q. How near was the prisoner to you?

Rogers. He was close to me.

Prisoner's Defence.

As I was going into the hall there lay a handkerchief by that gentleman. I took it up, and asked two or three gentlemen, who were walking hand in hand together, whether they owned the handkerchief. They said, no, my lad. Then, said I, it is my own; and putting it into my apron, having never a pocket in my coat, he said it was his. Then I took it out of my bib, and gave it him.

Prosecutor. He bid me search his pockets before I took it from his bib.

Prisoner. I am a copper-plate printer ; my master, whom I served my time to in Green Arbour Court, has been dead about half a year. Since that I have been ill of a fever, and the master that I work with now, in St. John's Lane, is ill, and cannot come to my character.

Guilty .

[Transportation. See summary.]