Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 01 December 2021), April 1772, trial of DANIEL THORN (t17720429-77).

DANIEL THORN, Theft > theft from a specified place, 29th April 1772.

400. (1st. M.) DANIEL THORN was indicted for stealing fifty-six yards of printed cotton, value 4 l. the property of John Witts ; the said cotton being laid, placed and exposed to be whitened, in a certain bleaching ground , Jan. 2 d . ++

John Witts . I am a callico printer , and have a bleaching ground in Upper Clapton, in the parish of St. John, Hackney . I missed two pieces of printed cotton from the field the 2d of January. containing fifty-six yards; a few weeks after that, one of my servants informed me, an acquaintance of his had bought some printed cotton at Uxbridge very cheap; I sent two people with warrants to search the house of the person who I was informed had some pieces; these are my pieces; (producing several pieces of cotton) there were never any printed of that pattern; and they are not finished; they were not in a saleable condition; they were cut into several parcels; they amount to within two or three yards of what I lost.

Cross Examination.

Q. You say you knew them from the pattern; had they marks on them before they were out of your possession?

Witts. Yes; the king's certain number, and my own name.

Q. May not other patterns be similar?

Witts. Yes; similar, but not exact; I never heard of such a thing.

Sarah Baldwin . I am a mantua-maker, and live at Uxbridge; I bought the cotton the first Friday of the new year of the prisoner; he brought three pieces of cotton; he asked me if I would buy a gown, I said I did not want it; he asked me to let him leave two, while he carried one to a customer; in his absence an acquaintance came in, and asked the value; I said he asked 2 s. 9 d. she said she thought the full value was 2 s. when he came back I told him; he said he sold none for less than 2 s. 9 d. when he came to open them, they were very much daubed on the wrong side; I asked how it was occasioned; he said, his feet were sore, that he got a lift on a dray, that his bundle lay between two barrels, which purged up and daubed them; I gave him 28 s. for fourteen yards; one piece had eight yards, and he tore off one yard from another piece; he said his name was Daniel Thorn , that he came from Staines, his father was a foreman of the printing yard; and when work run short, he made goods himself, and then hawked them about; these are the two pieces, I wrote my name on them.

Elizabeth Rickman . I recommended Mary Stone to buy some of this cotton; she gave 2 s. 2 d. a yard; he asked more. He represented himself as a maker, and lived at Staines. He said he formerly kept the Turk's head there. These are the six pieces I paid him for at my own house; I gave them to the buyers.

Joseph Milward . I am a callico printer, and servant to Mr. Witts; I know these pieces to be his property; they were lost from Mr. Witts's bleaching ground, on the 2d. of January. I know them by the pattern; I printed them myself; never any went to town of it before; none of that pattern had been sold. I went to Justice Fellows, at Uxbridge, and told him the affair; he granted me a search warrant, to search Mrs. Rickman's house; she cried and seemed almost out of her senses; she went to the justice's, and told him, she had sold them to these people; I marked the names of the people as they brought the goods into the justice's. I found the prisoner at Staines; he was waiting there to fight a cock; I told him I had a warrant against him, for selling of goods at Uxbridge; he said he would go along with me to clear himself. I spoke to the man at the inn for a chaise to go to Uxbridge; he would not let me have one. I sent for a constable; then the prisoner said, I don't know what reason you have to keep me; he said he would go make water; he ran in the yard and I followed him; he endeavoured to throw me down, I kicked him up several times; there were many people; they rescued him. Presently the man came with the constable, and he was taken at Colebrook.

Cross Examination.

Q. Mrs. Rickman told you she knew him.

Milward. Yes.

Q. How long was it from the time you went to the house, and saw the prisoner, till you acquainted him you had a warrant?

Milward. About an hour and a half; I shewed him a piece of the pattern; he denied he knew any thing of it, and always did deny it to the last.

Prisoner's Defence.

I leave it to my council.

He called John Knox who had known him twenty five years; Isaac Blunt who had known him between six and seven years, and Richard Windsor who had known him upwards of twenty years, who all gave him a good character.

Guilty . T. 14 Years .