Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 24 September 2017), January 1778, trial of WILLIAM SMITH (t17780115-45).

WILLIAM SMITH, Theft > grand larceny, 15th January 1778.

164. WILLIAM SMITH was indicted for stealing a wicker basket, value 2 s. 40 lb. weight of butter, value 30 s. and a linen cloth, value 1 s. the property of Joseph Wadsworth , January 10th .


I drive Mr. Wadsworth's waggon, which comes from Newport Pagnell in Bucks. On Saturday morning, at about half an hour after two o'clock, just before I got to Newgate , I heard something crack on the off side of the waggon; I turned about and saw the prisoner with a flat of butter in a basket on his back; there was another man with him; the things in the waggon were tumbling about; I could not go after him; I called stop thief; a watchman picked up the basket that morning, and brought it to me; the ropes of the waggon were cut, and I missed a flat of butter.


On Saturday morning, between two and three o'clock, I heard a cry of stop thief; I met the waggoner; he said he had been robbed of a flat of butter, by a man who had run up Giltspur-street; I pursued the prisoner; he ran down Snow-hill; he was stop'd by a watchman in Turnagain-lane; I did not see any thing upon him at that time.

[The watchman deposed that he stop'd the prisoner.

The constable produced a knife which he found on the prisoner when he searched him.

The watchman who found the basket did not appear.]


I know nothing of the matter.

The prisoner called three witnesses who gave him a good character.


Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

[Imprisonment. See summary.]