Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 16 October 2021), June 1780, trial of THOMAS BAGGOT (t17800628-113).

THOMAS BAGGOT, Breaking Peace > riot, 28th June 1780.

417. THOMAS BAGGOT was indicted for that he together with one hundred other persons and more, did, unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assemble, on the 5th of June , to the disturbance of the publick peace, and did begin to demolish and pull down the dwelling-house of Mary Crook , widow , &c.

Mr. THOMAS GATES sworn.

At about six o'clock, on Monday the 5th of June, I saw the prisoner very busy among the rioters at Mrs. Crook's; he was helping to pull up some of the joists of the house; I admonished him to get away. I knew him before. I said you skin gathering rascal, get away, or I will take you up some time or another. He seemed a good deal stupified with liquor; he did desist at that time, but I could not get him out of the house. I could not particularly attend to him afterwards among such a multitude.

You are perfectly sure to the person of the prisoner? - Yes. I have seen the boys after him in Newgate-market making game of him; he is almost an idiot; I know him to be very weak. He used to gather skins in the market.

How long did you observe the prisoner there? - For two hours.

For the Prisoner.

JOSEPH GREGORY sworn.

I come to prove the prisoner was at work with me on the Monday; he came about nine in the morning; he continued with me till eleven o'clock at night.

Court. I caution you to be careful what you say? - I am very careful, and very sure he was employed in the yard till dinner time.

What did you employ him at? - Jobbing at the skin-market in Wood's-close.

What Monday morning was that? - The first Monday in June the 5th day of the month; he never went out of the yard till he went out with me between four and five o'clock in the evening; he went with me about Newport-market, St. James'-market, and Oxford-market to fetch sheep skins, and was with me till we came home to my master's at ten o'clock; he went down to my master and had a shilling of him for his supper. My master is Mr. Morgan Austin; he is a salesman, and deals in sheep-skins. We did not come into his gates till past ten o'clock. The last market we were at was Bloomsbury-market; that was about half after nine o'clock. My master is in the country now.

THOMAS ISAACS sworn.

Mr. Austin has attended here every day to prove what this man has said; he left a book with me last night to prove he paid him money that day.

Cross Examination of Gregory.

How came you to be so sure of the time? - I am certain to the time; he was taken up soon after. He is a poor foolish lad, he will work sometimes, but when he has got a few halfpence in his pocket he will not work.

How happened you to come here as a witness? - My master said I was to prove the time he was with me to serve a friend, not to forswear myself.

Mr. Gates. His mother and another woman offered to swear at the Mansion-house, that he was ill on the bed all that day; that he was ill in bed both Monday and Tuesday.

ELISABETH ALDIN sworn.

I work for Mr. Austin. The prisoner came to work at nine in the morning and worked with me down the yard till one; then we went to dinner; he returned from dinner, and was in the yard till five o'clock and then he went out with Gregory to gather skins.

(The prisoner called John Woolley , a cheesemonger, who had known him from his infancy; Joseph Hands , fourteen years, and - Dawson, eighteen years, who gave him a good character; and further deposed that he was weak in his understanding; was at times insane, and when he had drank a little liquor, did not know what he did.)

NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.