Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 25 February 2021), September 1781, trial of WILLIAM THOMPSON (t17810912-11).

WILLIAM THOMPSON, Theft > grand larceny, 12th September 1781.

475. WILLIAM THOMPSON was indicted for stealing a silver watch, value 20 s. the property of William Quin , August the 22d .

(The witnesses were examined apart, at the request of the prisoner.)


On the 22d of August, between nine and ten at night, I went into a public house in Pater-noster Row , with the prisoner and two more strangers I met with in St. Paul's Church-yard. After we had drank three pots of beer, I rose up, and said, I will go away: the prisoner laid hold of me, and said I should not go; so did one Spriggs, who is gone for a soldier; and Spriggs was in company with the prisoner when I first saw him. While Thompson held me by the right arm, Spriggs pulled the watch out of my pocket: I laid hold of the watch, and got it back again. Thompson denied having any knowledge of Spriggs, or his intention of taking the watch. (The Constable produces the watch.)

The Landlord deposes, That the prosecutor made an alarm that he had lost his watch; but that he did not know who had it.


The prosecutor asked me to go and drink part of a pint of porter. We went into a public house, and had three tankards of beer: when we were calling for the fourth, the prosecutor made an alarm, and said, the other young fellow wanted to take his watch out of his pocket; he went out, and gave charge of us: he wanted us to go for soldiers: the young fellow was willing to go, knowing himself guilty. I never saw him before: I know nothing of him.


Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.