Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 03 December 2023), September 1783, trial of JOHN HYDE (t17830910-76).

JOHN HYDE, Theft > grand larceny, 10th September 1783.

669. JOHN HYDE was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 18th day of July last, one cloth coat, value 20 s. the property of Henry Readshaw .


I live in Russell-street , I am a Pawnbroker , on Friday the 18th of July, I lost a cloth coat, between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, it was hanging up in the shop for sale, I saw it there a little before: It was pledged the same day at another pawnbroker's; the prisoner had come to my shop several times in the course of the day, and I had a strong suspicion of him, and he came at night again and made an attempt on the window, and then I took him up upon suspicion, and the next day he owned before the magistrate he had stolen it; there is a confession in writing.

JOHN LANE sworn.

I live with Mr. Lane, a pawnbroker, in Holborn, the prisoner brought this coat to our shop the 18th of July, between three and five; I lent him half a guinea upon it, he said, he had just bought it, I did not know him, he pawned it in the name of John Hyde ; the prosecutor came the next day and claimed the coat before the magistrate.


I pawned the coat for half a guinea, on the 17th of July; I was coming down Drury-lane, and I met one of my shipmates, he asked me to drink some hot; we went and had three pots of brandy hot and a quartern of rum, he said, he was going to sea again, I said, I was out of work, I worked for Mr. Davis, in Park-lane; he pulled out an outside jacket and put it on; he desired me to pawn his coat, and he would give me a silk handkerchief, and when he went down to enter on board a man of war he would send me the money; I said, if he would sell it I would give him a guinea and a half; Lane knew me from a child, I told him it was my coat and that I had but just bought it, I bought a gilt breast buckle the day before, with five stones in it, of the prosecutor; I happened to stop to make a little water being very much intosticated, and the prosecutor said, I know you have stole my coat; the mots arose and asked me the matter, I told them the whole affair, that I had bought a coat which had been stolen, but that I did not know it; the prosecutor said he would send me to gaol, and the people said break his windows, I did take a handful of mud and bit the window, but did not break it; the people told me to go away, I said, I was innocent; I might have walked away and gone to sea, or to America, where I have been, and nobody would have followed me: I did not think I should have been tried to day, or else I should have had witnesses and my Captain to appear to my character.

Court to Lane. Do you know the prisoner? - Mr. Lane himself does know him, and has seen him several times, I do not.

Jury. I understood the first evidence said, that the witness had confessed this before a magistrate.

Court. The confession has been searched for, having been reduced into writing, and it cannot be found, therefore you cannot take into your consideration any confession at all.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron HOTHAM.