Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 22 February 2019), September 1784, trial of EDWARD JONES JOHN DENNIS otherwise HAMMOND (t17840915-70).

EDWARD JONES, JOHN DENNIS, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > receiving, 15th September 1784.

847. EDWARD JONES was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 6th of August last, six watch movements, value 20 s. one hundred and eighty five watch movements framed, value 4 l. one brass watch cap, value 6 d. forty eight centre watch wheels and pin, value 12 s. seventy six watch barrels and harbours, value 15 s. sixty six great watch wheels and fuzees, value 24 s. twenty one cantright watch wheels, value 2 s. two hundred and thirty seven small watch pins, value 16 s. two hundred and forty eight watch screw wheels, value 5 s. nine watch studs, value 6 d. seventeen watch vergers, value 2 s. thirty watch balances, value 18 d. three turnbenches, value 5 s. a pair of mens shoes, value 6 d. a pair of buckles, value 6 d. a spectacle case mounted with steel, value 6 d. and one linen sheet, value 3 s. the property of William Tash : and JOHN DENNIS otherwise HAMMOND was indicted for feloniously receiving on the 27th of August last, sixty-nine watch movement frames, value 40 s. fifty one watch barrels and harbours, value 8 s. two hundred and thirty-seven watch pins, value 16 d. two hundred and forty-eight watch screw wheels, value 5 s. twenty-four watch balances, value 12 d. twelve cantright watch wheels, value 15 d. nine watch studs, value 2 s. seventeen watch vergers, value 2 s. parcel of the above mentioned goods and chattles, knowing the same to have been stolen, against the statute .

(The witnesses examined apart.)


I am a watch movement maker ; the 6th of August I was disturbed by the watch, at two o'clock he knocked at the door, and said, there were thieves backwards; I got up and let him in, and we went into the yard, and found the shop door wide open, I examined the drawers, the work shop was broke open, and the work taken out of the drawers, and the drawers put upon the work board, then they took the remainder part of the work that was on the work board, I was informed they had got one prisoner in the watch house, and I went there, there were six movements that never were found, I went down to the watch house, and I saw the prisoner Jones, without his coat and hat standing there, whom I knew very well from a child, then I and one Green, a watchman, went down where the prisoner was taken, and just at the bottom of Norman-street, there is a wall breast high, which looks into a garden ground, the coat hung on the wall, upon some tenter-hooks; then Mr. Green laid hold of the coat, says he, here is his coat, and the weight of the things in the pockets, almost pulled off the arms of the coat, the coat was taken down to the constable with the work in it, and delivered to him, we took it down to the watch-house where we found divers of the things, I knew the coat, I had seen him with it on, the coat was found at the back of my yard; the nearest way to get to my shop, was over the kitchen and the alehouse, I suppose they got in that way, because there was some tiles broke; I can swear to the things, as well as a man can to his hand writing: I gave the door a pull after me at night, but whether it was latched or no, I will not swear; it is only upon the latch at all times, there was no mark of violence on the door; on the 26th of August at five in the afternoon, I was fetched by Catchpole and Lucy to Justice Blackborow's, there I saw the prisoner Dennis, at the Justice's, and I found several of the things mentioned in the indictment, then Mr. Lucy the officer said, there were a great many more things in his apartments, and I went with him the next morning and searched.

Where did the prisoner lodge? - In Golden-lane, the corner of Bell-alley; I know the prisoner Dennis coming to my house upon business.

What family has the prisoner in that lodging? - I believe he has a wife and three children.

How old is the eldest of his children? - I cannot say, there we found twenty-four balances, twelve cantright wheels, nine studs, seventeen vergers, and a frame with large works in it, and some other things; when we were before the Justice, the prisoner desired to look and see that we had taken none of his property, he said, they were all his property, and were brought to him to sell by one Thomas Peatman , who goes by the name of Tom the Gigler.

Court. That is not the prisoner? - No.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner Jones's Counsel. How long have you known the prisoner Jones? - I have known him a long time.

What is his general character? - Very indifferent indeed, he keeps bad company, and is turned out one of your fighting Gentlemen.

Mr. Chetwood, Prisoner Dennis's Council.

I believe that you expressed yourself, that the other prisoner is not guilty? - I did so to his wife and the constable.


I am beadle; about two o'clock on the 6th of August I heard the rattles go, and I run down and met the prisoner Jones, and two other watchmen, they brought him to the watch-house, he was without his coat or hat, and they went back to get more, I staid at the watch-house till such time as the watchmen came back again, then I went to seek after the coat, and at the upper end of Norman-street, I found the coat hanging upon a tenter hook, I cannot say it was his, I laid hold of it and it was very heavy. I called out to Mr. Tash, Sir, here is a coat, and I fancy here is your property in the pocket, there was a parcel of brass implements for watches, I did not keep them, I turned them out at the watch-house; in the left hand pocket there was a pair of spectacles.

(The spectacles deposed to by the Prosecutor.)


I was officer of the night; about two two o'clock in the morning the rattles went, and two of the watchmen were bringing the prisoner Jones to the watch-house and since that time I have had the property in my possession, this coat was delivered at the watch-house to me being found by the beadle, and this hat was found by a watchman in the street.

Court. Put down all the things that were found in the pocket, upon the table? - These were found by other people and delivered to me.

(The things deposed to all but a spicket and faucet.)


I am a watchman, I apprehended the prisoner Jones, no body was with me, another man came to my assistance, his name is Hugh Harris , I took him in Norman-street, the prisoner passed me just as the clock struck two, he had a coat on, I cannot tell the colour, he stood at the end of the church, he said, he wanted to make a neighbour's son hear, he was to have laid with him, he could not make him hear, he said, he would go to the watch-house, he was known there, soon after I heard some tiles rattle by the side of St. Luke's church, I looked up and there was a man coming, and on the door way on the back side of the church, there was a man ready to drop down into the street, I set my rattle a going, as I was rattling he jumped down, I laid hold of him he cut away from me, Jones was standing but ten yards off by another door, the prisoner that run from me went to the prisoner Jones, they run round those buildings and I run after them, I pursued them, and ran over two hats, I met Jones without his coat and hat, he made no resistance, I am sure he is the man.


I am a supernumary man, I happened to be out the night this robbery was committed; going up Ironmonger-row, crying past two, I heard a rattle, and by the corner of Church-row, I saw a man run hard, and when I came up the watchman had stopped him in Norman-street.

Court. Did you observe whether he had a coat on or not? - I cannot say; I took Jones and brought him to the watch-house, he had neither coat or hat on, I picked up two articles at half past six.


I heard the rattles go about half past two, and I saw Jones at the watch-house, and I picked up a wet sheet the back side of St. Luke's church. (The sheet produced and deposed to.) I saw the tiles broken, I picked up one of the hats round the other corner.


I know nothing of the robbery, I took Jones into custody about nine on the 6th of August, he had then a green coat on, which I believe to be the coat now produced.

JOHN LUCY sworn.

On the 26th of August by virtue of a search warrant, I went to the prisoner Dennis's apartments, and I found this property, it was dispersed in different parts of the shop, he opened the apartment for me himself, it was in his work shop, the garret, he said, it was work he had from a master in the country of that trade, I told him, I thought it was uncommon to have part of it in a bag in a closet, and I suspected it was stolen, he then said, he bought them at a sale, I said, I should take him into custody, he then said he bought part of a watchman, and part was brought into his shop by one Tom a baker; Catchpole and Newman were with me.

John Newman deposed to the same effect as this last witness.


I know nothing of the matter, I had been making half a holiday, and I went to Smithfield, and I pulled off my coat and hat and lost them, and coming home the watchman stopped me.

The prisoner Jones called eight witnesses who gave him a good character.


I was not at home when these things were found, they said if I would tell the truth how I came by them, they would set me at liberty, and I said, I would tell that before a magistrate; I might be a little frightened at first.

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


Transported for seven years .


Transported for fourteen years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron EYRE .