Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 23 October 2018), May 1785, trial of BERWICK MAYTON (t17850511-11).

BERWICK MAYTON, Theft > shoplifting, 11th May 1785.

527. BERWICK MAYTON was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 30th of April last, twelve pair of thread stockings, value 35 s. the property of James Gillet , privily in his shop .

MARY GILLET sworn.

I am wife of James Gillet , we then lived at No. 174, in Oxford-street , but since removed to No. 44, on the 30th of last month, the prisoner, and another young man came into the shop, I never saw them before; the other young man asked for some ribbed cotton stockings; I shewed them some at four shillings and six-pence a pair, they were too dear; he desired I would shew him some lower; the compter was taken down, there was only a sham compter, because the compter was carried to the other shop, we were moving; I went behind this compter to reach another paper, and when I came back the other young man that was with the prisoner bought a pair, and gave me half a guinea to change; while I was giving change, I heard a rustling among the papers, near the place where the prisoner was sitting upon a chair, and a small parcel tumbled down, which my own little boy picked up; I gave the other young man the change; I observed the prisoner had a great coat thrown across his arm, and I observed it stood out a great deal further than it would do unless something was concealed there; I stooped down to give this man change, and I saw the end of the paper, I immediately went up to him, and took from him this parcel of stockings from under his great coat.

WILLIAM BOWLER sworn.

I produce the bundle on stockings the prosecutrix gave to me, after she had taken the man in the shop; I live within a few doors of her; they have been in my possession ever since, they are now in the same state they were.

Prosecutrix. I know them by a private mark; the prisoner begged me to forgive him, and offered me his watch and money, money I saw none, but his watch he pulled out in his hand.

Mr. Peatt, Prisoner's Council. Did you say to the constable you saw him take the bundle? - No.

Are you sure of that? - I am sure of it.

Is that the only constable that was concerned? - The only one.

The MAID SERVANT sworn.

I saw my mistress take the goods from under his coat, I was in the shop at the time; my mistress said, you villain, what do you buy one pair, and steal a dozen! then I came out with the child in my arms.

Did you see the prisoner at the bar take them and put them under his coat? - No.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

When I went into the shop, I had another young man with me, I saw him go by from a public house in Holborn; I used to buy stockings at this shop, and I recommended him there, he went with me and bought a pair, and he paid for them; there was a parcel, a great quantity of them lay on the counter; I knocked down two or three, and I was picking up one, and my great coat, which I had on my arm, slipped over it. She says I offered her money, but I would see her choaked before I would have given her any thing for any such thing.

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

Court. What was the value of these stockings? - Thirty-six-shillings.

GUILTY , Death .

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