Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 20 February 2019), May 1785, trial of HUMPHRY INGRAM (t17850511-19).

HUMPHRY INGRAM, Theft > pocketpicking, 11th May 1785.

539. HUMPHRY INGRAM was indicted for feloniously assaulting Gibson Lucas on the 9th of April last, on the King's highway, and putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person, and against his will, one silver watch, value 40 s. one steel chain, value 12 d. a base metal swivel seal, value 1 d. a piece of base metal watch key, value one half-penny, the property of the said Gibson, privily from his person .


On the 9th of April last I lost my watch, between twelve and one at noon, between the Turk's Head bagnio and Northumberland-house , just facing Johnson's-court in the Strand; I was coming with a chair on my head, when I was passing Johnson's-court, I was pushed about for a considerable time by several men, it was the time the man was standing in the pilory; a man was coming past with a load upon his head, and they pushed me against this man, and I thought I felt my watch slip out of my pocket; I immediately put my hand down and missed my watch; I saw it in the prisoner's hand, I am sure of that; I then quitted my chair and got hold of one of his arms, I immediately saw a watch in another man's hand, I did not see him give it to the other man, but I saw it first in the prisoner's hand; I immediately seized the watch in the other man's hand, and in struggling broke the chain, he had the watch, and I had the chain; then I got hold of that man, and held him fast; and I immediately saw the prisoner, and said, he was the man; he was just standing by me, he was then in the custody of one Bruce, but I did not know it till afterwards, I am sure the prisoner was the man, I am very positive of it; he was taken into custody, and was committed; it began in hustling me about; I was afraid they would push me down with my chair.

Court. Was this shoving arising from the great croud and concourse of people, or on purpose? - It appeared to me to be on purpose.

Was there any thing like a blow struck, before the watch was taken? - Not before the watch was taken, I do not remember there was any violent blow, only pushing and hustling from one to another.

What it that kind of hustling that arises from a croud; or did any particular person appear to be pushing you? - I cannot say that I took any particular notice of what any one man did more than another.


I am an officer of the parish of St. Martin's, I was there on my duty; I heard a great rush; I went out to see what was the matter and I found the prosecutor had lost his watch, they was struggling for the watch, Sir Robert Taylor was at a window at the Stationer's, he beckoned to me, I took him in custody after the affray was over.


On the 9th of April, I was standing at Charing Cross, looking at the man in the pilory, and the prosecutor was coming by with a chair on his head, and another man with a box on his head, they were intangled together looking down, I saw the prisoner's left elbow against the prosecutor's right-side, and I saw him take the watch out of his pocket and convey it to the other person, I never took my eyes off the person till I overtook him.

Did you observe a moment or two before the taking of the watch any conduct in the prisoner and the people about there? - There were a great many people round about.

Did you observe any particular violence used to Lucas? - No more than they were at his right-side, I did not see any blow given, I saw no particular ill-usage, I never had my eye off the prisoner after he took it.


I have nothing to say, I have no friend in the world, this soldier said when he was at the Justice's, that he was close to the gentleman, but did not see my hands there, I was searched, I had a knife and three halfpence in my pocket.

Jury. How do you get your bread? - I sell things with a jack-ass .

GUILTY. Of stealing, but not privately .

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.