Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 29 September 2022), September 1785, trial of JAMES LEWIS (t17850914-23).

JAMES LEWIS, Theft > theft from a specified place, 14th September 1785.

747. JAMES LEWIS was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 15th day of August last, two silver salt holders, value 12 s. two pepper casters, value 20 s. one silver milk-pot, value 10 s. six table spoons, value 3 l. one silver marrow spoon, value 8 s. the property of Hannah Chadwick , in her dwelling house .

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

HANNAH CHADWICK sworn.

I live at the Gun alehouse at Islington , the prisoner and another came into my house on Friday the 12th of August, and had a pint of beer; they were in my house Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and the Monday they robbed me; they came in on Monday morning at half past six, and called for two-pennyworth of gin and water, and waited there till half after eight, till I sat down to breakfast; then when I sat down to breakfast the prisoner got up and went to the door, as I did imagine, and instead of that, he went to the bar, opened the door, and took the plate which I have here; I did not see him go into the bar, but I caught him there; I called cat I am robbed, and my sister came to my assistance; I asked him what he did there, he said he was doing nothing; says I, but you have got something out of my cupboard, and I called to my sister, and he laid hold on one side of her, and he got out of the bar from us, and threw down these things in the passage, my sister had hold of his waistcoat, and it gave way, here is half of it; then he got away, and carried off the salts and papper boxes; he threw down half a dozen, silver spoons, a marrow spoon, and a milk-pot.

What is the value of these things? - They are altogether about the value of 3 l. the prisoner ran out, and I came in to see what was the matter, and what was lost, and I missed the two salts and pepper boxes, I never found them; they were in the bar along with the rest; I told a person that I was robbed, and the prisoner was brought back in less than half an hour, I am sure of the things.

SARAH BURLAND sworn.

I know the prisoner, I live with the prosecutrix, I saw the prisoner at her house four times, I remember seeing him there the 15th of August, my sister called she was robbed, I went into the bar and caught hold of the left-side of his waistcoat, and held him till he got into the passage, he left part of his waistcoat in my hand, then he got away from me, and I did not see see him till a man brought him back.

ANN DELL sworn.

I live servant with Mrs. Chadwick, two gentlemen came in about a quarter after six in the morning, my mistress asked them to walk into the parlour, they had two-penny worth of gin and water, and when the kitchen was scowered, these two gentlemen went in, after we had done the parlour, at about a quarter after eight, we went to breakfast, and at the first dish of tea this prisoner went out, and my mistress thought she heard the spoons jingle, just as if the cat was licking a plate, and she got up and cried out I am robbed, I am robbed, and we all ran out, and my mistress collared him, and his sister and I went to take the spoons ou t of his hand, and he clawed me all down my arm, then he threw the spoons down under the bench in the entry, and the marrow spoon and the milk pot.

ROBERT SIBLEY sworn.

I took the prisoner, I was going about my business at half after eight on the 15th of August, and I saw the prosecutrix and her sister at their door very much frightened; she said she had been robbed by two men in brown coats, she said they were gone the way I was going, and I followed them; I first saw them in a cow place, they saw me after them, and they went into a field that goes to the Shepherd and Shepherdess, and the other man made away, and I took the prisoner; I asked him how he came to rob the woman, and he said he knew nothing of it, his coat was buttoned up; the prosecutrix told me he had left part of his waistcoat, and I unbuttoned his coat, and saw part of his waistcoat wanting; says I, friend, you must go with me, for they want you to match the other part of the waistcoat; so I took him back, and he was committed, I did not search him.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

On the 15th of August, about five, I got up, I says to my wife, I will go and see if the water is smooth to go a fishing, I did not take my rod with me, at the New-river I stopped a little, and I entered into discourse with a man, he said he had been there an hour and a half, and had caught three fish, so we went to the Gun, and he asked me to go in; the gentlewoman said come into the parlour, we staid there, and drank the liquor out, then we went into the kitchen, I was reading a newspaper, I went out to the door, and stopped for the space of five minutes, I came in again, and my shoe was unbuckled, I was buckling my shoe and rising up, and coming into the room, the woman said I robbed her, the other man that was with me ran out, and he threw something from him; I have but lately come from Yarmouth, I came to receive some prize-money from the Thunderer, the lady was not in town, it was lady Walsingham.

GUILTY , Death .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice ASHURST.