Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 December 2023), May 1787, trial of JOHN WATSON (t17870523-79).

JOHN WATSON, Theft > grand larceny, 23rd May 1787.

528. JOHN WATSON was indicted for stealing, on the 13th day of May , seven cloth coats, value 3 l. four cloth waistcoats, value 10 s. three pair of breeches, value 19 s. six pair of stockings, value 6 s. a cotton counterpane, value 2 s. and four shirts, value 10 s. the property of Anthony Burt .


I lost the things mentioned in the indictment, and others to the value of five pounds; I only swear to the property; I am sure the things were in the ship when I left her, locked up in a chest in the stateroom.


I am a ship-cooper; the ship lay at Wapping Old-stairs ; on the 13th of May I went on shore for some provisions, between five and six; I returned on board, and found the prisoner on deck, and one ofthe hatches off; he said he came from one of the apprentices for some things out of the ship, and produced a key, which was a false key, with which he had opened the lock of the hatch-way; I was going to lay hold of him, and he ran away, over three or four ships, and got to shore; he was brought back; when I went down into the steerage, I found the cabin-door open, and the captain's chest open, and the state-room door open; and underneath the hatchway I found this bundle of things; before the magistrate, he confessed he was persuaded, on the Sunday afternoon, with two others, to go on board a ship, and they opened the lock, and the other man wanted the prisoner to go down below, but the prisoner would not; then the man went below, and in half an hour he came back with this bundle of clothes, and left them in the hatch-way for the prisoner to take away; the two men went away in one boat, and left the prisoner with the other; and while he was waiting for an opportunity, I came on board; there were no promises made.

(The things deposed to.)

Prisoner. I know nothing about it.


Transported for seven years .

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