Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 27 November 2021), June 1791, trial of RICHARD OWEN JOHN ORFORD ROBERT KNAPTON (t17910608-10).

RICHARD OWEN, JOHN ORFORD, ROBERT KNAPTON, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > receiving, 8th June 1791.

235. RICHARD OWEN was indicted for stealing, on the 22d of May last, a silver watch, value 40 s. a silver tea-spoon, value 2 s. the property of Anthony Winsland .

And JOHN ORFORD and ROBERT KNAPTON were indicted for feloniously receiving the said watch, knowing it to be stolen .


I am wife of the prosecutor. The prisoner Richard Owen lodged in my house a week; I live in Castle-lane, Westminster , it was a fortnight ago last last Monday; we lost nothing while he lodged there; he came home the Monday afternoon about three o'clock, and he tapped at the door and said, I beg your pardon for being so bold, and he went up to the watch, and asked what it was o'clock, and where the case of the watch was, and I said it was in the drawer; and while he was in the room, there came a hard shower of rain; I had been a washing, I ran to the garden to take in the clothes; on my return I saw him coming from the beaufet, I was rather surprised, I put in seven spoons in the morning, and I missed one, and I saw him look, and he turned out of the door, and I locked the door; I did not miss the watch till an hour after, then I found it was gone, the watch hung by the side of the fire-place, I saw it a very little while before he came in and asked me what it was o'clock, and where the case was; and the watch and spoon were found at the pawnbroker's Mr. Mr. Brown's.


I am servant to Mr. Brown, pawn-broker, Stretton-ground; the spoon was pledged at my master's on the evening of the 23d of May, about seven o'clock; I received it from the prisoner Richard Owen .

(Produced and deposed to.)


I am servant to Mr. Wright, in Tothill-street, Westminster, I produce a watch which I received from the prisoner Orford, and Knapton followed him; he asked half a guinea, and said it was his; I asked his name, and he said Knapton.

Did the other prisoner come with him? - He followed him, and said my name is Knapton, it is mine, I have had it sixteen years.

(Produced and deposed to.)


I came home to prepare myself for duty at the Bank. I am a hair-dresser , and the prosecutrix asked me to cut her hair once or twice: She asked me that very evening; I said I had sufficient time to cut her hair, and get myself ready; she condescended for me to cut her hair, then she went into the yard to wash herself: first of all she got up, and she said, Owen. I have no halfpence to ask you to drink; I said never mind madam, I have halfpence, I will go and fetch some porter; and during the time I went about two hundred yards to fetch a pint of porter, I was there about five or seven minutes, and when I came back, we drank the pint of porter together, and I took my leave of her; and in going back to this place, to have my hair queued for the bank duty, I picked up this; she called upon me on the Parade; I went to the house, waiting for the hair-dresser to have my hair tied, to the Three Tuns, and met with my comrades; there we had a pint of porter together; I found the spoon about two hundred and fifty yards from the house.


We were together at the Three Tuns in Westminster; as I went out Richard Owen came in; they asked me to drink, the tap-room was very full of people; we stopped to the last, and Owen was gone, and I saw Knapton pick up the watch from under the table.


We had been in the Birdcage-walk all the forenoon, trying our new clothing: ourcomrade had some money left him, he spent nine shillings; I lent Owen a clean shirt, he came into the Three Tuns, and said he would pay for any thing I chose; after Owen was gone I picked up the watch; Owen sat by the side of me.



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

[Transportation. See summary.]