Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 24 February 2018), January 1793, trial of JAMES GUY (t17930109-10).

JAMES GUY, Theft > grand larceny, 9th January 1793.

132. JAMES GUY was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 18th of December , a pair of cotton stockings, value 3 s. a pair of stockings, made of silk and cotton, value 5 s. the goods of Jonathan Stirtevant .


Mr. Stirtevant is my uncle; the prisoner came into the shop, and asked me to shew him some stockings, I shewed him some, one paper, he said, he did not like them, I shewed him another, he said, they were too coarse, in turning about for the third paper, I missed a pair of ribbed cotton, when I missed that pair, I rung the bell for my uncle John, he came, and I shewed him some silk and cotton stockings, I was in the back part of the shop, I saw him he opened some silk and cotton, and I saw the prisoner put a pair of them in his pocket, I went up stairs and told my eldest uncle, and he came down, he is here now, the other could not conveniently leave the shop; the other uncle's name is Jonathan, when the prisoner had got over the threshold my uncle Jonathan took hold of his arm, and told him he had got a pair of stockings more than his own, he came back in the shop, and said, he had, he delivered one pair out of his pocket, I told him he had another pair in his other pocket, he said,he had, and he delivered them out, I saw them both taken out of his pocket; they were Mr. Jonathan Stirtevant's property; I believe they had no marks on them; I saw him put the striped pair, the silk and cotton in his pocket.

Mr. Garrow. Are your uncles in partnership? - No.

Q. Who has the business? - Mr. Jonathan; Mr. John shewed the stockings, be is a shopman, he serves in the shop, he has no share in the trade at all.

Q. How came you before the magistrate to describe them to be the property of your uncle? - I did not.

Q. The young man immediately produced them on his coming back? - He did.


I am the person that was up stairs, I carry on the trade, my niece came up stairs, and I went down in consequence; I waited in the shop to see whether the man would buy the stockings, he seemed very difficult, none would do; he wished us good morning, and was going out of the shop, he got over the threshold, and was pulling the door to with his right hand, and I laid hold of his arm, and told him, he had got some stockings of mine, he came in, and pulled out one pair, my niece said, he had got another pair, he pulled them out also; the stockings were given to the constable.


I was the constable; I produce the stockings delivered to me by the prosecutor, I have kept them ever since. (Deposed to.)

Mr. Garrow to Mr. Stirtevant. Does your brother's salary depend on the profits and losses of the trade? - No, it is a stated salary.

Prisoner. I went into the shop to buy these stockings, I asked the price, he said 7 s. 6 d. I said it was too much for the stockings, I would give 6 s. so then, he said, he could not take it, but then he said take it, and I bought both pairs.

Court to Elizabeth Rankin . Is it true that he bought them? - He never asked the price of them.

Court to Prosecutor. Did he buy any? - He did not buy any at all.


I live in the parish of Whitechapel, Colchester-street, I am a carpenter, I have known the prisoner ever since his infancy, he was a gardener, his father lives at Yarmouth, he bore an exceeding good character down to this time.


I live in Play-house-yard, I am a cord-wainer, I have known the prisoner from his infancy, he bore an exceeding good character till now.


I am the prisoner's brother, I live at Yarmouth, I came up from Yarmouth on this occasion, I am a taylor, my father is a gardener, I never heard a slaw before till this time, it has filled all our hearts with sorrow to hear of it.

GUILTY . (Aged 24.)

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.