Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 23 October 2018), April 1793, trial of JOSEPH HEWITT (t17930410-37).

JOSEPH HEWITT, Theft > grand larceny, 10th April 1793.

321. JOSEPH HEWITT was indicted for stealing, on the 12th of March , a pair of cotton stockings, value 2 s. the goods of Thomas Patty , Richard Burchall and Joseph Coombs .

EDWARD MERIDITH sworn.

I live with Messrs. Patty, Burchall and Coombs; they are partners in trade; I know the prisoner at the bar; on the 12th of March, between three and four o'clock in the evening, he came into the shop and asked for some white cotton stockings; I was then serving two customers behind the counter; I referred him to the opposite side of the shop to a young man to shew him some, which he did he shewed him a paper of ribbed stockings which he disapproved of; the young man is not here, he turned his back towards the prisoner, I looked at the prisoner in the mean time and I saw him take a pair of stockings and lodge them in his breast, between his waistcoat and his shirt; I went immediately and catched hold of him by the breast and took him on one side, and told him he had got something there that did not belong to him, and wished him to step up to the counting house, there he was searched; I had hold of him all the time; the stockings weretaken from between his waistcoat and shirt in my presence, they are marked with the prosecutor's private mark, they are in the custody of the constable now.

RICHARD BURNIS sworn.

I produce the stockings, I had them of one of Mr. Burchall's clerks, they have been in my possession ever since.

Meridith. The name of the clerk is Henry Derrett , they are the same stockings as taken from the prisoner.

Prisoner. I enlisted for a soldier at Coventry, and I was brought up and examined at the India House, and I was rejected; I took them to carry me home to Coventry.

GUILTY . (Aged 18.)

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice HEATH.