Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 22 October 2018), February 1795, trial of JOHN GISSIN (t17950218-9).

JOHN GISSIN, Theft > grand larceny, 18th February 1795.

121. JOHN GISSIN was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 7th of February , a silver watch, value 30s. a steel watch chain, value 12d. a cornelian seal set in base metal, value 1d. and two metal watch keys, value 2d. the goods of William Whiting .

WILLIAM WHITING sworn.

Q. Did you lose a watch at any time? - Yes, on the 7th of February, out of my parlour, No. 6, Little Ayliss-street, Goodman's-fields , between twelve and one o'clock.

Q. Was you there at the time? - I was not, I was out at my business, attending the East India company.

Q. Have you got the watch again? - No.

Q. Have you ever seen it since? - Yes.

Q. Who has got it? - Barker, the pawnbroker, in Houndsditch.

JOHN FRITH sworn.

Q. Have you got the watch? - Yes.

Q. Produce it. How did you get it? - Of that person at the bar, the 7th of February.

Q. What did he bring it to you for? - To pledge.

Q. Did he pledge it? - He did.

Q. For how much? - For one guinea.

Q. You are sure the prisoner is the person that brought it? - Yes, I am.

Q. What time of the day did he bring it? - About twelve or one o'clock.

Q. How soon did the prosecutor come after it? - About two o'clock.

Prosecutor. This is my watch, I know it by the outside case, the name, the key, and seal, they are all my own property.

Q. What time had you gone out that morning? - About nine o'clock.

Q. And left the watch there? - Yes.

Prisoner's Counsel. Did you always say that you was certain of the prisoner's person? - Yes, I did.

Q. Did not you say before the magistrate that you could not swear to him? - I said, I would not swear to him, I did not like to affect his life.

Court. But did not you know that you was to speak the whole truth? - I was not sworn when I said so.

Q. Why should you wish to favour the man if he is guilty? are you sure that he is the man? - Yes, I am certain.

ELIZABETH WHITING sworn.

Q. You are the wife of William Whiting ? - Yes.

Q. Was you at home about twelve or one o'clock, on the 7th of February? - I was, I went up stairs to make the bed, and leaving a young child in the room I shut the door, but did not lock it; I came down and missed my watch, and while I was looking for the watch Mr. Giffin, the prisoner, came in and asked me what was the matter? I told him I had missed a watch; he said, he would not give any thing for the watch, and when my husband came in and talked about going to the pawnbrokers, he said, he thought he would not get it by thatmeans, for he dare say that they that took the watch had sold it to the jews.

Q. Did the prisoner come in from the street? - He came up stairs while I was making the bed, and seeing me there, he went down again directly, and did not come in again till I had missed the watch.

Q. Was he come in when you came down and missed the watch? - He was out of the house then; I had another bed to make before I went to bed.

Prisoner's Counsel. There were other lodgers in the house? - There were not at that time.

- SEARLE sworn.

On this 7th of February the prosecutor came to me and said he had lost his watch; we went to the pawnbroker's, and the pawnbroker went with us to the prosecutor's house, and we called the young man down, and the pawnbroker said that was the man that pawned the watch, and then we had an officer, and then we went up to his room and told him he had better confess if he was guilty, and if Mr. Whiting could make it up, he would; he said, he was willing to make Mr. Whiting satisfaction, for he had pawned the watch and burned the duplicate.

Prisoner. I am not given to do any such thing.

The prisoner called four witnesses who said he was a shoe-maker, and gave him a good character.

GUILTY.

Judgment respited .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice BULLER