Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 18 February 2018), April 1795, trial of JOHN HAYNES (t17950416-16).

JOHN HAYNES, Theft > theft from a specified place, 16th April 1795.

175. JOHN HAYNES was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 14th of March , seventeen yards of black lace, value 14l. the goods of William Brand and, Michael Hayman , in their dwelling house .

ELIZABETH BRAND sworn.

Q. What is your husband's name? - William Brand .

Q. Is your husband in partner ship with any other person? - With Mr. Hayman.

Q. What is his christian name? - Michael.

Q. Where is your trade carried on? - No. 4, Goudge-street, Tottenham-court road .

Q. Who lives in that house? - Mr. Hayman and Mr. Brand.

Q. Is the shop a part of the house? - Yes.

Q. Is there an internal communication between them? - Yes.

Q. Do you pay between you the rent and taxes of this house? - I have not been long married to Mr. Brand, only in January last, but I lived in the house before, I lived with Mr. Hayman almost since an infant; I came with Mr. Hayman to the house about two years ago when he came, I think it is.

Q. Now having married Mr. Brand, who kept the house after the marriage? - It is kept in general between Mr. Hayman and Mr. Brand, there have been no separate expences shared, we live in general.

Q. Who pays the taxes and rent of the house? - Every expence is paid jointly.

Q. Now what have you to say against the prisoner at the bar? - The prisoner at the bar came into our shop, I was in the shop and no one else; it was Saturday four weeks ago, I believe the 14th of March, about four in the afternoon; he asked to look at some white cotton stockings, mens white ribbed cotton stockings, accordingly I opened some paper, as many as five, and there was a difficulty started by the prisoner on every one, but as he disapproved of one paper I put them under the counter, and opened another; he then seeing I was not very ready to open any more, he then asked me if I had not any brown cotton; I began by this time to be suspicious, shewing him so many; I clapped my hand immediately on the first I got hold of, and in turning round with this paper of stockings I see the man in a confusion, standing near the counter, where I was at, standing a little aside as it were, with a vast deal of quickness, putting something in a coat pocket, seeming very much confused, putting it in a pocket inside the coat.

Q. Was he dressed as a soldier then? - Yes, as he is now, but I think the coat was not so good. And I shewed him the stockings, and he said the stockings were too small; he asked me if I had any larger? I answered I would see, but my intent was not to see whether I had any more stockings, but to go round the counter to see if I could see what I had lost; I went round the shop to the other side of the counter, and as I advanced to the door I see the card of lace on the counter, so that I was satisfied I had lost something from the window; I went round to the other counter, being convinced that he could not take any thing from the counter I was at; when I went to the opposite counter, as soon as I fixed my eye on the window, I perceived the man making to the door.

Q. Did you miss any thing from the window? - I did not at that moment, I did afterwards; I told him he must stop, and threw myself across the counter, with a view of taking hold of his coat till I got assistance, but the man going back it was out of my power to reach him, but I called out very violently, Mr. Hayman was asleep in the parlour at the time I was calling; the man had got out of the shop, about to the next door, he ran out of the shop, at my screaming the man returned, and at the door, or about the step of the door, I observed him take the cardof lace from his coat pocket that he had put it in, and threw it on the counter, till then I knew not what he had got, he stood in the street and threw it on.

Q. You see him do this? - I did.

Q. Was the counter near the door? - They are both near the door. By that time Mr. Hayman came down stairs, and came out to the door to my assistance, and the man returned to parley about this lace.

Q. Was he brought in by any body in custody, or came he in of his own accord? - I cannot be positive; when he was in in the shop we sent for a constable.

Q. Now what opportunity was there for the man who came into the shop to examine the stockings, to go from the counter and take the card of lace from the window? - Only while I was turning my back to take down some more stockings.

Q. On his being brought back into the shop, what past? - Nothing more than he petitioned me to let him go; I cannot say exactly in what words, he pleaded that I would let him go.

Q. This lace was put up in the shop window? - It was.

Q. Who has got possession of it? - I have.

Q. What was done with it when it was thrown on the counter? - I had it, and I have had it ever since.

Q. What do you know it by? How many yards is it? - Seventeen yards and a quarter. I believe we only give it the term of black lace.

Q. You never missed it till you see it on the counter? - I did not.

Q. And that is the property of Mr. Brand and Hayman? - Yes.

Prisoner. I had no pockets about me but breeches pockets.

MICHAEL HAYMAN sworn.

Q. We have already learnt that you have a partner, and that you jointly occupy the house? - Yes, the lease is in my name, because I took it before I knew Mr. Brand, as to every thing else we live together and pay every thing jointly.

Q. What do you know about this business? - As Mrs. Brand observed, I happened after dinner to be asleep.

Q. About what time was it you was waked? - Between three and four; I went into the shop, and found the door open, nobody in the shop but Mrs. Brand, the prisoner was not there, she gave me alarm, and pointed me to the door, and as I was going out at the door to my great surprise the man met me; I had hardly got over the threshold of the door, he met me with that card of lace in his hand, he then threw it into the shop on the counter.

Q. Did you see him? - Yes. He said the lace had dropped and he picked it up; I knew very well that it was impossible; I was not satisfied with that, and I secured him. When the constable came he searched him, and he opened the coat and he had a pocket in the coat; there was nothing found on him at all, money or any thing, but he had a pocket in his coat, I am positive of that.

Q. Had you any knowledge of the lace yourself? - Do you mean as to its being in the window? I cannot pretend to swear to that.

Q. To Mrs. Brand. How do you know that to be your lace? - By the shop mark, S. N. the cost price, and the selling price.

Q. You had not sold that? - No, when we sell we cut that off.

Q. How long before this happened could you say that the lace was in the window? - I cannot say.

Mr. Hayman. If your lordship will give me liberty, I believe I can satisfy your lordship in that point. It is Mr. Brand's province to put the window to rights every morning; and I dare sayneither Mrs. Brand nor myself can take upon ourselves to say that lace was in the window that morning.

Q. To Mrs. Brand. Does it contain the number of yards that card says it contains? - I cannot say; I have not measured. I had not cut any, I am quite sure of it.

Q. When you sell lace, did you give the card on which it is? - When we sell the whole, and they request the card, we may do it, but I have never done it since I have been in the business, which is about seven years, I believe.

Q. Had you more cards of that sort of lace? - Not of this very pattern or breadth.

Prisoner. I went into the shop of this lady to buy a pair of cotton stockings; I asked her for a pair of very large ones, and the lady shewed several different papers, which were of quite a small size; I told her not to give herself any more trouble; going out of the shop, I heard the lady scream out, and I returned back again, and I see something lay on the ground, and I picked it up, and hurled it on the counter; I did not know what lace it was, and the gentlewoman said that I took away the lace out of the shop with me.

Hayman. Will your lordship permit me to say something in his favour? I received a message from a captain Rice, and the captain sent me word that he would wish to have him delivered up to the regiment, and he would punish him by the military law; they spoke of nothing against his character.

JOHN HASLAM sworn.

I am a sergeant in the coldstream regiment of guards; I have known the prisoner eight years, he has been in the regiment as long; he has been abroad on the Continent; he bears a very good character as a soldier .

Q. Was he in the company that you belong? - Yes.

Q. How came he by his new cloathing? - They were sent to him by his wife, to change himself for decency.

Q. Were they allotted to him as a soldier? - Yes.

Q. How came he to return here? - Through sickness; he came home in a violent fever. He was in the light infantry abroad, at home he is in the battalion, because we have no infantry.

GUILTY, Of stealing to the value of 39s. (Aged 25.)

Transported for seven years .

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