Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 16 September 2021), December 1795, trial of LOCKEY HILL (t17951202-53).

LOCKEY HILL, Theft > animal theft, 2nd December 1795.

52. LOCKEY HILL was indicted for feloniously stealing one gelding, value 10l. the property of Richard Kirby , June 5 .(The witnesses were examined apart at the request of the prisoner).

RICHARD KIRBY sworn.

I am a carrier ; I live at Bicester, in Oxfordshire: I lost a gelding from my ground, near Bicester ; the last time I saw it there was on Sunday the 31st of May, about seven o'clock in the evening; I missed it on Monday the 1st day of June; my servant came home that morning from milking, and told me my horse was got out of the ground, and I went about nine o'clock to look for it; I did not see it again till Monday the 23d of November, in South-Mews, in the parish of Mary-le-bonne, in the custody of James Chamberlayne , a stable-keeper; it was a brown gelding, about fifteen hands high, with a star in his forehead, remarkable tight made; he is near seven years old; I knew it to be mine as soon as I saw it.

Q. Are you positively sure it was your's? - A. I have not the least doubt upon my mind about it; I had had it about a twelve-month; I come to town every fortnight, and I used always to ride him.

LEONARD TWEED sworn.

I am a shoemaker, in Whitechapel; I was recommended to the prisoner to buy a horse, by Bowtell, of whom I had purchased a small poney; I bought this gelding of the prisoner.

Q. Was that the gelding that was stole? - A. I should imagine it to be so; I cannot say.

Q. When was this? - A. Sometime the beginning of June, I think; I did not make a minute of the time; it was delivered to me at a public-house, at the entrance of Hackney; I think it was the Rose-and-Crown, I am not positive; I gave the prisoner ten guineas and my poney, which cost me five, for it, he warranted the horse found; if I hah found it found I was to have given him a new pair of boots; but finding it not found, he never called for them; I kept him near six months; I generally keep one in the summer, and generally sell it in the fall; I sold this horse to Mr. Chamberlayne, about five weeks ago, for 9l. 3s.6d.

Q. Are you sure the gelding purchased of the prisoner was the one you sold to Mr. Chamberlayne? - A. Yes, perfectly sure.

Q. Had you ever seen the prisoner before? - A. Not to my knowledge; I saw him once after I bought the horse of him; I met him on horseback.

Q. During the time of the purchase and the bargain, how long might you have been in company with him? - A. I dare say it might be better than two hours; we had to go from a public-house, nearly opposite my house, to where the horse was.

Q. Have you any doubt at all that the prisoner was the man that sold it? - A. He is the very identical man I bought it of.

Prisoner. Q. Did I deliver that horse to you? - A. I paid you the money for it.

Q. Did you see me have hold of the reins or bridle? - A. I am not sure whether it was you, or the little man that was with you.

Q. Who was the man that was introduced to you to sell the horse? - A. The prisoner; and I paid him the money; upon my oath, he is the man.

JAMES CHAMBERLAYNE sworn.

I purchased a gelding of Mr. Tweed, on a Friday, about a month ago; I gave 9l. 3s. 6d. for it; I delivered it to Mr. Kirby, when he came to claim it, about a fortnight ago.

Q. Are you sure the gelding you delivered to Mr. Kirby was the same you bought of Mr. Tweed? - A. Yes.

Q. Were there no other geldings in your stable? - A. Yes, a black one; but this was a brown one.

EDWARD BOWTELL sworn.

I am a brazier and tinman: I was with the prisoner when he took this gelding out of the field; the magistrate at Bow-street admitted me as an evidence.

Q. (To Tweed.) You cannot tell when it was you bought this? - A. No; I took no particular notice of the time; I thought I had been dealing with a very fair man; as nigh as I can tell, I have had it in my own use nigh upon six months.

Bowtell. I went down to Birmingham with the prisoner, with three horses; I have been there a great many times with the prisoner, with a great many horses that he has stole; in coming back, we called at Bicester, in Oxfordshire; we staid at the Rose-and-Crown, till about nine o'clock in the evening, on the 31st of May; and, as we were coming towards London, at a place called Aylesbury, the prisoner saw this gelding in a field on the left-hand side; there was another horse with it; he got off the horse he was riding, and got over the gate and looked at this horse; he came back again, and said, that will do very well, we will have that: he then mounted his horse again, and rode on till we came to an old barn, the same side the way as this field; we went into that barn, and put our horses into it, and went to sleep till about twelve o'clock; then we took a halter off the horses in the barn, and went back to the field where the gelding was; we lifted the gate off the hinges, and I held it while he fetched the horse out of the field; we left the gate off, we could not get it on again; we brought the gelding with us to the barn, and then we took the saddle and bridle off of one of our horses, and put on this gelding; we brought them all three to London; we quarrelled about who should ride the gelding; I did not like to ride it for fear of being thrown off; he said, I should ride it, and I did ride it part of the way; we took it to the Horse-and-Groom, Hackney-road; it staid there for two days, till the prisoner at the bar sold it to Mr. Tweed; I was present; Mr. Tweed gave me half-a-crown for riding it, and the prisoner gave me half-a-crown.

Q. Should you know the purchaser again, if you were to see him? - A. Yes; he is a shoemaker, in Whitechapel.

Q. How many days after the robbery was it that you sold it to the shoemaker? - A. As near as I can guess, on the Friday, about twelve o'clock; that we took it on Monday the 1st of June, between twelve and two o'clock.

Q. How long have you been a horse stealer? - A. I believe it is as much as between four and five years; I was servant to him.

Q. But you were in the secret that they were stolen? - A. Yes; I used to go with him; sometimes he would give me two guineas and a half for taking a horse one hundred miles; and sometimes five guineas, but never more, if he sold it for fifteen; he dealt with a man in the country, a dealer.

Q. Did you never steal any on your own account? - A. No; the man that dealt with him would not deal with me; there are a great many more horses in town now; that he has brought up here.

Q. How came you to come forward as a witness; were you taken up for stealing this horse? - A. No; for stealing two cart-horses that we took from a field near Worcester; he came from that part of the country; he sold them at Edgeware; and the man agreed to pay for it on Wednesday morning; he sold one, and I sold the other to a farmer; the prisoner and I were to meet the two men, on the Monday, at Smithfield.

Prisoner. Q. I wish to know whether he has any witness that ever saw me and him together when he stole any horse? - A. He and I have stole some scores; I have got a list of them, my Lord; here it is (producing it).

Q. (To Tweed.) Look at the last witness. - A. He is the man I bought the poney of; he recommended me to the prisoner; he came to buy a pair of boot-tops of me, and seeing my saddle hanging up, he asked me if I wanted to buy a horse.

Q. Did you give him half-a-crown when you bought this horse? - A. Yes? for recommending me to the prisoner; the back of him was in a shocking condition; he took the saddle off my poney, and put it upon his back, to deceive me, or else I should not have bought it.

Q. Was it the Horse-and-Groom, at Hackney, that you went to? - A. No; the Rose-and-Crown; but the horse was not there; I waited near half an hour, while the horse was fetched; they might get it from the Horse-and-Groom, for any thing I know; I understood it was the prisoner's house; I bought it of the prisoner.

Q. (To Bowtell.) Is that the person who bought the horse? - A. Yes.

ARCHIBALD RUTHVEN sworn.

I am an officer: On the 12th of October an information came to the office in Bow-street, I and some more officers were sent to the Raminn, in Smithfield, where we apprehended the prisoner and Edward Bowtell; we brought them before Justice Addington; they refused to give any account of themselves; and he committed them both to the house of correction; there were two horses at that time at Edgware, which I serched up; that is all I know about it.

Q. (To Kirby.) Where is your field; is it situated as the accomplice describes, on the left-hand side of the London road? - A. Yes.

Q. Is there a barn near it? - A. There is, about half a mile beyond my ground, nearer Aylesbury, on the same side of the way.

Q. How did you find your gate the next morning? - A. I only know of that from what my servant told me; when I saw it, it had been put on again.

Prisoner's defence. - My Lord, I have no counsel to aid and assist me; I hope I shall have one in you: I am a musical instrument maker; Mr. Thompson, in St. Paul's church-yard, and Mr. Longman, of Cheapside, were here yesterday, to give me a character, but they are in a great way of business, and they could not wait.

Q. (To Kirby.) What is the value of your gelding? - A. About 20l. or 22l.

GUILTY , Death . (Aged 44.)

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.