Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 29 January 2023), September 1801, trial of JOHN BLYTHE (t18010916-124).

JOHN BLYTHE, Theft > grand larceny, 16th September 1801.

750. JOHN BLYTHE was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 19th of August , three pints of foreign wine, value 3s. and a pint of rum, value 6d. the property of the Commissioners of Excise .

Second Count. Charging it to be the property of certain persons to the Jurors unknown.(The case was opened by Mr. Knowlys.)

JAMES- MATTHEW COKE sworn. - I am an inspector of the Excise watch: On the 19th of August, I was upon Cox's Quay , between eleven and twelve o'clock at night; the prisoner was there stationed as an Excise-watchman ; I found him upon his stand, and as soon as we came near him, he shunned us; we thought he had something about him that was improper, and we stopped him, and searched him; and, in his left-hand waistcoat-pocket, I found a gimlet; in his right-hand coat-pocket, I found a bladder, containing a pint of rum; in his left-hand coat-pocket, Mr. Robertson, who was in company with me, drew out a quart bottle of claret wine; I examined the casks of rum, and in one of them I found the spile open; it was leaking. I asked him if he took the rum from that cask, and he said he did; upon that Mr. Warriner came up, and upon the cask found a blue great-coat, which he took up, and the prisoner owned it; and, in my presence, Mr. Warriner took out a bladder, containing a pint of claret wine, which the prisoner told us he got from some casks that were in the charge of another watchman.

Court. Q. Did you make him any promise of favour? - A.None at all.

Mr. Jackson. Q. Do you know the names of the Commissioners of Excise? - A. Yes; (repeats them.)

Cross-examined by Mr. Hart. Q. Before he said where he got it, was there no conversation about another man? - A. Yes, that was Francis Lock .

Q. Did not somebody then say, if he did not tell where he was, d-n him they would do for him? - A. No, nothing of the kind.

Q. There were several of you - were there not?- A. There were three of us.

Q. And neither of you said any thing of the sort? - A. Neither.

The prisoner left his defence to his Counsel, and called eight witnesses, who gave him a good character. GUILTY , aged 31.

Confined one month in Newgate , and fined 1s.

London Jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.