Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 18 October 2019), September 1807, trial of RICHARD ATKINS, alias BAKER (t18070916-89).

RICHARD ATKINS, Theft > grand larceny, 16th September 1807.

625. RICHARD ATKINS, alias BAKER , was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 10th of August , a bank note, value 40 l. the property of John Spanton .

JOHN SPANTON . I am a gardener , I live in New Peter-street, Westminster. On Monday morning the 10th of August the prisoner came and asked me to lend him ten pounds, I told him I had nothing less than a forty pound note, I would let him have that, as I had known him some years; I trusted him with this note to get it changed; and to return me the change that evening, and I was to lend him ten pounds. I saw him no more from the Monday morning till the Wednesday following. I went to his lodgings; the landlady told me he was gone to Tothil fields to a green stall, a house where he used; when I saw him I asked him the reason he did not return me the change on the Monday evening; he told me he could not let me have it before Thursday morning, he had not changed the note, he had it in his chest; I asked him to return the note, he refused; while I was talking to the prisoner I received information from Ashton that Mr. Hylet had the note.

WILLIAM HYLET . I am a victualler in Tothil-street, Westminster. The prisoner came to my house on the 12th of August, between the hours of seven and eight o'clock, and told me that he was going down to Leiscester to settle; he shewed me the corner of a forty pound note, I saw it was a forty pound note; he said that little score I owe you I will send you up a little present from Leicester and that will satisfy you; I told him I would rather he would pay me, it was five shillings and two pence farthing; he then went out of the door into Tothil-street; he returned again, gave me the forty pound note, said give me the change for it, and take your score; I told him he should call again when he was sober, being so large a note I did not like to change it for him. He was very angry that I would not give him change; he says here is a seven shilling piece, take your score, and give me the forty pound; I said I will not till by and bye. The prisoner left me. In the course of half an hour in comes Ashton and the prosecutor; he asked me if the prisoner had left a forty pound note in my hand. The young man explained to me how he came to have the forty pound note; I believed his story. I went into the parlour to come round to the front door; we found either in the tap room or in the passage the prisoner; the prosecutor came round, and the prisoner and he had a pint of porter together. I said to the prisoner, now if it is agreeable I will give you the change; the prisoner gave me a wink, got up, and went towards my parlour; I followed him; he put his fingers upon the parlour table and said, now, give me the change here; I says, there is something very singular in this, I shall call the young man in the tap room; the young man came; I says is there any money matters between you and Atkins; the prosecutor said I trusted him with a forty pound note to get it changed. I was to lend him ten pounds; he never returned it. I said to the prisoner now is this true; he replied No. I never had a forty pound note of him, and what is more than that, I do not know him. Then I thought it most prudent to take him to Queen-square to have the magistrate's opinion of the note. The prisoner was very unwilling to go; when he was at the office I told the magistrate the same as I have now, he denied receiving the note before the magistrate from the prosecutor; the stock broker came forward to prove that he had paid the forty pound note to Spanton. I produce the note.

MR. WATSON. Q. Are you a stock broker. - A. Yes. I know the number of the note I gave to Spanton on the 4th of August, it is 4716, it is a forty pound note, I believe that to be the note.

Spanton. It is that number; I received that note from Mr. Watson; it is mine.

Prisoner's Defence. Mr. Spanton lent me the forty pound, on condition of paying him six per cent interest.

The prisoner called two witnesses, who gave him a good character.

GUILTY , aged 38.

Confined One Year in the House of Correction and fined One Shilling .

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.