Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 30 September 2022), June 1808, trial of JOHN GRIFFITHS (t18080601-10).

JOHN GRIFFITHS, Theft > theft from a specified place, 1st June 1808.

374. JOHN GRIFFITHS was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 23d of April , seventy pound weight of lead, value 12 s. the property of Samuel Seabrook , affixed to a building of his called a house .

Second count for like offence, stating it to be a building generally.

SAMUEL SEABROOK . I live in Bowling alley, White Cross street.

Q. You have a house somewhere about Bethnal Green - A. Yes, it is repairing; I left it in the care of Mr. Farrer that lives next door.

Q. You lost some lead from it - A. I did; on the 23d of April the lead was affixed over the garret window.

Q. Did you see the lead that was taken from the prisoner - A. I did, I saw it at the office in Worship street; a few days afterwards I saw it tried upon the top of the garret window, it corresponded correctly; it appeared to be about half of it. I believe it to be the lead that came off there.

JOSEPH FARRER . You live at Bethnal Green - A. Yes, I had the house in charge, I live next door. On the 23d of April last, about four o'clock in the morning, I heard something fall, as though it came from the top of the house, it fell very heavy. In the morning I found the gate and the door of the house open; I looked at the ground were this fell, there was an impression on the ground. I heard of a man being in custody for stealing of lead; that very morning I sent to Mr. Seabrook to come forward to see if any thing was lost; accordingly it appeared that this lead belonging to the top of the window was gone; I went with the officer and saw the lead fitted; every thing seemed to correspond exactly. There was only half of it.

- BOOTH. I am a watchman. On the 23d of April, about half past five, I saw the prisoner at the bar just on the other side of the madhouse at Bethnal Green.

Q. What had he upon him - A He had this lead and a chopper in the sack; I took him to the watchhouse, and afterwards I went back and fetched the lead; I took the lead to the office; I was present when the lead was fitted upon the top of the garret window; it appeared to fit.

JOHN VICKREY . Q. You are an officer of Worship street office. - A. Yes; on the 23d of April last, I took the prisoner from the watchhouse to the office; the lead was brought in a sack by the watchman, and there was a chopper in the sack.

(The property produced and identified.)

Prisoner's Defence. On Saturday morning, between five and six o'clock, as I was coming up Back Cow-lane, I found this lead in a ditch; I took the lead up in order to take it to the first public house I came to; upon the watchman asking me what I had; I said what was that to him; I said it was some lead that I had found; he might have it if he would.

The prisoner called three witnesses who gave him a good character.

GUILTY , aged 33.

Confined Six Months in the House of Correction , and fined One Shilling .

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Baron Graham .