Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 09 February 2023), November 1808, trial of SAMUEL HYAM (t18081126-15).

SAMUEL HYAM, Theft > pocketpicking, 26th November 1808.

688. SAMUEL HYAM was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 17th of October , three guineas, two seven shillings pieces, five shillings, and a sixpence, the property of John Edwards , from his person .

JOHN EDWARDS . I live at 34, Bevidere place, in the Borough. On Monday evening, the 17th of October, I was in the one shilling gallery of Drury lane theatre ; the prisoner was near me in the gallery; he asked me what o'clock it was; I said I thought it was about seven; I did not pull out my watch, I only told him about seven o'clock; I tucked my watch ribbon in my pocket. He pushed very much against me; I felt his hand against my waistcoat, he unbuttoned it all the way down; then after that I went and sat in the window in the passage. I sat there for almost an hour, then I went in again.

Q. Did not you say any thing to him for feeling your waistcoat - A. No; I went out then to avoid him, then I went in again.

Q. What made you sit down there that time - A. Why, the house was very full, I was very hot; then I went in again. Then he asked me what o'clock it was, he pushed very much against me again; I said I did not know rightly, I believed it was about ten; he says I want to know very particular, for I left my watch at home; then he pushed very much against me, as if in the crowd; I found his hand in my right hand breeches pocket; he pulled his hand out, jumped down, and said let be come by, I want to go out; he pushed by me. I found he had turned my pocket inside out; I jumped down after him, he run down stairs, I halloed out stop stief; they shut the check door and stopped him, I followed him instantly; the check keeper stopped him; they got Tredway the officer, he laid hold of him.

Q. Can you say what money you had in your pocket - A. Yes, I had three guineas in gold, two seven shilling pieces and some silver; I could not say exactly how much, it was in my right hand pocket.

Q. How lately had you known that money was in your pocket - A. About two minutes before I left him pushing and feeling about me; I felt my money in my pocket after I came from sitting in the window.

Q. Could you by chance speak to any of that money - A. I spoke to the officer what there was; there were three guineas, two seven shilling pieces and some silver shewed me; I had mentioned to the officer what money I had lost.

Q. Among the money shewn you was there any piece that you could identify - A. Yes, a seven shilling piece. Thomas Saunders , a boy, shewed where the money was. I went up with him, when they found it in the window.

Q. You are sure that you had the money when the prisoner spoke to you - A. Yes.

Cross-examined by Mr. Reynolds. What part of the gallery was you sitting - A. We were standing, there was no room to sit; it was very full where I was standing.

Q. Persons were pressing about you at that time - A. Yes.

Q. Others pushed as well as the man at the bar - A. The others pushed, but not like him.

Q. Probably if they pushed they might move him - A. No.

Q. When he opened your waistcoat how came it you did not speak to him - A. I went out and told a young man at the window, there was a parcel of Jews there; I did not like to say any thing to them.

Q. When you left the window to return to the gallery, how came you to go to the spot where he was - A. I could not get to any other place to see.

THOMAS SAUNDERS . I am a plaisterer, I live at the Robin Hood , Church lane, St. Giles's.

Q. Was you at Drury lane theatre on Monday the 17th of this month - A. Yes, I was up in the one shilling gallery; I could not see, it was full; I was going down to go home.

Q. As you were going down the one shilling gallery what did you hear - A. I heard the cry of stop thief; the voice was from above; I was were the check taker was; when I heard the cry of stop thief, I stopped and turned round my head, and saw that there man at the bar chuck some money in a corner.

Q. You mean the prisoner - A. Yes.

Q. Where was he when he chucked it - A. He was upon the flight of stairs above the check taker; he threw it into one of the corners of the seat of the window.

Q. How did you know it was money at that time - A. I heard it rattle like money.

Q. What became of him after he chucked the money as you described it - A. He walked down the other flight of stairs to where the check taker was, and the gate was fast. The officer was sent for and he was taken in custody.

Q. Had you told any body the place where you saw him chuck the money - A. Yes, I told the money taker I saw him chuck something like money, it rattled; I told him where he had chucked it, and I told Mr. Tredway; he took up the money from the same place where the prisoner had chucked it.

Q. You are sure that the prisoner is the person that you saw chuck that money - A. Yes.

HENRY TREDWAY. I am a constable of Bow street I attend Drury lane playhouse, I was there on Mondaythe 17th of this month; the prisoner was given into my charge.

Q. In consequence of any information you received from the witness Saunders, did you look for any money - A. I did; I searched the prisoner first, and then I took up the lamp and went up with the boy to the window, there I found the money; I found three guineas, two seven shilling pieces, five shillings and a six pence; I have kept the money ever since. I produce it.

Prosecutor. This is the seven shilling piece; I know it by being a crooked one.

Q. You cannot say positively that this is your seven shilling piece, only that one of your seven shilling pieces was crooked - A. Yes, but I had the same number of guineas, three guineas and two seven shilling pieces and some loose silver; I cannot exactly say how much.

Prisoner's Defence. My lord, and gentlemen of the jury - with respect to the charge that is now preferred against me, I am totally ignorant and innocent of the circumstances altogether; and however plausible the story may be, I feel inward satisfaction that my fate is to be decided by a British jury; I shall now therefore throw myself on the mercy of the court.

GUILTY , aged 17.

Transported for Fourteen Years .

Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Baron Thompson .