Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 26 March 2023), April 1813, trial of WILLIAM SMITH (t18130407-114).

WILLIAM SMITH, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 7th April 1813.

458. WILLIAM SMITH was indicted for feloniously making an assault upon Alexander Smith , in the King's Highway, on the 4th of April , and taking from his person, a watch, value 40 s. a watch chain, value 2 s. and a watch key, value 6 d. his property.

ALEXANDER SMITH . I am a cabinet maker . I live at 22, Pitt-street, Tottenham-court-road. On the night of the 4th of April, four men came up to me, and began to shove me with their elbows, jostling me from one side to the other. They pulled my watch out of my pocket.

Q. Did they strike you at all - A. No, they did not. I was in company with two young men; they went away. I was following them. They came up to me, and said, these two gentleman wanted to insult you. I said, they did not want to insult me. They then hustled me about from one side to the other, and one of them took my watch from me. I immediately seized the man that took my watch from me, and I saw him give it into the prisoner's hand. It was not the prisoner that took my watch. I ran after the prisoner, and cried, stop thief. The prisoner ran up Oxford-road. I ran until I was stopped by a young man that picked up the case of a watch. I I lost sight of the prisoner. I have seen the watch since.

- HALL. I am clerk to Mr. Shuter, a barrister. On this night I was coming down Oxford-road; I heard the cry of stop thief. I perceived two people running very hard towards me. I stepped of oneside, and let the headmost one pass me. That was the prisoner. I turned, and ran after him. After getting the distance of seven or eight houses I perceived him put his hand down his right side, and threw something down the railing of an ironmongers shop; it ran on the pavement. The witness, Lewellin, who was running after him, turned back. I still continued after him, and seeing the prisoner was going to run up Hanway-yard, I seized him. A watchman came up. I led him to the spot where I saw him throw this something down. I still held him. Lewellin then shewed me the case of a watch. We knocked at the ironmonger's shop door. The prosecutor went down to see if they could find the watch in the area. I was standing outside, I saw Lewellin pick the watch up through the iron bars. The prisoner was then taken to the watchhouse.

WILLIAM LEWELLIN . I am a tailor. On Sunday night, the 4th of April, I heard the cry of stop thief, about eleven o'clock. I ran to the middle of the road. I observed a man coming as hard as he could run. He turned to Oxford-road. I ran after him, and about four yards in Oxford-road he fell down. He very soon got up, and run on. I ran after him until he got to the founders; I was then within a yard of him. I observed him put his hand in his pocket, take out the watch, and throw it down the area. I picked up the case. I pursued him, and I saw him stopped by Mr. Hall. I returned back to where I picked up the case. The watchman rang the bell. The watchman, I, and the prosecutor, went down. I found the watch in the cellar.

- NEWBURY. I am a constable. I took the prisoner into custody. The watch and case were given to me. I produce it.

Prosecutor. It is my watch.

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


Of stealing, but not with violence .

Transported for Life .

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.