Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 27 November 2021), June 1813, trial of WILLIAM MATHEWS (t18130602-101).

WILLIAM MATHEWS, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 2nd June 1813.

616. WILLIAM MATHEWS was indicted for feloniously making an assault in the King's highway, upon William Hoskins , on the 27th of May , putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, a watch, value 25 s. a watch-chain, value 5 s. a seal, value 1 s. and a watch-key, value 6 d. his property.

WILLIAM HOSKINS . On the 27th of May, I was going down Whitechapel ; I had a child in my arms and another walking by the side of me; my wife was with me. It was about ten minutes past eight in the evening; the prisoner rushed up to me, and took my watch out of my pocket; I sung out stop thief. He ran about ten or twenty yards, he flung the watch back over his shoulder.

Q. Did you see that - A. Yes; the officer has got the watch. (The watch produced.) That is my watch; I value it at thirty shillings; it cost me three pounds. My wife pursued him; he was taken.

Q. Did you see him brought back - A. Yes, I stood fast with the two children until he was brought back; I am sure the person that was brought back was the person that took my watch; the prisoner is the person. I never saw him before.

Q. Did you resist his taking the watch - A. No. I could not; I had a child in my arms. It was taken by a mere snatch.

MARY HOSKINS . Q. Have you heard the account that your husband has given - A. Yes: I remember every thing to have happened that he has stated. The prisoner was brought back in less then a quarter of an hour. I know it to be my husband's watch. My husband had not time to resist; he had an infant in his arms.

EDWARD BUCHANAN . I was in Dog-row, Bethnal-green, I had been passing along Whitechapel-road. I perceived the a watch and chain in his hand; he was doubling the chain in his hand; the prosecutor sung out stop thief; I asked him if he had lost any thing; he said his watch; the prisoner was running up Bakers-row, I pursued him; he threw the watch over his head.

Prisoner's Defence. I hope you will take it into consideration; I am but a youth. I am willing to serve his Majesty either by sea or by land.

GUILTY, aged 16,

Of stealing, but not violently from the person .

Confined 2 years in the house of correction , fined 1 s.

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Grose.