Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 07 June 2020), October 1820, trial of CHARLES GRIFFITHS (t18201028-3).

CHARLES GRIFFITHS, Theft > animal theft, 28th October 1820.

1228. CHARLES GRIFFITHS was indicted for stealing, on the 30th of September , at Paddington , one gelding, price 10 l. , the property of Richard Smith .

RICHARD SMITH . I live in St. John's Wood-lane, Marylebone. On Saturday evening, the 30th of September, at six o'clock, I turned my gelding into Mr. Rice's field, by the canal; next morning, about six o'clock, I went to the field and missed it. I traced it over two ditches, and then lost the trace. On Monday morning, in consequence of information, I went and saw Hedges' son, and he went with me to Ford's, in Cow-cross, Smithfield, I there saw the skin of a grey gelding, which I am sure was mine. I turned round, and picked up a horse's leg, which I am also sure was mine.

WILLIAM HEDGES . I am a collar-maker, and live in the Edgeware-road - I have often seen the prisoner pass my house. On the 30th of September, at nine o'clock at night, my son brought the prisoner to me at the King's Arms, public-house. He asked me if I would buy a dead horse? I said Yes, and asked whose it was; he said it was his master's, Mr. Hicks, cow-keeper, in Shoe-lane, Holborn, and it must be taken away. I said I could not fetch it that night, he said it must be taken away that night, as his master did not like it to lay in the field with the cows. We went to the field to fetch the horse - it was in the second field in the Harrow-road, past the second bridge. The horse lay there - it was a grey one, and had been stuck in the throat - blood had flowed. I took it home, and the next morning sold it to Ford.

Q. What has a collar-maker to do with dead horses - A. We buy them. I gave him 30 s. for it, and sold it for 2 l. It was dark when I was in the field. I could see nocows. I bought some harness of the prisoner about a fortnight before. On Monday morning Smith came to me, and I apprehended the prisoner myself on Thursday morning, at his house at Kensington Gravel-pits. I found there was a Mr. Hicks, a cow-keeper, in Shoe-lane. As soon as Smith saw the leg and skin he claimed them. He told me the marks on it before he went there.

THOMAS FORD . I am a horse collector, and occasionally deal with Hedges. I bought this gelding of him on Sunday morning, the 1st of October - its throat was cut - it appeared to have been dead about one day.

Prisoner's Defence. I am entirely innocent. I bought it of a man who was a complete stranger to me. I met him in the Harrow-road, and paid him 24 s. for it, not having the least idea of its being stolen, as a proof of which I never absented myself from my home.

GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 38.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Park.