Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 07 October 2022), January 1826, trial of CHARLES COLLISON EDWARD MARTIN (t18260112-5).

CHARLES COLLISON, EDWARD MARTIN, Theft > animal theft, 12th January 1826.

Before Lord Chief Baron Alexander.

186. CHARLES COLLISON and EDWARD MARTIN were indicted for stealing on the 16th of November , 18 sheep , the property of William Welch .

MR. LAW conducted the prosecution.

WILLIAM WELCH. I live at Southall . On the 16th of November I had eighteen sheep in my field - they were marked with a W on the side. I afterwards saw the same sheep at the City Green-yard.

SAMUEL WYATT . I am the prosecutor's shepherd. I saw these sheep in the field on Wednesday afternoon, the 16th, and missed them about nine or ten o'clock next morning - sixteen of them were brought home that day week; the other two have been killed - their skins are here. I had marked them with a brand mark, and have no doubt of them.

DANIEL WOOD . I live in City-gardens, City-road, and know Collison. On the 17th of November, about a quarter past six o'clock in the morning, I was going from my house into a shop which I have in my yard - Loadsman opened the door, and I found eighteen sheep in a stable adjoining my shop; they appeared very much fatigued; about a quarter to eight o'clock I saw a man in the yard, dressed in a brown frock coat, a leather gaiter on his left leg, and high ankle shoes; he had no gaiter on his right leg, but a handkerchief tied round the small of it. I believe Collison to be the man. Nunn was there at the time.

Cross-examined. Q. Collison is a neighbour of yours, I believe? A. I did not know him before. When I saw him at Worship-street I knew his features; I saw him through the window; they told me that was the man who claimed the sheep. When I saw him at Worship-street he had part of his whiskers taken off, and wore a flannel jacket. I verily believe him to be the man - I saw his side face.

MR. LAW. Q. You believe him to be the man? A. Yes, but he is altered as much as he could be, in dress and figure.

JOSEPH NUNN . I am apprentice to Mr. Wood. On the 17th of November, at a quarter past six o'clock, I saw eighteen sheep in my master's yard, and about six o'clock in the evening I saw the prisoner Collison take them away - two other men assisted him; I followed, and saw Collison and two other men put them into a shed in Howard's-green. I went in the morning, and spoke to Loadsman about it, and shewed him where they were put. Collison had a brown frock coat, ankle shoes, a galter on the left leg, and a handkerchief on the right. Howard's-green is about one hundred yards from master's. I knew Collisou before, by seeing him in a shop in Howard's-green, next door but one to the shed. I saw a stout tall man there when I went with Loadsman - it was not either of the prisoners.

Cross-examined. Q. Nobody was with the sheep when you first saw them? A. No. Collison is a butcher, and sells meat in this shed; he uses it as a shop; he drove the sheep into that shop.

JOHN LOADSMAN . I live in Castle-street, Clerkenwell. On the 17th of November, about nine o'clock in the morning, I went with Nunn to No. 24, City-gardens, and saw eighteen sheep there - they appeared particularly tired; I went to Howard's-green afterwards, and saw a shed with meat hanging in front of it; I saw Collison in that shed about a quarter past nine o'clock that morning; he was dressed in a dark mixture coat, corduroy breeches, ankle shoes, and a handkerchief round his right leg. I got information and watched the premises, and saw Martin there from time to time, but never saw Collison there after the 17th; I never saw the sheep there myself - I saw Martin there on Saturday, the 18th, serving two customers with meat, and on Sunday and Monday, but never saw him there after Monday. I found Collison at Worship-street on Saturday; I had been to the shop early and late but could not find him.

Cross-examined. Q. Martin is a journeyman butcher? A. I considered him the servant there, or I should have taken him.

RICHARD PEDRIC . I am a wheelwright, and live next door to the shed where Collison's shop is. I kept a horse and cart at this time. On Sunday Martin asked me to let him have the horse and cart at five o'clock in the morning, as he wanted to take some skins into the country to bury - I did not lend it. I used to see both the prisoners in the shed - Collison's wife was often there - the shop is about ten yards from the shed where the sheep were put- I did not see Collison after I was asked for the cart, till he came into a public-house and struck me - he then wore a fustian coat and leather gaiters - I gave him in charge.

Cross-examined. Q. Might not the skins he corrupted and had? A. I asked him no questions - I thought it improper to lend him the cart at so early an hour - I saw a number of sheep in the shed - whether it was when he asked me for the cart, or a few days before, I cannot say.

CHARLES NEWMAN . I live on Howard's-green - adjoining this shed. I looked through the boards, and saw the sheep there - I used to see Collison serving in the shop about that time - I was ill for a few days and do not know when I last saw him there. Martin was apprehended on the Sunday - they have both served me with meat.

JOHN BEDFORD . I am a Smithfield drover, and live in Bunhill-row. On Monday, the 21st of November, about five o'clock. I was at Howard's-green, and met Martin - he said "Will you do a good turn for me, and take these sheep to a green-yard, or otherwise loose them?" I said"Don't you know a green-yard after being all this time in London?" he said No; he went with me to the stable - some of the sheep were outside the door and some in - he said they had come astray of him four or five days ago- he went to the end of the street with me, and I took them to the green-yard in Whitecross-street - there were eighteen, and were marked W in the side, and some in the hips.

Cross-examined. Q. Green-yards are places of deposit for whatever is lost? A. Yes - I went and told Mr. Slocome.

JAMES HANDLEY . I am a constable. On the 23d of November I saw eighteen sheep in the green-yard; I had two of them slaughtered, and have the skins here. I apprehended Collison for an assault on the 18th of December - Vann asked him how his leg was - he said "A good deal better" - we took Martin in Collison's house, on the 27th of November, at City-gardens, Howard's-green, and asked him where Collison was - he said he should be a pretty fellow to answer that question. Vann asked Collison if he had eighteen sheep - he said he had no business to answer that question.

THOMAS VANN . I am a constable. On the 27th of November we apprehended Martin at Collison's house - he said he should be a pretty fellow to tell me where Collison was, I must find him. On the 18th of December I found him in the watch-house, and asked how his leg was - he said much better - I said "Have you had any sheep in your possession?" he said No; I said "Did any sheep belonging to Mr. Welch, of Southall, follow you?" he said he was not bound to answer that question. We left orders at the watch-house that he should not change his dress, but when he was brought to the office he had put a flannel jacket on.(Skins produced and sworn to.)

NOT GUILTY .