Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 27 September 2022), April 1827, trial of JOHN JAMES HART (t18270405-43).

JOHN JAMES HART, Theft > grand larceny, 5th April 1827.

796. JOHN JAMES HART was indicted for stealing, on the 21st of March , 7 silver spoons, value 1l.; 1 pair of sugar-tongs, value 6s., and 1 snuff-box, value 4s. , the goods of Charles Lindfield .

ELIZABETH LINDFIELD . I am the wife of Charles Lindfield - we took the White Swan public-house, Chandos-street, Covent-garden, and left it on the 10th of March; I employed the prisoner to move our goods from there to Dorset-place, Pall Mall East ; he carried this property, which was in a mahogany writing-desk - we then went down to Lewes, leaving the property locked up in our room, in Dorset-place; I received a letter, desiring me to come to town, which I did, and missed the articles stated in the indictment - I had seen the spoons and sugar-tongs safe the morning I left. The door must have been opened by a false-key.

WILLIAM ALLEN . I am a clerk, and lodge in the next room to the prosecutor, in Dorset-place. I went home on Tuesday evening, the 21st of March, and the landlord said he suspected a man was concealed in the prosecutor's room - we went up, and unlocked the door, but could not get in, as it was bolted inside; we then heard the window open, and a cry in the street, that a man was getting out; I turned the key, and ran down stairs; the person then got into the room again - in a few minutes the prisoner rushed out at the front door; he must have forced the room door open - he was stopped about one hundred yards off; I am confident of his person - he threw a great coat away as he ran, and that is lost - he got from us again, and was taken in an hour or an hour and a half, at a house in Maiden-lane, Chandos-street. I found every box and drawer in the room broken open - nobody but him came out of the house.

Prisoner. Q. What time was it? A. About a quarter-past six o'clock - we took him about a quarter past eight, coming down the stairs of No. 43, Maiden-lane.

WILLIAM COOMBE . I am servant to Mr. Fleming, a pawnbroker, of Fleet-market. On the 21st of March, about eight o'clock in the evening, the prisoner pawned a snuff-box, seven tea-spoons, and a pair of sugar-tongs, for 26s., in the name of James Lingfield, No. 3, Turnagain-lane; I am certain he is the man - I saw him in custody again the next day, at twelve o'clock - he stood close against the gas-light. I am certain of him.

JOHN BIRCHALL . I apprehended the prisoner in Maiden-lane - Allen was with me; we told him it was for a robbery in Dorset-place - he made no reply, but afterwards said he knew nothing about it - Allen said he was the man, and I found the duplicate of this property on him.

WM. COOMBE. This is the duplicate I gave him.(Property produced and sworn to.)

The prisoner pleaded distress.

GUILTY . Aged 17.

Transported for Seven Years .