Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 05 October 2022), September 1830, trial of JOHN PRIZEMAN (t18300916-328).

JOHN PRIZEMAN, Theft > simple larceny, 16th September 1830.

1811. JOHN PRIZEMAN was indicted for stealing, on the 3rd of July , 10 pieces of timber, value 20l., the goods of John Chatfield and others .

MR. CLARKSON conducted the prosecution.

WILLIAM TEMPEST MERCER . I am in the employ of Messrs. John Chatfield and others, who live in Upper Ground-street, Blackfriar's-road. On the 5th of July we missed ten sticks of timber, which I had seen safe at Battersea on the 1st of July - on the 6th I went to Smallwood's, and found five whole pieces, and one piece partly cut; there was the ship's name, the number of the float, and the contents of the piece on them.

Cross-examined by MR. CHURCHILL. Q. What was the mark on them? A. The ship's name was the Latona; we did not have the entire cargo, but several pieces; the rest would have the same ship's name on it, but the number would be different - there might be some others of the same contents; I did not see it from the 1st to the 5th of July - the dock theywere in is secured by a boom, which goes across; the timber generally floats at high water - it can be removed without loosing the boom.

Re-examined. Q. Did you find the locks of it broken? A. One was a little damaged - the same feet of timber may be in one stick as another, but the number would not agree.

WILLIAM SUMMERSELL . I am a waterman, and live at Hammersmith - the prisoner is a waterman. On the 3rd of July, about twelve o'clock at noon, I saw him with ten pieces of timber, which he was hauling into a dock at Lane's-end; I afterwards saw Smallwood and the prisoner at the Cannon public-house; the prisoner put on a canvas-frock - I saw the same timber there on the Sunday, but I did not see it taken away; I afterwards saw Prudent speak to the prisoner the same day, and then Prudent rowed the boat down to Hungerford.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you always state the same time? A. At Bow-street I said three o'clock, but it was twelve- I was not aware of any thing coming of it; I judge now by the state of the tide - I was in the Old Court as a prisoner; I had done the same as others, nothing, but I went to New South Wales, and staid there seven years - I was charged at Horsemonger-lane, but not in the Court; I was a prisoner at Croydon, but the bill was thrown out.

WILLIAM PRUDENT . I am a waterman, and live at Hammersmith. I saw the prisoner there as I was going to London, and I saw Summersell; it was on a Saturday in July - I was an apprentice at the time, and I asked the prisoner to give me a cast down in his boat; he said he was going to stop a little while, but I might row his boat down, leave it in charge of somebody, and he would call for it in the morning - I rowed myself down, and left it alongside the others.

WILLIAM EDWARDS . I am a carman to George Cook , a coal-merchant. I received charge of some timber on the Saturday, from Smallwood, for whom I was at work - there were one or two persons present; I will not say whether the prisoner was, or no - I took the timber from Mr. Smallwood's premises.

COURT. Q. Was the prisoner present, or not? A. I believe he was, but I never saw him but that once.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Upon your oath, did you not say he was? A. I believe he was; I received ten sticks of timber - I took eight to Black Lion-lane, and two to Mr. Cook's, my employer; I kept those two for expences till they were taken away - I began to deliver them at eight o'clock in the morning, and might finish about twelve or one; the timber I carted on Monday was that I received charge of on Saturday.

SAMUEL TAUNTON . I took Smallwood into custody - I did not take the prisoner; I went to Smallwood's premises on the 7th of July; I found five logs and one piece - they were behind some houses; I saw Edwards there.

MR. MERCER. I accompanied the officer to Smallwood's; I did not see Edwards there - I found five sticks there; I then went to Cook's, where I had been the preceding evening, but Edwards was not at home - I found the two sticks there through the people on Smallwood's premises; the two I found at Cook's, and the five at Smallwood's, are part of the ten that were lost.

NOT GUILTY .