April 1740, trial of William Isgrigg t17400416-2; 192+ (Harvard University, “Old Bailey Proceedings Online.”)
William Isgrigg, of St John Zachary, was indicted for stealing 9 Pair of Mens Silver Shoe-buckles, value 5 l. 4 Pair of Silver Knee-buckles, val. 20s. 3 Pair of Womens Silver Shoe-buckles, val. 24 s. 3 plain Gold Rings, val. 36 s. 2 enamell’d gold Rings, val. 12 s. a gold Ring set with 5 Stones, val. 3 s. a Silver Snuff-box with the inside gilded, val. 8 s. 7 Silver Stock-buckles, val. 21 s. and 3 Pair of Silver Stock-clasps, val. 18 s. the Goods of William Gould , in his Dwelling-house , Feb. 24.
William Gould . The Prisoner was my Apprentice, and had served me above half his Time. His Father lay very ill, and his Mother begg’d of me to let him go and see him, for he was (she said) at the Point of Death. I gave him Leave to go, and after he had been absent a Fortnight, I sent for him to come home: but he sent me Word, that the Physicians had given his Father over, and, as it was not expected he would live over that Night, he desired I would suffer him to stay one Night longer. I consented; and his Mother sent him Home next Morning, (as I was informed) but he did not come near me till Sunday the 24th of February last, (which was a Fortnight after he had been sent Home) and then my Servant-Maid informed me, she let the Prisoner into the House, a quarter after 8 in the Morning, before I was up. The next Morning (Monday) I got up between 7 and 8, and casting an Eye upon my Shew-Glass, I thought the Goods look’d thin, and that several Things were wanting. Upon this I examined my other Boy, and was satisfied that he knew nothing of them; and the Prisoner being absent again, I suspected him, and upon searching after him, I took him in Hanging-sword-Alley in Fleet-street, on the Wednesday Night following. He was carried to the Watch house, and there we found the gold Ring with 5 false Stones upon him, and nothing else. That Night he was sent to Bridewell, and the next Day we carried him before Sir Robert Godseball , where he confess’d he had pawn’d several Pair of my Buckles, Stock-buckles, and Stock-clasps, which are now in Court. This is the Stone-Ring which was found upon him at the Watch-house, and it is mine. I am pretty sure it was in the Shew-Glass, when we took it from the Window, into the Shop, on Saturday Night, and I miss’d it, with the rest of the Goods, on Monday the 25th of February, in the Morning.
John Hartwell , Constable. I took this Ring out of the Prisoner’s Pocket, at the Watch-house.
John Coombes. These Buckles were sealed up before Sir William Billers . They are the same which the Prosecutor swears were taken from him, and I found them at the Pawnbrokers. I have Warrants in my Pocket against two of them; their Names are William Wilson , James Crocket , James Jarvis , and Thomas Oldfield.
The Constable produced several Pair of Silver Buckles, which he had found at the Pawnbrokers.
Mr. Gould. These are my Goods; and I saw them on Saturday in my Shew-glass, which was taken into the Shop at Night. The Shop is part of my Dwelling-house, and I saw the Glass in the Shop on Sunday, but did not examine it till Monday Morning. The Prisoner is between 19 and 20 Years of Age. – I have another Apprentice, one John Priest , who has served about a Year of his Time; and my Servants have the Liberty of going into the Shop.
Prisoner. I have no Questions to ask, – I’ll give the Court no farther Trouble, – I acknowledge my Guilt, and hope you’ll consider me.
Gawen Nash. I went with Mr. Gould to search after the Prisoner, and the next Morning after we found him; I did, I believe, extort a Confession out of him, by promising him Compassion, if he would tell where the Things were.
Prisoner. My Master did promise me Mercy.
Mr. Nash. I told him it was his best Way to make Retaliation to his Master, by discovering where the Goods were: and he confessed more Goods than we have here in Court, and told us where they were to be found. He informed us, that Thomas Oldfield , who keeps a publick House in Tavistock-street, had many of the Goods; we went to him, and he was with us before the Justice, who bound him over to appear here with the Goods, and give Evidence, but he is not come.
The Court ordered him to be sent for; be accordingly appeared, and produced the Goods he had in his Possession, which were restored to Mr Gould, by Order of Court; after which he, with the other Pawnbrokers were very severely reprimanded for their Behaviour by the Court.
* The Sale of Goods, wrongfully taken, to any Broker or Pawn-taker in London, Westminster, Southwark, or within two Miles of London shall not alter the Property. – If a Broker, having received such Goods, shall not, upon Request of the Owner, discover them, how, and when, he came by them, and to whom they are conveyed, be shall forfeit the double Value thereof to the said Owner, to be recovered by Action of Debt. Stat. 1 Jac. I. c. 21. 1 6, 7.
The Jury found the Prisoner Guilty 4 s. 10 d. He was transported for seven years.