Sunday, October 01, 2006

William Cole, Thimble Thief.

From the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 15 April 1830.
WILLIAM COLE was indicted for stealing, on the 26th of February, 15 silver thimbles, value 15s., the goods of Rowland Hastings, his master .
ROWLAND HASTINGS . I am a silver thimble-maker, and live in Great Sutton-street; the prisoner was in my employ for thirteen years. On the 26th of February we watched the prisoner, and he was seen to take these thimbles - we had missed some the day before.
CHARLES CAMERON . I am an officer. I was sent for on the 26th of February; I took the prisoner, and found in his fob pocket eleven thimbles, and a duplicate relating to four others - the prisoner said he meant to take them back again.
LEONARD CLARE MATTHEWS . I am a pawnbroker. I took in these thimbles on the 26th of February, of a person I cannot swear to, but I believe it was the prisoner.
JOSEPH AUBERRY . I am in the prosecutor's employ. I saw the prisoner take the thimbles out of the bowls, and put them into his right hand pocket.
SAMUEL VESTY . I am in the prosecutor's employ. We were all ordered into the counting-house to be searched, and these were found on the prisoner.
Prisoner's Defence. I earned 30s. of my master, and he stopped 15s. 6d. out of it - my wife and child were turned out of doors; my child is blind, and is an idiot.
ROWLAND HASTINGS . I had had the prisoner from a boy- he at first had 5s. a week, and went on till he had 24s. a week; if I had been going out on a Sunday, I should have asked him to come and mind my house; he is an object of great pity.
GUILTY. Aged 29.
Recommended to Mercy by the Jury. - Judgement Respited.
See original.

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