Thomas Smith

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 6.0, 19 December 2011), March 1841, trial of THOMAS SMITH (t18410301-808).

Dated: 1st March 1841

Thomas SMITH was indicted for stealing, on the 22nd of February, 1 watch, value £3. One watch-chain, value 6d.; one seal, value 2s.; and two dwts. of silver*, value 4d.; the goods of John Turner Curry, in a vessel in a port of entry and discharge.

JOHN TURNER CURRY . I am mate of the Cygnet, she was lying in the Regent’s Canal Dock, which communicates with the river, and is a port of entry and discharge. On the morning of the 22nd of February, while I was in bed, I heard a watch chain rattle against the nail at the head of my bed, and felt an arm in my bed. I put my hand down, and the person ran away. I jumped up, and followed, got on deck, and saw him jump from the ship’s rail on to a barge. He got on some timber, and I lost sight of him. On my return I found a pair of shoes just by the companion door. I have since seen the watch in the hands of the constable – it was the one I lost – the case was brought me by another lad.

JAMES GREEN WARD . I am constable of the Regent’s Canal Dock, which is employed for the reception of vessels from the river – they discharge their cargoes. On the morning of the 22nd I heard an alarm of “Stop thief”. I went to the spot. I had to cross a bridge, and go in at another gate. I got in, and heard them say, “He is coming over the barges”. I came up with the prisoner just as he got through the gate. He had no shoes on, and was running as fast as he could. I brought him into the dock, searched him, and found this watch making its way down the leg of his trowsers. I heard them say from the ship, that he had got a watch. I inquired where his shoes were. He made no answer. I took the watch on board the Cygnet. I found a pair of shoes there. I brought them down to the cell, and the prisoner put them on. The watch had no case.

JOHN SKINNER . I belong to the Cygnet. I heard the alarm, got a light, and as I came up the ladder, I kicked this watch case with my foot. I took it up and gave it to the mate.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

GUILTY .** Aged 19. Transported for Ten Years.

* Ed Thompson reports that ‘dwts’ is an old weight of silver.