Sunday, June 12, 2016

The trial of Thomas Bates at the Old Bailey

I am lucky that the whole trial [3] of Thomas Bates at the old baily is online and quite easy to read (see below - note that often f is used instead of s).

He was accused of stealing cloth and clothing from the house (and workplace) of one Jonathan Hewitt, a tenant in Ratcliffe Court, St Lukes parish, London.  Jonathan Hewitt was a ribbon weaver.  The robbery was committed by Thomas Bates and John Everitt, who worked together. John Everitt told the court it had been Thomas Bates idea, and he had been bullied into carrying the robbery out.  He said that a man called Benjamin Goddard had paid 3 guineas to Bates, and he and been paid a guinea from it. Much was made at the trial about Bates changing a guinea with the owner of a public house next to where the robbery took place. Thomas said the guinea was Everitt's wages, and pleaded that if he had committed the robbery where was the money for the goods? He had only been found with a few shillings.   Another lodger in the same house as the robbery, testified that she had seen 2 men, one tall, on the night, one with a blue coat.  Everitt had a blue coat.  .

John Everitt does not appear to have been charged and tried, but he does appear in other trials as a witness for the prosecution.

 The trial was also reported in the London Gazette of January 14th 1797 as follows:

Yesterday 12 prisoners were tryed at the Old Baley, two of whom were capitally covicted, viz. Tate Cohert, for burglariously breaking open the house of Henry Moses, and stealing a woman's shoe; and Thomas Bates, for felonious stealing in the house of Jonathan Hewitt four cloth coats etc value 40s and upwards.  Four were convicted of felony, and six acquitted.

Back to the main story of Thomas Bates

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