Blog 12 – The Proceedings of the Old Bailey

Blog 12 – The Proceedings of the Old Bailey

20th April 2020 0 By admin
A different kind of Blog from the normal..
While searching the Old Bailey Records I came across the conviction of ROBERT CAMPBELL for Theftgrand larceny 13th April 1774 Verdict Guilty Sentence Transportation to the US
(In 1718 the first Transportation Act allowed the courts to sentence felons guilty of offences subject to benefit of clergy to seven years transportation to America. In 1720 a further statute authorized payments by the state to the merchants who contracted to take the convicts to America. In 1776 transportation was halted by the outbreak of war with America.)
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ROBERT CAMPBELL was indicted for stealing two canvas bags, value 1 s. one pewter pint pot, value 4 d. two iron bolts, value 3 d. and 50 lb. wt. of iron nails, value 12 s. the property of John Schoolbread , April 5th .

(In 2017, this is worth approximately: £59.26, the equivalent of 6 days of wages for a skilled tradesman, 1 stone of wool 6.35kg)

John Brown. Mr. Schoolbread is owner of the Snow Peggy ; these two bags and pint pot (producing them) are the ship’s property; there is the ship’s name on the bags. I know nothing of the prisoner.

Robert Wood . I am a carpenter in the Snow Peggy : I locked the iron in the cabin at seven on Saturday night; when I came on board on Sunday morning, I found the cabin door broke open and the iron gone; the prisoner was stopped with it by the watchman; this bolt I gave to the black boy; I am sure it was in the cabin.

Robert Edmonds . I am a watchman; I stopped the prisoner with the bag on his back; when I laid hold of him he threw the bag down and ran away; I cried stop thief; he was stopped; I am sure he is the man that had the bag.

Matthew Woolfington . I am a watchman; I heard the last witness call stop thief; I stopped the prisoner; he had the bolt in his right hand.

John Whellock was constable of the night; I was called at half after three to take charge of the prisoner; he had the bolt; I asked him how he came by it; he said he had it out of a ship at Deptford that he had been at work on board; I asked the name of the ship, but he s

aid he did not know it, nor the captain’s name, nor the mate’s, nor boatswain’s.

Prisoner’s Defence.

I know nothing of the things; I had been at work that day at Deptford; I was coming up with a man who had a cag of rum in a bag; this man laid hold of him; he let down the bag, and I was stopped with the bolt in my hand which the man gave me.

Verdict : Guilty . Transportation to the Colonies.