The Trial of Joseph Preston & William Jones:
CHARLES SMITH: I am thirteen years old. I live in Cow-Yard, Hampstead, and work for Miss Colebrook. About eleven o'clock in the morning of Friday 16 of June, I saw the prisoners in her field, where some linen was hanging to dry - there is a high gate with some spikes to ot. I saw them take these things off the lines, and go across the fields with them.
I went into the kitchen and told the servants - they were taken on the Tuesday following. The linen has not been found. I am sure they are the boys, Preston took the things and Jones stood by him.
ANN THUMWOOD: I am servant to Miss Melinda Colebrook. Smith said two boys had taken the linen; I looked and missed it. The prisoners live in Hampstead.
JAMES ANTOBUS: I am a labourer, I heard of the robbery about three minutes after it happened. I was close to the terrace, and caught sight of the prisoners coming over the pales. I knew them before, but could not follow them, being ill. I do not know which of them had the things.
JONES. Question: Did I not offer to give myself up afterwards. Answer: Yes.
JOHN EDWARD WILSON: I am a constable. I apprehended the prisoner on the 20th of June, at Hampstead. Smith, charged Jones with being one of them - he said he was ready to go to the prosecutrix. I saw Preston and secured him.
JONES Defence. I was in Oxford Street at the time of the robbery, and then went to Deptford. I met a butcher, he told me what I was charged with, and I said I would give myself up. PRESTONS Defence. I heard the constable wanted me, I went and waited in the road for him to come and take me away [Joseph was a butchers boy].
JONES-GUILTY. Aged 17. PRESTON-GUILTY. Aged 17. Transported for 7 years. Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.
According to the 1823-25 Muster Joseph Preston arrived as a convict in 1821 aboard the Asia having been sentenced to 7 years transportation. He was at the time working as a government servant for the widow Cross at Wilberforce.
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