My Family History & Genealogy





James White Hinds, a young man of respectable appearance, was charged by Mr Jackson, watchmaker, of Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, with having been concerned in stealing a gold watch, value 30l., and other property, to a considerable amount. The prisoner had been in his employ as a journeyman watchmaker for the last 12 months, during which time property to a considerable amount was missed, but no suspicion was entertained of the prisoner, in whom much confidence was reposed. At length, being determined, if possible, to trace the guilty party, Mr Jackson consulted with Mr inspector Brennan, of the G division, when that active and intelligent officer instituted rigid inquiries, which induced him to suspect that all was not right on the part of the prisoner. In addition to this, the Superintendent of Luton, Bedfordshire, communicated with Mr Brennan, informing him that a man had offered a gold and silver watch for sale, was detained, and given into custody. The property turned out to be part of that stolen from the prosecutor.


After he was locked up in the stationhouse at Luton he attempted suicide by cutting his throat. He gave his name Ezra Hinds, and was the brother of the prisoner James White Hinds. It was arranged that the Superintendent of Luton should come to London without his prisoner, who was under medical treatment and unfit to be brought up. The Superintendent produced the two watches found on prisoner at Luton, which were identified by Mr Jackson, who said that they must have been taken through the prisoner then at the bar, and ought not to be out of his (Mr Jacksons) manufactory. On Saturday night last Mr Brennan and the Superintendent of Luton proceeded to Mr Jackson's premises and took the prisoner into custody, and on being informed of the nature of the charge against him he replied that Mr Jackson should not be the loser of the property. He was then locked up.


Mr Wakeling asked Mr Jackson whether the workmen employed in his manufactory were not in the habit of working at the same case and upon the same materials at the prisoner at the bar? Mr Jackson replied in the affirmative. Mr Brennan here said that the prisoner at Luton was a convicted thief. Mr Corrie said, he should remand the prisoner, and inquired when it was probable the prisoner at Luton would be in a fit state to be brought up to London. The Superintendent replied, not less than a week. Mr Wakeling here suggested that bail might be taken for the prisoner’s appearance.




(Before Mr Serjeant Adams, Assistant-Judge and a bench of Magistrates, at the Sessions-house, Clerkenwell -Green) James White Hinds, aged 33, and Ezra Hinds, aged 27, brothers, were charged, James for stealing three watches and other articles, value 110s., the property of Samuel Jackson his master; and Ezra for feloniously receiving the same, There were three indictments, and the prisoners were put on their trial on the first, which was for one of the watches. Mr Cooper prosecuted; Mr Ribton appeared for James, and Mr Metcalfe for Ezra Hinds. Mr Ribton, during the proceedings, said that his client would withdraw his plea of "not guilty" and plead "guilty" to all the indictments. The prosecutor is a watchmaker at 66, Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, and James Hinds was in his employment as examiner, his duty being to put watches finally together and complete them. It appeared from his evidence that a man named Chambers had control of the business during his absence, who was discharged in May for stealing watches, and who might have stole the watch in question.


Ezra Hinds, who lives in Luton, Bedfordshire, and used occasionally to take watches to clean (although by trade a horse dealer), and give them to his father to do for him, sold this watch to Hiram Higgins, some time in September, for ?31.5a? and an old watch. He said he obtained it from his father, but this was denied by the father, who was called as a witness. Mr Metcalfe submitted that there was no case to go to the jury. Before the charge of receiving could be made out completely against Ezra, it must be show that the watch had been stolen; and all that they know was that there was a person in the prosecutor’s service who had been discharged for stealing watches, who might have sold the watch, and who had authority to sell. The assistant judge said the difficulty in the case was to make out the previous robbery; but it was for the jury to determine whether there was sufficient evidence or not. He did not think there was enough for them to convict, but still it was a matter clearly for their consideration. If they thought there was not, they might at once return a verdict of acquittal, but if they were not clear on that they must hear the learned council for the defence. If there had been no evidence at all for them to deliberate on, he should have directed them to return a verdict of Not Guilty, but in the present instance he was of opinion that this was the proper course to adopt. The jury intimated that they would not trouble the learned council, and returned a verdict of Not Guilty. The next indictment was then proceeded with, and a verdict of Guilty returned. A previous conviction was proved for stealing a tarpaulin. Ezra Hinds burst out crying on hearing the verdict, and said he had bought the watches off his brother. James Hinds got up and said that Mr Jackson knew that his brother received them, for he (James) wrote to him and informed him of the fact.


Mr Cooper wished to call the attention of the Assistant Judge to the conduct of a pawnbroker in the case. Upon this the assistant of a pawnbroker named Walker, in St John St., was called into the box, and in answer to inquiries by the court, stated that for seven months the prisoner James had been in the habit of pawning unfinished movements of watches for 4s. and 6d at their shop. The prosecutor said they were worth 10s each. The assistant judge thought it was a very reckless way of conducting business. He ought not to have taken these things from a journeyman. The witness said that he did not know they were stolen. They refused such things every day. They were surrounded by jewellers and watchmakers, and small tradesmen frequently found it necessary to pawn their property. Mr Cooper thought he was lucky not to be in the dock. The assistant judge said it was one of the worst cases that had come within his notice, and he would strongly advise him to exercise more caution for the future. Mr Ribton asked the court to postpone the sentence on James Hinds until next session. He had promised to give the prosecutor the fullest information to enable him to recover his lost property, and if in this way he be atoned for his past conduct he hoped the court would deal mercifully with him. Mr Cooper wished to state that the prosecutor was anxious to speak in terms of the highest praise for inspector Brennan, through whose assiduity and skill these parties had entirely been brought to the bar. Inspector Brennan said he had been most ably assisted by the inspector of the Bedfordshire police. The Assistant Judge said he had never known inspector Brennan undertake any business that he did not carry through skilfully and honestly. He should remand both the prisoners unit next session. Remanded accordingly.




(Before Mr Serjeant Adams, Assistant-Judge and a bench of Magistrates, at the Sessions-house, Clerkenwell -Green). The January quarter sessions of the peace was commenced this morning at Clerkenwell. There were 80 prisoners for trial, 66 of whom were committed for felonies, and 14 charged with misdemeanours. James White Hinds and Ezra Hinds, the former of whom pleaded "guilty" last session of stealing watches and other articles to the value of 110s, from his master, Mr Jackson, a watchmaker in Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, and the latter, who lived in Luton, Bedfordshire, was convicted of receiving the same, were brought up today, for judgement, they having been remanded in order to give James Hinds an opportunity of giving information to enable the prosecutor to recover his property. Inspector Brennan said, that, pursuant to the instructions he had received, he went to the prison, and obtained from James Hinds a confession, the substance of which he communicated to the prosecutor.


The prisoner requested he might be furnished with the shop books, in order that he might refresh his memory by referring to them, but he was not aware what had been done by the prosecutor. Mr Jackson (the prosecutor) said, that he had not as yet received any of his property. The prisoner had not been able to remember very well, and consequently had some difficulty in giving him the necessary information. He appeared to be willing, but not able to do so. As yet he had received no information relative to his property. Inspector Brennan wished to say that the prisoner (James Hinds) attributed his present position to the reckless manner in which the pawnbroker received the property - in a way, he said, which no other man in the trade would have done. The prisoner also said that the pawnbroker would be ashamed to produce some of the property on account of the unfinished state it was in.


In answer to the inquiries by the Assistant Judge, the prosecutor stated, that all though three weeks had elapsed since the trial, he had not done anything towards receiving his property. The Assistant Judge said, the history of the affair was this:- The master seemed as perfectly ignorant of his concerns as any man could be, and he had a servant (James Hinds) who was a great rogue, and robbed him to a great extent, and took this stolen property to a pawnbroker, who took it in a state which no honest pawnbroker would. He also had a brother in the country (Ezra Hinds), who had been convicted before, who received the watches and sold them. Since their conviction he seemed to have done his best to enable the prosecutor to recover his property, and but for this he should, undoubtedly, have transported them, but he did not think they were answerable now for the carelessness of the prosecutor in taking no steps in the matter. He then sentenced each of the prisoners to 12 months imprisonment, with hard labour.


The Examination of Samuel Jackson Francis Woods George Gage Hiram Higgins Francis Gardner the said Samuel Jackson William Edward Bayldon James Brannan and Henry White taken on oath this seventh day of December in the Year of our Lord One thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty-two at the Clerkenwell Police Court in the County of Middlesex and within the Metropolitan Police District, before me the undersigned, one of the Magistrates of the Police Courts of the Metropolis, sitting at the Police Court aforesaid, in the presence and hearing of James White Hinds and Ezra Hinds, who were charged this day before me, for that they did commit Felony for that they the said Jas. White Hinds did feloniously steal 3 watches and other articles the property of the said Saml. Jackson his Master & the sd. Ezra Hinds did feloniously receive the same well knowing the same to have been stolen he the sd. Ezra Hinds having been formerly convicted of Felony.


This Deponent Samuel Jackson on his oath saith as follows: I live at No.66 Red Lion St Clerkenwell Watchmaker. The Prisoner James White Hinds was in my service as Journeyman - his duty was to be examiner of the watches - he had the completion of them. On 13 Nov. last I gave him into custody in consequence of missing some of my property - before I did so I accused him of robbing me. I said I have discovered the person that's been robbing us & it's you. He said "Indeed". I then said that gold case we've been making search for, will you tell me where it is? He said I know nothing about it. I then said. I had traced property of mine to the possession of his brother Ezra & that it was my intention to give him in charge & that he ought to have no doubt that what (unclear) the property traced was a gold watch from Cording. He said of course Sir if (unclear) is the course you are got to take I will say nothing on the subject. I asked him why he had treated me so, having placed him on the same footing as any other man in the shop - he replied "Mr Jackson you shall not be the loser of your property" I said do you mean what you say? Can I believe you? He said 'I do' I said give me your hand upon what you say & he did so. I had missed another watch the number of which was on his board & I asked him where the case of that watch was he said. it is not in the house. I shortly afterwards gave him into custody. Cross-examined I said it would be no injury to you it (unclear) be to my advantage to say where the property is. I will not swear that I did not say it will be better for you to confess. I used no other words but those I have said before - I did not say whatever you say is entirely in confidence - Chandler had control over watches in this man's possession. He might have stolen them if disposed - He did steal some of my watches - Some of the watches that have been stolen have been taken since Chandler left my employ. (signed) Samuel Jackson


The said Francis Woods on oath says I am in the service of Mr Walker of No.5 St John Street Clerkenwell - Pawnbroker. I have known prisoner James about 7 months by pledging at our shop - I produce a watch movement pledged by him on 12th April for 4/- & another movement on 6th Sept. for 25/- & a gold watch dial for 7/- on 7th Oct, on the 9th a gold watch case for £1.15.0 on 4th Nov a watch movement for 7/- on 6th Nov a watch movement for 8/- & on same day a silver watch for 10/- there are 3 I took in myself the foreman Saml. Gordon took the others in. (signed) Francis Woods


The said George Gage on oath says I live at Luton in Bedfordshire. I am apprentice to a Chemist & Druggist - I (bought?) the gold watch now produced about 4 Nov since from Prisoner Ezra & paid him £5.10.0 for it - he said he had it from his father. I afterwards gave the watch to Superintendent Bayldon (signed) G Gage


The said Hiram Higgins on oath says I live at Luton Bedfordshire - I know prisoner Ezra Hinds. I had a watch from him on 23rd Sept when I gave him mine to clear - the watch I had from him was very like the one produced & had Croydon on it. I had it off him in the street - he wanted to borrow 5/- & I told him if he wanted to borrow he had better earn some. I said I could not give him my watch as I wanted it that night then he offered to lend me one which he gave me - I afterwards bought it from him giving him an old watch & £3.5.0 for it. I afterwards gave it to Francis Gardner - he said he had it from his father (signed) H Higgins


The said Francis Gardner on oath says I live in Luton Bedfordshire - Assistant in a Straw Warehouse. I received the watch produced from last witness & afterwards gave it to Mr Bayldon (signed) F Gardner The said Samuel Jackson on oath further says The gold watch produced no 44422 is mine. I miss it from my care - it was sent to us to repair - it would be the duty of Prisoner James to examine it before it was returned to the customer - the second watch No 25962 also produced is mine - I (word missing) it from my stock it was entrusted to Prisoner James special charge, a false name has been put on it. The Silver watch 25967 now produced is also mine. I miss it from my stock it also was specially entrusted to his care. I have examined all the parts of the watches produced by the pawnbroker & I believe them all to be mine & can swear to most of them distinctly Cross Examined The silver watch No 25962 might have been sold without my knowledge - the gold watch could not have been sold because it was only sent to repair - it was missing whilst Chambers was with me - The (word missing) of the property I miss is £110.0.0 (signed) Samuel Jackson


The said William Edward Bayldon on oath says I am Superintendent of the Luton Division of the Bedfordshire Police. From information I received I on 11th Nov had a communication with Mr Gardner & I received from him a watch which I now produce - on 14th of last moth I went to Ezra Hinds house in Luton. I asked him to show me a saddle he did so. I then said I suspected he had stolen property in his house & asked him if he had any objection to my searching his house he said No: I said I would begin with his watch which hung on his bed & took hold of it. He got out of his bed and said you shall not search have you got a search warrant? I produced my warrant & let go the watch. He took it away. After I read the warrant over he gave me the watch. I asked him where he got it from he said it was no use asking him any questions - I was present when Prisoner Ezra was tried & convicted of felony on 17th October 1846 at the Quarter Sessions at Bedford. I produce a certificate of his conviction (signed) W E Bayldon


The said James Brannan on oath says I am an Inspector of the G Division of Police. I apprehended Prisoner James on the 13th last month. I told him he was charged with robbing his master who was present & who mentioned something of a gold case - he said the gold case you mention is not in the house - other property was stated to have been missed & prisoner said he would lead prosecutor to find the property & that he should not be the loser of the whole. Mr Jackson said he would hold out as promised to the prisoner. I went with Mr Jackson to the prisoner's lodgings & found there the tin box produced with it's contents (signed) James Brennan


The said Henry Hinds on oath says I live on Bedburn in Hertfordshire. I am father of the prisoners. I have no knowledge of the three watches produced. I never saw them before (signed) Hy. Hinds


The above depositions &c (signed) William Corrie Prisoners say nothing (Certified and signed) William Corrie


CLERKENWELL POLICE COURT This is to certify that each person hereunder named attended before me, the undersigned, one of the Magistrates of the Police Courts of the Metropolis, sitting at the Police Court Clerkenwell within the Metropolitan Police District, to give evidence against James White Hinds and Ezra Hinds accused of Felony, and that I have ascertained that the Amount specified is a reasonable and sufficient sum to reimburse the expense bona fide incurred by each witness in attending before me as aforesaid, and to compensate them for their loss of time therein:- William Edward Bayldon (Superintendent Beds constabulary)


Expenses £9 4s 7d George Gage Compensation for loss of time 4 hours 14s Expenses £2 6s 6d Francis Gardner Compensation for loss of time 3 hours 7s Expenses £1 10s Hiron Higgins Compensation for loss of time 3 hours 7s Expenses £1 10s Henry Hinds Compensation for loss of time 2 hours 7s Expenses 13s 6d James Brennan Expenses 18s 6d TOTAL £17 18s 1d Given under my Hand at the Police Court aforesaid the seventh day of December 1852 William Corrie –




For the session Monday December 13th at Clerkenwell #38 JAMES WHITE HINDS..AGE 33 r.w.) ( The said James for stealing 3 #39 EZRA HINDS..............AGE 27 r.w) Ditto.................7 ( watches and other articles value (£110, the property of Samuel (Jackson, his master; and the said (Ezra for feloniously receiving the (same, well knowing them to (have been stolen. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ RULES FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE MIDDLESEX HOUSE OF DETENTION AT CLERKENWELL DECEMBER 1852 DIETARY Prescribed diet for prisoners under remand and committed for Trial, who do not maintain themselves. MALES Breakfast--- 1 pint of oatmeal gruel; 8oz of bread Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Dinner 3oz of cooked meat, without bones; 1/2lb potatoes; 8oz bread Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Dinner 1 pint of soup; 8oz bread Supper-----same as breakfast FEMALES - The same diet but with 6oz bread instead of 8 INGREDIENTS OF SOUP AND GRUEL Note - The soup to contain, per pint, 3 ounces of cooked meat without bone, 3 ounces of potatoes, 1 ounce of barley, rice or oatmeal, and 1 ounce of onions or leeks, with pepper and salt. The gruel, when made in quantities exceeding 50 pints, to contain 1 1/2 ounces of oatmeal per pint, and 2 ounces per pint when made in less quantities. The gruel on alternate days to be sweetened with 3/4 oz of molasses or sugar, and seasoned with salt.


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