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Appendix to Beckwith Family Tree 1 Notes  

Old Bailey (London's Central Criminal Court) Proceedings
 involving Beckwith family members of Generations 5 - 9 


1 - JOHN ARNOLD, Theft - grand larceny, 18th February 1801.

These details confirm James's address and to whom he was re-apprenticed. 

258. JOHN ARNOLD was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 19th of January , two brushes, value 8d. a hammer, value 6d. a pair of gloves, value 6d. a pair of shoes, value 3s. forty yards of broad girth webbing, value 20s. six yards of narrow girth webbing, value 9d. and a quantity of silver, value 3s. the property of Robert Lyon and Gregory Watkins .

GREGORY WATKINS sworn. - I am a plater, founder, and iron-monger , No. 107, Long-acre ; On Tuesday, the 20th of January, in consequence of suspicions that I entertained, I sent for a constable, and about eight o'clock in the evening, when the men left work, I called the prisoner into a little room where the constable was; I told him we had missed a great variety of things, and asked him if he knew any thing of them; he said he did not know any thing at all of it; I then asked him if he had any objection to being searched, and to have his lodgings searched; he said he had not; Carpmeal then asked him if he had any thing about him that was not his own property, and he said, no; he again asked him, and he again said, no; he then searched him, and in his left hand waistcoat pocket he found some silver that had been missed, in a paper, and some loose silver in his pocket; he said it was his own property; I said, it was silver that he had taken from Beckwith's vice about half an hour before, and then called Beckwith in to look at it; he knew it again immediately; he then begged that Beckwith might go out, which he did, and then fell down upon his knees, begged for forgiveness, said that he had had a bad knack of taking silver, but if we would let him go about his business he would never be guilty of the like again; he was then taken to Bow-street; we then went to his lodgings, No. 3, Star-court, in the Strand, and there we found the other articles mentioned in the indictment; the prisoner came to live with us in the beginning of September.

JAMES BECKWITH sworn. - On the 20th of last month, in the evening, I wrapped up my silver, and went from my vice to the fire; when I returned to my vice the silver was gone; the prisoner and two boys were in the shop; I then got some more silver and wrapped it in paper, and when I went to look for that at eight o'clock, it was gone; when I was going away my master shewed it me again. (Thomas Carpmeal, the officer, produced the property).

Mr. Watkins. I cannot swear to the silver; but I believe it to be mine.

Beckwith. I am sure that great part of this is the silver that I lost, and I have reason to believe the whole is.

Mr. Watkins. I cannot swear to the girth, the hammer I know by a mark upon the handle, and the brushes I believe to be mine.

Prisoner's Defence : The prisoner called five witnesses who gave him a good character. 

Verdict : GUILTY. Confined six months in the House of Correction .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

Copyright - Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, 21 Sep 2010), Feb 1801, trial of John Arnold (t18010218-48).

2 - GEORGE OLIVER, Theft from a specified place, 16th September 1824.

The details suggest that the workshop & living quarters were separate entities in Wilderness Row so explain the different street numbers (3 & 25) which appear in directories & censuses. It has been suggested that young George Oliver was Joseph's "nephew" via his grandmother Ann Beckwith. Whilst it would appear that George's grandmother was indeed one Ann Beckwith, the date fit is implausible for Jonah I's wife Ann even if she did re-marry.  

GEORGE OLIVER was indicted for stealing, on the 30th of August , at St.John, Clerkenwell , a 5 Bank note, the property of Joseph Beckwith , in his dwelling-house, against the statute.

JOSEPH BECKWITH . I live in Wilderness-row, in the parish of St. John, Clerkenwell - the prisoner was my errand boy for five weeks. I keep my money in a box in the work-shop - it is generally locked. On the 30th of August, at eleven o'clock in the morning, I went to the box - it was then locked, and I believe I left it locked. I missed a 5 note from it before half-past eight; it was safe at eleven. The box might have been left open in the course of the day - the prisoner assisted in looking for it, but we could not find it - he went home at night. I saw the note afterwards in the possession of Mrs. King, and knew it.

SARAH KING . My husband keeps the Nagg's Head public-house, St. Johns-street, very near to Beckwith's - the prisoner frequently came there. On Monday, the 30th of August, about one or two o'clock, he brought a 5 note for change, which I gave him - my husband endorsed the note in my presence - I know his writing. I gave it to the officer (looking at it) this is it - it has his writing on it.

JOHN FORBES . I am an officer. On Wednesday evening, the 1st of September, I apprehended the prisoner coming through Smithfield, riding on an ass. I took him to the watch-house, and asked who the ass belonged to; he said to a man in Turnstile - he afterwards said, voluntarily, that it was his own - that he bought it for 30 s. I found 13 s. on him, and asked him where the rest of the 5 was; he said he had bought a saddle and bridle for 16 s. 6 d.; also six trusses of hay, and had paid a month's rent for a stable for the ass - that he had changed the note at King's, and bought the ass with the money - I have the note.

JOSEPH BECKWITH . This note has my writing on it, and is the note I lost.

Prisoner's Defence. I picked the note up in the shop, and did not know who it belonged to.

Verdict : GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 13.

Recommended to Mercy by the Prosecutor .

Copyright - Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, 21 Sep 2010), Sep 1824, trial of George Oliver (t18240916-260).

The following Old Bailey Proceedings could possibly involve
 Beckwith family members of Generations 5 - 9 


A - JOHN MANNING, Theft - grand larceny, 26th October 1814.

There is no immediately apparent connection between this Thomas and 'our' family but Giltspur St, on the fringes of Smithfield Market, is right in the heart of 'our' Beckwith territory at that time.

915. JOHN MANNING was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 17th of September , seven bottles, value 1 s. 6 d. one point of spirits of wine, value 3 s. four ounces weight of soap, value 6 d. two ounces of salt, value 1 d. eight ounces of blue, value 4 d. and two ounces of opodeldock, value 1 s. the property of Edward Harvey, Robert Baron, William Langton, and Thomas Beckwith .

THOMAS BECKWITH . My partners names are Edward Harvey, Robert Baron, and William Layton, we are chemists and druggists, Giltspur-street . The prisoner was one of our porters; he lived with us eighteen or twenty months, he had twenty shillings a week. On the 17th of September, I set a watch upon him. I stopped the prisoner at eight o'clock, Drinkwater was placed in the passage, through which the prisoner must pass. On leaving the counting-house, I stopped the prisoner; I told him I wanted to speak with him; he immediately pulled out of his breeches a bottle of spirits of wine. Drinkwater, the officer, then came, and searched
him, and found some Castile soap, Epsom salts, and pepper upon him; they are the articles that we deal in. The prisoner then said, he was sorry for what he had done. We then searched his lodgings, in a court in Cow-lane; we found two or three bottles, one containing spirits of wine.

WILLIAM DRINKWATER . I am an officer. I searched the prisoner; I found the soap in his breeches; the salts in his hat. I searched his lodgings. What was found in his lodgings are in the handkerchief; they must have been taken some day before.

Prisoner's Defence The prisoner called two witnesses, who gave him a good character.

Verdict : GUILTY , aged 60. Confined 6 months, and whipped in jail . 

London jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

Copyright - Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, 21 Sep 2010), Oct 1814, trial of John Manning (t18141026-48) 

B - CHARLES BARBER, Theft - grand larceny, 11th April 1821.

Could this be 'our' Samuel, born 1764 ? Again the area is right . . . .. 

673. CHARLES BARBER was indicted for stealing, on the 15th of March , one carpet, value 30 s. , the goods of James Miller .

WILLIAM WADE . On the 15th of March, about seven in the evening, I was near Clerkenwell-green, and could see Miller's the broker's shop; I saw the prisoner on the Green, and saw him take the carpet, which hung on the pailings outside the shop, and run away with it; he had two more with him; he ran down the Green, and I showed him to Miller's young man. I saw him a few minutes after, and knew him to be the boy who received it. Another boy took it and threw it down; the prisoner took a bag and put over it, and ran down the Green with it.

SAMUEL BECKWITH . I was on Clerkenwell-green, and saw the prisoner run down the Green with the carpet under his arm; I watched and followed him about three hundred yards, and saw him put it into a house, he just threw it inside the door, and walked away and joined another boy at the corner of the street, who was waiting for him; they walked away up the Green: several of them said to him, "Are you in it?" I found Miller had lost a carpet: Miller and I went to search the house; the carpet was gone, and has never been found. When we returned, the prisoner was taken: I am sure he is the boy.

JAMES MILLER . I am owner of the shop. I lost a carpet on this evening, it hung on the rails in front of my house. I have not seen it since. The prisoner was taken about an hour and a half after, and denied the charge.

JOHN WIGGINS . I am an officer. I was sent for, and secured the prisoner, and left him at the house while I went to look for the carpet, but could not find it. I asked how he came to steal it. He said he knew nothing about it. I asked his name. He said he did not know his name.

Prisoner's Defence. Two lads tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Has your father lost a carpet." I went with them directly and said I knew nothing about it.

Verdict - GUILTY . Aged 18. Confined Three Months, and Whipped .

First Middlesex Jury, before Wm. Arabin , Esq.

Copyright - Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, 21 Sep 2010), Oct 1821, trial of Charles Barber (t18210411-189) 

C - GEORGE BECKWITH, Theft - grand larceny, 9th January 1822.

This time it's a Beckwith in the dock and the dates do fit 'our' George (1786-1824) but it wasn't a rare name in London at that time, and in fact we have another George who was born the same year. Although the area involved is a little further away from our 'heartland', it's less than half a mile and the occupation as Excise Officer has later echoes with his cousin Robert William. If this is indeed 'our' George, it would appear that he either died in prison or very shortly after his release.

196. GEORGE BECKWITH was indicted for stealing, on the 6th of January , 3lbs. of candles, value 2 s., the goods of Ford Hale .

FORD HALE. I am a tallow chandler, and live in Cannon-street . The prisoner was an Excise officer; I was under his survey. On Sunday, the 6th of January, about a quarter past ten o'clock in the morning, he came to my
house. I desired Cox to conceal himself, and watch him; about ten minutes after, I was told he had left the house. I opened the door and called him back, but he would not return - we pursued, and overtook him; we found two mould candles in his hand - Cox said he had 3 lbs. of candles in his pocket. We took him up a court in a cellar, in one of the houses there, and in a copper, we found 3 lbs. of candles. He begged very hard to be let go, and said he would resign his commission and leave the country.

EDWARD COX . I am apprentice to Mr. Hale. The prisoner came on Sunday morning - I concealed myself in the cellar; he had surveyed us four or five months. I saw him come down stairs, and he called out "Below," he first went to a box and opened the lid, and shut it down again; then went to another box and took out a paper of mould candles, containing 3 lbs. He took a sheet of paper, wrapped them up in two separate wrappers, and put them in his pocket; he then went round the cellar and took two single mould candles, and put them in his pocket - he then went up stairs and I went after him, he had got outside the door.

I called Mr. Hale, we followed him into a court, near St. Swithin's church, which was blocked up; he ran into a cellar there, and I pursued him, he came out of the cellar with two candles in his hand; 3 lbs. were found in a copper-hole in the cellar - he said he had only those two, and hoped Mr. Hale would not send him to a place of confinement. I found the 3 lbs. broken to pieces.

THOMAS COLLINS . I am a watchman, and live in Westley's-court, Salter's-hall, next door to the house he ran into. Mr. Hale requested my assistance; I was going down, and the prisoner came up and pulled two mould
candles from his pocket, and said, "Mr. Hale, I hope you will pardon me." We found 3 lbs. in the cellar. (Property produced and sworn to.)

Prisoner. I humbly leave it to your mercy.

Verdict - GUILTY. Aged 35. Confined Two Years .

London Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.

Copyright - Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, 21 Sep 2010), Jan 1822, trial of George Beckwith (t18220109-18

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