IT is estimated in another part of our chronology, that there are more Jew thieves in London, on a fair calculation of their numbers, than of the abandoned of all other persuasions. For some years these Levites, formerly kept under a necessary restriction by the Christian laws, presuming upon too ample a toleration, have become the bullies of people of London, The disgraceful practice of pugilism, revived by Mendoza, on their part, has greatly increased their depredations as well as their audacity. The ruffian set of the disciples of Moses, sent into Covent-garden theatre some years since, in order to awe the public to an acquiescence in an imposition of increased prices to that place of public amusement, shews to what a daring pitch they have arrived.
At the sessions held at the Old Bailey in October, 1747, Hosea Youell, and Jacob Lopez, two Jews, were indicted for the murder of Captain Johns, when the former was convicted, and the latter acquitted.
The story of this affair is as follows: Mr. Johns coming up Sandwich-court, Devonshire Square, between ten and eleven o'clock at night, met two men whom he believed to be Jews, who robbed him of his watch and money. Hearing some people coming towards him, he called out, "Stop thief;" on which one of them returned, and gave him a stab in the body, of the depth of nine inches, as appeared by the deposition of the surgeon who attended Captain Johns at the Dolphin inn, Bishopsgate-street, and extracted a piece of the sword from his body.
Youell being taken into custody, Alderman Rawlinson attended the wounded man, who positively charged Youell with being the murderer, and signed his charge, being in his perfect senses, but died within fifteen minutes afterwards.
The wounded man being asked how he could be so positive to Youell, said, he knew him by the light from a lamp, and that he should know his voice. Youell being bid to turn round, slouch his hat, and speak, hesitated for a while; but at length complying, the captain said, "You are the man that stabbed me, I am positive of the voice."
A piece of a sword was found in the court where the captain was stabbed, which exactly tallied with the piece lodged in the body of the deceased: and it also appeared that Youell had requested the city-marshal to speak to the alderman, that he might be admitted an evidence; and averred, that the murder was not committed by himself, but by one Hart.
After conviction, the prisoner said that he was only eighteen years of age, and born of Jewish parents, who lived in Creed-lane, Leadenhall-street. He was so illiterate that he could neither read Hebrew nor English. The ordinary of Newgate representing to him the advantages of the Gospel over the Mosaic dispensation, he said, that as he was born and bred a Jew, he would die such.
He was attended by a rabbi, and at the place of execution steadfastly denied having been guilty of the murder. However, he earnestly advised young people to be cautious in the choice of their company, as it was by a neglect of that caution that he had come to a fatal end.