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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1815, Sunday, January 9, 1831

[Whitecross street prison]

On Monday an inquest was held at Whitecross street prison, on the body of John Lewis, many years the proprietor of the King of Prussia Tavern, in Drury lane. It appeared from the evidence, that the deceased had been confined under an extent from the Exchequer since the beginning of May last, at which time he was in an ill state of health from an asthmatic affection. It seems that whilst he was in possession of the King of Prussia, some informers came to his house, and requested permission to leave a package in his care; the deceased took charge of the parcel, and the next day some Excise officers seized it, when the contents turned out to be deleterious drugs used in adulterating beer. Proceedings were in consequence commenced against him in the Court of Exchequer, and he was convicted in penalties amounting to 2,000l. but mitigated to 500l. Not having the means to pay this sum, his goods were taken in execution, and he was locked up in gaol. The jury returned a verdict of Natural Death.