James Stansbury, Mary Stansbury, Violent Theft > robbery, 7th September 1743.

Reference Number: t17430907-52
Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Verdict: Not Guilty; Guilty
Punishment: Death

427, 428. + James Stansbury , otherwise Stansberry , and Mary Stansbury , otherwise Margaret Boucher , were indicted for assaulting George Morgan , putting him in Fear, and taking from him one Pair of Silver Knee-Buckles, and one Pair of Silver Shoe-Buckles, one Cambrick Stock, and a Bath-metal Stock-Buckle, a Silk Handkerchief, a Hat, and a Grissel Perriwig, five Moidores, half a Guinea, and 3 s. the Goods and Money of the said George Morgan , in the Dwelling-House of the said James Stansbury , July 17 .

George Morgan . On the 17th of July, I had been in Great-Russel-street, with some old Acquaintance, that I had not seen for several Years; and coming Home to my Lodging, on Ludgate Hill, about four o'Clock in the Morning, I met with a Woman in differently dressed, and very clean; I said, Good Morrow, Madam, you have been very late out, as well as I; said she, I have been to see a sick Person; and this is such a rude Place, that I am afraid of being out; I said, don't be afraid, Madam, I will be your Convoy, you shall come to no harm, I will see you Home; I took her by the Hand, and handed her along, as if she had been a Lady of a Thousand a Year; thinking she was a modest Woman, but I found to the contrary; she took me to a House (I think) in Hanging-Sword-Alley in Fleet-street ; when I entered the House, I thought it looked a little fearful; as being a Traveller, I have seen a great deal; however, I ventured into the House, and went up two Pair of Stairs with her; when I got there, I thought the Place looked a little dmal, not agreeable to my Person, as I thought but I was good humoured, and so staid; I found two Women there, besides the Person I went to with - they were up; she that I went in with asked me to drink a Dram; I told her, as I came from a Dram Country, I would not drink any, they might drink what they pleased, and I would pay for it; the Prisoner came to me (I hope the Ladies will excuse me) and opened the Buttons of my Breeches - I am sure it was the Prisoner - it was the first Time that ever I saw her - she sat upon a Chair over-against me, and gave me all the Encouragement she could; but putting her Hand into my Pocket, I interrupted her, and bid her not use me so; said I, Be honest, and I will be generous: I cannot say, but I might have gone to Bed to this Woman, if they had used me well - not to the Prisoner, to the Woman that conducted me to the House; she undressed herself, and went into Bed; then I had almost undressed myself, and I went into Bed, and

put my Breeches under my Head; the Prisoner at the Bar ( Mary Stansbury ) attempted to take my Breeches from under my Head; I saw her, and took hold of her Arm; I told her once over again, Don't use me in this Manner, if you intend I should stay in your House, and, I will be generous enough to you, but that would not do, she made a second Attempt - I believe I lay in Bed about a Quarter of a Minute; for the Creature, who went into the House with me, got out of Bed, slipped on her Cloaths, and went down Stairs; I immediately got up, when I saw what a House I was got into; that it was more for Robbery than Pleasure; I saw a Man come, and whisper to the Women through a Creek, which made me very uneasy; I cannot say it was Mr Stansbury; they were then all three at the Head of the Stairs - there were but three Women in all - when I heard the Man whisper I put on my Cloaths, and was for coming away; but, in the Middle of the Room, as I was coming to the Stairs, the three Women seized my Body; one of the Women got hold of one Arm, and another of the other, while the Prisoner put her Hand into my Fob, and took my Money, five Moiodores, half a Guinea, and three Shillings in Silver; with that I got hold of my Cane - I had no Sword, and it was much better I had not; they struggled a good while before they got away from me; and when they found I should be too hard for them (for I had made three or four Blows at them) one of them cried out, other Jemmy or William, he will murder us all; when I came down Stairs, I met with this Man, that they called Jemmy or William, with a Club in his Hand, either a Broom-stick or a Mop-stick - I cannot say it was the Prisoner; I know it was a Man with a Scarlet Pair of Breeches on, as he had, when I saw him at the Door afterwards - it was between light and dark; it was so light that I could know People very well.

Court. Why the Sun was up then?

Morgan. My Lord, it was not far from being up.

Court. July 17. the Sun rises at half an Hour after four; you said, at first, it was about four when you came from Great Russel-street?

Morgan. I cannot be positive to a Minute; the Man made two or three Blows at me with a Mop-stick, which I received upon my Knees, the Cure of which cost me six Guineas; however, I overcame him with my Cane, and he got into a Shed, and then I got into the Lane or Street, or what you please to call it; when I was out of the House, y shut the Door; and I stood at the Door, and It does not any Thing Door, for I will not go I have Satisfaction; if I lose my Things I cannot help it, but I will have Satisfaction; the Prisoner then threw me my Shoe-Buckles and Knee-Buckles, and flung my Hat and Wig over the Fence to me, and bid me be gone, like a Scoundrel Dog, as I was; I made answer, and told them, I would not go; I took a Piece of Chalk, and wrote my Name upon the Door, and said, I would have Satisfaction, before I went from that Place; and, I believe, I walked about an Hour, before I could see any Body to send for a Constable; Mr Sharrock, at the Three Pidgcons in Fleet street, came to my Assistance; I told him, I had been robbed in that House, and desired he would see me satisfied, in some Shape or other; while I was talking to the Constable; the Prisoner, he came to the Door. and asked what Business I had to walk there; I told him, I had been robbed in the House; he made me this Reply, that he was Master of that House; I said to him, Sir, If you are Master of the House, I desire you would order your Door to be opened, for if you are an honest Man, you will not suffer any dishonest Thing to be done in your House; he said, he knew nothing of it; he had been Abroad all the Night: The Constable heard the Door open, and we went in; said I, Sir, Don't be afraid, I will go in first; we went into every Room of the House; and Mr Sharrock said, I believe Mr Morgan we shall find the Money, and we found it under the Bolster; exactly the Money that I lost - there were no People to be found in the House, but an old Woman, and a little Infant about twelve Months old; then I told the Prisoner, Sir, You very much like the Man that used me; so I charged the Constable with him; carried him to the Bell in Bell-Savage Yard, and from thence to the Counter - I cannot swear he is the Man; I believe he changed his Apparel, and came round about some way or other: he that abused me, was a tall Man. pitted with the Small-Pox [a Description suitable to the Prisoner.]

Prisoner. How came you to go up two Pair of Stairs into a strange House, with a Woman you never saw before.

Morgan. I thought there might be as much honestly up two Pair of Stairs, as up one Pair; if a Man does love a Girl it cannot be helped, but if he does he is not to be murdered and robbed.

Prisoner. Did not you say that Mr Drinkwater and Mr Sharrock persuaded you to this Prosecution?

Morgan. No, I told Drinkwater I heard he was a very great Villain, and I said if he came to me again, I would horse-whip him: tho' he was just

to me in this, but he betrayed the poor Woman for the Sake of half a Guinea, and so I found her out.

James Stansbury . Did not you offer to let me go, if I would give you one Guinea more?

Morgan. No, I never said so, for I would not do it for an hundred Guineas; my Character is better known. I would not have my Character lost for any Sum.

James Stansbury . Did you lay your Breeches under your Head when you were in Bed?

Morgan. I did not lie down in the Bed, I laid my Breeches under my Head, but they had but little Time to rest there for the Prisoner would not let them alone long

- Sharrock. On Sunday Morning the 17th of July, I was called up between five and six, and they said there was a Robbery committed at Stansbury's (the Blood-Bowl House). When I came there Mr Morgan was at the Door, and said, he had been robbed in the House, and that he would not leave the Door till he had Satisfaction; presently I saw Mr Stansbury standing there, said I to Mr Morgan, Do you think you should know the Man if you saw him; he turned about, and saw Stansbury, and said, I believe that is the Man, and he charged me with him. I desired Mr Stansbury to give Leave for somebody to get over the Pales into the House; he denied it, and said he had been out all Night, and he would not give Leave. After I had waited there about a Quarter of an Hour, the Door was opened, - a Girl opened the Door, and then we went up Stairs, and the Girl said, May be, Mr Sharrock, you may find the Money upon the Bed in such a Room, for the Captain was there; I said to Mr Morgan, You will have your Money again, for I have seen this Trick several Times, and there the Money lay under the Bed not as if it had sell out of any body's Pocket, but in a regular Order; there were five Moidores, Half a Guinea, and three Shillings. Then I took Stansbury to the Bell, in Bell-Savage-Yard, and told him what Money was lost. The Captain had then made a Mistake of a Guinea. he thought he had lost a Guinea more, and Stansbury said, He would leave his Watch, and make him any Satisfaction if he would let him go; I told him as I had got him, and several Robberies had been committed in his House, I would not let him go, without being discharged by a Magistrate.

Prisoner. How came you to know of the Blood-Bowl.

Sharrock. Because I saw it in the News-papers.

Prisoner. Was it not Drinkwater's putting in?

Sharrock. I have heard so, - I have heard him say so.

Mary Stansbury . Have not I let you go all over the House, to see if there were any Trap-doors as it was represented?

Sharrock. I have looked over the House, and there is not any Trap Door, but there's a Way to get out into the Neighbours Yard, and so from one to another, over little low Walls.

Joseph Hawker . I live in Hanging-Sword-Court. On Sunday the 17th of July, about a Quarter after four in the Morning, I saw James Stansbury , his Wife, and two other Women, had been driving a Gentleman out of the House, and saw the Gentleman without Hat or Wig. I saw James Stansbury with a Broom stick in his Hand in the Yard; I saw some Sticks wavering, but I could not see how they fell. Mrs Stansbury called to the Gentleman by the Name of a black guard Son of a B - ch, or some such Name, to come and fetch his Buckles, and she stood with a Mop in her Hand, as if she would have jobbed it into his Face; then I say her put the Buckles down upon the Bench, and saw her go into the House, and afterwards saw his Hat thrown to him. I went down to the Gentleman, and he told me had been robbed; I told him he could expect no better in such a House as that.

William Panton confirmed the former Evidence, and says that he heard the Prisoner Mary, and another Woman, cursing and damning the Gentleman; that the Prisoner Mary, asked who was afraid of him, and said that he had not acted a generous Part, that he had not paid for his Lodging, nor given the Maid a Shilling.

This Witness was asked what Trade James Stansbury was to which Stansbury replied, I am a Clock-maker.

Simon Plumpton . On the 17th of July about 4 o'Clock in the Morning, I saw a Gentleman come out of Stansbury's House, and a Woman followed him, and the Gentleman gave her two or three Blows; and a Man followed the Gentleman with a Mop-stick, and made several Strokes at him, but he guarded them off with his Cane very well.

Court. Where were the Blows given you, Mr Morgan, in the House?

Morgan. No, in the Yard, my Lord.

Plumpton. When she saw Mr Morgan set him pretty hard, she said, D - n him, he will be too hard for us; take the Pistol and shoot the Dog.

Morgan. I heard the same Expression, but I had forgot it.

Edward Jones . I saw Stansbury's Wife throw the

Buckles, and sling the Hat and Wig over the Pales; and about half an Hour after I saw James Stansbury come up Fleet street, about one hundred Yards from the Place.

Ann Buckley says, she looked out of her Window, July 17, and saw Mr Morgan, without Hat, Shoes, or Wig and heard the Woman Prisoner say, You Villain, don't say I have robbed you, here's your Buckles; but does not know whether she gave them into his Hand, or tossed them; and that she threw his Hat and Wig to him; that she heard her say, knock him on the Head with a Broom-stick, but did not see the Man Prisoner.

Ann Philips . The Prisoner, Mary Stansbury , brought the Buckles to the Prosecutor, and said, Here, you Son of a B - h, don't say I have robbed you, and threw his Hat and Wig to him.

Prisoner Defence.

John Ray . The 16th of July about half an Hour after 12, I went to the George by the Fleet-Market. and saw James Stansbury , and I am sure he was not out of the House till four o'Clock the next Morning. I am a Joiner, and live in Blue-Court, on Saffron-Hill.

Mary Studock . I am the Prisoner's own Sister, I was in Labour the 16th of July, and sent for her; she was with me from between six and seven in the Evening, till 11 o'Clock the next Day, and then she was sent for, because her Husband was taken up. My Husband is a Taylor, and lives the Backside of St Clements.

Hannah Smith . The Prisoner went to Mary Studock's, on Saturday the 16th of July, between six and seven in the Evening, I staid till between nine and ten, and left her there.

Morgan. This very Woman came drunk to my Lodging, and said she would swear any Thing before I should hurt her Sister.

John Studock says, he went home on Saturday Night between 11 and 12, and the Prisoner Mary was with his Wife, and staid till 12 o'Clock, on Sunday Noon, and that there was no body there but his Wife, the Prisoner, and himself.

Q. Was not Hannah Smith there?

Studcock. Yes, she was backward and forward.

Juliana Stansbury . I am the young Man's Mother, and I do say, that at the Time this Robbery is sworn against them, one was at a Publick-House, and the other was with her Sister. I lived with them at that Time; he went out about five in the Afternoon, and she about seven, and I did not see her again till 11 o'Clock the next Day.

Hester Grant . My Mistress was sent for to her Sister, the 16th of July between six and seven, and did not return till I went for her the next Day, between 11 and 12.

Morgan. The old Gentlewoman begged and prayed me to be favourable to the Prisoners, and owned that they were both in the House.

Jer. Button. I went to enquire for James Stansbury , the 16th of July, between 11 and 12 at Night, and the Maid said they had been both out all the Evening.

Elizabeth Jones and John Laven had known James Stansbury , one twenty-five Years, and the other twenty three Years, and that he always behaved well and bore a good Character.

Josiah Rouse , a Master Taylor in Black Fryars, has known Mary Stansbury about three Years, and never heard an ill Character of her.

Elizabeth Slig and Elizabeth Boyle her a good Character.

James Stansbury , Acquitted . Mary Stansbury , Guilty , Death .


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