Offence: Theft > grand larceny
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195. (M) Ann Turnecliffe , spinster , was indicted for stealing three silver table-spoons, value 30 s. two silver tea spoons, value 2 s. one silver tea-strainer, value 6 d. one silver laced-hat, value 5 s. one pair of silver shoe-buckles, value 2 s. the property of Peter Floyer , June 6 .*
Q. Are you a housekeeper?
Q When did she come to live servant with you?
Floyer. She came on the fifth of this present instant.
Q. Had you known her before that time?
Q. How came you to take her?
Floyer. I had a slight recommendation: I believe she is a country girl lately come to town
Q. When did you first hear of her?
Floyer. The same day she came to live with me.
Floyer She came to offer herself; I understood she had been before in the neighbourhood.
Floyer. I had.
Q. How long had you parted with your late servant?
Floyer. About a week.
Q. Where did you first see the prisoner?
Floyer. I first saw her at my own house; she came directly to me.
Q. By what recommendation?
Floyer. By the recommendation of some person in the neighbourhood, that knew our servant was gone away; and I received her that day, and agreed with her for wages.
Q. What was you to give her?
Floyer. I was to give her 3 l. a year.
Q. Had you a character with her?
Floyer. I was deficient in that in some measure; I asked her what character she had; she said she had little or no acquaintance in town; that she was just come from Staffordshire. I asked where she had been in town; she told me in Turnmill-street; and said she did not much like the people, and was desirous to get into a service.
Q. What do you charge her with?
Floyer. She came to me on the 5th, and the very next morning I found she was gone, and the things mentioned in the indictment missing. She came on the Friday, and was gone on the Saturday morning. I got up at six o'clock, and she was then gone.
Q. What room did she lie in?
Floyer. In a room on the same floor as I do. I have the whole floor On the Monday following I advertised the things, and a description of her person; and in consequence of that, on the Tuesday I had information sent me, that a person, answering that description, lodged at a certain house in Old Burlington-street, near Piccadilly. I immediately went to that house; she was not within, but in a little time she came in. I immediately taxed her with the robbery, which she ingenuously confessed. I asked her what she had done with the things she had stolen; she said she had sold two of the table-spoons in a street called Chapel-street; but, with her assistance, I never could find that silversmith out. The other table-spoon, a tea-spoon and strainer, she inform'd me she had sold to Mr. Bedeau, a silversmith in Green-street, by Leicester-fields. The silver laced hat (my child's hat) she said she had sold to a hat-man in the street; but she had, before she sold it, taken the lace off, which she gave to me, and I have it here; it was a new hat, not above a month old. I took her to Green-street; when we came there Mr. Bedeau said, I know what you are come about; I did buy the spoon of that young woman, but it is really gone, it is melted down. The tea-spoon and the strainer, he said, he had. I was a little surprized at the table-spoon being melted down, because he bought it but the day before. There was an old pair of silver buckles, which she informed me she sold to a man named Shittlecock. She was committed to the Gatehouse; she never denied the taking the things, neither to me nor the justice.
Q. Had she ever pretended you had given them her?
Floyer. No, she never did; but the contrary, and said she had not the heart to deny it.
Q. Had she seen any of these things in your room?
Floyer. She did drink tea after we had done.
Q. After who had done?
Floyer. After my wife, I, and the child. I remember I sent her to the closet where these things were, perhaps she might see the tablespoons, and the child's laced hat. The silver buckles were taken from out of my wife's shoes. My wife was not well. She lay with my wife, and I with my little boy in another room. This was not prudent to be sure to let her lie so, never seeing her before.
Mr. Bedeau. I am a silversmith, and live in Green-street, Leicester-fields; my maid's sister lives in New Burlington street; she is a widow. This girl coming out of place, somebody in the neighbourhood desired my sister to let her lie with her 'till she got a place; so she came with my maid's sister, and drank tea at my house on a Sunday, I think three weeks ago. The next day she came to buy a stay-hook, and offered a table-spoon to sell, that I bought, and melted down afterwards. She wanted to know the value of a tea-spoon and strainer. I did not buy them.
Q. What did you give her for the spoon?
Mr. Bedeau. I gave her eleven shillings for it; there was a single letter on it. Had she offered me two or three, I should not have suspected her.
Q. Did you ask her how she came by it?
Mr. Bedeau. I cannot say I did, I did not mistrust her coming dishonestly by it. [The teaspoon and strainer produced in court.]
Prosecutor. The spoon is my property, and I believe the strainer is also.
Q. to Bedeau. What are these buckles worth?
Bedeau. I believe they may weigh about four shillings.
The prisoner said nothing in her defence.