Offence: Theft > grand larceny
Punishment: Corporal > whipping; Imprisonment
586. ROGER SHIELDS was indicted for stealing a cotton gown, value 2 s. 6 d. a pair of callimanco stays, value 5 s. a half lawn handkerchief, value 15 d. and a linen apron, value 15 d. the property of William Briggs , October 1st .
I am the wife of William Briggs ; I live in Crown-court, Broad St. Giles's . The prisoner came the Saturday before the 1st of October, and asked for a lodging for him and his wife. When I had let him a lodging, he asked me for a coat he had left with me last Christmas. I told him I could not find it just then. He said I had better find it or he would very quickly be a match for me, I found it the next morning and showed it to his wife, and she was very well satisfied with it. He and his wife went out the same day, which was Sunday; on the Sunday night I saw him walking up and down the court two or three times, he did not offer to come near the house; at eleven o'clock at night I undressed myself and went to bed; I put my clothes at the back of a chair at the foot of my bed. I left my maid sitting in the room with a young child that was very cross; I desired her to put it in the cradle; I was very heavy to sleep, and could not sleep for the child. About an hour after she put the child into bed to me, I locked my door, and put the key under, and went up to bed. I did not miss my clothes till I got up in the morning then I went and asked her if she knew any thing of my clothes? She said, no; she had left the door open while she had gone up stairs, but that she was not gone above five minutes. I cut a piece of the gown which I had left, in about twenty pieces. I went round to all the pawnbokers, near St. Giles's and left the pattern of it. I was sent for afterwards to the office; the prisoner having been stopped in the night with my clothes.
I am a watchman. While I was crying the hour of twelve, I met the prisoner with a bundle. I asked him what he had got there? He said, what was that to me, had not he his wife with him? There was a young woman, I asked her about it. She said she knew nothing of him. I took them both to the watch-house. They both disowned knowing any thing of one another, so the constable let the woman go. He said then he found the things in a coach coming from Greenwich.
(They were produced in court and deposed to by the prosecutor.)
I met a woman I knew at Greenwich; she said if I would carry this bundle to Hyde-street for her, she would pay me well. A watchman stopped me. She said she would follow me directly.
GUILTY . W . and Imp. 6 months .
Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.