Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Not Guilty
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400. JEREMIAH BECK was indicted for that he, on the 20th of June , in a certain open place near the King's highway, called Kensington Gardens , upon Jane Gibbs , spinster, did make an assault, putting her in fear, and taking from her person a leather pocket-book, value 6d. ten guineas, a half guinea, and two seven-shilling-pieces , the property of the said Jane.
JANE GIBBS sworn. - I live at No. 24, Blandford-street, Manchester-square, I am a single woman , I am a servant out of place : On Thursday evening, the 20th of June, I went from home about two o'clock, to walk in Kensington-gardens for the benefit of the air, as I was poorly in health; when I came to Kensington-gardens it was almost three o'clock, I sat down in the second summer-house from H de-park-corner, against Oxford-road: I had sit there a little better than half an hour, or three quarters of an hour, I was darning a pair of stockings to employ myself while I was out; the prisoner at the bar came up, and sat on the other side of the box; the first words he said to me was, pray where do you live; I said, for what reason, I am not a girl of any disrespect, neither can I take any body with me; the next words he said to me was, it is very warm; I answered him, yes, Sir, it is very warm; then he said, I wish I had some ale; I said, Sir, you cannot get any ale here in the gardens, it is a wrong place for that; the next words he said to me again was, pray can you give me change for a shilling; I then drew the stocking off my hand, put my hand in my left-hand pocket, took out a little red morocco pocket-book, containing ten guineas in gold, eight of the old coin, and two of the new, a crooked half-guinea, a crooked seven-shilling-piece, and a plain seven-shilling-piece, I thought I had two sixpences, but I found I had no silver at all about me; I told him I had no change; then I put all the money into my red morocco pocket-book again, and put it into my left-hand pocket; the next words he said to me was, you are not to know any distress; I said, thank God, I am not in distress; then he asked me, will you chuse to take a walk; I answered, I don't chuse to take a walk with strangers; then there was nothing more passed, good nor bad, and another man came in and sat down; then they had a little talk together, but what they said I do not know, because I am rather shallow of hearing; I asked the second gentleman that came in to please to tell me what o'clock it was; then he drew out his watch, and told me it wanted about five minutes of four, then the man rose up and went out of the box; I did not stop above five or six minutes afterwards, when the prisoner at the bar rose up from the box, then he looked up, and he looked down; then he turned round and seized me by the two arms, then he slammed me down on the bench, and punched me with his knee, while he picked my left-hand pocket; he placed his knee upon my stomach; then, owing to my flurry, he put his hand into my left-hand pocket, and took out my red morocco pocket-book, with ten guineas, eight of the old coin, and two of the new, a crooked half-guinea, a crooked seven-shilling-piece, and a plain seven-shilling-piece; then, owing to my flurry and my fright, and my screeches and cries, I cried out, for heaven's sake, for God's sake, for Christ's sake, to return my money, it was all I had in the world; then he went behind the summer-house and looked all round, and saw nobody coming; then, owing to my screeches and my cries, he came to me, and held the pocket-book in his right-hand, and said, he only did it to frighten me, then he put it in his right-hand coat-pocket again; he never let me have it, but held it in his right-hand with the money in it, and put it into his pocket; then he ran all
Q.Had you seen him throw it away? - A. No, he put his hand in his waistcoat pocket, and in his right hand were ten guineas clear; in his left hand pocket there was a crooked half-guinea, a crooked seven-shilling-piece, and a plain seven-shilling-piece, plenty of silver, and a few halfpence; then he fell down upon his two knees to captain Willis, and owned the whole fact; he threw the money upon the grass, and pitched upon his knees for pardon; I did not hear what he said; then the gentleman, I believe, told him to take up the money; he picked it up, and put it in his waistcoat pocket again; the gentleman said, he thought if he forgave him, that somebody in the gardens would be murdered, and he ordered his servant to take him to Bow-street, and he went in a coach, and I in the coach with him: then the next word he said to me in the kitchen was, my dear lady, says he, forgive me; then I answered, you wicked man, you deserve to have some punishment; then the next word he said was, but will you forgive me: he said that to the gentleman's servant, and he said, he could not forgive him, he must obey his master's orders; then the prisoner said, I did rob her, I did take the money from her certainly; then the other man asked him what he would give me to make up the matter; he said, I will give her all I have in the world not to bring me to no shame nor disgrace; then he put his hand into his waistcoat pocket, took out all the gold, and threw it into my lap; I told him I could not forgive him, and then he was taken to Bow-street, and there examined.
Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. At this time you were a servant out of place? - A. Yes, I am.
Q. How long had you been a servant out of place? - A. Two years and a quarter.
Q.When did you put your money in your pocket-book? - A. I put my money in my pocket-book on that Thursday morning.
Q. The morning of the very day that you were robbed? - A. That very morning.
Q. And you counted it piece by piece, I suppose? - A. No, I kept it all in my box; I went in the morning to the pastry-cook's to get change for a guinea to pay my rent, and they could not give it me.
Q. I dare say you were a very industrious good girl; I went to take a walk for the benefit of the air, because I was poorly in health.
Q. There were several persons in the gardens who knew you? - A. There were several persons passed the box.
Q. You heard what some of those gentlemen said of you, perhaps? - A.Not at all, I am not a girl of any disrespect.
Q. Were you ever robbed before? - A. Never in my life.
Q. Did you ever think you were robbed before? A. I do not think I ever was robbed of one single halfpenny before that time.
Q. You never thought you were robbed at any time before? - A. No, I can take an oath of that.
Q. Now I ask you, upon your oath, did you ever accuse any body of having robbed you before? - A. Never, never.
Q. And that is as true as that you were robbed on this day? - A. I was robbed, if God were not to suffer me to live another moment; if I were to drop down dead directly I was robbed at that time.
Q. You never asked any gentleman to come into a box with you in Kensington-gardens, either that day or any other? - A. If I were to die before you this moment, I never spoke to a gentleman to sit in a box with me in my life.
Q. Did you never ask any gentleman about the Strand, or the Park, or the Temple, to go with you any where? - A. I never was agreeable to walk with any gentleman in any gardens, nor Park, nor any part of the town.
Q. You have been attending this Sessions several days, you know; - A. Yes, ten or eleven days.
Q.While you were sitting in that gallery, were you not reproved by a gentleman for behaving with great indecency only the day before yesterday? - A. To the best of my knowledge, I never spoke to any gentleman.
Q. Then you never have solicited any gentleman whatever to go with you any where? - A. No.
Q. You never have at all? - A. No.
Q. And that you swear? - A. Yes.
Q. Then I am to understand you to be a perfectly chaste good girl? - A. I have been two years and a quarter in Mary-le-bonne parish, and if any gentleman can bring any proof that I was a girl of any disrespect, or a thief, I will suffer the law.
Q. I did not ask if you were a thief, but you have been a perfectly chaste, modest girl - you have never been walking about the Temple, asking gentlemen to go with you? - A. No, I never walked with any gentleman about the Temple.
Q.Nor about the street? - A. No, I am a girl that keeps home.
Q.Nor in Oxford-road? - A. No, nor in Oxford-read.
Q.Did you never accuse any gentleman of having robbed you in Oxford-road? - A. No, I am not a girl of that disrespect, if I had, why had not this gentleman exposed me before this misfortune; I will swear by my God that I never was a girl that made known my distress to any gentleman, I never asked any gentleman for money.
Q. Look at that gentleman, (Mr. Brace, of the Temple) - Did you ever see him before? - A. Never; he is a wicked man if he dare say so.
Court. Q. If you have the misfortune to be an unfortunate girl of the town, you had much better own it? - A. I have spoke nothing but the truth.
Mr. Knowlys. Q. Did you never ask that gentleman, Mr. Brace, an attorney of the Temple, whom we all know, for money? - A. I will take an oath, that I never saw that gentleman before to the best of my knowledge.
Q. Did you ever see that gentleman before? - (Pointing to a gentleman on the Bench.) - A. I will give an oath that I never saw that gentleman in my life.
Q. Is Mr. Griffin here? - (Mr. Griffin stood up)
Q. Did you ever see that gentleman before? - A. Yes, that gentleman came to me last Sunday was a week, and another gentleman, to examine me about this business, and that gentleman that sits there, (Pointing to Mr. Ramsey, the Short-hand Writer). was with him, and he held up a stick to me, I thought he was going to knock me down.
Q. Did you ever ask that gentleman, Mr. Griffin, for one shilling, in the street? - A. I will take a solemn oath I never saw either of them before in my life, there they are both together, there they are both together - Oh you wicked men.
Q. Is Mr. Bradshaw there? (Mr. Bradshaw stood up.)
Q. Have you never picked up that gentleman in the street? - A. No.
Q. Nor any man? - A. No, I have no occasion.
Q. This person, before he robbed you, looked up and down? - A. Yes, to see whether there was any body in sight, and there was nobody in sight then.
Q. Do you mean to say that the hay-makers were not in sight? - A. They were not in sight, but they heard the screeches.
Q. You did not cry out at first? - A. I screamed and cried out near a quarter of an hour.
Q. Did you cry out while he was taking the pocket-book? - A. Yes, I did; I cried out murder when he punched me with his knee.
Q. Did he run away from the box the very instant he had got the pocket-book from you? - A. He did not stop above a minute, no longer than he had power to take it out of his pocket again; he ran as if he would tear the very earth up towards Hyde-park-corner.
Q. Did you keep crying out murder from the time he had taken your pocket-book till he was stopped? - A. Yes, and running all the time as hard as I could run from the very instant that he had robbed me.
Q. Be so good as tell me how you had got so much money, having been out of place upwards of two years? - A. I am not ashamed or afraid to tell you, I had it by a sister that died in Sodbury, knowing that I was shallow of hearing, that I might put myself apprentice to a mantua-maker; I did not get it by gentlemen.
Q. What was your sister's name at Sodbury? - A.Sarah Willis.
Q. Have you never sworn that that sister's name was Sarah Hill? - A. Her maiden name was Sarah Hill.
Q. Was her name Ann, ever? - A. No, I never said the name of Ann.
Q. Was she your own sister? - A. No, my sister-in-law; she left me all her clothes, and every thing she had, about two years ago, about a quarter of a year after I had been out of place; there was an old gentleman that allowed me half-a-guinea a week constantly for four months, a gentleman that was old enough to be my father, but never to be a girl of the town.
Q. How much did your sister leave you? - A. Twenty pounds, and her clothes, altogether about thirty pounds.
Q. You never pawned any thing to raise this
Q. Have you never said that you had pawned things to raise part of this money? - A. No, I have pawned a few trifles to keep this money whole, because I would not break it.
Q. You heard all that this man said at the time he was stopped? - A. Yes, I had run all the way till I dropped down, and the people came to bear me up; I trembled like a leaf, I was the same as if I had been drawn through a river, when they told me he was taken.
Q. I thought you told me that you saw him taken? - A. Yes.
Q. Then what occasion was there for any body to tell you that he was taken? - A.All the haymakers ran to me to help me.
Q. How near were you to him when he was taken? - A. As near as to that wall, (pointing to the prison), or not so much; but when he was taken he was walking with his hands in his waistcoat pocket.
Q.Upon your oath, was it a quarter of a mile from the box? - A. It was above half a mile, and nearer three quarters.
Q. You are very deaf? - A. I am not very deaf, only with one of my ears.
Q. You could not hear the conversation between him and the other man in the box? - A. They whispered one to another.
Q. That gentleman, perhaps, may be here? - A. I wish he may, they were very gently in discourse.
Q. As he was as far off as that wall, how came you to hear all that he said to the people that stopped him? - A. He spoke loud enough to be heard; he said, a mad woman, a mad woman, a mad woman; you might hear him a great way.
Q. How many brothers have you? - A. I have got two brothers, and I have had two mothers; one brother lives now in the parish of Kennington, and the other in the parish of Sodbury, eleven miles on this side of Bristol.
Q. Had you ever more than two brothers? - A. Yes, three brothers and two sisters.
Q. Tell me the names of your three brothers? - A. There is one of the name of William, another of the name of Thomas, and another John.
Q. Which of them is the widower who lives at Sodbury? - A. That is my brother who is married, though they are both married.
Q. Is your brother at Sodbury married to his first or second wife? - A. He never had but one.
Q. He never did any thing wrong, I suppose, to induce him to change his name? - A. No.
Q. He never changed his name to Willis? - A. No; that did not concern any thing of the robbery; that is the man that robbed me, and I have no right to speak any further.
Q.Examined by the Court. Q. Have you had two fathers as well as two mothers? - A. No.
Q. How came your sister's name to be Willis? - A. By being married; she was a widow when she died; she changed her name from Willis in marrying.
Q. I want to know how this sister of your's came to be named Willis? - A. She married a person of the name of Willis.
Q. What was your brother's name that married her? - A. His name was Willis.
Q. What was her first husband's name? - A. I cannot say, I did not know her first husband; she had been travelling in almost all parts, and her husband, and herself, and child, are all dead.
Q. Her maiden name was Hill, and then she married? - A. It was not my brother, it was my brother-in-law.
Q. What was originally the name of the sister that left you the money? - A. She had been married twice, and buried both husbands; her last husband's name was Willis, but what the first husband's name was I never knew.
Q. Was Willis any relation of your's? - A. No, it was marrying from Gibbs; my name is Gibbs.
Q. Then your brother's name was Gibbs? - A. Yes, but this is my own sister that married two husbands.
Q. How came she by the name of Hill? - A. That is my mother's maiden name; my mother was a widow.
Mr. Knowlys. Q. Was this your own sister or sister-in-law that left you the money? - A. This was my own sister, that changed her name in marrying.
Q. How came your own sister's name to be Willis? - A. If I was to marry another man, I must change my name.
Q.But what would your maiden name have been? - A.Jane Gibbs.
Q. Then your own sister's name must be Gibbs? - A. Yes.
Q. And it was your own sister that left you the money? - A. Yes.
q. And her name was Sarah? - A. Yes.
Q. Was she any relation to you before she was married? - A. My own sister.
Q. How came you to tell me her name was Hill? - A. My mother's maiden name was Hill.
Q. You told me at first that her married name
Q. It was put to you, what was your sister's maiden name, and you said, Hill, and that she married your brother? - A. My father's name was Gibbs, and my sister's name was Gibbs; my mother's maiden name was Hill.
Q. Did you not swear at Bow-street, that it was Sarah Hill, a widow, who left you that 20l.? - A. Her maiden name was Gibbs, and from that to Hill, and from that to Willis.
Q. Did you not swear at Bow-street, that it was Sarah Hill, a widow, who left you the 20l.? - A. I swore at Bow-street, that my sister's name was Sarah Hill first, but she changed it to Willis; she has married to gentlemen; her first husband's name was Hill, and her second husband's name was Willis.
STEPHEN LEDIARD sworn. - I am coachman to Mrs. Reynolds, in Bedford-square, the lady of Dr. Reynolds: at the time this happened, I was coachman to the Rev. Mr. Thompson, Kensington-palace. I was walking along Kensington-gardens, about a quarter past four o'clock in the afternoon I heard a great noise of somebody crying out; I thoght it was the hay-makers, I walked a little farther, and heard the out cry of murder; I saw the prisoner at the bar run, and a woman after him, crying stop him, stop him. I ran directly to the woman; I asked her what was the matter; she said, that man had robbed her of all the money she had got in the world; I said, what man; she said that man that runs along there; he had just passed me then; I directly pursued him through the trees: when he had got between the trees, I lost sight of him; he went on one side of a tree, and I on the other; I could not see him through the tree, that was all that I lost sight of him: he then ran down into the valley among some ladies and gentlemen walking in the grand walk, and then he turned short round on his left hand, put his hands in his pocket, and walked on as solidly, and looked as honest and as innocent as could be; then I walked myself as though I had not seen him; I then ran and laid hold of him by the breast-collar; I laid hold of him by the handkerchief; says I, you are the person that robbed the lady on the other side of the gardens; he said I am innocent of it, I have not been on that side of the gardens; says I, you have, for I will swear to your being the person that run by me.
Q. Are you sure that that was the man you saw the woman pursuing? - A. I am sure of it; says I, let you say what you will, you are my prisoner, you shall go back to the woman; in going back, he said, I ran from her because she was crazy; then says I, what id you deny the running for, if you had not been not that side the gardens; I then brought the man to her; says I, is this the man that robbed you? yes, says she, and I will swear to him: I walked on a little farther, and captain Willis called her aside, and I let him go; another person, of the name of John Goddard , got hold of him; captain Willis said, good woman, what money was you robbed of; she seemed very much in a fright, she perspired very much; says she, I was robbed of ten pounds, a half-guinea, and two seven-shilling-pieces; captain Willis said, good woman, that cannot be, it must be ten, guineas; she then said, I beg your pardon, sir, in my fright it was ten guineas; she seemed very much in a fright.
Q. Had she described the guineas? - A. I cannot say; she said there was a crooked half-guinea, a crooked seven-shilling-piece, and a plain seven-shilling-piece.
Q. Did she describe the guineas, whether they were old or new? - A. I cannot say; no money had been produced at that time; some person came up and shook his right-hand waistcoat-pocket, saying, here is the money, I suppose; the prisoner directly put his hand into his waistcoat-pocket, and said, I have plenty of money, and pulled out a handful, and there happened to come a rop a crooked seven-shilling-piece and a crooked half-guinea; I said there is the money that the woman has described; he directly shot it down upon the grass, went upon his knees, and said, I did take it from her, pray let me go; he said again, I did take it from her, and I will give her the money again, and all the goods I have got in the house, and all the clothes I have, and every thing I have in the world, if she will not appear against me; I was very willing to let the man go: captain Willis made answer, and said, if this man is to come here and rob who he likes, my children are not safe to walk in the gardens; says he, if you let him go, I will prosecute you: who are you, he says; I told him my name was Stephen Lediard , I lived with the Rev. Mr. Thompson; says I, I am a servant, it is of no use my having any thing at all to do with it, I shall get anger from my master; says he, I will go to your master and tell him how it happened, and you shall have no anger at all; I will standin your defence; says he, your master is coming to drink tea at our house to night, and then I took the man down to Kensington; he had laid the money down in the grass, and I told him to pick it up again, and he did accordingly pick it upJohn Goddard .
Q. Was Winter with you? - A. No, Winter was hay-making in the gardens the same time: going along the girl seemed very much flurried, and he said, it is a shocking thing for me to go to prison; I said, then he should not have done that that was bad; and, as we came up Piccadilly-hill, he asked me if I had any thing to lay to his charge; I said no, it was the woman, he had not done me any harm; he directly chucked the money into the woman's lap; I gave the woman a jog with my arm, and the money slipped down in the bottom of the coach. John Goddard made answer, and said, if you let him go, I will go to Bow-street, and inform against you. As we were going along to Bow-street, he cried and seemed very much hurt; when we got to the Brown Bear , at Bow-street, I picked up the money from the bottom of the coach, I called to some of the Bow-street officers, and said, here is a person that has robbed this woman in Kensington gardens; two officers took him out of the coach, and I called directly for another to be a witness to see me pick the money up; I picked up ten guineas and a crooked seven-shilling-piece; there was a hole in the bottom of the coach, that was all I could find; there was a crooked half-guinea and a plain seven-shilling-piece missing.
Q. Did you remark the guineas at all? - A. No, I have the money in my pocket now. (Produces it.)
Q.During all this time, was the money ever in the hands of the woman? - A. No.
Q. You are sure of that? - A. I am sure of that.
Q. From the moment you stopped him, till you picked up the money, you are sure it was never in her hands? - A. It was not.
Q. Has she, from that time to this, had an opportunity of examining it? - A. She has never seen the money since. (The money was handed to the Jury.)
One of the Jury. It is exactly as she has described it.
Court. Q. And are you positively sure that she has never had an opportunity of examining it at all? - A. She has not.
Q. That you are perfectly sure of? - A. Yes.
Jury. Q.Might she not have seen it as it lay on the grass? - A. No, she was not nearer to it than that place, (pointing to the bar.)
Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. Upon hearing an outcry, you pursued the prisoner? - A. Yes.
Q. And you out-run the woman? - A. Yes; she did not run much more than half way through the gardens.
Q. You lost sight of him behind a tree, and therefore I presume a person behind you could not see him so well as you could? - A. I don't know I might probably see him best; I think she must have been very nearly half a mile from where I took him; it might be more, or it might not be quite so much.
Q. Was she near enough to hear any thing that either of you said? - A.Certainly not; when I was bringing him towards the woman, she fell down and fainted away.
Q. That was some minutes after you had taken the prisoner? - A. Yes; I had taken him, I dare say, half a mile.
Q. He said to you, I have not been on that side of the gardens, and you said that he had? - A. Yes.
Q. Now, upon your oath, did you say one syllable of that at Bow-street? - A. I told some of it at Bow-street.
Q. Were you not sworn to tell the truth, and the whole truth? - A. Yes.
Q. Now I ask you, whether at Bow-street you said one word about it? - A. I did.
Q. And signed it as a part of your examination at Bow-street? - A. I am no scholar, I cannot read, and therefore I cannot say what they might put down.
Q. Was it not read over to you? - A. I am no scholar, and I cannot tell what they read.
Q. Had you ever seen this woman before? - A. Not to my knowledge; I will be upon my oath I never was in company with her; but if I ever did see her, it must have been once when I was going along with the carriage in South Audley-street, but I cannot say.
Q. Of course you can have no resentment against this gentleman, Mr. Beck? - A. No.
Q. Nor ever expressed any? - A. No, any further than that he was the man.
Q. Did you make use of any expressions of resentment no longer ago than last night? - A. I might or I might not.
Q. Suppose there was any thing like this - there is nothing but Beck talked of, but d-n him, I will hang him if I can? - A. A gentleman came to me, and began talking to me about Mr. Beck, and said, you are to give evidence against Beck; and I said, d-n Beck, I will speak the truth, it is nothing to me, if he is doomed to be hung, he must be hung.
Q. You did not say, d-n him, I will hang him if I can? - A. I don't know, I might say, d-n him, I will do all I can in my evidence; it was very impertinent in any body coming to me so, and I might say so.
Court. Q. How many days have you been attending here? - A. I came away from my place last Tuesday was a week, and left the family In great distress.
Andrew Robinson , in Kensington-gardens; I saw the last witness and some of the hay-makers running after a man, I had been to get some beer for myself and the other men; I heard murder and stop thief cried; I put down the beer, and joined in the pursuit: as I was running, one of the roots of the trees which grow above the ground in the gardens, threw me down; I got up again, and when I came up, the prisoner was near the shruberry, and the coachman had hold of him, and brought him towards the bason; then the prosecutrix came up, and said, that is the man that robbed me, and then the prisoner said, no, I did not; he seemed rather terrified, and said, he would give her all the money he had in his pocket to get rid of her; he put his hand in his pocket, and pulled out a handful of money, and chucked it on the grass, to the amount of ten guineas, a half-guinea, two seven-shilling-peices, and about sixteen or seventeen shillings in silver, I cannot be rightly sure; there was a crooked half-guinea, a crooked seven-shilling-piece, and a plain one; he went upon his knees, and begged they would let him go, for she was crazy; she said, he was the man that robbed her, and she would swear to it; I did not see her till we got near the bason, what we call the larboard wood of the gardens.
Q. How long might all this be about? - A. It might be twenty-five or thirty minutes.
Q. Did you see her faint away? - A. No.
Q. You did not go in the coach with them? - A. No, I returned to my labour.
Q. Are you sure the prisoner is the man you saw running? - A. Yes.
Q. Have you been spoken to by any body since you have been attending here? - A. No.
Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. Your work was in the hay-making way? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember how far you were at work from the second box in the gardens from Hyde-park? - A. I suppose very near half-a-mile, we call them alcoves.
Q. Were there any person making hay round that way? - A. Yes, all our hay-makers were in Bayswater quarter.
Q.This man was extremely frightened when you came up to him? - A. I think he was; a man touched his pocket, and said, there was moeny; he said, he dis not want for money, for he had plenty of money.
Q. He tumbled all the money out at once? - A. Yes, with his right hand.
Jury. Q. Was she so near the money upon the grass, that she could say what there was? - A. Yes, any body might have seen it as it lay upon the grass; captain Willis said, there were ten guineas, a half-guinea, and two seven-shilling-pieces.
Mr. Knowlys. Q.Captain Willis was examined as a witness at Bow-street? - A. Yes.
Court. Q. Where does captain Willis live? - A. In the palace; he has the care of the King's linen.
Prisoner's defence. My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury. - I have been long anxious for the present moment, and have not felt any of those apprehensions that a guilty man usually does in my situation, I am standing here, charged with a crime as disgraceful as it is criminal; it rests with me to state to you, and I will do it in as few words, and as correctly as I can, the circumstances that took place between this woman and myself: On the 20th of June, I was at Kensington; about two o'clock i left the town to go into the gardens, I was going down the walk next the Uxbridge-road, this woman was sitting mending stockings, she beckoned me to her; says she, don't you recollect, me; I recollect you perfectly well, visiting at a house where I was servant; curiosity led me to ask the woman where she had lived servant; I sat down, and she told me she had been servant in a family at Twickenham; I told her I knew no family at Twickenham, I never recollected being at Twickenham but once, and then only passed through it; she asked me to give her some ale; I told her she could get none in the gardens; she asked me to go with her to a house in the neighbourhood, where she used to go; I refused; then she requested me to go, several times, among the trees, I suppose a dozen times; she told me she was not a servant out of place but an officer's wife; I thought if she was an officer's wife she was the wife of a gentleman, and I was inclined to relieve her; she told me she lived near Portman-square, but she could not take me home; she said she could take me to some house where she frequented every day, but, she said, instead of going there we had better go among the trees; I declined doing either; she pressed me very much to give her some money; I put my hand into my pocket and was going to give her a shilling, when she put her arm round my neck, pressed me very strongly to her bosom, and held me so tight, that she put her hand in my pocket and took all my money out; I expostulated with her, and she then gave me back the gold pieces, piece by piece, and then the silver; I told her never to mind the silver; I had passed through all the hay-makers (there were thirty of them I dare say) before she began to cry out; she then began to scream murder; I was alarmed, and expected that she would charge me with some improper liberties, and I ran, and said, the woman must be mad; I ran down to the great Mall; several persons said it was impossible it should be that
For the Prisoner.
Q. Do you know that woman that you have heard examined to day upon this trial? - A. I do, certainly.
Q. Are you Under Sheriff for the County of Kent? - A. No; my cousin is, who is in partnership with me.
Q.Relate when you saw this woman, and what was the transaction between you? - A. I never saw her but once before she came to Bow-street.
Q.Have you any relationship, or acquaintance, with the gentleman at the bar? - A. I never saw him till I saw him at Bow-street. The transaction that took place between her and me is a considerable time ago; it may be a year and a half, or two years, or it may be rather more; I was passing, I think, near Charing-cross, leading up Cockspur-street, in the evening, it was not dusk, a woman came up to me and asked for charity, she said she was distressed, or something of that kind; I turned round, and said, I have nothing for you; upon which, she immediately exclaimed that I owed her money, or had promised her money, she repeated several words; her manner of speaking drew my attention so much, that I turned round and looked at her, from which I am able to say that she is the same woman.
Q. What time of year was it? - A. In the summer; when I looked at her, I really thought she was mad; and if she was not mad, I thought she had an intention of bringing a crowd round me; in consequence of which, I made the best of the way I could, and got from her; when I saw her at Bow-street, I there mentioned the circumstance.
Court. Q. How long was this conversation passing? - A. I did not stop at all with her, it was only as I was passing her.
Court. Q. It is nothing uncommon for a person to ask charity in the street? - A. What I allude to, particularly, is her manner.
Mr. Knowlys. Q. Was her manner such as to surprise you? - A.Certainly; I thought she was mad, or meant to get me into some disagreeable situation.
Q. Have you the smallest doubt that that is the woman who made the attack upon you? - A. I have not the smallest, or I should not have picked her out at Bow-street.
Court. Q. Am I to understand that this conversation passed as you were walking along, and that you had not seen her for so long a time, and yet you picked her out at Bow-street? - A. It made such an impression upon me at the time, and I think it is impossible for me to be mistaken, from the expression of her face, I have not a single doubt of her being the same person.
Q.Have you heard what she has said? - A. Yes.
Q. And still you say, you believe she is the same woman? - A. I do.
REV. DR. FORD sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. We need not ask you who you are, we all know you too well I believe; it is by mere accident you are attending here? - A. It is.
Q. Have you seen this woman before who has been examined to-day? - A. An hundred times, at least, in point of time, I cannot authenticate it;
Q. How soon did you see her after that? - A. The very next day, dressed as a quaker, in a lead-coloured gown, a close cap, and dressed exactly like a quaker; that was about eleven o'clock in the morning; I held up my first to her, and said, you know me; she nodded, and went on; and I have met her, I am sure, a dozen times in Brownlow-street, and know her face as well as I know the face of any gentleman I have the honour to know here.
Court. Q. Did she appear to you to be deranged? - A. Not in the least, because every word she said was delivered with collectedness, and in a bullying kind of style.
Q.You was not habited in your robes, I presome? - A. No, I had a little brown wig on.
Q.Have you any doubt in your mind that she is the same person? - A. I am as sure of it as that I am here myself; I have met her almost every day in my way from my lodgings into the City; her face is a very remarkable one; I observed that evening that I thought I could pick her out of a thousand; here is another gentleman, who has been sitting by me, who came into Court accidentally, and who also can give some evidence respecting her.
Q. Did you attend here by subpoena from the friends of the prisoner? - A. No, I was here accidentally to hear the trial, and to know whether I should know the woman again.
Q. Have you any acquaintance or friendship with the prisoner at the bar? - A. I never saw him till about half an hour ago.
Q. Did you see the prosecutrix here this morning? - A. Yes, and I saw her yesterday in the gallery, and she noticed me as I sat in the city marshal's box, and laughed.
Q. You say, upon your oath, that you have a perfect recollection of the woman? - A. I have, I should know her among a thousand. About a month ago, near upon eleven o'clock, I was going home to my house in Pall-Mall-court, I had just crossed the street, and a little beyond Market-lane this woman overtook me, and said, how do you do, sir; I took no notice of her; she then laid hold of me, and said, why I know you very well, you are related to the Peun's family, I have just come from Spring-gardens from Lady Juliana Penn 's, I have often seen you at Mrs. Penn's, do not you know John? says I, what John; why John, the footman; says I, I do know that there was such a John lived there. It rather rained at this time, and I was walking on towards my own house; says I, I know nothing of you, good woman; she then asked me for some money, for she said she had a new gown and hat on, which she did not wish to get wet; I asked her where she was going, or where she wanted to go; she said she lived at
Q. Did you know Governor Penn? - A. My mother-in-law is his own sister.
Q. Have you any acquaintance with Mr. Beck? - A. I never saw him but once before, and that was at his second examination at Bow-street.
Q. Have you heard this woman, Jane Gibbs, examined here to-day? - A. I heard a part of her examination.
Q. Did you likewise hear her examined at Bow-street? - A. I did at the second examination.
Q. Before that time, had you ever seen her? - A. Yes, I had.
Q. How long ago? - A. I think the latter end of February or March last; I have seen her twice.
Q.Have you any doubt about her being the person you saw in February or March last? - A. None in the least; I saw her about nine o'clock at night in the Strand; she was going down the Strand before me; I came up to her, and entered into conversation with her; taking her by the left arm, she said, I mistook her, that she was not a bad girl, that she was not that sort of girl, that she was a servant out of place, that she thought she knew me; she said she was not of this country, meaning London; she said she knew me very well, and thought she had been me in her country; I asked her my name, and she could not tell; when she said she was a servant, I asked her if she was in place or out of place; she said, out; she gave me several squeezes of the hand while she was saying she was not a bad girl, but having seen her face, I wished to quit her as soon as I could, as she was such an extraordinary looking animal as I had never seen before; I pushed her off, and said, take my advice, and go into place again; I meant to have crossed to the other side of the street, when she immediately closed up to me, and seemed to be very much agitated, much in the state in which she appeared this morning, and said, you rascal, you have robbed me, you have picked my pocket of a gold chain, and she called the watch; she repeated very loud that I had robbed her: I said, if she wished to make any charge, not to call the watchman from his duty, but to go down with me to the watch-house, and make whatever charge she pleased before the constable of the night: finding she was not to be intimidated, I remarked to her the dangerous consequences that would attend her in making any such charge, or endeavouring to extort money under false pretences; then she said I was nothing but a rascally servant out of place; then I crossed over the street, gave her a push, and got off.
Mr. Gurney. Q. Have you the smallest doubt that she is the woman? - A. Not the least.
Court. Q. Was the chain of your watch hanging out? - A. No, I believe not.
Q.Have you seen the woman that was examined here to day? - A. I saw her at the door as I came in.
Q. Were you at Bow-street when she was examined? - A. Yes, I was.
Q. Are you going to speak of the very woman who was examined at Bow-street against this gentleman? - A. Yes.
Q.How long before the examination in Bow-street had you ever seen her? - A. Two evenings before, in St. James's-park, as I was going home to Sloane-street, from the play; it was late in the evening; I generally go that way through Buckingham-gate; I was walking up the walk
Q. Are you any acquaintance of Mr. Becks'? - A. I never saw him in my life till I went to Bow-street to wait for the half-play time.
Q. Did you ever see a woman like her before? - A. No, never, she is a very remarkable woman.
HATTON TURNER sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. What are you by profession? - A. A gentleman, residing in Bloomsbury, very near Mr. Knapp.
Q.Have you seen the woman that was examined here? - A. Yes.
Q. Did you ever see her before? - A. I believe I saw her in the latter part of June, but I cannot be positive to identify her, I believe it to be the same person: in the middle of Oxford-street, I think the corner of Newman-street, I saw a bustle, and heard a very strong and violent altercation between a woman and a gentleman; she had hold of his arm, which she clasped with some degree of violence, and said, d-n you, you have stole my handkerchief.
Q. Is that the same woman? (Gibbs was called into Court.) - A. I have no doubt in my own mind, I think I have no doubt, but I would not under take to identify her; she spoke with a great deal of rancour, and, I believe, repeated it forty or fifty times that he had stolen her handkerchief; the gentleman seemed to be very glad if he could get rid of her, but she held him as firm as a rock; he said, for God's sake, good woman, you had better go about your business, and let me alone, for I know nothing of you, but the charge was still persisted in with great violence, d-n you, you know you have stole my handkerchief, till they came to a street, I think Dean-street, near Soho-square; the gentleman then gave her a most violent push upon the kirb stone, where she lay some seconds, and he bounded away like a shot from a bow; she got up and pursued him, and then I lost them: it made a strong impression upon me at the time, and when I heard the charge being made against Mr. Beck, I held it my duty to call upon Mr. Beck, and offer him my testimony, could it be of any service to him.
Q. Had you any knowledge of Mr. Beck before? - A. I do not know that I ever saw him in my life; it is very probable that I have, but I do do not undertake to say that.
Q.Have you been subpoenaed at all? - A. No, I came here induced by the singularity of this trial; I never saw the prisoner before, and I have been induced, from curiosity, to look at this woman.
Q. Do you recollect and know the woman again as to her person? - A. I think I do; I firmly believe this very woman made a peculiar attack upon me one evening coming from Spitalfields, I think in Sun-street, about twelve o'clock at night, seven or eight months ago, I had a person with me; this woman, as I believe, a person in female attire, however, seized me violently by the arm, and dragged me towards her with such violence, as I should hardly have expected from one of the foster sex, and, in a voice rather coarse, desired I would accompany her to her lodgings, and though I cannot be positive, I think from her motion she endeavoured to put her hand in my waistcoat pocket, however, I lost nothing; but, upon the first glance of the face, there was something so shocking to my ideas, that I as quick as I could got away from her, which was with some difficulty, and I am pretty strong too; I did, however, get away from her; I believe firmly that the person who so attacked me is the present prosecutrix.
Q. Have you any knowledge of Mr. Beck or his connections? - A.None at all.
(Here Mr. Beck requested that he might retire for a moment.)
Court. Q.Gentlemen, do you wish to go on with this trial?
Jury. We are perfectly satisfied, and have been some time; no evidence can convince us more than we are convinced.
Court. If you have the smallest doubt, we will hear the rest of the witnesses, and I will sum up the evidence to you; but, to be sure, if you are satisfied, there can be no occasion.
NOT GUILTY .
One of the Jury. My Lord, I know the prosecutrix perfectly well; she once acted a similar part towards me.
Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.