Offence: Theft > housebreaking
Verdict: Guilty > lesser offence
Punishment: Imprisonment > house of correction; Miscellaneous > fine
55. MARY WILLIS was indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Robert Beem , Elizabeth his wife being therein, about the hour of three in the afternoon, and feloniously stealing therein, a gown, value 16 s. a petticoat, value 16 s. and an apron, value 1 s. 6 d. the property of Lydia Taylor , spinster .
Q. What is the prisoner. - A. She lives up stairs in the house as a lodger. On Wednesday evening I missed my things out of my drawer in the room where I sleep.
Q. Why do you accuse her of it. - A. I had suspicion of her; my mistress and I went up stairs and accused her with taking of them; she said she had not seen them. An officer was sent for, he searched her room, and found a bit of the gown in her cloak; the gown was in an unfinished state, it was a bit that was left; we searched her pockets and found four shillings and sixpence in money upon her, and the key which she had opened the door; I had lost that key for a week. I had another key to the lock. When I fetched the children down, about nine o'clock in the morning, the things were in the room; I locked the door when I came out of the room. I am sure this is a piece of my gown.
- KASSAN. I am a pawnbroker; the gown and apron was pledged at our shop by the prisoner; I lent her six shillings on the gown and eighteen pence on the apron.
SAMUEL STONE . I am a constable. On Wednesday evening, between seven and eight o'clock, I was sent to take this woman in charge; she was very much intoxicated; she said she knew nothing of the gown. I found four shillings and sixpence in her pocket in copper, I found this key, she said it was the key of her door; I tried it, it would not go into the key hole; we pulled her cloak off and shook it; this piece of gown fell out of the cloak.
(The property produced and identified.)
Prisoner's Defence. In Bishopsgate-street I met a woman that owed me six shillings and sixpence; she changed a seven shilling piece and gave me a five shilling paper of halfpence; he found four shillings and seven pence in my pockets; I never saw the gown. She brought me the bit of gown up; there are other lodgers in the house, and as so her door it is opened morning after morning.
GUILTY , aged 35.
Of stealing the goods, but not of breaking and entering the dwelling house.
Confined Six Months in the House of Correction , and fined One Shilling .
First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.