Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 24 July 2014), July 1678 (16780703).

Old Bailey Proceedings, 3rd July 1678.

A true NARRATIVE Of the Proceedings at the Sessions-house IN THE OLD-BAYLY, On the 3, and 4, days of July, 1678.

Containing The Tryals of several Persons for Murder; many for Robberies.

One young Fellow found Guilty of a Rape.

Also the Tryal of a Female-Muggleton for Blasphemy.

And all other the Malefactors that for any considerable Crimes were there Arraigned.

With the number of those that are Condemn'd, Burn'd in the Hand, and to be Whipt, &c.

With Allowance.

LONDON: Printed for D. M. 1678.

A Narrative of the Proceedings at the Session for London and Middlesex, holden at the Old Bailey, on the Third and Fourth days of July, 1678.

THe first brought to a Tryal was a young man charged with Stealing a Silver Tankard of the value of 5 l. 10 s. out of a Gentleman s House in the Parish of St. Brides ; The Prisoner appeared to be of an idle loose Conversation, but no proof being made directly of his taking the Plate, nor its being found with, or disposed of by him, (for indeed it never was heard of) he was thereupon brought in not Guilty .

An elderly comely Woman was Convicted of Stealing a Green Silk Petticoat on the first of July , from a Shop keeper near Pauls, whither she came on pretence of buying, but it being missed before she was out of sight, she was brought back, and at the end of the Shop, droped the Petticoat, but the Jury were so favorable, as to value it but at 10 d. so that her Back is like to pay the wages due to the activity of her Fingers .

The next was a young fellow for a filthy bruitish offence being Arrained on the Statute of 18 Eliz. cap. 7. for having the Carnal knowledgeof a Maiden Child , under the Age of Ten years , The case was thus, (as far as 'tis necessary or fit with modesty to be related) On the twenty fifth of May last, a poor woman sent her Child being between Eight and Nine years old to a Masters house of hers for six pence, which she had before earned; This Gentleman happened then to be abroad, and the Prisoner (a lusty Lad of about 17 or 18 years old) being his Prentice , invited the Girl in, but she refusing, he pluckt her in and carried her into a back room, telling her he would give her the six pence anon, but having shut the door, laid her on the Chairs, and fell to practice his Brutality, the consequence of which is, That the Child to this day has a Disease, as was arrested by a Chirurgeon belonging to the Hospital where she is in Cure; The Child fearing the Mother would have beat her, did not presently declare the matter, though she came home Crying, but there was little notice taken then, nor indeed till on the Wednesday following, some unusual symptomes caused the Mother to inquire into it, and then had a full discovery; nor did the Prisoner when soon after she taxed him much deny it, but seemed to make some Overtures of paying 12 d. a week toward her Cure; so that the matter of fact was proved as was possible in such a Case by the Testimony of a Midwife, and other Matrons, and the Childs own Relation who declared it very plainly in Court, upon all which he was found Guilty , and beingby the Statute excluded from benefit of Clergy was Condemn'd to Dye .

Another young fellow was Convicted for stealing a Silver Tankard valued at Five pound ten shillings at Stepney , on the thirteeth of May , it was taken with him before he was far gone, viz. in the house of Office, being seen by one who told the Master of the house to take it out of the Room, where he and another Companion of his were a drinking; he now pretended that fearing his Associate might be naught, he took the Tankard with him to the necessary house, only to secure it, and meant to have presently brought it in, having no thoughts of stealing it, but the Jury had little reason to believe him, and therefore brought him in Guilty .

A Woman was Indicted for Stealing a very great quantity of Apparel, and rich Linnen, divers pieces of Gold, and three l. in Silver , To which she resolutely pleaded Guilty , and was afterwards tryed for another Felony, but upon that acquitted being an old Offender, she was for the first Condemned, but by a Jury of Women was found quick with Child .

There were several Indictments brought against a fellow , one for stealing a Wheelbarrow and Shovel, another for Horses Harness at Maribone, &c. but he pleaded Guilty to them, all within benefit, which yet was like to be no benefit to him, for it was said he had been burnt in the hand at Kingston, and tyed up at Maidston before, however that not appearing, he was now for surety sake burnt soundly .

After this succeeded Indictments of Murder against four several persons. The first, a young fellow , who on the 4th of June at Pancrass , going to drink in a Nine-pin-yard with a man that wrought together with him; the other was trying his skill to tip the four Corner-pins, and the prisoner to interrupt him flung his hat at them: whereupon the other person now dead took his Hat, and carried it over a Bank, and there flung it into water, and stamped on it; but still in a way of merriment, which the now Prisoner thought to answer by taking up one of the Pins, andwith both hands heaving or tossing it towards him, intending, as he alleadged, and some of the Witnesses believed, onely to dash up the water upon him: But the Pin unhappily hit him on the left part of the Head nigh the Ear, and so fatally, that it knockt him down for the present, and though he got up and went home, seeming pretty well, yet the next day he died. However, there appearing no malice preceding, the Prisoner was onely found guilty of Manslaughter , and burnt in the hand .

The second, was a person charged with killing his Wife . The matter of fact was thus: On the 21 of May , about eleven a clock at night a noise, and, as some said, a crying out was heard; and Neighbours coming out, found this woman lying at her own door almost dead, but no body near her: they carried her into an house, and using means brought her to life, so as to speak, desiring to be put to bed; but though asked, she did not declare any body had wronged her. However there was a suspition her Husband had beaten her; and some asking him about it, he at first denied it; but afterwards said, if he did, it was onely with his Hands and Feet, as one Witness alleadged. The woman died about two hours after, and there was no bruise found about her that could be judged mortal: Besides, it was proved she had most part of her life been troubled with Fits, and especially of late; and likewise had a little before received some hurt by a Cows kicking. Upon the whole matter, there appeared no reason for judging him the means of her death; and therefore he was acquitted .

The third, was a Carpenters man , who getting up on a strange Horse to ride him to water, assoon as he was on his back the Horse run away with him, and in Fanchurch-street flung down a deaf and dumb lad of about 15 years old, so violently, that he soon after died ; but it being evident that the prisoner could not rule the Horse, but had his own life at the same time endangered by a fall, he was likewise discharged .

The fourth was more black and fatal, which was of a foot Souldier , who on the 18th of June , marching towards Brainford, had it seems drank too much, and lay asleep in a field in Chiswick-parish , where a Countryman was cutting pease, who observing that he had neither Sword nor Belt, concluded somebody in that condition might have stoln them from him; and therefore seeing afterwards three other Soldier s come along, desired them to wake him, and take him with them, which they, though strangers, were willing to do. They found him lying on his Musquet, and that cockt, which one of them uncockt, and with much difficulty awaked him desiring him very civilly to go along with them, and not lie there, lest he should lose his Arms; withal asking him if his Musquet were loaden, who answered swearing, that it was both with powder and ball; but instead of going with them turned back towards London; whereupon the person killed, very courteously and with kinde words, took him by the arm and turned him the other way, telling him that was the way they were to march, and he would help him along; but the prisoner tumbling down, and as they were standing at a small distance, rising up again upon his knees, cocks his Musquet again, and presents it at them, and giving fire, shot one of the three Souldier s into the right part of the belly, just below the Sash, making a wound of two Inches broad and ten deep, of which he instantly died without speaking a word, and his Comrade and the rest seiz'd the Prisoner, who had now nothing to say for himself, save only that he was in drink, but that was an insufficient Excuse in Law, it appeared he knew his Musket, to be charged with a Bullet, and that he voluntarily cockt it again, when they out of their care had uncockt it, so that he was necessarily found guilty of Murder, and received Sentance of Death .

A notable Shop-Jilt , was Tryed for stealing of 134 yards of Taffata Ribbon, on the tenth of June , out of a Shop in Cornhill , the Gentlewoman that prosecuted being alone in her Shop, and finding her Customer so nice and hard to be pleased suspected her, and turning up her Scarfe, saw the pieceof Ribbon under her Arm, which thereupon she dropt; All that she had now to alleadge was, That it was her way, to put her hands under her Scarfe, but she had no intention good-woman to steal the Ribbon, However, she is like to be led and drove both at once another way, being sentenced to be whipt at the Carts tail ; the Jury finding it but of the value of ten pence .

A Country fellow was Indicted for having two Wives , Married to the first about six years agoe in Cheshire, to the second about two years ago at Dukes Place, the last he owned, but denied the first, though he had formerly confest it before a Magistrate, yet there being no other proof, for the Woman her self could be none, he was acquitted .

A Souldier was Convicted of Felony, for departing from his Colours without leave, contrary to the form of the Statute , it was proved that he had been mustered and received Pay, and had absented himself, and torn the Lace off his Hat, and changed his Habit, that he might not be known, for which offence he was Condemned .

A Man and his Wife having been Lodgers at a Butcher s, were Indicted, together with another Woman for Stealing of two hundred and ten pound out of one of his Rooms , when all the Family were at their Shop in Newgate Market, which 'twas supposed was done by counterfeiting a Key to the door; There were divers witnesses examined, but none that could directly or expresly fasten it on the Prisoners, so that they came off not guilty .

The last tryed were a woman for stealing a Silver Tankard, worth seven pound ten, about three years ago , and a Man for stealing another Silver Tankard, 24 Sept. last from an Ale-house in St. Martins in the fields , who were both found Guilty , the Man having been burnt in the hand before was set by for Transportation , and the Woman having been an old Offender, received Sentance of death .

the Maid formerly committed for Blasphemy was brought to the Bar, and askt several questions, to which she modestly answered, seeming to confess her having taken upon her to be God, and yet declaring that she went to Church, and being demanded the reasons why she went thither, replyed, To hear the Word of God, so that the Court having gravely advised her to Repent, askt if she could procure good Bail, and who would do so much for her, she said, she did not doubt but some of her Masters that she had lived with would be her Sureties , having as she declared, lived in London twenty years; in the mean time till she could provide such Bail, she was sent back to Prison.

In all there were Five Condemned, Three Men, and Two Women, Six burnt in the hand, and Five orderedto be whipt, several that were in Goal on suspition of Robberies on the Highway, and Burglaries in the Country, were ordered to be carried the respective Circuits, and in calling over the Goal, the Maid formerly committed for Blasphemy was brought to the Bar, and askt several questions, to which she modestly answered, seeming to confess her having taken upon her to be God, and yet declaring that she went to Church, and being demanded the reasons why she went thither, replyed, To hear the Word of God, so that the Court having gravely advised her to Repent, askt if she could procure good Bail, and who would do so much for her, she said, she did not doubt but some of her Masters that she had lived with would be her Sureties , having as she declared, lived in London twenty years; in the mean time till she could provide such Bail, she was sent back to Prison.