Eleanor Smith.
20th April 1737
Reference Numbert17370420-19
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s

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21. Eleanor Smith , was indicted for stealing 8 Yards of Stuff, 26 Yards of Silk and Stuff Poplin, 3 Yards and a half of Tabby Silk, 2 Yards of Sarsenet, 1 Yard of Sattin, 13 Yards of Silk, 12 Yards of Burdet, 2 Yards of Damask, 7 Yards and a half of Shagreen, 3 Yards of Mantua Silk, 25 Yards and a half of Persian, and a Spying-Glass, the Goods of Arabella Evans , in her Dwelling-House at St. Margaret's Westminster . March 7 .

Arabella Evans. If your Lordship pleases to swear Justice Frazier; he has an Account of the Goods; he has seen them all, and will be a Witness for me.

Q. Why can't you tell what you lost?

Evans. Really they are so many - There's Things of all Sorts, Damasks, Mantua Silk, Poplin, Stuff. I keep a little Mercer's Shop , and took this Prisoner for my Maid ; her Master that she liv'd with before, told me she was honest, but I soon found she had a very saucy Tongue. Here, - where's the Constable? There's Justice Frazier, she own'd all the Goods to him, and he said he would be a Witness for me. Some of them she cut off of whole Pieces, and sometimes she took the whole Pieces; I'll swear they are all my own, and I have got the Remnants to match with some of them. This Italian Mantua Silk, she took to make her self a Gown and Petticoat; here's Sattins, Damasks, and every thing; here's all Sorts, and here's the Spying glass.

Q. When did you lose all these Things?

Evans. She went away from me on a Wednesday, 'tis a Matter of two Months ago. She lay in the Shop, and I suppose she got my Goods, by Piece-meal and Piece-meal, when I was a-bed.

Q. Did you miss them while she was with you?

Evans. No, no, I miss'd them after she was gone, and now I come to look over the Shop, I miss a great many Things more.

Q. How come you to think the Prisoner had them?

Evans. O my Lord, I found them upon her; they were in her Box, in her Lodging in Moore's Yard, by Church-court.

Q. Were they all found in her Lodging?

Evans. Part in her Lodging, and Part where she had left them, in order to their being pack'd up and sent off. When I own'd the Goods, she begg'd me not to prosecute her; - but why Nelly, says I, did you do so? Why the Devil pospossess'd me I think, said she. She told me that a Maid, who was an Acquaintance of her's, came to see her, and advis'd her not to cut off any more Bits, but to take the whole Pieces.

Q. Where were the other Things found?

Evans. I found some in Feather's alley. Here, why don't some of the Witnesses speak too? Why this Bundle I found at Mrs. Jane Tyree's in Feathers-alley, and the Goods in it are Part of what I lost.

Q. How do you know she carry'd them there?

Evans. Why she own'd she did. Ask her upon her Oath if she did not? If you require any more Questions - I say these are my own Goods; I can say no more.

Prisoner. She swore to a great many of my own wearing Things; she took the very Pins and Aprons out of my Box.

Evans. O, the Creature! She took all my Grandchild's Frocks, which cost me 14 s. apiece.

Prisoner. She took the Gown off my Back, and her Pretence was, that she could match it in her Shop.

Evans. Pray let Mr. Justice Frazier be sworn.

Charles Walker Mrs. Evans brought me a Search Warrant, and I executed it. In her Lodgings we found a Poplin Gown, made up, and some of the same Stuft. While we were searching the Prisoner came in, and I secured her; we found several Things more, which have been ever since in my Custody. The best Part of the Goods was found in her Box, and Mrs. Evans was present. When we were going to the Justice, the Prisoner desired us to stay a little, and she would tell us where the rest of the Things were. Mrs. Evans taxed her with a Piece of Burdet, and she said, she had sold that to an Old Cloaths-Man,

and hoped her Mistress would not prosecute her. We carry'd her before Mr. Justice Frazier, and he committed her that Night. This first Search was on Saturday, and on Sunday I was sent for again, to the same House, and we found some Trifles. On Monday we search'd Tyree's House, in Feather's-alley, in St. Martin's-lane, and there we found all the Things which were not made up.

Q. How come you to search Tyree's House?

Walker. The Prisoner was in the Gatehouse, and Mrs. Tyree came to Evans and inform'd her, that probably, some of her Goods might be found in her House. I asked her if any one was concerned with her, and she told me a Maid that used to come for Victuals in a Morning, advised her to it, and not to cut Bits off, when she had the same Opportunity to take the whole Piece. She told me, this Maid lodg'd some where at an Alehouse in the Hay market, but would not say who she was, nor tell me the House; only she said, she was a Welch woman.

Jane Tyree My Husband is a Taylor: We live in Feathers-Alley, but we keep a Stall against St. Martin's-Court. The Prisoner brought this Bundle to me, one Morning before I went to my Husband in his Stall, and desired me to take care of that Bundle for her, and told me, there was a great deal of Money's worth in it. I put it into our Room and went to the Stall to work. When we came Home at Night, she came again, and asked for her Bundle, come says she, I'll show you what I have got, and so she open'd the Bundle. Why, says I, you have bought a great many good Things; yes, says she, pray lend me a Yard: I bought all these Things in Piccadilly. When she had measur'd them, she said, the Measure was rather too short; why if 'tis so, says I, carry them back to the Man. No - she would not she said, for tho' the Measure was short, - she had them cheap enough, and I must keep them, 'till she call'd for them. This was on the Thursday, and on Sunday following, a Man came from the Gatehouse and enquired in the Alley for one Tyree; he found us out, and look'd like a credible Person. He asked me if I knew one Eleanor Smith. I told him no, for I did not know her Sirname: She knows you, says he, and she desires you to come to her; she is in the Gatehouse for thievery; so after Dinner I went, and she desired me to send her the Bundle, and I told her she should not have it; then she desired my Husband to pawn it, and bring her the Money, and she would satisfy him for his Trouble, but he said he would not do such a Thing for an hundred Pounds. After this we found out Mrs. Evans, and she own'd the Goods.

Esther Boyle . The Prisoner lodged in my House. On Saturday May the 5th, Mrs. Evans and another Person enquired for her, and told me they had a search Warrant; they found this Poplin Gown made-up, and these other Things in her Box which Mrs. Evans own'd. She sent the Box into my Apartment by a Porter, and when Mrs. Evans and the Constable came to search, she was not at Home, but she came in before they had done searching, and I fell upon her, and call'd her all to pieces for being guilty of such a Thing; tho' what she had at my Apartment, were but trifling Things. Before the Justice, the Prisoner own'd a Piece of blue Burdet to be Mrs. Evans's, and promis'd to let her have it again, and there was likewise some Remnants found in her Box, which the Prosecutor own'd.

George Ewell . I was present when the Prisoners Lodging was search'd, and when the Things were found; she confess'd she had taken a Piece of Burdet, and promis'd (if her Mistress would let her go) she would help her to it again: She said the same before Justice Frazier, and the Justice told her, if she would tell where it was, he would send for it; then she began to equivocate, and said she had sold it, to an Old Cloaths-Man. This was on Saturday, and on Monday the rest of the Things were found at Tyree's, and the Burdet among them.

Benjamin Evans and Mr. Justice Frazier confirm'd the before-given Evidence.

Prisoner. It was a Woman that lay a Fortnight with me, that took them: I know nothing of them. Guilty 39 s.

[Transportation. See summary.]

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