Mary Gillfoy, Mary Woodbridge.
19th February 1752
Reference Numbert17520219-48
VerdictsGuilty; Not Guilty; Guilty; Not Guilty
SentencesDeath; Death

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183, 184. (M.) Mary the wife of Thomas Gillfoy and Mary Woodbridge , were indicted for that they, in the dwelling house of the said Thomas Gillfoy , upon George Kemp did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one guinea , Jan. 27 . *

The prosecutor being a Dutchman , could not speak English, Henry Keys was sworn interpreter.

George Kemp . I was coming along the street, the prisoner Woodbridge called me in, I don't know the name of the street, there were four of us, I asked if they had any beer? Gillfoy said none but two-penny; then we had some cold beaf to eat, they charged us a shilling a piece for eating; then Gillfoy asked if we would have each of us a wife, I said I would not have any, there were three women in the house, then they called in one more to make four to us four.

Q. Who called her in?

Kemp. Gillfoy did; then she asked me if I would go to bed with a woman, I was going to bed, but I did not because they made a noise; Gillfoy insisted upon 2 s. for the bed ; there was a man in the house, and he got two more who came in with their hangers, one had on a blue coat the other a white one ; they went to chop at my comrade's head, Henry Lowders ; I was then going up stairs to bed with a woman, so I came down stairs, and took hold on the man's arm, and prevented his cutting him ; then that man got hold on my throat, and went to throttle me, then the prisoner Gillfoy came and rifled my pockets, and took out a guinea in gold, after that she charged me for a pint of hot, then we were all up stairs, there the man that chopp'd at us and the prisoner Gillfoy called for more liquor, brandy and hot-pot, and insisted upon our paying for it, if not they said they would take it out of our pockets and kill us, we attempted to go out of the door, but the prisoner Gillfoy locked the door and would not let us go; then I begg'd very hard that they would let me go out quietly, I said I would go and fetch more money and come again, then she opened the door and let us all out; we apply'd to a watchman immediately but he would not assist us.

Q. What time was it then?

Kemp. It was about four in the morning, then we went to get a constable, to get them taken up, here is one Bennings here that was in the house to give his evidence, that saw it all; the prisoner Gillfoy told me the two men that came in were her sons; I can't charge Bennings with any thing; when the constable came in order to take them all up, they told him Gillfoy's husband

was sick in bed, so they did not take him, but he was the man that ordered the two men in with heir hangers.

Cross examined.

Q. What time did you go into that house?

Kemp. We went there between eight and nine at night; one of my companions had offered half a guinea to change.

Q. Did any of your company go out and stay a while, and then come back again?

Kemp. No body went out.

Q. Were the three women in your company all the time?

Kemp. No, they were not.

Q. Did you before the Justice charge the husband with having a hand in this affair?

Kemp. Yes, I did.

Q. Did not you likewise charge Samuel Bennings , and take out a warrant against him?

Kemp. The Justice said all that were in the house ought to be taken up, so he had a warrant against him.

Q. Had you drank pretty plentifully?

Kemp. Yes, we had; but I was as sober as I am now.

Q. Are you sure you lost a guinea?

Kemp. I am, I just before had received it.

Q. Are you sure you had it in your pocket when you was in that house?

Kemp. I am sure I had, besides I felt her hand in my pocket.

Q. Why did you not aprize the others of it, and get them immediately secured?

Kemp. I was afraid of my life, being in a strange country, I did not know what to do.

Q. What become of the three men during the time you was there?

Kemp. They all abode in the room, that is Bennings, and two of the other men.

Q. Were your company drinking with them after the hanger was drawn?

Kemp. Yes, the man and woman insisted upon calling for liquor, and upon our paying for it.

Q. How long after the hanger was drawn did you drink in their company?

Kemp. About half an hour.

Q. Was this drinking together after you lost your guinea?

Kemp. It was, the door was locked and I was afraid they would not let me out.

Samuel Bennings . I am a Sailor; on Sunday at night, 3 weeks ago last Sunday, I was coming by Gillfoy's house, about ten at night; I never saw her before, seeing a light I went in and asked for a lodging; she told me I might have a lodging, I asked her what she sold, she said twopenny, I called for a pint and paid for it. I looked round me and saw four Dutchmen, the Prosecutor was one of them, the other Prisoner was there, the Dutchmen were running up and down stairs with these women, playing with each other, I found I was in a bad house, and was going away; Gillfoy's husband begg'd I would stay, and told me I should have a lodging presently ; one of the Dutchmen came down stairs and asked me to drink with him, his name is Henry Lowders ; I was very unwilling to go into company, they asked me two or three times.

Q. In what room was this ?

Bennings. They was in the kitchen, and I was in the shop standing by the counter, he brought a pint of beer in his hand, and told me he had paid for it, then I called for another, a little while after that I heard a sort of a wrangling among them, we had not joined company at that time; the woman of the house, Gillfoy, wanted to have her reckoning of them, which was ten-pence as she said, they said they would give it her presently, after they had been out, and got some money, one of them said he was unwilling his money should be seen in the house, this he said to me going out at the door, two of them went out, then they came back again and said they had brought some money with them. The woman at that time demanded sixteen-pence, which they gave her; they were then for going away, then Gillfoy's husband went out and brought in a man with a naked hanger in his hand, he had a white coat on; and another with a stick in his hand, and himself had a stick; the Dutchmen were all standing up, the door was shut upon them at that time; the prisoner Gillfoy attacked Henry Lowders with a naked knife at the door, and demanded his money of him; he kept struggling with her, the man struck at him with the hanger, he lifted his hand up to prevent it, and the thick part of his hand received the blow: (Lowders shewed the cut, between his little finger and his writ, asther towards the inside of his hand, a large cut;) a little after that, they were all let out, I staid in the house; she came to me and demanded my money of me, I was afraid to go out; I gave her six shillings and a half guinea in gold, when I was taken out of bed the next morning I demanded it, and she gave it me again, and bid me

hold my tongue; the two men were standing at her back when she demanded my money, after which she told me I should not lie in her house, except I would give her a shilling, which I did; I went up stairs about two o'clock, and went to bed; in the morning a woman came into the room, she awakened me, and said there was a search warrant in the house; she sat on the bed-side, and when I got up, she jumped into the bed, and covered herself with the cloaths.

Q. What time was this?

Bennings. This was about ten o'clock in the morning; I was sent to Clerkenwell bridewell by justice Rickards ; the prisoner Gillfoy told me I should be bailed out, and her son and daughter came often to me, and desired me to hold my tongue, and I should soon be out.

Q. Did you see Gillfoy take any thing from Kemp?

Bennings. No I did not.

Q. Did you see Kemp prevent the hanger from striking Lowders?

Bennings. No I did not.

Henry Lowders . (He speaks by an interpreter) Between eight and nine at night, three weeks ago last Sunday, we were all four called into a house by a woman, (I don't know who) I never was there before, nor don't know where the house we went in, the prisoner asked us if we would eat any thing; we had some cold meat, for which they charged each of us a shilling, we paid it, then her husband went out and brought in two men, one had on a white coat, the other a blue one; they both had hangers, he with the white coat chopp'd at me for nothing at all; I held up my hand to prevent the blow and got this cut, &c I called upon my comrade, he came down stairs and catched hold on the man's arm, or I had been cut in two with that very stroke ; then the old woman Gillfoy locked the door, and got hold on my collar, and tore my jacket, and was going to throttle me, she had something in her hand, but I was in such a fright, I can't tell whether it was a knife or any thing else; she rifled my pockets and took out three guineas.

Q. Did you see her take any thing out of Kemp's pockets?

Lowders. I did, that was presently after, the man with the white coat had hold on him at the same time; I don't know how much she took, but Kemp said afterwards it was a guinea; after this the old woman consented I should go out by myself, but not the others; but I would not go without my comrades, so we all four went out.

Q. What did the other prisoner do?

Lowders. I can't say she did any thing.

Q. Was her husband by when she put her hand into Kemp's pockets ?

Lowders He was, I begged him at that time to let me go out, and he shoved me down.

Cross examined.

Q. Was her husband in company at the time?

Lowders. He was there all the time, whom she called husband.

John Peter Arms . ( Speeks also by an interpreter) I was one of the four that went into this house at that time; we were called in by somebody, but don't know who; I never was there before in my life; we had some two-penny, two of us had no more money; we had some victuals also, for which they charged us a shilling each, and a shilling for one of the girls that eat; I went up stairs with a woman about two hours, when I came down stairs the house was all in an alarm; I could not tell what was the matter, I saw a man in a white coat with a hanger, I took hold round his neck and begged he would not hurt my comrades, but let us go; my comrade was cut before I came down.

Q. Did you see the money taken from Kemp?

Peter Arms . No, that was before I came down.

(The other Dutchman was in a room above the room he was in at that time; so he was not called as an evidence.)

For Gillfoy's character.

Patrick Nevill . I know Mrs. Gillfoy, I lodge in her house; ( being asked her character, he said) some give her a good character, and some a bad one.

Thomas Eades . I have known her a twelvemonth, and have been in her house several times, and never saw any other than honesty by her; I have lodged there several times, with money in my pocket, and never lost any.

Christopher Moley . I have known her 14 or 15 years; I knew her in Dublin, she kept a house there; I never heard of any robbery she did but this, I believe she was never guilty of a robbery in her life.

Q. Was not you an evidence here about a forgery?

Moley. No, I never was.

Q. Do you know her husband?

Moley. Yes, he is lame of his knee.

Q. Where is he now?

Moley. I don't know.

Q. Was he able to fight two or three Dutchmen with a drawn hanger?

Moley. No, not he.

Bridget Moley . I never heard a bad character of the woman in my life, and have known her some time.

William Hage . I have known her two years; I am a distiller, she always paid me very honestly for the liquors she had of me.

Q. Do you know her husband?

Hage. I do, he hurt himself some time ago, and is a little lame.

Q. to Kemp. The man she called husband is a tall man, but I did not perceive him to be lame.

Q. to Bennings. What sort of a man is Gillfoy's husband?

Bennings. He is a very lusty man, he is not lame.

Q. to Lowders. Is her husband lame?

Lowders. He ran backwards and forwards with beer in his hand; I did not perceive him to be lame at all; he drew the beer.

Gillfoy guilty , Death .

Woodbridge Acquitted .

They were a 2d time indicted for robbing Henry Lowders of three guineas in the dwelling house of Thomas Gillfoy. +

The evidences for the crown deposed as in the former trial.

The prisoners called Patrick Nevill again.

Patrick Nevill . Gillfoy's husband was drunk in bed; I saw him go to bed between 6 and 7 o' clock that night.

Prisoner Gillfoy. He was not up at all when they were there.

Q. to Nevill. Where were her two sons?

Nevill. They were both at home; I lodged in the house that night; I saw the men pay their reckoning.

Q. to Bennings. Did you see this man in the house that night ?

Bennings No I did not. (The four Dutchmen answer the same)

Anstiss Birmingham. I lodge in Gillfoy's house; these four Dutchmen came in when I was gone out; I returned between 7 and 8 ; she said to me, here is some Dutchmen come, and I don't understand them; I was curious to talk with them, so asked them where they came from; they said from Hamburgh ; I had lived there 12 years, and could talk the language; I asked 'em some questions, they called for Twopenny and victuals, and seeing me a poor woman, desired Mrs. Gillfoy to let me have some victuals, and they'd pay for me ; once they wanted to pledge a waistcoat to pay the reckoning; one of the prisoners said no, that is the way a man had lik'd to have lost his life once by a Dutchman: upon my oath I never saw a hanger drew upon any body; I left them all good friends, and went to bed; I lay behind the counter in the shop, with the children; Bennings had been in the house about half an hour before I went to bed. I never saw no ill usage.

Q. How many men were there in the house?

Birmingham. There were the four Dutchman, Bennings, Nevill, and I believe the man of the house.

Q. to Bennings. Did you see this witness there ?

Bennings. I did, she was very drunk, and the other prisoner at the bar said, if she would not go to bed, she'd turn her out of doors, so she went to bed, and was asleep when the Dutchmen were robbed.

Lowders. This evidence Birmingham came on board our ship afterwards, and desired us to make it up, she said they would give us some money so to do. The other three Dutchman said the same.

Gillfoy guilty , Death .

Woodbridge Acquitted

The Court would have committed Nevill and Birmingham to be tried for perjury, but the Dutchmen could not possibly be in England to prosecute, so they were let go.

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