Docia Fife.
7th June 1753
Reference Numbert17530607-35
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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305. (L.) Docia Fife , spinster, was indicted for that she on the 26th of May , about the hour of 10 in the night, on the same day, did break and enter into the dwelling house of William Sheldon , and steal one-pair of linnen sheets . ++

William Sheldon . I live in Long-lane near Smithfield , and am a perriwig-maker . Between 9 and 10 o'clock, on the 26th of May, at night, my maid discover'd a door to be broke open, and the sheets to be taken from off the bed; I was busy in my business; I went up and found it so. I went up to the garret door, there I found a large nail fix'd to the lock, and a knife lay under it; I had a suspicion of the prisoner at the bar, she having robb'd me before, and I forgave her. She work'd with my wife at quilting petticoats. but did not live in the house with us. She came to work on the Monday morning as usual. A woman that work'd with us said she believ'd she had seen the nail and knife at a place in Beech-lane, where the prisoner was found when she robbed me before. I went to the place, they were own'd there by the two women; there came the mistress and the two women to our house, we call'd the prisoner from her work, she was tax'd with it, and immediately confess'd it, and told where the sheets were; one was pawn'd in Golden-lane, the other in Spitlefields, both in her name, she went with us, she call'd for them, and they were deliver'd

Q. What is the value of the sheets?

Sheldon. I value them at six shillings.

Jane Pea . I live servant with the prosecutor. I went up stairs to put the child to bed, and found the door up two pair of stairs open, going to make the bed, I missed the sheets, I went down and acquainted my master with it, he came up directly, the prisoner was suspected, she confess'd it ; I went along with my master and her to the two pawnbrokers, she call'd for the sheets, and they were deliver'd to us.

Q. Was the chamber door lock'd before, are you sure?

Jane Pea . I am positive it was; for I had the key in my pocket, and the sheets were upon the bed. There were marks at that door made, with the nail which I found at the garret door.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was in a little distress; the door was open, I went into the room, and sat down by the bed side, and desired the young woman to let me lie with her that night.

Guilty 4 s. 10 d.Acquitted of the burglary .

[Transportation. See summary.]

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