Mary Collet.
9th December 1761
Reference Numbert17611209-11
VerdictGuilty > theft under 1s

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12. (L.) Mary, wife of Daniel Collet , was indicted for stealing one flowered lawn apron, value 6 s. the property of Stephen Ship , Nov. 4 . ++.

Stephen Ship . I keep a pawnbroker's shop , and on the 4th of November had taken in a flowered lawn apron of Elizabeth Lewis . about eleven or twelve in the day-time, and in the evening about eight or nine Mary Collet came in to ask me to fetch down a velvet cap that lay for about 6 d. that she said was her husband's. I left her in the shop by herself, and went and fetched it, and discharged her. I do not remember any body was in the shop by besides her. My usual way is, when I take in goods, to deposit them under the counter, and the next day take them all off, and put them all up in by warehouses till called for. When I came to book the things, the apron and some other things were missing. (The prisoner is one of the last women that I should have mistrusted). Then I thought to lay a scheme to find out the person that had taken the things. I gave it out about the Friday following, that I should be at home by myself, and I knew the prisoner knew that I had given it out. I placed a man at my window in the kitchen, which has a full view of the shop, and I had darkened the kitchen; the prisoner came in about five o'clock, and said, Ship, I want an apron that has been here some time. Then I said, you know that I am at home alone, and I can not go to leave my shop, and nobody here; I can't find it. Then she said, go and fetch that cap, that I brought again the other day. I went up into the warehouse, and took the cap, and came to the stair-head. I heard the gentleman that I had planted in the kitchen say to her, you would have robbed Mr. Ship's house if it had not been for me, I'll take my oath of it. Thinks I this man has been too rash, she has only attempted it. When I came down she threw me the money that was due to me, and said, look for the apron to-morrow, for that will be wanted. As soon as she was gone away, said the man, that woman is a thief, and I would have you take care of her; inquire into her character. I sent to Mrs. Geery that lives near me.

Q. Where do you live?

Ship. I live in Long-alley, Moorfields. I sent to her to know if she had such an apron as I missed at her house. I had informed the person whose property it was, that it was taken away, and she had brought an d left with me a piece of the same cloth to compare with it if I should hear of it. I sent that piece. Mrs. Geery let me know she had such an apron, which she took in of Mary Collet . She brought it, and the owner of the apron came, and said she would swear it was her property.

Q. from Prisoner. Whether any body else was at your shop that night you missed the apron besides me?

Ship. There was one Mary Saloway ; but she was discharged and gone, and I left the prisoner in the shop all alone.

Q. Was you before a magistrate with the prisoner?

Ship. I was before the alderman; she said she found it.

Ann Geery . Mary Collet, the prisoner, brought this apron to my house on the 5th of November, and pledged it with me. [Produced in Court.] I sent her 4 s. upon it.

Ship. This is the apron that was taken from under my counter on the 4th of November.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was at Mr. Ship's shop, and Mrs. Saloway was there. Mr. Ship went and fetched my cap, it was not my husband's. I went home about my business; after that I went to this woman's house for a peny worth of cheese for my supper; something catched me and tore my pattin. I looked down and saw something; I took it up, and it was an apron in a paper. I said to my husband, I have found something here. I shewed it him, and the next day I went and carried it to Mrs. Geery, and said I wanted money on it. She asked me whose it was. I said it was a young woman's apron, and she lent me 4 s. on it. I had been at Mr. Ship's house since, and it is a wonder he did not say to me he had lost an apron.

Q. to Geery. Did the prisoner tell you whose it was?

Geery. She said it was a young woman's, and cost her half a guinea, and she saw half a guinea paid for it. I lent her 4 s. upon it, or at least I rubbed it off her score, as she owed me money.

Prisoner. That is right; for I owed her a score, and she had not 4 s. to lend me.

The prisoner called Mary Wallis , who had known her ten years; Abraham Fofield , near twenty; Samuel Cary , about five; and Alice Ashley , seven years: who gave her a good character.

Guilty, 10 d.

[Transportation. See summary.]

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