21st April 1773
Reference Numbert17730421-70
VerdictsGuilty > lesser offence; Guilty
SentencesTransportation; Transportation

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449, 450, 451, 452. (M.) ANN ABBOTT , spinster , PHENIE FRANCIS , spinster , CATHERINE BRYAN , spinster , MARY ABBOTT , spinster , were indicted, the two first for stealing eight yards of thread lace, the property of William Elliot privately in his shop , and the other two for receiving the said lace well knowing it to have been stolen , March 23d . *

William Elliot . I am a Baker in Wood-street; my wife keeps a shop in the New-road, above Moorfields ; on the 23d of March between twelve and one o'clock my daughter came and informed me that there were two persons in the shop that had stole some lace; I went there directly and found Ann Abbot , and Phenie Francis in the shop; my daughter sent to one Mr. Coast and he brought an officer with him; we insiste on their being searched, and they were by Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Jones, and my daughter; I was not in the room at the search.

Elizabeth Elliot . I am daughter to the prosecutor: I live with my mother; Phenie Francis and Ann Abbot came into my mother's shop, on the 23d of March, between twelve and one o'clock, and asked to look at some lace; I shewed them a good deal, but they said there was none to suit them; I thought I missed a piece, and desired them to stay while I looked; looked and missed a piece containing 8 yards, worth 9 s. 6 d. a yard; they were for going, I desired them to stay while I sent for an officer; they did very quietly; I sent to Mrs. Edwards next door, and she sent her boy for one; the officer came and told us we might search them; we went into another room, and Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Jones and I searched them; we did not find any thing upon either of them; I saw Phenie Francis have that piece in her hand to look at; I did not see it afterwards; before they went out of the shop, when we could not find it upon them, they threatened to consult a lawyer to have satisfaction, as we had had satisfaction upon them; then Mr. Coast advised me to carry them before a Justice. I gave charge to the officer, and he took them directly; we went to Justice Wallford's, in Bunhill-row; he was at dinner, so we went to the York Minster a public-house; while we were there Ann Abbott looked out at the window, and said her sister was going by; she threw up the sash and called to her, that was Kitty Brian ; she came to the window and a young man with her; Ann Abbott desired the young man to go to her mother to let her know she was there; soon after he and her mother, Mary Abbott , came into the room where we were; then we went to the Justice's, and William Chandler saw Ann Abbott , as she going along hand something to Brian, and he was going to take it from her, and handed it to M ary Abbott. Mr. Coasts took it from Mary Abbot ; I did not see this myself; the parcel that was taken from Mary Abbott was produced before the Justice.

William Chandler . I was at the York Minster with the prisoners: I went with them from there to the Justice's: at the public house as we were drinking, Ann Abbott looked out of the window, and said there goes my brother and sister; she threw up the sash and called the Irish girl over, and told her she had been at a person's house to buy a piece of lace, and they missed a piece, and she desired the young man to go to her mother; with that Mary Abbott came and was very much frightened, and seemed to faint away; as we were going to the Justice's Ann Abbot pulled out a blue and white handkerchief, and the lace hung down; I said to Mr. Coast there is your lace, such a person has it; with that she went to put it in her pocket; Coast laid hold of her hand; she made a sham to wipe her nose with the handkerchief; says Coast what have you got here? she said nothing at all; he said I am sure you have something, and held fast hold of her hand going into the Justice's; the passage was very narrow going in; some how or other she got her hand from him, turned round and delivered it to the old woman the mother; the old woman followed so close she did not perceive it; I believe she dropped it; I do not know whether it was in her hand; the lace and handkerchief were both dropped; Mr. Coast picked it up.

John Coast . Elizabeth Elliot sent for me the 23d of March, about two o'clock in the afternoon; Ann Abbot and Francis were there; she charged them with stealing a piece of lace; I went to the York Minster; when we came out to go to the Justice's, Chandler, said Coast, Abbott has given a bundle into Bryan's hand; I said then it shall not go any further; but however

going into the Justice's, the young man that was with Bryan rushed between us; I pushed him back; but however she got her hand from me, and put it to the old woman; I looked and found the bundle under the old woman's cloak; I do not know whether she had it in her hand or no; as soon as I took it I held it up, and the lace hung from it (produces the handkerchief and the lace); the lace was sealed up before the Justice: it has been in William Hewit's custody ever since.

William Hewit . That parcel was delivered to me at the Justice's; he gave me orders to keep it.

Coast. I am sure that is the parcel I took from Mary Abbott , (the lace deposed to by Elizabeth Elliot .)

William Hewit . I am an officer: I was sent for to Mrs. Elliot's, when I came I insisted on their being searched; they were, but nothing was found on them then; I went to the York Minster, and from thence to the Justice's; I never saw the lace till it was shewn at the Justice's.

Q. to Coast. When you took the handkerchief from Mary Abbot , was the lace done up in it?

Coast. Yes.

Ann Abbot 's Defence.

I was going along Wool-pack-alley on a Tuesday, I cannot say what day of the month; going down the alley, I met Phenie Francis; she asked me to take a walk with her; I went home and put on my hat and cloak, and we went over Moorfields, and came to this shop; she asked me to go in with her to buy some lace; I did; the gentlewoman shewed her some; she said it would not do; she shewed some more, and by and by the gentlewoman said there was a piece missing, and came round and asked if it was by us; I said if she had a mind I was willing to be searched; Phenie Francis would not without a constable; one was sent for; and I was searched three times; they could not find any thing then; they took us before the Justice; going to the Justice, Phenie Francis came up and said Bryan desired her to give the handkerchief to Mrs. Abbott.

Phenie Francis's Defence.

I never gave her any thing; I know nothing of it.

Bryan's Defence.

Coming up Bunhill-row, Ann Abbott called me in, and said they had been to buy some lace, and were stopped; she asked the lad with me to go for her mother; he went; when her mother came as we were going to the Justice, Ann Abbott gave me a handkerchief and desired me to give it to her mother; I never knew what was in it.

Mary Abbott 's Defence.

I can say nothing to it; how it came upon me, I do not know; I had been but a trifle of time there.

Q. to Mrs. Elliot. Phenie Francis was searched at your house?

Elliot. Yes.

Q. Did you search Ann Abbott 's handkerchief?

Elliot. She had a handkerchief; I do not know whether it was that.

For Mary Abbot .

Isabella Maurice. I have known Mary Abbott between three and four years; I always knew her to a be very honest woman.

Obadiah Sedwick . I am a weaver: I live at the Plough in Dean-street, I have known Mary Abbott thirty-four years at least, she always bore the character of a pains-taking industrious woman.

Dorothy Soloback . I have known Mary Abbott between eleven and twelve years; she always bore a very honest character; I am a silk windster; the two Abbotts have done a great deal of work for me.

Richard Smith . I am a weaver: I have known Mary Abbott between six and seven years; she was always an honest woman.

Hannah Hart . I am a house-keeper in Crutched Friars: I have known Phenie Francis thee four years; she worked needle work; she has worked at my house; I never lost any thing in my life; she had a good character while I knew her.

Judith Levi . Phenie Francis is a Jew: I have known her this four or five years; she has bore a good character; I never knew no farther than she used to come to work for me; I gave her 6 d. a day and her victuals; I never heard any thing about her character in my life.

Q. to Mr. Edwards. You was one that searched Ann Abbott and Francis; was any money found upon them?

Edwards. I never saw any money but three halfpence in Francis's pocket.

Q. to Mrs. Elliot. Which wanted to buy lace?

Edwards. Phenie Francis.

Phenie Francis. I had a silver box about me and three guineas in it.

Mrs. Elliot. I saw a little box but did not open it.

Jane Fokes . I have known Phenie Francis two months; she has been from Holland about two months.

Phenie Francis. I had been in England four years before I went over to my own country.

Ann Abbott and Phenie Francis guilty of stealing the lace, but not privately in the shop . T .

Bryan and Mary Abbott guilty T. 14 Y .

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