7th September 1774
Reference Numbert17740907-3

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554, 555. (M.) ELIZABETH the wife of Samuel PRICE and JOHN EDWARDS were indicted for stealing a silver watch, a pocket book, value 4 d. a French crown, value 4 s. eighteen shillings in money, numbered, a pair of silver shoe buckles, value 10 s. and a pair of silver knee buckles, value 5 s. the property of John Webb , May 4th . +

John Webb . I was coming down Holborn in my way home on the 11th of May last, I think it was a Wednesday; a woman met me and said sir, where are you going? I said my dear I am going home; said she, you had better go home with me; I said no, I objected to it, but I consented at last to go to some tavert with her; from thence she persuaded me to go home with her; we went to bed, and by and by the prisoner Price came up stairs; she called her sister and asked who she had got with her; the other said a gentleman; the prisoner said then I shall be deprived of my bed; I said no my girl you shall not, I will get up and go somewhere else; I offered to get up; she said no if I would give her something to drink she would sit up; I gave her a shilling; she brought some shrub, I drank some of it; I saw her sit in the chair before I went to sleep; when I waked I missed my watch, a French crown piece, about eighteen shillings in silver, my shoe and knee buckles, and a pocket book which contained notes to the amount of between four and five hundred pounds; and I lost a ticket of an annuity for eight pound a year for my life; I have since discovered that they destroyed them going to Gravesend; when I waked there was no one in the room; I stopped till the watchman came round at half past three o'clock I believe.

Q. Was your bedfellow gone too?

Webb. Yes; I called the watchman, and he called the woman up that rents the house and she lent me a shilling; I went into Gray's-inn-lane and sent for a gentleman to lend me ten guineas, and then I went and gave information at Sir John Fielding 's; there is nothing to be produced but my watch.

Henry Wilde . I am servant to Mr. Harrington a pawnbroker the corner of Benjamin-street; I took in this watch (producing it) of a man on the 13th of May last.

Q. What man?

Wilde. I do not remember the man again.

Prosecutor. Did not the prisoner himself tell you that he did pawn the watch?

Wilde. No.

Q. Look at him?

Wilde. I do not know the man.

Q. Upon your oath?

Wilde. I do not know that I remember taking the watch of him; I have seen the man since he has been in custody, not before.

Q. I suppose it is a part of your business not to know the thieves that come to pawn things with you, it would spoil your trade if you knew them again?

Wilde. It is no interest in the world to me not to swear to the man.

Court. But it helps the trade very much, exceedingly so.

Wilde. No person is to foreswear himself; it was a youngish man.

Q. Do you believe that to be the man or not?

Wilde. It was a young man somewhat like him.

Q. In what part does he resemble the man?

Wilde. He does not resemble him in dress; the man I had the watch of was dressed well.

Q. to the prosecutor. Is that your watch?

Webb. I believe I can swear positively to this watch; the watch-maker is here I bought it of.

Q. Do you or not swear to it?

Webb. I swear this is my property.

Mary Poldon . I was out of lodgings; Mary Price asked me to be with her till I could get one; that was about a month before this affair happened; I went there; I staid with her till this affair was over, then I went down to Chatham with her.

Q. Do you remember this affair happening?

Poldon. Yes.

Q. Was you in the house?

Poldon. I happened to be out that night; this gentleman was a-bed when I came home.

Q. What room was he a-bed in?

Poldon. A one pair of stairs room that this woman used to lie in; John Edwards and Thomas Edwards are two brothers; Elizabeth

Price lived with the other brother, and the other girl with the prisoner, Edwards; John Edwards and Martha Edwards lay on the other side of the court, but they came up that night; they were there when I came home; the gentleman was a-bed, and they were consulting to rob him when I came in; John Edwards was there when I came home.

Q. And Martha Edwards ?

Polden. Yes; Martha Edwards was the woman that was a-bed with the prosecutor; Price and she agreed to rob him; I desired they would not rob him, but they would. I saw the watch, the money, the two pair of silver buckles, and the pocket book after they came down stairs: they were all in the room together.

Q. Is that the watch?

Polden. I cannot say.

Q. Did you see that gentleman in bed?

Polden. Yes.

Q. Are you sure it was that person?

Polden. I am sure it was that same person?

Q. Did you go up with them?

Polden. I was in the room when they all came up stairs; I was with Elizabeth Price ; the others were down stairs; they came up afterwards; when I found they would be obstinate and rob the gentleman, I went down stairs; after they had robbed him, they persuaded me to go down to Chatham with them.

Q. What was their business to go there?

Polden. No further business than to be out of the way; they went directly down to Dark-house-lane; we staid at Chatham one night; then we came up to London; they left me at Darkhouse-lane, and I never saw them after till they were taken. John Edwards , the prisoner, sat at the top of the Gravesend boat, and tore the notes and threw them into the Thames.

Q. from Price. Did you see me rob the gentleman?

Polden. No, I did not.

Q. Was she in the room when the gentleman was robbed?

Polden. Yes.

Q. from Price. Did you see the goods upon me?

Polden. John Edwards had them.

Edwards. I am certain I never took any of the property; she said before Sir John Fielding she was out at the door, and saw me take the property through the key hole.

Court. Did you say that?

Polden. No, I did not see him; I was down stairs.

Edward Russell . I took the last witness first in Clerkenwell; she mentioned to another person that she went off with the prisoners and things down to Chatham; she said she was concerned in the robbery; upon that I took her to Sir John Fielding 's.

Q. Did you hear her say she was concerned in the robbery?

Russell. She said she was in the house when the robbery was done; she was taken before the Justice, and admitted an evidence. I took John Edwards afterwards at the end of Field-lane; the witness told me he was one that was concerned in it.

Q. Did you find any thing upon either of them?

Russell. No; both the prisoners owned to the fact.

Price's Defence.

That gentleman brought Martha Edwards home to bed; they went together; he gave me a shilling to fetch some liquor. I saw nothing of the property. Edwards asked me to go down with him to Chatham for some fishing rods.

Edwards's Defence.

I know nothing at all about it.

Russell. When I took John Edwards he made his escape; I took him three different times; he owned he was the person that pawned the watch; he said the young man did not dispute taking it of him, because he knew him and was a neighbour to his father.

Prosecutor. The father of this woman as he called himself offered me a hundred pounds to make it up.

Russell. The father lives but about seven or eight doors from the pawnbroker's.

Court to Wilde. Do you know John Edwards , the father?

Wilde. Not before this happened.

Q. He lives but seven doors from you?

Wilde. I have lived there but half a year.

Court. I have seen you here upon some occasion before.

Wilde. I did not live in that part of the town; I never saw him to my knowledge in my life before.

Russell. The pawnbroker said he had taken

several good things of him, and made no dispute of taking it in of him.

Prosecutor. I heard him say I did not think at first that you are the man; he said, yes, I am the man; said he, why you are not so well cloathed as you was before, I think you look very thin.

Russell. The pawnbroker at the Rotation office said he was the man that pawned the watch.

Edwards. Russell came up to my father and said if you will give me one, meaning one guinea, he would clear me; here is a person in Court will answer to the sum; he came three or four times; at last when he found my father would give him nothing, he said if you would give me fifty guineas I would not take it, but he would do his endeavour to hang me if it was possible.

Court to Wilde. This man, according to the evidence, said he had pawned several good things to you before?

Wilde. I never took any of him, it was before I came to the shop then.

For the Prisoner.

Mary Godfrey . I am a widow; I am housekeeper to Mr. Edwards, the prisoner's father; he is a lamp-lighter and tin man; I have seen Price twice or thrice; that is all the knowledge I have of her; I have heard she is a very honest young woman: I have heard several say so.

Mary Newton .

Q. What business are you?

Newton. None at all.

Q. Are you a housekeeper?

Newton. No, I work to get my bread.

Q. How do you work?

Newton. I wait upon a gentleman.

Q. Are you in service?

Newton. It is like a service.

Q. Do you wait sometimes upon one gentleman and sometimes upon another?

Newton. No; I wait upon a gentleman: I know Elizabeth Price ; I know her father very well; his name is Andrew Jones ; I don't know a great deal of her; I can say but little of her character, but this man offered to save the girl if they would but pay them.

Q. Which man?

Newton. Russell.

Q. What was you to give?

Newton. A guinea.

Q. A guinea!

Newton. I was to give them something; I did not understand their phrase.

George Downes . I have known Edwards about five years; he has bore a very honest character as far as ever I knew.

Q. Was you often with him?

Downes. No great matters, no otherwise than I used the house where the father uses.

Q. Then you know the father better than him?

Downes. He is a very honest man; the prisoner lodged at my house within these eight months: I live on Saffron-hill.

Q. How long did he lodge in your house?

Downes. About three months; it might he more.

Court. Did you hear of this robbery?

Downes. I never heard a word of it till this morning: he behaved honest and kept good hours in my house.

Jonathan Faulkner . I keep a publick house in Clerkenwell: the prisoner, Edwards, used to light the lamp at my door by his father's order, and always behaved honest and well. I make shoes; I have entrusted him with work. He was apprentice with one Mr. Welch, in Cornhill; I let him have work to do several times; I never saw any thing but that he was a well behaved man.

Nicholas Phillips . I am a master shoemaker; I live in Aylesbury-street, Clerkenwell-green; I have known John Edwards a twelve-months; he has worked for me; he always brought his work home according to his time; I never knew any bad character of him; I have left him in my shop; I never found any thing deficient.

Q. to Wilde. What name was the watch pawned in?

Wilde. In the name of John Edwards .

Court. Why did not you mention that before, Sir?

Edwards. There were two Edwards of us; the other might pawn it as well as me; he is gone abroad; he is the person I believe that is more guilty than I am.

Both guilty . T .

Henry Wilde received a very severs reprimand from the Court for the impropriety of his conduct.

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