4th April 1779
Reference Numbert17790404-10
VerdictNot Guilty

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196. ELIZABETH IRELAND was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of William Flanagan , on the 15th of March , about the hour of eight in the night, and stealing a pair of silver salts, value 10 s. a silver pepper-box, value 10 s. a silver milk-pot, value 10 s. a pair of silver tea-tongs, value 3 s. two large silver table spoons, value 10 s. four silver tea-spoons, value 4 s. a silver watch, value 40 s. a steel watch chain, value 1 s. a cornelian-stone seal, set in silver, value 2 s. four silk gowns, value 6 l. a bombazeen gown, value 10 s. four linen gowns, value 40 s. five yards of green camblet, value 5 s. six yards of green stuff, value 6 s. two yards of linen, value 2 s. a blue silk quilted petticoat, value 10 s. a cotton petticoat, value 5 s. two silk handkerchiefs, value 4 s. and a linen work bag, value 1 s. the property of the said William Flanagan , in his dwelling-house .


I am the wife of William Flanagan . We keep a house in Tabernacle-walk, Moorfields . My house was broke open on the 15th of March, between seven and eight at night. I went out at seven and returned at eight. I left nobody in the house; I locked the door; it is a spring-lock; I tried it to see that it was fast. When I returned, I found the door as I left it; I opened it with the key; I went in and got a light, and saw a tea-chest which I left upon the dining table in a chair that was in the lower room; there is but one room on a floor. I said to a lady that was with me, that I was robbed, and immediately missed the gowns, which I had left below stairs; I then went up stairs, and missed the plate out of the closet, and my clothes out of a drawer. I came down again and missed a watch which hung over the mantle piece.

Did you examine how they got in? - I apprehend by opening the door with a key. There were no marks of violence. I was sent for to Sir John Fielding 's on the Wednedsay following, and saw some of my property there.

Cross Examination.

You are sure the door was fast when you went out? - Yes.

Who did you first charge with the robbery? - I first charged a young man, a watchmaker.

How long was he kept in custody? - I believe it might be about eight hours.

Court. What does your family consist of? - My husband and myself.


I live at Mile-End New Town. On the 16th of March, between ten and eleven o'clock, a young woman brought six or seven gowns to me from Mrs. Ireland. Mrs. Ireland came in after her; there were two silk gowns, and a silk gown not made up. I bought them of her; I was to give her four pounds eight shillings for them; I gave her two guineas in part. In the afternoon Mr. Phillips came and asked for the bundle the young woman brought from Mrs. Ireland.

Who did you pay the money to? - Mrs. Ireland. She keeps a sort of chandler's-shop.

Do you keep a shop? - No; I did keep a chandler's-shop, but I do not now; I work at my needle, and do clear starching; I am a house-keeper. I delivered the gowns to Phillips.


I happened to be robbed myself on the 6th of March, and had a suspicion my property was at Mrs. Ireland's. One morning I saw a girl come out of Mrs. Ireland's and go to the house of one Boon, and fetch a bundle, I followed the girl to Mile-End New Town, thinking I might find some of my property; it was carried from a Mr. Boon's, near Mrs. Ireland's.

How far is it from Mrs. Ireland's to Mile-End New Town? - Two or three miles the way I followed her. I went and gave information at Bow-street, and two of Sir John Fielding 's men, Phillips and Barnett, went with me, and searched the house; they found other people's property there, but none of mine.


I found these gowns (producing them) at Hepworth's.

(They were deposed to by the prosecutrix.)


Flanagan and Mills have combined together. I never sold them. I can prove that the day that Mrs. Flanagan says she was robbed I was ill, and never went over the door, Kepworth deals in all manner of clothes and run tea. I went to buy some tea. She did not buy them of me. Mills deals in stolen goods; he has been tried for it several times.

Mills. This woman is an encourager of thieves?

Prisoner. So is Mr. Mills.

To Mills. How do you know she is an encourager of thieves? - She has been here several times.

Prisoner. So has Mr. Mills.

To Mills. Have you been tried here? - No never.

Prisoner. Have not you at Guildhall or Westminster? - No.

For the prisoner.

- TIBSHAW sworn.

I have known the prisoner three years. I was charring at her house on the 15th of March. I went at three in the afternoon, and was there till ten at night; then I went home. I returned at eleven the next morning, and finished my work. I never saw the woman go out of doors at all.

Are you sure she was not out of the house? - She was not indeed, believe me, Sir, not for the whole day, not the next morning.


I have known Mrs. Ireland a week only. I know nothing but that she is very honest.


I have known the prisoner four years; she keeps a chandler's shop . I believe she is an honest woman.


Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron EYRE .

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