4th April 1779
Reference Numbert17790404-14
VerdictNot Guilty

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200, 201. ESTHER MARKLIN and ELIZABETH COX were indicted for stealing two silk gowns and coats, value 3 l. the property of Anthony Barnwell , March 9th .


I am a silk-dyer , at No. 5, Kingsgate-street, Holbourn . The things mentioned in the indictment were brought me to dye. I was out at the time; they were stolen before I came home.


I am servant to Mr. Barnwell. On the 19th of March, at half past seven in the evening I received two silk gowns and two silk petticoats from the servant of Mr. Jakes, who keeps the George-Inn in Holbourn. I carried them into the parlour to my mistress; she looked over them, and put them on the compter in the shop, till my master came in, because we thought they would not take the colour they were to be dyed. The shop was then shut up. I went into the parlour again, and sat down to my work with my mistress. About half an hour after Mr. Jaques sent a child with some fringe to be dyed of the same colour. I laid it on the silk on the compter, and went again to my work. About five minutes after two women came to the door; one in the name of Mrs. Cox asked for a coat and waistcoat, which had been brought for my master to clean.

Who were those women? - The two prisoners. The other prisoner came with Mrs. Cox. I desired them to walk in; I told them I believed they were cleaned, and went into the shop to look for them; there are two compters in the shop, I looked on one, but could not find them; I moved the the silks to make room for some things on the other compter, to look for the coat and waistcoat. I found they came to eighteen pence; she gave me a bad shilling; the other woman went to the door, and asked Mrs. Cox if she was coming; she said yes. As soon as we had settled, I asked if she

would have the things put in her handkerchief. She threw them down on the compter, and knocked the candlestick down; they then went out, and I shut the door after them, and went immediately into the parlour to my mistress. In about five minutes after they were gone, I found the fringe lying at the door.

Cross Examination.

Mr. Barnwell keeps lodgers? - Yes.

How many lodge in the house? - I cannot tell.

Does one Miller lodge in the house? - Yes.

Did not you say the door was open all the time you was in the shop with the prisoners? - I was never asked the question.

Was the door open? - No; it was upon the latch.

Any of the lodgers could open the door if they would? - Yes.

Did not you express a wish that the lodging of Miller might be searched, that you suspected him; and your master said he must not search the apartments of his lodger, because if he did he should lose them? - I said I wished he would search the whole house.

Did you ever declare that you believed these women not to be guilty? - I never did.

Court. Did you see the silks at the time the prisoners were in the shop? - Yes.


I know nothing of the charge.


I am quite innocent.

For the Prisoners.


I am a constable. I had a warrant to take the prisoners. I went to Mrs. Marklin's house and told her I had a warrant against her and her sister, and bid her not be uneasy, that I should not take her out of the house that night, but desired she would come to Sir John Fielding 's in the morning. She desired me to search the house; I told her I had no orders to search the house, only to desire her to come to Sir John Fielding 's. They came to the justice's in the morning. Watson said at the justice's, that she wished her master would search the two pair-of-stairs room particularly.

Did she say whose lodging that was? - No; she told another man that the door was open all the time.

Was that said before the justice? - No; to me at the door. After the examination was over, she said she wanted to go and search the room, for she believed these people were innocent.


I am a glazier and painter in Nottingham-court; I was a constable at the time this happened. Watson came to me to execute a warrant; she said the prisoners came for a coat and waistcoat, and while she went backwards took away the silk. She said that the door was left open at the time the things were lost.

To Watson. Did you tell the last witness the door was open at the time the things were lost? - Never.

Did you ever tell Patrick M'Manns that the prisoners were innocent? - Never; for I always believed they were guilty.


I am a silversmith, and am servant to a silversmith on Ludgate-hill; I have a house in Oughton-street, Clare-market. Esther Marklin is my sister. Watson declared while my sister was waiting for bail that she did not think she was guilty. I asked her how she came to swear so positively before the justice; she said she did not mean to swear positively, as she only took her up on suspicion.

Where did she say this? - In the office, as we were sitting on the bench. She said she was obliged to do what she did, for if the gowns were not found she must pay for them. I asked if there were any lodgers in the house; she said, yes. I asked why her master did not search the house; she said she advised him to search it, but her master said he was a poor man, and could not afford to lose his lodgers. I offered if any of the lodgers were to go away on the account of

the search, to pay half a quarter's rent. Watson said she thought there should be a search warrant, particularly for Miller's room. We went up to the two-pair-of-stairs room; Miller was gone out.

The prisoners called seven other witnesses, who gave them a good character.


Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice BLACKSTONE.

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