22nd February 1781
Reference Numbert17810222-47
VerdictNot Guilty

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178. SARAH NEW otherwise BARNS was indicted for stealing a watch, the inside case metal, the outside case metal carved with tortoiseshell, value 20 s. and a pair of metal buckles, value 10 d. the property of James Flinn , February 14th .


I had been cast away but a few days before. I was coming home much in liquor, intending to go to my lodging in Thames-street, from an house in what part of the town I cannot tell; I was so much in liquor I had no recollection of any thing that passed after I parted with a gentleman before I found myself in bed in St. Giles's; but how I got there, or whom with, I cannot take upon me to say. When I waked in the morning I put my hand to my breeches, I missed my watch and a pair of metal buckles which I had in my waistcoat pocket. I sat on the bedside, and a child came in and said her mammy would get me my watch; the mistress of the house got me the watch next morning.

- BRIGGS sworn.

The prosecutor first complained of missing his watch in the night; he was removed from the prisoner's bed in the next house to a bed in my house; I rent both houses and let lodgings. The prisoner came between nine and ten o'clock and borrowed a plate; she said the a young man was to sup with her who was her school fellow. She asked what it was o'clock? Then she said she need not ask upon recollection. She pulled a watch out of her bosom; I asked where she got it? She said a young man had given it her in the street. I bid her not to bring people into my house drunk to rob them. She said she did not intend to rob him; that if she had a mind to rob him he had plenty of money and a bundle which she might take more easily than his watch. She went away; I then put the man to bed in my house; I saw the prisoner afterwards in her own bed fast asleep and a man with her. I listened and heard the watch tick; upon going near I saw the watch lying upon her bosom; I laid hold of the string, that waked her; I wanted to get the watch from her; she would not part with it; but at last, from the persuasion of the man who was in bed with her, she gave me the watch to carry to the owner of it. I then came back. I asked for his buckles? She at first denied having them; then owned to them, and said if the prosecutor would come she would give them to him. The prosecutor said he would not come; then she went into his room. I sent for an officer, the buckles were searched for and at last were found upon her in her petticoats.

(The watch and buckles were produced in court and deposed to by the prosecutor).

- HINXMAN sworn.

I am a constable. I had charge of the prisoner; she said he had given her the buckles and the watch.


He was very drunk; he gave me these things to take care of; I was to give him them again in the morning. I had no money of his; I kept the buckles till he gave me something as a satisfaction for my trouble.


Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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