5th December 1781
Reference Numbert17811205-53
VerdictNot Guilty

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61. SARAH DAVIS was indicted for stealing on the 2d of November , one black silk laced cloak, value 10 s. the property of Joseph Smith .


Deposed, she saw a black laced cloak belonging to Mrs. Smith, in the prisoner's box, who was the kitchen maid , a servant in the house with her; this was on the 12th of November last, upon making the discovery, she sent for Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith brought an officer in with him, the box was brought down stairs, and the cloak found in it.


The cloak I brought up with me from Margate in a band box, to my mistress's house, and left it tied up, a little box, some more things in it; I left it in the tavern upon the foul linen chest, and several more boxes there; the box was not locked, it was corded down; I saw the cloak taken out of the maid's box, after the officer came on the Friday morning, I brought it to town, and this was on the Monday se'nnight after.

Mr. HODGES sworn.

I was at Dr. Barwis's, in Soho-square, with Mr. Smith, I was sent for to Mr. Smith's (the Devil Tavern ) upon an information that he had been robbed of some property; I came with Mr. Smith, and a servant maid of his was accused of having stolen a cloak of Mrs. Smith's, Mr. Payne the constable, was sent for, her box was brought down into the parlour behind the bar, and opened before me; she opened it herself, she took out the things, and this cloak amongst the other things; she was asked whose property it was, she said it was not her property, but she had found it in the passage leading to the bar. Upon being asked why she did not bring it to the bar, she said she kept it till it was owned; the cloak that came out of the box was delivered to Mr. Payne immediately.

Mr. PAYNE sworn.

I was sent for to Mr. Smith's about nine o'clock the 12th of last month, when I came into the tavern, I desired to see the girl they suspected, she was called down stairs, and I took her into a room by herself, and would have persuaded her to be

open and candid, and I intended to have begged her off, she being a country girl; but she denied to the uttermost knowing any thing at all about the cloak, I desired her box might be brought down, it was; I desired her to open it, she did, and took all the things out of the box herself, she said she had found the cloak in the passage, I have had the cloak ever since.

Court to Mrs. Smith. Is there any particular mark by which you know it? - Yes; it is worn in the neck.

Is not that a common place for it to be worn in? - It is.

It is a black laced cloak? - Yes; I know it extremely well, I cannot say from any thing particular, no other than I am very certain it is my cloak.

Have you any doubt about it? - Not the least in the world.


As to the cloak I was accused on, I got up in the morning, and another fellow servant in the place, I picked up the cloak upon the stones, I said, here is something I have picked up looks like a cloak, and my fellow servant said it is, and she told me to keep it till farther enquiry; it was down stairs two days, then I said, I dare say now it will not be owned, as the company that was here that night, have not sent. I took it up stairs for farther inquiration, and nobody ever enquired after it, she said it might be enquired after in time, but nobody ever did enquire after it.

Court to Prisoner. Which of the maids was it you told? - Sally, the house-maid; I had it in the scullery two days, I told them of it, at the time I picked it up I mentioned it to Sally.

To Mary Baynard . Who first told you of the cloak being in her box? - Sally the house-maid; she is gone away.

Prisoner. I did not know it was my mistress's, people coming into the Tavern, I thought it might belong to some of the company.

Court to Mrs. Smith. How long has she lived with you? - Between three and four months.

How had she behaved during that time? - Tolerably well.


Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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