10th December 1783
Reference Numbert17831210-44
VerdictNot Guilty

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41. SARAH SLADE and MARY WOOD were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 7th of November last, one scarlet cloak, value 12 s. one cotton gown, value 5 s. one silk and stuff gown, value 20 s. one linen sheet, value 5 s. one gown, value 10 s. one pair of stays, value 12 s. seven linen handkerchiefs, value 4 s. four silk handkerchiefs, value 4 s. one silk and cotton handkerchief, value 6 d. three pair of linen sleeves, value 2 s. three aprons, value 3 s. one linen shift, value 1 s. one pair of stone sleeve-buttons set in silver, value 1 s. the property of Robert Eggleston , in the dwelling house of Lea Freeman .


I live in Dall-street, Spittlefields , I lodge in Lee Freeman's house, when I went out from my breakfast I locked the door, it was on the 7th of November, nine o'clock, there was nobody in my apartment, my wife and me were both at our daily employment, and we came home together, when we came home the drawers were open, and every thing taken out, my wife can give the best account of the things, they were found, some of them, afterwards.

The Prisoners having a Council, Mr. Garrow under took to cross-examine the Witnesses for them.

You are a lodger in this house! - Yes.

Did you or your wife, go out first? - I went out first.

This is a lodging house? - Yes .

You did not go home till you heard your things were lost? - Yes.

Had not your wife been home before? - I am sure my wife was not there till I went with her, I locked the door.

Somebody who had the key opened the door? - Yes.

Who, you do not know? - No.


I went out between six and seven o'clock, before my husband, we are silk throwster s; I came home between twelve and one, and found the door upon the latch, my husband staid about two or three hours after me in the morning: my things were best part gone, there was nothing left but one petticoat, a coarse sheet, and a coloured handkerchief; the things mentioned in the indictment were lost.

Mr. Garrow. You was not present when they were found? - No.

This is a common lodging house? - Yes.

You did not find the door broke open? - No, it was opened.


I was walking near Shoreditch Church, in Kingstand Road, I met the two prisoners at the bar, on the 7th of November, about twelve o'clock at noon, I passed them at first: I recollected they had been in my custody before.

Mr. Garrow. You know you are not to tell us that? - I am telling you the reason why I stop them.

But you are not to tell us your reasons. - I am not talking to you, I am talking to my Lord.

Mr. Garrow. I submit to your Lordship, that this man who is an officer of justice, is not to tell us his reasons, why he stopped them.

Court to Yardley. You knew them before and therefore you stopped them? - Yes, they are mother and daughter, I asked the young one what she had got in her lap, she said, she was moving from the other end of the town, and had taken lodgings in Kings-land Road, I then asked the mother whether she knew it to be a fact, that the daughter was moving, she said it was a fact, and she was assisting her. I then insisted upon knowing what she had in her apron; there I found two gowns, and a scarlet cloak, and a sheet; I carried them before Justice Wilmot, the young one (Slade) said, she had fetched them out of pawn in Oxford Road, I then asked the Magistrate leave to enquire into the facts; in the mean while the prosecutor's wife came up to the office, wringing her hands, and saying they were robbed, I told them to make themselves easy, I shewed them the things, and the woman said they were hers.

Court. Were there any other things found but these? - No, they were in the prisoner Slade's lap, and this key I found on her, which opens the prosecutor's door.

Mr. Garrow. How do you know that, did you ever try it? - No.

Then do not tell us any thing of it.

Court. Who was present when it was tried in the door? - The wife.

Court to Mrs. Eggleston. Did you go with him when he tried that key? - I cannot recollect.

Mr. Garrow to Yardley. What did you do with the key you found on the prisoner? - I delivered it to one of our officers, he is not here. I received this key from him.

I want to understand a little further about this key, whether you are entitled to introduce it, in the manner you have done, to the jury; you having found a key on one of the prisoners, delivered that key to one of your officers, who is not here? - Yes.

Who was he? - I cannot recollect.

You have now a key in your hand which has been delivered to you by somebody. - Yes.

From whom did you receive it? - I cannot recollect.

So that you do not recollect to whom you gave that key, nor from whom you received this? - I do not, I know it was a very remarkable key.

By what was it remarkable, Sir? - It was worn with rust.

Now I want to know, Mr. Yardley, whether in the whole course of your life, as a thief-taker, you ever knew a key identified in such manner; is it by a key being worn with rust, Sir, that you affect to identify it in a court of justice? - There is not a doubt in my mind.

It is not your saying bluntly here, that there is not a doubt in your mind, that will induce the Court or Jury to believe it: by what marks. Sir, will you make the Court and Jury believe that that is the key which you took on the woman, which key you gave to you do not know who, and have received a key from somebody you cannot describe. How will you make us believe it is the same key?

Court, looking at the key. It is a very remarkable key.

Mr. Garrow. Not, my Lord, because it has been eat up with rust.

Court to Yardley. You gave it to one of your officers, you cannot recollect which, to go to try the door? - Yes.

How soon afterwards was the key returned to you? - In the course of three quarters of an hour.

Did you take particular notice of the key, and observe the wards and the shape of it? - I have not a doubt of the key.

But answer my question. - I did, because it was an old worn out key, I thought there was not such another.

Did you examine the wards, and the shape? - I cannot take upon myself to say as to the wards, but I know it was much eaten with rust.

(The things that were produced deposed to by the prosecutor's wife.)

Court to Prosecutor. Do you remember any circumstance of a key being given to open the door with? - I know Yardley gave me a key to try to open the door, I am sure of that; I tried it, and it opened the door readily.

Was the key you opened the door with, the same you gave to Yardley again? - Yes.

Court to Yardley. Was the key you gave him to open the door with, the same you found on the prisoner Slade? - It was.

You have not changed it; - I could not, I had none to change it with; I know I gave it to one of our officers, but whether I gave it to the woman I cannot say.

Was it not changed when you gave it to the officer? - I am sure it is the same key.

Was it out of your sight? - It was in a box, but I am sure it is the same I gave the officer.


I buy and sell old clothes , my husband gave me a guinea that morning, I bought these things of a woman, I gave her twenty-six shillings for them: that gentleman is a very false man; they told me they would hang me, if it was only for the sake of the money; he not only said so, but the justice himself: as for the key, it is the key of my door, and they went home afterwards and stripped my room.

Yardley. There was a deal of other property in the house, tea chests and other things; I sent another officer to her room with the key.


I know Slade, I have seen her in Rosemary-lane, I saw her buy a red cloak, and a couple of gowns and a sheet, she gave twenty-eight shillings for them.

Of who? - Of a women at the Blue-Boar; I went and had a penny worth of twopenny at the same time when they came in.

What time of the day? - It was 10 o'clock

when I went in, I was in some time before; It was about a quarter after 10 o'clock when they came in.

Court. What character does she bear? - I have seen her up and down the lane, but as to her character I can say nothing about.

Did she seem to know the woman that she bought the things of at all? - I cannot say, the woman asked her a guinea and an half, and she had her twenty-eight shillings. It was a linen gown, but I cannot swear to any thing of the property: It was a red cloak, but I did not take any notice of it: I know there were two or three dealers there.

How long did you stay at the public-house after she bought them? - I went out directly, I left them there.

The prisoner Slade called two other witnesses who gave her a good character; and one of them also gave the prisoner Wood a good character.



Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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