11th May 1785
Reference Numbert17850511-20
VerdictGuilty > theft under 5s
SentenceCorporal > private whipping; Imprisonment > house of correction

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541. ELIZABETH SCOTT was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 4th of May , twenty-four linen handkerchiefs, value 13 s. and eight cotton handkerchiefs, value 8 s. the property of Robert Salter , privily in his shop .

(The witnesses examined apart.)


I live in King street, Tower Hill , my husband's name is Robert, he keeps the house and a hosier's shop ; on Wednesday morning the 4th of this month I lost the things mentioned in the indictment, value 1 l. 1 s. that is not the full value, it is under prime cost; it was between eleven and twelve in the forenoon, she stood very near the shop window, I was standing in the parlour and I observed this woman in the shop, I did not see her come into the shop, there is a glass door between the shop and the parlour, and I saw the prisoner through the door that was open; I went into the shop and asked her what she wanted, she asked for purple stockings with pink clocks, I told her we had no such thing, and she went out, I thought she looked like a suspicious person, I went and looked at the bottom of the counter which is a small distance, and I observed these handkerchiefs gone, they lay before that at the bottom of the counter, they were all tied up together in brown paper.

Did you yourself see her at that part of the counter? - I did not, when I observed the handkerchiefs were gone, I called to my maid and told her to run after the prisoner, the girl went after her and brought her back; I accused her with stealing them and she said she had not, and I lifted up her cloak on the inside and heard the handkerchiefs drop from under her cloak, they were in a bundle and I saw them just as they had been in the shop.

When had you last examined the bundle? - Not very lately, I stood very close to the prisoner, I cannot say the number of handkerchiefs that were in the bundle, but I can say with precision they were linen and cotton, the cotton are marked

with A. N. my husband's writing, and the linen are marked A. B. and A. O. which are my hand writing.


I went after the prisoner to bring her back, between eleven and twelve, I was with my mistress in the parlour, I saw the prisoner in the shop, I followed her, she had a cloak on, she was walking about a dozen yards from the shop, she was not running; I told her my mistress wanted to speak to her, for she had the stockings, she then came back, and my mistress taxed her with having taken something, and she denied it; I heard the handkerchiefs drop, and saw them on the floor, I am very sure they dropped at that time; I saw the bundle afterwards, there were linen and cotton handkerchiefs in it.

(The handkerchiefs deposed to by the prosecutrix.)


The young woman came after me and told me her mistress wanted me, and I went back, and she said, young woman, you have robbed me, I said, no; as I was speaking, the bundle that stood behind me sell off the counter upon the ground, a gentleman pushed it off; I never saw any bundle of handkerchiefs or any thing of the kind.

Court to Mrs. Salter. At the time you examined her, was she very near the counter? - She was.

Was she so near that a parcel might fall off the counter? - No, Sir.

Could you mistake that? - No, Sir, because she stood with her left side to the counter, and the bundle fell from the right side.

Was there any gentleman in the shop at this time? - Yes, Sir, there was a young man a neighbour, that I called in from over the way, my husband was just gone out.

Was that gentleman in the shop when that bundle dropped? - He came over before the woman came back.

Was there any body near the counter, that could move any thing at this time? - No.

The prisoner called one witness, who gave her a very good character.

GUILTY. Of stealing to the value of 4 s. 10 d.

To be privately whipped and imprisoned twelve months in the House of Correction .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. ROSE.

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