19th October 1785
Reference Numbert17851019-57

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966. CHARLOTTE SPRINGMORE and MARY HARRISON were indicted, for that they, on the 30th of September last, in the King's highway, in a certain public street called Catherine-wheel-alley , unlawfully, wilfully, maliciously, and feloniously, did make an assault upon Susannah Edhouse , with intent to burn, spoil, and destroy her clothes, and did spoil, burn, and deface, a certain garment of her the said Susannah, being one cloth cotton gown, value 10 s. her property, being part of the apparel which she had on her person, and then wore .

A second count, for making an assault on her, with intent to spoil and deface the garments and clothes of the said Susannah, and then and there spoiling and defacing the same.

(The case opened by Mr. Silvester.)


I live in Wingfield-street, opposite Catherine-wheel-alley, at the sign of the Black Swan, a gin shop, and public house, at nine o'clock on Friday the 30th of September, I was crossing the way, the two

prisoners were standing together at the usual place, and Mary Harrison and Charlotte Springmore said to one another, there are so many fly whores now it is impossible for a public where to get her living; they said so because I live with two single men, and they said a great many words which are scandalous to mention, and they immediately followed me down the Alley; the prisoner Springmore had chucked something at me before on that evening, and therefore I turned my head over my shoulder, and kept looking behind me; just as I got to the corner I saw Mary Harrison throw something upon me, and out of a cup or small slop bason on the right side of my clothes, and I clapped my gown together; I shewed it to my master, and the gown was burnt very much, my master threw cold water upon it directly; the constable has the gown.

(The gown produced, burned through and through.)

Mr. Garrow, prisoner's counsel. Are these holes in consequence of that stuff being thrown on? - Yes.

What are you? - I am only servant, I am not mistress.

A little bit of jealousy, I suppose? - I never had any words with them.

Who was it that told you that you could not do any thing to them for burning your clothes in the house? - One of the clerks at Hick's Hall.

At that time had you made any complaint of any thing being thrown upon you in the street? - No.

This is a gin shop? - Yes.

I am afraid these women consume a great deal of their money there? - What they wanted they had.

Do you remember their coming in on the evening when this happened? - Yes, they followed me in directly.

What did they do with this cup or bason? - Springmore had it in her hand when I came in.

Was Mr. Wawill there? - Yes, he is a tallow-chandler.

Did not you say your own was buret but did not know by whom? - No, I did not, I went to the Justice, and made my complaint, and the women were discharged.

Then Mr. Wawill went to the Justice after? - Yes.

And Mr. Wawill was very angry with the Justice for discharging them? - Yes.

Court. What complaint did you make at first to the Justice? - About this burning my handkerchief on the Monday night before, and on the Friday night following, that was the complaint I made to the Justice.

You went there by the advice of Mr. Wawill? - Yes.

How came you then not to tell the Justice of what they had done in Catherine-wheel-alley, this had happened in Catherine-wheel-alley before you went to the Justice's? - Yes.

And did you tell the Justice of this that had been done in the Alley when you went? - Yes.

Are you sure of that? - Yes.

Recollect yourself; was not the gown that you have produced burnt in the manner it is by what they did in the house? - No, there were these small holes burnt in the house, but not those large ones; I am clear in that; I had the gown on when I went to the Justice, I told him that some part was burnt in the house, and the remainder in the street at nine in the evening.

Mr. Silvester. Who was the Justice? - Justice Staples in Whitechapel.


I am a tallowchandler in Wentworth-street, Spital-fields; as I was returning home from Whitechapel through Catherine-wheel-alley, about nine, I met Susannah Edhouse with some beer in her hand, and the two prisoners at the bar behind her, I then passed them, and went to the public house where this girl lives, the Black Swan in Rose-lane, which is three doors from my house, and my house is opposite Catherine-wheel-alley, across the road, I went into the

bar, and set down with the landlord, and had a pint of beer, and before I drank any of the beer I saw these two girls go out of the tap-room, and in five or six minutes the prosecutrix came in and said the two prisoners had burnt her again, upon which I said, then they burnt you when I passed you, for one of them had a small cup in her hand, the girl came into the bar where I was, and the master took up the gown, and it burnt his fingers, and turned them quite yellow, and I took it up, and it burnt my fingers; I says to the master, sure there is some law for this, or else we shall all be burnt; so I went to Mr. Quarril's, and he says, go and take them, and keep them as felons; there is no occasion for a warrant, for I have no warrants, or else I would make out one, so an officer came back, and the prisoners were sitting in the Swan tap-room, and they were taken to the watch-house; and the next day at twelve, I went to the Excise-office to pay my duty, and when I returned I saw them at large in the streets, which rather surprised me, and I went up to Mr. Staples and enquired into it, and they were taken up again, and they were committed; when the girl came in and said she was burnt, it shot into my head directly.

Mr. Garrow. You did not see them do anything with the cup? - No.

I have your examination here, in which you positively swore that you saw them throw it? - Upon a second recollection, I said I saw a movement of the hand, which you will see in the second examination.

(Reads his examination.)

"I saw either the said Charlotte or Mary

"throw some liquid out of a cup or earthen

"vessel upon the clothes of the said Susannah


How long have you used this gin-shop? - I have used it for beer these four years; the two prisoners stood over there.

They were unfortunate prostitutes, that were great nuisances to you? - Yes.

You wished to get rid of them? - Yes, they have a right to be got rid of.

Certainly, by legal means, but not by bringing prosecutions, which they do not deserve.

Court to Prosecutrix. I think you told me that your head was turned round, and that you saw Mary Harrison throw something upon you? - Yes.

How long since have you recollected that? - The very moment it was done.

But you had forgot it the next morning at the Justice's? - I said the same words there.


"The said Charlotte and

"Mary followed her into the said alley,

"and there one of them, which I cannot

"say, as they were walking arm in arm,

"having a teacup in her hand, threw

"something upon her clothes, which she


Mr. Garrow to Wavil. This prosecution is carried on by a company of linen-drapers? - It is.

Court. This story is visibly mended, is anybody here that was present at the Justices the first evening? - Andrews was.

- ANDREWS sworn.

I am a constable, I went with the young woman to Mr. Quarril's, she told her situation, and shewed her gown; he said, there was no occasion for a warrant; she said that these two women she saw in the alley, and that they threw some stuff upon her out of the cup; she first complained that something had been thrown in the house, and burnt several holes, and then she said in the alley afterwards, they threw some stuff upon her.

Did she say that upon your oath? - Yes.

Are you sure of that? - Yes, I was present before Mr. Staples, whon they were discharged.

What did she tell Mr. Staples the first time she was examined before him? - Mr. Staples discharged them on account of there being no evidence.

What story did she tell him? - She told him the same as now, she told him before in the house and in the street.

Mr. Garrow. Wawill was not examined then? - No; this was about twelve o'clock on the Saturday, then they were discharged, then they were taken up again and Mr. Wawill attended.

Jury. Did she say that either of these parties threw it upon her? - She mentioned Mary Harrison , and said they were arm in arm together.


Court to Prisoners. Prisoners, you have been convicted of an offence which is of great malignity and evil consequence to the public, and this being the first instance of a trial of this kind in my remembrance here, and the court having before them persons who stand in that situation you do, for we are now at liberty (though I wished not for it to make any impression on the minds of the Jury before,) to take notice of your very abandoned character and conduct; I therefore think I shall do justice to the public to enforce this law in its severity, and therefore the sentence of the Court is, that you and each of you be transported for seven years to such place as his Majesty by the advice of his Privy Councel shall think fit to declare and appoint .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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