22nd February 1786
Reference Numbert17860222-116
VerdictNot Guilty

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303. ANN MEADS , wife of Thomas Meads , was indicted for feloniously assaulting William Moore , in the dwelling-house of William Mason , on the 23d of January last, and putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person, and against his will, seven guineas, value 7 l. 7 s. two half-guineas, value 1 l. 1 s. seventeen copper halfpence, value 8 1/2 d. one copper farthing, and twelve shillings in monies numbered, his property .

(The witnesses examined apart.)


On the 24th of January I was robbed in the house of one William Mason ; he told me it was his house. I was at a shoemaker's shop, upon some business, and the prisoner came in, and said, how do you do, Tom? she clapped me over the shoulder; says I, I do not know you, I never saw you in my life; and there were three more men and I went into the public-house, and presently a pot of beer came in, and this prisoner came in, and placed herself by me; she said, will you give me some beer? you do not know your neighbours; says I, I do not know you, but you may have some beer; she staid there some time, and went away; I went to another public-house, and the prisoner came there, and said to me, is your business done? for your wife and me, and Mrs. Horsenail, are to drink tea together, and we want your company; I said, there is a gentlewoman of the name of Horsenail opposite to me, but I have no business with my wife's companions,

but I shall come as soon as I can; so I ordered a boy to call Mr. Croker to come and speak to me; the prisoner heard me, and she said, Mr. Croker is a friend of mine, I will go and call him, and she went and came back again in ten or twelve minutes, and said, Mr. Croker is at a private house, and does not chuse to come to a public-house, if you'll go, I will shew you where he is; I went with her, and when I came there, I suspected it was not a good house, and I would not go up; she prevailed with me at last, and I did go up to the top of the stairs; she shoved the door open, and a man came to the door with a bludgeon, and knocked me down, and another man came directly to his assistance, and held me so that I could not cry out, and in this violent manner the woman says, gag him, and I will do him; upon which, she got my pocket turned inside out, and I lost the things mentioned in the indictment; the man held me in that situation, and the other man said, get his tick, and she said the man has no watch; she ran down, and got a light, and the two men made their escape, I cannot swear to the men; when the men run away, she laid herself down a little way off on the floor, as if asleep; my head has never been right since I felt the blow; I cried out, and Mr. Croker and some others came to my assistance, and they looked about, and found a shilling and half a crown.


Here is the money, sealed up before the Magistrate, which I found in the apartments of the prisoner; I found the prosecutor standing in the prisoner's room, I asked him what he did there? he said he was introduced by the prisoner, she was laying on the floor in the middle of the room, the prosecutor said he had been robbed by the prisoner, and two more men aiding and assisting; I asked him what money he had lost? he said, a quantity of gold, some silver, and some halfpence, I forget what quantity; the prisoner seemed stupified, she pulled out a shilling and some halfpence, she went and sat down on the side of the bed, and I saw her put her hand on some silver halfpence, which were on the sacking, and I took the silver immediately, and there was a half-crown with a black speck on it, which the prosecutor said was his, the prosecutor was neither quite drunk nor quite sober, the house has thirty rooms in it or more, it is a common lodging house, there were many people in it, we found no gold; when we were taking the prisoner before the Magistrate, she said, if he would give her an hour's liberty, she would produce all the property.

Prisoner. I have people that will give you a full account of the whole matter, I am as innocent as a child unborn.


I am the officer that took the prisoner into custody; I was sent for by Mr. Croker, I found the woman and man in the room, the money was found before I came in the room; I searched the woman narrowly and found nothing more; and the woman said, there were in the room two men one named John Smith , at Mile-end, a cow-keeper, and the other a poulterer; and the man said one of them knocked him down; she was very much in liquor; as I took her to the Justice, going along she said, if they would allow her to go home to her husband, she would make the money up in half an hour, I went after the men she named, but could not find them.


I was coming along Baker's-row with my wife and child, I saw a man standing at the door with a candle in his hand; I heard some persons say the woman had got a cull, and I heard murder from the house where the prisoner was, and I saw a woman that lives in the lower part of the house, run out, I went in with a man, and there came in a woman, who said, is there ever a man that has got a heart, then I got a weapon, and when I found so many people to back me, I went up one pair of stairs into the entry, and the door was shut, I

pushed it open, and saw the prosecutor laying on the ground, he said, he was robbed, I helped him up, the people laughed, and Mr. Croker came up, and they could not make the prisoner speak, only hem, and she took out a shilling and some halfpence, Mr. Croker picked up some more, the man appeared to be drunk, and the woman very much in liquor, I saw nobody run away; after I went in, the prosecutor said, his half-crown had a black dent.


I saw this man and woman in the passage below stairs, he asked her if she had got some tea ready for him, and she said yes, she said, Mr. Croker was there, and the prosecutor went up, and she came down again to light a candle, and as soon as she returned up stairs, the prosecutor cried out murder! and watch! he was robbed, and I called for assistance; nobody was up stairs then, but she and him to my knowledge, nobody came down stairs after the cry; if there had been two men up stairs, they could not have made their escape without my seeing them, I do not believe there were any men concealed up stairs, when I went up they lay about six feet asunder, he with his breeches loose, and she in a most woful situation.

Court to Prosecutor. What became of these two men? - One man held me so that I could not cry out; the robbery was committed before the candle was brought up.

(The half-crown deposed to and the shilling.)


I have been married these eighteen years, we had two pints of beer, the prosecutor was gaming with five or six men, I told him I was a married woman, and he would follow me up stairs, and he threw me down on the floor, and wanted to use me ill; and when he found he could not gain his ends, he said, I robbed him, and called the people up stairs; they stripped me naked in the room, I never had any of the money, so help me God! this man offered twenty guineas to a woman to come to Hicks's-hall, to hang me.

The prisoner called two witnesses to her character.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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