22nd February 1786
Reference Numbert17860222-131

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318. DOROTHY HANDLAND was indicted for wilful and corrupt perjury in her evidence on the trial of William Till , at the Old Bailey, in the month of December last.

The Case was opened by Mr. Knowlys.

THOMAS SHELTON , Esq. Clerk of the Arraigns, sworn.

(Produced the Record, which was read.)


I had this from Mr. Shelton, Clerk of

the Arraigns; this is a certificate of the acquittal of William Till .


You attended here upon the trial of Till in December session? - Yes.

Look at the prisoner, did you see her sworn here on that indictment? - Yes, I was standing here; she was sworn, to the best of my knowledge.

Did you see her take the book? - I believe she took the book, to the best of my knowledge.

You saw her? - I think so.

The question to you is, whether you saw the woman take the book, and swear; can you say it, without any doubt? - I did not take any notice.

- JONAS sworn.

I saw the prisoner, I saw her sworn, I heard the oath administered to her, and she was sworn.

(The Short-hand Writer then read his Notes on the Trial of William Till .)


Do you remember being charged with robbing the prisoner? - Yes.

What day did she charge you with robbing her? - On Saturday the 5th of November.

I mean, on what day did she say you robbed her, when she gave her evidence in this Court? - I do not know the day of the month.

Do you remember the day when this woman first came, and said in your hearing that she had been robbed? - She came in about nine o'clock in the evening; she said she had been robbed between the hours of two and four.

Are you sure she fixed that time? - Yes, I am.

Do you know where you were that day, between the hours of two and four, will you tell us upon your oath? - I was in at Mrs. Wolf's, when she came in to complain of this robbery; I had been there from seven till nine, I did not go out till eleven, when I went home to bed.

Then from that were you in Robinhood-yard at any time between nine and eleven that evening? - No, I went home to-bed at eleven. I did not go out of Wolf's house from seven till eleven that evening; I live in Robinhood-yard with Mr. Russel, coach-master.

Do you live over the stables belonging to Robert Beach? - No.

Then in fact, any time between seven and eleven, were you in Robinhood-yard with any bundle of woman's clothes? - No, Sir, I never was out of Mr. Wolf's house.

I need not ask you, if the prisoner called to you between that time in the yard? - No, Sir, she never saw me till she came to Mr. Wolf's.

Court. Did the prisoner know you before? - Yes; she was a lodger of my master's.

Then, she knew your person before? - Yes.

Was she a lodger at this time that she charged you with this offence? - Yes.

Previous to this offence, had you had any quarrel with her? - No, Sir.

Never have had a word with her? - Not a word.

Mr. Keys, Prisoner's Counsel. How long have you been employed in that yard? - Upwards of five years.

Has Dorothy Handland lodged in that yard all the time? - No, Sir, she has not been a lodger to my master so long as that; she left my master's apartment about a year ago, and then she came back again.

How long have you been acquainted with her? - Ever since I have been in the yard, and longer.

That is five years and a half? - Yes.

What business is she? - An old clothes woman.

When she goes out about her business, her room is left locked up? - Certainly; there have been several people after her, and

she has told me to take their names, and to deliver messages, and she should be at home at such a time; but I never shewed any goods for her in my life; when I have been in the yard doing my horses, she has come down in the yard, and said she should be at home soon.

You knew her little stock was there? - I cannot tell.

Is this alehouse, the Robinhood, close to the yard? - It joins the yard.

What distance is it between the Robinhood and that stable-door, where she swore she saw you pass? - I suppose, a hundred yards.

When you was in this public house, what time did you go there? - At seven in the evening.

What time did you go there at dinner-time? - Before two.

What time did you leave the house? - About five, my master came home.

What is your master's name? - Beach.

Then you went into the yard? - Yes; I was there about half after six.

You swear, these four hours, from seven till eleven, you was not out of the public house? - I was not.

What part of the house did you fit in? - I went to the chimney, to the box next to the jack-weight, where I always lay down.

How long did you stay there? - Why, I suppose till about eight in that box.

Was you alone in that box? - No, Sir.

Who was with you? - Three or four people; there were two Mr. Goffs, and two Quakers, one of their names is Meredith.

What is the other's name? - Charles Tippy , and one of Mr. Giles's men, his name is Thomas; and there was one Mr. Trott, a watchmaker.

How was you employed at this time from seven till eight? - In drinking two pints of beer; I had one pint of beer alone.

Who did you drink with afterwards? - with Mr. Trott and the other.

How much had you with them? - One pint of beer.

How much had you in all? - I was two pints, and they was a pint a piece.

Had you any liquor besides beer? - No.

And all that time you sat in that box? - At eight o'clock, I went next to the fire, and said there till eleven; Trott and I went away together; two of them that lodge in the house went to-bed at ten, Tipping and Trott were there the whole time.

Mr. Knowlys. Have you any doubt that you was there from seven till a considerable time past ten? - I have no doubt of it.

Have you many more men in the yard? - Yes.

Is there any man like you in the same yard? - There is one about my bulk, he is a gentleman's coachman.

Does he wear his hair round as you do, without powder? - Yes.

Mr. Keys. Pray, does this public house admit disorderly people, all sorts of company? - I never saw any in my life.

Court. Were there any lamps in the yard? - There was not, nor has been these two years.

Is there any lamp near the loft-door? - No, nor any under the gate-way.

Do you recollect, on that evening, whether there was any moon? - I brought the watchman's lanthorn to light my candle; there was no moon, it was very dark, I am positive of it.

Do you think there was light enough that evening at half after eight, to discover the person of any body? - No, Sir.

Do you think you could have discovered any body you had known? - No, Sir.

MARY WOLF sworn.

What house do you keep? - The Robinhood and Black Boy in Leather-lane.

Do you know the prisoner? - I know her living in a yard adjoining my house.

Do you remember the evening she came to you, and complained to you of the robbery? - Yes; it was on Wednesday.

Was William Till in the house at that time? - Yes.

Was he near to Mrs. Handland? - He

was sitting in a box, and she was standing in the tap-room.

Did she say anything to him? - Nothing at all; she said she had been robbed.

Do you know, whether at that time she saw Till? - I imagine she saw him, she could not be off seeing him, the tap-room is not very large.

Did she at that time say thing of Till having robbed her? - Not at all.

Court. You say it was between eight and nine? - Yes.

Can you tell with any certain accuracy whether it was eight or nine? - It was nearer nine than eight.

When did she next come to your house? - I believe it was the next day she came, and had something to drink at the bar.

When she was there the second time, was Till there? - I do not recollect he was.

On the Wednesday, do you know where Till was, any time between eight and nine, or how long he was in your house that evening? - He came near two o'clock to dine off roast pork, with his fellow-servant, and he went to sleep after dinner, in a box that we have under the jack-weight, and then his master came home with the coach, which was pretty near five, and he went to do his business, and he came into the house again between six and seven, and he staid there till eleven.

Are you sure of that fact? - I am sure of that fact; I believe I swore it before in Court on Till's trial.

Who were there besides? - There were several people in the house; there was one Mr. Trott and one Mr. Meredith, and Mr. Tipping; my niece was there, she lives in the house with me.

I believe when you was here before, you said Till was a very good lad? - Yes.

Mr. Keys. This Robinhood-yard is a public common yard, any body may go in? - Yes.

And sometimes men and women go down there, that have no business there? - Very possibly, it is not locked up.


Do you know the prisoner? - I do.

Do you remember the first time she came to your house, and complained of being robbed? - I do; that was Wednesday evening, I think it was the 2d of November.

What time in the evening was it? - About nine.

At that time where was William Till ? - Sitting in the tap-room.

Do you think Mrs. Handland must have seen him when she came in? - I think she did, she looked at him.

Did she at that time say who had robbed her? - No, she did not; she said she had been robbed; I saw him in the house about eight, I went to-bed pretty near eleven, I left him in the house then.

Do you know whether he was out of your house during that time at all? - I do not recollect he was.

Did you see Mrs. Handland at all at your house afterwards? - On the Thursday or Friday morning she came in.

Did she complain of being robbed? - Yes; Till was in the box facing her, and Mrs. Wolf was present.

Did she mark Till out then as the man that robbed her? - She did not.

Were there any others present with Till at this time? - No, Sir, nobody in the house, as I know of.

Who was in the house the first evening with Till? - There was Tate, Meredith, and Trott.

Mr. Keys. What time did you first come into this house? - About eight.

How long did you stay in the tap-room? - All the evening, till I went to-bed, that was almost eleven.

Was you in the tap-room all that time? - Sometimes in the tap-room, and sometimes in the parlour.

Then he might go out into the yard? - I do not know that he did; he was asleep part of the time.

Mr. Knowlys. If he had been out for any considerable time, should you have missed him? - I should.

Court. When you was in the parlour, could you see what passed in the tap-room? - Yes, without I was by the fire-side; I do not think I was in the parlour two minutes the whole time; I had customers to mind in the bar, and sometimes in the taproom; I am niece to Mrs. Wolf, and so I assist her.

Mr. Keys. Mrs. Wolf, how was you employed from the time that Till came in, till the time he went away at eleven? - Sometimes in the bar, and sometimes in the tap-room.

Was you in the parlour any part of that time? - No, I do not recollect I was; the tap-room was full of people, and nobody was in the bar.

Sometimes you was employed about the scores? - I had my eye all the time upon Till, I am very sure he did not go out all that time.

Then you had your eye on him all the time? - Yes, he was sitting in a box adjoining the fire side.

Court. Can you with certainty during the whole of that evening, and the business, and attention you paid to your business, say that this man did not go out? - I am sure he was not out from the time he came in, 'till he went out to go to bed.


Do you know the prisoner? - Yes, between one and two he came into the taproom, and he staid 'till about half after four or five, and he never was out of the house, he fell asleep part of the time; I was at his trial, and gave the same evidence, I was not in company with him in the evening.

Did you hear what Mrs. Handland said of her being robbed? - Yes, she told me of her being robbed, this was the night before she took him up, that was on the Friday night, I asked her who robbed her, she said William Till , I said I do not think he would rob you, he was in company with me; he went to the Justices on Saturday, and came again on Tuesday, and on Wednesday he was fully committed.

Is Handcock here? - No.


I know William Till , I was present when Mrs. Handland complained of being robbed, William Till was asleep under the jack, that was on Wednesday night at nine o'clock that she came in.

Do you know how long on that Wednesday night Till had been there? - I came in about a quarter past eight, and staid till eleven or a little after, when he and I came out together, he drank no beer with me till Mrs. Handland came in, and spoke to him.

Was that the evening that Mrs. Handland complained of being robbed? - She said she was robbed by a friend and not by an enemy, she mentioned no names.

Was Till near her at that time? - He was, she looked towards him.

Did he go out for any purpose? - No Sir, from eight till nine he was asleep, then Mrs. Handland came in and spoke for her boy; and she spoke of the robbery.

Court. Might he go to the stable yards without your knowing it? - No Sir, it could not be done, he could not go so far as the stable door.

Do you mean to say, when she said she was robbed by a friend and not by an enemy, she then looked towards Till? - Yes, I suppose she must, she looked towards Till undoubtedly at times.

Now did not you understand and conceive at the time that she alluded to Till? - I suppose she thought it might be Till.

Did you understand she meant to charge Till? - I did.

Mr. Knowlys. Did any body else at the time express such opinion? - No, there were two others sitting with him at the time, and I endeavoured as well as I could to prevent their speaking to her, for fear she should get warrants.

I believe the prisoner is an old clothes-woman? - She is.

Court. You say she came in between eight and nine? - It was full nine, if not past.

Was Till asleep at th e time she said this? - He was asleep when she first came in.

Was he asleep when she said this? - He appeared to me to be asleep.


I remember seeing the prisoner at Mrs. Wolf's, when she came to complain of the robbery.

Do you remember what day it was? - I think it was on Wednesday, the 2d of November, it was when Trott was there, Till was there when I came in, and when Mrs. Handland came in.

Was Till near her? - He was fast asleep when I first went in, to appearance; then he got up some time after, I cannot be accountable for the time, then he went to the corner of the tap-room and sat down, and in she came, and said she had been robbed, she was very near Till at that time; I did not hear her make any charge against him.

Should you have heard her make any charge against him if she had? - I certainly must, but I heard her make no charge against him, I came in about six; Till was in when I came there, and I did not miss him out of the house while I staid, which was till a quarter past ten or more; Till was there all the time to the best of my knowledge, I certainly must have missed the man if he had been absent at any time.

Mr. Keys. Did he go out for a few minutes? - To the best of my knowledge I swear that he did not.

Will you swear positively he did not? - I cannot be accountable for it particularly.

Then he might to the best of your knowledge? - If he had been in my company I should have missed him, I did not see him go out, certainly I must have seen him if he had gone out.

Court. You swear to the best of your knowledge, which is very different to the swearing to the fact; now Sir, I wish to know of you, whether you can swear positively that he did not go out; answer me, yes or no? - To the best of my knowledge he did not; I will swear that he did not go out no further than where I sat on the seat; I never went out, and believe he did not, if he had gone out I must have observed him, I left him in the house.

Mr. Knowlys. He was awake when Mrs. Handland called out a robbery? - He was sitting in the corner, he might be asleep, he was a yard or two from Mrs. Handland, I remember her very well saying she had been robbed, but I do not remember the words, she looked round the tap-room when she said so, I believe, but I did not take particular notice.

Court. If she said she had been robbed by a friend, and not by an enemy, must you have heard it? - I think I should, but I do not recollect it particularly, I was in a box with a different company.


I was at Mrs. Wolf's house when she came in and complained she was robbed, Till was there on Wednesday at the time she came in, it must be a little after nine, she asked for her little boy Bobby.

Did she complain then of being robbed? - Yes, she said she had been robbed.

Was Till there at the time? - He was.

Did she say that Till had robbed her? - No such thing, I came into this house a little after seven, and staid till after ten.

During all that time, was Till there or not? - He was.

Are you quite sure of it? - Yes Sir, to the best of my knowledge I am.

If Till had gone out of the tap-room for any time, do you think you must have observed him? - I think I must have observed him, and I am pretty confident I should have observed him.

Who was in company with you? -

My partner Mr. Meridith, who works with me at the same shop, he was first in the box on the left hand side, he then moved and came under the jack, and sat there, and there he was when the woman came in.

Court. As you was situated, could you see Till in the box during the whole time, in every box in which he was situated? - Yes, I was directly opposite, I was in company with Meredith and Trott.

Mr. Keys. You was in conversation all the time? - Yes.

Then sometimes you looked at Meredith? - Yes.

How long was you looking at Meredith? - I cannot say, perhaps a quarter of an hour.

Will you swear you was not more? - No, I cannot.

Then during all the time you were looking at Meredith, Till might have gone out of the tap-room? - I think if he had gone out, I must have seen it, he was under the jack; he was by me all the time.

Might not he go out, and you not have seen him? - No.

Mr. Knowles. Now you have sworn, and you are to speak to the utmost of your knowledge, do you think he could have gone out without your observing him? - No, Sir, upon my soul I do not.

Court. Then if that is the case, you can swear positively he did not go out? - I am sure he could not well go out, because he was facing of me.

You may swear you never saw him go out, and will you swear he did not go out? - I cannot go to say that.

You did not observe that he did not go out, but you will not positively swear that he did not? - No.


I know the prisoner.

Did she ever apply to you about an indictment against Till? - I am an old clothes woman, I dealt with Mrs. Grey, that's her name; I am a Jewess, I never deny being a Jew; so, she said to me, Bet Cohan, I have been robbed, William Till has robbed me of every thing I have in the world, I have nothing but what I stand upright in; she told me this on the Friday morning, and she had been robbed on the Wednesday before; she said nobody else could rob her, nobody else knew the way of the house; she said she would give me two guineas if I would go up to the house, and say I saw the man come out with a great bundle of clothes wrapped up in a sheet, and saw one or two gowns hanging out of the bundle.

Court. Did she desire you to swear that it was a man or William Till ? - She said William Till ; and I was to say, I saw him come out, and Mrs. Grey, the prisoner, shewed me a bit to look at to see what sort of a gown it was, that was hanging out of the bundle, and she told me she had lost a yellow gown, the bit she shewed me was a striped colour.

Court. What colour was it? - I cannot tell directly, it was a very pretty pattern.

Was it a figured pattern? - There was no particular pattern that I took notice of, it was a new bit of cotton.

Let me look at the indictment against Till, is there any cotton gown in that? - There are three linen gowns in it, but no cotton gown.

Cohen. She said she had lost several things, and she told me if I would go with her, she would give me two guineas, and if the man was convicted, there would be forty pounds, twenty pounds for her, and twenty pounds for me; I told her I would not be guilty of any thing of the kind, and she d - nd my eyes, and said, I robbed her, then the followed me down into Holborn, and she said, you did not rob me I know, and she said, come your way with me, and she wanted me to get drunk, she called for a pot of hot and paid fourteen pence of it; and she called to a man, and said, I want a warrant for a man that robbed me, I caught him robbing me; so when I heard her say that, I thought I would see the end of this, I

would go over with her, she went across the way from the Brown Bear , and she went into the office, and said, I want a warrant, says the man for what; says she, a man has robbed me, and she made such a blundering story, that they would not grant her a warrant, so says the man, if you will give me half a crown, I will go with you.

Did she say who had robbed her at that time? - No, I cannot say she did, she only said a man asked for half a crown, and he would go with her, she would not give it him, but she told him, she was a woman of great spirit, and if he did her business, she would pay him well, he said he wanted nothing but half a crown, I have known Mr. Till twelve months, I have known her sixteen years.

Did you ever see this man carry a bundle, as she wanted you to swear? - I did not, I told her it was false, and I would be hanged before I would do it, she told me she had lost a yellow gown at that time, and that if I would be good to her, I should never want bread.

Mr. Keys. My Lord, I submit this evidence is not relative to the present charge, it is not specified in the indictment, was this to be the case, any sort of evidence might be produced, as it may subject the the prisoner to another indictment, that of subornation of perjury, I never remember any such evidence admitted, the case is, whether she swore falsly before the Court, when she swore she saw this man with the bundle.

Court. The question here is, not whether this woman has sworn false, but whether she has sworn corruptly, and this is certainly evidence to be received to shew the intention of the party, and it is a circumstance to be left to the Jury.

Mr. Keys. Pray madam, who are you? - I am a Jewess.

That I know, where do you live? - No. 6, Rosemary-lane.

What do you deal in? - Old clothes.

How many times have you been an evidence in this Court? - Never but once, about some shoes I bought of a neighbour.

You was suspected of buying them knowing them to have been stolen? - No, Sir, I came up as an evidence.

When was it you say you told Till of this? - The very day I knew of it.

What day of the month was that? - It was the Friday after the Wednesday that she told me she had been robbed.

How came you not been here, upon Till's trial? - He never sent for me or else I should have come.

Who was present at that time? - There were a good many people at once.

Who was present?

Russell. I was present for one.

Prisoner. Ask that witness Cohan, how long it is since her husband was hanged? - I am a married woman, my husband is alive now, he has not lived with me these seven years.

Was ever any man hanged that passed as your husband? - I never lived with no man but my husband, I know better than that.

Court to Prisoner. What was the name of that man that was hanged? - She had two children by him at the birth.

Do you know any thing of that? - I know of no man in the world that was hanged, belonging to me.

Do you know any man that was hanged for stealing a hat? - No, my Lord, I do not, I never knew a man that was charged with stealing of hats in my life.

Did you never hear of any such charge of any man of your acquaintance? - No.

- BLACKETER sworn.

I took a man from Litchfield-street office; he was tried and convicted; I have seen this woman come to Newgate to see him, but I do not know there was any connection.

Cohan. My Lord, I knew a man that was taken up for robbing a baker's shop in Rupert-street, and this was the man I came

to see, but I never knew a man about a hat.

Was that man convicted? - Yes, he was convicted, and died for it.

Now, I asked you if you knew any man that was tried and convicted here, and you said, no? - That was about a hat; you would not have me say anything that is not right; this was for a suit of clothes; he was no more my husband than any other man that is here; I knew that man's mother, she nursed me; I have been parted from my husband these seven years, I defy the world to say anything against me.


Who do you live with? - With the prisoner's son-in-law.

Was you examined at the last trial of Till? - Yes.

Was there ever any application made to you to give evidence against Till? - Not before she brought a summons to me.

At what time was that? - Between seven and eight at night.

Who brought that? - Mrs. Handland.

What passed between you and Mrs. Handland about that summons? - It was on the night that Till was to go to Justice Blackborow in the morning, and she told me to come and breakfast with her the next morning, which I did, and she sent me out for some liquor, and I drank part of it, and I went with her to Saffron-hill, to carry some rags to sell, and then we had another quartern of gin; and then we went to the Sun at Clerkenwell, and there we had another quartern of gin; and then Mr. Chambers came in to us, and then we had another quartern of gin; and then Mr. Chambers asked me, if I knew what I was come upon? I told him, no; says he, do you know you are come to take an oath? I said, no; he said, you are, and you must stand to it; the prisoner was by, and she went to the Justice's.

Had she and you, before you went to Chambers's, had any conversation about what you were to do? - All that was, she told me, I think, as far as I know, I cannot tell what I did, nor what I said then, she never told me what I was to do, before I got down the steps to go in; she then told me, now, says she, you must say that you saw this William Till laying asleep in a hay-loft, and when he awaked, you saw him come down, but you would not come down for fear; you must say you saw William Till open the door with a knife, and in opening the door with a knife, he took out a bundle of clothes in a sheet, and took them away.

This time, were you sober, or in liquor? - I was in liquor.

Are you sure she told you that? - I am certain sure of it.

Did you do anything in consequence of her telling you to say that? - I cannot tell what I did; I told what she bid me say before the Justice, as I was told the next day by other people; I did not know the next day.

Where were you the day the robbery was committed? - I was at home at work.

Did you see anything of what she desired you to say you saw? - I did not.

Did not you say, upon your oath, that what you said at the Justices was not true? - I did not know, but as I was told the next day.

Did not you say here, upon the trial of Till, that what you said before the Justice was not true? - It was not true, that I know of; I was this day the robbery was committed at my own work in the shop, I am positive of it.

Did you beg pardon of the Court for what you had done? - I did.

Should you, of your own account, have gone before the Justice, if this woman had not desired you? - No, I am sure of it.

Should you have gone without a summons to the Justice? - No, I should not.

Was Mrs. Handland by when you asked pardon of the Court? - Yes.

Did she attempt to contradict you then

before the Court? - I do not recollect now.

Did she, at the time you asked pardon of the Court for what you said before the Justice, attempt to contradict you? - No, not at all.

Mr. Keys. Did this lady take you before the Grand Jury to find the bill against Till? - No.

I believe you have been tried for something? - I have been tried, but not for any thing out of the way; I was tried for my wages.

Was not you tried for a fraud? - They made a fraud of it.

I believe you was acquitted through defect of evidence? - I do not know how it was, but I know very well I did not mean to make it a defraud, I meant for the gentleman to have the money, if I had thought on it.

So, now you come here to swear that what you have sworn before the Justice, was false? - Yes.

You was very drunk, you say? - Yes.

How came the Justice to take your evidence? - I do not know; I do not know now what I said, any further than I was told the next morning.

Do you remember the Justice's clerk was here on the last trial? - Yes.

Did he say you was drunk or sober, when you was before the Justice? - He swore I was sober.

Did you contradict him? - I did not, but I was not sober.

The prisoner called two witnesses, who had known her thirty years, and gave her a very good character.


Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. ROSE.

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