19th July 1786
Reference Numbert17860719-29
VerdictNot Guilty

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589. AMBROSE MAIN was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 3d day of April last, four linen sheets, value 6 s. two linen pillows, value 1 s. a linen bed quilt, value 1 s. a blanket, value 6 d. four pillow cases, value 1 s. and one flat iron, value 3 d. the property of John Foresyth , being in a certain lodging room let to him by the said John, to be used with the said lodging .


I let the lodgings to the prisoner's wife ready furnished, the prisoner used to come there, I lost the things mentioned in the indictment to the value of five shillings.


I am a pawnbroker; I took the things in pawn from the prisoner; four of the articles have been a twelvemonth, and some of them eight or nine months; one is a sheet for two shillings, the 4th of July was a twelvemonth, the other a blanket, 6 d. the 11th of July, a sheet for eighteen pence the 19th of July, on the 31st of December a pillow for sixpence, the 2d of January a pillow for sixpence.

What is the value of these things? - They really are not worth more than was lent on them, had they been worn any where so long as we have had them, there would not have been a thread of them left.

You know nothing by whose direction the things were brought by the child. - We imagined by the mother of the child.

Did the mother of the child at any time intimate that she knew any thing of them? - I only imagine she did, I do not know any thing of my own knowledge of a certainty.

Prisoner. I was innocent of the whole story, but when I missed them I challenged my wife, and she told me she would call the landlord, and he would put me into the watch-house; I am a gardener, and went to work every day.

Brammel. The prisoner is a man that has lived in credit, and has been in very good circumstances.

Court to prosecutor. Did you live in the same house with the prisoner? - Yes.

Can you tell whether this time twelvemonth, and in the month of December, and January, and February, the prisoner used to lay constantly in the house? - Yes.

How long was it before you heard of these things being gone? - I do not know, above a fortnight.


I apprehended the prisoner; I never knew to the contrary but the man was a very honest man, he had lived in very good credit.

Court. A married woman cannot be guilty of felony when in the presence, or in company with her husband, because she is then supposed to be under his restraint; but he being absent, then it is her crime, not his; and though he does afterwards know of it, if she did not commit it under his concurrence and restraint, that will not affect him.


Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Justice ASHURST.

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