SARAH SMITH.
16th February 1791
Reference Numbert17910216-24
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence
SentenceTransportation

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123. SARAH SMITH was indicted for stealing, on the 2d of January last, one watch, the inside and outside case both made of silver, value 30 s. a steel chain, value 1 d. two metal keys, value 1 d. one steel key, value 1 d. the property of William Williams , privily from his person .

WILLIAM WILLIAMS sworn.

I am a porter to Mr. William Shore , grocer and tea-dealer, opposite the White Horse, Piccadilly. This affair happened on Sunday, the 2d of January; I was going home from St. John-street, Clerkenwell, between the hours of two and three, to the best of my knowledge, in the afternoon; and going up Holborn, I went to enquire for a countryman, in Cross-lane, near St. Giles's ; his name was Jones; I was there once before; and I saw an old woman at the end of a court in this lane; she asked me who I was looking for? I told her Mr. Jones; she said she knew where Mr. Jones lived; I understood before I went, that he had left the public house, and lived somewhere in the lane; the old woman asked me to walk in, and I did, into a house in the court; and she asked me to sit down, which I did; and she went out of the house immediately, and left me there; the prisoner and another woman were in the room when I came in; and they asked me if I would give them some gin; this was after the old woman went out; I told them I had no money to give them for gin; I did not like gin; they pressed very hard upon me for some gin, and said if I could not drink gin, they could; then I denied giving them money for gin, and had six-pence and some halfpence in my waistcoat pocket; my hand was in my waistcoat pocket all the time; I pulled out the money, and held it in my hand; and one woman took the halfpence and ran out; and Sarah Smith took the six-pence out of my hand; she wanted some more; I told her I had no more about me; and she told me to feel in my pockets for some more, and asked me to let her feel in my pockets, and I would not; and while she was talking to me, she put her hand round my waist, and took my watch by the chain out of my pocket finding my watch go, I caught hold of her, and held her fast; and she fought very hard against me, not to give me my watch out of her hand; she did not offer to go out of the door, but asked me to let her fasten the door; but it was not, to the best of my knowledge; then she wanted to get away from me; and she told me if I would not let her fasten the door, I should be murdered, she wanted to get away into the court from me: then she got into the court, and I after her; and she got into another house facing the court; and I pulled her out of the house by force; then she ran very hard against me; and she wanted me to go to fetch a constable to search her; I would not go nor let her go; and she ran into the next house; and two men came out; and one collared me, and held me by the arm, and the other let me go; he held me fast; they got her away; and she ran away as fast as she could, into the first house facing the court; they would not let me go in after her; there were a parcel of women standing at the door; then a gentleman fetched a constable; but the people in the house would not let him come in; and the constable himself said, he could not have a warrant, because it was Sunday; there was a little boy belonging to the public house; and he asked me for a shilling to fetch a constable; I told him I had none; there were another man or two, and a woman; I went again with a man that lived in the lane, and fetched three runners: and we went to a public house; and I followed them into the same house; the door was open, and an old woman was there; but I do not know it was the same; they searched the room, but could not find the watch; I saw the prisoner on the Monday after, before the Justice; the Justice told the woman to look at me, at the bar, and say if she knew me; she declared she did not; he told her to look twice more; and she said she did not know me: I looked at her, and am sure of her; I was with her in the whole, ten minutes; there was a very bad light in the room; there was no

candle; there was a bed in the room; and a very bad situation it was in; but I cannot say whether I sat down upon it or not; when I first went into the room, there was no candle in the room; it was between two and three; it was day-light.

Court. Do you undertake to say now that you are sure of the prisoner? - Yes, I can, with a clear conscience; I never took a drop of any kind of liquor that day, till this happened; I did not think there was any harm in going into the house with the old woman; she was quite a mortal. old woman; I never was in any of the houses before.

Had no familiarities passed between the prisoner or any of the other women and you? - No.

Nothing of the sort? - No; I never found my watch again.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

About two, of the Sunday afternoon, as nigh as I can guess, I went to this woman's house; I sell fruit; I bought a bushel of apples on the Monday; she owed me a shilling; I went for it; this gentleman came in and enquired for one Mr. Jones; she said he had left the neighbourhood upwards of a twelvemonth; he asked her to have something to drink, and gave her twopence; and while she was gone, the gentleman gave me six-pence; I hope, my lord, you will excuse my speaking indecent; I said it was too little; I returned it to him; he drank part of the liquor, and went away; he came back, and said he had lost his watch; the woman sent to me, and I came; and he did not know me then; he went a fetched a constable; the gentleman that came, said he was so much in liquor, he should take nobody into custody on his evidence; he let me go; and in about three weeks, or better, I went to the office, and saw this gentleman there; he said I was the person: here is a gentleman that will speak, who went and fetched the constable.

JAMES SULLIVAN sworn.

I live at No. 45, Cross-lane, Holborn; I keep a cook's shop and green-grocer's. The transactions in the court I cannot be accountable for; I believe, a quarter past two, of a Sunday, the 2d of January, I heard a great noise in Cross-lane; I opened my shop door, and I saw the prosecutor appear in a frantic mad manner in the street; he said he had lost his watch; he came up to my door, and told me; I said I am sorry for it; how did you lose it? he said he was enquiring for a man of the name of Jones, who kept a public house in the lane, of some people that stood at the end of Star-court; and he said, while he was asking this question, a woman asked him for something to drink, and he gave her a six-pence; he did not say he was in any house whatever, but that he was held by two men, while his watch was picked out of his pocket, by a person whom he did not know; them are the words he said; I refer to the prosecutor; I am master of arms to a man of war; and I have a family; he desired me to assist him, as he said I looked like an honest man; and I left him to take care of the door of the place that the woman went into (it is facing the court) while I went up to Justice Walker's; that was the house where he told me the woman had gone into; he said he had lost his watch, and would give any thing to recover it; he did not say the woman; he said the person; he did not know who it was; I went to Justice Walker's for a runner, and there was none there at the time; I met a man with a lame arm, and desired him to come with me; this man came into my house and had a pot of beer; I believe the runner stood at the door to take care nobody went out; the prosecutor could not give any particular charge of any person; he was so much in liquor, he could not find his way out of the house; there was only part of a pot of beer in my house; he had hold of my hand; he said, you are my friend, and if I could recover my watch, I would give you a guinea; and he said he would call in the evening, and go to Little Wild-street, to another runner; there are three doors to the house, two

street doors, and one that goes in a partition between the house where Jones lived and my house; I took him by the hand and shewed him the way out; he said he would call again, and he hoped I would go with him to see for the runner, he said he could not stop, he would go home to his master and acquaint him with his troubles; he came about half past three again alone to go with me to the runner; I was not out of my house, when he came back he was so much in liquor, that I was obliged to help him to Treadway's, and there he gave such a lame account, and said he was among a number of girls, and Treadway and another refused to undertake it, because he said somebody took his watch, but he would not tell who, and at some space of time afterwards the prosecutor had the woman taken up; I had no more acquaintance with this woman, any more than the child unborn; she came into my house at times when I was out, for meat and things; I have seen her as a customer, and never knew any thing dishonest of her.

Court to Williams. You have heard what this witness has sworn: first what do you say as to your sobriety, after you have heard his evidence, was you sober? - My Lord, I was as sober as I am now.

And do you persist in it that you had not drank any liquor that day? - My Lord, I never touched any liquor, from the time I got up in the morning till the affair happened, but milk and tea to my breakfast.

Did you drink any thing in his house? - Nothing but a share of a pot of beer, that was all the liquor I had that day, besides one pennyworth, and he wanted me to join for more with him, when we went to the runners.

Then you had a pot of beer when you returned with the runners? - Yes.

Was you never in his shop? - No, I never was in his house till I came back from the runners; but I saw him before, and he went with me; there was a constable came before, which was fetched by this man, I told my case to him before we went for the runner.

Sullivan. My Lord, the constable came, but he said he could not take any charge, because the prosecutor said he could not tell who took his watch, only he wished to have both the houses searched.

Prosecutor. This man has been after me now in the hall, and has offered me two guineas and a half not to speak the truth, and the truth I will speak.

Sullivan. No such thing.

To Prosecutor. What offer has that man man made to you? - Says he, Williams do not sell the woman's blood, be favourable to her, do not be blood-thirsty, do not be hard on the poor girl, and we will make your loss good for your watch; one woman will be half a guinea, and her poor mother will be something; she will do what she can to make it up two guineas and a half; he said he would be answerable I should have the money; and then he wanted me to go into a public-house to have a drop of beer, and said my trial would not come on for some time.

Where was this, now? - Just outside the door.

When? - To-day; and one of the gentlemen at the door, who had got a staff in his hand, he told me not have any thing to say to him, for he was pumping me, and trying what he could get out of me; I told him I had nothing at all to say to him, and went away, and walked by myself in the furthest passage door from him.

Did you ever tell that man, Sullivan the cook, that you was held by two men while the watch was picked out of your pocket? - No, please you my Lord.

What account did you give Sullivan of what had passed? - I told him there were two men came out of the house, and held me till she got away from me.

That is the account you have now given? - Yes.

About what o'clock was this conversation to-day? - It might be half past eleven, near twelve, or thereabouts.

Where did you first see Sullivan? - In Cross-lane.

Was he at his own door? - He came to

me when I was in the lane, with a pair of trowsers on.

Had you called at his house before he came to you? - No, I had not, he came up to me, and asked me how the thing was, and I told him, and he said he was my friend, I was so badly used he could not stand it any longer, and he went for a constable.

What did the constable do when he came? - Nothing at all, only came to the door, and sent the people from the door; he had no warrant.

What house was it you searched when you returned with the runner? - The dwelling house, where the prisoner robbed me of my watch.

Can you say whether Sullivan was present at that search? - I did not see him then.

At what time was it you went into Sullivan's house? - After I had been with the runners.

After you had searched the other house? - Yes.

Is it true, that you was then so drunk, that you could not find your way out of his house? - My Lord, what I told you before, I was sober, and I would not tell any lie.

Did you make any mistake in coming out? - I believe I did.

When you went up for the runner, was you able to go, or did he support you? - No further than he was his twopence to my three halfpence; I was able enough to go to any part.

Was you at Treadway's? - I do not know him.

Was you twice that afternoon at Sullivan's house; was you there twice or only once? - Only once, to the best of my knowledge.

Did you ever go home to your master, and inform him of this, before you went to the runner? - No, I did not.

Did you tell Sullivan so? - No, my Lord, I did not, I never told my master till the prisoner was taken; I was afraid I should be turned out of bread, and lose my place; I have been nine years with my master, and I lived at Mr. Dring's the grocer, at the Bars, and I did not like to tell him of this.

But why; you had not done any thing wrong; did you make Sullivan any offer to get your watch? - I said I would rather give a guinea than lose my watch, or let my master know that I had lost it.

How came it you could not find your way out of his house? - There were so many turnings, and I never was there before.

Did you ever tell Sullivan you did not know the person that took it? - No, I never told him any such thing, nor any body else; I told the runner, and described her, and they said she was very well known at their office; (Carotty Sall) I knew her directly.

Did you ever make any offer to any body that he calls his brother's boy to attend? - The boy asked me when he came to the Justice's door to give him something.

Was the boy before the Justice? - Yes.

What boy do you speak of? - This man's brother's; the Justice asked the boy to look at the prisoner, and see if he knew her; and the boy says yes, Sir; the Justice said, what do you know of her? and the boy said, she lives in Star-court, just where I live; I never made the boy an offer of any money at all, his brother here made him go with me, or else he would not; says he, I hope you will give me something, Sir; my boy, says I, I will give you nothing, says I; the boy belonging to the publick-house was the same boy; Sullivan's brother keeps the publick-house, and this is his brother's boy.

The Remainder of this Trial in the next Part, which will be published in a few Days.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter.
16th February 1791
Reference Numbert17910216-24

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THE TRIALS AT LARGE OF THE CAPITAL and other CONVICTS, ON THE KING'S Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON; AND ALSO The Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex, HELD AT JUSTICE HALL in the OLD BAILEY, On Wednesday, the 16th of FEBRUARY, 1791, and the following Days;

Being the THIRD SESSION in the Mayoralty of The Right Honourable John Boydell , LORD MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON.

TAKEN IN SHORT-HAND BY E. HODGSON, PROFESSOR OF SHORT-HAND; And Published by Authority.

NUMBER III. PART II.

LONDON:

Printed for E. HODGSON (the Proprietor); And Sold by him, at his House, No. 14, White Lion Street, Islington; Sold also by J. WALMSLAY, No. 35, Chancery Lane; S. BLADON, No. 13, Pater-noster Row.

MDCCXCI.

THE TRIALS AT LARGE, OF THE CAPITAL and other CONVICTS, ON THE

KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON, &c.

Continuation of the Trial of Sarah Smith.

Then you mean to swear that what Sullivan has said about your being completely in liquor was not true? - No, it was not true.

And you mean to swear, that you had had no liquor that day? - I had had none, not a drop, till I met with Sullivan.

And that you did not tell him two men held you while you was robbed? - No.

Court. Set up Sullivan again.

Had you any conversation to-day with the witness Williams? - Yes, I had.

Relate what conversation you had with him to-day? - Nothing concerning what he has alledged at present.

Did you say to him, do not be bloodthirsty? - I did not.

Did you say any thing to him of that nature? - No I did not.

Did you say to him, we will make your loss good for your watch? - I never expressed such a word in my life.

You did not say that then? - I did not.

Nor any thing to that effect? - I did not.

Did you say that one woman would be half a guinea, and that her poor mother would do what she could? - I will explain that point my Lord; I made mention to you, that it was not to the purpose he described, there is one Butcher, a principal evidence, that said this man told him, if he could procure him two guineas, he would not appear at his trial.

Did you make this offer to him? - I did not.

You did not say that a woman would be half a guinea? - I never expressed such a word to him.

Nothing like it? - No, I did not indeed.

Did you say that you would be answerable for any money to be given on that occasion? - No, my Lord, I did not, it is no concern of mine.

Did you want him to go into the publick-house to have a pot of beer? - No, there was a constable that wanted him to go into a publick-house, and told him that his trial would not come on soon.

Court to Williams. Was it the constable or that man that wanted you to go into a

public-house? - Please you I tell you the truth; this man, God Almighty forgive him; I take it he would say any thing, God Almighty forgive him.

But you never did ask him to go into the publick-house? - My Lord, I solemnly declare before God and the world, I never expressed such a word as that; there was a constable, a hair-dresser of Marybone parish, who was here on a trial, and he it was that asked him to drink, and told him so.

Jury. Do you recollect his name? - I do not; he is a hair-dresser, and wore a drab great coat, I knew him before, he attends at Justice Read's in Poland-street, he is a runner belonging to that office; I cannot tell you whether he is a runner or a constable.

RICHARD CONEN sworn.

Was examined as to the conversation between Williams and Sullivan, and deposed that he heard some conversation about a watch and money, but could not speak to particulars.

The Court waited a long while for another Constable, James Earle , who at last was found and sworn; he deposed he heard a good deal about a watch, but could not recollect particulars.

GUILTY Of stealing, but not privily .

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron THOMPSON.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter.
16th February 1791
Reference Numbert17910216-24

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error

THE TRIALS AT LARGE OF THE CAPITAL and other CONVICTS, ON THE KING'S Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON; AND ALSO The Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex, HELD AT JUSTICE HALL in the OLD BAILEY, On Wednesday, the 16th of FEBRUARY, 1791, and the following Days;

Being the THIRD SESSION in the Mayoralty of The Right Honourable John Boydell , LORD MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON.

TAKEN IN SHORT-HAND BY E. HODGSON, PROFESSOR OF SHORT-HAND; And Published by Authority.

NUMBER III. PART II.

LONDON:

Printed for E. HODGSON (the Proprietor); And Sold by him, at his House, No. 14, White Lion Street, Islington; Sold also by J. WALMSLAY, No. 35, Chancery Lane; S. BLADON, No. 13, Pater-noster Row.

MDCCXCI.

THE TRIALS AT LARGE, OF THE CAPITAL and other CONVICTS, ON THE

KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON, &c.


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