30th October 1793
Reference Numbert17931030-33
VerdictNot Guilty

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705. ANN LOVELL was indicted for stealing, on the 19th of September , fifteen yards of linen cloth, value 7 s. the goods of George Wilkinson .


I am a servant to Mr. Wilkinson, a linen draper . On the 29th of September, Thursday, we lost the cloth; I saw it lay by my master's door about an hour and a half before, between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, and as near as I can tell about six, or half past six, Mrs. Kirton sent for my master to send somebody to

her house, for there was a person that had offered some cloth to sell, which she looked upon to be the property of some linen draper; and my master sent me, and the prisoner at the bar had the piece of linen underneath her arm, at Mrs. Kirton's, which I can swear to be my master's property, and was at the door an hour an a half before.

Q. What was the piece of linen goods? - Fifteen yards of Irish linen cloth.

Q. How did you know that to be your master's property? - I unrolled the cloth and there was a private mark, the letter A. my own marking, a shop mark.

Q. Can you positively swear to that cloth by that mark? - Yes.

Q. Had you sold such a piece? - No.

Q. Was there any other servant in the house that might have sold it? - There is another young man besides my master. I have kept it from that time to this.

Mr. Peat. You said that was laying at the door, do you mean laying outside of the door? - Laying on a box, outside of the door, underneath the window.

Q. I suppose there were many other articles laying with it? - Yes, there were.

Q. And some of the same kind, if that is your's? - There was no more Irish linen.

Q. It was in a public street? - It was in Darton-street, Westminster.

Q. There were other servants in the house? - Yes.

Q. And besides your master serves sometimes? - Yes.

Q. Then I suppose you had not cloth of the same length and price? - Various lengths, but the same price.

Q. I presume you sell a good deal in the course of a year? - Yes.

Q. And marked in the same way as that is? - Yes.

Q. You missed a piece of cloth from the table at the door, whatever this is; what is the mark on that cloth? - It is the letter A. a small a.

Q. Is it made with a pen or pencil? - It is made with a pen.

Q. Is it made on the cloth itself? - It is.

Q. I suppose it is very customary for you to write on the cloth? - The private mark it is.

Q. Then you can tell your hand writing? - Yes.

Q. I suppose you could tell your handwriting on cloth equally as on paper? - I could.

Q. And if you wrote on sand perhaps it would be the same? - No, I don't know I should.

Q. Is there any thing particular in your hand writing, I suppose if there were fifty lives depending upon it you could swear to it? - I could.

Q. If you was to see a piece of it at York you could say it was your hand writing? - I think I could.

Q. You think you could, then you would have some difficulty in saying it was your hand writing? - I don't know but I might.

Q. This poor woman happened to have a piece of cloth under her arm that you think has got your mark on it, but in fact you lost a piece of that sort from the table at the door, and you have sold a great quantity of that cloth, and it is only a single letter that you can swear to it by.

Court. You have sold quantities of that sort of linen with the same private mark? - Yes.

Q. Was that exactly the quantity that you missed? - I cannot tell the quantity there was of it because we cut it at various times in the day; I missed the piece of cloth, but I could not tell exactly the quantity.

Q. Was it of that size and bulk that you missed? - It was.

Q. How soon after that you had last seen it, might it be that you saw this woman at the house of Mrs. Kirton's? - About an hour and a half after I had seen it, I saw it at Mr. Kirton's.

Mr. Peat. Supposing there had been a piece of cloth two yards longer or shorter, could you have distinguished it by the eye? - No, I could not.


I am a house keeper at Westminster; I have nothing but lodgers since my husband died. On the 19th of September, about half after six o'clock, the prisoner at the bar came and offered me this piece of cloth to sell at my own house; I have known her years, but I never knew no such thing of her; she seemed very much in liquor, I asked her where she got it, she said she found it in the street, and asked me if I would buy it; I thought in the day that I had seen the piece of cloth at his shop, and I sent to Mr. Wilkinson to know if it was his property; the prisoner has three small children.

Mr. Peat. She is a labouring woman? - She is, she sells water creases about; she told me she found it about half an hour after six.

Prisoner. I honestly found it; I was out with a few water creases, groundsel and chickweed, and I picked it up at the Cock-pit, Westminster; if it is opened the dirt will be seen on it, and I knew that gentlewoman, and I went to shew it that gentlewoman, and that gentleman came to the house and said it was his, the gentleman never saw me near the shop, nor I was never near the shop, nor knew where the shop was; I am a poor distressed woman, got a large family, and a poor had working man.

Court to Bliss. In what state was it? - Under her arm rolled.

Q. Did you see any dirt on it? - I did not.

Kirton. There is dirt on it.

Jury to Bliss. How far is the Cockpit from your house? - Not half a quarter of a mile.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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