ANN MORTON, Theft > shoplifting, 17th September 1794.

Reference Number: t17940917-92
Offence: Theft > shoplifting
Verdict: Not Guilty
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530. ANN MORTON was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 31st of July , seven yards of printed callico for a gown, value 7s. the goods of William Atkinson , privately in his shop .

JOHN ATKINSON sworn.

I am a linen draper , No. 17, Bishopsgate without . I was robbed on Thursday, the 31st of July, about eight o'clock in the evening; I was serving another woman with a petticoat, on the opposite counter, to which this woman and another came in, on which counter, opposite to where I was, some cotton were laid, they began looking among, then to reach over; I said, what do you please to want? they gave me no answer, they kept among these goods; while I was cutting this young woman her petticoat, I perceived they stood remarkable close to each other, which gave me a suspicion that they were not about any good; as we are pretty well used to these kind of people, and I observed the prisoner at the bar her gown stick out rather further than what I thought was necessary for it to do; I concluded she had something, I saw the the gown move in fact; I immediately went round the counter that I was at, and went between them, and laid my hand on her clothes, and turned her round, and then I went and looked in, and found that piece of cotton, that will be produced, under her clothes, seven yards of printed cotton.

Q. Had she a cloak on? - Yes.

Q. Was it under her cloak or gown? - Under her gown, secreted; I secured both the women, and sent for a constable.

Q. How came the other not here? - I fancy the grand jury cast the bill out.

Q. What was done with the property? - The constable has got it.

Q. Are you sure you delivered the same you took from the woman to the constable? - I am positive of it.

Q. What may be the value of it? - Twelve shillings.

Mr. Knapp. You have told us now every thing you said before my Lord Mayor? - Every thing that is necessary, respecting that business.

Q. So you judge what is necessary? - Yes; I have nothing to say about it.

Q. You say you pulled the print from the prisoner's gown, did you say so before the Lord Mayor? - I said from her clothes, I said so before the Lord Mayor, I think so, if I recollect.

Q. Tell us what you will swear; on your oath did you say before the Lord Mayor, did you say that you took the print from her clothes? - I said I took it from the woman.

Q. Will you take on yourself to swear that? - I cannot recollect what I said before the Lord Mayor, I cannot take my oath about it.

Q. I will tell you what you did say, you said this, that Morton dropped the

piece of printed cotton? - I said before the Lord Mayor, that I laid my hand on her, and turned her round, and the things sell from her clothes, and I took them.

Q. Had not the prisoner at the bar a child in her arms? - Yes.

Q. Mrs. Fielding was there, you know that we know her pretty well? - I don't know that.

Q. On your Oath don't you know that the grand jury threw out the bill; how many persons have you prosecuted here, within these few years, in this very place? - That is no consequence.

Q. I will have an answer? - To tell the truth, I never was in this court before.

Q. Have you prosecuted any before magistrates? - Not before this court.

Q. How many have you prosecuted before justices of the peace? You don't hear me? - Yes, I do, but I don't think it wants an answer; suppose I have prosecuted twenty, what is that to the business.

Q. How many persons have you charged with different things, and received money in order to drop the prosecution? - I came here to speak the truth, and you shall not put me out of it.

Q. You say you took the cotton from her; upon your oath did not you take it out of her hand? - She said she was coming to bring it to me, to ask me the price, but she had no business with it under her clothes in the mean time.

Q. You had her searched I suppose? - Yes.

Q. And what did you find on her? - Nothing at all but that.

Q. Then you found nothing in her pockets, no child's clouts, or any thing of that sort? - The constable examined her, you must ask the constable that.

Q. Did not you see clouts? - Yes, I believe there were some.

JAMES DAY sworn.

I am servant to Mr. William Atkinson, I was in the shop at this time, I see the prisoner come into the shop, and went to the side of the counter where the prints are kept, with another woman; sometime after I saw my master go round, and draw a piece of printed cotton from under her clothes, I was then sent for a constable.

Q. Did you see her take it? - No, it was given up into the constable's hands.

Q. Was it cotton or callico? - It is printed callico, or printed cotton, it is all the same thing.

Mr. Knapp. You was not before the Lord Mayor? - No.

Q. Was you before the grand jury? - Yes.

Q. How near were these women to you, when you were in the shop? - I was on the other side, the opposite counter.

Q. The two women stood very close together? - Yes.

Q. It was eight o'clock at night? - It was about that time.

Q. It was dusk? - It was not quite dusk.

Q. Had you any lights in your shop? - No.

Q. I should think being such a distance, you would not see whether it dropped or no? - I was not above a couple of yards off.

Q. How often have you been talking with your master about this business, since they were committed? - I don't know how often.

Q. Perhaps you have been talking to him before you came into court? - Yes.

Q. He perhaps has been giving you a little instructions? - He has been telling

me I am to speak the truth, and only what I saw, nothing else.

Q. Did you talk about this business before you went up to the grand jury? - He told me to speak the truth.

Q. Then he must be afraid you would not speak the truth? - That I don't know about.

Q. Was it the conversation in the shop before you came here? - We have talked ten or a dozen times, I cannot tell how many.

Q. Guess how many times? - It is impossible for me to say.

Q. Was the other woman sober? - I do the know.

Q. You was not near enough to observe that? - I was near enough, but I did not take any notice.

THOMAS SAPWELL sworn.

I am a constable, I produce a piece of printed callico; I got it from the prosecutor.

Mr. Knapp. Who did you receive it from? - From the prosecutor, from the counter in the shop, I think it was.

Q. There were other pieces laying there? - I believe there might.

Q. In fact the prosecutor lost nothing at all? - No, I suppose not.

Atkinson. I know the callico, it has a No. 1 on it, it was put on to go into the country, and it was returned again; we never mark any thing with numbers, only what goes into the country.

Q. Should you know it from any other No. 1, or any other piece? - Yes, I should.

Q. What do you call it? - Printed callico.

Prisoner. I leave my defence to my counsel, and I leave my mercy to my learned judge, and gentlemen of the jury.

Not GUILTY .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.


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