2nd December 1795
Reference Numbert17951202-49
VerdictGuilty > theft under 5s

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48. ELIZABETH WOOD was indicted for feloniously stealing a pair of silver asparagus tongs, value 16s. the property of William Squire , privately, in his shop , Nov. 18 .


I live on Ludgate-hill; I am shopman to Mr. William Squire: The prisoner came in on Wednesday the 18th of November, between three and four o'clock, to purchase some plain rings; I shewed her some; a pair of asparagus tongs were lying upon the glass; I did not see them at that time; they had been left there by the lad; she went out of the shop without purchasing any thing; there was nobody else in the shop; I went to dinner about two o'clock, and came into the shop about three; the lad was in the shop while I dined; he had been cleaning the asparagus tongs.


I was out at the time, and missed the tongs when I came home about five or six o'clock.


I live with Mr. Watson, a pawnbroker, No. 42, Watling-street: On Wednesday, the 18th of November, the prisoner came into the shop, between five and six o'clock, and offered a pair of asparagus tongs to pawn; she said we must lend the most we could on them, the gentleman wanted two guineas; I then called the young man out of the parlour, and asked, how much he would lend on them; he asked her, who they belonged to; she said, Mr. Stacey, No. 37, Eastcheap; he said, he would send there and see if they belonged to him; he did, and she called the boy back again, and said, they did not belong to him, she said they belonged to Mr. Love, No. 47, Whitechapel; he said, he would send there; she called the boy back again, and said they did not belong there, and if he would not hurt her, she would tell the truth; I sent for Mr. Grove, a neighbour; he began to question her, and she said, she took them off the counter of a shop on Ludgate-hill; I have the tongs here.

Q. Had she a child with her? - A. Yes.(The asparagus tongs produced in court.)


I cannot swear whose property they are; I believe they are Mr. William Squire 's; there is no private mark on them.

Q. Had she a child when she came to you? - A. Yes.

Q. (To W. Squire.)Look at the tongs? - A. They are mine; I know them by a little scratch on one of the screws, which I made myself.

Jury. Q. Do you swear they were your tongs, from that mark? - A. I am positive.

Jury. Because we can discern no mark? - A. The mark is very small; the head of the screw is cut with a screw driver; I think them to be mine from other circumstances; they were brought to me by Mr. Groves and the constable; I had made that mark on the head of the screw by accident.

Q. How many tongs of that sort have you? - A. No others.

Prisoner's defence. - My husband is on board

an American vessel; he has been gone these seven months; I have two children; the oldest is not two years old.

GUILTY, Of stealing to the value of 4s.

Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.

[Transportation. See summary.]

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