, .
2nd December 1795
Reference Numbert17951202-52
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence; Not Guilty

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51. ELIZABETH NUGENT and WM. COLLINS were indicted for feloniously stealing two cotton handkerchiefs, value 4s. and two muslin neck handkerchiefs, value 3s. the property of William Grierson , privately, from the person of James Forbes , Nov. 15 .

Second count. Laying them to be the property of James Forbes.

Third count. Charging William Collins with receiving the said goods, well knowing them to have been stolen.


On Sunday the 15th of last month, between nine and ten o'clock, I was going down an alley leading from Bishopsgate-street to Sun-street , I met the prisoner Nugent; she took hold of me by the tail of my coat, and asked me to go up stairs into her room; I told her I was going home, and would not stop any where; she then clasped her arms round my waist; I told her positively I would not go up with her; I got from her and went home; when I got home, I was informing my landlady what a handsome present was come from the country for William Grierson ; I put my hand in my pocket, and immediately missed the things in the indictment; I immediately returned to the same alley, and found a girl at the end of the alley; I told her I would give her half-a-crown if the would inform me where any girls lived that walked about there; she took me to the same stair where I saw Nugent; I knocked at the door, and an old woman came down, who was so drunk she could not give me an answer; I went up stairs and found the two prisoners at the bar; there was a post behind Nugent's back, I desired her to deliver me the property that she had taken out of my pocket, upon that she got up and swore and cursed to a terrible degree, that she had never seen me before, and that I must be under a mistake; I told her I would call the watch if she did not deliver it to me; when I went to call the watch, Collins came to the head of the stairs, and swore that if I did not let him come past, he would knock me down stairs; I told him he should not, till the watchman came, and then he might; upon that he went in and shut the door, and I neard him say, damn you, Bet, put the articles behind the post; by this time the watch had come up, and I gave charge of them; as they were going from the watch-house to the Compter, a young woman, that was up stairs with them, said she would inform us where they were, upon that we went back to the watch-house again; I stopped there with the two prisoners, while the officer of the night, and this young woman, went with another officer to search the room; they found three of the handkerchiefs that were stolen from me, in the room behind the post, where Nugent was sitting; when they came back she was sent to the Compter.


On Sunday the 15th of November, a little after ten o'clock, the prosecutor brought the prisoners, with a watchman, into the watch-house; he said that Nugent had robbed him; we were going to take them to the Compter, when the other girl said, that if we would take her back, she would tell where the things were; we went back to the watch-house, and the girl went with as to shew us where the things were; the door was shut, and the girl herself broke it open; she went into the room and took three handkerchiefs from behind the post, which I delivered to my brother officer, Moses Edmunds.


I went with the last witness to search this room; these are the handkerchiefs (producing them.)

Forbes. I know these to be the handkerchiefs, by the mark of W. G. upon them.


These are my handkerchiefs.

Prisoner Nugent. He was with me some time, and gave these things and 2s. besides.

Forbes. I was not not up stairs till after I missed the articles; I did not give them to her.

Prisoner Nugent's defence. He told me he had but little money to give me, and gave me these handkerchiefs; I wanted 2s. more, and he said he had that, and gave it me to sleep with me all night; when he got up, he wanted them again; I said there was nothing freer than a gift, and he charged a constable with me immediately.

Prisoner Collins's defence. I know nothing about it; I am entirely innocent of every thing that has been mentioned; I get my living by playing upon a violin, at country dances.(The prisoner Collins was blind.)

Nugent, GUILTY, Of stealing, but not privately, from the person . (Aged 19.)

Collins, Not GUILTY .

Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. Justice GROSE.

[Transportation. See summary.]

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