12th September 1798
Reference Numbert17980912-1
VerdictNot Guilty

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467. MARIA HESTER and MARGARET GREEN were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 17th of May , in the dwelling-house of Benjamin Bartram , a Bank-note, value 2l. another Bank-note, value 1l. the property of the said Benjamin .

(The case was opened by Mr. Knowlys.)

ANN BARTRAM sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knowlys. My husband keeps the Castle, at Ealing : On the 17th of May, between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, the two prisoners came into our house, they were neighbours of mine; an old lady came in while they were there for change for a two pound note; Mrs. Green said, I wish that money was mine; I said, she would not be the better for that; Mrs. Green sat down by me, nearer to me than Mrs. Hester; I gave change for the two pound note, and put the note into a nutmeg-grater, there was a one pound note in it before; both the prisoners saw me put them in; I put the nutmeg-grater down upon the table where I was at work in the bar; I turned out of the bar to draw some beer, I desired my mother to draw it, and when I came back Mrs. Green ordered me to go for a slice of cheese; I left them alone in the bar, and went into the next room for the cheese; the door was so situated that nobody could have come into the bar without my seeing them; and when I came back with the cheese, they were going out of the bar-door. I did not miss the grater till an hour after, I thought I had put it in my pocket; there had been nobody in the bar but my mother; my husband came in very soon after, and I told him of it. I never found the grater, nor I should not know the notes.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. When was this? - A. The 17th of May.

Q. When were they before the Justice? - A. A fortnight and three days after.

Q. Your husband went to Mrs. Hester the same evening? - A. Yes.

Q. You had put the grater upon the table? - A. Yes.

Q. You thought you had put it in your pocket? - A. Yes.

Q. And it might have dropped out? - A. Yes, but that it certainly never did.

BENJAMIN BARTRAM sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knowlys. I came home between five and six o'clock, and my wife acquainted me with her loss; in consequence of that I went to Mrs. Hester, I asked her if she had seen a little nutmeg-grater box, containing a one pound note and a two pound note; she said, no, she had not seen any thing at all of it; afterwards I went to Mrs. Green, and she said, she had not seen any thing of it; the notes have never been found since.

WILLIAM FRISBY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knowlys. I live at Kew: On the 17th of May, between five and six o'clock, I was going to Ealing, I called in at Mrs. Hester's house, and she and her husband were at tea, and Mrs. Green with her; Mrs. Hester asked me if I would tell her what value those two notes were; I took the notes of her, and told her one was a two pound note, and the other a one pound note.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. This poor woman cannot read? - A. No.

Q. She had received some notes, and wished you to tell her what they were, that she might know if they were right? - A. Yes.

The prisoner, Hester, left her defence to her Counsel, and called four witnesses, who gave her a good character.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before The LORD CHIEF BARON.

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