17th September 1800
Reference Numbert18000917-74
VerdictGuilty; Guilty

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661 ESTHER LAWRENCE and CHARLOTTE SMITH were indicted for feloniously stealing on the 25th of August , a watch value 3l. a watch chain, value 1s. 6d. a seal, value 2s a watch key value 6d. one handkerchief value 1s.6d. a half-guinea, seven and sixpence in money, and a Bank-note, value 5l. the property of William Jeary .

WILLIAM JEARY sworn. - I am a chair-maker by trade, but have now a situation in the Customs on the 25th of August, in going home about eleven o'clock, I met with the prisoner in Bishopsgate-street, and they intreated me to walk home with them; they then asked me to treat them with a glass of liquor, and I went with them into the Marquis of Granby in Bishopsgate-street; we had some liquor for which I paid two shilling, and had fourpence halfpenny back in change, which I put into my coat pocket; when we came out the prisoner said they were going my way, and they walked with me, and going along, I was taken exceedingly sick with the liquor.

Q. Upon your oath, were you drunk or sober? - A. I was not insensible; I had only drank one glass of brandy and water before I met with the prisoners, and I had two glasses of brandy with them; I was very ill and asked for some water; The prisoners said, they lived close by, and persuaded me to go with them, and they would get me some; I went with them to a house in Angel-court, Bishopsgate-street ; I was very sick in the room and they got me some water I then sat down and fell asleep upon a chair; when I waked, I found the prisoner Lawrence on the right-side of me, very busy about my person, unbuttoning my waistcoat; after I came to myself, I heard the gentleman go past one; I told them I had no idea it was so late, and should go home.

Q. What time did you go into the public-house? - A. A little after eleven; they then both said, they would come down stairs with me, but being very dark, they went up the court with me, instead of going into Bishopsgate-street; we passed a house, where there was a door standing open, the prisoners went with me into this house, and as soon as I had got in the prisoners pulled the door upon me, and ran away; the passage being to very dark, I could not find the door, I made a noise, and a woman brought a candle; I examined my pockets, and missed my watch, a five-pound note, and seventeen shillings and sixpence; I came out of the house, and called the watchman, and went with him to the constable of at night; he told me, I could do nothing till the next day, and must get a search-warrant; the next night, about ten o'clock, I came past the same court and saw the prisoners standing at the corner of the court, I went up to them and told them, I wanted to speak with them a moment; I asked them if they did not recollect drinking liquor with me the night before, and they both denied it; I told them I was perfectly satisfied they were the persons, when Lawrence immediately said, she would be damn'd if she would deny but what, she did drink some liquor with me; I told her, I had lost my watch and I was determined to have it back; they both denied it, and said they never saw any thing of the kind, while I was speaking to them, the watchman came past, his name is Barlett; I told him those were the two women I was in company with the night before; he told me, he was on duty, but if I would wait till he came over, he would take them into custody; in the mean time, a person of the name of Wright, a constable, came up, and told me not to have any thing more to do with it yet, he would call upon me in the morning, at my lodgings, which he did and told me the prisoners were in custody and my watch and handkerchief found upon them; I went before the Lord-Mayor, and saw my watch and handkerchief, I knew them to be mine; I am certain the two prisoners are the same women; the watch had a silver hoop round the works, instead of a cap.

Prisoner Smith. Q. Did you not take up another women, before you took us up? - A. No, I took up no other woman.

SAMUEL BARTLETT sworn. - I am a watchman: On Tuesday morning, the 26th of August, as I was calling the hour of two, I heard somebody call watchman; I found the prisoner in Slade's buildings, adjoining to Angel-court, he went with me to the watch-house; we agreed to meet the next evening; the next evening I saw him at the corner of Angel-court with the prisoners; they first denied that they had seen me, and afterwards owned it.

THOMAS SAPWELL sworn. - I am a constable of the ward of Bishopsgate: On the 26th of August, I received information, in consequence of which, I went to the house of Esther Lawrence,

where I found her, and the other prisoner with her; I asked Lawrence if she knew any thing about a watch and a bank-note, she said, no; I asked the other likewise, and she said, no; I searched them both, and found nothing upon them; I searched the bed, and under the bottom I found this handkerchief, and in the handkerchief, I found the watch, chain, seal and key, (produces them); I asked them both if this watch belonged to them, they told me, no; I then secured them both, and took them to the Poultry Compter; about ten o'clock on the Wednesday morning, the prosecutor, and a man of the name of Wright, met me the corner of Furrer's rents, Bishopsgate-Street, where I live, and I gave him information of his property.(The property was deposed to by the prosecutor).

Lawrence's defence. The gentleman was so much in liquor, that he said this young woman was his sister; he did not give us any thing, he had not a farthing in the world, and left the watch with this young woman for three shillings and sixpence, and we kept it for him, without even pledging it; he was to come for it the next evening, or else in the morning.

Smith's defence. He left the watch for three shillings and sixpence.

For the Prisoners.

ANN HUGHES sworn. - I am a tayloress, I make suits of clothes: That gentleman was very much in liquor, and got into the passage where I live; he made a terrible noise, and went and fetched the watchman Bartlett, and said he was robbed of his watch, and a twenty-pound note; the watchman would not take charge of me, knowing me to be a hard-working woman; he came again the next day, and excused himself; he said he was very much intoxicated the night before, that he had lost no money than a five-pound note, and his watch; the prosecutor told me, he would satisfy me for behaving so insolent to me, but he never did.

EDWARD RENTON sworn. - I heard that the prisoners were taken up; I went to the Mansion-house, and in my way home, I met with the prosecutor, and we got into conversation; he told me, he was so drunk, that he did not know what he said, nor where he was.

Lawrence, GUILTY . (Aged 28.)

Smith, GUILTY . (Aged 21.)

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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