10th July 1805
Reference Numbert18050710-17
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s
SentenceImprisonment > house of correction; Miscellaneous > fine

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448. MARY LEE was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 28th of June , a cloak, value 1 l. a gown, value 12 s. a petticoat, value 5 s. two shawls, value 4 s. three aprons, value 4 s. four handkerchiefs, value 3 s. two pocket handkerchiefs, value 1 s. a table-cloth, value 1 s. a piece of white lace, value 2 s. two hat-bands, value 7 s. a pair of sheets, value 10 s. a pair of pillow-cases, value 1 s. 6 d. three pair of stockings, value 3 s. a lace cap, value 3 s. and a dimity petticoat, value 10 s. the property of William Cantell .

WILLIAM CANTELL sworn. - I live at the corner of Little Green-street, Kentish-town , I am a carpenter ; my wife being dead, I hired the prisoner at two shillings a week; I gave her, while she was with me, half a crown a week, as I thought two shillings was too little.

Q. When did you hire her? - A. I believe it is about six or seven weeks back; I knew nothing of the robbery till Friday the 28th of June.

Q. How did you find out the robbery? - A. I was very ill in bed, and did not get up from the 17th to the 28th; I was forced to keep my bed eleven days; on the 28th my daughter came up to me, and said, father, I am sorry to see you so bad; says she, you want some clean sheets; I said, you will find some in the drawer; on her searching, she found that every drawer besides one, and every box in the room, there were some things gone out of; I had seen my things in my boxes and in my drawers before the 17th.

Q. Where were your drawers, in your bedroom? - A. No, in a private room where my wife died; I always keep the keys under my pillow; while I was so ill, I lost my senses, and I could not tell what became of the keys; I did not suffer any one to go into that room.

Q. While you were ill, you were light-headed? - A. I used to have one or two fits of a day, but, thank God, I have not had any for this fortnight; I was not able to get up on the Friday, but on the Monday following I got up, and went and got two search-warrants to search two houses, and the first house that was searched they found more than one half of the things that were stolen; on Tuesday they searched the other house, and found what they could not find in the other.

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. How long is it since your wife died? - A. She died on the 3d of March, five minutes before five o'clock in the morning.

Q. Had you been acquainted with the prisoner before the decease of your wife? - A. She never slept in my house, she only came backwards and forwards as a chair-woman.

Q. Did not you intrust the prisoner with the keys? - A. I would not trust even my own daughter with them.

Q. I am sorry you should have suspicion of your own daughter - in point of fact, the question is whether you intrusted the keys with the prisoner? - A. I never missed the keys.

Q. I ask you whether you ever intrusted her with the keys? - A. Never in my life, nor no person in the world.

Q. Perhaps you gave your wife leave to dispose of her property? - A. No, I mean to keep it as long as I live, except I want to make away with it.

Q. It had not been given to your daughter? - - A. No; I gave her my wife's wedding-ring, and what she died in; I would not trust my daughter with the keys, except somebody went with her.

ELIZABETH HARTLEY sworn. - Q. You are daughter to William Cantell , you are married? - Yes; my husband's name is Richard Hartley : On the 28th of June, I went to my father, I went to look out the sheets, and I missed them.

Q. Had you been there between the 17th and the 28th? - A. I had been there on the Monday before, I went to get the sheets; I told my father I could not find them; he said, look further; I looked further, and then I missed a gown; I went into this back room where my mother died, and found all these articles gone; they were taken out of the drawers and out of two boxes.

Q. Had you been in there before since your mother died? - A. Yes, I had been in on the Monday evening; my father sent me in to get my mother's ring; I took it out, I only opened one drawer.

Q. Who gave you then the keys of the room? - A. My father.

Q. And you returned them to him? - A. Yes; on the Monday following, the 1st of July, my father and I went to Bow-street to get two search-warrants, because there were two houses, the daughter of the prisoner lived in one, and the prisoner lived in the other.

Q. Where were these houses? - A. One is in Little Green-street, the son and daughter lived there, and the other is in College-lane (they are both in Kentish-town,) the mother lived there.

Q. Tell us what you found first at Little Green-street? - A. I went in company with Mr. Blackman and Doyle; I found there a pair of pillowcases and an apron, they are all here.

Q. You did not live with your father? - A. No; there is his apprentice lives with him, he has no lodgers.

WILLIAM BLACKMAN sworn. - I am an officer belonging to Bow-street: On the 1st of July,

I went to execute two search-warrants in company with Doyle, first to No. 4, Little Green-street, Kentish-town, and there I saw the prisoner at the bar; I told her I came upon a disagreeable circumstance to search her house to find some property of Mr. Cantell's; she said, very well. In the house I found two pillow-cases, and a white apron; her daughter came in, and I told Doyle to stop her, as she wanted to go out of the house, till I had searched the house all through; Mrs. Hartley could not swear to the pillow-cases, the marks being taken out; then I said, I shall by no means take them; I said to the mother and daughter, you have got another house.

Q. What did you do with the pillow-case? - A. I left them and the apron, because she could not positively swear to them; then the prisoner at the bar, Mrs. Hartley, I, and Doyle, went to her house in College-lane; I followed them up stairs, and the prisoner at the bar and Mrs. Hartley went into a back room; I heard the prisoner, as I stood and listened at the door, desire Mrs. Hartley to shut the door, and not to let me in, and she would give up the property; I forced myself into the room; she was then taking the property out of a cupboard on the left hand going into the room, and I took it out of her hand. I produce a tablecloth, a white silk hat-band, a piece of lace, and a pair of sheets, that is what I took out of her hand; I took her into custody, and took her to Bow-street. Sir Richard Ford desired me to keep her in the watch-house till I could find the rest of the property; I went the next morning to No. 4, Green-street, and there I took the two pillow-cases which I had left, and one pair of stockings and a shift; I found that the next morning; here is some more of the property which the prisoner's daughter returned to Mr. Cantell the next day - a cap, a pocket, two pair of stockings, and a handkerchief; he produced them to me the next morning. (The property identified by Mrs. Hartley.)

Q. (To the prosecutor.) What may be the value of these things? - A. Between three and four pounds.

Mr. Alley. Q. The house is your own, you pay the rent and taxes? - A. Yes.

Prisoner's defence. Mr. Cantell gave me all these things out of his own hands from his drawers.

Court. Q. We will ask him that question - Cantell, did you give her all these things? - A. Never, as true as God is in heaven; I never gave her any more than paid her for her labour, I did not know that they were gone till I missed them.

GUILTY, aged 53,

Of stealing to the value of 39 s.

Confined twelve months in the House of Correction , and fined 1 s.

Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

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