SARAH M'DONALD, SARAH SMITH.
2nd December 1812
Reference Numbert18121202-97
VerdictGuilty; Guilty
SentenceTransportation

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96. SARAH M'DONALD and SARAH SMITH were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 16th of November , from the person of Richard Dawson , a watch, value 5 l. a gold key, value 2 s. four bank notes, value 1 l. each, and a 2 l. bank note , his property.

RICHARD DAWSON . I am a shoe-maker ; I live in Evesham-buildings, Somers Town.

Q. On the 16th of November did you lose any bank notes and your watch - A. Yes. It was about a quarter after one on the ensuing morning. On the 16th of November I was going home, I met Sarah Smith . I had been drinking; I was not altogether sober. The tallest prisoner (Smith) I met in Holborn, near Newton-street. She was alone. She asked me if I would give her something to drink. I said, there was no house as I past that she could get anything. I went with her to treat her, as she said she could find a house open. I went into a house, No. 6, Charles-street, Drury-lane. She knocked at the door, and the other prisoner let her in.

Q. You were both let in by the other prisoner, were not you - A. Yes, both.

Q. What money had you, and had you the watch

about you - A. I had the string of the watch in my fingers at the same time that I went in at the door, and I believe I had my money about me, four one pound notes and one two pound note.

Q. Did you fall in company with women of this discription before you met Sarah Smith - A. None whatever; that I am positive of. I came from my friends in Newport-alley, Nowport-market. I went into a room with this woman. The other secured the door, I think, with a bolt. The door of the room was about a yard from the street-door. I was not a minute with them. When I found they secured the street-door, I wanted to go out. I was robbed within a minute. Then they hustled me to keep me inside. They both went in the room with me, and both hustled me. I wanted to go out; then they pressed upon me with persuasions to stop; then I felt the seal of the watch. Smith pulled the watch out of my fob. I felt it, and likewise saw her hand give it to the other. I challenged her with it. I tried to catch her hand, to get the watch back again, and then they began in the most blasphemous manner to say that I had not got a watch. When I found my situation that way I went out of the door, and procured a watchman.

Q. Before you left the room, did you perceive any thing about the notes - A. No. My watch I felt go, and saw it go, and at last I got out and called the watch. The watchman came up, and I got him to come in doors. His name is Butler. He followed me into the house. He would have nothing to do with them. He told me I had as much lost a watch as he had. I desired him to search, I was positive it was there, and I thought about the bed. They rushed towards the bed. He took up the counterpane; he held it up. He said, there is no watch here; he said, search yourself, if you are not satisfied. I told him then, if he would not search I insisted upon him taking them to the watchhouse. He told me, I must mind what I did, if I did not prove that these women had my watch, they would work me for it.

Q. Had the conduct of these women towards you; had that sobered you - A. I was a little elevated with liquor; this rouzed me more. He took charge, and the constable of the night was very kind, he took the charge. He made every enquiry, but nothing came forward. I departed, and when I went out of door I found my notes were gone. I returned to the watchhouse; I told Mr. Paine. He asked me the description; I told him.

Q. What number of notes do you think you lost - A. Four one's and one two, Bank of England notes.

Q. Did Paine search them - A. I believe he did. They were found afterwards, but not while I was present.

Q. Were these two women laid hold of in the house in which Smith took you - A. Yes. On going to the watchhouse they told the watchman where they throwed the watch. He acknowledged it. I did not hear it.

Q. What was the value of your watch - A. About five pounds. It has never been found since. It was a silver hunting watch, with a gold key.

ANN MITCHELL . Q. Where do you live - A. At Hammersmith. I gave Mr. Dawson the one pound notes between seven and eight in evening; four one's and a two pound bank note. I paid them to him at Hammersmith for children's shoes that he served us with; then Mr. Dawson left us to go to London.

WILLIAM GODFREY . I am an officer of Bow-street office. I heard of the robbery on the 17th of November, from Mr. Paine, the night constable. I asked him if he had found the property. He said, no; they were on suspicion. He said he had got the key of the room. I said, let us go and have a thorough search. It is a room on the ground floor, No. 6, on the right hand side, next the street door.

Q. to Prosecutor. Is that the room to which you were taken - A. It was.

Godfrey. At the further part of the window, as you go in from the door, the notes were found, between a child's bonnet and a woman's bonnet in a hat box. I found the notes. Under the bed the hat box was. I found four one's and a two, Bank of England notes.

Mrs. Mitchell. The two pound note I knew it to be the note; it came to me with the name of Ladford on the back of it. When I took the note I observed the name upon it, and there is Mrs. Salter upon one of the one pound notes. Mrs. Salter was upon it when I took it.

THOMAS BUTLER . I am a watchman of St. Giles's. I live in New-street, Cross-street, Bloomsbury. I have been a watchman for three years and half. I was crying two o'clock in the morning; this gentleman was standing at the door; he called me in. He said, I have lost my watch. I said, that is a bad job. He said, I give you charge of these two women. The woman with the child, she had nothing on but her smock.

Q. Did you tell him he had as much lost his watch as you had - A. That was afterwards. I do not know whether I did or not.

Q. Did you find any women in the room - A. Yes. I went in the room. I found both the women there. He charged them with having robbed him of his watch. One of these women had nothing on but her smock. The child was stripped as well as she was. I told the women to put on her clothes, as he had given me charge. He told me to stop, and search the room first. I said, sir, very well. I searched the room. I thought I was doing my duty very correct. I took the covering off the bed and shook it.

Q. Do you mean to swear that - A. I do; I declare I do.

Q. You have heard what he has said - A. Yes. I am innocent of what he has said. He was very much liquor when he called me in.

Q. What means did you take further to search for the watch, upon your oath - A. Upon my oath I searched every thing that I thought proper.

Q. Upon your oath did you lift up any other clothes but the coverled - A. I did, the blanket and sheets, and then the bed; he was not satisfied. I said, if you think it is in the bed, search it, and I will leave you. He did search it himself, and pulled it out in the middle of the floor. I searched the tea

cups and sauce pans, and every thing I could find in the room.

Q. Did you look under the bed - A. No, I did not. He was in such an hurry to take them to the watchhouse.

Q. How came you to say he had lost a watch as much as me - A. He said he would give charge of me. and then I, in a passion, said, you have lost a watch as much as me.

Q. You did not believe that he had lost a watch - A. I did not, I declare. Directly he told me he insisted upon my taking them. I told them to put on their clothes.

Q. Do you mean to say that the women said nothing until they got to the watchhouse - A. At the watchhouse the constable took the charge. The prisoner were both going up stairs. They said it was in the dust hole. I cannot say which of them said that. They said it one to another.

Q. Did you tell the constable of the night what you had heard - A. I did not. I did not recollect it till afterwards.

Q. Have you ever enquired in the house whether there was a dust-hole - A. No.

Q. The watch has never been found, has it - A. Not as I know of.

MR. PAINE. Q. You were the constable of the night, we understand - A. Yes.

Q. These women were brought in charge to you - A. They were. Mr. Dawson charged them with robbing him of his watch.

Q. Did Dawson appear to you to have senses about him - A. He was very correct. The prisoners pleaded innocent. I searched them. I could not find anything about them.

Q. At the time that Dawson came in the watchman came in with them - A. He did. He complained of ill treatment of the watchman not persevering in doing his duty, in searching for the watch. He made that charge at the time.

Q. Did you hear either of the prisoners say any thing about the watch - A. No, I did not. The watchman followed them to the stair foot, into the lobby. What passed there I don't know. I was not in hearing.

Q. Did the watchman tell you that he heard one of them say where the watch had been put - A He never did. After the prosecutor had made the charge I entered it; he left the watchhouse, and in the course of four or five minutes, Mr. Dawson returned. He then complained that his notes were gone, four ones and one two. I bid him stop, while I went up stairs and made a research. I found no notes. I found the key of the room. M'Donald had the key of the room about her. That key opened the padlock of the door. I went down to the room, and made a further search. I found no notes. I kept the key. In the morning, I and Godfrey went together. We made a search, took the clothes off the bed, and the bed off the bedstead, and under the bedstead was a hat-box. I pulled the cover off the hatbox. I pulled a little hat out of the bonnet, and out fell the notes. Godfrey picked them up.

Q. Did you search the cinders at all - A. I never heard a word about the dust-hole. There is a dust-hole under the stairs, if I had heard of the dust-hole at that time I should have searched it; no doubt but the watch would have come forth, if he had mentioned it.

Godfrey. He told me the watch was in the dust-hole: that was after all search would have been fruitless.

Prosecutor. The watchman told me that my watch was in the dust-hole since I have been in attendance here.

COURT, to Butler. Your conduct has been most infamous indeed. Let that man stand committed.

( Thomas Butler was immediately taken into custody.)

Smith's Defence. I was coming up Holborn, he asked me to take him home. I said, I would take the man into this woman's room, and as soon as the door opened he said he had lost his watch. First he said he had, and then he said he had not. This woman knows nothing about it.

M'Donald's Defence. This woman came home about two o'clock. I asked who was there. She said, Sarah Smith . The moment I opened the door the gentleman said he had lost his watch. I never moved, but stood with the door in my hand, least any body should say I had it. Mr. Paine has known me four years; he never knew any thing dishonest of me.

Mr. Paine. She has been given in charge of me before.

SMITH, GUILTY , aged 25.

M'DONALD, GUILTY , aged 27.

Transported for Life .

Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.


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