27th October 1819
Reference Numbert18191027-73
VerdictNot Guilty

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1449. CATHERINE HARRIS was indicted for stealing, on the 27th of October , one watch, value 5 l., the property of Caroline Harris , spinster , and one scarf, value 15 s., the property of George Smith , in his dwelling-house .

GEORGE SMITH . I am a breeches-maker , and live at No. 37, Leicester-square ; I have known Caroline Harris a long time; she occasionally comes to my house on a visit. On the evening of the 27th of October I answered the prisoner's knock at the door - she informed me that she had engaged with my wife to become her servant - I let her in and questioned her. She said my wife had had a very good character with her. I said, as my wife was not in the way, it would be necessary that I should have some character of her; she said I should have one in the morning. I shewed her the kitchen, and told her she might remain that night, and if her character suited she might remain as our servant. In the course of half an hour I requested her to attend to the fire on the second floor, and sent my brother William to No. 17, Queen-street, Soho-square, to Caroline Harris , desiring to see her on some business - this was about a quarter before nine o'clock in the evening. I was then engaged for some time, and in about half an hour I understood Caroline Harris was come, and asked my brother if candles were in the second floor, where she was? finding there were none, I went to the kitchen, and asked the prisoner what name I was to call her? she said, Kitty. I gave her candles to take to Caroline Harris on the second floor - I saw her move as if she was going there. I then considered that I had occasion to speak to Caroline Harris in my parlour, went part of the way up stairs and called her down to the parlour to me; she immediately came down, and at that moment the prisoner was going up - Caroline Harris and myself were in the parlour about six minutes; we then went into the second floor room, Caroline Harris immediately laid her hand on her basket, which she had brought with her, and missed her watch. I told her to go to her lodgings, and see if she had not left it there by accident. She requested me not to allow the prisoner to leave the house until she returned. She went, and I went into the kitchen, and told the prisoner the lady had missed something (but did not say what), and she must not leave the house until she returned; she made no reply. I went into my shop, and in about five minutes the prisoner came to me with a small trunk which she had brought, and her keys, and said I might search it and her person, for she wished to go; I declined it, saying she must wait the return of the lady. My brother returned with Caroline Harris , and stated, in the prisoner's hearing, that the watch was not there, and she must have lost it in my house. My brother fetched Pepper - he searched the prisoner, and found a pocket-book on her with some duplicates, one of which was for the scarf.

Q. She could not have left the house after you let her in - A. No, my Lord. The watch was found in the shop, close to where the prisoner stood for two hours - my brother was in the shop with her.

Cross-examined by MR. ALLEY. Q. Where is your wife - A. At Mr. Warburton's, at Bethnal-green - she went there that night about seven o'clock - she had been drinking before she went there.

Q. You occasionally send her there - A. Never before; she had been at Chelsea. I have no knowledge of the prisoner.

Q. Have you any other house in the neighbourhood - A. The adjoining house. I keep no servants.

Q. Who is Caroline Harris - A. A female, whose father I knew very well; he is lately dead, and was a respectable butcher in Oxford-market.

Q. It was odd you should send for her at that time of night - A. It was requisite I should have some one to take care of my house. She remained there that night.

Q. Do not you know the prisoner was in the house before you let her in - A. I knew somebody had been with my wife.

Q. Did you not see her there - A. I saw her in the parlour with my wife at five o'clock. She had been several times in the house.

Q. Will you swear that the prisoner had not complained to your wife about you, before your wife was sent away - A. I never heard of it.

CAROLINE HARRIS . I am a single woman, and live in Queen-street, Soho; I have been long acquainted with Smith and his wife when quite a child.

Q. Have you been acquainted with her lately - A. No, not exactly - not to speak to her; I did not visit her.

Q. Did you visit Mr. Smith - A. Yes, occasionally. On the evening of the 27th of October his brother came for me, I got there about nine o'clock; I went into his shop, sat there about five minutes, and then went to the second floor by his brother's desire. My gold watch was in a pair of slippers, which were in my basket. I put the basket on the left side of the fire-place, on the ground, in the second floor. As the prisoner was coming up stairs with the candles Mr. Smith called me down; she had not got into the room before he called me - I was down stairs five or six minutes with him. I met the prisoner at the foot of the stairs as I went up - I am sure she did not come into the room while I was there. Mr. Smith went up with me, and in about five minutes I missed my watch - the slippers remained. Smith told me to go home and look for it, I did so, and told him not to permit her to leave until I returned. I found I had brought it, returned, and found the prisoner in the shop. I asked her for the watch, she said she had not got it. A constable was sent for - it was found about two hours afterwards. I was in the kitchen when it was found.

Q. Did you buy it, or was it a present - A. A present.

EDMUND PEPPER . I was sent for, took the prisoner up stairs, searched her, and found the duplicate of the scarf, pledged that day for 15 s. On coming down stairs Smith's brother found the watch, which Caroline Harris claimed - William Smith and Caroline Harris were down stairs.

WILLIAM SMITH . I am brother to George Smith . I fetched Caroline Harris to my brother's - she lodged at my house - I returned home. Soon afterwards she came, and said she had lost her watch; I returned to my brother's with her and found the prisoner there. I got Pepper. I was in the shop, the prisoner stood by the cutting-board. I was left alone with her, and told her it was evident she had it, and if she gave it up it would be better. She fell on her knees, and begged I would do what I could for her - she picked it up from behind the chest and gave it to me. I called my brother and Harris up - Harris claimed it.

CAROLINE HARRIS . The watch is mine. Smith was not in the shop when I came in, nor any of the workmen.


First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.

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