5th April 1827
Reference Numbert18270405-9

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Before Lord Chief Justice Abbott.

762. ANN WILLIAMS was indicted for stealing, on the 14th of February , at St. Clement Danes, in the dwelling-house of James Dawes , 6 sovereigns, 1 half-sovereign, and four 20l. Bank notes , his property, against the statute.

JAMES DAWES. I live at No. 11, Granville-buildings, Drury-lane, in the parish of St. Clement Danes , and am a coach-plater - the prisoner lodged on my second floor with a man, as her husband, for twelve months off and on - she stood godmother to my child last Whit Sunday - I was ill from Christmas to the 14th of February, and kept my bed all that time, and afterwards. On the 14th of February the prisoner was washing for us - my wife went out - the prisoner assisted me out of bed about ten or twenty minutes before seven o'clock that evening, and I went into the next room - I was undressed - she went into the room to make the bed while I was in the next room - after she had made the bed I recollected I had left my pocket-book in the bed - I went into the room, turned down the clothes,

and missed it; nobody but her had been in the room - I am certain I left it there, for I had opened it just before my wife went out; it was tied up in a blue handkerchief with six sovereigns and a half sovereign - I opened the handkerchief just before my wife went out, about five o'clock, and saw the six sovereigns and half safe - they were in the handkerchief with the pocket-book - I did not open the pocket-book then, but I had seen four 20l. Bank of England notes in it the day before - my wife had taken the pocket-book out of a trunk, gave it to me in the bed, and I kept it there - I gave my wife a sovereign out, and saw her put in a half-sovereign; there were then six sovereigns and a half there - I had the numbers of the notes entered in a copy-book, which is not here - the person who has it is ill - the prisoner was missing.

Cross-examined. Q. Are you a master plater? A. I work for myself, and had saved this money - my wife had gone out to a Committee for some flannel for herself and children, which was to be given away.

ELIZABETH DAWES . I am the wife of James Dawes. I went out in the afternoon of the 14th of February - I had left the handkerchief, pocket-book, and money in bed with my husband - there were six sovereigns and a half in the handkerchief, which was wrapped round the pocketbook - I returned about seven o'clock, heard of this loss, and was three days and nights in pursuit of the prisoner; she did not return to the house at all - she had given me no notice whatever of her going - the man, she lived with, is still in our house; his name is William Williams - I found the prisoner in Giltspur-street Compter - my husband had been ill a long time.

Cross-examined. Q. For what purpose did you go out? A. I went for relief, for some money; it was a gift which had been left by some gentleman for the poor.

Q. Then you must have represented yourself as a poor person? A. I could not consider myself very rich, having two children and a sick husband - I did not know what money my husband had got - I took the handkerchief out of the chest the day before - I gave it to my husband about an hour before I went out - I had kept it in my pocket till then, but never opened the pocket-book.

JANE SMITH . I live next door to Dawes - I heard of this robbery, and went to fetch Mrs. Dawes.

JAMES ANDERSON . I am Mrs. Dawes' brother. I was at the house on the 14th of February, and remember Dawes going from his bed-room into the other room - I did not go into the bed-room at all - the prisoner passed me, and went in to make the bed after he was placed in an arm-chair - I was in the front room with him, and went away before the property was missed - I left a little after seven o'clock - he asked me for some tobacco; I had none: the prisoner at that time was sitting at the fire - he said, "Mrs. Williams, have you any?" she said, "No, but I will see if my husband has;" she then went out; this was after she had made the bed - there is a door-way between the two rooms, but no door - I know she made the bed; she put her head in at the door in about half a minute, and said she was going out to get some tobacco; she did not return while I was there; I did not hear her go out at the door; I left in about twenty minutes; she had not returned then - I staid with Dawes.

Cross-examined. Q. She sat by you before she went to make the bed? A. Yes, in the front room; she knew I was there; I did not go into the bed-room at all; I could not see from the front room into the back, as there is a wainscot - she did not offer to go for the tobacco till he asked for it.

WILLIAM WESTBURY . I keep the Queen's Head public-house, Darkhouse-lane, Billingsgate. The prisoner came to my house on the 14th of February, and was taken into custody the same night - I think it was the 14th; she came about twelve o'clock at night, and asked for the Gravesend boat, saying she was going there; I told her there was a boat going about five o'clock; she said she had been robbed of a 20l. note, or had lost one - she appeared rather in liquor; I saw her take a 20l. note from her bosom, and twenty-two sovereigns and a half out of her pocket; I saw them, and counted them in my hand; when she asked for the Gravesend boat, I asked her what was the name of it; she said she wanted to go to an East India ship, and mentioned a name - I knew no such ship of that name, though I have lived at Gravesend twenty years - Manning, the officer, had brought her to my house at first to show her where the Gravesend boats went from, and when I saw she had so much money I told the officer I thought there had been a robbery committed, and we had better take the money from her and have her apprehended in the morning; she went to bed at my house; I got the money and note from her before she went to bed - it was placed in my hands; the next morning I had her taken into custody; my servant gave the money and note to Manning in the morning - he took her in charge.

Cross-examined. Q. What is the name of the ship she asked for? A. The Hogarth, or some such name, an East Indiaman; I knew no such ship lay at Gravesend at that time - she was rather intoxicated; I mentioned my suspicions before her, before she went bed, and took the money from her - we bolted her into the bed-room, so that she could not get out; I left the money at the bar in care of my wife, to give the servant, who gave it to the patrol; they are not here.

JOHN MANNING . I am a patrol. On the night of the 14th of February I saw the prisoner get out of a hackneycoach in Thames-street; the coachman asked, in her presence, if I knew where the Gravesend boats went from; I said from Darkhouse-lane; she asked me to show her the house; I took her to the Queen's Head, and told her they went from there - I left her there - I was called back in a minute or two, and saw her with a number of sovereigns in her hand - I asked where she got all that money, and said I thought she had more money than wit; she said she had more money than that; and putting her hand in her bosom, took out some loose papers, among which was a 20l. Bank of England note; she put her hand in her bosom again, and began to cry, saying she had lost a 20l. note; she said she had four, or more notes - I asked how she came by so much money; she said her father had sent it to her from Coventry, that she might appear decent to see her brother, who was then at Gravesend, at a ship - I counted twenty-two sovereigns and a half, and a 20l. note into the landlord's hands, and he put them away - the prisoner went up to bed before I left - I went in the morning, and took her to the Compter - I then

returned for the money, and the Alderman ordered it into the care of Brand the marshalsman.

Cross-examined. Q. Who did you receive the money from in the morning? A. From the servant - I saw the prisoner get out of the hackney-coach at twenty minutes after twelve o'clock - I was on duty - she accompanied me willingly to the public-house - she told me a different story next day about how she got the money.

WILLIAM BRAND . I am a marshalsman. I have a 20l. note and seventeen sovereigns - the Alderman desired me to give the prisoner a half-sovereign, and the Magistrate ordered me to give her five sovereigns, to provide for her defence.

The prisoner made no Defence.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 45.

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