8th April 1839
Reference Numbert18390408-1425
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence; Guilty > unknown
SentenceTransportation; Imprisonment

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1425. MARY ANN POTTS and MARY ANN WILLIS were indicted for feloniously breaking and entering, the dwelling-house of Thomas Davis, on the 31st of March, at Woolwich, and stealing therein 1 hat, value 2s., the goods of George Thomas; 1 looking-glass and frame, value 9s.; and 1 blanket, value 2s.; the goods of Thomas Davis; and that Potts had been previously convicted of felony.

GEORGE THOMAS . I am a pensioner and lodge in the kitchen of Thomas Davis, in Powis-street, Woolwich. On Sunday, the 31st of March, between seven and eight o'clock, I missed the articles stated from the front kitchen—they had been all let to me with the lodging, except the hat, which was my own—I had seen them safe about six o'clock, when I went up stairs with the landlord—the door leading to the area was then shut, not locked, bat on the latch—when I came down between seven and eight o'clock, it was open, and the area gate also, and the things gone—there are a few steps down to the area.

Potts. Q. You say your door was latched, it was open? A. No, it was latched—I have not found the pillow, only the glass and hat—I did not see you take them.

JOSEPH BUTTERFILL . I am a constable of Woolwich. I produce a blanket which I got from Mrs. Wood, on Sunday night, the 31st of March, also a glass, which I got from a person named Cross, at the house where the prosecutor lodges, and a hat which I received from Sarah Miles, with some baskets—I went in search of the prisoners, and found them at the Coach and Horses public-house, High-street, Woolwich—I told them I took them in charge for robbing Mr. Thomas of a blanket, a glass, and a hat—Potts denied all knowledge of it—I told her I had got a blanket from Mrs. Wood, which had been left by her the same evening—she denied it—Willis also denied the charge, and said she had received the glass from Potts.

Potts. When you took me you did not name-any thing but the blanket. Witness. Yes, I did, all that was told me, a feather pillow, a hat, and a looking-glass, and you denied knowing any thing about them.

WILLIAM CROSS . I am a private in the Royal Marines at Woolwich. On Sunday, the 31st of March, the two prisoners came to my house, on Church-hill, between nine and ten o'clock in the evening—Willis said she wished to leave the glass till to-morrow morning—that they wanted to dispose of it for 4s., as they were in distress, and it belonged to Potts—my wife said she could not buy it—she said, if my wife could lend her 1s., as she was in distress, and had had no bread all day, she should be obliged.—I lent her 8d., and they went away—I afterwards went in search of the prisoners, and found them at the Coach and Horses—I desired Willis to, come and fetch the glass away, as my wife was very uneasy that it was left—she was just in the act of coming with me, when the constable came in and took her—I asked her if it was come by honestly—she said it belonged to Potts, and Potts said it bad belonged to a seaman—I took the glass to Mr. Davis, and while I was there, the officer came and took it.

Potts. You said if it was stolen, you would put it away? Witness. I said so, and if you had said it was stolen, I should have given you into custody—Willis said it belonged to you.

SARAH MILES . I live at Woolwich. On Sunday night, the 31st of March, I was at the Coach and Horses—the two prisoners came in with two friends, and a sailor came in after, but who he was, or whether he was in their company, I cannot say—Potts had some baskets which she left on

the settle—the landlord told me to take them to Butterfill at the cage, which I did—the hat was in them.

MARGARET WOOD . I am the wife of Alexander Wood, and live at Hop-yard Rails, Woolwich. Between eight and nine o'clock, on Sunday evening, the 31st of March, Potts came to me and showed me a blanket which she wanted to sell—she said it belonged to a young man a sailor, and asked me to let her leave it till the morning—I did so—she looked very ill, and asked me to give her 2d. to get a pint of beer—I gave her 3d.—she said she would fetch the blanket away in the morning—I gave it up to Butterfill and the prosecutor, who is Potts's uncle—Potts had been to me with Willis that evening with a looking-glass which they wanted to part with, but I refused buying it—I understood Potts to say it belonged to the sailor.

Potts. Q. Did you ever know me do any wrong to any one? A. No, I never knew any thing amiss of you.

GEORGE THOMAS re-examined, I am Potts's uncle. She was not in the habit of coming to my premises—she has been two or three times, but I never asked her to sit down—these are my things (looking at them)—the pillow has not been found.

Potts's Defence. I have been for twelve months in a Union poor-house at Cambridge—I left about five weeks ago, and came to Willis, having no home, money or clothes—she offered me shelter, gave me part of what she had, and gave me money to procure cotton for my work—I showed a person my uncle's house, but did not take the property; all I took away was a feather pillow—I hope you will be lenient to me—I am sorry for what I have done—this woman is a widow, and has two children—her husband has been dead twelve months—she works from eight in the morning till six in the evening—had we not been under the influence of liquor we should not have done it.

WILLIAM THOMAS CHITTENDEN . I am a constable—I produce a certificate of Potts's former conviction, which I got at Mr. Straights office (read)- I was present at her trial at Maid stone in 1833—she is the same person.

Potts. Q. How do you know I am the same person? A. I was present and saw you tried—you were committed from Lewis ham.

Potts. You thought this would give me a little help, did you? what business had you to enter on that charge?—I suffered the law of my country for it—I robbed a good master and mistress—I hope, my Lord, my former commitment will not be against me, and that you will be as lenient as you can—I am sorry for what I have done.

POTTS— GUILTY. * Aged 28, of stealing only.— Transported for Seven Years.

WILLIS— GUILTY . Aged 35.— Confined Six Months.

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