13th January 1879
Reference Numbert18790113-193
VerdictNot Guilty > directed

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account)

193. HANNAH PEACE alias WARD (58) , Feloniously receiving seven pocket-handkerchiefs and other articles, the goods of William Gordon Shapley, well knowing the same to be stolen.


HENRY PHILLIPS (Police Inspector T). I am attached to the Criminal Investigation Department—John Ward, alias Charles Peace, was convicted last November of shooting at a police-constable—he was arrested on 10th October—from inquiries I made I went down to Darnall, which is about three miles from Sheffield, on 5th November—the house I went to was occupied by John Bolsover, his wife, sister, the prisoner, and Willie Ward—I sat down and had some conversation with them, and told them I had come from Peckham—I turned round and saw a clock on the drawers, which I knew from a description to belong to Miss Dodson, of Blackheath—Inspector Twybell came in, and I told the prisoner and Bolsover that the clock was stolen property, and I should take charge of it—the prisoner said "I did not know that it was stolen, a tall man gave it me about five weeks ago"—I told her a man who lived at Peckham had been remanded, and she said "He has been a great deal of trouble to me and seems to harass my life wherever I go"—I searched the house and found various articles which have been identified by different persons—when the other inspector was about to open a box, the prisoner said "Never mind that box, Mr. Twybell, I know what you want, I will give it you"—we opened the box and took from it a large parcel containing about forty articles—we took the residue of the property, and I charged her with receiving the property knowing it to be stolen—she replied "I did not know it was stolen—she was taken before the Magistrate on 13th November, and on the 14th I went to Balsover's house again and found the articles identified by Mr. Shapley—the prisoner gave her name as Hannah Peace, and her son said in her presence she was married at St. George's Church, Sheffield—she did not contradict it—I brought a big box up to London, too large to bring here, which I showed to Pickering and to Mrs. Belfit—the prisoner said the old man burnt her marriage certificate some time ago.

EMMA SHAPLEY . I am the wife of William Gordon Shapley, of Seymour Lodge, Peckham—on the night of 23rd September we discovered that about 23l. worth of wearing apparel had been stolen—I identify these articles as. the same (produced).

JOHN BONNEY (Inspector R). On 5th November I went to Mrs. Belfit's, 11, North Street, Nottingham, where I saw a small red box open, and in it) I found a pickle-fork which has been identified by Mrs. McDonald—I also found the seven handkerchiefs and table-cover which have been identified by Mrs. Shapley—at Peckham I had 20 spoons, 24 forks, and two scoops handed to me.

LOUISA NEWMAN . I am cook to Mr. Charles Thomas Perry, of Richmond Lodge, Honor Oak Road, Forest Hill—on the night of 5th August I went to bed, leaving the house safe, and next morning I found that it had been.

entered—amongst other things we missed two caskets, one tortoiseshell and one cornelian, value about 30l. or 40l.

FREDERICK STANLEY . I live at Arbutus Lodge, Denmark Hill—in September, 1877, I was at Brighton, and on my return I missed, amongst other things, two dessert knives, one dessert fork, and a pair of bracelets—these are the articles (produced).

SAMUEL SMITH . I am a builder's foreman, of 68, St. Mary's Road, Peckham—in May, 1878, I had a house, 5, East Terrace, Evelina Road, Peckham, to let—four persons called on me with reference to it: the prisoner (who passed as Mrs. Ward), Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, and Willie Ward—I asked for references, and I went to their old residence, and gave them possession of the house—it was let to the man, in the name of John Thompson—in October I went to the house, and found ail the occupants gone and the back door open—the house was empty—I had received no notice from them, and never got the keys.

Cross-examined. It was after 10th October I found them gone, and after I heard of the burglaries—I saw Mr. and Mrs. Thompson in the house early in October.

HENRY FORSEY BRYAN . It live at 22, Phillips Road, Peckham—on 23rd September I called at 5, East Terrace, and saw the Thompsons, Willie Ward, and the prisoner—Thompson is the man, I believe, who was afterwards tried here as Ward—Thompson said to Mrs. Thompson "Sue, will you fetch the fowls for this gentleman to see?" and as I was on the point of leaving the room he said, pointing to Mrs. Thompson, "That is my wife"—the prisoner was present—she made no reply—I frequently went to the house from May to August—the Thompsons appeared to be living as man and wife—on 1st November I received a letter in the name of John Ward, and I came to Newgate to see the man—it was a most imploring letter, to know if I would go and see him—while here I saw Mr. Sidney Smith, the governor, and lots of questions were put to me to see if I knew the man—I did not know the writing or the name, but ho was the man I had known as John Thompson—when I ceased visiting them they called at my house on one occasion, when Mrs. Thompson was introduced as Mr. Thompson's wife, and the prisoner as Mrs. Ward—in consequence of a communication made to me I wrote to Mrs. Belfit, who then lived at 11, North Street, Nottingham—I received a red box from her.

ROBERT MAPLESON . I am chief warder of her Majesty's Gaol of Newgate—a man who was committed in the name of Ward was under my custody—he was tried at this Court for attempting the life of a police-constable on 10th October, and sentenced to penal servitude for life—I saw the last witness visit him.

ELIZA MARY ANN COLLINSON DADSON . I am the daughter of Mr. Campbell Dadson, and live at 5, Kidbrook Terrace, Blackheath—on the night of 3rd August I missed this clock, which had been stolen—there was much more valuable property stolen as well.

Cross-examined. This is only worth a few shillings.

ELIZABETH MCDONALD . I am housekeeper to Mr. Bouchier, of 10, Kidbrook Villas, Blackheath—on the night of 10th August the house was broken into and I missed a pickle fork and an Indian table-cover.

THOMAS PICKERING . I am a porter in the service of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Company at Nunhead—on 11th October, in consequence

of a message I received from another quarter, I went to 5, East Terrace, Evelina Road, Peckham, where I saw a woman whom I believe to be the prisoner—in consequence of what she said I took three boxes to the station and had them labelled for King's Cross—I have since seen one of the boxes, a large one, at Bow Street—one was a small brown box which I nailed down—the woman and the boxes went by the 5.55 train.

Cross-examined. I was in the woman's company about three minutes—she followed behind to the station—I saw her on the platform—I do not swear to her—there were other females there.

ELIZA BELFIT . I am the wife of Robert Belfit, of Great Freeman Street, Notting Hill—on 5th November I was living at 11, North Street, Nottingham—on that day Inspector Bonny called on me—prior to that Mrs. Thompson came to my house one night, between 12 and 1 o'clock, accompanied by the prisoner, who Mrs. Thompson introduced as Mrs. Ward—I could not accommodate them, and they stayed till 4 or 5 o'clock and went by an early train—I accompanied them to the station, where Mrs. Ward got two boxes from the cloak-room, one large one, which were lifted into the railway van—I have seen a box at Bow Street like the large one—she afterwards went for two other boxes, which she asked me to take to my house—one of them was a small red box—she said they belonged to her and her daughter, and that the red box was an old family relic, and would I take care of it—I took the boxes home, and. about a fortnight after Mrs. Ward came to my house again and took something out of the box—there was a paper parcel in the red box, and when Inspector Bonny came in November, I saw him open the red box and take out some plate and a table-cloth—on 25th November my daughter handed the parcel to Mrs. Bryan, I having received a letter from Mr. Bryan, and on 3rd December, in consequence of a letter I received, I sent the small red box to Mr. Bryan, at Phillips Road, Peckham—this is the box (produced).

Cross-examined. I have seen Mrs. Thompson this morning, not here—I have known she has been living at Mrs. Bryan's.

Re-examined. I knew her as living at 5, East Terrace, Evelina Road, with a person named Thompson, as his wife.

ALICE BRYAN . I am the wife of Forsey Bryan—I went to the house of Mrs. Belfit on 25th November, and received this parcel from her daughter (produced), which I handed to Inspector Bonny.

Cross-examined. My daughter has been living with me since the prisoner was taken into custody—I understood Mrs. Thompson lived with Peace, and that they were Mr. and Mrs. Thompson—I had often seen the prisoner at 5, East Terrace; she occupied the position of a lodger in the house, having two rooms upstairs and a back-kitchen, and Mr. and Mrs. Thompson occupied. the rest of the house as man and wife—there was no servant in the house to my knowledge—the prisoner did not act as their servant in my presence, and I never heard them say she was their servant.

CECILIA KARCHER . I am housekeeper to Mr. Wood, whose house was broken into on 20th August, and I missed this silk dress and these other articles (produced).

WILLIAM BOLSOVER . I live at 4, Hazel Road, Darnall, near Sheffield, and am a miner—I knew the prisoner when she lived at Darnall—Jane Ann Peace lived with her and passed as her daughter—she at that time lived, with

Charles Frederick Peace—I married the girl on 8th January last at Hull—Charles Frederick Peace was not present—Last Whit Monday I came to London with my wife, and went to 5, East Terrace, Evelina Road, where I saw Peace living as Mr. Thompson with a woman who passed as Mm Thompson—a lad named Willie lived there—I stayed there eight or nine days and went home—the prisoner and Willie took their meals alone, and Mr. and Mrs. Thompson in another part of the house—on 12th October the prisoner came to my house at Darnall and said she had left a large box at the station, Sheffield—she said she had seen something in the paper relating to a man who was apprehended, and she supposed it was her husband—I took her in, and on the following Monday I went to Sheffield and brought her box, which was heavy—the box I have seen is the same—there were eventually two brought to my premises—I saw them searched—all the things that have been identified as found on my premises had been brought there by the prisoner—I had nothing to do with them.

Cross-examined. Peace represented that he was the father of my wife, and I had no doubt about it until these proceedings—he gave me some money on Whit Monday—I believed Peace and the prisoner to be man and wife, and my wife to be their daughter—she had lived with them from infancy—at that time Mrs. Thompson was not brought on the scene to my knowledge.

Re-examined. I knew them as living together at Darnall for perhaps two years—that would be about 1873 or 1874—Peace then went away, and I lost sight of him—his daughter informed me that he had been to Hull—I never saw him again till about 12 months ago last Easter at Hull in the street—my wife married in the name of Peace.

JOHN PINDER TWYBELL . I am an Inspector of Police at Sheffield—on Nov. 6th I assisted Phillips in searching Mr. Bolsover's house—I left Phillips, and afterwards returned to the house—I saw the prisoner, Mrs. Bolsover, Willie Ward, and Bolsover—I said to Bolsover, "We have found a large quantity of property in your house, which we have good reason to believe is stolen; there is a clock there which Mr. Phillips identifies as part of the proceeds of a burglary at Blackheath; how do you account for it being in jour house?"—he said, "I know nothing of it"—I said, "It is stolen, and you will have to account for it"—the prisoner said, "I brought it from Hull five weeks ago, a tall woman brought it to me;" that a friend had sent it to her house; she said, "I don't know her," and she said the other proper! was hers nearly two years ago—I collected all the property, and assisted in the search on Nov. 14th—some time between the 6th and 14th she said she was married at St. George's Church, Sheffield, in the name of Hannah Ward, to Charles Peace, the year before her daughter was born, who was 19 years old; that her husband had burnt the certificate, and that the two witnesses to the marriage, John Clark and Clara Clark, were dead.

Cross-examined. When I had that conversation with the prisoner the man Peace was in custody, and it was before the public that he was concerned in the burglaries, and he was committed for trial.

MR. FULTON submitted that there was no case to go to the Jury, inasmuch as the presumed marriage between the prisoner and Charles Peace had not been disproved by the prosecution, and assuming the marriage to exist, the prisoner had acted under the coercion of her husband. The learned Commissioner,

after conferring with MR. JUSTICE HAWKINS, held that the marriage must be assumed, and directed the Jury to find the prisoner


There were seven other indictments against the prisoner, on which a verdict of NOT GUILTY was taken.

View as XML