<!-- © 2003-2008 Old Bailey Proceedings Online -->
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<persName id="t17950218-36-defend460" type="defendantName"> HARRIOTT MERCHANT
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<interp inst="t17950218-36-defend460" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> and
<persName id="t17950218-36-defend462" type="defendantName"> SOPHIA BRYANT
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<interp inst="t17950218-36-defend462" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> were indicted for
<rs id="t17950218-36-off181" type="offenceDescription">
<interp inst="t17950218-36-off181" type="offenceCategory" value="theft"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-off181" type="offenceSubcategory" value="pocketpicking"/> feloniously stealing, on the
<rs id="t17950218-36-cd182" type="crimeDate">22d of January</rs>
<join result="offenceCrimeDate" targOrder="Y" targets="t17950218-36-off181 t17950218-36-cd182"/>, from the person of John Denison, privately and without his knowledge, a canvas bag, value 2d, six guineas and five shillings, and a bank note, value 10l. </rs> the goods of the said
<persName id="t17950218-36-victim463" type="victimName"> John Denison
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<interp inst="t17950218-36-victim463" type="given" value="John"/>
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<persName id="t17950218-36-person464"> JOHN DENISON
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<interp inst="t17950218-36-person464" type="given" value="JOHN"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person464" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> sworn</p>
<p>I live in King-street, Portman-square, a
<rs id="t17950218-36-viclabel183" type="occupation">butcher</rs>
<join result="persNameOccupation" targOrder="Y" targets="t17950218-36-victim463 t17950218-36-viclabel183"/>. The two prisoners at the bar, and a woman that is admitted an evidence, they accosted me in
<placeName id="t17950218-36-crimeloc184">Bond-street</placeName>
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<join result="offencePlace" targOrder="Y" targets="t17950218-36-off181 t17950218-36-crimeloc184"/>.</p>
<p>Q. When was this? - The 22d of last month.</p>
<p>Q. They were all three in company? - I cannot possibly say they were all or not.</p>
<p>Q. How can you say they accosted you then? - They did accost me.</p>
<p>Q. Who was it did accost you? - The tallest of the prisoners at the bar.</p>
<p>Q. What time was it? - Between nine and ten o'clock. They took me to No. 13, in Oxford-buildings, they took me up one pair of stairs back room, all the three.</p>
<p>Q. What state were you in at this time? - As sober as I am now; I only drank part of some porter and some spirits, only three six penny worths of rum and water, and part of a tankard of porter, that was all I had that evening.</p>
<p>Q. Did they all come into the room with you? - Yes.</p>
<p>Q. Did you see them all in the street together? - No, I cannot positively say I did; they all came into the room when I did.</p>
<p>Q. Then you only see one in the street at the time? - No, Harriott Merchant.</p>
<p>Q. Then all the prisoners came into the room at the same time? - Yes; they prest on me to treat them with something to drink; I told them I had no objection to treating them, but I did not wish to
<xptr type="pageFacsimile" doc="179502180078"/>have any further connection with them. I had no money except the money I had in my purse; I gave a shilling to the least of the prisoners at the bar, Byant.</p>
<p>Q. Then you pulled out your purse? - Yes, and she went and fetched some liquor.</p>
<p>Q. Who remained in the room while she was gone? - The woman that is admitted an evidence, and the tall prisoner, Campbell. When the liquor came back, I cannot positively say what liquor she brought; they asked me to partake of part of it, but I refused it; I told them I did not want it, they might take it themselves; I then told them I should make the best of my way home; they were very officious in lighting me down stairs; I told them I could go down very well without them; when I got down stairs, and got to the bottom of Oxford-buildings, before I crossed Oxford-street, I felt in my pocket to find whether I had my property or not.</p>
<p>Q. How far is that? - About twenty or thirty yards up. I felt in my pocket, I found my purse and money in it. I then crossed Oxford-street, and in about forty yards of Mary-le-bone-lane, the said three women came round me; the woman that is admitted an evidence she came in the front of me, and the other two came one on one side of me and the other behind me; they hustled me very close, and I looked round and saw they were the same girls, and I told them I did not want any concern with them; at the time when they pressed on me so very close, the two prisoners at the bar parted from me, and went away from me; I immediately felt in my pocket to see whether I had my money, and I found it was gone; I immediately seized the woman who is turned evidence, and took her to the watch-house; the watchman took charge of her that night, and she was searched and no property was found about her; she desired she might be admitted an evidence, and she would cause the others to be apprehended; and they were apprehended by her directions the next morning; they were taken down to Marlborough-street.</p>
<p>Q. When did you see them again? - I see them the next morning in the same room; I went to the watch-house, and then I went to their room, which is at No. 130, Oxford-buildings, with the constable of the night, he searched the room, but he found no property in the room belonging to me; they were brought to the watch-house, and taken down to Marlborough-street.</p>
<p>Q. Did you ever find your money again? - No.</p>
<p>Q. What had you in your purse? - I had a ten pounds bank note.</p>
<p>Q. Are you sure they are the women? - Yes, I am. They are the same women that surrounded me in Mary-le-bone-lane.</p>
<p>Q. Did you know them again at that time? - I did.</p>
<p>Q. Are you perfectly sure that you found your purse safe then? - Yes; I put my hand in my pocket in Oxford-street.</p>
<p>Q. Did you take it out? - No.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person465"> Q.
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person465" type="given" value="Q."/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person465" type="gender" value="indeterminate"/> </persName> What pocket was it in? - It was in my coat pocket. I had a pair of breeches on that had no pockets.</p>
<p>Q. Then, I suppose, it was out of your coat that you pulled your purse when you was in the room? - It was.</p>
<p>Q. How long was it before the women came to you in the street, that you felt your purse? - Not a minute hardly; I only went about forty yards before they came to me.</p>
<p>Q. Was it not possible that any body else might have taken it? - I kept my hand in my coat pocket I am sure till the time the women met me.</p>
<p>Q. Which pocket was it? - My left hand pocket.</p>
<xptr type="pageFacsimile" doc="179502180079"/>Q. Did they all hustle you? - They all three hustled me, the one that is admitted an evidence came in front of me.</p>
<p>Q. Was this done with a degree of violence? - They seemed to hustle very close to me.</p>
<p>Q. How long did they stay with you? - Not above a minute.</p>
<p>Q. How long was it after the two women at the bar were gone that you missed the purse? - As soon as they were gone I missed it.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person466"> Q.
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person466" type="given" value="Q."/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person466" type="gender" value="indeterminate"/> </persName> When was the woman that is admitted an evidence searched? - As soon as she was in the watch-house.</p>
<p>Q. How far was the watch-house from this? - About eighty yards from where the robbery was committed.</p>
<p>Q. Then you know how it was done of your own knowledge? - I cannot say; but they are same two women that were about me in Mary-le-bone-lane.</p>
<p>Prisoner Merchant. He says he had his money safe when he went out of my room, and I never see him any more till I was taken up.</p>
<p>Court to Prosecutor. Did you and the woman go out together? - No, I did not.</p>
<p>Q. Did either of them light you down? - They neither of them lighted me down all the stairs.</p>
<p>Q. Who opened the door to let you out? - I opened it myself.</p>
<p>Prisoner Merchant. He said he had his money in his breeches pocket before the justice.</p>
<p>Prosecutor. I declared that I had a pair of breeches on that had no pockets in them.</p>
<p>Court. What time was this in the evening? - About nine minutes past ten o'clock.</p>
<p>Q. Had you any watch? - No.</p>
<p>Q. Did you feel their hands in your pocket? - No, I did not.</p>
<p>Q. Your information at the justice's mentions the prisoners hands being in your pocket? - I felt them very close.</p>
<p>Q. Is it true, or is it not? Had they hold of you at all? - They had hold of me, and were very close to me indeed.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person467"> JOHN MANNING
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<interp inst="t17950218-36-person467" type="given" value="JOHN"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person467" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> sworn.</p>
<p>I am a watchman; between ten and eleven o'clock at night, this robbery was committed, at Portman-square, I was standing on my own walk.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person468"> Q.
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person468" type="given" value="Q."/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person468" type="gender" value="indeterminate"/> </persName> Whereabouts is Portman-square? - In Mary-le-bone; I saw some of these ladies come by arm in arm, and that little one said she was very glad she had got hold of his ten pounds bank note.</p>
<p>Q. What street was this? - Coming out of Orchard-street, going into Baker-street.</p>
<p>Q. Were they in Orchard street? - They were in the square.</p>
<p>Q. Did they come up together? - The little one (Bryant) came up with two more, and the words she mentioned were, that she was very glad that she had got the ten pounds bank note.</p>
<p>Q. Did you take any notice of them? - No.</p>
<p>Q. Which way did they go? - Towards Baker-street.</p>
<p>Q. How do you know it was the little prisoner at the bar? - I knew her before.</p>
<p>Q. She had two more women with her? - Yes, she had; Harriott Merchant was not with her, but two more were.</p>
<p>Q. When was it that you saw any thing of the prisoner afterwards? - The next day; I helped to take them to the watch-house.</p>
<p>Q. Did you see any thing of
<persName id="t17950218-36-person469"> Margaret Dunnivan
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person469" type="surname" value="Dunnivan"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person469" type="given" value="Margaret"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person469" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> that night? - No, I was out on duty.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person470"> Q.
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person470" type="given" value="Q."/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person470" type="gender" value="indeterminate"/> </persName> Then you did not go into the
<xptr type="pageFacsimile" doc="179502180080"/>watch-house that night? - No, I did not.</p>
<p>Q. Then all she talked about was the ten pounds note? - That is all.</p>
<p>Q. Did she talk of any purse? - No.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person471"> Q.
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person471" type="given" value="Q."/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person471" type="gender" value="indeterminate"/> </persName> Was she walking very fast? - Yes, they were walking arm in arm together.</p>
<p>Q. How are you sure it to be the prisoner Bryant while she was with the other woman? You was not at the watch-house that night? - No, I was not.</p>
<p>Prisoner Bryant. Why did not he stop me when he heard me say I had the ten pounds note?</p>
<p>Witness. How could I stop her in that manner, I did not think of doing it.</p>
<p>Q. Remember the situation in which you stand, and say nothing but the truth, and relate what you know of this business? - On the 22d of January, last month, I was along with these two girls that are at the bar now, they asked me to have part of a pint of purl, in Woodstock-street, and in coming out of Woodstock-street, going to Bond-street, we met this gentleman, and they asked him how he did? he said he was very well; they asked him to go home with them; he said he did not care; he walked home with them to a one pair of stairs back room, we all went with him, and he gave a shilling out of a bag from his pocket for something to drink.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person472"> Q.
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person472" type="given" value="Q."/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person472" type="gender" value="indeterminate"/> </persName> Which pocket did he take the bag from? - It seemed to me to be as his coat pocket, to the best that I could see then, and while the least of the two was gone for something to drink, the tall one told me to go out of the room.</p>
<p>Q. Then Bryant went with the shilling to get something to drink? - Yes, and I went away into the court, and in less that three minutes the two girls came down with the same gentleman; they came down together, all three of them, and the gentleman crossed over into Mary-le-bone parish, and the two girls called me and I followed them, and went up the street and came back again.</p>
<p>Q. Did you go to the girls then? - I did, I met them all three talking together, and the biggest of the two had her arms round him, and I see her hands in his coat pocket; it was Harriott Merchant.</p>
<p>Q. Where was you at this time? - Standing by, I was before him.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person473"> Q.
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person473" type="given" value="Q."/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person473" type="gender" value="indeterminate"/> </persName> Assisting, I suppose? - No, I did not. They ran away directly.</p>
<p>Q. Did you see anything taken out of his pocket? - I see her hand in.</p>
<p>Q. What did you do by standing before him? - I was waiting for them, I did not know what their intention was.</p>
<p>Q. When they called to you what did they say to you? - They bid me to stop, and I did.</p>
<p>Q. Which side was it you saw her hand in? - The left side to the best of my knowledge.</p>
<p>Q. What became of you when they ran away? - The gentleman took me into custody to Mary-le-bone watch house, and I was stripped naked and was searched.</p>
<p>Q. Then you did not tell the gentleman what you had seen? - Yes, I did.</p>
<p>Q. Not before he took you into custody? - No, he said he had lost something, and he took me into custody immediately; I told him the number of the door where they lived.</p>
<p>Q. You had no share of this money? - No, they sent to me while I was in the house of correction, that if the bills were thrown out I should have some.</p>
<p>Q. Then you swear that while you was standing before this gentleman you did not know any intention of their taking his money? - No, far from it.</p>
<xptr type="pageFacsimile" doc="179502180081"/>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person474"> Q.
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person474" type="given" value="Q."/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person474" type="gender" value="indeterminate"/> </persName> As to any hustling on your part you had no hand in it? - No, I never touched him, nor put my hand on him.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person475"> Q.
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person475" type="given" value="Q."/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person475" type="gender" value="indeterminate"/> </persName> What did you tell this prosecutor when he took hold of you? - I told him they must be the persons that had robbed him, for I see her hand in his pocket; I asked him if he had lost any thing? and he immediately laid hold of me.</p>
<p>Q. There was nothing said about his purse between the other women and you before you went after him? - No, there was not.</p>
<p>Prisoner Bryant. I wish to ask whether she was not committed from Marlborough-street for stealing from a butcher two guiness and a half? - No, never. I was here and was discharged by proclamation with two other girls. That same prisoner at the bar I only took her in one night and she robbed me of two guineas.</p>
<p>Prisoner Merchant. Whether I did not ask her to shew me a light when she lighted this man down? - No, no such thing, I left her in the room while the man was there, and the other was gone for some drink.</p>
<p>Prisoner Merchant. She did not go out of the room till the other came in; I never had any connection with him.</p>
<p>Prisoner Bryant. She brought this butcher up in our room, and she said it was a friend of her's, and he sent for something to drink, and when I came up stairs he went down, and I never see any thing more of him afterwards.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person476"> HANNAH HARRISON
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person476" type="surname" value="HARRISON"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person476" type="given" value="HANNAH"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person476" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> sworn.</p>
<p>I live in Oxford-buildings; I see
<persName id="t17950218-36-person477"> Margaret Dunnivan
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person477" type="surname" value="Dunnivan"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person477" type="given" value="Margaret"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person477" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> speak to this man.</p>
<p>Q. Do you live in the house where the prisoner lodged? - No, all that I see was, Dunnivan speak to this man and she asked him to give her something to drink.</p>
<p>Q. Who was with him at that time? - There was only them two.</p>
<p>Q. Did you see where he came from at that time? - No, I did not; she went that way after him and I never see her afterwards.</p>
<persName id="t17950218-36-person478"> ELIZABETH MORDAUNT
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person478" type="surname" value="MORDAUNT"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person478" type="given" value="ELIZABETH"/>
<interp inst="t17950218-36-person478" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> sworn.</p>
<p>The prisoner at the bar, Harriott Merchant, was in my house till near half past ten; I keep the house that Harriott Merchant lodges in, she was at home from nine till half past ten, she was in my shop, for I stood talking to her till I shut it up near half after ten o'clock.</p>
<p>Q. Where did she come from? - Out of her own room, the prisoner at the bar was in the room at the same time; I called her down, I wanted to speak to her, she wanted to go to Crown-court, and I persuaded her not to go out any more that night.</p>
<p>Q. When did she want to go to Crown-court? - About nine o'clock, and she staid in the shop till near half past ten.</p>
<p>Q. How long had she been in before nine? - I cannot tell.</p>
<p>Q. And as to the time, how did you know the time? - The watchman was going past ten, and I told her it was past ten; she nursed my child and staid till past ten o'clock.</p>
<p>Q. You know nothing about any man being there? - No, I do not.</p>
<p>Q. Do you know any thing of Margaret Dunnivan being there? - I do not, she is quite an entire stranger to me.</p>
<rs id="t17950218-36-verdict185" type="verdictDescription">
<interp inst="t17950218-36-verdict185" type="verdictCategory" value="notGuilty"/> not GUILTY </rs>.</p>
<p>Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron THOMPSON.</p> </div1></div0>

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