Old Bailey Proceedings supplementary material. SUSANNAH MILESENT.
11th November 1794
Reference Numbero17941111-1
VerdictNot Guilty > non compos mentis

Related Material

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

627. SUSANNAH MILESENT whose trial had been put off two sessions ago, on account of appearing insane, was

brought to the bar, when Mr. Recorder asked her the following questions:

Q. You are brought here to be tried for stealing a petticoat, have you any objection to be now tried? - I a'nt no objection to be now tried.

Q. Are you guilty of stealing this petticoat or no? - Yes.

Q. Who advised you to say that you was guilty? - I do not know, I took it to be married to John.

Q. Who is John? - A young man, a pretty gentleman, he is a gentleman's ostler, a servant, cleans knives.

Q. How long have you known him? - About three weeks, it is only three weeks since I first knew him, since he gave me a glass of peppermint.

Court to Mr. Kirby. How long has she been in confinement? - The sessions before last.

Prisoner. As I was coming over the common, I sat down, and he came to me as I sat there; he said he thought it was a pity such a pretty girl as I should be lost, and he took and gave me a glass of peppermint, and he said he would marry me, if I had no objection; and I told him I had no objection; he told me where his master lived, and I went to his master's, but they said if I did not go away from them, they told me they did not know what to do with me. They told me I should see him sit here in a great white wig, but I cannot see nonelike him; I took the petticoat to be wedded to him, because mine is a nasty old one.


I am a nurse in the sick ward, I have attended her ever since she has been in gaol, from about the 18th of July last, she has acted this part ever since.

Q. How has she conducted herself since that time? - Every time I went to her, as she has done now before Mr. Kirby.

Prisoner. I think I have reason so to do, I know you are the greatest enemy I have got.

Witness. She broke the windows in the state side, and on seeing the gentlemen over on the state side was continually calling for John May , and made use of very bad expressions; which on this Mr. Stone and all the gentlemen there, cried out for shame.

Prisoner. That is all your spite, because I would not let you do what you wanted with the doctor.

Witness. She is always calling for John May .

Prisoner. Ay, God bless his name.

Witness. And stripping herself.

Court. Can you think she is in a found mind? - I cannot think that she is in her mind, by her behaviour, from all that I could find,

Q. What sort of answers has she given you? - Very impudent answers.

Q. Has she given direct answers to the questions that hath been put to her? - No otherway than what happened to come in her head.

JOHN OWEN sworn.

I can only confirm the woman.

Q. How has she behaved since she has been in the gaol? - In a very frenzy bad manner, stripping herself naked and shewing her nakedness.

Q. Did she do any mischief to your knowledge? - Not to my knowledge.

Q. At the time she made this noise, what was that the effect of? - Her general cry was about this Jack May , he was her jewel, she said, and her dear love.

Prisoner. Jack May is a blackguard.

Court to Owen. Did she abuse you at any time? - Very often; sometimes she would lay hold of me and say I was Jack May , and another servant she has laid hold of and said he was Jack May .

Q. Did she give direct answers to the questions that was put to her? - Very ready.

Q. From the knowledge you have had of her, and her conduct, do you believe

her to be found in her mind? - I do not think her to be right in her mind.


I am servant to Mr. Priestly.

Q. Have you known this woman ever since she has been in gaol?

Q. What has been her conduct? - The same as the woman represented before, in a kind of a mad way.

Q. What have you known her to do? - I saw her break the windows of the ward she was in, and she has took hold of me and called me Johnny May , when I have gone to lock her up in the evening.

Q. Was there any reason for her breaking the windows? Did any body abuse her that you know of? - None that I saw.

Q. Did she give direct answers to the questions that was put to her? - No, quite contrary.

Q. Upon your oath, what is your opinion? Do you think she is a mad woman, or a woman in her senses? - I do not think her to be a woman in her senses.

Q. Do you take her to be a mad woman? - I do.

The jury brought in their verdict, we believe her to be deranged and not in a sound mind .

The jury impannelled for the trial of the above cause were as follows:

William Plumendge

Samuel Lee

Jacob Spinoza

Thomas Duckens

Philip Jortlig

William Hyde

Joseph Bevly

George Pitcher

Thomas Harris

James Hurlock

William Ball

George Anderson .

View as XML