Mary Broadbent, Mary Cosier, Mary Harding, Phillis Harding.
20th April 1726
Reference Numbert17260420-63
VerdictsNot Guilty

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Mary Broadbent , a Child , about 10 Years old, was indicted for stealing from her Father, Paul Broadbent a piece of an old Frock, 3 Clouts, and several other Rags , on the 5th of April , and,

Mary Cosier , Mary Harding , and Phillis Harding , were indicted for receiving the same, knowing them to be stoln . Paul Broadbent thus depos'd. I keep a Barber's Shop under the Rainbow Coffee-house, in St. Martin's lane ; the Prisoner Mary Broadbent, is my own Child, but living among ill Neighbours, they seduced her to rob me. I mist the Stay of a Child's Coat, and a Cloth that I used to wipe my Razors on. I and my Wife examin'd her, and she confest, and so we carried her, and the other 3 Prisoners, before Justice Ellis, and he committed them to Newgate. Mrs. Broadbent thus depos'd. We have lost Aprons, and Shifts, and Plates, and several other Things, that we could never find again, but these 2 Child's Caps, and this piece of a Callicoe Frock, we found in Cosier's House. As for the Child, I love her as well as if she had been my own a thousand Times. She has been instructed in the Fear of God; she can say her Catechism in English and French, and can answer all lawful Questions, but she has been drawn aside by wicked Neighbours. As for Mary Harding, and her Daughter Phillis, we can't charge them with receiving any Goods, but they kept the Child at their Houses, 2 or 3 Days together, and we did not know what was become of her. The Prisoners then call'd their Witnesses. Mr. Matthews thus depos'd. Mrs. Cosier lodg'd at my House. She's a poor Woman indeed, but she always bore the Character of being very honest; she used to go a Chairing at Broadbent's House, when his former Wife was alive, which is about 2 Years ago. When Broadbent and his Wife came with a Constable, to search her Lodging, they found some

odd Things, which they owned, and among the rest a Quit. Says, Broadbent, I won't take this away, for I know my former Wife gave her this, and several other Things. Mrs. Miller thus depos'd. Mrs. Consier has been a Chair-woman 4 Years at my House, and I have often left her with all my Doors open, but never mist any Thing. I believe she's as honest a Woman as ever liv'd, and I could have brought Twenty creditable House-keepers, to have said the same. Mrs. Hudsen thus depos'd. I am Mr. Broadbent's own Sister. He and his new Wife have used the child very barbarously. They beat her till they made her confest any thing that they desir'd. - They made her confess that she had stolen a Chintz Gown that was her Mother's, when her Mother never had such a Gown. And since the Child has been in Newgate, he has Charged her with stealing an old pair of Window Curtains, and yet he himself, gave these very Curtains to me, soon after his first Wife dy'd. Mr. Hudson thus depos'd. The Child has met with such cruel Usage from the Prosecutor and his Wife, that she would run to any of the Neighbours for Succour. I was coming down one Morning, and found her upon my Stairs, where I understood, that she had lain all Night; for I being a Bed, when she came home, she would not knock at my Chamber Door, and was afraid to go home. I went to her Father, and asks him how he could use his own Child in such a Manner What's that to you, says he. Have ye a Mind she should come to be Hang'd or Transported? Says he, I don't care, if I can but get rid of her. Mrs. Pearson thus depos'd. Broadbent charged Cosier with having a Child's stay. She readily answer'd, And so I have your Wife gave it me. I know she did, says he, but here are more of my Things; and then he pickt up a few Rags, that the Child had brought to dress her Doll with. The Jury acquitted them. And the Court thinking it improper she should go to live again with her Father and Step-Mother, brought him to an Agreement, to allow his Sister Mrs. Hudson, 10 l. a Year for the Child's Board and Apparel, and order'd him to pay the Prisoner's Fees.


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