Elizabeth Caton.
14th January 1732
Reference Numbert17320114-39
VerdictNot Guilty

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40. Elizabeth Caton was indicted for privately stealing a Gold Watch, Value 12 l. from the Person of , Gent . on the 11th of December last.

C - B - . I happen'd to be coming from London very much in Liquor, and I went into the View of Oxford, about 6 or 7 at Night, on the 17th of December - 'tis a Sign - the View of Oxford is a Sign in Chelsea-Road , Mr. Figg keeps the House. I had been drinking frequently, and I may say heartily, in the City of London, so that I was got a little too much by the Head; and coming into the View of Oxford, the Prisoner was setting by me, and ask'd me to give her half a Pint of Wine.

Prisoner. You say that you pick'd me up at the View of Oxford.

C - B - . No; I met her in the Park, and took her with me to the View of Oxford, and there I gave her half a Pint of Wine; and when she went out I felt for my Watch to see if it was Time for me to go home, but I could not find it. Mr. Figg went after her and fetch'd her in again, and I took the Watch out of her Stomach.

Henry Whitby . I am Drawer at the View of Oxford, Mr. C - B - and this Woman came in together about 7, I shewed them into a private ground Room; they called for half a Pint of Wine and two Cakes; after they had staid some time, I heard the Woman sumbling at the back Door, and before I came to her she was got out; I presently run to the Room where I had left them , to see if he was not gone too, without paying the Reckoning, but I found him there, and he said he had lost his Watch. My Master pursued her: I met him as he was bringing her back, and he told me she was got about 100 Yards towards Buckingham-House when he took her. She deny'd that she had the Watch.

Prisoner. I never deny'd that I had it, for it was given me as a Pledge for a Guinea.

Whitby . She did not pretend then that it was given her, but when he brought her into the Room to search her, I observ'd that she kept down her right Arm, and examining under that Armpit, I felt the Watch, and said, Here it is! But, says she, if you take it, I'll swear a Robbery against you. Then the Prosecutor took it out of her Bosom.

Prisoner. I had been but three Weeks in London, and was in St. James's-Park when the Prosecutor came up, and ask'd if I was a Quaker? No, Sir, says I. Why do you look so discontented? says he; Are you in Service? No, Sir, I said again, but a Woman in Westminster has promis'd to get me into one. Why, Child, says he, I am a Gentleman's Butler, and can provide you with a Place if you will go along with me. The Gentleman being a Stranger I refused to go with him for a good while; but at last, being willing to get into Business, I was over-persuaded, and he brought me to the View of Oxford, which I have since heard is a very ill House: There he began to be very rude, and offer'd to put his - I am ashamed to speak it - his Hands up my Petticoats. - I gave him! to understand, that if he did not behave himself civilly, and like a Gentleman, I would leave the Room. Whereof he said, he had not much Money about him, but if I would oblige him so and so, he would leave his Watch in my Hands till he help'd me to a Guinea. I was in a great Straight what to do; I was out of Service, and had no Money, nor any Acquaintance in Town, but Mr. Oakes and his Wife in Swallow-street, and so at last, when he had given me his Watch for a Pledge, I did let him have his Will to the full; and after he had fulfill'd his Desire, he asked me several odious, filthy Questions, which my Modesty will not let me repeat. Then I desir'd him to take his Watch, and let me have the Guinea that he promis'd me; but he said, he had but a Shilling in his Pocket, and half of it must pay for the Wine, and a Groat for Cakes, and he would give me the rest. I told him Two-pence was very short of a Guinea. He said, if I would go

and fetch some Rods to whip him, he would send for the Guinea. I told him I did not know what he meant by such Discourse, and that that was no Place to get Rods in; and so I went out, and Mr. Figg follow'd, and brought me in again. I did not deny the Watch, and Figg took it out of my right Bosom, and then they sent for Thomas Adams , the Constable, and hurry'd me before Justice Robinson.

C - B - . She says that I had to do with her, but upon my Honour I had no Design whatever upon her.

Court. Do you use to pick up Women, and carry them into a private Room without any Design?

C - B - . I had no Design, upon Honour , for I have a Wife of my own, who is here in Court. And the Prisoner and I were in a publick Room.

Court. The Drawer swears it was a private Room. Was any Body in the Room besides yourself and the Prisoner?

C - B - . No; but upon my Honour it was a publick Room. I don't know what other People may call publick; but I think any Room must needs be publick, if it is in a Publick-House . I took the Watch from her myself, but I was very much suddled , and cannot tell whether I took it out of her Bosom or from under her Arm. The Jury acquitted her.

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