Mary Chetwin.
10th July 1734
Reference Numbert17340710-28
VerdictNot Guilty

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33. Mary Chetwin , was indicted for stealing 4 silver Spoons, a silver Tankard, a silk Gown, a silk Waistcoat, and 10 Guineas, the Goods and Money of Thomas Carpenter , in his House , Jan. 29 .

The Council moved the Court that the Prosecutor might be allow'd to sit in a Chair while he gave his Evidence, he being so very antient and infirm, that he could not stand without somebody to support him; which the Court granted.

Thomas Carpenter. + I lost a silver Tankard, 5 silver Spoons, a silk Waist-coat, and a silk Gown, and a quantity of Gold, have charged but 10 Guineas, tho' I lost a great deal more. In last January I receiv'd about 500 l. from the Bank; it was in a bag upon a Prayer-Book in the Chimney-corner near the Head of my Couch where I lay, when the Prisoner took a handful of Guineas out of it.

+ In March last, William Davis , a Boy, was Capitally convicted of stealing from this Prosecutor 20 Guineas, Feb. 8. See Sessions Paper, Numb. 3. p. 81.

Prisoner. Was not you served with a Copy of a Writ, at the Suit of my Husband, for having Criminal Conversation with me?

Thomas Carpenter . Yes, - I went to bed, and she came to bed to me.

Prisoner. And was the Writ served before you charged me with taking your Money?

Thomas Carpenter. Why she would come to Bed to me, and I could not help it.

Sarah Patrick , the Prosecutor's Servant. On the 18th of January my Master had a Sum of Money brought into the House, he told it over, and put it into a Canvas-bag, and laid it upon a Prayer-Book in the right hand Chimney-corner, near his Couch; then he got out of his Chair, which stood next to the Bag, and went to sleep upon his Couch. The Prisoner, who was then sitting on the left Corner of the Chimney, got out of her Chair and sat in his. I was then in the Yard, and saw her take the Bag and put it into her Lap under a Cambrick Apron that she was mending; upon which I came in, and ask'd her where the Bag was; she said, as it was left to her charge she had taken it into her Lap for fear she should fall asleep, and somebody should come in and steal it. So I went into the Yard again, and peep'd through a Crevice of the Door, and saw her put her hand into the Bag, and take a handful of Gold out, and put it into her Pocket. Then she ty'd up the Bag again, and laid it where

she took it from. and then moved from my Master's Chair into her own - My Master had a Green striped Sattin Waistcoat, it was one that his late Wife used to wear; but she has been dead 9 or 10 Years. I ask'd the Prisoner, what was become of this Waistcoat? She said my Master had given it to her, and she had got it at her own House.

Court. Did you acquaint your Master with what you saw the Prisoner do?

Patrick. Yes, a Week or ten Days afterwards, I desir'd him to look into his Bag.

Court. But why did you not speak of it sooner?

Patrick. I was afraid of the Prisoner, for she bore a great Sway in the House - She was a sort of a Housekeeper, and often threaten'd to turn us away; but when I had told my Master, he turn'd her away in two or three Days after.

Prisoner. I did not live constantly in the House, but came once or twice a Week, and sometimes was there a Week together. I had no settled Wages, but took what he pleas'd to give me.

Juryman. Was the Writ serv'd before or after she was turn'd away?

Patrick. It was after.

Jury. Was it before she was indicted?

Patrick. Yes.

Mrs. Goodcheap. The Prisoner's Husband ow'd me above 12 l. - above a Year ago the Prisoner promis'd to pay me 20 s. of it at such a Time, and when that time came, she brought me 15 s. and desir'd me to take this silk Gown, 'till she paid me the other 5 s.

Prisoner. The Prosecutor gave me that Gown.

Carpenter. This was my Wife's Gown, I never gave it the Prisoner, nor to any Body else.

Thomas Evans , Headborough. The Day the Prisoner was sent to Newgate, I had a Warrant to search for a silver Tankard, 5 silver Spoons, a silk Gown, and this green silk quilted Waistcoat, and this I found in her Closet.

Prisoner, to the Prosecutor. Did not you give me this Waistcoat?

Carpenter. No, no, no.

Prisoner. Did you ever give me any thing?

Carpenter. I had no need to give you any thing, for you could steal fast enough.

Prisoner. Do you know one Mary Freeborn ?

Carpenter. I think I have heard of such a Name - Aye, she's your Mother.

Prisoner, to Evans. Did you never reproach me for keeping Company with Mr. Carpenter?

Evans. I have said, that what you had must come from him; for I knew you when you had ne'er a Gown to your Back, nor a Smock to you - and you would not work to get any.

Mary Harris . About a Year ago the Prisoner pawn'd a silver Tankard to me for 6 l. she said it was Mr. Carpenter's Sister's - I think it was mark'd T, E, and a C at top. I can swear to the T, but not to the other Letters - I was very timbersome of taking it in, because it look'd very black; but she said, that was only because it had been laid up - She fetch'd it away about 3 Months ago.

Mary Carpenter . I know my Uncle had such a Tankard mark'd T, C, E.

Thomas Carpenter. Yes, I had, and I never dispos'd of it to any Body.

The Prisoner's Defence.

Prisoner. The old Gentleman would never let me rest 'till I left my own Family, and came to his House. I had his Orders to take Money out of the Bag, and pay it upon his Account; as for the Gown and Waist-coat, and a great many other Things, he gave them to me freely. I have often wore them in his Company - Mrs. Carpenter, did not Mr. Carpenter bid me pay you 24 l 5 s. that Day as it was said I stole the Money.

Mary Carpenter. Yes. I was fetch'd over to take the Money - My Uncle and the Prisoner were sitting together, he was in his great Chair, next to the Chimney Corner. He bid her take the Money and pay me, and so she did - His Maid, Sarah Patrick , was in the Room at the same time.

Court, to the Prosecutor. Did you give the Prisoner Orders to pay that Money?

Tho. Carpenter. No, no, no, I remember no Orders.

Court, to Mary Carpenter. On what Account did you receive that Money?

Mary Carpenter. I keep a Chandler's-shop, and the Money was due to me for Goods and for Money that I lent him. For he often us'd to send to me for a Guinea or 10s. when he wanted Money, and had none in the House.

Court. Did you deliver a Bill of what he ow'd you, or give a Receipt for what he paid?

Mary Carpenter. No, no, my Book was one side of the House - I set up what he ow'd me with Chalk, and the Prisoner took an Account of it -

The old Gentleman is much impair'd with Age - I believe he did not rightly apprehend the last Question that was put to him - Mr. Carpenter, did not you owe me some Money?

Thomas Carpenter. Yes, yes; I have borrow'd Money of her a hundred times.

Mary Carpenter. And did not you give the Prisoner orders to pay me?

Thomas Carpenter. Yes, I order'd her to pay you for Chalk against the Wall.

Prisoner, to Sarah Partridge . Did not you hear him order me to take ten Guineas out of the Bag and put into his Pocket? - and to take Money to pay the Brewer and Mary Carpenter.

Sarah Patrick . He order'd you to pay the Money, but not to put it into your own Pocket. - The ten Guineas was taken first, and then the 24l. for Mary Carpenter; but the Money then lay upon the Table, and was not put into the Bag, and this was about 12 a-clock; but it was two Hours after when you took the handful of Gold for yourself.

Prisoner. But did not he give me Directions to pay Money, when he lay upon his Couch?

Patrick. I believe he might, but not to pay it to yourself.

Mary Freeborn , the Prisoner's Mother. This silk Gown the Prosecutor gave to my Daughter on Sunday Night when I was present - And this quilted Waistcoat he gave her at another time, when she was to sit up with Mrs. Purnell, who was ill. Indeed I did not see him give her the Gown upon her Back; but she had it on one day when we were at his House, and he said, Mother, (for he call'd me Mother) see how fine I have made your Daughter! this was my Wife's wedding Gown; and he took her with him to his House in the Country.

Eliz. May. I have seen her up and down about is Business in his Wife's Clothes.

Margaret Powis . I never knew any harm of her; but she had a scandalous Character by going to and fro to his House, and wearing his Wife's Clothes; and that made a difference betwixt her and her Husband.

John Freeborn . I was often at the Prosecutor's House; but one time when I was there, 'tis about 3 Years ago - he call'd me Brother, and ask'd me, if I was willing to give my Sister away in Marriage to him, and I said, Yes, and then he kiss'd her, and -

Jury. And what?

John Freeborn. Nothing -

Court. You knew she was a marry'd Woman at the same time?

John Freeborn. Yes.

Sarah Chapman . The Prosecutor brought her to my Shop - I keep a Fish-shop in Redriff, and he lives at Blackwall - He gave me a Guinea to fetch a Quart of Brandy to make Punch. But she said, What need you change, when I have got Silver? Have you Moll? says he, then give her two Shillings, for it's all one betwixt you and I - They din'd and drank Punch together. He had dress'd up Moll. in his Wife's Clothes, and ask'd me how I lik'd her, and how I should like him for a new Kinsman? And I said, That's according as you like, Sir.

Ann Webb . The Prosecutor's Man has come Night and Day to fetch her from my House.

Edward Wilmer . The Prisoner's Husband employ'd me to bring an Action against the Prosecutor. I made out a Writ on the 23d of May, and understanding that he was a

very elderly Gentleman, Curiosity led me to serve it my self. I found him at home with Mary Carpenter , Sarah Patrick , and a Boy. Says I, It's a very odd thing, that a Man of your Age should be sued on such an Occasion as this. I don't know how it is, says he, but she would come to Bed to me I think. Then, says Mary Carpenter, her Husband did not demand her of my Uncle, but of me, and I secreted her; but if I was my Uncle, I would be reveng'd - She has gone to Bed to to him several Times.

Council. Was that all the Discourse that pass'd?

Edward Wilmer . No; but it was all the Discourse I had with him, for he did not own any thing; but only said that she would come to Bed to him - Patrick said they had lost silver Spoons, and they would be reveng'd -

Court. And would you serve such a Writ on such an old Man?

Edward Wilmer. I have a Right to serve a Writ on him or any other, and I don't poubt but we shall prove it upon him when it comes to be try'd - I ask'd the Prisoner if the Prosecutor had hir'd her for a Servant? She said, No. I ask'd her, how she could prove he was a-bed with her? How Mr Carpenter seduc'd her? and how - But my Client will make all out at a proper Time.

John Wells . Patrick said the Spoons were taken away, and they would be reveng'd on Mrs. Chetwin.

Several Witnesses appear'd to the Prisoner's Character; they depos'd, that they knew no harm of her, any farther than keeping Company with the Prosecutor. The Jury acquitted her.

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