Francis Baggonett.
16th January 1745
Reference Numbert17450116-1
VerdictNot Guilty

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123. + Francis Baggonett of St. Martin's in the Fields , was indicted for assaulting Mary Barber in the dwelling house of the said Francis, putting her in fear, and taking from her a velvet pillareen, value 20 s. the property of William Barber , Nov. 12 .

Mary Barber . On the 12th of November about four o'clock in the afternoon, I was going by the White Lion Tavern in the Strand , the Prisoner was standing at the door with a blue apron on, and another fellow with him, who had a handkerchief about his neck; the Prisoner said, Drag that bitch in, I will make her pay for all the bitches that have bilked me; with that the other man, who is not taken, (his name is Thomas Long , as a chair-man told me) laid hold of me; I said, pray, Sir, let me alone, for I am going about my business; he took hold of me, and dragged me into the house (I thought the man of the house [the Prisoner would take my part, but he did not) pushed me into the parlour, and locked the door upon me, and said, D - n you, you hitch, if you do not let me do so and so, I'll murder you; I said I would not; for I was in a Christian country, and did not fear getting assistance; then I rung the bell, and the Prisoner came in, the other fellow said, bring some wine, with that the Prisoner brought a pint of wine, and said, I will make her pay for them if there were a hundred pints; with that he stripped the pillareen off my neck, and said, D - n you, you bitch, why don't you let the man do so and so to you? He had a knobbed stick, and struck me with it; I cried out murder several times; he said if I cried out murder any more, he would murder me, for he had got company in the house. - I defended my pillareen as well as I could, till I was so weak, that I had no strength in the world, and have a great many black spots on my body now to shew for it: then he kicked me into the street, and said, D - n you you bitch, I don't desire to see you any more.

Q. Did you cry out murder in the house?

Barber. Yes; and he kicked me into the street, and I was told he said, I should pay handsomly for it, and I lay sprawling in the street, but no

body knew me there, nor nobody came to my assistance.

Prisoner's Council. Was you ever in the house before?

Barber. Never but once, and that was to drink a glass of wine with a gentleman and his wife.

Q. What Part of the House was you in when the Prisoner used you so?

Barber. I was in the Parlour next the Street.

Q. Do the Windows look into the Street?

Barber. Yes.

Q. Was it dusk?

Barber. It was not dark: It was between four and five o'Clock.

Q. Why did not you apply to somebody in the Street, to go with you into the House again, and get some Redress?

Barber. Because nobody knew me: I went home afterwards, and then I did go there.

Q. Did you ever say you would not have prosecuted this Man, if he would have come down to you?

Barber. I never said so. If there are twenty false Witnesses against me, I can't help it.

Q. Where did you go after you were out of the House?

Barber. I took a Chair and went home directly, and got a Constable, but the Constable would not go into the House with twelve Constables, and a File of Musqueteers.

Q. What Business are you?

Barber. I live in Bell-yard, by Temple-bar.

Q. I ask you what Business you are of?

Barber. I kept a Gentleman's House.

Q. What are you now?

Barber. I keep a Gentleman's House now. - Mr. Mayne's, in St. Martin's-lane.

Q. Do you live there now?

Barber. He is fell under misfortunes, and has left off house-keeping - I work plain-work now.

Joshua Brogden . When Barber applied first to Sir Thomas De Veil for a warrant to take up the prisoner, he granted the warrant for assaulting and abusing her, and taking her pillareen, and bound him over for the assault; but she afterwards indicted him for a felony.

Q. What did he say at that time concerning the fact?

Brogden. He said he had the pillareen, but that he took it for the reckoning.

Prisoner. I was in the entry, the prosecutrix stopped a man in the street, and I heard her say, come will you give me a glass of wine; he said, he had no money; she said, you had as good come in, for it shall cost you nothing: they called for a pint of wine, about half an hour afterwards I went into the town, and the man said, this gentlewoman will pay you the reckoning; and she saying nothing, I thought she would. When I asked her for it, she said, d - n you, what business have I to pay the reckoning? and said she would not pay me. I said, madam, you use me very ill, you used me so before, but you shall not use me so now for I will be paid for the wines; she said she had no money, then she pulled of her pillareen, and said, d - n you take that, I'll a robbery against you, and have your life for it. Another time a gentleman came with her into the house and paid a shilling for a pint of wine, she took the shilling up and went about her business, and I lost that.

Capt. Hopkins. I was at the White Lion Tavern in the Strand the 12th of November with M Wife from three o'clock till about a quarter six, waiting for Capt. Winslow to go to a play - I did not hear any crying out, nor any all; and if there had been any I believe I should have heard it, for I was in the bar room, pretty near to the room they were in. I have dined there ever since the 12th of April, and never heard any disorder there.

Major Wise . I was in company with Capt. Hopkins and Capt. Winslow, and there was no sign of noise at all nor any thing like it: I have used the house these twelve months, and never heard anything disorderly, there are gentlemen of reputation come there frequently.

Prosecutor's Council, to Barnes the constable. Did not you take a couple of gamblers out of the house?

Barnes. There were gamblers frequented the house, but that was three years ago, before the prisoner kept it.

Thomas Lee . I have known the prisoner ever since he came to the house. I live next door to him. He is a man of a very good character. And if she had cried out, my men must have heard her, and would have gone to her assistance.

William Frasier . I live opposite the prisoner. I have known him ever since he came there, which is about two years. He is a man of a very good character.

Jeffery Anwell. I am a next door neighbour to him. He is a man of a very good character; I do not believe there is an honester man in the world. I have the honour of lodging some gentlemen belonging to the Parliament. And I could not suffer a disorderly house next me. Indeed it was a bad house, and I got the people removed - I have seen the prosecutrix frequently about the streets picking up people.

Q. What is her general character?

Anwell. A whore.

John Arnold . I have known the prisoner ever since he kept the house, and never heard but that he was a very civil, honest man.

James Biggleston . I know the prosecutrix to be a common woman. I have seen her with fellows at Bartholomew Fair , when I attended pye powder court.

Mr. Green. The prisoner is a very worthy man, and bears a very good character - I have seen the prosecutrix walking the streets frequently.

Mr. Sharp. The prisoner is a person of a very good character - the prosecutrix has been so impudent as at my own door to offer to pick me up.

Thomas Flower . I have known Mary Barber from her infancy.

Q. Do you take her to be an honest woman?

Flower. I can't tell you her original extraction. I know she was brought up very well, and put to the boarding-school.

Q. Do you think she would take a false oath?

Flower. I believe she would not have done so.

Q. Do you think she would take a false oath now?

Flower. Really I can't say.

Mr. Blower. I take Barber to be a very honest girl - I hope she would not take a man's life away falsely - she kept a house of lodgers about 2 years ago. The last place I knew her at, she kept Mr. Mayne's house in St. Martin's Lane - I can't brag much of her general character. I have known her 12 years: she has a loose character. Acquitted .

The Court granted the prisoner a copy of his indictment.


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