Mary Johnson, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > other, 5th December 1746.

Reference Number: t17461205-24
Offences: Theft > grand larceny; Theft > other
Verdicts: Not Guilty; Not Guilty
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30. Mary Johnson , otherwise Sudley, otherwise Barker , was indicted for stealing one Gold Ring, value 10 s. one Silver Buckle, value 5 s. one Yard of Holland, value 3 s. one Cambrick Cap, four Pair of Thread Stockings, value 1 s. one Pair of Sheets, value 5 s. one Dozen of Silk, &c. the Goods of William Archer , the 25th of May .

Q to Mary Archer . Do you know the Prisoner?

Archer. Yes, my Lord.

Q What is she?

Archer. She was a Lodger in a Room of mine. I live at the Corner of Bolton street .

Q. When did she lodge there?

Archer. It was the 25th of May I turned her out of my Apartment.

Q. Did you lose any thing about that Time?

Archer. I had a Trunk stood in my Room, and I found my Trunk broke open the 25th of May; I went before Justice De Veil, and got a Warrant, and searched her Trunk, and found the Gold Ring, a Silver Girdle-buckle, one Yard of Holland, two Yards of Lace, a Cap, a Pair of Stockings, some yellow Silk, four or five Pair of white Stockings, about an Ounce of Silk, and a Frock; all these were in the Trunk, the Sheets were not, my Lord; the Sheets she had made off, I got this Silk I found upon her, and this Pair of Stockings, and this is my Callico she had made into a Frock for her Child. She had broke open the Box three or four Months before; I being a Servant, she got to the Constable before me, and got her Discharge; and Yesterday was three Weeks I got a Warrant and took her up; I found this the 26th of May, I found that Frock.

Q. Was it in a Frock when you lost it?

Archer No , my Lord, it was in loose Callico, the Prisoner had wore it two or three Months before I knew any thing of the Matter - This she had left in the Trunk. About March last I went to take out something I wanted, which was a Piece of Holland;

when I went to put the Key into the Trunk, I said I was hurt. She goes by several Names.

Q. Where did you live?

Archer. I lived with Mr South, a Brewer; the Room she was in was my Room, that I had let to her for ten Months.

Q. When did you observe your Trunk was first broke open?

Archer. As near as I can remember, it was in March.

Q. Did you ever find any Thing upon the Prisoner?

Archer. I found the Ring upon her in her Box in my Room, this Frock, this Silk, and Stockings; which, when I claimed, she said they were her Husband's.

Q. When did you first miss the Callico?

Archer. It was the 25th of May.

Q. How came you not to take her up before November ? You say you did not take her up again till November.

Archer. No, my Lord, by reason I was in Place, and could not have Time to attend such a troublesome Affair.

Q. How long has she been committed?

Archer. I think the 14th of November.

Q to the Prisoner. Would you have me ask the Witness any Questions?

Prisoner. My Lord, she says she found that in the Room in my Box; my Lord, I had no Box there.

Q. to Archer. The Box that you found the Things in, was it the Prisoner's?

Archer. She borrowed it of one Mary - .

Q. How do you know that Person might not put the Things in?

Archer. My Lord, if she can prove that; my Lord, when the Constable was there, she threatened me, and asked how I dared to take her Box, and threatened to hit me a Slap in the Face.

Q. to Richard Willis . What do you say?

Willis. My Lord, the Prisoner at the Bar was a Lodger in my House, in the Gentlewoman's Room.

Q. What do you know of your own Knowledge?

Willis. I know nothing amiss of her.

Q. Did your Wife cut out these Things?

Willis. She cut several Things for the Prisoner, but I cannot say as to these; the Prisoner was in my House, I trusted her, I never knew she wronged me.

Q. to Mary Steward . What do you know of the Matter?

Steward. I know these are Mary Archer 's Things, she told me they were her Things.

Q. to Mary Johnson , the Prisoner. What have you to say? What Witness have you?

Prisoner. Here are several substantial People to my Character.

James Welch . I live in Jermyn-street, I served on the Middlesex Jury the last Sessions; I have known the Prisoner for three Weeks Yesterday, her Husband I imagine is Benjamin Barker , he brought the Prisoner into our House the Day before she was taken up, and used her exceeding ill; he said, You B - h you have cost me 30 l. within thse two Years. The Prisoner told my Wife, that she was a Wet-nurse, that her Husband had took the Child she had put to nurse out, and would not let her know where it was. All that she wanted of him, was to know where the Child was; she told him, if he would allow her 4 s a Week, which he then gave to another, she would not trouble him any more. Her Husband comes the next Morning, and asked if the Prisoner was come there, and said, when she comes, I must beg of you to stop her, because I have got three or four Persons to swear a Robbery against her; he said, a d - d B - h, if I can get her hanged or transported, she cannot trouble me any more.

Court. I understand, that the Prisoner's Husband had some Dislike to her, and you imagined him to be the Author of it.

Welch. I am sensible of that, he collected all the Evidence he could, and said he would hang or transport her, then he should be rid of her.

Q. to Welch. How came you to be engaged in this Affair?

Welch. This was the third Time I saw her; and it appeared to me to be a most malicious Prosecution; that was the Reason of it.

Q To James Halsey . Do you know the Prisoner?

Halsey. I knew the Prisoner when she came first to lodge in the Neighbourhood. I never heard no other but she was a worthy honest Woman in all the Neighbourhood, and acted as such: when she came first to lodge with Mr Blackmore, it was next to me.

Samuel Burgess . I have known the Prisoner very well; and frequently her Children and mine have been at play together.

Q. Do you think she would be guilty of doing what is laid to her Charge?

Burgess. No, I never heard her say an ill Word, nor never saw her disguised in Liquor in my Life. The Prisoner was honourably acquitted .

31. Mary Barker , otherwise Johnson, otherwise Sudley, was a Second Time indicted for stealing seven Silver Spoons, two quilted Petticoats, two Pair of Shoes, an Holland laced Cap, a Dimity Petticoat, &c. the Goods of Thomas Mott , Oct. 15, 1741 .

Q. to Thomas Mott . What have you to say against the Prisoner?

[This Evidence was very blunt and unpolished in some of his Answers; but we shall give it pretty exact in his own Words.]

Mott. Mary Johnson came to my House for a Lodging.

Q. Where do you live?

Mott. At Westminster, in St John the Evangelist's the Corner of Vine-street, Westminster .

Q. When did she come to lodge there?

Mott. She came the 2d of October, five Years ago.

Q. How long did she lodge at your House?

Mott. Better than a Fortnight, Sir.

Q. Did you lose any thing while she lodged with you?

Mott. Seven Silver Spoons.

Court. Seven Silver Spoons while she lodged with you five Years ago?

Mott. Yes.

Q. What are you?

Mott. A Corn Chandler. There was eight, but she took but seven of them, and a long Riding-hood.

Q. What was it made of (the Riding-hood) Stuff or Silk?

Mott. No, no.

Q. What, was it Camblet?

Mott. Yes.

Q. Any thing else?

Mott. Two Pair of Shoes.

Q. What were they Mens Shoes or Womens?

Mott. This Girl's Shoes.

Q. What else?

Mott. Two Flannel Petticoats.

Q. Any other things?

Mott. Two Quilted Petticoats.

Q. Any other Things?

Mott. That Room she lodged in, she took the Sheets off of the Bed.

Q. Any thing else?

Mott. No, she did not take any thing else as I know of, my Lord. She took this Girl with her to go to see her Aunt; she left this Girl in Pawn at the Ale-house.

Q. When was that?

Mott. In October, five Years ago.

Q. Did you never hear of the Prisoner since?

Mott. Yes, I have heard of her, but I could never catch her till now.

Q. How do you know she took the things?

Mott. Because there was no Body but this Woman and the Child in the House.

Court. You did not see her take that?

Mott. No, my Lord.

Court. You never found these things at any Place where she lodged?

Mott. No, my Lord, she paid one Week, that's all.

Q. Did you make any search at any Pawnbrokers?

Mott. We made Enquiry, but could never hear any thing of them.

Q. Where was the Spoons?

Mott. Upon the Chest of Drawers we have at Home.

Q. Did you see them that Morning?

Mott. Yes, They lay just at the Bed-side.

Q. Were these Spoons left in the Room where this Person lodged?

Mott. They were left in the Room where I lie. My Wife was gone to receive some Money, and left the Girl at Home; when my Wife came Home, she said to her, Mrs Mott, I wish you would let the Child go with me to see my Aunt, and she pawned her.

Q. Are you in Business now?

Mott. Yes.

Q. Who looked after the Shop when your Wife and you was gone out?

Mott. The Child.

Q. How old is she?

Mott. Twenty Years of Age.

Q. to Buley Mott. How old are you?

Buley Mott. I am eighteen. [Her Father had said she was twenty, and when the Question was put to her again, she said she was about twenty.]

Q. What have you to say against the Prisoner at the Bar?

Mott. My Lord, she lodged at our House, and lodging at our House, she seemed to be frightened one Night, and desired I might lie with her; so she got into Bed, I got into Bed first - I got into Bed, and laid next to the Wall; so she said to me, let us take away the Sheet, I always do in cold Weather, because the Cold should not come to my Feet. The next Morning I goes into my Father's Room to lock the Door where my Mother lay; when she came down Stairs, she desired me to lock her Door, next Door to her's. Mother called me down Stairs to the Shop, and Mother being busy, this Prisoner got up in the Morning, and desired my Mother to let me go with her to an Aunt of her's. My Mother asked her to drink a Dish of Coffee, she said she was in a Hurry.

Q. How long did she live in your House?

Mott. About a Fortnight.

Q. What Time did she get up?

Mott. My Lord, I believe about eight o'Clock.

Court. And you left the Prisoner in Bed?

Mott. Yes, my Lord, my Mother was up, and the Prisoner desired I might go with her to see her Aunt; as we were going along to Westminster-Abbey, going along to Long-Ditch - .

Q. What Time did you go out with her?

Mott. My Lord, I believe it was before eight.

Q. Where did you go with her?

Mott. She went through Courts and Places I did not know where; she had me to an Alehouse, and called for a Pint of Drink, and said she would come to me presently; then she comes back again, and said, she had been at her Aunt's. She asked if I would drink a Glass of Wine; I would have went with her to her Aunt's, she said her Aunt was coming there to be merry.

Q. How long did she stay with you the second Time?

Mott. She came to the Door, but did not stay with me; she asked me if I would drink a Glass of Wine, and went away, and said, she would come presently; she said some Friends were coming to be merry, but she went away, and did not come back. I staid there three or four Hours, and I went home and told my Father how she had served me; when I came home, my Father got a Ladder, and got in at the Window. My Father did not open the Casement till the Evening; she was with Child then.

Court. It was pretty early for you to know that she was with Child then. Well, what then?

Mott. Then afterwards we heard that she was gone down to Colchester.

Q. Did you see that she carried these Things away when you and she went out?

Mott. No.

Q. How could she carry these Things away, and you not see it? You did not see any of these Things upon her?

Mott. No, my Lord.

Q. to the Prisoner. What have you to say in your Defence?

Prisoner. This young Woman (the Witness) when she first saw me, said she did not know me, but the other Woman that was a Witness against me in the former Trial, she told her she might safely swear to me, for I was the Person.

Q. to Thomas Manning . Where do you live?

Manning. At Hide-Park, I am a Master Statuary, she has lived in two Houses of mine for these two Years, and has a very good Character, or I should never appear for her.

Q. Where is your Rents?

Manning. In White-horse street, just as you go down the Hill.

Q. How does she behave? What Character does she bear?

Manning. A very good Character.

Q. to Elizabeth Clear . Where do you live?

Clear. I live in May-fair, I keep a Grocer's Shop, and my Husband is a Cabinet-maker.

Q. Do you know the Prisoner at the Bar?

Clear. I have entrusted her in my House and Shop, and she bears the Character of a very honest Woman; I have entrusted her all over my House, and I never lost any one Thing.

Q. to James Halsey . How long have you known the Prisoner?

Halsey I have known her upwards of a Y ear and half, I live in May-fair, I rent a House there between 20 and 30 l. a Year; I have known her ever since she first came to lodge in our Neighbourhood, I never heard she was given to strip her Lodgings, or went by different Names. She always answers to the Name of Barker.

Court. Any thing more to say?

Halsey. As to her Character and Behaviour, I know no one in the Place has a better Character and Behaviour.

Q. to Mary Welch . Are you a married Woman?

Welch. Yes.

Q. Where do you and your Husband live?

Welch. At the Horse-shoe in Jermyn-street, I have known the Prisoner but the Night before she was taken; here is the Girl that has been examined as a Witness, (Buley Mott) said she did not know her, and Mary Archer , her Prosecutor upon the last Indictment, said, Come along, that is she. Barker, her Husband, brought her into our House the Day before she was taken, and used her exceeding ill.

Q. What in your Presence?

Welch Yes , and we took her Part. The next Morning when he came, his Expression was, Is that B - h come yet; says he, if she comes, pray be so good as to stop her; he said, there were three or four Women to swear a Robbery against her, he said he would hang or transport her, then he should get rid of her.

Q. to John Bidle . What are you?

Bidle. I am Servant to Mr Bussel.

Q. Do you know the Prisoner at the Bar?

Bidle. I have known her six or seven Weeks, she came to my Master's to be Wet-nurse the 16th or 17th of October.

Q. What then?

Bidle. She staid with my Master three Weeks, the Occasion of her going away was, the Uneasiness with her Husband, that the Child did not thrive, and my Master sent me to declare how she behaved. Mr Crane the Apothecary seat her to my Master, if there had been any ill Report, he would never have done it.

James Welch . I keep the Horse shoe in Jermyn-street.

Q. How long have you known the Prisoner?

Welch. Three Weeks; she was twice at our House, and by the Discourse her Husband had with her, I found that she had been married to him, or gone by his Name for two Years.

Q. Well, what past then?

Welch. He called her B - h, &c. she said he had taken away her child, and if he would tell her where it was, and allow her 4 s. a Week, she would not trouble him; he said she had cost him 30 l. within these three Years; he took away all the Furniture of her Room for three Weeks; he said he had only entailed a Chamber-pot upon her, or some such Expression; she owned she had about 18 l. of his Money within two Years, with Apothecary's Bills, and Illness: she appealed to my Wife, my Wife said that she had cost me twice as much in half the Time. So he went home with her about a 11 o'Clock, yesterday was three Weeks; the next Morning he asked if she was come there, I said no, so he said when she came, he desired I would stop her; he said if he could but hang her or transport her, he should get rid of her, so I desired that he would get out of the House, we did not desire such Company. It has cost me near 3 l. purely to serve the Woman, as we believe it to be a Prosecution set on Foot by the Malice and Wickedness of her Husband.

The Court expressed the utmost Indignation against the inhuman Wretch of a Husband, for his base Conduct, as attested by two very credible Witnesses, and most honourably acquitted the Prisoner: and proposed ( without being asked) to grant her a Copy of her Indictment, that might be an effectual Security against any such like Proceedings of her wicked Husband; and if she thought sit to be a Scourge to those who have fallen in with his base Advice. The Court told the Prisoner they hoped she would make a prudent Use of it, but she might sue them for a Conspiracy or Perjury.

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