Elizabeth Canning.
24th April 1754
Reference Numbert17540424-60
SentenceNo Punishment > sentence respited

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298. Elizabeth Canning , spinster , was indicted for wilful and corrupt perjury on the trial of Mary Squires , the gypsey , (See No. 158. in Alderman Gascoyne's mayoralty in swearing she was robbed by the said Mary Squires of a pair of stays, value 10 s. in the house of Susannah Wells at Enfield Wash, January 2, 1753.

The witnesses were examined apart.

After the indictment was opened by the council for the prosecution, William Chetham produced the copy of the record of the conviction of Mary Squires at the sessions house in the Old Bailey, which was read: the purport of which was, that she was tried and convicted for the same.

The council for the prisoner did not put them upon proving she was sworn upon that trial, but admitted that.

Then Thomas Gurney, the minuter, was called, who deposed from his minutes to the contents of Canning's evidence given in court

upon that trial; that she was met by two men in Moorfields, on January 1, 1753, near Bedlam-wall, who robbed her of her gown, apron, hat, and 13 s. 6 d. and took her away to Enfield-wash, to the house of Susannah Wells ; where she was robbed by Mary Squires of her stays, at about four o'clock the next morning; and put into a hay-loft, where she continued for twenty eight days, all but a few hours, &c. &c.

Esther Hopkins deposed, she lived at South Parrot, in Dorsetshire, that she believed she saw the gypsey woman, her son and daughter; (who were all three in the court, that each witness might see them as they came to give evidence) at her house on the 29th of December, 1752.

Alice Farnham deposed she lives at Vine-yard's Gap; and that the old woman and her son were at her house, on a Saturday morning a little before New-Christmas, 1752; and believed the daughter was with them, but not quite positive as to her.

George Squires , the gypsey's son, deposed that he, his mother, and sister Lucy, were at South Parrot on the 29th of December, 1752; they went to Litton the next day, and on the 31st to Abbotsbury; where they staid from the 1st of January to the 9th, on which, day they went to Portsham, and from thence to Ridgway, and on the 11th to Dorchester; from whence they set out and walked almost all night, and got to another village, and the next day they lay at Morton in a barn; and on the day after they lay at Coome; after which he could not recollect where he lay till he came to Basingstoke, where he was directed to lodgings at a house at Old Basing; then they travelled to Bagshot and lay there, and after that to Brentford, and from thence to the Seven-sisters at the two Brewers near Tottenham; and from thence to Mother Wells's at Enfield-wash; that his business was to tarry there till he could get a debt, which was due to him in London, of 7 l. 15 s. being afraid of going to his own lodgings, where he had goods of his own at Newington Butts, for fear of being arrested; that they had been there but a week and a day before his mother was taken up and committed. On his Cross-Examination he gave a very lame account how he went from Newington to South Parrot and named as many counties he went through as towns; but could not name a sign or inn that he lay at.

There were four people from Litton deposed they saw the old woman, her son and daughter there, at the time he had mentioned; and eleven from Abbotsbury, to that of their being there from the 1st of Jan. 1753, to the 9th of the same; and four to seeing them at Portersham on the 9th and 10th; one at Fordington on the 11th; one at Chattle on the 12th; three at Martin on the 13th; five at Coome on the 14th; one at Basingstoke on the 18th; two at Brentford on the 20th, 21st, and 22d; two that they were near the Seven-sisters by Tottenham on the 23d of Jan. 1753.

The next person called was Mr. Alderman Chittey, who deposed from his minutes, which he took when Elizabeth Canning went before him at Guildhall, in company with Mr. Lion, Mr. Nash, Mr. Wintlebury, and others; that Elizabeth Canning deposed before him, Jan. 31, 1753? that upon the last New-years day as she was returning from her uncle's, at or near Salt-peter-bank, by the dead wall, against Bedlam, in Morefields, near ten at night she was met by two men, who robbed her of half a guinea, 3 s. and a halfpenny; that they took her gown from off her back, and a straw or chip hat; that she struggled and made a noise, and that one stopped her mouth with something like a handkerchief; and swore if she made any noise or resistance they would kill her, and hit her a blow over the head and stunned her, and forced her along Bishopsgate-street, each holding her up under the arms; but did not remember any thing more that passed; and did not come to herself till about half an hour before she came to Enfield Wash, so called as she had learned since, to Well's house: that there were several persons in the room, it was said she must do as they did; and if so, she should have fine clothes; she said, she would not, but would go home,

and refused compliance: and then a woman forced her up stairs into a room, and with a case knife which she had in her hand cut the lace of her stays and took them away, and told her there were bread and water in the said room, and if she made any noise she would come in immediately and cut her throat; then went out and locked the door: and that she never saw her, nor any one of them since, till after her escape. The bread in quantity of about a quarter loaf, in four, five, or six pieces; and three quarters of a gallon of water, or a little more, in a pitcher as she supposed: on which, and a penny minced pye which she had in her pocket, she subsisted till she got away; which was on the 29th of January, about three or four o'clock in the afternoon; and then made the best of her way to London, to her mother's at the bottom of Aldermanbury. She also said, that she had had no stool, only made water all the time; and that there were in that room an old stool or two, an old table, and an old picture over the chimney, two windows in the room, one fastened up with boards, and the other part ditto and glass. At the latter she made a hole by removing a pane of glass, forced a part open, and got out upon a shed of boards or penthouse; and so slid down and jumped upon the side of a bank on the back side of the house and so got into the road, and reached her mother's that night about ten o'clock: her mother being there, said, she got her some wine and water, but she could not swallow it, and then sent for the apothecary for advice. Her master Lion and Mr. Wintlebury gave her a good character. That she apprehended it was the woman of the house that had done her this injury. And he granted her a warrant for the apprehending mother Wells upon her swearing all this to be truth.

Gawen Nash deposed, that he was with Canning before Alderman Chitty; that there she was asked what sort of a room it was that she was confined in; that there she said it was a little square darkish room; that there were boards nailed up at the window; and that thro' the cracks she could see the Hertford stage coach which used to carry her mistress. And he likewise deposed, that she said, there were and old broken stool or a chair, an iron grate in the chimney, and a few old pictures hung over the chimney; and that she lay upon boards. He said, he was much affected with this melancholy affair, being there during the whole examination. He likewise deposed, that after the warrant was granted, that he, Lions, her master, Aldridge, and Hague, went down to mother Wells's, in order to execute the warrant on the next morning, which was the 1st of Feb. that as they were going down they were met by people, who told them that they had seized them all: that they went on, and when they came to mother Wells's house they went up into several rooms; and after that he saw a man there, and asked him if there were not other rooms in the house; that the man shewed him up into this room and went with him; that when he got into this room, he wondered where the room was which Canning had described she had been confined in; for says he, this did not in any part answer the description she gave, for it was a very long room: that he then came down to his companions and they all went into the room together; that then somebody said, this must be the room; that he then said, it answered not the description she had given of it, For, he says, he observed in the room near half a load of hay, a nest of drawers, about 4 f. by 3 high, and a tub in which some pollard was, three old saddles, two of which were women's saddles; and a parcel of hay made in the form of a bed, that over the bed were a jack-line and pullies, and that there was a hole where the jack line had gone thro', which was stuffed with hay; that it was a thin clay and lath wall which separated that and the kitchen, and that if the hay had been removed, any one might see very plain in the kitchen, and across the kitchen into the road, that there was a little chimney in the room which seemed to be a little place for the warming a glue-pot; and that he observed an old dusty casement which seemed to have stood over the chimney for some years; that there was no grate nor the appearance of a grate in the chimney;

that he observed the window out of which she said she made her escape; that within nine or ten feet of that window there is a watering pond; that the other window of the room never had been boarded up, and that was large enough for him to get out at, and that it was so low he shook hands with his wife out of it, that the casement opened and shut extremely easy, and that there were trees grew so very near it that they were almost within his reach, and the room was very light, nor saw he any pitcher there; but after the people were all secured they went over the way, and was impatient that Elizabeth Canning was not come, that Adamson and another tost up to know who should go and meet them. Adamson went, and returned waving his hat; saying, we are all right, for Bet says there is a little hay in the room: He says, when Canning was brought in and set upon the dresser, the door of that room being open, she might have seen the stairs leading up into the room; being carried into the parlour where all the people were, she instantly fixed upon Mary Squires ; but, he says, she could not see Mary Squires 's face at that time; and when Squires's daughter told her mother she was fixt upon as the person who had robbed Canning; that she then got up and came cross the room to Canning, saying, madam, do you say I robbed you? Look at this face, and if you have seen it before, you must have remembered that God Almighty never made such another: When Canning told her when it was; she said, Lord madam! I was 120 miles off at that time: He asked her where she was; she said, she was at Abbotsbury in Dorshetshire, and that she could bring a hundred people to prove it, who had known her thirty or forty years: and that all the people declared she had been there but a very little while. He says, after this, Canning was carried into several rooms, and at last into the work-shop, when she came there she said, she believed that to be the room: upon her being asked what she remembered it by; she said she remembered hay in the room, and that was the hay she lay upon, but there was more; she took up the jug, saying, it was what she had her water in: Upon her being asked about the saddles and the drawers, she said, she did not remember them (which he says were dusty and seemed to have been there a great while) being asked why she did not get out at the east window; answered, that she thought it was fast. He says, when they came down into the parlour; that Natus's wife declared, that she and her husband had lain there for eleven weeks together, and that Mary Squires had been there but a very little time.

Upon his being asked why he did not give this evidence upon the trial of Mary Squires : He says he was in court part of the trial, and that he was extremely uneasy in his own mind, but being butler of the Goldsmiths company, and having the charge of a great deal of plate, and thinking at the same time that Mary Squires would have been acquitted; he went away and did not come again. He says, he did not think upon the observations he had made there could have been a sufficient proof to have convicted her; and, when he heard she was convicted, he was extremely affected and uneasy.

Upon his Cross-Examination he said, that before he left the Old-Bailey, Canning had gone through the whole of her evidence, or very near it, and that she had swore the robbery upon the gypsey, but he thought within himself Canning had given false evidence, or however it might be a mistake. That he is not certain whether Judith Natus was in the room the whole time he was there (meaning at Well's) neither could he be certain that she said she had lain there ten or eleven weeks: but upon this, he says, he quite dropt his Opinion of Canning, though a great friend of hers before.

The Third Part of these Proceedings will be published in a few Days.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter.
24th April 1754
Reference Numbert17540424-60

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THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery FOR THE CITY of LONDON; And also the Gaol Delivery for the County of MIDDLESEX, HELD AT JUSTICE-HALL in the OLD-BAILEY, On Wednesday the 24th, Thursday the 25th, Friday the 26th, Saturday the 27th, Monday the 29th of APRIL, Wednesday the 1st of MAY, &c.

In the 27th Year of His MAJESTY's Reign. PART III. of NUMBER IV. for the Year 1754. BEING THE Fourth SESSIONS in the MAYORALTY of the Right Hon. Thomas Rawlinson , Esq; LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.


Printed, and sold by M. COOPER, at the Globe in Pater-noster Row. 1754;

[Price Four-pence.]


Kings Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery held for the City of London, &c.

JOHN Hague and Edward Alridge gave much the same account, they being the persons that went down with him.

Hague upon his Cross-Examination was asked, whether he was in the haylost the whole time Canning was there? he said he was; and that he saw Adamson and Scarrot there at the same time, and that Adamson and Scarrot tore down the window.

The next witness called was Mr. White, the marshal's man, servant to my Lord Mayor, who gave an account of his going down to apprehend mother Wells for this robbery; he gave an account in what manner they were all secured; and likewise of his going into the hayloft; that there he saw twelve or fifteen trusses of hay, which he thought had been there a long time; that he saw a chest of drawers there, a barrel of a gun, and an old musket: that when he looked into the room he was suspicious, and thought Canning was mistaken, because it did not agree with the description she had given; he gave an account that he went and looked at the north window, to see if he could find the mark of any body's getting out; he said he observed the ground was clay, and there lay a help of human dung as high as a quart pot, which did not appear to have been trod upon; and upon the whole it did not appear to him that any body had got out at that window; he says, that Adamson would have persuaded him there were some mark in the wall, but he took a particular observation and could see none; neither could he observe any penthouse or shed; he said, when Canning came in, he proposed she should go into the parlour and fix upon the person who had robbed her; he says that she fixed upon Mary Squires , but could not be certain whether Canning saw her face at the time she fixed upon her; he says, upon that Mary Squires declared she never saw her before; and George Squires said, before Canning came, that they were at that very time in Dorsetshire; he says, the old woman, George, and Lucy, persisted in it they were all at Abbotsbury this first of Jan. and the other daughter said, she was at her uncle's in the Borough that very Christmas.

The next witness that was called was Fortune Natus, who deposed, that he and his wife lay in that very room during the time Canning says she was confined there; he says, when they came there, there was half a load of hay in the room, which room he says was called the workshop; he described the room, and said, his bed was made of hay and straw, and his bolster was a sack of wool; there was no grate in the room; that there was a nest of drawers and two or three side-saddles, a man's saddle, a large drawer with some pollard, and that there was a tub, which was hooped with iron hoops; that there was a barrel or kilderkin, and an old gun and a gun-barrel; and in the chimney an old lanthorn,

a spit, and a saw with two handles; a jack and pullies; that the pullies came through a hole at his bed's head, and that hole a matter of three feet long: he said, there was an old sign there, the sign of the Crown, which he says used to hang at mother Well's door, and that stood against the wall; that there was no pictures there, but an old iron casement without glass or lead : that he lodged in this room twelve weeks excepting three days, and lay there every night excepting one, and that his wife lay there every night: he says, the sign that lay there was bought by one Ezra Whiffen , and that to his observation, nothing was taken out of the room while he lay there : that he was there all the month of Jan. all new Christmas, old Christmas, and 'till they were all taken up.

The next witness called was Judith Natus , who said, she was wife to Fortune Natus, she gave much the same account as he had done; but when she was asked if there was a sign in that room, she said, there was; and it was the sign of the Fountain. Afterwards she said, there were two signs, and the other was the sign of the Crown.

The next witness called was Mary Larney , who said she kept a chandler's shop at Enfield, that she knew Fortune Natus and his wife very well, she says they dealt with her for chandlery goods; that she had seen them go in and out very often to mother Wells's, between Michaelmas and Christmas 1752, and that they told her they lodged there; and that the first time she saw Mary Squires there was on Wednesday the 24th of Jan. and that upon the Thursday after that Wednesday they were all taken up; and that the first time she saw Lucy Squires was, that she sold her a small loaf of bread, and that she sold her bread, cheese and small beer the very day that Mary Squires came to Well's house, and that Lucy Squires wanted to borrow a pitcher of her, and that she never saw any gypsies at Wells's house before; and that she would not put the money she had taken of the old woman into her pocket before she put it into a pail of water.

The next witness called was Sarah Howel , who said, she was daughter to Mrs. Wells, and that she was there every day during the month of Jan. but she says she had no acquaintance with Mary Squires , her son or daughter; but she says they came there upon a Wednesday, and all were taken upon the Thursday following. The pitcher being produced to her, she swore it was the very same pitcher that was used in the family; and she likewise deposed, that Fortune Natus and his wife were there in that time, and that she was there when they were all taken up: she says that Fortune Natus and his wife lay in the workshop about two months: that there was a considerable quantity of hay in the room, which was to feed her mother's horse, and some pollard was there to feed the sow; that she could not take upon her to swear she lay in the house once during the whole month of Jan. but was there every day or almost every day in that time. She said, that Virtue Hall went as often in the hayloft as she did: that upon the 8th of Jan. Edward Allen , Giles Knight and John Larney lopped the trees which were over-against the window, and that Virtue Hall and herself were at the window at that time; that she opened the casement herself, and it opened very easy.

Upon her cross-examination she was asked how she came to her mother's, she said, she had been a servant and was out of place, and that she had been at her mother's a year and a half: she said, that when Canning went into the parlour she pointed to Squires, and fixed upon her as the person that robbed her: that she believes this was before she saw her face: that Mary Squires said, for God's sake do not swear my life away; look in my face, and be sure of what you say: she said, that Mary Squires sat with a pipe in her mouth and almost double, and her head leaned upon her arm: that Canning saw Wells before she saw Squires, and did not charge her; and that she was not at the trial of Squires, because she was not subpoena'd to attend.

The next witnesses called were John Larney, Giles Knight and Edward Allen , who gave an account of their lopping the trees on the 8th of Jan. that stood just against the window of the room in which Canning said she was confined, and talked to Sarah Howel and Virtue Hall the time they were looking out at the window of the hayloft.

The next witness called was John Carter , who said, he kept a publick-house near Well's house; he deposed he saw them lopping the trees, and that they slung clods of dirt at Virtue Hall and Sarah Howel , who stood at the window of that room; and that Fortune Natus and his wife lodged at Wells's : he said, he saw Mary Squires there only the morning she was taken up, but he saw her son a week before that time.

The next witness called was Ezra Whiffen , who said, he keeps, the White Heart and Crown at Enfield Wash; he deposed, that he bought that sign of the Crown which was in the hayloft in mother Wells's house, and that afterwards, on the 18th of Jan. he bought the old hooks of mother Wells, and that he went up into the hayloft to look for them; and that he saw Judith Natus in bed there; he says, the irons were in a piece of wood; that his son carried it home upon his shoulder, and knocked out the hooks and brought it back again: he says, he went forward to Wormley.

The next witness called was John Whiffen , who deposed, he was son to the last witness, that he went with his father to mother Wells's, but did not go into the workshop; that he brought away the piece of wood the hooks were fixed in, and took out the hooks and brought the wood back again.

The next witness called was Elizabeth Long , who deposed, that she was daughter to mother Wells, and that she lived but three houses distant from her: she says, she believed she was there every day in Jan. that her sister and Virtue Hall lived there, and that Fortune Natus and Judith Natus lived there at that time; that she had occasion to go into the workshop several times, and had often seen Judith Natus and her husband in that room and in bed; she described the chimney to be at the feet of Fortune Natus's bed, and that she never remembered there was a grate there; that she remembered a great deal of hay being put there for the use of the horse that her mother kept; and that she remembered the pollard and bran for the use of the sow and pigs, and that she was there in the month of Jan. to take some pollard for that purpose, and is sure no body lodged in that room all that time, execept Fortune Natus and his wife: the pitcher was produced in court, and she said that was her mother's pitcher; and as to the bedgown, she never saw that before: she said, she saw Mary Squires at her mother's upon the 24th of Jan. and that was the first time she saw her: that her son and two daughters came there then, and they were all taken up on the first of February.

The next witness called was John Howel , who deposed, he lived at Enfield-Wash, and was son to mother Wells; that he was in the workshop on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of Jan. he said, his mother had sent him there on these days to fetch pollard to feed the sow and pigs, and that Fortune Natus and his wife were the only people that were in that room: he says, he attended the trial of Squires, but the mob would not suffer him to come in, and that he was forced to go away.

The next witness called was Robert Pyke , who says, he was at mother Wells's house during new and old Christmas, that he went there to keep company with Natus and his wife: that he was never in the hayloft, but was there during the time that Natus and his wife lay there.

The next witness called was John Donowell , who deposed, that he was a carpenter and surveyor, and he produced a model of this workshop.

The next witness called was George Talmarsh , who deposed, that he was an attorney, and went to see mother Wells in prison, and that he was employed by her to make out subpoena's, which he did for eight people.

The next witness called was Mrs. Meaks, who deposed, that she is a midwife, and that she brought Elizabeth Canning into the world; she said, she went there the 2d or 3d of Feb. that she saw the girl to all appearance in a very weak condition, laying upon a bed; that as soon as she came in, Canning's mother asked her if she had heard of her misfortune? saying, her child came home as naked as ever she was born into the world; she said, what! without a shift on? that her mother said no, she had a shift on; upon which she says she turned herself about to Canning, who lay on a bed, and asked her how it came about? she related it to her: she says upon this she expressed a great deal of concern, fearing she might have been debauched: that Canning could not tell what had happened to her, because she told her she was insensible in fits. She said, upon this she asked her mother whether she had her child's shift she came home in? that her mother produced it; that she examined it, and asked if it had not been washed since her daughter came home? her mother said no; she said, she told her mother it was uncommonly clean to be worn so long: that she looked very narrowly upon it, and told her mother she had not been debauched; that her mother thanked God for it. She said, she went a second time to see her; and on her examining the shift again, she told her mother it could not have been worn above a week; and that then she saw three spots of excrement upon it: she says, the mother was then extremely angry with her, and said, do you come here to set her friends against her? she was asked about the girl's character, and she gave her a very good one.

The next witness called was George Brogden , who was clerk to Mr. Fielding; he came to prove the information of Canning, which was read; and by that it appears, that she swore, that the pitcher of water was consumed upon the Friday before she made her escape on the Monday.

The next witness called was Mr. deputy Mollineaux, who deposed, that he happened to be with the late Lord-Mayor (after Mary Squires was convicted) when Canning and Virtue Hall were brought there in order to be examined; and that after my Lord-Mayor had examined Virtue Hall, her answer was, she had nothing to say at that time; he says, the pitcher and bedgown were produced; that Canning took up the gown in order to take it away, as it appeared to him; and my Lord-Mayor said, no, you must not take it away: that then she said, it is my mother's; this he says surprized him a great deal; because, on the trial of Squires she said, she took it out of the grate in the room where she said she was confined.

On his cross-examination he was asked whether he heard any thing of Virtue Hall's recanting ? he said, he had heard she had recanted.

The next witness called was Mr. Reed, who said, he was present at the same time, and remembered it in the same particulars Mr. Mollineaux did; that at the time she was rowling up the gown, attempting to take it away, she said it was her mother's.

Here the Council for the prosecution rested it.

Witness in behalf of the prisoner.

Edward Lyons , who lives in Aldermanbury, deposed. Elizabeth Canning lived servant with him 'till the time she was missing on the 1st of Jan. 1753; that he had known her sixteen years, and gave her an extreme good character; that she went to see her uncle, (with leave) but he saw no more of her 'till the 31st of the same month; that he was with her before Mr. Alderman Chittey; that he being somewhat deafish, could not take upon him to say all that passed: that there was a warrant granted, and he and several others went down to mother Wells's house, and the people of the house were secured. That when Canning was brought there and set upon the dresser, he caution'd her to be very careful to charge no body but who she was sure was guilty; she said, she would be careful. That the first of the people taken up she saw was mother Wells. She, upon seeing her said, she had done nothing at

all to her, but upon seeing Mary Squires said she was the woman that cut her stays off. Being asked if he believed she saw her face before she challenged her, he said yes, and she thought George Squires , after he had put on his great coat, extremely like one of the men that robb'd her in Morefields. He also said that Mr. Nash seemed at coming home to be well satisfied in what was done then, or at least had very little or no room to think the contrary; that Mr. Nash was once at his house afterwards, and at going out said, Mr. Lion, I hope God Almighty will destroy the model by which he made that face, and never make another by it, meaning the gypsy; and that Mr. Nash sent him the letter which was shewn in court to Mr. Nash on his examination, and which he owned to be his hand writing, dated Feb. 10, to this purport:

Mr. Lions,

I am informed by Mr. Aldridge, who has been at Enfield, that if a person was appointed there to receive contributions some money would be raised in that place for the unhappy poor girl. I wish you success, and am

Yours, Gawen Nash.

That Mr. Hague said as they were coming up he saw no grate in the chimney, or picture over it; that he answered they are movable things and might have been taken away since; that they came home all very good friends; that he never found any doubt from Nash, Aldridge, and Hague till after the trial of Squires; and that he verily believed when he saw Mr. Nash in court on the trial of Mary Squires that he would then have given his evidence against the gypsy.

Thomas Colley , Canning's uncle, who lives at Saltpeter Bank, at whose house she had been on the 1st of January, deposed to the same he did on the trial of Squires, and his wife was next called who confirmed the same.

Elizabeth Canning , the mother, deposed her daughter was 19 years old, and to the same purport as on the former trial; with this addition, that her daughter said she had heard the name Wills or Wells mentioned in the house where she had been confined before any body mentioned such words to her. On her cross examination she said she had been to a conjurer who lives in the Old Bailey to inquire where her daughter was, &c. that he took her money and bid her go home, and she would come again.

Mary Northan deposed she carried all the advertisements to the printer which were in the Daily Advertiser, by the directions of Mrs. Canning.

James Lord , apprentice to Mrs. Canning, deposed to Elizabeth Canning 's being missed, the great concern his mistress was in on that account, and that when she returned his mistress was at prayer for her daughter's return; that when she came to the door he did not at first know her, nor till she spoke, she was in such a deplorable condition; that his mistress fell in a fit upon it; that she had a bit of a handkerchief over her head, and an old jacket on, and that she was a very sober girl.

Robert Scarrat deposed that he, hearing Canning was returned the night she came home, went into her mother's house; that he heard her say she had been on the Hertfordshire road, about 8 or ten miles from London; that he said he would lay a guinea to a farthing she had been at the house of mother Wells, and she said she heard the name of Wills or Wells mentioned while she was in confinement, ( which was in a longish darkish room) and saw a coachman whom she knew go by, through a crack of the boards at the window. Being asked if he had any knowledge of Elizabeth Canning before, he said he never saw her, to his knowledge, before that night. He said he had been at mother Wells's house sometimes when he lived servant with Mr. Snee at Edmonton.

Mary Myers deposed she had known the mother and daughter for many years, that the daughter is a very sober girl, and always behaved as well as any in England; that when she returned her mother sent the apprentice for her, and she came; she found her in a very bad condition, her face and arms being black, which she thought to be occasioned by the cold weather;

that she kneeled down on her knees to talk to her she answered so low, and she told her she was robbed and taken away by two men, &c. and said she was confined in a room where was some hay and a pitcher with about a gallon of water, a fire place in it, about the value of a quartern loaf, and when she got she pulled down two boards from a window, tore her ear in getting out, and dropped down, and that she saw her ear very bloody, which appeared fresh and had dropped on her shoulder.

John Wintlebury deposed he had known her fourteen or fifteen years, that she lived with him about eighteen months and behaved exceeding well; that upon hearing she was come home he went that night; that she said to him, O lord! sir, you don't know what I have gone through, that she was in a very weak and bad condition; she said, she had been confined on the Hertfordshire road, and had heard the name Wills, or Wells, mentioned in the house; that she described a broken pitcher, which held about a gallon of water, in the room, and such a one he found when he went into that room, and that Canning saw part of Squires's face before she fixed upon her, as he believes.

Mary Woodward deposed, she was sent for by Mrs. Canning the night the daughter returned, which was in a very deplorable condition; the first words she said to her were, Mrs. Woodward, I am almost starved to death; and said, she had been confined in a room on the Hertford road; she said, when she was brought into the house three women took hold of her, and the old woman asked her if she would go their way; she answered, no: upon which she went to a dresser and took out a knife and ripped the lacing of her stays, and then took hold of her petticoat and looked on that, and struck her a slap of the face; and said, d - n you, you b - h, I'll give it you, and immediately turned her up into that place where she was confined, and threatened her with oaths that she would cut her throat if she made any noise: and she said, the old woman was a tall black swarthy woman.

Joseph Adamson deposed, he had known Elizabeth Canning ever since she was big enough to walk about: that the first time he saw her after she came home was the day they went down to Enfield-Wash; that none of them had horses but Mr. Wintlebury and he, that he was there before the coach, and after the people were taken up, he rode back to tell them in the coach not to stop at a place where they had agreed to call. That he did not tell Canning at that time there was hay in the room, but after he had spoke to the coachman to make haste, that he then asked Canning, what sort of a place it was she was confined in? She answered, an odd, or a wild sort of a place, that there was some hay, and something else, which he could not remember: that he then rode on. The same as Mr. Lion had said before.

Mr. Backler, an apothecary in Aldermanbury, deposed, he was applied to by the girl's mother, and went to her on the 30th of Jan. he found her extremely low and could scarcely hear her speak, with cold clammy sweats in her bed, complained of being very faint and sick, and of pains in her bowels, and of having been costive the whole time of her confinement; he ordered her a purging medicine, but her stomach was too weak for it, and could not bear it; he then ordered her a glyster that evening, and on the 3d of February another, the latter had some little effect; he ordered her another on the 5th, that had no effect at all: and she continuing very bad and in great danger, Dr. Eaton was sent for on the 6th; he wrote prescriptions for her for fourteen days, of diuretics and gentle cathartic medicines; that she was tollerably well in about a month. When she was at the worst her face was remarkable, her colour quite gone, her arms of livid colour spotted: and that when he heard she was gone to Enfield-wash, when the people were taken up, he thought her not able to perform the journey, and thought it extremely improper for her to undertake it, she being very much emaciated and wasted.

Dr. Eaton deposed, that he saw her on the 6th of February at her mother's, in a very weak condition, and was very apprehensive she would die; she complained of pain in her bowels, and could hardly keep any thing in her stomach: she took a little chicken broth: she appeared to lie in great distress. Being asked if he saw any signs of her being an impostor, he answered, no, he did not: he found she was costive to a very great degree, and appeared to him to be in very great danger for seven or eight days, but on the 4th of March she was well enough to go abroad in the neighbourhood: being asked, whether there were any symptoms of her being lately under a salivation? he answered, Nothing like it, nothing like it, I'll assure you; but that she appeared as one almost starved.

On his cross-examination he could not undertake to say her being in that low condition was by loss of appetite occasioned by a fever or other distemper, or whether it was from being confined from victuals. She told him she had been kept as she before related on bread and water, and he believed her; and said, it was plain she had not eat much by the symptoms he observed: being asked by her council, if it was possible for a person to subsist twenty-eight days on what she had mentioned? he answered, no doubt but there is a possibility of it.

Robert Beals . Who is one that attends the turnpike at Stamford-hill, deposed, that at the beginning of Jan. he was standing by the gate at near eleven at night, he heard a sobbing and crying on the road; it came from towards Newington, and drew nearer and nearer; at last he perceived it was two men and a young person seemingly by her crying; one said, come along, you b - h, you are drunk; the other said, how drunk the b - h is! and made a sort of a laugh, but she seemed unwilling to go. By his light he could see them, one got over the style, and the other laid hold of one of her legs or both, and lifted them over, so that she came down upright; she hung back and fell on her breech on the step of the style, and set out a fresh cry bitterly, as though she would go no further : that he went nearer them, expecting she would speak to him; but there being two men, and he alone, he did not think it safe to interpose: that the one pulled her, and the other jostled her along, and so they took her out of sight towards Enfield.

Thomas Bennet deposed, he lives at Enfield, near the ten miles stone, and on the 29th of Jan. 1753, between four and five in the afternoon, between mother Wells's and his own house, he saw a miserable poor wretch coming along, without either gown, stays, cap, hat, or apron on, only a dirty thing, like half a handkerchief, over her head, and a piece of something on, that reached down just below her waist, with her hands lying together before her; she asked him the way to London.

David Dyer deposed, he lived at Enfield-Wash; that about a quarter of a mile from mother Wells's house, towards London, at four in the afternoon, three evenings before mother Wells and her family were taken up, he saw a poor distressed creature pass by him, out of the common field: he said to her, sweetheart, do you want a husband? she made no answer: she had a thing tied over her head, like a white handkerchief, walking with her hands before her, very faintly, and was a shortish woman, with a shortish sort of a thing on, it did not come very low on her: that he looked at her face as she passed him, and said, (upon looking upon Elizabeth Canning ) he takes her to be the same person.

On his cross-examination he says, she had not an unlikely face, she looked whitely, it was not black; and he saw her hands looked as other peoples did.

Mary Cobb deposed, she lived at Edmonton; that she met a person in Duck's-fields, in a poor distressed condition, between the six and seven miles stones, on the 29th of Jan. just at the setting in of daylight: she had a handkerchief pinned over her head, it hid part of her face; she had a black petticoat and an old bedgown on, and her arms wrapped in it; she perceived

she had a young face; she walked creepingly along: upon her being bid to look on Eliz. Canning, and see if she knew her, she said, she had never seen her since that time, but firmly believed it might be her by the tip of her nose, which, she said, bears some resemblance to the person she met.

William Howard deposed, he lived at Enfield-wash, right over against mother Wells's, he has a small fortune of his own, and has a little employment under the government on which he lives. He said, Edward Aldridge , the silversmith, and a cousin of his of the same name, who is his neighbour, came to him about two or three days after Squires and Wells were taken up, and brought a printed case of Elizabeth Canning to recommend a contribution in her behalf; he looked upon it that he came to him on that very purpose; and had then no apprehension of any dissatisfaction. About six or seven days after he came again, then he asked him, what he thought of it? Aldridge made answer, there was one thing he was not quite clear in, and that was the description she gave of the room; but, he said, he thought she was there, and had been very ill used.

Mrs. Howard confirmed the testimony of her husband, and further deposed, that the first time she can recollect she saw the son and two daughters and Mary Squires , she believes to be on the Sunday was se'nnight before they were taken up, which was the 21st of January, that they were standing at Wells's door.

William Headland deposed, he was at his father's at Enfield before January was twelve months, and saw Wells and Squires taken up, that he found a piece of window-lead all bloody on the ground near the window, which the girl said she got out at after they were taken up; that he carried it to his mother, who laid it up, but it is since lost, and that he saw Mary Squires , on Tuesday the 9th of January, under Lomas Dean's, at the bell at Enfield, brick wall, telling a young man his fortune: that he saw her on the 12th at Wells's house, and her two daughters were with her, one of them was buckling up her pumps which she had on.

On his cross-examination he appeared very ignorant as to reckoning of time, he could not tell which month Christmas was in, but knows it is in winter time.

Elizabeth Headland , the mother to the last evidence, deposed, her son brought her a piece of lead that was bloody, after Squires was taken up; she laid it in a table-drawer, and it is since lost; he said, he found it a little way from Mrs. Wells's window, where the girl said she got out at.

Samuel Story deposed, he lives at Waltham-Abbey, in Essex, on his fortune; (he looks at Mary Squires ) and says, he saw her several times in White-Webb's-Lane; that the last time he saw her was on the 23d of December, 1752, sitting within the door of Mrs. Wells's house, this was on a fine frosty morning: that he took particular notice of her, and knew she was the same person he had seen in White-Webb's-Lane, where he used to ride two or three times a week: that he remembered this 23d of Dec. by it's being a fine frosty morning when he went out; the weather changing, and it's raining at his going home, he got cold, and the rheumatism and St. Anthony's-fire followed; that he was not out of his house for near two months after that, and is both certain as to the old woman and the day.

William Smith , who lives at Enfield, deposed, that on the 14th of Dec. 1752, Mary Squires , (whom he saw in court) lay in his cow-house, and for two nights after; that there were two men and two women with her; and that she had been about the country near him some time.

Lomworth Dane deposed, he lives at Enfield-Wash, [he looks at Mary Squires ,] and says he is sure he saw her last old Christmas-day was twelvemonths. He was filling a barrow from a heap of gravel at his door, and stood resting himself, and she went past him at the same time.

Samuel Arnot deposed he lived at White-Webbs-Lane, on Enfield-Chase; that on Monday

morning, the 9th or 10th of Dec. 1752, which he says was before new Christmas, Mary Squires enquired of him for a little brown horse which she had lost; that she told him her name was Squires; that he saw her the Sunday following; that a man, two women, and two children were with her; that the children seemed to be about four or five years old; that he never saw her afterwards 'till he saw her in Newgate, and he believes this to be the very same person that lay at farmer Smith's.

Elizabeth Arnot deposed she was wife to the last witness; that she saw Mary Squires about a week before new Christmas; that that was the first time she saw her; that afterwards she saw her in farmer Smith's cow-house; that she came out and asked her about a little horse; that there were several more along with her: that afterwards she saw her in Newgate after the trial, and believes she is the same person.

Sarah Starr deposed, her husband is a farmer; that she knew Mary Squires ; that she came to her house, the next door to Mrs. Wells's, upon the 18th or 19th of January was twelve months; that she never saw her before: that first of all she offered to mend China or Delft ware for her; then she came and desired to buy pickled pork and brown bread; that she gave her some chitterlins which lay upon the table, in order to get rid of her: that she believed she saw her in the whole about three quarters of an hour; that she would have told her's and the servants fortune, and they were afraid of her; that she said she had been before dukes and other great persons, and she would not hurt any body; she says she was terribly scarred, having never seen such a person before.

Daniel Vass deposed, that he lived at Turkey-Street, in Enfield; that on old Christmas-day, the 5th of Jan. he saw her go by his door, as he was in his own yard; he said he saw nobody with her, [except she had somebody under her cloak;] that he saw her afterwards in Newgate, and is sure she is the same person, though not in the same cloaths: that when he saw her first she had on an old white beaver hat, a brick-coloured gown, and a red cloak; the reason he gave for it's being that day was, that his master did not chuse he should work on that day, because it was old Christmas; that he never saw her before or since; that she did not stop at his house above a minute, and that he knew her again in Newgate.

Jane Dadwell deposed, she lived at Enfield-Wash, and kept a chandler's-shop there; that the first time she saw her was on the 28th of Dec. in new Christmas week; that she came to her shop, and that Mary Squires the daughter had been there several times before; that when she came in she was in a back-house, washing her dishes; that the reason of her remembering the day was, she had dressed meat to give away to her customers; that after she was gone, some of her neighbours came in and asked who she was? that she never saw her afterwards, 'till she saw her in Newgate; that there she owned to her that she had been at her house; she said, that Mary Squires did not tell her where she lived, and that she had no company with her at that time.

Tobias Kelley deposed he lived at Enfield, and knew Mary Squires ; that he remembered seeing her something better than three weeks, in Jan. that he did not know the day of the month, nor was he sure he ever saw her before; that he thinks the time rather before old Christmas-day; that it was near a month before she was taken up: that she passed by him; and that he never saw her before nor afterwards: and after that he says, he saw her three or four times; and that she asked him for a pipe of tobacco, and would have told him his fortune: that she did tell one John Rowley his fortune, and told him he had an enemy, and asked him for three pence, and he gave her but three halfpence: that he saw nobody with her at any time.

John Frame , who deposed he lived at Enfield, in Turkey-Street, that he saw her there upon the 11th or 12th day of Jan. was twelvemonth; that he was out in the gardens, and she spoke to him through the palisadoes; that

he only gave her a halfpenny; and that she told him what was good fortune: that he never saw her before, but several times after; that he saw her in Newgate: that when he saw her at Enfield she was by herself, and that she had a reddish gown on, and a light-coloured cloak.

Joseph Gold deposed he lived at Enfield, and was a labourer; that he knew Mary Squires , and saw her upon the 8th or 9th of Jan. about a quarter of a mile from Wells's house; that he took particular notice of her, hearing mother Wells had some gypsies in her house: that he saw her eight or nine days before she was taken up; and that before he saw her, Virtue Hall told him there were gypsies in mother Wells's house; that he cannot tell what her dress was; and that she had nobody with her.

Mary Gold deposed she was wife to the last witness; that she saw her on the 11th or 12th of Jan. that she asked her if she had any China to mend? and told her she should not live long; that she was very much surprized; that she saw her afterwards in Newgate, and is the same person: that she never saw her before that time; that she had the same dress, a yellowish sort of a gown, as she had on in Newgate.

Humphrey Holding deposed he was a gardener; that he knew Mary Squires ; that the first time he saw her was on the 18th of Jan. 1753; that she asked him if the family was at home? that he had no more conversation with her; but on the Thursday afterwards he saw her as he was pruning vines for doctor Harrington; that she asked if there was any China to mend? that he saw her go to the door, and heard somebody say, no; but he did not see them: that the next time he saw her was in the cart, going to justice Tashmaker's; he said she had on a darkish yellow gown, and a red cloak; that she did not appear to him to be a very able strong woman; that he has seen her since in Newgate.

Sarah Vass deposed she was wife to Daniel Vass , and lived in Turkey-Street, Enfield; that she saw Squires there, and that she wanted to tell her her fortune; that she refused it; that she came into her house the day before she was taken up as she was drinking tea; that she asked for a pipe of tobacco; that she gave her one; that then she asked her for a dish of tea; that she gave her two; that then she offered to tell her her fortune, and that she had conversation with her about a quarter of an hour after that she saw her in Newgate, and she is the same.

Mr. Gladman deposed that he lived about a quarter of a mile from mother Well's house, that he never saw Natus or his wife, or Squires's son or daughter, but that he saw mother Squires; that she was dress'd in a black hat, a little red cloak, and a brick-coloured gown.

Ann Johnson deposed that she lived at Enfield some time ago, and had lived there twenty-seven years; that she got her living by spinning; she was positive that she saw Mary Squires at her door the 18th of January. The reason she gave for knowing the time was, that she spun for one Mr. Smitheram and carried home her work two days before the 18th of January; that upon the said day Mary Squires asked her for some China or Delft ware to mend, and also for some victuals, but she gave her none; that she was then alone; that she saw her about three times within the space of ten or eleven days; that she went to see her in Newgate after the trial, and there knew her to be the same person; she said that she had two cloaks on when she saw her, and a gown of a very particular colour.

Thomas Smitheram was then called for the prosecution. He deposed that the work Ann Johnson swore she brought home on the 16th was not brought till the 23d, wh ich he had set down, and he produced the book wherein it was entered; this was a book in which he set down the going out of the wool and the day it was brought home spun.

Grace Kirby deposed that a little after Christmas was twelvemonth Squires came to her door. She said she remembered it because she had been but a very little time in her house.

Wise the wife of John Bosset deposed that she lived at Enfield, and was a mantua-maker; that she knew Mary Squires very well, and saw her either the 21st or the 22d of December; that she saw her on a Monday and gave her a penny to tell her her fortune; that she gave her a dish of tea, and never saw her afterwards till in Newgate; that she there told her the time she had seen her, and that Squires said, You might see me, but that was not the right time.

James Pratt deposed that he lived at Chertson, about two miles from Enfield, and that the first time he saw Squires was at farmer Smith's cowhouse, and that she asked him leave to go in there, but he being only a servant could not give it; that she went to the cowhouse, and having continued there three days, left it on a Sunday, but he could not tell the day of the month; that there were in the company men, women and children; that Mary Squires complained there of having lost a horse, and said there was a clog upon him, with her name on it; that she afterwards charged him with stealing that horse; he says that he is sure she is the same woman that lodged in his master's cowhouse, for that he saw her in Newgate.

Lydia Faroway deposed she lived with Mrs. Howard at Enfield-Wash, that she saw Mary Squires once or twice, but does not take upon her to say the day of the month when she did see her, that she saw her once at her mistress's gate.

Margaret Richardson deposed she lived there last January was twelvemonth, that she saw Mary Squires at a shop in Enfield, and looking at her said, I am sure she is the very same person, I saw her there above a quarter of an hour. She likewise deposed she saw her on old Christmas-day, and that there was a dog belonging to the family which was very fierce, and would have tore Squires if her husband had not come by and prevented it.

George Clements deposed that he was servant to Mr. Starr and lived near Mrs. Wells's house a year and a quarter, that he remembered to have seen Mary Squires about a fortnight before they were taken up, that she wanted to tell his mistress her fortune, that his mistress gave her some hogs pudding, and that he saw her at Enfield two or three days afterwards.

Hannah Fenchan deposed her husband was a gardener, that she saw her in January 53 in a place called Trott's-Walk, that she saw her passing and repassing, and afterwards in Newgate, and that she is sure she is the very same person.

Elizabeth Sherrard deposed she lived at Ponder's-End, that she saw Mary Squires on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday before Christmas, that Mrs. Wells told her she had got a new lodger, and asked her to come to her house; but she could not tell whether it was new Christmas-day, or what day of the week, or whether it was winter or summer, but yet she went to church on new Christmas-day. Upon farther recollection she said that it was on a Monday or Tuesday. She said that Mrs. Wells was very civil to her, and gave her a Christmas-box, which was a penny.

John Ward proved the confession of Wells in prison in relation to the matter of confining Canning. He deposed he knew Wells some years before, that she lived at Enfield-Wash, that having seen her name in the news-papers before the trial of Mary Squires he went to see her in Bridewell; that after some conversation he said to her, How could you keep the girl a fortnight? and she answered she was there 28 days, and that when he asked in what room she said, You know the room well enough.

Richard Jones deposed he went along with Ward and heard this conversation.

Nathanael Cramphorn deposed he lived at Waltham-Cross about seven years ago, and knew Judith Natus , that upon the 21st of April last she came to his house, and he asked her if she knew Canning was at mother Wells's how she could go against her; that she said, Indeed, Mr. Cramphorn, I cannot say but she really was there when we were there.

Elizabeth Cramphorn deposed that Judith Natus came to their house upon the 21st of April last, and that upon Mr. Cramphorn's asking the question she answered and said, Indeed she was there when I lodged there.

William Jackson deposed that he laid a wager

of a shilling with Fortune Natus that he was not at mother Well's all the time; upon which a person made answer he was out one night, and Fortune owned it to be a fact.

Daniel Stevens deposed that he knew Wells, and that he saw Squires in New Prison, that there she owned she had been at mother Wells's house, but that she had never cut off the stays, or robbed the girl. He likewise deposed that she said Canning was at mother Wells's about a fortnight, and that she was there likewise.

Joseph Haines deposed that he lived at Ware, that he had known Fortune Natus six or seven years. He said in general that he has a bad character, and is not to be believed upon oath.

Daniel Chapman deposed that he lived twenty years at Ware, that Fortune Natus and his wife have both a very bad character, and that he did not think either of them to be believed upon oath.

Thomas Green deposed that he had lived thirty years at Ware, and that he believes Fortune Natus and his wife would say any thing for gain.

William Metcalf deposed that he is a glazier, painter and plumber, and lives at Enfield, that he carried Wiffen's sign home on the 8th of January, old style, that Wiffen told him he had bespoke some sign irons of a blacksmith, that he saw him about ten days or a fortnight after and they were not made; that he then directed him to mother Wells's for the irons which did formerly belong to the sign. He produced his book to prove his setting down what he had done to the sign.

Mr. Marshal deposed he had known Elizabeth Canning ever since she could go alone, having lived so long in the neighbourhood, and said she always bore a very good character.

The council for the prosecution said he was to tell the jury from the prosecutor, that he had nothing against her exclusive of that fact.

Guilty .

This trial will be published at large, with the pleadings of the council on both sides, taken in court by T. GURNEY, writer of these Proceedings, and carefully examined, and compared with the copies of two other short hand writers who were appointed to attend the said trial.

[No punishment. See summary.]

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter.
24th April 1754
Reference Numbert17540424-60

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THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery FOR THE CITY of LONDON; And also the Gaol Delivery for the County of MIDDLESEX, HELD AT JUSTICE-HALL in the OLD-BAILEY, On Wednesday the 24th, Thursday the 25th, Friday the 26th, Saturday the 27th, Monday the 29th of APRIL, Wednesday the 1st of MAY, &c.

In the 27th Year of His MAJESTY's Reign. PART III. of NUMBER IV. for the Year 1754. BEING THE Fourth SESSIONS in the MAYORALTY of the Right Hon. Thomas Rawlinson , Esq; LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.


Printed, and sold by M. COOPER, at the Globe in Pater-noster Row. 1754;

[Price Four-pence.]


Kings Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery held for the City of London, &c.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter.
24th April 1754
Reference Numbert17540424-60

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (front matter)

THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery FOR THE CITY of LONDON; And also the Gaol Delivery for the County of MIDDLESEX, HELD AT JUSTICE-HALL in the OLD-BAILEY, On Wednesday the 24th, Thursday the 25th, Friday the 26th, Saturday the 27th, Monday the 29th of APRIL, Wednesday the 1st of MAY, &c.

In the 27th Year of His MAJESTY's Reign. PART III. of NUMBER IV. for the Year 1754. BEING THE Fourth SESSIONS in the MAYORALTY of the Right Hon. Thomas Rawlinson , Esq; LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.


Printed, and sold by M. COOPER, at the Globe in Pater-noster Row. 1754;

[Price Four-pence.]


Kings Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery held for the City of London, &c.

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