Hannah Hillyard.
2nd July 1755
Reference Numbert17550702-36
VerdictNot Guilty

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292. (M.) Hannah Hillyard , widow , was indicted for stealing two pair of jumps, value 20 s. the property of Charles Kane , Esq ; June 18 . +

Henry Knight . I am a waterman, and carry goods and people from Thistleworth to London, and back again every day. I went to Mr. Powel's house in Maiden-lane, by Mr. Kane's order, for some stays or jumps yesterday was fortnight. They delivered them to me; I carried them to the Fox at Hungerford-stairs . When I went in, there was Solomon Hillyard ; I ask'd what he had got for dinner? He said he'd nothing. We agreed to have some salmon. The prisoner was by, and said she'd have a bit with us. We bought some, and eat it. I wrote upon the paper ( upon those two pair of stays or jumps that were delivered to me) my name; and put them into the window where we all sat; and after dinner I went about other business to Golden-square; and when I returned again. I miss'd the stays. I ask'd the people of the house if they had seen them? They said they had seen them where I laid them; but where they were then they could not tell. I inquired, and looked about, but could not find them. A man said he saw a woman shove a parcel into her apron amongst other things; but she was gone. We suspected the prisoner, and row'd away to Putney, to Mr. Pitman's, and called to Solomon Hillyard, who had carried up the prisoner. I told him, I had been robb'd and that I had been told it was by the woman that he brought up in his boat; and ask'd where she was ?

Q. What is Solomon Hillyard ?

Knight. He is the prince of Wales's waterman. I went into the house; sat the prisoner. Mistress (said I) I am informed you have a pair of of mine. She said she had none of mine. I desired she would let me look. There I found, amongst things, two pair of stays or jumps, one red, the other white, without paper over 'em. She said she had no stays. I said I had lost stays or jumps, I could not tell which, because they were in a paper when in my custody. I said, if you know them to be yours, leave them with the man of the house till I send to the man that made them. She readily gave the two pair of jumps into Mr. Pitman's hands. After some little time she went to Mr. Pitman again, and said she wanted them; saying she wanted to wrap them up, fearing some finger should soil them. She wrap'd them up, and put them into her apron, saying they were hers, and nobody should have them. I said that looks suspicious. I sent for a constable; they brought the headborough; and I charged him with the woman. We went with her to Wimbleton; when we got there it was pretty near two in the morning; and we were afraid of being sent to gaol if we went to the justice's at that time; then we went and knock'd at an alehouse, and the man of the house threatened to shoot us. Then the prisoner got from us, and we lost her. Then we came home over the common, and found a shepherd, and he directed us the way to Thistleworth. The next morning I sent my man to town, and went to tell the case to Mr. Kane; and desired to know whether there were one or two pair of jumps, they being done up in a paper. I was informed there were two pair, and that they were jumps. After that I was informed the prisoner had got a warrant against me.

Q. Where does the prisoner live?

Knight. She lives at Brentford.

Q. Where did you get your warrant?

Knight. At justice Fielding's.

Q. Had you seen the jumps before they were lost?

Knight. No; I had not.

Q. Can you take upon you to swear the jumps that were delivered by the prisoner to Mr. Pitman, are the same which you lost?

Knight. No; I cannot.

Q. Have you them here?

Knight. No; we have not. She pretended she had lost them on the common, in the night.

Solomon Hillyard . I am waterman to the prince of Wales. I was at the Fox, and saw Henry Knight write his Name on the paper, in which were something like stays by the appearance. We were for sending for some salmon. The prisoner desired to dine with us; which she did; and said she lived at Kew-green, and wanted to go along with me. As soon as I got all my things in my boat, and came and called the woman, she came into the boat; I set out, and as I usually do, I called at the halfway-house, beyond the bridge at Putney. We staid there, I believe, a quarter of an hour; then Mr. Knight came. The woman

was within the house, in a drinking-room. She had a very large bundle tied up in her apron. Mr. Knight said he had lost a bundle, which he had laid in the window at the Fox; and said he supposed the prisoner had taken it. I took him to her; he challenged her with having taken a pair of stays. She said she had no such thing; asking him if he knew the colour of them? Said he, will you shew me the bundle? She said, no indeed I shall not. I buy such things in town; London is my market. At last she opened her bundle, and said, here are two pair of jumps; are these yours? He said, we men don't know these things. I said I would lay down a 40 l. note as a security, if she would leave the jumps in the landlord's house with him. She would not. After that I offered 100 l. then 500 l. security, that they should be returned after the maker had looked upon them. Then she delivered them into the hands of the landlord. Soon after she wanted them again; and said, perhaps his fingers will soil them; and took and wrap'd them up in paper; and said they were her property; and said, d - n you touch them who dare, I'll swear a robbery against them. Then we sent for a constable; the headborough came; he talked to her a good deal; and said she should go before the justice. We went to Barnes.

Q. Who went?

Hillyard. The prisoner, the constable, Knight, and I. I begged very hard to be let to go back, and said, I had two expresses from Hanover to his royal highness; but he would not let me go back. After that we went to Wimbleton; it being so late I said it was an improper time to go before the justice. The constable knocked several times at his door. I said, as soon as ever we went in he would commit us to Bridewell, it being an improper time. Then we went to a public-house; there came out two great dogs; then we went to another public-house; there the man threatened to shoot us; then we went to another house; and in the mean time the headborough let the prisoner go, while we were getting something to eat and drink.

Q. Did you see the jumps after this?

Hillyard. No; we never did.

Q. from the prisoner. Did not you say, d - n the bitch, when it comes to my turn I'll clinch the bitch?

Hillyard. I don't know the meaning of the word.

Q. from the prisoner. Did not I open my apron readily?

Hillyard. No; she would not open her apron when I asked her, and said I would give any money to have her open it.

Prisoner to Knight. Did I not open the bundle when you mentioned the stays ?

Knight. She did not till I threatened to charge the constable with her.

Mr. Pitman. I keep a public-house at Putney; these boats generally stop, and have a pot or two at my house. I remember these boats stopping at the time they mention.

Q. What day of the month?

Pitman. I don't know that, it was about a fortnight ago.

Q. Did you see them come on shore?

Pitman. No; I did not. I am a boat-builder, and was at work in the yard, I heard a noise in the house, and went in, and ask'd what was the matter? They told me Mr. Knight had lost some stays, and came there after the woman in Mr. Hillyard's boat. They both desired her to leave the stays she had got, in my hands, while they sent to the staymaker. I said, if the stays were gold I would take care to see them forth-coming. Then the prisoner gave the stays or jumps into my hands; there were one pair red, the other white. I went into the kitchen with 'em. Then she came and said, Mr. Pitman, I desire you'll get a piece of paper to wrap them in, to keep them from being soiled. I called to my wife for an old news-paper, and was going to wrap them up. She said, Mr. Pitman, let me wrap them up. She took them, and twisted the ends of the paper, and said they are my property, and none shall have them any more; touch me if you dare; I'll swear a robbery against you.

Q. from the prisoner. Did you hear any oaths sworn by me?

Pitman. I can't say whether I did or not.

William Scot . I was accidentally at the Fox the 18th of June. There were four of them, Mr. Hillyard, Mr. Knight, the prisoner, and another man, sitting together. They had just paid their reckoning. Soon after Mr. Knight went away; and Mr. Hillyard, as I understood, went to the boat, and put in his goods. During that interval the prisoner said to the landlady of the house, madam, will you have a dram? The landlady said she would not; that would not agree with her head. Upon which the prisoner said, I have paid 7 d for my reckoning, and have had but a very little beer. Let me have half a pint of beer; which was brought her by a little girl. During

the time the girl was gone for that beer, I saw her put something down into her bundle before her, wrap'd in a silk flower'd handkerchief; but what it was I know not.

Q. Did you see any paper?

Scot. I saw no paper.

Q. Did you see where she took it from?

Scot. No; I did not.

Q. Did you see a bundle in the window ?

Scot. No; I did not. I stood behind her; so that if it was in the window I could not have seen it.

Q. Then, for aught you know, the stays might be in the window at the same time you saw her putting that parcel in her apron; might they not ?

Scot. They might, for aught I know.

Thomas Harrison . I keep the Fox at Hungerford. I saw the prisoner at my house at the time the witness mentions, with Solomon Hillyard , his brother, and Mr. Knight; they eat some salmon together. After they had dined, I received the reckoning, which came to 7 d. each. The woman made use of the expression the evidence says. She sat by the window; where he says he put the stays, but I never saw them; it is quite an improper place to put things in. Some little time after, the woman was gone; Knight came in, and said to me, where is my stays which I put in the window? I never saw them, said I; but if you put them there, and they are lost, none could have taken them but the woman that was eating the salmon with you, and desired him to pursue to Putney after her, and immediately away they went.

Q. Did any other person come into that room besides them?

Harrison. I saw none come in or out the house at the time, but those four people.

Q. Was the window open?

Harrison. No, it was not; it could not be open'd; it was fastened up; it has not been opened these seven years. I heard the prisoner say before justice Fielding, that the stays she had, were bought in the Strand, in Chiswick.

Mr. Powell. This waterman was sent for the jumps from the lady, and I deliver'd them to him.

Q. When was this?

Powell. About a fortnight ago.

Q. How many pair of jumps?

Powell. There were two pair, one was pink-colour, the other white, tied up in a paper. I am the maker.

Q. What colour'd paper?

Powell. Brownish paper.

Q. Was any writing upon it?

Powell. No.

Prisoner's defence.

I had a child's coat, shoes and jumps, without stomachers, in my apron. I shewed the jumps, and said, I brought them coming by Norrhumberland-house; they never proposed to stop me as a thief, but chased me as a smuggler all this night; they went from public-house, to public-house to drink, they forced liquor upon me, but I very seldom can drink. The man that pretended to be a constable, had only a broomstick in his hand, with which he threatened to knock my brains out; they were for lying down, and desired me not to leave them till it was daylight. Some time they would hide themselves behind the trees, then I would find them again; at last I sat down, and they left me; I got up and walked on, till I got to the White-hart, at Martin, and on my knocking at the door, a taylor looked out of a window, he asked what I wanted? I said I was in distress, and had been cruelly used. He came down and let me in, and I sat down and told him my story, how I had been fatigued with those men all night, by chasing me as a smuggler. He took compassion on me, till the people were up at a public-house, where I begg'd the favour of a horse and man to ride before me. I sent out into the town, and hired a baker's cart for a crown, to bring me home; I told the man that came with me, how cruelly they had used we. The inn-keeper of Brentford lent me a crown to pay the man, and advised me to go to justice Fielding, and take a warrant out against these men; I went and told justice Fielding my case, and had a warrant granted me; I was so weak, I was not able to get the warrant served; and I never was accused with a felony, till I had served my warrant.

Q. to Knight. Did she serve a warrant on you?

Knight. As soon as I heard there was a warrant, I went to justice Fielding, and resigned myself up; and I went to justice Cox, and got a warrant as soon as I knew where to find her, for I never knew or saw her before that day in my life.

Q. To Knight. Was you at a justice's at Martin?

Knight. No; I was not.

Prisoner. When they went to the justice's, they made me stay aloof off.

Knight. She would not walk as we did, she would stay behind.

Q. To Pitman. Was there any thing said by them at your house about smuggling?

Pitman. No, there was not a word of smuggling mentioned.

For the prisoner.

Jos. Wilson. I had a warrant against Hillyard and others, brought by the prisoner; I said to a neighbour of mine, do you go with the woman to Hungerford, and if you see the people there, and you let me know, I will come directly; in the mean time, came Knight to surrender. I told him the woman was gone down to Hungerford. Then he went to justice Cox, and got a warrant for her, and I went with him; and after that, we went together to justice Fielding.

John Warner . I lent the prisoner a crown, she told me she had been travelling all night, and had been at Martin; that some men had used her very ill, and wanted to lie with her.

Q. When was this ?

Wilson. This was this day fortnight, in the morning. She was brought from Martin to me, at the King's-arms at Brentford.

Q. Had she a bundle in her lap?

Warner. She had. I have known her two years and an half; she has a very good character.

Francis Messenger . I live at Martin; the woman at the bar came to my house about four in the morning, and knock'd at my door, I let her in.

Q. Do you keep a public-house?

Messenger. No; I am a taylor. I gave her admittance. She said she had been at London to buy goods, and she had lost her way, and some body went to shew her the way, and left her on Wimbleton-common.

Q. to Warner. What are you at the King's-arms, Brentford ?

Warner. I keep the King's-arms. The prisoner is wife to the duke of Cumberland's body coachman. She has as good a character as any woman in England.

George Elger . I have known the prisoner more than four years.

Q. What is her general character ?

Elger. She is a very honest, worthy woman.

Walter Williams . I have known her some time; I never knew any thing amiss of her.

Acquitted .

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