Catharine .
14th January 1757
Reference Numbert17570114-29
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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86. (M.) Catharine wife of Malaga Linden was indicted for stealing one bill of exchange, for the payment of 20 l. being unsatisfied for, signed John Butts , for the governor and company of the Bank of England, the property of George Steward Bourne , Esq ; in the dwelling-house of Grace Jeffreys , Dec. 7 .

Joseph Groom produces the bank note.

John Butts . I am one of the cashiers at the Bank.

(He takes it in his hand and looks at the name on it.)

This is my hand writing.

Q. Is this satisfied for ?

Butts. It is not.

Goulsten Brewyer. On Tuesday the 7th of December I put this bill into the Post-Office, at the house of Mrs. Jeffreys, at Bloomsbury , at about nine o'clock at night.

Q. Whose property was it?

Brewyer. It was the property of and directed to George Steward Bourne , Esq; Odiam in Tiants, December the 7th, 1756. There is a window and a slip, to put it into a little box from out of the street. I was not in the house. It is a very narrow box, and I was afraid my letter was gone down on the ground. I asked Mrs. Jeffreys if my letter was safe, after I had drop'd it into the slip. She said, your letter is safe, and gone into the box; but I don't remember seeing the prisoner in the house. There was an elderly woman I think along with Mrs. Jeffreys. After this Mr. Bourne wrote me this letter (producing one) There is no date to it, only Odiam, Wednesday night.

Q. When did you receive it?

Brewyer. I received it on Friday the 10th of December. He acquaints me by it, that he had not received the little bank bill; but he had received 5043, which I had put into another letter myself, dated December 7, 1756, in Lombard-Street. He directed me to send them in two different letters. On Friday about three in the afternoon I went and acquainted Mrs. Jeffreys my letter was not received. The prisoner at the bar was then in the room, by the fire side I told Mrs. Jeffreys if the letter had miscarried it was owing to that office, and I'd acquaint the Post-Office with it, by reason there was something of consequence in it. Mrs. Jeffreys declared to me she put the letter into the bag her own self and sealed the bag, and shew'd me the seal that it is customary to seal with. I received several letters from the gentleman, that he never received that letter. Then I thought proper to advertise it, and before I put it in the papers I carried the advertisement to Mrs. Jeffreys and read it. There were present with her, a little woman, and the prisoner at the bar. I told Mrs. Jeffreys if I did advertise it, it might be the cause of the office being taken from her, and beg'd of her to enquire about the letter. She answered, that she'd take her oath the letter was sent.

Q. When you enquired of her, with regard to this letter going, was she positive as to this particular letter, or did she mean all the letters of that night?

Brewyer. She meant, they all went. I remember, just after I had put my letter in there was a great dog at the door, which flew at me. I call'd out, and said, people that keep such an office should keep no dogs. Somebody came out, and took the dog off, and when I mention'd this, upon my second time of going, she remembered there was such a letter brought, and put into the post.

Q. Whether, when you refresh'd her memory with that affair of the dog, she said that particular letter was put into the bag ?

Brewyer. She said the letter was put into the bag.

Q. Had you, before that time, told her the direction on that letter ?

Brewyer. No.

Q. Had she any method of knowing that your letter was put into the bag?

Brewyer. I can't say as to that particular.

George Steward Bournt . (He is shew'd the bill.) This never came to my hand.

Q. from prisoner to Mr. Brewyer. Did not you know there had been a pane of glass broke, for some time, in the window?

Brewyer. When I went on the Friday to examine about the letter, I found there was a pane of glass broke out, and a bit of pasteboard set against the place.

Q. Was it broke, in the same manner, when you put it in ?

Brewyer. I can't remember that, it was a dark night.

Q. Was there room enough for a person to put his hand in, and take a letter out of the box?

Brewyer. No.

Grace Jeffreys . I live in Hide-Street, Bloomsbury. I am employed to take in letters.

Q. How long have you been employed in that way?

G. Jeffreys. About thirteen or fourteen years; but not all the time in the house where I now live.

Q. How long have you lived in this house?

G. Jeffreys. A year and a quarter this Christmas.

Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar?

G. Jeffreys. I do. She lodged with me about three months, or better, till December last.

Q. Do you remember Mr. Brewyer's coming with a letter on or about the 7th of December?

G. Jeffreys. On the 7th of December he brought a letter, a little before nine o'clock.

Q. What day of the month was it?

G. Jeffreys. It was on a Tuesday. There was a place to drop the letter into the box, and a letter drops in very well.

Q. Whether or not, when a person has put in a letter, if he, or any body else from the outside, could put their hand in, and take it out again?

G. Jeffreys. No, they cannot; because the hole is not big enough.

Q. Could they, if they put their hand in at the hole that is broke in the window?

G. Jeffreys. They could not indeed.

Q. Why not?

G. Jeffreys. Because I fasten'd the hole up with a pasteboard and a board.

Q. Is the box, that the letters fall in, open or lock'd?

G. Jeffreys. It is not lock'd, but it is shut down very close.

Q. Did Mr. Brewyer say any thing to you?

G. Jeffreys. He said, pray take care of it. Is it in the box? I said, yes it is in the box, and safe. It was drop'd in amongst a great many letters, so that I could not tell that letter particularly.

Q. Did you ever distinguish that letter from the rest by any writing on it?

G. Jeffreys. No, I did not.

Q. Is the box in the nature of a drawer?

G. Jeffreys. No. It is a box, a lid to it, and a hole to let the letters fall in.

Q. What sort of a room is it in?

G. Jeffreys. It is in a parlour where I lodge.

Q. Who was by at the time this letter was brought by Mr. Brewyer ?

G. Jeffreys. The prisoner and an elderly woman were. That woman was by the fire-side, and I was stamping the letters.

Q. What is the other woman's name?

G. Jeffreys. Her name is Mary Bowles .

Q. Where-abouts in the room was the prisoner?

G. Jeffreys. She was along with me at the window. Mr. Brewyer came about nine or ten minutes before nine o'clock, and the man comes for the letters exactly at nine. The prisoner help'd me, and held the bag.

Q. Where do you stamp the letters?

G. Jeffreys. I have a great broad place in the window, where I lay them down to stamp them.

Q. Did Mrs. Bowles help you at all in the stamping ?

G. Jeffreys. No.

Q. Whether or not, all the time you and the prisoner were stamping the letters, Mrs. Bowles came from the fire side towards you?

G. Jeffreys. No, she never stir'd.

Q. Do you remember Mr. Brewyer's coming afterwards to your house?

G. Jeffreys. He came again on the Friday, and said the letter never went. He asked me what was became of it. I said, Sir, to be sure it went, for I marked them all and put them into the bag.

Q. Was you by the letters all the while you and the prisoner were stamping them?

G. Jessreys. I was not gone to the fire side two minutes.

Q. Did you leave the prisoner with the letters while you went to the fire?

G. Jeffreys. Yes, I did.

Q. Whether or not, when you went from the dresser to the fire-side, the letters were then out of the box?

G. Jeffreys. They were most of them out.

Q. Upon your oath, when you gave that answer, that certainly the letter went, whether you meant that letter in particular?

G. Jeffreys. I meant all the letters in general; for I took no particular notice of that.

Q. Had he told you what was the direction?

G. Jeffreys. No, he had not.

The note read to this purport:

Bank post bill, No. 4054, London, Dec. 7. 1756,

'' I promise to pay, at seven days after sight, '' to George Steward Bourne , Esq; or order, 20 l. '' sterling for value received, John Butts , for the '' governours and company of the Bank of England. '' Indorsed December 7, 1756, by post to Odiam, Hants.''

William Blacket . I went to Mr. Wetherspoon's to be shaved, on a Sunday, about twelve o'clock, about a month ago; the prisoner was there, and she pull'd out a note.

Q. Do you know it again?

Blacket. I was at such a distance I did not see it to know it again. I remember it had a large black mark upon it.

Q. How did she say she ca me by it?

Blacket. She said she found it several times.

Q. What was the sum mention'd in it?

Blacket. It was for 20 l.

Q. Had you it in your hand?

Blacket. No, I had not.

Q. Did she say what sort of a note it was?

Blacket. I think she said a bank post bill. I went to Mr. Morgan's, a man possessed of a good deal of money, and told him a gentlewoman had found a bank post bill, and she wanted to discount it.

Q. Where does he live?

Blacket. He lives at the Golden-Hart in Parker's-Lane.

Q. Was she with you?

Blacket. She was.

Q. Did she hear what you said to Mr. Morgan?

Blacket. She did. They went backwards together, and he offered to lend her five guineas upon it, with a memorandum under her hand; but would not without. After that I was coming along Tyburn-Road and I met him.

Q. When was this?

Blacket. I don't know the day, but it was the time the men were hanged last. He told me that note was advertised. Then I went to a house, in order to read the paper; but I had forgot my spectacles, so I could not. Then I went to the prisoner, and said I understand the note is advertised, for a guinea reward; by all means return it. She said, she found it, and she could have it discounted in the Temple.

Q. Where did you find her?

Blacket. I found her at Mr. Wetherspoon's. I said, it may turn out of a dangerous consequence. She said she had hid it in a secret place, and if she died, it should die with her.

James Wetherspoon . The prisoner came to our house about three weeks before Christmas, I do not know the day of the month.

Q. What day of the week was it?

Wetherspoon. It was on a Sunday. She came to enquire after a man that work'd along with me, that brought her first to our house.

Q. Do you remember any conversation that passed?

Wetherspoon. She said, she had found a bank note, or bill, and she should be glad to get it exchanged.

Q. Who was by at the time?

Wetherspoon. There were my wife, Mr. Blacket, and Mr. Yates. Mr. Blacket told her he knew a man in the city that could do it for her, if she would allow him a little in the pound.

Q. Did you see the note?

Wetherspoon. She shew'd it to us all.

Q. For what sum was it?

Wetherspoon. I did not take notice of it, to know for what sum. I went to Mr. Morgan's with Blacket and her. There the prisoner and Mr. Morgan went into a private room together, and Mr. Blacket and I drank a tankard of beer in the tap-room. There she said she found it.

Q. Did she say where?

Wetherspoon. No.

Q. to Blacket. Did you tell the prisoner for how much in the pound you would help her to a man to pay the money?

Blacket. No, I did not.

Dorothy Wetherspoon . I am wife to the last witness. My husband is a barber. I remember the prisoner coming to our house, on a Sunday morning, to enquire after a young man that had work'd with my husband. She told us she had a bank note, and should be glad to have it discounted. She pull'd it out of her pocket, and call'd it a 20 l. bank bill, or note, I will not be positive which. I did not see it then, but when she came at night I saw it. I saw upon it 20 l. post bank bill, and Esquire to a name; but as to any other particulars I know nothing at all about them.

Q. Who was by then?

D. Wetherspoon. My husband and Mr. Blacket; they went with her, on that Sunday night, to get it exchanged. The next morning I saw her again. Mr. Blacket came and told her he saw it advertised, and he would have her take the guinea reward. She said, she would not do it.

Edward Morgan . On the 19th of December, the day before the prisoners died, Mr. Blacket, Mr. Wetherspoon, and the prisoner, came to my house, and call'd for a tankard of beer. I drew it. After they had drank it almost out they said, '' Morgan, will you change a bank note.'' I said, let me look at it.

Q. What was it for?

Morgan. I think it was for 20 l.

Q. Look at this note. (It is put into his hand.)

Morgan. I will not take my oath that this is the same; but I think this resembles it as much as any thing. The woman and I went backwards with a candle. She unpin'd it from some part of her petticoat behind. I said, I did not care to have any thing to do with it. After we came into the tap-room I said, I'll not exchange the note, but I will lend you five guineas on it till to-morrow. It being Sunday I could not go to change it. Blacket said, she is a gentlewoman, and spoke in her praise. I said, pray, Madam, how did you come by it. Sir, said she, I am loth to tell you. The gentleman, who first debanched me, made me a present of it. Then she said, will you let me have a little more. I said, I'd have no business with it. Then she offered me five shillings in the pound to exchange it. I said, I thought the premium was too much. I met Mr. Blacket the next day, and told him it was advertised.

Q. from a Juryman. Whether you would have made a difficulty of taking tat note, if it had been on a week day?

Morgan. Yes, Sir, I would.

Prisoner. Blacket was the only person that endeavoured to get it exchanged, and Wetherspoon and his wife persuaded me not to deliver it for the guinea reward. This man would have taken it, if I would have given him five guineas, and I told him it was advertised too.

Thomas Yates . The first time I saw the prisoner at the bar, was at Wetherspoon's, on a Sunday. There were Blacket, a strange man, and Mrs. Wetherspoon sitting on one side the fire, and the prisoner on the other. Bank notes came up. The prisoner said, I have got a bank note in my pocket. I turned about and said, you don't look as if you could afford to keep bank notes any more than I can. The barber look'd at it and said, it is a bank note. I looked at it and said, no, it is not; it is a bank post bill. He asked me where was the difference. I told him, one is so many days after date, and the other upon demand.

Q. What was this for?

Yates. It was for 20 l.

Q. Where did she take it from?

Yates. From out of her pocket, and out of a little leather case. As she held it up I saw an indorsement on the back of it, and on the top a bank post bill, and I saw the word Esquire and a figure of five.

Q. Look at this bag.

Yates. ( He takes a small bag in his hand.) I know it again. I was at the searching for this bill, and by the assistance of a candle I saw this bag lying in the vault, and when we took it out of the place where it was concealed, the bill was in it. This is the same bag the prisoner took it out of, when she first shew'd it me.

Q. When was this?

Yates. On the Monday. She was taken up, and on the Tuesday about six o'clock, at night, I found it. I should have told the court, that after I had got my wig on, and sat down by the fire, at the barber's, I said this is a bold question I am going to ask you: How might you come by this

note ? Said she, I found it, and what I find is my own. I pick'd it up in the street in a leather case, and some other notes with it. She pull'd out of her pocket a note of hand for 6 l. 6 s. and said she was offer'd four guineas for that. Said I, then you know who it belongs to. Yes she said, so I do.

Q. Is the note here produced the same note you found?

Yates. It is the very same.

Jos. Groom. I am constable; a person told me that Wetherspoon's wife, or some person that was at his house, had offer'd a Bank note for half a crown in the pound. I really suspected it to be one of the notes taken when the male was rob'd. I went to justice Welch, and got a warrant and took up Mrs. Wetherspoon, and she told me that the woman that had the note was at her house. Yates and I went there and found the prisoner and Blacket there together. In searching, Mr. Yates got upon the seat in the necessary house, and put his hand into a hole, and said, here is the bag that the note was in; when he delivered it I found the bill in it. This is the same bag and the same bill that are here produced. I have had them in my custody ever since.

Prisoner's Defence.

I never saw this man in my life before he came and took me out of Mrs. Wetherspoon's house. That night that the letter was put into the post, as I was going out at our door a little after nine o'clock, a man had a letter in his hand; he said, here is a letter Mrs. and put it into my hand. I had it in my pocket two or three days and then I open'd it, and found this bill in it. I can neither write nor read, and I did not know what it was till I ask'd these people. The pane of the window had been broke two months before Mr. Brewyer came with the letter.

Guilty of stealing, but not in the dwelling house .

[Transportation. See summary.]

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