7th July 1779
Reference Numbert17790707-17
VerdictNot Guilty

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322, 323. SARAH HOLT and MARTA CARTER were indicted for stealing a red Morocco pocketbook with a silver clasp, value 5 s. an ivory leaf memorandum book with a silver clasp value 5 s. a promissory note for 20 l. and another promissory note for 18 l. the property of Francis Lester , in the dwelling-house of George Bebb , June 29th .


Did you lose a memorandum book at any time? - I had it upon the 29th of June last, I lost it in Sarah Holt 's lodging.

At what time was you there? - Between the hours of eleven and twelve at night, on the 29th of June.

Are you certain you had them when you went there? - I am very sure of it.

How long did you stay there? - Rather better than three quarters of an hour. I came from Hammersmith in a post-chaise to the White Horse cellar and had a little box tied with a cord in my hand, easy for any person to carry; going along the street near York-buildings, I met Sarah Holt ; she asked me where I was going; I said to Bull-Head-court, Newgate-street, where I live, She asked me if I would go with her; I asked her if she lived far; she said no, she lived in Vine-street, Chandos-street . I went with her to her lodgings; she told me there that the other prisoner was her servant; I agreed to lie with her; she was going to supper; she asked me if I would have any supper; I informed her I had supped; then said she you will give me leave to sup, if it is agreeable to you you may go to bed and I will come to you presently, upon which I stripped off my clothes and got into bed; I put my coat and waistcoat on the back of a chair in the bed-room, which was adjoining to the room where she was at supper with the other prisoner. I waited some time, but she did not come. The same candle gave light to both rooms. I asked her if she would come; she said she would presently; in the interim she came twice into the room; it could not be half a yard, I suppose, between one room and the other. I saw her come into the room a second time. I saw Sarah Holt

meddle with my coat and waistcoat; I asked her what business she had to meddle with my coat and waistcoat; she gave me no answer; I then had a suspicion, upon which I got up and put my breeches on, which were before under my head; I went to my coat and waistcoat, and my pocket-book was gone.

Was your pocket-book in your coat pocket? - I had the same clothes on that I have now; it was in the inside pocket of my coat; the memorandum book was in the same pocket; they were both gone together, with a toothpick-case I had in my waistcoat pocket, the toothpick-case was found the next day in a place they put their coals in, in their lodging. I charged her with taking my things; she then gave me a multiplicity of words, of blasting and swearing, and said I should not stay there; I said if she did not discover the pocket-book to me I would call the watch. Finding she would not discover where the pocket-book was, I lifted up the sash and called out for the watch; four or five patroles I believe came; they felt about her with her clothes on, but nothing could be found, neither pocketbook, memorandum book, nor toothpick-case. I then directed the patrole to go for a constable, which they did. The constable came and I gave charge of the two prisoners; they were carried to St. Martin's-lane-watch-house; the next day, Wednesday, the 30th of June, they were committed by the justice.

Was the pocket-book found again? - I have never seen any thing like it nor any of the contents; unfortunately the note for 18 l. belonged to a client of mine, which he gave me to sue for; I sued out a writ upon that.

You are certain you had your pocketbook and toothpick-case in your pocket when you went into her lodging? - I am very sure I had, because it was so near my breast I know it.

Sarah Holt . At the time he accused me of this he wanted to go to sleep with me, to make me a present of a guinea and half. When the publican brought in the beer, he had only four bad shillings and two bad sixpences; I took out a guinea and said I would pay for it; he said he had in this box 200 l. in property; that he believed me to be an honest woman. Please to ask the gentleman whether he did not offer this poor servant of mine half a guinea to lie with her; he said he thought that I had the soul distemper upon me.

Did you offer to give the other woman any money? - I did.

What was that for? - I told Sarah Holt that as they had but one bed, and as I wanted no connection with her for a very particular reason (I had searched her, and was of opinion I should injure myself, if I had any connection with her) I would give her a guinea that she should not be baulked, and I would give the other half a guinea to lie with her.

From Holt. Whether I gave the charge or he; four watchmen and a constable searched my lodging.

Court. Who called the watch? - I did; I wanted to search farther in the premises myself before ever I called the watch. Sarah Holt pinched the small part of my arm; I am very black to this moment; she kicked me, in order to prevent my searching for the book.

Court. Had she an opportunity of going out of your light? - I believe for twenty minutes at least.


I heard one of them call watch; I am not certain which; I thought it was Sarah Holt . I opened the door to let the watch in; and all this search was before my face; nothing was found. The next day the constable was sent for by Mr. Lester in the morning; he said, the gentleman is not satisfied with what has been searched last night, I should be obliged to you if you will come up stairs; let you and I search. We went up; and in the coal-hole. I found this tooth-pick case; I laid it on the table, and I never saw it afterwards.

What situation is the coal-hole? - Just under a closet in the room.

Holt. I was struck several times by the gentleman; when he found I would not go to sleep with him, he said I had robbed him; I said you say you have two hundred pounds in that box; let me beg before the door is opened, that the watch may be called. When

the watch came, I begged I might fetch the constable of the night; the gentleman was rather in liquor when I met with him. I beg your Lordship will enquire whether he is a man that bears the character to be possessed of one hundred pounds, when they would not trust him with a stage-coach.

Prosecutor. This black eye she got while she was in Bridewell; she never had any blow from me.


Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. JUSTICE BULLER.

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