10th December 1783
Reference Numbert17831210-34
VerdictsGuilty; Guilty
SentencesTransportation; Imprisonment > hard labour

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34. CHARLOTTE WARE and ELIZABETH FAGAN were indicted for assaulting George Holland , on the 29th of November last in the dwelling house of William Saunders , and putting him in fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person and against his will, five pair of worsted stockings, value 10 s. the property of the said William Saunders .

A Second Count for feloniously stealing, on the same day, and at the same place, five pair of worsted stockings, value 10 s. the property of the said William Saunders , privily in his shop .


How old are you? - Sixteen.

Do you live with Mr. Saunders? - Yes.

Did you ever see these two women before? - Yes, I saw them both in my master's shop the 29th of November, about five o'clock in the evening, they came and asked me to shew them some stockings at fifteen pence, my master and mistress were in the shop, I went backwards to fetch them some, and as I was returning, the prisoner Ware was endeavouring to conceal a bundle containing three pair of worsted stockings, under her cloak; my mistress saw her, and she took the paper up; then I shewed her some woman's black, she put her leg on the counter to shew me how bad her last were; and with her other hand she shoved two pair down: She put her shoe on, and she put these two pair up her petticoats.

Did you see her do this? - Yes, she said then, the stockings would not do for her, and was going out, I told her, she had stole two pair; she said, she had not, she then pulled her apron off and shook her petticoats, and they fell from her: I locked them both in the shop, I put the key in my pocket for she wanted to go out; my master sent the maid for a constable: The prisoner Fagan, then asked me to let her go out, I told her I would not, for she was as bad as the other: Fagan then struck me and knocked me down against the stairs, and Ware struck me several times: I ran up stairs and called one of the journeymen down, and went down stairs again, then Charlotte Ware struck me again, and swore she would rip me up with a knife, which she was feeling for in her pocket, I then ran backwards where there were pistols loaded, I told her if she came near me I would blow her brains out? my master and mistress cried out do not shoot, and they were very much frightened; I held my hand down then, or else I had it pointed up to shoot her: Then I threw the pistol down the cellar, then she knocked me down and pulled my hair, and tried to choak me: then one of the men came down and got me from her: She then struck one of the men, and when the constable came, the prisoner Ware struck the constable and ran away; she was taken again: The other woman struck the constable several times, and they were both secured, and we went to the Justice's, and then she told me she would finish me.


These two women came into the shop, and asked for stockings, they walked to the upper end of the shop where they had no right, and one took up a paper with three pair of stockings, I observed her, and when she saw I took notice of her she dropped the paper: Then they asked to see some black stockings, the boy shewed them some, and one of them clapped her leg on the counter, and with one hand shewed the stockings she had on: and she put two pair under her petticoats. Then a hamper of wine and brandy came in, I went backwards, and the prisoner Ware followed me and took up a bottle, I do not know whether it was full or empty, she said, damn your eyes you old blood of a bitch! If you do not open the door and let me out, I will dash your brains out! She held me by the collar at arm's length, and stood over me with this bottle, and swore she would knock my bloody brains out! I was

frightened very much indeed: There were two men at work in the garret, and one of them was called down, and he said, you shall not kill my master, and he took her away, and just then the constable came to the door, what became of the bottle I cannot say, I expected nothing but to be knocked on the head.

Court to Prosecutor. I hope you will be exceeding good to that little boy, for he seems to have conducted himself, not only with a great deal of prudence and propriety, but also with a great deal of personal courage.

Prisoner Ware. The prosecutor said, when he took me up, he had transported four or five, and he would hang me for an example.

Court to Prosecutor. Did you say so? - I never said any such thing, she was the terriblest woman I ever saw in my whole life, but I never said any thing about hanging or transporting.


I was up stairs at work, the boy came up stairs and called for assistance; I came down behind him, when I came down, he said, I have detected these women in stealing stockings: The prisoner Ware said, you little scoundrel, if you say so, I will knock you down: Then she knocked the boy down, and I went to his assistance: after that I was standing on the foot of the stairs, and she came forward, and struck me in the forehead and the eye, and cut me in three places: She then took up a bottle that was standing on the back counter, and held it over my master, and swore she would knock his bloody brains out: Then the other man came forward and laid hold of her and pulled her down, and said, she should not hurt his master: Then the constable went out, and she got from him and was retaken.


I was at work with this man up stairs, and George came up stairs and called us down, I said, run Tom, he seems frightened, I thought there was some fire; when I came near the bottom of the stairs I stopped, and he was telling Tom how she had stole stockings: She then put her hand to her pocket, and swore she should rip him up; then the boy went to the back part of the shop and took up a pistol, and I heard my master say do not shoot, and afterward. I saw her go to the back part, and there was a scuffle ensued, I went to their assistance; the woman had got the last witness by the threat, with the finger and thumb; and the other had hold of his ear: I was for to all the strength I had to open her hand, she was very strong indeed: We pulled her off of him, and he run up stairs; then my master went backwards, and she got hold of a bottle, and swore she would knock his bloody brains out, if he did not let her out, I said, she should not strike my master; then the constable came, and he desired me to go with him to prison, and while I put on my coat Ware got away from the constable, and the other was striking him; Ware was found in a public house, and the constable said, I durst not meddle with her, for there is a great number of thieves, so she got away once or twice, and I fetched one Collins and Mitchell from another house, and she was taken.


I was the constable, I took the two women in the shop.

(The stockings deposed to by Saunders and Holland.)


I was coming down Drury-lane, I met with Fagan, and we went into the prosecutor's shop, and I kicked the paper before me, and I gave it to the gentleman, he kindly thanked me, I offered him sixteen-pence for a pair of stockings, and that little boy jumped over the counter, and he made use of a very bad expression, and at a distance behind him, there lay them two

pair of stockings, they must have come off with his coat, he then locked the door, and said if I went he would shoot me, I went to take the pistol out of his hand, and his foot slipped, and he fell down; I was beat and ill-used in a merciless manner, I have a poor fatherless child, left to the mercy of the neighbours, I have not a friend in the world.


I went with the young woman to buy a pair of stockings, the boy asked eighteen-pence, she offered him sixteen pence, he said, says he, you bitch you have got some stockings under your apron, she was willing to be searched, and behind him, just where he came from over the counter, there were two pair of stockings lay; he said, what have you chucked them here, so he went and locked the door, and put the key in his pocket, says I, may not I go out, no says he, you bitch, you are as bad as her, says he, if ever a one of you offers to stir, I will blow your brains out, I might shove him I was so frightened, says he, you bitch, you shall not go, he struck me several times on my breast, I have it to shew what a shocking breast I have got.

Court to Jury. With respect to the two capital charges, I think you can have no difficulty at all about them, you must acquit both the prisoners of both the capital charges, for there is no evidence at all of any robbery having been committed on George Holland the boy, and there can be no evidence of the goods being privily stolen in the shop: after you have heard both the witnesses say they saw them taken at the moment, but yet you are as liberty to find them guilty of the simple felony, if you are satisfied that they took the stockings.


Transported for seven years .


To be confined to hard labor twelve months in the House of Correction .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron HOTHAM .

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