23rd February 1785
Reference Numbert17850223-62
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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353. MARY MORTON was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 15th of January last, three pieces, containing seventeen handkerchiefs, value 18 s. the property of Joseph Capps , privily in his shop .


I am servant to Mr. Capps, on Saturday, the 15th of January, the prisoner came into

our shop in the afternoon, I think it was between four and five, she asked to look at some handkerchiefs, I believe I have seen her two or three times before; the witness Symonds shewed her some handkerchiefs, and I believe sold her two or three, he had some suspicion of her, and intimated it to me, for he was engaged with two or three more customers, at the same time he kept therefore some handkerchiefs, and desired me to take notice; she stood by the side of the counter, and I thought the handkerchiefs were all safe.

Were any handkerchiefs on that side the counter? - None that I know of, I did not see her take them up, only by her confused manner of going from the counter, I thought she must have something; she took her change in a hurry; as she was going out of the shop, he mentioned to me, that he supposed she had got something more than her own, I jumped over the counter, and followed her to the outside of the door; I put my hand round her waist, and told her, I supposed she had something more than was her own, she said no, she believed she had not; I told her she must go back along with me, and I kept my hands on something under her cloak, that appeared like these handkerchiefs; I kept her by me, and in crowding her up to the door, in shoving her up the step, my hands was from her, and these handkerchiefs sell from her; this one was that which I saw fall from her, and these were two parcels that fell from her, but I did not see them, these two parcels lay on the step.

Were they done up in one paper, or were they separate pieces of handkerchiefs? - There were three separate quantities, I know this in my right hand, and by the mark C. M. I cannot speak positively to that mark; that one that dropt from her, was the one I had in my hand; the value of it is 5 s. 10 d. the value of the other that is not marked, is 5 s. 6 d. I took her up stairs, and asked her if she had any thing more, but she had not.

There is nothing particular in these handkerchiefs, are not they sold in other shops in London? - Yes.

Do you know whether that man sold her any such? - No.

Prisoner. That piece of handkerchiefs is not the piece, that he shewed to the Justice, that he told the Justice he took from me.

Witness. I put a private mark upon it at Sir Sampson's, I did not keep it separate, because there was only that one mark, and I knew the mark.


I am servant to Mr. Capps, the prisoner came in, and desired to see some handkerchiefs, he laid some handkerchiefs down upon the counter, and desired me to serve them; she asked for some about one or two and twenty-pence, but she said she was not fixed to price, and I shewed her some handkerchiefs; she made choice of a couple, of different patterns, I think they were red and white, I cut them off, she gave me two and twenty-pence a piece; I asked her if there was any thing else wanting, and she said she wanted some flannel; I cut her a quarter of a yard of flannel, she desired me to wrap them up, and I desired her to go to my master for change, she seemed in a very great hurry to get the change; and as she was going out, I saw her holding her hands like under her apron, and I thought I missed the handkerchiefs, and I went to look, and I missed two parcels, and the other witness went after her, and I saw him bring her in, and I saw the handkerchiefs drop by the door, I cannot be sure how many pieces I saw drop.

Did you take them up? - No, I saw them, and I marked them afterwards.

The prisoner called two witnesses to her character.

GUILTY Of stealing, but not privately .

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. ROSE.

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