23rd February 1785
Reference Numbert17850223-68

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359. ELIZABETH LEE was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 4th of January last, thirty gallons of wine, called red port, value 10 l. twelve gallons of other wine, called Malmsey Madeira, value 12 l. three gallons of white port, value 20 s. three gallons of Malmsey Madeira, value 40 s. three gallons of claret, value 40 s. three gallons of raisin wine, value 6 s. three gallons of orange wine, value 6 s. three gallons of brandy, value 36 s. three gallons of rum, value 36 s. three gallons of geneva, value 20 s. one gallon of arrack, value 16 s. four hundred and twenty-four glass bottles, value 3 l. 10 s. one hundred weight of tallow candles, value 50 s. two linen stocks, value 4 s. two pair of stockings, value 5 s. one gold ring, with garnets set therein, value 10 s. and two crown pieces, value 10 s. the property of Thomas King , Esq.

THOMAS KING , Esq; sworn.

I live at Cutlers Hall, in the city of London, I have a house in the country, the prisoner was my cook , I believe she lived with me about ten months, my family were in the country almost all the time, my house was painting in town, therefore I generally slept in the country; but one night that I slept in town, a few days before Christmas, and about three in the morning, an attempt was made at my chamber door, I called out to the prisoner at the bar, not knowing at that time, that I had any other person in the house, but the prisoner, the other maid servant, and a boy; no answer was given, but a second attempt was made upon my door in about ten minutes, but the drop bolt was down, and therefore they could not come in; Mrs. King came to town a day or two after, I told her the case, and desired her to send a nurse, which we have in the family, to sleep in town during the hollidays; I went out of town the day before Christmas day, and returned after the hollidays, when I came to town again, the prisoner not being in the way, to fetch my clothes as usual to dress, I went up to fetch my clothes, and I found suits of clothes that I had not worn above two or three times, very dirty, and summer waistcoats that were laid by clean, I found very dirty; I know they had been laid by; when I came down stairs, I spoke to the servant boy William Griffiths , who had lived with me four years, and told him that some person or other had worn my clothes; the boy gave me some information about this robbery, that two men had slept in my house almost every Saturday and Sunday night, from the time the house was painting, and that one of them wore my clothes of a Sunday, and that the name of one was George Bacon .

What time was the house painted? - The latter end of May; that the other of the name of Brand, slept there very often. I examined the prisoner, and the other maid, and the servant boy altogether; I examined the boy in the presence of the prisoner and the other servant, the prisoner denied in the presence of the boy, that she ever had been down in my cellar, she denied the whole of it, the other servant who is the accomplice, she denied it; when William Griffiths the boy had informed me of the stealing my wine, and taking my clothes, the prisoner then confessed; I found bottles hid in the copper hole and about the kitchen.

Had you before this examination held out any offer of any sort or kind to her? - No, neither then, nor at any time since; she said she had taken none of my wine, only Mrs. King's she had been at her cellar, as she had left the key in her door, I then sent for a constable, but I did not search her

boxes, I believe it was three or four hours after, when the constable came and searched, but I was present, and we found a few bottles of Lisbon; in her room I found few pistol balls, there were found in the drawers two pounds of beef stakes, and some veal, and a lump of butter, concealed in a gown.

When you examined your cellar, what quantity of wine did you find you had lost? - Upon looking into the cellar, I found I had lost a great quantity of wine; I sent for this Bacon, who was told the family were out of town; and when he came, the prisoner was present part of the time, in the presence of the prisoner, George Bacon acknowledged coming there of a Saturday and Sunday, from the time the house was painted, to the Saturday preceding; that they had drank large quantities of wine sometimes, he said, there were three bottles and a decanter on the table, and sometimes more, according to the company they had; upon this examination, not knowing that I had lost any thing but a few dozens of wine, I discharged her that night.

What quantity of wine had you lost? - I cannot tell exactly, I believe I can swear to twenty dozen, and if I was to double that number, I should not exceed the truth, they have acknowledged to twenty dozen; I kept the other servant in the house, thinking I should get something from her the next day; on the day before the Twelfth day, between the time of her being discharged, I lost a gold ring, and the things mentioned in the indictment; they were found at the father's of the prisoner, in Flying Horse-yard, Hackney; I never searched till three or four days, or five or six days.

Can you identify these candles at all? - It is impossible.

Whose house is this at hackney? - The father of the prisoners, I suppose there were about fifty pounds weight of candles hid in a cellar, they were office candles, and of different sorts, they were in a box, in a little place adjoining to the house, with bricks over them, I found the garnet ring mentioned in the indictment; I was present I examined it, but I cannot swear to it, only they acknowledged it, and I believe it to be my property. I found this glove, that I cannot swear to, I believe it is mine, it was a silk glove, in a closet; and in a box up stairs I found about twenty or thirty pounds weight of the same kind of candles hid in a closet; I went up stairs with the officer, and in the closet, I found several bottles with my mark upon them with wine; the only thing I can swear to.

(The bottles produced.)

Is that your mark? - No, it was in my cellar, it was a present, and I can swear to this bottle, it has he mark of Mrs. King.

What liquors are there? - There is Hollands gin, and Malmsey Madeira.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Council. First as to this little bottle, what is the mark? - The mark, is Smith, Leadenhall-street, No, 91, that is the mark on the seal; that very pint, she acknowledged in my presence before the Magistrate, she took out of my cellar, and this pint was taken out of her father's house.

Did you ever hear from the prisoner that that was her father's house? - No.

Then you only know it from the information of others? - No.

Do you know what liquor this is? - No, I can swear to the cork.

Did you ever make her any promises or threats, before she went before the Magistrate? - Never, I promised the other servant after this was discharged.


In consequence of an information that Mr. King received from the boy, we searched the house, at Cutler's-hall, that was the 5th of January; I believe we found some wine in the maid's kitchen in one of the cupboards; in the evening we took up George Bacon, and when we came to Cutlers-hall, we had the maids present, and he then confessed in the presence of the maids; I examined the two maids where they had the wine from, and Sarah Pickford said, that she did not medle with it;

Mr. King said, it must have come out of his cellar, the prisoner said, it did not, for that she had taken the wine from her mistress's cellar, that her mistress had left the key either in the parlour or up stairs in her room, I forget which, then she confessed afterwards to me, that she had taken out of Mr. King's bureau, whilst he was having his hair dressed, the key of his cellar; and that she had at different times, taken wine out of that cellar, and I think she said, some brandy or rum, but I cannot tell which; when we came before the sitting Alderman, he was asked with respect to the pint of wine that was produced just now.

Mr. Garrow. Was this examination taken in writing? - It was not, Sir, she acknowledged that she had taken the pint of wine now produced, out of her mistress's cellar.

The prisoner made no defence, and called no witnesses.


Transported for seven years .

Jury. Is the other servant in the service of the prosecutor now? - No, they have been both in the country ever since.

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