30th August 1786
Reference Numbert17860830-91
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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752. MARTHA Wife of THOMAS BAKER was indicted for feloniously assaulting William Pretty , on the King's highway, on the 2d day of August last, and putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person, and against his will, a silver watch, value 40 s. a watch key, value 1 d. and a seal, value 2 s. his property .


On Wednesday the 22d of August, I had some business at the Bull's-Head, West Smithfield, myself and three others; going along Long-lane, we met the prisoner; she said she was very much distressed and ill; the prisoner followed us to the Bull-head, and in the tap-room she solicited me very much to give her something to drink, and I gave her two penny-worth of rum; she said she could drink nothing but rum; my company left me, and said nothing to me; on my return home, I found the prisoner followed me, and in Jewin-street, she mended her pace; when I came to the end of Nettleton-court ; two men rushed suddenly upon me, and hustled me into the court; I found I was attacked; I run to the further end of the court, and there the prisoner had a cloak on; which she put up to my face, and snatched my watch from my pocket.

Court. Were the men there at the time? - They were in the dark part of the passage, and I went to the end of the court.

Did you feel your watch go? - I did my Lord.

What sort of a watch was it? - A silver watch, with a silk ribbon, with a cornelian seal mounted in gold; I made a catch at her, and was immediately attacked by the men, and they beat me from my hips to my head; in the dark entry, there was a ladder, which I got under, and with much difficulty I got up, and saw the patrol, and cried stop that woman, she has robbed me of my watch; and he immediately stopped her.

Did you lose sight of the woman at all? - I did for a minute.

Now the woman that robbed you, was the same woman you saw at the Bull's-head? - Yes, my Lord.

When you was pushed in the court, where was the woman? - Behind me.

Was it a light night? - No, it was a very dark night, but I could see the silver case of my watch as she drew it out of my pocket; I could see her gown perfectly clear, the same as she had on when at the Bull-head; it was a dark cotton, and a dark ground.

What sort of a cloak? - I think a black silk cloak.

Do you believe it to be the same woman that you saw before? - I am certain of it.

Jury. Did she speak to you when you was in the court? - No, they immediately committed their depredations.

Prisoner. Was not the prosecutor in liquor? - I was very sober.

Did not you acknowledge yourself in liquor before the Lord Mayor? - No.


I am a patrol of Aldersgate-ward; on the 2d of August, at past two, I heard the cry of stop thief, at the end of Nettleton-court; the prisoner came running out of

the court; I laid hold of her by the arm, and the prosecutor said he was robbed of a silver watch, and a silk ribbon, and cornelian seal; he was very much cut in the face, just under one eye, and across his chin; I took the prisoner to the watch-house, and took the watch out of her pocket, which the prosecutor claimed: the prisoner said she did not know what was the matter.

Prisoner. I beg to ask the patrol if the prosecutor was not very much in liquor? - I believe him not to be perfectly sober; but I believe him to be perfectly capable of knowing what he did.


The officer of the night took charge of the prisoner at the watch-house; the prosecutor described the watch there, which was found on the prisoner, before he saw it.

Court to Prosecutor. What are you? - A master goldsmith ; I have lived in Bartholomew-close and thereabouts, this thirty years.

Do you know whether there is any reward in this case? - As I do hope to be saved I do not.


I met the prosecutor; he asked me to drink a glass of rum, and and going down Aldersgate-street, he met several men and women, and he took his watch out of his pocket, and gave me a shilling and his watch, and bid me take care of it, and when the patrol came up, I was frightened and gave him the watch.

Prosecutor. It is false; I had no intimacy with her, as she would insinuate.

The prisoner called four witnesses who gave her a good character.

Prisoner. Please to ask the prosecutor if he has not been a constable? - I have been twenty-one years constable of the Royal-Exchange, appointed by the Honourable Grecian Comme.

Court. And do not you know there was a reward; - I do not; I have never been concerned with any thing but forgeries and picking of pockets.

GUILTY of stealing, but not violently.

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. ROSE.

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