25th October 1786
Reference Numbert17861025-1

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761. RUTH BALDWIN , otherwise BOWYER was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 24th day of June last, three table spoons, value 20 s. two silver desert spoons, value 10 s. the property of Joseph White .


I keep the Bush at Staines ; on Saturday, the twenty-fourth of June, I lost the spoons mentioned in the indictment; I missed them in counting them about twelve o'clock; two of the table spoons were

marked I. S. White, and the desert spoons were marked I. S. White; upon the bowls and the other table spoon was marked Willis, Thatched-house-tavern; the prisoner was a servant to me about seven weeks, and was discharged the morning the spoons were missing; she was kitchen maid ; I never saw the property upon her; I have seen them since, on the 8th of October, in the possession of James Fish the constable; I knew them again.


I am a constable; the prisoner was in custody at Mr. Martin's about twelve at night, on the 7th of October; I found nothing upon her; I believe she was taken on suspicion, without a constable; the next morning she sent for me, and told me, she saw a woman hide a spoon in a hedge, and we went with her and found all the five spoons hid in a bank under ground; this bank was about a mile from the prosecutor's; I heard no promises made to the prisoner; I have had the spoons ever since.

(Produced and deposed to by the Prosecutor.)


I am keeper of the Castle at Windsor; on the 7th of October, I heard Mr. White's spoons were offered for sale; and I took a post-chaise, and went to acquaint Mr. White; then we went to Justice Wyatt's; we pursued after her to Egham, and took the prisoner into custody, at her aunt's in Egham-street, on the 7th of October; her aunt's name was Bowyer, and she went in that name; we took the aunt into custody also; we took them to my house and there we persuaded the girl if she knew any thing about the spoons to own it; she declared she did not; and she denied she had been at Windsor for a ring; then we sent for young Mr. Coombes, the ironmonger, at Windsor; who said the prisoner was the person that bought a ring, and offered the spoons for sale; I went with her, and the constable, and she shewed us where the spoons were hid in the bank; she said, she saw a woman hide one there.

MARY FORD sworn.

I am servant to Mr. Coombes at Windsor; he is an ironmonger; the prisoner came to our house on Saturday morning, the 7th of October; she asked if Mr. Coombes sold gold rings; I never saw her before to the best of my knowledge; I believe it is the woman; I shewed her some rings; then she asked me if we bought old silver, I said, yes; she pulled five spoons out of her pocket; I did not examine them; I took no notice of them; I gave them directly to James Coombes to weigh; he asked her how she came by them; and she said, she had done washing for a man, and he was gone away, and left her the spoons, and the spoons were of no use to her.


I am an ironmonger; these spoons I received from the last witness, on the 7th of October; I am sure the prisoner was in the shop at the time, but I did not see her give the spoons to Mary Ford ; I then asked her how she came by them, and where she lived, and what she gave for them; she said, her name was Bowyer, and she lived near the Six Bells, at Windsor, and that the spoons were left her by a man who owed her money for washing; I told her, I was doubtful they were not her property, and I would take down the marks in my book, which I did; I returned her the spoons; the marks correspond with my book; here are two table spoons, engraved I. S. White; the other table spoons, Willis, Thatched-house; the two desert spoons marked I. S. White, Staines; I immediately wrote to Mr. White.

Court to Prosecutor. What name did she go by at your house? - I do not know; I believe the name of Yalden; but I cannot say.


I am not guilty of the crime; I have no witnesses.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. ROSE.

[Transportation. See summary.]

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