9th September 1789
Reference Numbert17890909-14

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587. MARY DESMOND and MARY BUTLER were indicted for stealing on the 5th day of August last, one wicker basket, value 2 s. and nine pecks of French beans, value 4 s. 6 d. the property of Daniel Read .

(The witnesses examined separate.)


I live at Battersea, I sell my garden stuff at Covent Garden ; I lost nine pecks of French beans in a wicker basket; I only prove the property.


I was the person that stopt them two gentlewomen (the prisoners), with the basket in Covent Garden market, about half past three in the morning, of the 5th of August; they brought them between them, they were talking in their discourse, in Irish, and they hought nobody understood them, and I did not understand them rightly; but I understood they had stole them; for they said they had made a good market; I never saw the women there before; I come to market every morning with my mistress's goods, they did not bring the things as tho' they wanted to sell them, it was not a proper time, so I stopt them; and I said good women what have you in your basket; they made no answer, but dropt it and made off; the watchman was coming

to his stand, and he followed them, and took them to the watch-house; I spoke to them about three or four times; when I first saw them, I suppose they were twenty yards, and I saw them resting three times, till they came to me.

(The basket produced and deposed to by the letters A. D. R.)


I am a watch-man in Covent-garden; I saw these two women about three and when I came up, the women ran off; I asked him what was the matter, and he told me; I pursued, and took them; I asked them where they took the basket from; they denied having them.


We had been at a labour, and went to get some drink; the prosecutor began to behave impudent, and this woman slapped his face; and he said you Irish bitch I will be revenged of you; this prisoner dropped a shilling, and we got a candle to look for it, and this prosecutor came up.


This man owes me an old grudge; he wanted to use me impudent; I was frightened at a big man laying hold of me, and I dropped a shilling; and I had a bason in my hand at the time; and the watchman came up; and then the prosecutor said these ladies are going to steal the beans.

Prosecutor. I never saw one of them before, and I have used the market fifteen years; they brought the goods out of the square by the dial; it was broad day-light.

The prisoner Butler called five witnesses, who gave her a good character.



Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice WILSON.

[Transportation. See summary.]

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