28th October 1789
Reference Numbert17891028-25

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765. MARY STULTZ was indicted for stealing, on the 25th of September last, a flannel petticoat, value 1 s. and a linen shirt, value 1 s. the property of William Foreman .


I am wife of William Foreman ; we are lodgers; I knew nothing of the prisoner; I lost a flannel petticoat and a shirt: I lodge in Catherine-wheel-alley, Bell-lane, No: 2 ; I missed my child from the door, and the things from off the child; he is five years old; he was taken from the door; it was about five in the evening; he had on a shirt and a flannel petticoat; I saw my child again in about two hours; it was stripped; I never saw the things again: I saw the prisoner at a publick house, and the child on her knee; the things were gone then: the prisoner said she was taking care of my child; the child never goes from its own door, nor hardly down stairs; the prisoner said she found the child naked: the child said, in the hearing of the prisoner, that she sold his things at an old iron shop, but he could not tell where; I have tried but could not find the place; I was so frightened; I do not know whether the child was crying or not; he said, in her presence, that she took him from the door and pulled his clothes off, and wanted to drop him, but he cried and would not be dropped; he said, she took him into a necessary, to strip him, and wanted to drop him in an alley; the publick-house was the Duke's Head, in Wingfield-street.


The prisoner said at the watch-house, in my hearing, that she found the child in Castle-street, Spital-fields: the next morning, before the Justice, she said she found it in Bell-lane, Spital-fields; I saw the child brought home; his petticoat and shirt were missing.


Court. Have you ever taken an oath my little boy? - No, my lord.

Do you know the nature of an oath, and what will become of you, if you tell a story? - Yes, Sir; I shall go into brimstone and fire.

Have you been taught your catechism? - Yes.

Do you know you will also be punished in this world? - Yes.

JOHN KEY sworn.

Do you live with your father? - Yes.

What is he? - A shoemaker.

Look about, and look at that woman; did you ever see her before? - No, Sir, not before she took the child; she came to the door, and told the child she would give him a halfpenny-worth of plumbs, to go with her; I heard her; the child said, no; and this other brother wanted to go; and she said he should not, but he should bring some plumbs home in his cloth to his brother; then the child went.

Was the other brother bigger or less? - Why, Sir, he is bigger: I saw them go together into Wingfield-street; they walked; I saw nothing more of them after; the woman had a black gown on, but no cloak.

Are you sure the prisoner is the woman? - Yes; her gown was black.


My husband is a shoemaker; I saw the prisoner when the child's mother took her, which was at the end of Bell-lane; that was after she took the child from her: I heard the prisoner say she found the child in Castle-street.

Court to Mrs. Foreman. After you missed your child, you saw the woman and child at the Duke's Head in Wingfield-street, the bottom of Bell-lane? - Yes; that is pretty near Wingfield-street.


I went to carry home a waistcoat; going along, there was this child; I could get nothing out of him, but that his name was Tommy; I brought the child into Mr. Jones's; I went round the tap-room with the child in my arms; from thence I went to the Duke's Head, and to Petticoat-lane; and into Bell-lane, where the prosecutrix lived, not knowing her to be the mother of the child; I went to the corner of Bell-lane, and asked for a halfpenny worth of bread; and desired them to enquire about the child; the prosecutrix found the child in my lap, eating a bit of bread, and drinking beer; I took nothing off the child's back; I cannot say whether she lost any thing.


Court to Prisoner. Prisoner at the bar, you have been convicted on very satisfactory evidence, of stealing the articles mentioned in the indictment; and under circumstances the most aggravating. One should conceive, that the tenderness of your sex would have prevented you from committing a crime of so horrid and atrocious a nature. I do not know whether you have ever been the mother of children; but if you have, your offence is aggravated beyond measure: for, if you have ever had the feelings of a mother yourself, your mind must be depraved beyond the possibility of conception, to induce you for so trifling an article as this, to have put parents into a situation which might have made them miserable to the end of their lives. For, the death of a child in a natural way, is not so dreadful as losing them thus. It is necessary, therefore, to inflict an exemplary punishment on persons of your description, by way of example to others more than of punishment to you: for I conceive your mind to be so depraved, that no sentence of the Court can make any impression on you. The severest sentence I can pass on you, is to send you abroad, where you will be at such a distance, (although I am not enabled, which I sincerely lament, to transport you for life,) that you will not be able, in all probability, to return; but if you should, I hope you will come back with a tenderer heart, and a mind of some feeling and sensibility. The sentence of the Court upon you, is that you be

Transported for seven years to the coast of New South Wales, or some of the islands adjacent .

Prisoner. My lord, I return you thousands and millions of thanks; they would have had my life if they could; and I am bound in duty to pray for you all.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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