4th July 1792
Reference Numbert17920704-16
VerdictNot Guilty; Guilty

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326. MARY STINSTON and MARIA SMITH were indicted for feloniously stealing on the 27th of April last, six yards of muslin, value 12 s. a yard and half of other muslin, value 12 s. a pair of worsted stockings, value 16 d. the property of Thomas Barrett , privately in his shop .

(The witnesses examined separate.)


I am a linen-draper in Great Chapel-street, Westminster : on the 27th of April I lost some muslin from my shop; six yards, and one yard and half, in different pieces, value 12 s. 6 yards at 2 s. 1 d. and a yard and half, at 8 s. The two prisoners came in about the middle of the day; I knew Mary Stinston before; they asked for some Irish at 1 s. per yard, and the boy who is here, sold them some; he first asked them if they would not go to 14 d. they said no higher than a shilling; and he fetched some cloth from the other side of the counter to shew them; there were some muslins on the counter lay some little distance from them, and they conveyed by some means the muslins to them.

Did you see them do that? - No. I missed them before they were gone out of the shop, by the boy warning me of it. I went round the counter, and told them I believed they had some of my property about them; they said they had not; I told them I had reason to believe that they had, and I would charge a constable with them; and the prisoner, Mary Stinston , said to Maria Smith , if she had got any thing of mine; she desired she would pull it out of her pocket again; she denied she had any, and a little after she pulled out this muslin out of her pocket, six yards of muslin, and one yard and half, and a pair of black stockings, dropped from under the peak of Maria Smith 's stays. I saw nothing from Stinston at all; the constable came and searched them, and they were committed.

Mr. Garrow, prisoner's counsel. I observe they were committed on petty larceny for 10 d. You have known Mrs. Stinston some time? - Yes.

Had she been a customer at your shop? - Yes.

A very respectable family? - For aught I know.

Nothing was found upon her? - Only a great quantity of muslin under her feet.

They were standing near each other? - Yes.


I live with Mr. Barrett. I was in the shop when the prisoners came there: Mary Stinston asked me for some cloth of a shilling a yard; she bought some. I lost some muslin which was a good distance from the Irish, but it was within reach.

Did you see either of them take up the muslin? - No.

Did they say any thing about muslin, or look at it, or observe? - No.

You never saw either of them touch the muslin at all? - No.

When did you discover that the muslin was gone? - A good bit after; I gave my master intimation of it, and he came round to the prisoner, and told her to deliver up what she had got; that was Maria Smith ; nothing was delivered up but by her.


I am the constable: these things were delivered to me, and I have kept them ever since.

(Deposed to.)

The prisoner, Mary Stinston , called two witnesses, who gave her a very good character.



Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice BULLER.

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