16th July 1794
Reference Numbert17940716-64
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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447. ESTHER SPENCER was indicted for stealing, on the 17th of July , two silver salt holders, value 18s. two silver salt spoons, value 2s. two silver pepper castors, value 1l. a silver table spoon, value 14s. the goods of Jacob Ruffy .


On the 17th of this month, I lost some two silver pepper castor, two silver salts, two silver spoons, and a silver table spoon; I was not in the way when they were taken; I had seen them before I went out, I went out about a quarter after two, I was going out to dinner, I had seen them in the forenoon on our side board; I know nothing at all of the prisoner, she was quite a stranger to me; they were missing near three, before I came home; and when I came home, I was informed of the circumstance.

Q. When did you next see this property? - In the constable's hands.


I am an apprentice to Mr. Ruffy, he is a taylor ; I was at work in the afternoon, and master's daughter came up, and told me that a person had been in the parlour and taken part of the plate away, and I came down stairs, and a servant of the house told me which way she had run; and I went out and caught her near Bethnall-green; my master lives in Wilkes's-street, Spitalfields; I took her in Air-street, and brought her back to the place where she had taken the property from, and found two pepper castors in her bolom, and the two salt cellars and two salt spoons, and a table spoon were in her pocket; I see them taken from her.


I live near the prosecutor; there is a brass knob a the outside of the door to lift up the latch; I saw the prisoner lift it up and go into the parlour, and she came out again to the door, and then returned to it again; then I thought she was a bad woman; I went to call Mr. Ruffy's daughter, and she sent the apprentice after the prisoner.


I am a constable; the prisoner was searched in my presence; there was found on her two pepper castors in her bosom, two salts, two salt spoons, and a table spoon, all silver; I have got them here.

Prosecutor. They are all my property.

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

Prisoner. It is the first offence I ever did in my life, I hope you will forgive me.

GUILTY . Death . (Aged 19.)

Recommended to mercy by the Jury and prosecutor, because she had a good character from her master, and appeared never before to transgress.

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before the Lord CHIEF BARON.

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