9th July 1800
Reference Numbert18000709-107
VerdictGuilty; Guilty > with recommendation
SentenceDeath; Death

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583. MARY BECKWITH , the wife of JOHN BECKWITH ; and MARY BECKWITH , the younger, were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 10th of June , in the parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, forty-six yards of printed calico, value 5l. the goods of Thomas Ball , privately in his shop .

- HAYNES sworn. - I live with Mr. Ball, a linen-draper , No. 473, in the Strand, near Charing-cross : I remember the two prisoners coming to my master's shop, about half-past nine on Wednesday night, the 10th of June; the eldest asked for some white calico, I shewed her some, and she bought a yard; she afterwards asked to look at some Bandana handkerchiefs; I shewed her some, she bought one, and afterwards asked to look at some dark printed pocket linen handkerchiefs; we had not any at the price she wanted, she paid for what she then bought; during that time, the young one was standing by some printed calicos which lay upon the counter, about a yard and a half from where I was, not further; having paid for the articles bought, she was going out, and I observed young Mary Beckwith went out a very different way from what she came in, which gave me reason to suspect she had got something, upon which I jumped over the counter, and took hold of her to see what she had got; I took from her three quantities of printed calico; containing forty-six yards, which I have here; I took them from under her gown, she had her gown drawn round them; I asked her what she had got, she said, she had got nothing of mine; the woman said, she was very sorry the child had taken any thing, it was not her intention; I being in the shop alone, called for assistance; the elder Mary Beckwith went out, and having assistance come, I left the younger in care and went after the eldest, she had only gone just by, beyond the next house; I asked her to come back, but she objected at first, till I told her I should oblige her; in consequence of which she came back; she said, she was looking after the girl's father, who was waiting in the street; she was questioned respecting her husband, and she said in answer, it was the ault of the father (that the child was not her's,) and the father encouraged her in doing so.

Court. Q. Had you any suspicion of the girl taking

the things, when you saw her looking at them? - A. No, I had not.

Q. Had you any suspicion she was prepared to steal the things, till you saw her going out? - A. No, I had not; I did not see her do any thing; I observed her look at them, as girls in general do.

Q. You had no suspicion she was going to steal them? - A. No.

Q. What is the value? - A. Five pounds; I am convinced they are my master's property; he has no partner.

Mr. Alley. Q. Had you not a suspicion from the conduct of the prisoners, they were able to steal something? - A. No, I had not.

The CONSTABLR sworn. - I took them into custody, and searched them, but found nothing on them.

Mary Beckwith , the elder. I know nothing at all of it.

Mary Beckwith, the younger. I was looking at the calicos, and they sell off the counter, and before I could pick them up again, that young gentleman jumped over the counter, and would not let me lay them down.

Q.(To Haynes.) How far from the place had this girl got, when you took them from her? - A. I don't believe it was more than a yard and a half from where they were taken from.

M. Beckwith, the elder, GUILTY . Death . (Aged 34.)

M. Beckwith the younger, GUILTY . Death . (Aged 14.)

Mary Beckworth, jun. was recommended to mercy, by the Jury, on account of her youth.

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice LAWRENCE.

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