17th September 1806
Reference Numbert18060917-75

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481. MARY MALE was indicted for that she on the 28th of June , unlawfully did obtain from William Barnfield , a tin box, value 1 d. and two 7 s. pieces ; also four other counts for like offence, only varying the manner of charging them.

WILLIAM BARNFIELD sworn. I am an oilman in Bishopsgate-street.

Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar. - A. Yes.

Q. What is she. - A. I do not know.

Q. Did you know a person of the name of Thomas Male . - A. I saw him after he was dead, he was described to me as Thomas Male , I did not know him previous to his death. I am churchwarden of Bishopsgate, and on Friday evening the 27th of June, a house fell down in Skinner-street, and two persons came into the workhouse that had been dug out of the ruins.

Q. A man who was dead of the name of Thomas Male , and who was killed by the fall of a house, was brought into the house. - A. Yes.

Q. Did you take possession of the property that was found about him. - A. I did, I took a tin box and two seven shilling pieces.

Q. Did you see it taken from the person of the deceased. - A. I did not; the master of the workhouse took it from the persons who took it from him, the master of the workhouse gave it up to me as the churchwarden.

Q. Are there any relations here of the deceased, who know the fact of the money being taken from him. - A. Here is the wife, who knows of it being taken from him, her name is Ann Male .

ANN MALE sworn. Q. You are the widow of Thomas Male , who was killed by the fall of a house-in Skinner street. - A. Yes.

Q. Did he live in the house. - A. No.

Q. Do you know whether at the time he was killed he had a tin box about him and two seven shilling pieces. - A. He had more money, I knew he had a tin box about him, he had it many years.

Q. Had he it with him at the time he was crushed at the falling of the houses. - A. To the best of my knowledge I begged him to go up stairs to assist, as I had a good deal of money to receive from Jacob Male ; when we were up we had not time to say, Lord have mercy upon us, before the house was upon him; I am his lawful wife, and I have my certificate in my pocket, I was buried with my husband in the house.

Q. Were you well enough to go about when you were taken out. - A. No, I was not.

Q. You knew that your husband had a tin box. - A. Yes, and the last time I saw it it was in Mr. Barnfield's hands, he always carried it about him.

Q. Do you know whether he had any money in this tin box, on the day he met with his accident. - A. I am sure of it, he shewed it me, it was a very remarkable thing for him to do so, I saw three seven shilling pieces in it, and I gave him change for a crown piece, I did not see it after the morning.

Q. What time did the house fall in. - A. It fell in just after the bell rang eight in the evening.

Q.(to Mr. Barnfield) The same box that was given to you, had you shewn it to her. - A. Yes, she saw it at the examination before the lord mayor; I have it in my pocket.

Q. What day of the month was it the houses fell in. - A. On Friday the 27th of June.

Q. How long after this box had been delivered to you did you see the prisoner at the bar. - A. About

one o'clock on the 28th my son came to me, told me that Mrs. Male the wife of Mr. Male was at the door, and wanted an order to see her her husband; I told my son to send her into me at the counting-house, she immediately came.

Q. That is the prisoner called herself the widow of Male; the widow of the man who was crushed by these houses, who lay at the workhouse. - A. Yes, she said she wanted an order to go into the house to see her husband, that she had been there, they had refused to let her in without an order, which is the custom of the house, I gave the order; we had a good deal of conversation on the subject before she went over to the house; I asked her her whether it was true of the danger they were in, she stated that her husband came home a little after eight o'clock, that she represented to him what people said, what danger the houses were in, he flew in a great passion, said she was a great fool, she asked him if he meant to go on that way, he said he did not, he meant to go out all night and get drunk; she then took on, and said she had lost her daughter who was buried in the ruins; she had been over to the public house where the people had been very kind, and had given her the gown she had on her back, as the other was torn off being dug out of the ruins; I then asked her what stockings her daughter had on, she said her daughter had white stockings, I then told her the young woman that had been dug out of the ruins could not be her daughter who was lying dead at the house, she had black stockings; I then told her to go over to the house with this order, to see the body, and if the young woman was not her daughter to send the master of the house over to me; very soon after the master of the workhouse came over to me, and told me that the young woman was not her daughter; I went to the house and found the prisoner apparently in distress, taking on exceedingly, she said she had seen her husband, but she had not seen her daughter, I asked her what she would do with herself, she appeared far advanced in her pregnancy, I asked her how long she had to go, she said about three weeks, I told her she had better stay in the house till she was delivered, she said she was very much obliged to me, but if I would give her her husband's watch, and tin box with two seven shilling pieces and some silver which was taken from her husband, she would go to her sister who kept the Ship public house, Leadenhall-street; believing the story to be true, I directed the master of the public house, Mr. Chapman, to give her the money, I saw him open the box, I saw there were in it two bits of paper with two seven shilling pieces, I told her I did not think there was any watch; immediately upon the delivery of that she went away; I did not know at that time that Mrs. Male was taken from the ruins; after I found I was imposed upon, and being directed to the place where Mrs. Male was laying in bed from the bruises that she had received.

Q. You afterwards found the real Mrs. Male. - A. A. Yes.

Q. That is the witness that has just been called up. - A. Yes.

Q.When did you see the prisoner again. - A. I immediately left the spot with the officer, in hopes to find her, I turned up the alley where the workhouse is, I met the beadle, he told me he had seen Mrs. Male, he had been treating her with part of his dinner and beer; I went into the public house and charged her with being an impostor, of defrauding me of the tin box and fourteen shillings, I directed her to give me the money, or of course she would be searched; in the course of the time the beadle was gone she had changed one of the seven shilling pieces.

Q. You received the tin box and one seven shilling piece. - A. Yes, this is the same that she delivered over to me.

Q. She persisted that she was the widow of this man. - A. She has always said that, she did before the lord mayor, the lord mayor remanded her for two days, in order for her to send to Chelmsford for her register.

- CHAMPMAN sworn. Q. You are the keeper of this workhouse. - A. Yes.

Q. The dead body of Thomas Male was brought there. - A. Yes, I saw this woman the second time she came to the house, she represented herself to be the wife of Thomas Male , the deceased, I gave the tin box and the two seven shilling pieces to her by the order of Mr. Barnfield.

Q.(to Mrs. Male) How long have you been married. - A. I was married at Shoreditch Church, on the 19th of July, 1790. I have got the certificate of my marriage; we have always lived together from that time in comfort and happiness till he met with this accident.

Q. Had you any reason to suspect or believe that your husband was married or cohabited with any other woman before. - A. No, nor did I ever see this woman before.

Q. Had your husband a daughter that met with the same dreadful death as he did. - A. No, there was no daughter buried in the ruins with him.

Prisoner. You say Mrs. Male that you never saw me, did not you see me and my child at Mr. Freeman's, when I was obliged to lay away from my husband, you common f - t. - A. I never saw you, you are a false wicked impostor.

THOMAS CHIP sworn. Q. How long have you known Thomas Male , that was crushed to death with the fall of the house. - A. I have known him in the year 1790; I was present when he was married to the last witness, I gave her away, her name was Ann Hale .

Q. Had you ever any reason to believe that he was ever married to any other woman. - A. No.

Q. Did he cohabit with any other woman. - A. I am well convinced to the contrary, from habits of intimacy I must have know it, I frequently saw him, I lived near him.

WILLIAM MALE sworn. Q. What relation are you to the poor man that met his death by the fall of the houses. - A. I was his brother, I was upon good terms with my brother, and have been all my life, sometimes I saw him three or four times a week, and sometimes but once, I have been in London twenty-six years, and my brother too, I never saw the prisoner, I must have known it if he had cohabited with her.

Prisoner. He is well certified that I am his brother's wife.

Witness. You never was, I can take my oath of it.

Prisoner's Defence. I was bred and born in the parish of Chelmsford, I was sixteen years old when I was married to Thomas Male , he lived with me three years; this is the same woman he strolled with, I believe he has been married to her fifteen years; when he left me I left my home, and never could rest, I have a parish it is true, which is Waltham Abbey; I was married at Springfield Church, October 2nd, eighteen years ago, my name was Mary Stokes .

Q. Have you the certificate. - A. I have not the certificate; I leave myself to the mercy of the court, and if I am to die he was my husband; I am willing to part with my life, I do not wish to live an hour longer in this life.

Q.(to William Male ) About eighteen years ago did your brother reside at Chelmsford. - A. I do not think that he ever knew where Chelmsford was for the last twenty years, I never heard him mention a word about it.

GUILTY , aged 34.

Transported for Seven Years .

London Jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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