5th December 1810
Reference Numbert18101205-67
VerdictGuilty; Guilty
SentenceDeath; Death

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67. CHARLOTTE TAYLOR and ANN STEVENS were indicted for feloniously assaulting John Adams , in the king's highway, on the 20th of November , putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, an umbrella, value 2 s. his property .

JOHN ADAMS . I live at No. 7 Skinner Street, Bishopgate Street. On Tuesday, the 20th of November, between eleven and twelve at night, I saw the two prisoner's first in Bishopgate Street, near Skinner Street . They were in company together, walking along.

Q. Were you sober. - A. Yes, when I first saw them, they catched hold of me by the arm, one by one arm, and the other the other, they asked me where I was going to, I told them home. I went a little way down Skinner Street, each of them holding my arm. I did not wish to walk with them, they went with me, they asked me to go with them. They asked me if I meant to give them any thing, I asked them what they wanted, they wanted two shillings of me.

Q. You thought they asked for two shillings, for the purpose as the women of the town do. - A. Yes, they proposed that I should go to their house, they said it was in Skinner Street, but not where justly.

Q. Had you an umbrella with you at this time. - A. Yes, in my hand. They then asked for something to drink, I told them I would not, and they struck me on the head with the patten. Ann Stevens struck me first, they both struck me.

Q. What induced them to strike you with the patten. - A. Because I would not give them any thing to drink. I said nothing to provoke them, they beat my hat off, and struck me three or four times after my hat was off. They cut my head in three or four places.

Q. Are you quite sure that you said nothing to provoke them. - A. No I did not.

Q. Did you call them bad women, or any thing of that sort. - A. No, I made away from them, and got to the public-house door, put my hand with my hat in there. I held the umbrella with the other hand.

Q. Was the public-house door open. - A. It was put to, but I pushed it open with my hand. I put my hand inside of the door.

Q. Had either of them attempted to take away your hat. - A. Yes, they attempted to take my hat away, after they struck it off.

Q. Therefore you put it inside of the public-house door to secure it. - A. Yes.

Q. After you had put the hat within side of the door, and you were holding the umbrella in the other hand, what did they do then. - A. They beat me with the pattens, and laid on so, I was obliged to let go the umbrella. I was not able to hold the umbrella any longer. They had hold of the umbrella all the time, trying to pull it from me. They got it from me by main force.

Q. How long do you think you were able to resist before they got it from you by main force. - A. I suppose five minutes or more.

Q. What was it that disabled you from keeping hold of the umbrella. - A. The blows disabled me from keeping my hold, and they got it out of my hands.

Q. What was the worth of your umbrella. - A. I valued it at two shillings. When they got the umbrella, they made the best of their way off. They run away.

Q. Did any body come out of the public-house to your assistance. - A. Yes, Charles Wright.

Q. Did you call out while they were beating of you. - A. Yes, but nobody came then. After that, me and the witness, Wright, went to the surgeon's to get something to put to my head. I bled so much, I was not able to stand. I went with Wright with his assistance. I was stunned with the blow.

Q. How far off did the surgeon live, that you went to. - A. In Bishopgate Street. I went to Mr. Fox, the surgeon, he was not at home. When I was coming back, I saw Ann Stevens near the public-house door, where they struck me. I told Wright to take care of her while I went to get the watchman. While I was gone, she escaped from him.

Q. Was this near the watchbox where this happened. - A. No, I saw the other the next night after. I sent for Mr. Sheppard, the officer, and described her to him. He went and took her the next night.

Q. You were not with him when he took her. - A. No, he took them both.

Q. When was it you saw them after Sheppard took them. - A. I saw one the next night, and the other I saw on the Monday following. I saw Taylor on the next night, and Stevens I saw on the Monday.

Q. Are you quite sure there are the two women who had beat you in this way, and ran away with the umbrella. - A. Yes, I have no doubt of either of them.

Q. Have you ever seen your umbrella again. - A. Yes, Mr. Sheppard shewed it me, I know it to be mine.

Q. What sort of a night was it. - A. It was not very dark. I saw them by the light of a lamp, and by the light of the window.

Q. How long were you in their company before they began to use you in this way. - A. Not so much as five minutes before they began to use me ill.

CHARLES WRIGHT . Q. On the Tuesday night that this happened, where were you. - A. In the public-house, the Robin Hood, in Skinner-street. I am a wine-porter. I work for Mr. Keep, Halfmoon-street, Bishopsgate. I was there about half past eleven.

Q. Did you here any alarm. - A. I did. I heard a voice in the door-way, as of a person in distress. On my coming out, I saw John Adams , he was down on one knee, in the door-way.

Q. Had he any appearance of having been hurt. - A. Yes, the blood run copiously down the crown of his head, each side.

Q. Was he much cut? did you examine it. - A. Yes, I took him in the house, got a candle, and looked at his head. I saw the wounds were dangerous. I took him to Mr. Fox, a surgeon. I opened the door; they said Mr. Fox was out. I went to another docter, at the corner of Spital-square. I could get no assistance. I brought him to the door from whence I had taken him, to the public-house. We bathed the wound with brandy, endeavouring to stop the blood. The blood was stopped, in a measure, by that means. Previous to our taking him into the house, the prisoner Stevens, was passing the door, Adams said,

"Wright, that is one of them." I turned round to him, and requested him to get a watchman. He said,

"he would,"

The watchman's stand is about twenty yards off. I proceeded to take hold of her, but she instantly withdrew.

Q. Did you lay hold of her person. - A. No, she withdrew instantly. I followed her; she ran, and escaped.

Q. How long do you think you had her in sight. - A. Two minutes.

Q. When did you see Stevens again, after that. - A. At the Poultry Compter, on the Monday morning following.

Q. From the little observation that you had as you saw her, about two minutes, are you sure the person you saw about two minutes, and she escaped from you, is the person that you saw again in the Poultry Compter. - A. I am positive. I knew her by sight. I had seen her in the neighbourhood.

Q. When John Adams said, that is one of them, did he say it loud enough for her to hear. - A. Yes; there were words passed; he said,

"Wright, that is one, take hold of her." She said, she was going home to get her supper; she knew nothing at all about it, and then she ran away, while I turned round to him, and told him to get a watchman.

STEVENS. A young girl, in the Poultry Compter, told me the young gentleman came and swore to her.

Jury. Q. to Wright. Were you sent for to the Poultry Compter, to be witness to any person. - A. No.

Court Q. Did you, upon any occasion, say you had a doubt. - A. There were three in custody at the time the officer Sheppard said,

"do you think you shall know the girl?

"I said,

"Yes." I went with Sheppard to the Poultry Compter.

Q. Did you, at any time then, rather express any doubt as to the person of Stevens. - A. No, not to any body.

Q. Were you as sure then as you are now. - A. Yes.

Jury. Did you make any observation with respect to Adams, on that night, between eleven and twelve, whether he was perfectly sober. - A. He did not appear as if he had been drinking. I have known him some time. I never knew him in the least addicted to drinking or intoxication; he was perfectly sober.

Q. What sort of night was it. - A. A very dark night.

Q. Was there any light in the public-house window. - A. Yes, and a lamp near the public-house door.

SAMUEL SHEPPARD . I am a constable. On Wednesday the 21st of November, Mr. Aams applied to me. He told me had been robbed of an umbrella, and very ill-treated.

Q. Had he the appearance of any violence about his person. - A. Very much so then: about the head he had three wounds, and about the breast, upon the back of the head, and the arm. He described the persons, as women who attacked him in this way; he described their appearance and persons. In consequence of his information I apprehended the prisoner Taylor, on Wednesday night, at her lodgings in Angel-alley, Bishopsgate-street. I told her I took her for robbing a man of an umbrella, and ill-treating of him. She said, she knew nothing about it. I took her on the ground floor of the house, she was in bed at the time; it was about twelve o'clock at night when I searching her lodgings. I found this umbrella under the further side of the bed.

Q. Was any woman with her. - A. No, I asked her how she came by that umbrella? She said, she found it. I then secured her, and took the prosecutor to look at her, to see if he knew her, the same evening. When the prosecutor saw her, he said, that was one of the women, in her hearing. She said she was not. I secured her, and then she was taken to the Poultry Compter. And on the Thursday night I apprehended another woman on suspicion. I took her in Bishopsgate-street. I applied to the prosecutor; he was so ill for three days he could not attend the Magistrate. On the Sunday I went to the prosecutor. I shewed him the woman that I had taken up. Him, and Wright, they said, that was not the woman. She was discharged on the Monday. I apprehended Stevens on the Sunday night, from a further description of Adams and Wright. I found her at her lodgings in Petticoat-lane. I took her in bed: there was another woman in bed. It being dark I enquired. The other woman said, she was not at home: she denied her several times. I enquired for her by the name of Bonner; that is her right name. The woman said that Nance was not at home. She goes by the name of Nance. I found the prisoner Stevens at the bottom of the bed, after I went down and got a light.

Q. Do you know whether she was acquainted with your person and voice. - A. I do not know that she knew my voice: she knowed my person very well. I have spoken to her many times.

Q. When you had taken her from the bed-clothes, did you tell her what you had against her. - A. Yes, she said she knew nothing of him. I charged her with robbing a man, and beating him with the pattens. I asked for the pattens. I could not find any; she said she never wore any.

Q. This was Sunday night; how long was it after that the prosecutor saw her. - A. On the Monday morning. I took both Wright and him up to the Compter. I took them in one at a time.

Q. How many women were there in the room. - A. They only came to the gate, and looked through. I suppose there were about five in the whole, that I took notice of. I think it was Wright. I took first Wright; pointed out Stevens. I called the prosecutrix to look; he pointed out Stevens also, without any thing being said to him.

Q. To Prosecutor. Look at that umbrella. - A. This is the umbrella that was taken from me that evening; there is the name on it of the person that I had it of. I had it of Mrs. Monday. It was torn in taking it from me. It is worth two shillings.

Taylor's Defence That umbrella I found when I was coming home on Tuesday night going down Skinner-street. I stumbled over something. I stooped and picked it up; it was an umbrella, all over mud and dirt. The prosecutor I never saw in my life, until I was taken on the Wednesday night to the watch-house.

Stevens Defence. I knew nothing of this young lady before I was taken in custody, nor of the gentleman. I was taken out of my bed, and I did not know what for.



London jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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