18th February 1830
Reference Numbert18300218-71
VerdictNot Guilty

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567. ELIZABETH COWLING was indicted for stealing, on the 16th of February , one 10l. Bank note, the property of John Gordon , from his person .

JOHN GORDON . I live in Devonshire-square, Bishopsgate - I am a clerk out of employ. On the 16th of February, between eleven and twelve o'clock at night, I had dined with some friends, and was walking home; I was rather intoxicated, but not so much so but what I could walk - I was sensible enough, but had drank wine rather freely; the prisoner and another girl met me - they came up to me in the neighbourhood of Great St. Helens; I was induced to walk with the prisoner - I did not go into any house with her; we went into a passage - I do not know whether it was a thoroughfare; it was in Great St. Helens, I think - I do not think I could find the place,

for it was very dark; I was never in that spot before - soon after I had been with her there she left me, and I discovered that I had lost a 10l. note; she left me abruptly; I had given her 1s. 6d., all the change I had; it was in my trouser's pocket - the Bank note was in a different pocket, I am quite sure; I also gave her a silk pocket-handkerchief, and a pair of gloves - if I had had more change I would have given it to her; I discovered that the note was gone in less than five minutes after parting with her -I think I was in the passage leading to Devonshire-square when I discovered the loss; I had not lived in the neighbourhood above a week - I went to the watch-house, and described the woman I had been with; two watchmen went and found the prisoner - I had received the note the previous day from a friend, who lived at St. Paul's coffee-house; I got the number from my friend, told it to the officer, and it tallied with it - my friend has left town; I was sober when I got the number and date from him; I had dined in Leadenhall-street - I do not think I spoke to any other woman unless it might be in passing.

Cross-examined by MR. BODKIN. Q. What employment have you usually filled? A. I am here on commercial business - I am a stranger in London; I have not been in town a month at a time - I received the note that day between four and five o'clock; I dined at six and lost the note between eleven and twelve; it was loose in my pocket; I left my friend's house about eleven, and met the woman between eleven and twelve; I cannot give the time nearer- I am positive I did not go into any house with her, or any other woman; I am certain my silver was loose in my pocket - I knew before I went out that I had that change in my pocket, and had no occasion to touch it afterwards.

THOMAS PETCH. I am an officer of Bishopsgate. I saw Mr. Gordon at the watch-house last Tuesday night, about half-past twelve o'clock - he had been drinking, but still spoke very rational; he stated that he had been robbed of a 10l. Bank note, and had been in company with two females, whom he described - I went and apprehended the prisoner by his description, in Webbsquare, in a lower room on the ground floor, with another female; I searched under her pillow, and found her pocket and a silk handkerchief - my brother officer found a pair of gloves; I likewise found a 10l. note, a sixpence, and some halfpence - she said the gentleman had given her the 10l. note, and that she had seen him to the door.

Cross-examined. Q. Did she say he had given her the silver wrapped in a paper, which she discovered, on coming to the light, to be a 10l. note? A. She did not say so to me - she told the Lord Mayor so, and said he had promised to meet her the next day, and she meant to return it.

ROBERT DICK. I am an inspector of Bishopsgate ward. Petch's statement is correct - I have a pair of gentleman's gloves found at the prisoner's: the prosecutor said she was not satisfied with 1s. 6d., and he was induced to give her the gloves and handkerchief.

Prisoner's Defence. I have been a respectable servant , and lived with the Rev. Alexander Fletcher, of Homerton. On this night, at half-past eleven o'clock, I met this gentleman very tipsy - he parted the young woman and me, and said, "I will have you, can you go home with me;" I said I never took any body home - he said he had very little money, but would give me his handkerchief; he took it off, and tied it round my neck - I walked with him for near an hour; he said if I would see him to No. 8, Devonshire-square, he would give me 1s. 6d. - I saw him to the door; he pulled off his great coat and hat, and offered them to me to go home with me - I refused; he said could I meet him next day - I promised him, and when I got to the gas-light, the young woman said, "Look in your hand, and see what you have got;" I found it was a piece of paper, and was going to throw it away - she said, "Don't throw it away;" on looking at it I found it was a 10l. note: I should have returned it to him when I met him the next day.


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