Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 May 2022), April 1678 (16780411).

Old Bailey Proceedings, 11th April 1678.

A true NARRATIVE Of the Proceedings at the Sessions-house IN THE OLD-BAYLY, April 11, 12, & 13. 1678.

Setting forth The Facts and Tryals of several Prisoners for Felonies, Burglaries, Treason, and other Crimes.

With a particular Account of the Tryal and Condemnation of Two Women for High Treason, Clipping the Kings Coyn, who are Sentenced to be Burnt to Ashes.

And likewise the Tryals and Condemnation of one for Robbing on the Highway; and Two others for Horse-stealing and other Felonies.

And an exact Relation of all other remarkable Proceedings.

With the number of those that are Condemn'd, Burn'd in the Hand, and to be Whipt.

With Allowance. Ro. L'Estrange.

LONDON: Printed for D. M. 1678.

The Proceedings at the Sessions holden for London and Middlesex.

THough the Sessions for the City of London and County of Middlesex be held almost every month, yet so incorrigibly wicked are people, that no warning of the untimely Ends or other punishments of their Fellow Criminals, can deter them from the same Evil Courses: so that there scarce ever fails to be a great number to receive Justice for their Demerits at every Jayl-delivery. Thus was it now at this time: of the most notorious I shall here give you a particular Account.

Two women were severally tryed for and convicted of Felony, for Shoplifting (as they call it) a practice become so frequent, that a Tradesman scarce dares trust his Wares to Customers view, they have so often been robb'd under pretenceof buying. These two has ('tis said) long followed the same Trade, and are no strangers to the formality of holding up their hands; but 'tis thought they will fearce ever have liberty to practise their Villany abroad again.

Two other several persons were indicted for stealing an Horse ; but besides that one was a person of competent Estate and Credit, he made it appear that he bought him, though at a place where it seems there was no Toll-book kept, so that the property was not altered; yet it not appearing he had reason to think the Nag was unlawfully come by, they were both acquitted .

A Gentleman took a Tryal for killing a man , but there was no sufficient Evidence that the Prisoner was the party; onely one young woman pressed somewhat largely divers circumstances, to whose credit there were on the other side several witnesses examined: so that on the whole matter the Prisoner was brought in Not guilty .

A person was tried on two Indictments for several Felonies, one for stealing a sorrel Guelding valued in the Bill at four pound , on the twelfth of January last; the other for stealing a hundred fifty six yards of Say, valued at twelve pound . The Facts were done at the Town of Bury in Suffolk, the Guelding taken out of the stable in the night, but the Stuff was stolen some time before, and the Prisoner partly charged with it, his house being searcht, but nothing found, At last anaughty woman that he kept company with, being apprehended and sent to Jayl, he fearing she might discover him, resolv'd to run the Country, and to that purpose stole the Guelding; which at the Ball in Leaden hall street he trucks away for fourteen shillings boot: but at last the horse being found by the Hue and Cry, the party was likewise taken, and part of the Say found upon the Holder of the house. He having sold a whole piece in the Inne, pretending he had been robb'd as he came up, and wanted money: so that having no colour of excuse, he was Convicted and Condemned .

The next was a very considerable Tryal, three women being tried for High Treason, for Clipping eight Half-crowns of King Charles the first's Coin, and ten other Half-crowns of King James's, and taking six pence off of each of them . Notice was first taken of them thus: A Shoop-keeper without Temple-bar hath oft observed a little Girl come to him to change five or ten shillings of small money into greater, as six pences or shillings into half-crowns; and that she would not take any Mill-money, nor money that was clipt: whereupon he watching the Girl, in Fleet-street saw one of the Prisoner s (her Mother) waiting for her, who sent her into several shops in Fleet-street on the like Errand. At last he dogg'd them into an house near Stonecutters-street in Sho lane , very suspitiously scituate; so that declaring the same, and going with an Officer to search, they took one woman , and in her hand a basket, inwhich, amongst several papers, there was one that had Clippings and Filings. The other woman was abroad; but breaking open her door, they observ'd Filings on the floor, found Clippings under a bed, a File and a pair of Sheers hid under the board, to which part of the new-cut Silver still stuck, a Melting pot not quite cold, &c. The Childe being examined whither she used to carry her Half crowns, said, To such an one, naming the third woman now indicted, living in Golden-lane; but nothing being found in her house, she was acquitted . Of the other two, one pleaded ignorance; the other, that she had these Tools of one Benjamin Smith , executed two or three Sessions ago; but that appearing frivolous, and the Crime evident, as pieces of Silver, and their Touch stones, and old Gloves to smoothen and al ay the colour, &c. being produced in Court, they were both found guilty of the Felony and Treason, and received Sentence to be Burnt .

A poor Mechanick fellow was likewise tried for Clipping : Going to work early, he found a parcel of Clippings in Longlane, and carried them to a Goldsmith, to know what they were: who saying it was course Silver, bought it of him for five Shillings six Pence, but gave him a naughty Half crown; which coming several times to have changed, they at last apprehended him; but no other proof coming against him, he was acquitted .

A Young man was Convicted of a Misdemeanour,for offering to put off a naughty Guinny at a Tavern in Cornhil , knowing it to be such -he alleadged, he took it for good of a Watch;maker, and it appeared he had it of him; but when he got it, which was under a pretence of borrowing it, he said it was night, and that he would keep it to have it [Text unreadable in original.]'d, &c So that 'tis thought his design was to defraud the Watchmaker first, and the Vintner afterwards, if not thus discovered.

Here was a lamentable Spectacle, almost a whole Family Confederates in Villany, being two Brothers and their Sister , and one that pretended to be her Husband : There were several Indictments against them respectively, the Husband being found guilty of stealing a brown Mare in Kent, and upon another Indictment for stealing four flitches of Bacon and a Fowling-piece , which were taken with them; but the woman alleadging her self his Wife , and consequently what she did, was done by his coertion, could not be found guilty , though she were taken upon the Mare. The three men were likewise found guilty of another Felony discovered in Golden lane , for stealing the Goods of a person unknown ; they were onely the Rubbish of some Burglary, the best Goods being disposed of before they were seized; so that it was brought in under the value of ten pence . Another Indictment against the the same woman by four or five names, for stealing a black Guelding valued at Eight pounds,and selling him in St. Gileses ; but it appearing that her pretended Husband brought him to the Inne, she was for the reason before mentioned acquitted ; hereby obtaining two happy Certificates of her Marriage. I brief, 'twas declared by the Court that this very Gang had lately stolen above forty horses: Nor did they deal altogether in Horseflesh, but lov'd Mutton too, an Indictment being against them for stealing Nine fat Sheep; for which being taken, they lately made an Escape out of the Gatehouse; and the Prosecutor not knowing they were retaken, was not ready with his witnesses.

A Fellow , with one Arm, was Convicted for Robbery on the High-way ; He and 3 or 4 more of his Gang lurking on foot about Bunhil fields , knockt down an honest man , and rifled him of several small things, for Money he had none: His crying out brought the Constable and Watch, who seized the Prisoner on the place, the rest made their Escape. He had been concern'd on such Foot-pad Rogueries before, and now received Sentence of Death .

There were in all Nine persons Condemn'd to Die, Seven men, viz. Two for Horse-stealing and other Felonies, One for Burglary and stealing Goods to the value of Seventy pounds, and Three others for several Felonies; having been all burnt in the hand before; and One for the Foot-pad, or Robbing on the Highway. And as for the Two women, they received Sentence to be drawn on a Hurdle to the place of Execution, and there their Bodies to be Burnt.

Four men and Three women Burnt in the Hand, and Five ordered to be Whip.